I went to the ACA meeting this afternoon, concerning BAR/BAT and masters racing.
Interesting. This was not a voting meeting but a meeting to give the board information and feedback about moving the ACA forward. It was interesting, I basically just listened so I could get a feel for were they are going and to make sure it was right for my team.
Although it was never stated, I believe the problem statement(s) are as follows:
1: ACA does not have enough chief judges that can handle the fast pace, closed coarse, crits. Only a few (3) chief judges are available to handle this work.
2: The only growing group(increasing number of annual license holders) are SM 35-44 cat 3 and 4 and SM 45-54 4's. Based on the number of new memberships from 2001 - 2008 this group has 45% of the ACA's growth. There is NEED for new categories for these racers. Specifically SM35+/3 and SM45+/4
3: The new categories will increase the racing day, making it too long and putting too much strain on the (3) chief judges and other race staff.
Appears to be creating the SM35+/3 and SM45+/4 categories and splitting all the categories into three. Only one group of categories will be BAR/BAT and the others will have to wait until the next race. The ACA board will begin working on this starting tomorrow.
God for bid something happen to these three chief judges. No business I have been associated with would allow its future to be controlled by so few. This has got to be a reason to test other timing technologies (timing chips). I know the ACA knows about them. This approach to solving the problem will reduce the number of races people have available for their categories. Perhaps that will mean better turnout at the races we have, pushing up demand. As demand goes up, I believe the price I have to pay at each race will to. 2009 is going to be interesting.
I think I will just have to be a good consumer, check the races I am interested in and determining what will work best for me.