NCWSA Rule Update: Slalom Mini Course

At the 2017 January board meeting the NCWSA board of directors approved the use of a mini course within the slalom event.  The following details should help explain the rule change as well as how the system will be scored.  All images contained within this article are not to scale, but meant for visual guides to help with the explanation.

The introduction of the mini course will provide a great learning tool for collegiate athletes trying to learn the big slalom course. Providing this within the event will hopefully provide further incentive to learn to slalom in addition to learning how to run the slalom course.

The Mini Course Ruling

  • Optional for LOC in 2017
    • We hope most LOC’s will try and use this new system for NCWSA events in 2017 as we think it is a great learning tool for collegiate athletes trying to learn the big slalom course.
  • Mini course buoys are to be set at 7.5M plus/minus 1.1 meters.
    • This gives way to a broad range of already installed mini course green buoys.
    • We will be evaluating things in 2017, but at present we believe 8.5 meters may be the best placement for training slalom skiers for the full course, and this is one of the goals of mini course inclusion in the event.
  • Each mini course buoy is worth 1/2 a buoy.
    • To get credit for 1/2 the skier must round the mini course buoy and then cross the boat guide line closest to the buoy, just like when full credit is achieved on the full course.
    • No partial credit for mini course buoys.
      • This does not change partial scoring for regular buoys.
  • Mini course scoring will only be used on the first pass.
  • A skiers must make 6 full buoys to get a second pass.
  • A mixture of mini course buoys and full course buoys can be used to attain a final score.
    • This mixture must be of consecutive buoys, once a buoy is missed (both mini and regular) no more buoys are counted in the final score.

Mini Course Judging and Scoring

Mixing in mini course buoys

As we noted in the ruling outline, a mixture of mini course buoys and regular buoys can be rounded by the skier to achieve their final score.

The following shows a skier earning 5.5 buoys. The skier rounds 1 and 2 ball, but cannot make the normal 3 ball so the skier rounds the mini course buoy at 3 ball, then gets 4, 5, and 6 of the regular course.  The judge counting would be: 1, 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 5.5 and then the judge would report a final score of 5.5 to the scorer. Since the skier did not score 6 full buoys, the skier does not receive a second pass.

Mini Course Use - 5.5 buoys

The following skier rounded all the regular buoys on the odd side (1, 3, and 5) and rounded the mini course buoys on the even side (2, 4, and 6). This scenario may be seen as we see slalom skiers learning the course, as almost everyone has an off side, so using the mini course on the off side could allow further learning of how to complete the slalom course. The judge counting in this case would be: 1, 1.5, 2.5, 3, 4, 4.5 and then the judge would report a final score of 4.5 to the scorer.

Mini Course Scoring - 4.5 buoys

The rounded buoy mixture must be of consecutive buoys

The following skier rounds the mini course buoy at 1, the regular buoy at 2, mini course at 3, 4, and 5 but misses all buoys at 6. The judge counting in this case would be: 0.5, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 and then the judge would report a final score of 3 to the scorer.

Mini Course Scoring - 3 buoys

The following skier rounds 1 ball and the mini course 2 ball, but misses all buoys at 3. The skier continues on and rounds 4 ball and the mini course buoy at 5 and 6. This scenario would be judged using the consecutive rounded buoys (as it has been in the past), therefore the judge would not count any buoys after the miss therefore the judge would report a final score of 1.5 buoys to the scorer.

Mini Course Scoring - 1.5 Buoys

No partial credit for mini course buoys

The following skier rounds the normal one ball, but rounds the mini course buoy at 2 but falls after making the turn. Since no partial credit is given for mini course buoys, the skier will not receive any credit for getting outside of the mini course 2 ball. This is different than if a skier is using only the regular course slalom buoys as partial credit is received for getting outside the buoy and returning past the buoy line. In this scenario the the judge would report a final score of 1 to the scorer.

Mini Course Scoring - 1 buoy

 

Problems or Questions?

We are trying to work with everyone to help fully understand this rule change. We hope to see mini courses at many tournaments this year, because we believe it will help grow our sport and encourage skiers to learn the slalom course. If you have any questions you can contact us on Facebook through the NCWSA page, email us directly at info@ncwsa.com, or contact any of your regional representatives on the board of directors.

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Adam Koehler

Skied with the Illini Waterski Team and the Marquette Waterski Team. Past winner of the NCWSA Outstanding Leader Award. Former NCWSA Operations Committee Chair and current NCWSA Secretary.