T-Rex & modern Trials

Good morning all,

I’m scribbling this in a personal capacity as it seems that my comment a few days ago about some Riders entering the Centre Championship NSMSC Presidents Trial with an incorrect Centre Grading has caused a lot of comment from you riders {and Organisers as well}

Why T-Rex? Well in pre history when I rode you couldn’t do bouncy hoppy things in sections. I joined my local Club, West Essex whose ace rider was DR {Smith}. Now DR was a ‘works’ rider but I rode the same sections in West Essex Club Trials as he did [because there was just one route!]. He cleaned sections, I fived sections. I didn’t enter Open to Centre Trials because we all knew how it worked, Club Trials were the easiest, Open to Centre were harder, & then there were the National Trials , they were harder still. Winning awards was simple, if you lost fewest marks you were the winner, if you were in the top 10% of the entry you got a First Class Award & in the next 10% you got a Second Class Award. Etc.

Now things are different, in our Centre  you are graded, according to your ability, into 4 grades, & we also have a couple of age related classses. As you clever guys nowadays  do bouncy hoppy things while still going forwards without stopping ie no stop observation rules we also mark out sections with variations to cater for your ability.

These Centre gradings are held in a list [& I’ll comment about that later] held by the Centre Recorder, there is a system for upgrading riders, a system for some limited downgrading & a system for negotiating, ie talking with the Recorder, about your Grading, so that it is not a purely Rules bound system. There’s also provision, by negotiation, for an ungraded Rider to go straight into a particular Grade based on his or known ability.

The Centre Trials Championship runs for you from year to year & when you enter a Centre Championship Trial you agree to the Supplementary Regulations that say you enter as per your Grade on the Centre Grading List. That makes the Championship a true test of your ability within your peer group.

That, together with specifying that Observation will be on a No Stop basis are pretty well the only specific Rules the Centre makes for it’s Championship.

Every week when you enter your Trial you advise the organising Club of the Class you intend to ride out of the Classes they choose to offer. If it’s not a Championship Trial it doesn’t concern the Centre what class/route you ride – it’s up to the Organisers

Are you with me so far?  You are, good.

So now lets think about our Championship Trials. The only reason for not complying with the Championship Rules about your grading is

A      You don’t know it

B       You think the route will be too hard for you

So what do we do about it?

First, in the case of A, you advise the Secretary of the Meeting you are ‘Riding for No Award’ but tick the Route you want to ride

Second, in the case of B, you advise the Secretary of the Meeting you are ‘Riding for No Award’ but tick the Route you want to ride  —– ie exactly the same thing, tell the Secretary!

This way you can compete on the Route you want, measure yourself against peers riding the same route as you, but crucially, not be awarded Championship points you are not entitled to, and The Secretary of the Meeting won’t have to amend &/or recalculate the Results as a result of a question about the Results.

For information: When you enter any Trial that is not a Wessex Centre Championship event, the Club will in its Supplementary Regs tell you any specifics about the event, & their Entry Form will specify how you tell them what Route you want to ride.

Where do we go from here?

I think we may need to take a long hard look at the grading List & make it work more dynamically from year to year, & make sure Riders understand the grading system better.

Would be interested to hear any thoughts, especially your reasoned suggestions about your Centre Championship

See you at the Knut tomorrow.


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