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2011 USOA National Championship Tavernier, FL Keys - August 3-4, 2011 The Under Water Society of America (USOA) has sanctioned the Miami Freedivers and the Longfins to host this prestigious event.

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Old 05-11-2011, 07:30 PM   #16
florfreediver
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Brian,
That system sounds a little complicated but I know where you are going.
Keep the ideas and dialogue flowing.

Dennis,
In my eyes the timing of Inter-National Events should always take precedence over the timiing of National USA events.

Our calendar of events should be built around the Inter-National events.
Obviously time should also be built into our calender to allow our USA Team a sufficient scouting and acclimatization period, wherever they are competing.

How we landed up with that clash of events last year I do not know, but it sure makes our organization look bad, both here and abroad. I am sure a lot of the overseas Teams will ask what happened.

However I am equally sure that with yourself, Brian and other dedicated people involved, we will improve the system.

Regards,
Mike.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:33 PM   #17
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

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Originally Posted by florfreediver View Post
Brian,
That system sounds a little complicated but I know where you are going.
Keep the ideas and dialogue flowing.

Dennis,
In my eyes the timing of Inter-National Events should always take precedence over the timiing of National USA events.

Our calendar of events should be built around the Inter-National events.
Obviously time should also be built into our calender to allow our USA Team a sufficient scouting and acclimatization period, wherever they are competing.

How we landed up with that clash of events last year I do not know, but it sure makes our organization look bad, both here and abroad. I am sure a lot of the overseas Teams will ask what happened.

However I am equally sure that with yourself, Brian and other dedicated people involved, we will improve the system.

Regards,
Mike.
Mike,
My response here is from my personal feelings, not as director of USOA spearing.
There was no clash of events last year, the team was in greece, diving with friends. The comp was 2 months after the nationals in arkansas, but I can see why they wanted to dive in greece instead of arkansas. They could have been in arkansas, and made it to croatia with plenty of time to scout and prepare.

The reality is, competition diving is fading in the USA. Divers don;t want to attend national events unless they think they have a fair chance at doing well, or its an attractive venue. I have attended all but 2 of the last 14 nationals, and got my ass handed to me on more than one occassion. I could count on 2 hands the divers that attend national events on a regular basis.

As for precedence over US nationals, it is going to be difficult to find councils that want to host national events, as many are not intererested in doing it, so telling them they cannot host during what maybe the best time of year will be hard to do.

I am open to talking about this, and I hope to see more divers involved in the process, as well as more divers attending outside their councils on a regular basis.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:06 PM   #18
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

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Originally Posted by dennishaussler View Post
There was no clash of events last year, the team was in greece, diving with friends. The comp was 2 months after the nationals in arkansas, but I can see why they wanted to dive in greece instead of arkansas. They could have been in arkansas, and made it to croatia with plenty of time to scout and prepare
Respectfully....Just to make it clear Dennis.
The US Nationals were the first week of August, The World Championships were the second week of September. There were alot of teams scouting in Croatia well before we arrived there.

The team was not in Greece "diving with friends" as you so casually put.
I was talking to Dimitris Kollias from DEEP Magazine during the DEMA show in Orlando in 2009 and he offered to help train the US Team by inviting them to Greece to train and acclimate them on diving in the Med/Adriatic. No one on the team has ever been to the Med/Adriatic before, so I set this up for TRAINING for the World Championships. To a man...Justin, Dan, Sean and John all performed much better from the training in Greece than if they had went straight to Croatia without the help from the Greek Team. This was my call Dennis.
Im sorry, but I do not feel that there was sufficient time to scout and train for the Nationals in Greers Ferry in August, compete and drive home, then pack and fly straight to Croatia and start training and scouting there to give our absolute best in the World Championships! We would have had less than a month to scout and train before the zones were shut down.

Why are you so hard on these guys Dennis? These guys really worked their asses off...we were diving deep in cold water almost every day we were there. These guys lost Jobs, Girlfriends, LOTS of money to do this.....just for the love of competitive spearfishing!

Attached is a pic from the World Championships, showing the bond made between us and one of the best spearfishing teams in the World!
Kudos to the Greek National Team who offered to help us!
...oh...and they love Johnny Cash and Harley Davidsons.... haha....
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Last edited by RumbleFish; 05-11-2011 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:37 AM   #19
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

This is an effort to make public some competitor divers concerns and open a discussion.
I would like to get opinions from divers and competitors to make a draft of each potential rule change and present it to the Spearfishing assembly for discussion and voting during our next nationals in the keys.
I will encourage experience divers/Captains/assistants/scouters that participated in international competitions to help with their opinions.

I am a strong believer that the actual system needs some renovations and updating to place ourselves among the world top competitors.

-Teams should be 4 divers that will compete in couples. The 4th diver will be a support member of the team at national and international tournaments.
-The all american team should be the top 5 divers and not the 1st place team plus 2 divers.
-The competing team to the international events "National Team" should remain as a team from World to World competition at least!
-The International team Captain must have authority to decide which divers will compete or not.
-The international team must be integrated by a selection of at least 5 or more divers + 1 Captain.
-We need some sort of system that allows The national team members to qualify on the next national tournament in case that they cannot attend due to their international involvement.
-Speed limit 30 mph should be removed.
-The selection of divers qualifying to nationals should be a system of levels to guarantee that best divers will make it. Like top council divers compete to other councils, top winners will compete at the state tournaments and top athletes will go to nationals representing States &/or Councils.
-Divers from one council should not participate in nationals representing another council at least that he competed and qualified during that council tournaments.
-Whatever ideas that you have or from other divers please send them to me or post them in the “contact us” section of the nationals for further discussion or in this forum.

We would like to see the 2013 Pan American Competition in the US.
CMAS also want the US to host a world championship in the near future; Pan-American will be a warm up.

Erick Salado

Last edited by SpearMax; 06-07-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:26 AM   #20
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRSALADO View Post
This is an effort to make public some competitor divers concerns and open a discussion.
I would like to get opinions from divers and competitors to make a draft of each potential rule change and present it to the Spearfishing assembly for discussion and voting during our next nationals in the keys.
I will encourage experience divers/Captains/assistants/scouters that participated in international competitions to help with their opinions.

I am a strong believer that the actual system needs some renovations and updating to place ourselves among the world top competitors.

-Teams should be 4 divers that will compete in couples. The 4th diver will be a support member of the team at national and international tournaments.
-The all american team should be the top 5 divers and not the 1st place team plus 2 divers.
-The competing team to the international events "National Team" should remain as a team from World to World competition at least!
-The International team Captain must have authority to decide which divers will compete or not.
-The international team must be integrated by a selection of at least 5 or more divers + 1 Captain.
-We need some sort of system that allows The national team members to qualify on the next national tournament in case that they cannot attend due to their international involvement.
-Speed limit 30 mph should be removed.
-The selection of divers qualifying to nationals should be a system of levels to guarantee that best divers will make it. Like top council divers compete to other councils, top winners will compete at the state tournaments and top athletes will go to nationals representing States &/or Councils.
-Divers from one council should not participate in nationals representing another council at least that he competed and qualified during that council tournaments.
-Whatever ideas that you have or from other divers please send them to me or post them in the “contact us” section of the nationals for further discussion or in this forum.

We would like to see the 2013 Pan American Competition in the US.
CMAS also want the US to host a world championship in the near future; Pan-American will be a warm up.

Erick Salado
WOW!
Awesome Ideas Erick!
I agree 100% with every point!

Justin is coming over tonight and I would like for him to read this thread and comment.
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Last edited by RumbleFish; 05-12-2011 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #21
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by RumbleFish View Post
Respectfully....Just to make it clear Dennis.
The US Nationals were the first week of August, The World Championships were the second week of September. There were alot of teams scouting in Croatia well before we arrived there.

The team was not in Greece "diving with friends" as you so casually put.
I was talking to Dimitris Kollias from DEEP Magazine during the DEMA show in Orlando in 2009 and he offered to help train the US Team by inviting them to Greece to train and acclimate them on diving in the Med/Adriatic. No one on the team has ever been to the Med/Adriatic before, so I set this up for TRAINING for the World Championships. To a man...Justin, Dan, Sean and John all performed much better from the training in Greece than if they had went straight to Croatia without the help from the Greek Team. This was my call Dennis.
Im sorry, but I do not feel that there was sufficient time to scout and train for the Nationals in Greers Ferry in August, compete and drive home, then pack and fly straight to Croatia and start training and scouting there to give our absolute best in the World Championships! We would have had less than a month to scout and train before the zones were shut down.

Why are you so hard on these guys Dennis? These guys really worked their asses off...we were diving deep in cold water almost every day we were there. These guys lost Jobs, Girlfriends, LOTS of money to do this.....just for the love of competitive spearfishing!

Attached is a pic from the World Championships, showing the bond made between us and one of the best spearfishing teams in the World!
Kudos to the Greek National Team who offered to help us!
...oh...and they love Johnny Cash and Harley Davidsons.... haha....


Well said....
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #22
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by RumbleFish View Post
Respectfully....Just to make it clear Dennis.
The US Nationals were the first week of August, The World Championships were the second week of September. There were alot of teams scouting in Croatia well before we arrived there.

The team was not in Greece "diving with friends" as you so casually put.
I was talking to Dimitris Kollias from DEEP Magazine during the DEMA show in Orlando in 2009 and he offered to help train the US Team by inviting them to Greece to train and acclimate them on diving in the Med/Adriatic. No one on the team has ever been to the Med/Adriatic before, so I set this up for TRAINING for the World Championships. To a man...Justin, Dan, Sean and John all performed much better from the training in Greece than if they had went straight to Croatia without the help from the Greek Team. This was my call Dennis.
Im sorry, but I do not feel that there was sufficient time to scout and train for the Nationals in Greers Ferry in August, compete and drive home, then pack and fly straight to Croatia and start training and scouting there to give our absolute best in the World Championships! We would have had less than a month to scout and train before the zones were shut down.

Why are you so hard on these guys Dennis? These guys really worked their asses off...we were diving deep in cold water almost every day we were there. These guys lost Jobs, Girlfriends, LOTS of money to do this.....just for the love of competitive spearfishing!

Attached is a pic from the World Championships, showing the bond made between us and one of the best spearfishing teams in the World!
Kudos to the Greek National Team who offered to help us!
...oh...and they love Johnny Cash and Harley Davidsons.... haha....
WOW,
So being the new director, I can see I must edit my thoughts about such things.
I stand corrected. They were not there diving with friends, they were training.
That said, I understand better than most, that there are other countries that are preparing months in advance, sometimes yrs. BUT, the team was not in croatia scouting, but diving in greece. I also understand the importance of training, and acclimatizing to the environment and conditions.
The big 3, France, Italy and Spain, are head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Stories of how much support they recieve are unreal, and being part of the 2004 team in Chile, I saw first hand what the rest of the field is up against.
Theres no substitution for scouting, and they take it to a new level. They also do not qualify their team of divers, but select them, based on performance, experience, and ability at the venue. The teams are supported by manufacturers, other outside funds, so they are able to do that without the normal democratic selection process we experience here in the USA.

I spent time with JB Esclapez, and we talked at length about world level diving, training, etc. When I asked him how many days a year he dove while on the French world team, he said 300-320 per year. Thats a full time occupation.

Anyway, understand I support the US world team in whatever form it takes, and I also welcome discussion on changing the status quo. What I fear is, all this talk goes by the wayside once the nationals move on to the next venue, and divers don;t want to travel outside their comfort zone.

Also, please, if your one of the divers who regularly travels to national events regardless of where they may be, this does not apply to you. The times are changing, so we will see where this leads us.



I have nothing against the 2010 team, they are all my friends, some of them more so than others, but all amigos. I am not sure how to achieve what some are talking about here, but glad to hear the discussion. Keep gathering ideas, and hopefully we can start something new.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #23
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRSALADO View Post
This is an effort to make public some competitor divers concerns and open a discussion.
I would like to get opinions from divers and competitors to make a draft of each potential rule change and present it to the Spearfishing assembly for discussion and voting during our next nationals in the keys.
I will encourage experience divers/Captains/assistants/scouters that participated in international competitions to help with their opinions.

I am a strong believer that the actual system needs some renovations and updating to place ourselves among the world top competitors.

-Teams should be 4 divers that will compete in couples. The 4th diver will be a support member of the team at national and international tournaments.
-The all american team should be the top 5 divers and not the 1st place team plus 2 divers.
-The competing team to the international events "National Team" should remain as a team from World to World competition at least!
-The International team Captain must have authority to decide which divers will compete or not.
-The international team must be integrated by a selection of at least 5 or more divers + 1 Captain.
-We need some sort of system that allows The national team members to qualify on the next national tournament in case that they cannot attend due to their international involvement.
-Speed limit 30 mph should be removed.
-The selection of divers qualifying to nationals should be a system of levels to guarantee that best divers will make it. Like top council divers compete to other councils, top winners will compete at the state tournaments and top athletes will go to nationals representing States &/or Councils.
-Divers from one council should not participate in nationals representing another council at least that he competed and qualified during that council tournaments.
-Whatever ideas that you have or from other divers please send them to me or post them in the “contact us” section of the nationals for further discussion or in this forum.

We would like to see the 2013 Pan American Competition in the US.
CMAS also want the US to host a world championship in the near future; Pan-American will be a warm up.

Erick Salado
good points, "top' divers should be chosen on a standarized system thats exactly the same and used by all the clubs, to determine the absolute best in the US, that way apples are compared to apples. I've noticed alot of "politics" are implemented in the selection process both eliminating and/or scaring off alot of top US divers.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:53 PM   #24
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Dennis Haussler and myself havent seen Eye to eye, if some of you can remember.

But I would NEVER, even think about challenging some of the things he has said on here.

What I think alot you take for granted, especially people that have never competed in a nationals/worlds, is that the rules that are in place, have been in place for years, and all the teams before now have done whatever they had to do to stay on top. Having never been a member of these world teams I couldnt tell you what it takes, but if I were in some of these peoples fins, I would do everything to stay on top.

@Brian lee, this isnt a personal attack, but have you ever competed in the nationals? Or on a world team? I know your help with the 2010 was incredible turning 70-80ft divers into 100-120ft divers with a better understanding of safety, but freediving and competitive spearfishing are two very different things. I AM IN NO WAY SAYING I AM SOME KIND OF ULTIMATE ELITE WORLDCLASS CHAMPION SPEARO, but luckily I have met, dove and shared alot with these kinds of spearos from across the world, at which point I hope 0.001% of there talent has rubbed off. It is just as hard to make it anywhre else.

The system isnt perfect, maybe needs to be tweaked, My friend Erik Salado made some very interesting points that I hope dont fall through the cracks.

But the fact is taking a nationals off isnt fair, continuity should be done in the form of showing up every year. I have gotten my ass kicked in every nationals, and I wouldnt dream of missing one. But it also should be that the hardest part of the competition is the competition itself, and not getting there, or some peripheral circumstance.

Everyone here has a point, Brian from last years experiance, Dennis from the last 14 years, and Erik being the 2008 team doctor and scout.

The best part about this isnt the point being made guys, its the fact that more than a few people care about the sport, and its development in this country. cheers, see you guys at the nationals!!!!

Like dennis said there are only a handful of people that are ready to go every year.
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:47 AM   #25
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

As a competitor on the 2010 Worlds Team, I would like to give my respectful take on this. Bear with me, there is a lot to address here and I will give my proposal based on the reality of what we experienced in the 2010 worlds.

First, its really good to see people giving this issue attention. It shows that people care about having a strong representation on the world front. The important thing to remember here is THAT is what this is about- having the best possible US Team representing us in the greatest sport in the world. Leave your personal interests out of this.

That said, Adel eluded to a point which I suspect a few other people may believe as well- that proposals were fabricated so that we could personally stay on top.

Let this be known: I personally had no desire to represent in 2012, John might never do another tournament again after that experience, and Sean said jokingly at dinner one night that he’d rater stick a fork in his eye than do that again. Take that for what it is worth, we knew Croatia would be tough going in, but the point I’m getting at here is that the proposals at that time had less to do with us personally and more to do with the principle. Dan would have taken his shot at another go in 2012 without hesitation though and deservedly so.


Anyway, here is the proposal I’m supporting:

(btw this has probably already been proposed)

Currently to qualify for the Worlds competitors must compete in 2 Nationals preceding the Worlds to receive their national ranking. Competitors points are credited in percentile points from each Nationals separately based on 100% being the top scoring individual in each Nationals and everyone else’s scores are a percentile relative. Awesome premise because “points” are awarded in the most deserved way i.e. when someone crushes the tournament like Murph in 03, he secures 100% while everyone is credited lower relative to that stand out catch. Additionally this eliminates the obvious issue of high scoring turnies one year vs low the next. I’ve always appreciated this method of ranking. (nothing new there)

Going forward, and this is real simple, the current US World Team should receive an average of their last two nationals percentile points in place of the Nationals scores coinciding with the year they participate in the Worlds.

If a World Team member choses to go to the Nationals on the year of the Worlds, whatever score they get, they get.

That’s it.

So now the why:

1)We need our US representatives to be focusing their time resources and efforts, as we did, on the Worlds.

Anyone who has done it knows the undertaking of that task, and unlike us who got a free pass through the Pan Ams due to lack of interest I guess, future teams will have the additional financial and time strain of the Pan Ams to deal with.

Going into the Worlds, Dennis, and everybody in the know in general, informed us on how much effort would be involved in this undertaking, particularly in Croatia. The fact was stressed that if we were going to do it right we would have to be there early. So we were. In fact we made the Worlds a full year commitment. Training in Greece being the most valuable. As for the diving with friends premise- hell yeah it was! (diving well as a cohesive team is important and takes time together) but more importantly it was a highly refined clinic put on by Dimitris Kollias and Stavros Kastrinakis specifically for hunting Med fish. These guys really took the time to break down every detail of their methods for hunting in a very professional way and we absorbed every bit of privileged knowledge which was immensely helpful for the Worlds. Anyone who reads DEEP knows the incredible level of detail these guys put into spearfishing. Rather than knock us for going to Greece instead of the Nationals, please consider our sincerest intentions to represent the country as best we could and the generous offers of those that helped us along the way (special shout out to Martin as well).

2)In the past, these proposals have been framed unfavorably by people saying we would be crediting World Team members with points they didn’t earn. I disagree. By the method suggested, the competitor’s focus is the Worlds and they get a representation of points which they did earn.

In 2010 for instance the top percentile points fell something like this (excluding Lance and Dennis who chose not to represent):

Justin Allen 185
Hollywood 153
Sean Moreshci 140
John Modica 139

cut those numbers in half and you’ve got their EARNED points they would be credited the year they dedicate their lives to the Worlds.

High earners have more points going into the following qualifying Nationals, low-lower. This is by no means a gimmie either for a return appearance to the Worlds, but that scenario would provide incentive for YOUR guys who have been busting their ass and given it their all, consequentially missing the Nationals, to show up for the next Nationals to get a shoot at qualifying again. The only thing that is being given is a better chance to represent in/focus on the Worlds. The credit, in terms of point representation, I argue would still have been earned.

3) Generally people make it to the Worlds with one very high score favored by homefield advantage. This proposal would eliminate that factor and thereby any complaints about that particular issue. Proposals which use one or the other previous National score do not eliminate that concern.


4) Lastly, we need to promote more repeat competitors on the world front to have a legitimate chance at being competitive consistently.

How many times does a new guy show up to an olympic event an win? In most cases that is what we have to hope happens with our US Team.

As a Team and regarding the individuals I competed with, I was tremendously proud of what we accomplished when the Worlds were over. I knew within the realm of safety we left everything out there and exhausted everything we had in an effort to compete. Thats what its all about! Results wise though, personally slightly disappointing only because I know, knowing what we know now, we could do significantly better with two weeks of preparation as compared to the two months we actually took. Its amazing what lessons can be reaped from one showing, but as seen from other countries, it takes a round 2,3,4 ect. for success to take hold on that level. THAT is what we need in the US. Lets promote a greater chance of making it happening.

We made a lot of friends while we were there from other countries and several laughed at us when we explained our Worlds qualification process. I’m not kidding literally laughed at us. Said we never stood a chance sending green competitors almost every time. Not that their way is superior, they vary greatly, but many countries contrive/accommodate a way so that the same competitors can compete year after year if they are worthy.

Yes it is a fact the Ernsts amongst others set the mold for what legends are this sport and succeeded in attending both the National and Worlds in the same year to qualify for consecutive Worlds. However I’m sure they can attest to great deal of financial/time constrains and burdens that must have imposed. Take a guy like Bill for instance in his prime (wow), lets say he was cut loose from being required to attend the Nationals the same year as the Worlds to qualify for the next Worlds. With potentially more of his efforts focused on the Worlds rater than the Nationals that year, might that have improved our chances of having two INDIVIDUAL WORLD CHAMPIONs to our country’s credit? Thats what these new ideas are about. This is a very demanding sport at the international level; lets not make it unnecessarily harder on ourselves.

Also worth mentioning is the effort that goes into getting sponsorships which is scrapped every couple of years with a new World Team. It took a lot of work prior to get sponsors. A lot of that starts over again with a new team. We all know how important time and money is to making things happen. Just ask the Spanish team.


I say lets acknowledge the dedication and sacrifice it takes to do a Worlds event the way it deserves to be done for the USA. Lets promote future hardworking, potentially repeat competitors, and put away any petty personal issues for the greater good of the sport.

If you are just shooting the idea down to better your chances of getting on the team by leaving it far harder for the current team to get in again than you are a jackass and also hurting the chances of US improving for selfish reasons.

If you are shooting the idea down because you would hate to see a particular person have a repeat representation, that’s just unfortunate for the entire community.

If you do have a legitimate reasons to to oppose my input here, you have my respect and hopes that you will provide your input as well to better improve our international aspirations, but just saying it wont fly because its not the way it was done before absolutely doesn't cut it and is frankly lacking any thought.

If backed properly, the USA should rightfully be a top threat to the title every time. No question, we do in fact have some high potential spearos in the US.

Again though, when competitors from other teams decided that they genuinely liked us and started asking about seeing us next year, (greece, south africa, new zealand, ukraine ect.) and we explained the predicament we were in for a return appearance they laughed at us! That’s the scenario our US Team is faced with right now. The rest of the world knows that following a system which promotes sending a different team every time is counterproductive, but we are content to stay the course. That's weak.

Lets make a change for the better and take another step in the right direction to kicking some international ass!!


Best of luck and all the support in the US to our new World Team!

Last edited by J.Allen; 05-14-2011 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:06 AM   #26
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Justin, my apologies if you felt I was disrespecting you or your team, it wasn’t my intent, and like I said it’s nothing personal. I compete out on the water; back on shore I am friends with anyone that’s willing.
To be honest with you, the proposal that was presented at the competitors meeting was very vague and poorly written, and it “eluded” not only me, but all of your peers at the meeting, including some former world team competitors. Water under the bridge, don’t you think? What you have written here has a clearer intent, more obvious outcomes, and surpasses the document that was first presented at the nationals last year. So if you are serious about restructuring the format of selection, you or whoever has to be super detailed, and I would add a visual to the presentation (for those that have been underwater to long).
That being said, I HIGHLY respect your opinion/perspective. You earned a spot on the world team, and did everything possible to represent the United States to the best of your ability, and that deserves respect. But, not everyone here has that kind of credentials, some people that are trying to help, don’t have the experience needed to see how things would play out at a national’s event. Again, don’t take this personal guy’s.
I know this is going to be very tough, this year I was privileged to be voted president of the Miami Freedivers, and be part of the committee that is planning the nationals. My experience of the past three nationals, and so far this year has taught me that this sport needs a lot of potential, but needs a lot help to grow and develop. I think this year a lot of people will find that we have taken a step in the right direction with the 2011 nationals, and hopefully it will only get better from here.
If I can assist you or anyone that has an interest in finding a solution to create a system that produces the best U.S.A. World team, just ask. I love this sport and want to see it where it belongs.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #27
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

J.Allen: Thanks for making such an informative post.

You argue that the selection criteria should be modified so that we have the best competitors and also so that it will be more likely that the same individuals will be representing the US over successive world competitions.

However, you also seem to state quite bluntly that the existing team has no interest in ever doing it again. If I read correctly (see below) ,only one guy would consider making themselves available for the multi-year commitment.

Let this be known: I personally had no desire to represent in 2012, John might never do another tournament again after that experience, and Sean said jokingly at dinner one night that he’d rater stick a fork in his eye than do that again. Take that for what it is worth, we knew Croatia would be tough going in, but the point I’m getting at here is that the proposals had nothing to do with us personally, just the principle.

So if the existing team has no interest in continuing to compete at this level for multiple years, how can we conclude that future teams will feel differently?

It seems that both Rumblefish and your argument is based on the assumption that it is necessary to adjust the selection criteria to help ensure that the team members can secure their position for multiple years, yet the practicality and benefit of this for the US team, is not yet clear to me.

It seems that first you must make a convincing argument that keeping the same team members is desirable for the US Team. I am sure that competing on the World team for one year represents an incredible financial and personal hardship. I wonder that if competitors knew that acceptance of a place on the US team would necessarily involve a commitment of two (or more) years, even fewer competitors would be able to make the sacrifices necessary.

In some other countries, the level of support is so much higher that it allows the formation (and financing) of what sounds like a cohesive team of “professional” divers. While in the US, financial constraints would preclude development and maintenance of a similar program. It sounds very much like we have a team of amateurs (no disrespect intended) competing against professionals. How will modifying the rules to promote “continuity” in the team actually “level the playing field”?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:11 AM   #28
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Hey Jim,
You have a very valid concern, but I think you are kind of missing the point.
Yes, Justin did state that some of the members would not want to do this again.
But thats the problem we are trying to remedy here. We want them to want to compete year after year.
first of all, It was a financial hardship for all the guys and Im sure this is one of the reasons why they would not want to do this again. But with team continuity, we can also carry over sponsor continuity and lessen the financial hardship and burden that was placed on each teammate individually. Currently each selected team has to start from scratch and attempt to aquire sponsors from scratch each and every year. By the time we are asking for sponsorships, most of potential sponsors monies are already spoken for and though willing they are unable.
As far as one of Ericks points "International team Captain must have authority to decide which divers will compete or not."
Lets take John Modica for instance (he is aware of this thread and he will comment in the near future). As you know, John was alternate on the US team, and was willing to give his all to the team helping scouting and training and absorbing the same financial burden as the other 3 members. To a man, Justin, Dan and Sean will admit that while training for the Worlds, it was obvious to all that John had aquired the best skills for the tournament and was recognized as the best of the US team by all of us and also Dimitris while training in Greece. Now I personally believe John should have been in the competition, but due to our honourary system in place. Qualifiers 1,2 & 3 had the right to compete without regard of who was in the best possible position to compete or not. I am sure this also has some bearing on Johns decision not to compete again.

You must understand that some of those comments were made more from frustration, and given a system that does not place such a burden on the competitors, I am sure you will see that they would be more than happy to compete on a continual basis.

Another point I want to bring out is this. If we do make a better platform for members of the US Team and relieve some of the burden to compete internationally. More and more people will want to take this more seriously. With that said, since to be on the team, one must go thru the Nationals. I truly believe that the nationals will become more popular in itself.
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Last edited by RumbleFish; 05-13-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:29 AM   #29
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

Adel, no disrespect at all.

And I've said most of what I wanted to say, so time to have fun with it. Here is your visual. see attachment

You see this is the problem. This is what world competitions have to compete with. I could spent about 12K of my own personal money on the worlds and shoot next to no fish +miss work for weeks because I have to rearrange my schedule. Or on my own time and at a 5th of the expense go hanging out with brandon wahlers, shoot some tuna, chase some euro trash in bali maybe, whatever the occasion calls for. Sean and John would sooner do some more trips to fiji, I can't really speak for Dan.

The way the competitions are set up now you HAVE to spread yourself extremely thin if you want to represent in the Worlds well and show up next time because you have to do the nationals that year as well. That doesn't bode well for your performance in either event. Remember in my mind the most important thing is for the worlds team to be focused on the worlds. They shouldn't have to delude their resources elsewhere.

When it comes to the subject of FAIRNESS I would argue that as things are now the representing US team are the ones on the fairness losing end because they have a far more demanding and costly event to deal with that same season (2 if you include the Pan AMs) than people who are just doing the nationals to get in next time. Lets make putting the best damn US team we can out there our priory, and that means giving them a chance somehow to return next time without affecting there current performances.

Summarizing why I wouldn't be there in 2012: Two reasons 1)reality 2)money/time (call me undedicated but that is a factor)

1)reality, failure comes before success, the proposal I am backing now would not get passed while we were competing for USA in the worlds. I accepted that. It was too much of a change, change takes time and getting shot down a few times first before it happens. It was more important to me at the time to do well in that worlds. Honestly though failure of any proposals that would have benefited us may not have been such a bad thing if in the future some change for good comes out of it.

Failure before success by the way feeds into my point that promoting repeat competitors is a good idea.

So anyway I let my personal aspirations for 2012 fall by the wayside in hopes of improving my performance in 2010. I guess it was not so much that I wouldn't want to be there in 2012, but I can't be in two places at once and I made my decision and I stand by it and the consequences that accompany it.

2) Time and money. Consider this: Doing 2 consecutive worlds is very lofty 5 year commitment (2 qualifying nationals, one worlds and nationals year, one more qualifying nationals and then the worlds again) Its amazing that anyone has been able to accomplish that. A sweet job, say a firefighter with a good salary who can make his schedule, might be able to pull it off but very few can do it based on their circumstances. Also things change over time, people might be more busy/tied down/financially constrained than ever before. NOW is time for a change, give those who are giving it their all at the worlds a better shot at focusing on what is important that year and potentially sticking with the program so to speak and showing up to the next nationals, unlike me. Really though how much intensive was there the way the cards are stacked against a back to back appearance (also see picture for where i found incentives)

That's about all I can really say on the matter in it's entirety. No reason to muddle it up from there. My interests are for the best intent of future US teams. I think the average proposal makes the most scene to fairly promote a better US representation at the worlds.

Keep in mind most guys make it to the worlds on a stellar home field performance, and a subpar to crappy away performance. One good high score, and one low one.

The scenario the world members would face is that they would have a decent score, say the alternate for instance might have a 65 and then (assuming they got to the worlds on a home field performance) they would have to compete in an abroad national venue. That's just the way the nationals rotation would work out. That's typical sub par to crappy territory for most although the best will prove they are such, but its no secrete that local knowledge rules. I'm just saying this proposal is not a total gimmie to the world team members to return next time around. They should still be represented only by what they earned in the last two nationals and the next. They are just being granted a well deserved opportunity to focus on the worlds that all important year they will be representing us.
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Last edited by J.Allen; 05-14-2011 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:37 AM   #30
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Re: USOA National Spearfishing Championships 2011

On an interesting side note I can attest that, John Modica, our alternate, was in fact the best diver for Med conditions we were hunting in the worlds. I don't know what it was but he was the most dialed in for that area from the start. Diving better than any of us at the time and posting more spots while scouting than anyone every day. I hope the next US team is as fortunate to have someone as dedicated to the cause on it as John was, especially in the selfless regard that he did not compete.
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