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In the Curl: The Future

in the curl

Listened to a great debate during the Worlds on the live feed all about whats next for barefooting and how do we improve the sport; Swampy, Rob Groen, Ken Derry, Pete O’Neil, and Ashleigh Stebbings were some of the contributors. The big thing for the skiers is instant scoring; they want to know right then what happened. That’s also going to help the spectators who understand a bit about the sport, but will it help Joe Public?

Sure it will, to some extent, but we need to make the sport more visible to the public. The live feed is a great asset for that. Let’s lift it up a notch and get the scoring improved too.

Now, Swampy made reference to turning on the TV and knowing exactly whats happening with a game or match, but seriously, we are not tennis or soccer. We should look to other judged and subjective sports like gymnastics; their scores aren’t instant, but they are fairly quick once the competitor has finished. I think it was Pete O’Neil who talked about more beauty contests, obviously in jest, but hey, what about a form judge? We have all seen skiers do a 720 turn, but there is a vast difference between a clean one and a wild man effort, and yet the score is the same?

My view is we need to develop Lynn Johnson’s live feed technology, have this working at all the tournaments we can, work on out-of-the-boat provisional scoring and have quality commentary to unpack the technical runs. My mate Joe Public is way more thrilled with a tumble turn than a 360 turn, so we need to ensure he can relate to what’s being performed. The only people at a tournament that get a great view of it are the judges, so we need to put our spectators in their seats – live feed does this. Broadcast back at the tournament HQ and provide a great atmosphere for the event.

Live scoring is not a new thing, it’s just never really taken off. I remember back in the mid 80s at a tournament in South Africa, standing on the back of the boat with a microphone telling the tournament site what my trick run was going to be, and knowing the score before I got out of the water! Most associations have a bit of cash stashed away which isn’t doing much to develop the sport in that state; perhaps we all need to think whats the right way to promote us and make some bold decisions?

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