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The 2005 Sprint Series

With Sprints now a recognized event at international championships, including the Canadian Championships (starting officially in 2006), it's time to bring more attention to sprints in North America.

The 2005 Sprint Series, a series of qualification races leading up to the finals in September, will do just that. And it will determine who are the best sprinters in North America.

The Finals

The 2005 Sprint Series is a series of qualification races leading up to the Sprint Series finals at Pawtuckaway (New Hampshire) September 10, organized by William Hawkins. J-J Coté's mega-control course (however many controls it takes to set a world record) will be on the 11th, making an attractive weekend package. In addition, UNO will be offering its traditional camping weekend, with regular recreational courses both Saturday and Sunday, a canoe-O, and a Vampire-O on Saturday evening.

The procedure for the finals has changed slightly, with heats of 16 rather than 8. Details --

For the finals, people are split into heats of 16 (heat 1 is the Championship heat, then 2, 3, 4, etc.). In each heat the sprinters are seeded #1 through #16. The seeds will be grouped as follows:

group 1 -- seeds 1, 8, 9, and 16.
group 2 -- seeds 4, 5, 12, and 13.
group 3 -- seeds 3, 6, 11, and 14.
group 4 -- seeds 2, 7, 10, and 15.

In round 1, sprinters start in these groups of 4 (mini mass starts), with the top two in each group advancing to the A bracket and the other two going to the B bracket.

For the second round, the A bracket will be split into two sections:

section 1 -- the top two from group 1 and the top two from group 2 in round 1.
section 2 -- the top two from group 3 and the top two from group 4 in round 1

In round 2, sprinters start in these sections of 4 (mini mass starts). The top two from each section will advance to the A final, the other two will go to the A consolation. Ditto for the B bracket.

In the third and final round, once again starts will be in group of 4 (A final, A consolation, B final, B consolation), with final placings based on order of finish.

The other heats will operate in the same way, with heat 2 broken into the C and D brackets after the first round, heat 3 into the E and F brackets, etc.

Who will make the Championship heat (the "Sweet Sixteen")? Who will advance to the A bracket (the "Elite Eight")? Who will advance to the A final (the "Final Four")? And who will be the male and female 2005 Sprint Series Champs? We will see....

Qualifying for the Finals

Qualification is based on results from all sprints held in North America in 2005 up through August 31, using the following point system --

1. Club levels sprints (winner gets 30 points on down to 30th gets 1 point).
2. Sprints at A meets and other designated regional events like the sprint day at the Team/DVOA training weekend March 5 (winner gets 40 points on down to 40th gets 1 point).
3. Sprints at US Trials, US Champs (Oregon), Canadian Trials, and Canadian Champs (winner gets 50 points down to 50th gets 1 point).
4. Anyone making the A final at the WOC sprint in Japan gets a bonus 50 points.
5. Anyone competing in a Park World Tour event gets a bonus 50 points (can only get this bonus once).

A maximum of 8 sprints can be counted. If you do more, you count the 8 in which you earn the most points. The bonus points races are in addition to your 8 best.

Qualification for the finals at Pawtuckaway -- top 12 based on points who enter the finals are automatic to Championship heat, 4 wild cards at the discretion of the Commissioner, next best 12 who enter are automatic to heat 2 with 4 discretionary, etc. Everyone qualifies for the finals, but it's a question of which heat you qualify for. Who will make the Championship heat?

Note -- Pre-registratiom for the finals will be required (by about Sept. 1). Details coming soon.

Organization

Organization -- After checking on the practices in the major sports, where the boss is "Commissioner," and in some minor sports, where the boss is "Executive Director," the Sprint Series will be run by a Commissioner. Commissioner is Peter Gagarin, also known as the "Great Commish.". Assistant Commissioners are: Randy Hall, Mike Waddington, William Hawkins, Nevin French, Boris Granovskiy, Sandy Fillebrown, John Fredrickson, and John DeWolf, others to be named as needed. Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Dead Languages: Michael Gagarin. Honorary Commissioners: All the course setters, to be determined.

We hope to have a sponsor or two and some merchandise prizes for the final.

Results and point lists will be updated on the web after each event.

We hope this provides more motivation to do lots of sprints to try to qualify for the top heat in the final. But to win, you have to show up at Pawtuckaway and win three duels. You can't win just on some point system. And since, at least in the USA, there is no sprint championship yet, this should be a worthy substitute.

Rules

1. All sprints from Jan. 1 to August 31, 2005 in North America count as qualifiers in the Sprint Series as long as they are announced in the Sprint Series schedule at least 20 days in advance.

2. Separate point lists for men and women. No separate age-group lists.

3. Results must be sent to the Commissioner (pg@crocker.com) electronically within 24 hours of the event.

4. If there are two or more sprints in one day, each counts as a separate event for earning points.

5. Pre-registration for the finals will be required a week or so in advance.

6. Rules may be added, changed, or deleted at any time by the Commissioner.

Schedule of qualifying races

For the schedule so far go to -- http://users.crocker.com/~pg/team/sprintschedule.html To add a sprint to the schedule, send the Commissioner an e-mail with the details -- when, where, a web site address, and an e-mail address. Note that it may be to your advantage to have your club organize some sprints to help you get more qualifying points.