John Foss <Unicycle@aol.com> writes:
>It’s time for the IUF to make a decision on Skill Levels. This is a call for
>opinions from anybody, but I’m especially looking for opinions or feedback from
>the other members of the IUF Skill Levels Committee. Last summer, the USA
>switched a pair of skills between levels 5 and 6, moving 'hop standing on wheel
>5 times’ to level 5, and ‘walk the wheel for 10 meters’ to level 6.
Unless I’m mistaken, that’s the way it was, not the recent change.
>This was done because skill level testing was showing a large number of riders
>getting stuck on the hop on wheel skill. Many were able to do all of level 6
>before getting that single skill from level 5.
>Remember, ‘hop standing on wheel’ includes going from sitting on the seat up to
>the standing on wheel position, hopping 5 times, and then (the hard part)
>getting back onto the seat and riding away. This skill is a part of my everyday
>show, and it took me quite a long time to get it consistently.
>I believe walking the wheel to be easier than the hopping on wheel skill, and I
>propose that the IUF make the same change that was made by the USA last summer.
Ken Fuchs <email@example.com> writes:
>The IUF Standard Skill List has “hopping on wheel” valued at 3.0 points whereas
>“wheel walking” is valued at 3.5 in the same list. Clearly “wheel walking” is
>more difficult than “hopping on wheel”.
>Getting back to the pedals from “hopping on wheel” is no more difficult than
>from “wheel walking”. I personally recall great difficulty in getting back to
>the pedals from “wheel walking”, but getting back to the pedals from "hopping
>on wheel" was not nearly as difficult (the IUF Standard Skill List values it at
>3.0 points). Getting back to the pedals from “hopping on wheel” is easier,
>because the wheel is not moving, thus the position of the pedals does not
>change. However, getting back to the pedals from “wheel walking” is harder,
>because the wheel is moving, thus the pedals are moving too. It is harder to
>hit a moving target (pedal), isn’t it?
Don’t forget the rider has to jump up, turn 90 degrees to get on the wheel and
then turn back 90 degrees (while falling) to get down onto the seat again. And
he has to hit BOTH pedals at the same time with his full weight. With wheel
walking, there is no elevation change, no 90 degree twist and he can catch the
pedals one at a time in succession.
>The USA, Inc. switched these two skills last year at its general membership
>meeting, without its own Rules Committee even considering the change. It also
>did so without consulting the IUF Rules Committee. The suggestion that other
>countries’ unicycling unions should be consulted first was ignored; one
>member went so far as to say the Japan Unicycling Association didn’t care
>about the change.
>Leave the IUF Skill Levels as they are! Bring the USA Skill Levels back into
>correspondence with the IUF Skill Levels.
I just learned to wheel walk recently, and can’t do ‘hop on the wheel’ yet. I
have tried to learn both and I was relieved to hear of the change because I
thought of the old way as being a major stumbling block on my way up the skill
levels ladder. Assuming the rules don’t change by NUC, I will attempt to qualify
for (USA) Level 5.
If the issue is really whether one is in fact harder than the other, then the
solution might be to poll as many unicyclists as possible (including non-USA/IUF
unicyclists and ask:
a) can you now walk the wheel?
b) can you now hop on the wheel 5 times?
c) If you answered yes to both a) and b), which did you learn first?
d) If you answered yes to both a) and b), which do you consider consider easier?
The tabulated answers to these questions should show which skill is the more
Pointing to the IUF Standard Skills List to ‘prove’ that wheel walking is harder
than hopping on the wheel strikes me as begging the question. I don’t know the
history but I imagine the SSL was devised AFTER the Skill Levels were formulated
and the relative difficulty of the skills in question were assigned largely
based on their ranking in the Skill Levels.
If the new change remains and is adopted by the IUF, then undoubtedly the SSL
will be modified accordingly too.
But I think perhaps the real issue is politics. Perhaps the USA people were rash
to take this action without more communicating, both internally and externally…
But then also, perhaps the IUF people’s feelings were hurt at being left out of
the decision loop. Perhaps they are saying among themselves “We’re not going to
do it because it was THEIR idea and we don’t operate that way.”
I would like to suggest if it’s a good idea, it shouldn’t matter WHOSE
idea it was.