Skill Level opinion compilation (fwd)

Forwarded message:
> From: Unicycle@aol.com Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 20:53:10 -0400 Message-Id:
> <950618205309_97453823@aol.com> To: unicycling Subject: Skill Level opinion
> compilation
>
> A reply from the Chairman of the IUF Skill Levels and Rules Committee:
>
> Julian Orbach: Suggests that a level can be finished by substituting a skill
> from a higher level, if necessary. This would even things out a great deal, at
> least until riders reach level 10, where they would then have to do all the
> skills they hate. I think it’s a novel idea, and would like to hear more
> opinions on it as well.
>

>
> Though I like Julian’s idea above, I don’t think it’s a good one for our skill
> levels, because they are supposed to be more of a simple list. I, too, am
> stuck on a level, and able to do all the skills in the level above. You saw me
> demonstrate level 9 in the video tape, but I won’t pass level 8 unless I learn
> the dreaded " hand wheel walk." It’s the same problem, only at a higher level.
> I’m content to wait a few more years and see how many riders actually reach
> the level where this becomes an important issue . . . .

To expand a bit on Julian’s idea, and perhaps meet John’s desire for a simple
system, here’s my idea. Provide a list of skills, possibly the current skill
list. Level 1 still requires mounting, riding, and dismounting. Level 2
requires 10 more skills from the list, and an additional mount, which can
include the left & right standard mount. Level 3 requires 10 more skills and
another mount, etc.

Benefits: Each unicyclist can choose the skills that they care to learn. They
won’t get stuck at a level due to a single skill that may be difficult for them
or that they don’t want to learn.

As a corollary, people will be motivated to learn useful skills first. I admit
that riding seat on stomach isn’t very hard, but I learned to ride backwards and
idle 18 years ago, but didn’t learn the full procedure for seat on stomach until
two years ago.

No more disputes over which skills are really harder than the others. This way
the people who follow the advice of some to learn to ride backwards while they
learn to ride forward won’t have to wait four levels to get credit for it.

Disadvantages:

Someone has to keep track of what skills each person has passed. A person could
carry around a checklist with them, but something would have to be arranged if
the list was lost. This is a serious problem that may doom the idea. Unlike
mounting, it isn’t practical to ask someone to do 30 skills to pass level 4.

Beirne


Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List bkonarsk@mcs.kent.edu
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Re: Skill Level opinion compilation (fwd)

Beirne wrote:

>To expand a bit on Julian’s idea, and perhaps meet John’s desire for a simple
>system, here’s my idea. Provide a list of skills, possibly the current skill
>list. Level 1 still requires mounting, riding, and dismounting. Level 2
>requires 10 more skills from the list, and an additional mount, which can
>include the left & right standard mount. Level 3 requires 10 more skills and
>another mount, etc.
>
>Benefits: Each unicyclist can choose the skills that they care to learn. They
>won’t get stuck at a level due to a single skill that may be difficult for them
>or that they don’t want to learn.

People would still want to see a rough grading of skills in the list, so as
to know which skills were worth tackling next and which were still way beyond
their reach? Perhaps that would be obvious from the skill descriptions, but
on the other hand some skills are much easier or more difficult than they
sound on paper.

>Disadvantages:
>
>Someone has to keep track of what skills each person has passed. A person could
>carry around a checklist with them, but something would have to be arranged if
>the list was lost. This is a serious problem that may doom the idea. Unlike
>mounting, it isn’t practical to ask someone to do 30 skills to pass level 4.

The obvious solution is to have a central database keeping track of everyone’s
achievements, perhaps providing customised certificates of achievements listing
the skills passed. This would provide an enormous amount of interesting data on
how quickly, and what, people learn worldwide.

Of course it would need an authoritative body that the whole world would agree
to be bound by…oh dear, back to square one. Also, it would probably be
extremely time consuming, hard work, expensive etc. Surely this is exactly what
happens in mainstream sports and athletics

  • some authority has to oversee the validation of all records being set, and
    with the rules being adhered to etc. But such organisations become huge and
    bureaucratic.

I think we have to keep to a system based on trust, with self-validation of
passing skill levels. For most people, as John Foss says, the skill levels are a
handy means of objectively rating one’s own progress, and giving ideas for what
other skills are possible. If people want to get into serious competition, then
they should be prepared to abide by some procedures and perhaps expense in order
to prove their skills in front of qualified judges and have their achievements
publicly verified. But I don’t suppose anyone will be willing to run and manage
a serious bureaucracy for the purpose, unless unicycling competition suddenly
becomes such big business that it can pay for it. Yeuchh, small is beautiful, I
say. Let’s keep regulations simple, flexible and friendly.

========================================================
Tim Sheppard tim@lilliput-p.win-uk.net Lilliput Press - Publisher of fine books
in miniature