Updated IUF Rulebook - Flatland Concern

This is where we disagree. I think that people who are well versed in Flat-style tricks would be the ideal judges for the flat competition. And although judging is certainly a different skill set than being a rider, the extreme technicality of some tricks makes the rider aspect more important than the judging aspect. I can’t think of any non-riders that know enough about flatland to be effective judges.

Clearly :roll_eyes:

Great! Yes I agree, I’ve had this idea in mind for over a year now. But I couldn’t find anywhere to send my thoughts, the only IUF forums I could find had a couple random threads about skill levels if I remember correctly… I actually have a draft saved in my email from back in February outlining a proposal of rules to separate Freestyle and Flatland, but since I didn’t know the rules were being updated any time soon or who to contact I abandoned the idea.

Yup, any kind of tricks would be welcome. But it’s inappropriate to say that “tricks typically known from freestyle should be judged with equal weight.” It already states that “A Flatland skill is any unicycle skill performed on a flat surface.” The judges should be able to decide which tricks are judged with which weight, depending on the context of the trick. What does that sentence even mean? That one foot ww must receive the same points as a 1080? Without a good deal of explanatory text the sentence just seems uninformative at best and misleading at worst.

> Alright leo, you get a whole post to yourself.
Thanks for taking the time. I’ll respond in old-fashioned RSU style.

> I understand english might not be your first language, but I couldn’t understand a lot of what you were saying.
That’s how the entire "I"UF rulebook is like for most competitors.

> one thing that did come across pretty strongly was a strong dislike of me.
I don’t dislike you. Not at all.
I sometimes spend my precious time watching videos of you, and it makes me happy to see this crazy stuff, and especially your style!
I recognize you as the leading woman of current flatland, however; I just strongly dislike your opinion and suggestions.

> insulting me.
I’m not insulting you; you do that yourself.

> It sounds like you feel that freestyle is about the show, and flatland is everything else.
Nah, I would say, flatland is judged only on unicycling, and freestyle is barely.

> I guess you’re alleging that I said that because I just want more people to enter so that I can say I beat more people.
Not exactly, but this expresses in deed you don’t understand me.
I alleged you want to bend rules such that the skills you mentioned are in favor over skills you seem dislike to see in competition.
Result of such a rule, would evidently (to me) be you’d have have less competitors in your competition.
Eloquent or not, I assume and hope you’d rather win of a large field than became #2 of 2 competitors.

> but what I meant was that I’m fully in support of predominantly freestyle riders taking up a little flatland on the side and entering the competition. I’m just trying to grow the sport and get more exposure.
Now I start to wonder if I truly understand your English, and am confused as well.
But yes, that is what you wrote, but the additional conditions of your statements made me suspect the opposite. In particular:
> I definitely think that flatland tricks should be weighted more than

> I’m not sure how I would go from 1 out of 3 to 2 out of 2 if less people enter? :thinking:
Seems you take things too personal, or in the worst case fail to see it from a perspective of others. #2 does not need to be you.
For competitors, the sport and spectators a larger field of participants is better.

> No one wants to rank tricks by difficulty here, but by style.
I stand corrected, but dislike the idea anyway.
Still the example of failure is appropriate I think, because levels are dynamic evaluating, and those rules are impossible to adjust accordingly.
Your idea is doomed to fail, and putting limits is -I think- not what you want.

> You should do flatland tricks in the flatland competition. I’m not sure how you can dispute that?
I did not; I disputed that you cannot do freestyle skills in flatland competition.
So does the rulebook tell, by it’s definition of what a flatland skill is.

> The question is, what are flatland tricks?
Read the very same Section 4.10 entirely.

> I have not heard any flatland rider or judge say that they thought Janna’s last trick was better than mine.
Which does not automatically mean any flat rider or judge considers yours the best.

> Again, many tricks in it have never been done by other female unicyclists
Maybe you got lost, but for the record: the “again” repetition refers to MY words.

> and you are the first I have heard say that my win was not deserved.
Can you point out where I said that? I did not say or wrote that at all!
You win was deserved because the result of a good panel of judges and a pretty foolproof and fair judging setup told so.

> You keep restating that you think I’m just trying to manipulate the rules in my favor.
Talking about manipulation: manipulation is not exactly the word I wrote. Rules are created pretty democratic. But you wrote:
> I definitely think that flatland tricks should be weighted more than freestyle tricks in the flatland competition.
I’m very concerned with that. I may sound repeating, I’m just responding to each repeat of you.

> I do not understand why you have such a vested interest in this.
I like unicycling, and I like to see the best out of each rider.
If you frequently cross oceans to enter competition, then you deserve something good.
That’s regardless if you come from Texas to Koln, or from Australia to Japan, from South America to North Bend, or from Europe to China.
I stopped crossing oceans because
a] the way freestyle is judged
b] I had no choise of doing flatland
c] for me the choose between spending money on unicycling or making money with unicycling became an easy choise.
…unfortunately I’m not the only one who got sick of pointless limitation of unicycling.
And that’s why I am very happy with the current flatland setup, which I actively voted into that "I"UF rulebook myself.
Not because I was planning a competition of my own, but because I found (and still find) you deserve the competition you now have.

Too bad that…

…otherwise you could have seen the motivations of initiators of the flatland rules proposals.
FYI: besides Olaf, John came also with a flatland competition proposal.
I think for both proposals count they were created to tackle exactly what you address.
And it sounds conflicting, but a liberalist needs rules that are intolerant against intolerance. In my opinion that is what the current flatland rules do.
And I’m afraid this addition in the rules does exactly what it tried to prevent.

…and again this doesn’t help unicycling at all.

> Yes, I do believe that flatland tricks should be the most highly valued tricks in a flatland competition. I’m not attempting to define what that should be.
Ough, this is probably too hard to explain for me. But you do this anyway. Apperantly unintended. And the rulebook also does the same - while it’s intention seems opposite also.
It’s like making distinct between men and women (not just in action sports). By making a distinct you create the difference.
If you don’t define black or white you cannot discriminate on that.
Words have meaning. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, you’ll try to fill this in (especially multilingual people ;)).
By mentioning “flatland skills” and “freestyle skills” you (and the rulebook) already create an empty definition,
that others automatically will fill in, probably based on specific mentioned skill groups that you also contributed here…

> I was very impressed by her last trick, though I did think it wasn’t quite fitting for the flatland competition.
And that’s exactly why I backfired your post. Because I think getting the definition “flatland skills” filled in is suicide of the rapid flatland progress.

> You’re that freestyle guy that decided to judge the flatland competition.
Before labeling me a “freestyle guy” too quick, do realize that the moment I got pissed off with the "I"UF’s rules there was no flatland.
And after that I got highly demotivated to progress any of my unicycling, since competition was pointless under stupid rules.

> This is a prime example of why the judging system should be revised so that more FLATLAND riders are judging.
Find a majority and you have democratically right to add rules that would limit unicycling also in the flatland discipline.
But realize what you’re asking for. I say you are killing a beautiful unrestricted setup.

> Rereading your posts it sounds like you’re a bit resentful that the show aspect is so important in freestyle
For the past 15 years I made a living solely of doing unicycle shows.
Not at a level where Smurf costumes would meet the standard of the events of my customers.
Sometimes these are events with multiple millions budget. So very different from an "I"UF definition of show, and much more satisfieng to me.
So no, I mainly regret the judging of it, and unfortunely I’m not alone.

> so you’re looking for a new competition to do purely technical freestyle in.
Sorry, but again you are make your conclusions too fast.
But I can’t blame you since the "I"UF is not transparent enough.
Otherwise you could have seen my thoughts on this.

> Flatland is not that competition.
Is that a fact, a rule I don’t know, your experience, or your personal desire, or what is that about?

> There is a difference between the styles, and I would advise you to try to get a different competition started.
As you seem to know me better than I do, and your conclusions are made very rapid, I very seriously would like to ask you to elaborate on this.
Maybe a more useful suggestion (than what I read from you so far) would come out of this.
Neither was I looking for a league of my own. I’m happy with the improvement the current rules brought to the unicycling sport, while you seem not happy with the same rules.

> Emile has some good ideas in that regard, maybe you could take some of them and approach the IUF about a new competition? :slight_smile:
A new competition would mean more rules. Further I don’t need to proof myself to anyone anymore.
My advice in 2006 was to get rid of the "I"UF, by disolving it into the UCI.
As that would be a rapid way to get national representing bodies.
But I think unicycle-politics is like real governments, people get what they deserve.

The flatland battle between Mary, Janna, and me has little to do with this thread.

Here’s my position.

There is no inherent difference between freestyle and flatland tricks.
Any trick on flat ground can be used in really dope flatland combos.
Flatland riders would make the best flatland judges, because of their thorough understanding of the sport, and ability to recognize technical variations.
The sentence regarding freestyle in the flatland section is unnecessary and detrimental.

I thought it sounded familiar but I didn’t see it in the old rulebook. I haven’t been on the committee since 2010 and I’m not sure why, maybe there was an email somewhere that I didn’t read. I just stopped hearing about it other than the occasional long email about the current state of the rulebook and I didn’t think much of it.

I agree with the intention behind the rule, the conclusions drawn from the wording makes it debatable. I think the rule may have been helpful when we were figuring things out a couple years ago but isn’t necessary now. If that sentence is there or not will not change the outcome of a competition assuming the judges are competent. I completely agree with Luke’s post.

@sam, leo

unicycling is freedom, i would recomand to reduce the rules to the minimum, - before its more than a bible.

at the EUC sometimes the jury and the audience decide different who s the best, and i think the audience is right!
unicycling will not develope by rules but by new creativ shows! no rule can appreciate front flips, max flips or any new development. rules are always behind development.

back to Julias question:
if the best flat show is done with “freestyle” unis , tricks or riders, than flatriders male or female should improve there skills;)
at the EUC there was no doubt about you to have done the best show, may be there was a discussion who s 2nd, but at all the problem is there were no more female riders (better than you three)
and this issue you can not correct by rules!!!
what if a tiny little freestyle girl does a 1260 next year? are than unispinns no longer flat???

As neither a flatland or freestyle rider, i thought I’d try to add some outsider perspective comments to this thread- apologies if anything I say seems stupid :slight_smile:

Firstly, there seems to be a problem with the definition of flatland, e.g.

As, whenever anyone defines it, it seems to be about tricks on the flat done with style, flow etc- but that is pretty much the definition of freestyle as well.

The wiki definition seems to cover one of the distinguishing factors-

i.e. that flatland does not have the performance/riding for the audience aspect- instead it’s purely about doing the tricks/combos. Does the wiki page get that right?

I’ve seen plenty of freestyle vids, and plenty of flatland vids, and, while I can see the difficulty in defining which each is, it remains very easy to tell the difference- how can that be?

The answer, I feel, is that trying to define/distinguish in terms of tricks done, is not the most relevant aspect.

The differneces I notice between flatland and freestyle are not tricks, but the following-

  1. attitude- flatland unicyclists, IMO, act/dress/speak more like skaters than freestyle unicyclists

  2. posture- very heavy focus on all aspects of posture with freestyle (they’re judged on it), with upright position, pointed fingers etc: none of that with flatlanders, in fact, if anything, they ride slouched

  3. equipment- with freestylers using ultra-short cranks and light indoor tyres, whereas flatlanders seem to favour longer cranks and high volume heavy tyres

Could some of the above be used more effectively to distinguish the 2 styles, than basing it on the different tricks?

Let’s not make the judges distinguish between freestyle and flatland. It’s hard enough to tell what the trick is. Flip tricks happen really fast, and there’s no instant replay. The judges don’t need the additional work of deciding whether a trick happened in a freestyle context or a flatland context.

I think the “equal weight” sentence must be a remnant of this same argument. It’s not necessary to single out freestyle this way since the definition already covers any trick done on flat. Plus it’s confusing. No two tricks have equal weight. The harder ones are worth more, and the easier ones are worth less. So what is the judge supposed to do with that rule?

I can see why flatland riders don’t want the competition to turn into a second freestyle competition. There’s not really anything that can be written into the rules to accomplish this without stunting flatland’s growth as well. We just need more female flatland riders to define the character of these competitions.

I mentioned the 3 points above-

precisisly in a effort to get away from the difficulties inherent in deciding whether a trick is a ‘freestyle trick’ or a ‘flatland’ one.

Having thought about it some more I can’t help reflecting on the equipment differences in the 2 categories.

Clearly, if top freestylers use ultra short cranks and thin, low volume high pressure tyres, there must be good reasons for it. Obviously, the tyre choice is cos freestyle is performed indoors, in gyms, with very smooth, flat floors.

And, presumably, the reason flatlanders use longer cranks and fat, high volume, low pressure tyres, is cos they operate outdoors.

One really obvious way to help keep the 2 styles seperate, would be to specify minimum crank lengths and tyre types for flatland (after all, this is commonplace when it comes to unicycle race competitions). The reason I didn’t mention this is because I think flatlanders in general are often somewhat anti-rules and like to keep them to a minimum: plus of course, if a flatlander did, for whatever reason, wnat to use short cranks and skinny tyres, why shouldn’t they?

And then, I just happened to be flicking through a copy of Kris Holmes “essential guide to mountain and trials unicycling” and saw the definition of ‘flatland’ it uses: i.e. “doing tricks on flat ground (usually pavement)”.

And suddenly, a possible solution appears- if flatlanders practise mainly outdoors on concrete (and, from youtube vids, that does seem to be the usual environment for flatland)- then why not make it so that flatland competitions take place on concrete, either outdoors or, at a push, on indoor concrete (e.g. warehouse spaces)?

Why should flatlanders who practise on concrete, have to compete indoors in gyms- their choice of equipment matches the environment they practise in, longer cranks and fatter tyres to deal with the inconsistencies of concrete.

If flatland comps took place in the same environment as that in which it is practised, the natural consequence would be that you’ll get less entries from people using equipment which, though fine for a smooth gym floor, is less than ideal for proper flatland.

And, it would happen without rules specifying anything about equipment.

That’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure if it would help. Unis work just fine on concrete or polished wood as long as it is smooth. I don’t think the surface matters enough to favor one one style or the other. It also means hosting the events at different places, which would be more difficult to organize.

Like Julia said at the top, the men don’t have such a mix of flat and freestyle. The character of the event has been defined for them already. For women’s flatland, we just need more riders doing flatland tricks to give the competition its own flava.

So- why do you think that flatland unicycles and freestyle unicycles are so different? Why the fat tyres and longer cranks for flatland if they offer no advantage to the riders?

I’m confused then-

  1. why is this problem only occuring in womens freestyle and not in mens?

  2. doesn’t this thread show that even the riders in these events seem unable to say which tricks are flatland, and, which are freestyle?

If it is possible to define what makes a trick distinctively flatland, then I’d suggest people do so- the fact that all such attempts have been very vague might indicate that there is no such consise definition?

Flat competitions are already done on concrete, they’re only inside if they need to be for some reason. I’ve never been to a flat comp on a gym floor and it would never be the case if there was another option.

That isn’t the case, it is just more noticeable in the female competitions because there are only a handful of female flat riders in the world. There’s also a better incentive for girl freestyle riders to enter flatland because they have a great chance of doing well, sometimes its guaranteed just by entering :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, attitude, posture and equipment do not define flatland, and it wouldn’t make sense to judge based on that.

The difference is easy to see but nearly impossible to define. All of the differences you mention are definitely there, but the styles can’t be separated by them. Equipment is the only slightly feasible one, but there are flatland riders who use 20 inch tires and/or 110 mm cranks. There are pros and cons to each set up. Also, some people legitimately use typical freestyle setups for combos and spins (Pele comes to mind, and Matt Sindelar).

Spencer answered this quite nicely. If a “typical” freestyle rider entered a big men’s competition (EUC, unicon, ect), they wouldn’t qualify. But because of the low number of female flatland riders, it’s practically guaranteed that anyone who enters will do well. Also, female flatland isn’t as clear-cut as men’s when something like this does happen. When 1 male rider out of 50 or 100 is doing vastly different tricks that the rest, it’s easy to see that he sticks out. But when 1 female rider out of 2-5 is doing vastly different tricks, the difference isn’t as obvious.

For this reason the most promising solution I see is to promote the flatland riders to judge the flatland competition, because they know the current trends in the sport.

All tricks can be used in flatland. I was a little off base on this point at first, but when I remembered some of the best flatland riders’ styles (Luke, Spencer, and Benny to name a few) and previous runs, I realized that there are few tricks I haven’t seen used well in flatland. The difference between the styles lies in the context that the tricks are done in.

As do I. But if these judges are completely unfamiliar with the rest of the known range of unicycle tricks, they will be at a disadvantage to judges who are. In other words, the best judges will be well-rounded in that they are familiar with all forms of unicycle tricks. But of those, the best Flatland judges will be most familiar with Flatland.

I think this is more true for Flat than for Freestyle. In Freestyle, it becomes a problem when the judges know a lot about unicycle trick difficulty, but not enough about what makes a good performance. So the current method is to attempt to split the judging job between two sets of specialists, but my belief is that it’s impossible to split a Freestyle performance in even halves.

Also note that the IUF rules make it clear that experienced/trained/good judges from one discipline do not automatically cross over to others. Being a great Freestyle judge is not qualification for being a Flatland judge. You have to know the event inside and out (which is a lot easier for Flat than Street!) and you also have to be familiar with the types of tricks currently being displayed.

The IUF forums are still new and not well known. Even these forums only appeal to a small subset of the unicycling population. But the IUF must do a better job of making the committee stuff available to interested volunteers. It only makes sense, if we’re trying to get input from experienced and motivated riders.

I will encourage the IUF, or whoever controls the Web content for the Rulebook Committee (currently USA’s Webmasters) to make that discussion group open to public reading like it once was. While non-members might not be able to post directly to the group, they should have access to the contact information of committee members, so they can contact them directly with their input. Also, we should spread the word better when it comes time to recruit for the next round of changes; a process that should start at or around Unicon XVI.

And BTW, I don’t know if I still will be then, but currently I’m the Chairman of the IUF Rulebook Committee. :slight_smile:

It means exactly what people think – that you’re not allowed to discriminate against some tricks because they are traditionally seen in Freestyle as opposed to Flatland. But beyond that, each trick, transition, combo, etc. must be judged on its own merits of difficulty, creativity, flow, etc.

Leo is apparently not intentionally being insulting. He just is. Don’t worry, this is not about you, it’s about him.

I have to agree with that; kind of a foundational principle of how I make my decisions in this rules stuff. It’s not right to spend a year putting together a beautiful routine, then to travel halfway around the world and have the results come out wrong due to judging that was not up to the task. There can be bad judging rules and there can be bad judges; and sometimes there can be both. It doesn’t help that our sport is very poor; no money to pay anyone to do this stuff…

The two Flatland-specific proposals from our last round of Rulebook changes contain no comments or votes from Leo. He doesn’t show on the list of committee members, but I don’t think he was removed from the proposal content.

He wasn’t trying to be insulting then either. He just told the people who have built and run the organization that they hadn’t done anything in the last 20 years. Way to make friends and influence people! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey Spencer, great to hear from you! No you didn’t see that section in the old rulebook because it wasn’t there. The proposal in question was a whole new section, consisting of three sentences.

All this stuff happened in 2010. Once all the proposals were either passed, failed or abandoned, we waited for the Chairperson to edit it all into the big document. She did not ask for/accept help. Then a year went by. Then the IUF President asked me to take over and I picked up from the partially-edited version I had been working on but was never completed. Then several months passed while we tried to make sense of the complex new Freestyle proposal, but nothing else changed.

Since we seem to be having basically the same discussion, I think it’s still necessary. But what’s most important is that the judges get good training to understand what is meant by that, and the definition of Flatland skills. This is where that event’s Director comes in, to make sure everyone is on the same page and correctly applies the intent of the rules as written. That person is Olaf Schlote.

Indeed, sometimes the audience has been more right than the judges (my experience in Freestyle). But on average, the audience knows less about what is supposed to be judged, and probably knows less about the difficulty of the skills presented. What they often do know more about is what works for an audience (since they are that audience). This is a bigger problem in Freestyle than would probably happen in Flat. But audiences are notorious for ignoring judging criteria in favor of the riders or performances they like.

True and not-true. While anything new will have trouble being scored if it has no precedent, the system has to be designed (in both events) to be prepared for this. Judges will have to do the best they can, and expect the new material to have more variations in scoring than known skills. This is where experience can help; the more experience a judge has, the better-equipped they are to rank things they are seeing for the first time.

What’s a ‘freestyle girl’? :slight_smile:

The “tricks” part yes, mostly. But Freestyle is about a bunch of stuff other than the tricks, and that’s the main difference. Another difference in Freestyle, that seems under-appreciated in the Flat arena, is that it counts how well you do the tricks. If you do them “ugly” you get less points than if you show you can do them easily, or “the hard way”, such as a spin with your head tilted back.

That’s the idea. The inspiration is the skating world and environment. The originators of the style were riding outside, were not members of unicycle clubs with gyms to ride in, and weren’t interested in the theatrical aspects of performance.

Flatland posture is often horrible! I remember one kid from Unicon XV. He was a really good rider, but I don’t think I ever saw his face while he was riding. Ever. And I was really looking! Terrible. But this is not a bad thing in Flatland. But don’t get your Freestyle confused with Standard Skill, which has that “scarecrow” body posture as the “standard” that shows your control. In Freestyle you want it to look good, but you aren’t limited to specific types of body form.

Covered below.

Pretty much. The argument kept surfacing that “those aren’t Flatland tricks”. But when pressed for a definition of Flat tricks, no good one could be found. Because if you tried, you were setting limits on an event that shouldn’t need them. So we came up with the description you see in the current Rulebook, which is very simple (and short).

And it won’t. It can’t! If a Freestyle specialist, riding in the Freestyle form, can’t be surpassed by someone doing harder tricks (but not having to make them “pretty”), the Freestyle specialist deserves to win.

Actually the difference is huge, depending on the details. In general, Flat riders with fat tires would have the advantage. Let me 'splain. High-level Freestyle performances often contain a lot of coasting, for instance. These tricks are extremely sensitive to the quality of the riding surface. If one assumes the Freestyler has a skinny, high pressure tire and the Flatlander has a fat tire with low pressure, that fat tire is much more flexible. However, the Flat rider might have a lot more UV exposure on her tire. This is not a factor if you only ride outdoors, but indoors, if your tire has been “dried out” by the sun, it slips and slides all over the place. Probably not as much with a fat tire at low pressure, but it is a big deal on a typical Freestyle uni. Anyway, more on this below.

There are additional reasons for the disparity of equipment; much of this is historical. First of all, a “Freestyle” unicycle is, for the most part, a “regular” unicycle. If you go to UDC USA, you’ll see a separate category for Freestyle unicycles. But then if you look at the Starter Series, notice many of these are the same cycles. What we call a Freestyle unicycle is essentially the same as 99.9% of the other unicycles being manufactured. Everybody, or nearly everybody, started out on a Freestyle unicycle.

A Flatland unicycle is a slight variation on a Trials or Street unicycle. Or vice-versa. Suffice it to say that they are also very similar. This is because Flatland’s origins are in Trials and Street riders. First there was Street, and then there was the idea of doing a similar style of riding but without any obstacles. Like the BMXers do. So those cycles remain the common type among Flat specialists. Often these riders also like doing Street or Trials as well.

An additional reason for the difference is the indoor nature of Freestyle. Freestyle wasn’t/isn’t always indoors, but that is the traditional venue now. The environment is much more controllable, including weather, and the surface is pretty predictable. Some floors are more slippery than others and some are rubberized, but that’s about it. Flatland, by contrast, can still work on some pretty horrible pavement. That’s what we had at U Games in San Francisco. A last minute venue change had to be made (I don’t know the reason), and the little lot we were given was pretty bad. Again, advantage to the fat tires (and better riders, of course).

…Part 2
(Did the system really tell me I was over 15000 characters? Holy crap! Maybe I should post a poll and ask people if they think my posts are too long. What would Harper think of that?)

A comp might be moved indoors due to bad weather, for instance, but it would be a big change for the riders. Currently, I think the expectation is that it will take place outdoors, on some form of pavement that is hopefully way better than that little lot in San Francisco.

Another reason for this is that Flatland-style unicycle usually aren’t very floor-friendly. At the minimum, building owners won’t allow metal pedals (or other parts) to hit the floor. Tape isn’t sufficient, especially on pedals with big teeth. So riders would have to use plastic pedals, and riders would need to be prepared for this.

I think this problem will take care of itself in time, with more people learning and understanding what Flatland is all about.

Also, I fully expect some edits to be made to the Flatland rules in the next round of changes. I only offer this advice: keep it simple, and don’t add anything that isn’t really necessary! :slight_smile:

Sounds like someone needs to order himself a copy of Unicycling is not a Crime.

Max has done it, and I’ve partially done it (with a dab), may my ankle get better…

WOW, what a thread :slight_smile:
First I want to thanks Julia to came up again with this point which is in discussion since Flatland was implemented in the IUF rules as an official competition. So independent from this thread it was discussed several times but there was no solution up to now because it is more then difficult to find one. I won’t be able to target all points named in this thread but thanks to each of you to take part and share your thoughts with the public.
As I see the IUF seems to be an unclear organisation for many riders here, some words about us (as I am a part of it since several years now). In general the IUF focused on the Unicons and also to provide up to date rules every 2 years. Independent from that they try to grow the sport all over the world and give support to people that came up with new national federations etc. In case of Flatland and Street I would like to point out that the IUF take care about it from the first days. They agree to make the very first EUC an official IUF conevntion and Connie travel to Germany to be a part of it and see how those competitions run. Up from then we tried to develop the rules with the intension to keep them as simple as possible but also to have at least some clear rules. I was glad to motivate Spencer and Kevin to join the rulebook committee but unfortunatly there was not many more flatlanders / street riders joining it. I only remember that one french take also part of it. So as John already point out we would like to welcome some more active riders there to develop this rules. Also the IUF takes care that a Unicon host implement Street and Flatland to the Unicons in a good way and I think it is better Unicon by Unicon and in Brixen they try to make it even better.
Also we are working on some changes of the IUF Structure to involve more disciplin specific riders into it. You also should realize that you wont find a lot people that realy like to want to go into that. Most prefer to ride and at least there is something good also in that. Spencer and Kevin are good samples for people that has a high skill and went out of competitions but decide to invest many time to support what they love!

About Judges: So far people try to find good skilled judges for every competition. Mostly those are Flat riders or street riders but also Mark Fabian or Leo was judges and did a very good job for sure. If you are able to see all judging documents with time, you can see that flatriders often judge without following the rules 100%. They follow their experience in riding and also some personal preferings. At least they are humans so this is a normal anc common problem. I had one time a judging table with 6 Flat / street riders, perfect skilled in their sport and one rider who never judged before. All of them get the judging rules and for each run I get 6 very simmilar results and one was mostly different. The interesting was that this one was the only judging sheet that following the judging rules 100% :smiley:
The Audience is another thing, they never think about point system and all that stuff, they judge on some exciting moments and nothing less or more. So forget about that, the audience is there to enjoy the contest and make the needed hype and nois arround. They push the riders to the max while the judges do that very difficult Job to see all stuff, count it in the right way, trying to be neutral and at least try to judge complcated stuff like “Freestyle” and “Flat” Riders in one battle.
As a result from so many bad comments to judges decissions it is at least finaly hard to find good judges at all now. If a rider decide to compete in a competition with judges he has to realize that there are some humans which can make an error maybe. He should trust that all judges do their very best to make the right decission and sometimes also a decission that not follow the audience feeling can be a right one.
If you (the rider) can’t handle this you should maybe go for races whith a simple stop watch for a clear decission.
For the upcoming Unicon I’m glad to have Spencer as chief Judge with me and I’m sure we can fill up the judging table with some more good judges. Those who wnat to be a judge, you are welcome to send me a pm right now.

About hte general problem: Flatland and Freestyle could push each other so good if both groups maybe pay more respect for eacnh others sport. Both do technical stuff on Flat ground and both go for a high level. Up from the beginn there was some Freestyler that swap to Flatland but for the male riders they pay respect to the Flat style and try to mixup their Freestyle skills with Flat stuff like Thorsten Schanz for example. Also Felix Dietze or Till Wolfahrth are Freestyler that compete in Flatland so it is not only a female problem but for the male riders we have always more pure Flatlanders and those Freestlyer also usually are able to do several Flat skills. Also Felix for example made it several times to the finals and then die soon in battles because Battles are more hard for freestyler to handle.
In female competitions we realy had here one german nationals whithin only Freestyle girls and it was a battle I had no words for it. Even those girls feel bad in that situation. Those riders often are send by their trainer and not by themself (This don’t count for Janna, she do what she like to do :wink: )
As you can see in stuff like Thorsten did, Spencers style and today Eli Brill, Freestyle skills can result in amazing Flat Combos and I’m sure otherwise some Flat skills can improove Freestyle routines also in a very good way. Thats what I mean with beeing respectfull with each other sport. Welcom Freestyler in Flat but they should try to go realy into it then and also Welcome Flat stuff in Freestyle routines and train Freestyle judges that this stuff coutn and how much it can be counted.
I get aware of the information that on this planet awesome Freestyle riders get trouble because they start using Flat skills in their riding :astonished:

So please, Flatlanders, don’t be intolerant like maybe some Freestyle judges / trainers are! You are all open minded and open hearted so welcome those Freestyle and try to show them the Flat view of doing a competition so you will have very soon some crazy oponents which push the sport and dont destroy it.
It trainer start to use Flatland as second source for riders they dislike in Freestyle competition we shouldnt blame those riders, its not their problem at all.
If A Freestyle rider decide that Flat looks interesting for him, don’t blame them, tell them and show them what they should go for.

And be sure, the Jugdes went always crazy in that decissions liek at EUC Winter 12. I listen to many deep discussion and I als take part in some of those discussions and for them its horrible hard to make the right decission. They sometimes would love to have a rule that make it possible to simply ignore the Freestyle stuff but there is no rule and there are good reasons that there are no rules!!! If we would start to block skills with rules Flatland wouldnt be Free Freestyle anymore. So keep it free! At next Unicon we can expect nearly 50% female Freestyle riders or more so maybe just start the communication with them and try to motivate them to go for the real stuff if you like to get soem good competitiors.

FInaly some Words about Julia and Marry. I know both of them good and I understand their problem very good. Both of them would love to have more competitiors in Flatland and Street but they also would love to have oponents that do what they do. As it is difficult for the judges to compare them with Freestyle skills, it is also hard for them to battle against Freestyle skills. It is like question and answer in different languages so the main Job is to involve those Freestlyer that like Flat and not to block them by complicated rules while blocking then FLat itself in the end.

I don’t do this often, but:



Above intensive post of Olaf is much more important, than this one of me. With regret I need to correct some things that others slipped in here. As they occured here I unfortunely also here need to post my defence, debunking and especially corrections.

Yes, or; relative and absolute: how much of a problem is it really, to who and… why?

The audience is a number of spectators, with different opinions but one energy towards the rider out there.
The jury is a number of judges, with different opinions but providing one balanced result.
In my experience both competitors and spectators opinion matches the ranking result the judging system brought, once entire battles are evaluated according the judging aspects as in the rules.

It’s NOT about him. It’s about what you trow in his path.
Friction is movement. Occasionaly I prefer this above being as smooth as you are:

Correct. Don’t try to rewrite my words, or twist the meaning that you clearly signal to have understand.
With current setup I meant current setup and NOT new additions.
You know this, because you repeat what I stated before:

I was removed, unable to make proposals, and especially unable to vote; because of not being active in a specific "I"UF competition. Despite being active on other IUF affiliated international events. But Constance Cotter inconsitantly removed me anyway. I found this very childish, and asume because she is not liberal enough to allow space for my undiplomatic but always argumented critisism that always served a good cause.

Here you twist again, by misleading leaving out a part that readers would fill in from context here.
You know that I was not removed from the committee for not participating in the committee!
Also not because of “voting to specific diciplines only” that you suddenly slip in; AFAK I voted on EVERY single proposal, or actively voted abstain.
You know the real reason, as I wrote you this last month:

Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 20:30:27 +0000
From: Leo Vandewoestijne <leo#unicycle.net>
To: jfoss#unicycling.com
Subject: comment on rulebook
User-Agent: LookOut 4.0 Microsoft
Hi John,
Despite that I was removed from the Rulebook Commitee by Conny
(because of not competing on the past two unicon's), still your
activity for the 2012 rulebook came to my attention.
Thanks for picking up that task. etc.

Now, go over the list of voting members…
It’s not hard to see some very valueable members who neither did, but were not removed (…!).
So I find this a remarkable inconsistant desicion by one single person, simply abusing her power!

LOL, you twist history again: I did not told that… YOU did - without shame:
But anyway, someone (that people account as reliable), who’s facing the facts and (unprepared but quickly) summing these facts up (better than I could) was seriously useful, John! That is; for those who were unaware. As it was a very easy and open goal to kick. Stop shooting the messenger :wink:

Based on history you can use the present to try to shape and construct future. Sometimes by destruction. But you can’t destruct something that isn’t there.

Especially friends should be able to together face facts.

One of my friends[#1] is the one who came with the idea to found the IUF. It was in response after your friend, Bill Jeneck, proposed a rule to limit north american competition to south american and other nationalities. So because it sucks if stupid rules limit the joy of sharing unicycling trough (now false) competition, by disqualifieng others.

On this meet one of my other friends[#2] (married to the proposer, #1) was the 1st one to second the idea of an IUF.

Then there was Jack Halpern who was the 2nd to second the idea of the IUF. Minutes of this meet still do excist, at least at two locations in the US. Further I heard this (his)story confirmed by other Americans who witnessed this, and later became active in it.

Nowedays my friends #1 and #2 do not wish any involvement in unicycle politics, and therefor do not wish to be named. I respect my friends. They were happy to see someone took initiative to re-ignite their plans, putting back the I in "I"UF.
FYI: I was not fully aware of this story back in 2006.

After Unicon 2006 I was told that Jack Halpern turns out to have proposed the very same thing back in 2000, but less obvious. I was unaware of that, as treasurer your co-founder Ken Fuchs trashed his super-worked out well documentated plans (half an inch thick) into… his open fire heating. So I only saw this roadmap in Beijing briefly. Since Jack Halpern seem to have proposed the very same there, he cannot be insulted nor ego-crushed. But I would be surprised he is not frustrated none of his efforts were picked up - not by lack of volunteers! So, I may have crushed some egos; but mainly of those who hijacked progress of the unicycle sport. So I did that with a huge passion.

Including you. Either positive or negative, what counts are intentions. Those are easier to understand if critics come with a possible solution and/or arguments. Mine did.

Or better by defining it on the unicycle, in stead of words in books or fora, whith skills that go beyond current standards.

Correction: before that it originally ran at the home of the "I"UF: unicycling.ORG!
Then it had a nice balance between privacy and transparency. But lack of action of previous treasurer Kenneth Fuch caused that it became unmaintainable and beyond control of the "I"UF. But as I know IANA and ICANN rules (since I do essiantal stuff for a huge TLD), I found a backdoor protocol to re-aquire control over that domain again. My suggestion and setup ware recently executed with succes by the current treasurer of the "I"UF.

So I suggest the "I"UF now tells me to create A and AAAA hostnames (like originaly) in the DNS of unicycling.ORG again, pointing to a virtual host on either this server (unicycliST.com - I will have to ask Gilby), or otherwise one of it’s neighbours (of my own), such that I can maintain things up to datacenter level and beyond.

I’d like to receive the PHP code and DB structure, and will rewrite (update) the PHP code among with all other possible wishlists. That is; starting at next round after Unicon.

That certainly is. Rules based on past can limit future development and possibilties. If unintended it’s usually hard to determe in advance (and even after), so examples are hard. But a simple example is rule 4.5: it elimiates the possibilty to use live music, like Julien Monney for example did in the past. Or at least makes it questionable and tricky to do so if you don’t want to get disqualified.

A better example if probably the pairs rules, that already predefined that two unicycles score better than one, and therefor limit chances heavily of a unicycle pair routine like now is in Soleil’s Kooza. Intention of this rule may be good, but the outcome is reckless - in my opinion at least.

Which I majorly admit, and is contrary to some others. And I seriously respect you for that. Same as I -despite above issues- certainly still do credit Conny for the HUGE contributions that she did make.
As last words seems to stick better, please let this stick to both of you.

thats exact the question! is Flat more a “judged clear decission like a race” or more a lifestyle show(ing) way of (uni)life for the audience :thinking:

the same as muni, is the “best” munirider the fastest on an relativ easy track which could be managed by most riders :thinking:
or is the “best” the one who rides the most challanging, most difficult route in best style downhill “show”:smiley:

in my opinion you cant measure unicycling just by rules and judgement (competition), you need also the “convention factor”
i would love some influence from the audition to the judgement, best 50/50
not only for flat…