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Michigan Cup Committee holds line on women's scoring

Mon, Sep  10, 2018 - By Mike Muha

Women's Scoring

The annual Michigan Cup Committee meeting started with a bang this year, when Vasa Ski Club members Laura Padden and Gary Faria proposed, on behalf of the Vasa Ski Club Board, that men and women be scored the same on the Michigan Cup circuit. Currently, the first place male gets 200 points, second place gets 199 points, and every following place gets one point less. Because the number of women racers is two-thirds fewer than the number of men, the gap between places is three for women: first place gets 200 points, second place gets 197 points, third gets 194, etc.:

Gender race-placePoints awarded menPoint awarded womenn
Actual number of racers during 2017-18 season: 355 122
1st 200 200
2nd 199 197
3rd 198 194
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65th 136 8
66th 135 5
67th 134 2
68th 133 0
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198th 3 0
199th 2 0
200th 1 0

The points are distributed based on the average expected number of men and women in each race based on number of women and men registered for the Michigan Cup. The top man and woman get 200 points and the middle-of-the-pack man and woman get 100 points. (Just a note: no women scored less than 97 points and no man scored less than 78 points in the 2017-18 season.)

The proposal was to change the scoring so that women would be scored the same as men, starting at 200 points for first place and decrementing one point for each place.

The top five races for each racer count toward the individual standings. Changing the women's scoring to match the men's scoring would have no impact in the order of the women's individual standings. It would, however, change the scoring of the overall Michigan Cup Team standing. The standings is the sum of the men's and women's individual top five races. Changing the women's scoring to match the men's scoring would result in the women (25% of the racers) accounting for 50% of the team points.

One other alternative was discussed. For example, the Michigan Cup could combine men and women, and simply score everyone on the same scale. This was quickly rejected.

When the time came to choose, the Michigan Cup Committee voted to maintain the current scoring as best at balancing scoring across the actual number of participants.

In a separate vote, the Committee officially authorized the use of a previous year's ratio of men to women to determine the current season ratios.

Tour de Michaywe scoring

A second big discussion was on the appropriate scoring for the Tour de Michaywe per the request of Bill Kaltz (Team NordicSkiRace), one of the two organizers of the Tour. This year, the Tour de Michaywe will run on Saturday & Sunday (rather than Friday and Saturday as in the previous session). A unique format, the Tour is a set of races over two days that include:

  • Skills course
  • Sprint qualifier and race
  • Skiathon
  • Hill climb

Last year, a racer had to do all races on both days to get Michigan Cup points. The Committee recommended that 200 points be awarded each day, so skiers that couldn't race both days would be incented to race at least one day. How the points are distributed across the day was left for the race organizers.

Muffin Race honors the Olympic Team Pursuit gold

The American duo of Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall produced the race of their lives to win Gold in the Team Pursuit at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. In honor of that victory, Bob Frye (Cross Country Ski Headquarters) announced that this season's Muffin Race, normally a individual skiathon or pursuit junior race, would be run as a Team Pursuit instead. The big question was how to score it for Michigan Cup points, since Bob wanted racers to get individual points in the race. The Committee recommended that the Muffin Race provide medals to racers based on their team results, but that individual Michigan Cup points be based on the sum of lap times for each racer.

Michigan Cup honors the McCaig's and the White Pine Stampede

As you know, the long time race director of the White Pine Stampede, Jack McKaig, passed away this summer. What you didn't know is that his wife, Beth McCaig, has also been instrumental in promoting and managing the race and will act as race director for this season's White Pine Stampede. The Committee voted to honor both with a plaque, to be awarded at the race.

Treetops drops off the schedule?

The Treetops race looks iffy as the race director has left Treetops and we don't know if anyone is replacing him or if the race will be held. Last year, the first race held at Treetops in many years, the Michael Seaman Memorial, was cancelled because of weather.

Straits Striders no more?

It appears the Straits Striders has become on non-racing club or is defunct, and we don't expect them to race in the Michigan Cup unless the Committee hears otherwise.

Chip timing and ties

With more races doing chip timing, the chance of identical times increases, particularly when the timing begins as a racer crosses the starting line. On the rare occasion this happens, the Michigan Cup Scorer splits to the points: instead of one person getting, say 185 points and the other 184 points, each gets 184.5 points. Informally done in the past, this was voted by the committee as the official way to score ties in the future.

Funding skiing programs

The Michigan Cup has had a small amount of money to help fund causes that benefit Michigan skiers and ski racers. Last year, it provided funding to Great Lakes District junior program and to the Midwest Nordic Rendezvous ski clinic. The Committee decided to continue funding the junior program, but to not renew funding for the Midwest Nordic Rendezvous.

The Committee

The Committee is composed on a representative from each Michigan Cup Team. Although multiple members of a team may show up for the meeting or voice opinions on topics that may come up during the season, each team gets one and only one vote. Members at this year's meeting were:

Cross Country Ski Headquarters

  • Bob Frye
  • Frank Rynalski

Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Club

  • Ernie Brumbaugh
  • Carol Mueller-Brumbaugh

Hanson Hills/ Cross Country Ski Shop

  • Ann Wagar,
  • Chris Jones
  • Mike Bourassa

Team NordicSkiRacer

  • Mike Muha
  • Bill Kaltz

Vasa Ski Club

  • Glenn Goodman
  • Laura Padden
  • Gary Faria

University of Michigan Nordic Ski Club

  • No representative present

Great Lakes District, CXC Skiing

  • Nick Baic