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Rules Exception Request From AWSA President

May 8, 2019

Dear AWSA Board of Directors,

I would like to request a rules exception for the 77th GOODE Water Ski National Championships. As you know, in 2018 the America's Cup Invitational, a 3-event pro tournament, was run in conjunction with the GOODE Water Ski National Championships. This event was a few years in the making after hosting a few night jumps at other Nationals. Last year we added three events and want to continue building a spectator friendly 3-event pro event like the old U.S. Open Water Ski Championships.

In order to accommodate such an event, last year we ran the Open division of each event as the preliminary round of the America’s Cup Invitational. This option was superior to running the Open division at Nationals and then another round of America’s Cup Invitational as the prelims. But this option does conflict with some of our existing rules. 

Currently our rules allow skiers to ski twice, but only if they are doing so for overall. With the current rule, skiers may ski age division overall and the respective Open division events if L9 or higher; but not both for placement. To clarify for example, a skier with L9 in slalom but L8 in tricks and jump can ski Open slalom for placement and then slalom again in their age division for purposes of a score for age division overall. This rule went into effect and was used the first time in 2017 at San Marcos, about 5-6 skiers did and it worked fine. 

At last year’s GOODE Water Ski National Championships we allowed skiers to ski twice, Open and age division, even if not for overall purposes. This was because the only way for them to enter and compete in the America’s Cup Invitational was by skiing in Open and we wanted to give them the opportunity to ski the prelims of the America's Cup Invitational. These skiers then skied in regular age division for a score, placement and overall but then skied a second time in Open for the purposes of trying to compete in the Americas Cup Invitational, not to compete in Open of the GOODE Water Ski National Championships.  

I would like to request an official exception as stated in 1.01B to allow skiers who are not skiing under 3.03F overall to do so for purposes of entering the America’s Cup Invitational prelims only and not to place in Open. 

I think this is important because one of the goals of the America’s Cup Invitational is to showcase our U.S. athletes and to give rising superstars a chance to compete in a pro event. If we force them to choose age vs Open, many will remain in age division. In fact, two of our America’s Cup Invitational winners last year fall under this request – Ryan Canepa and Kennedy Hansen both won America’s Cup Invitational events, along with a 10-year-old male tricker who also made it to the finals.

The request would go as follows: Any skiers ranked level 9 or above in Open are eligible to enter the America’s Cup Invitational. Skiers must enter, register, and pay for both the GOODE Water Ski National Championships as well as the America’s Cup Invitational. The Open divisions of the GOODE Water Ski National Championships will serve as the prelims of the America’s Cup. Any skiers skiing in Open (America’s Cup Prelims) and also in their respective age division will need to notify the Chief Register, Chief Scorer, and Chief Judge by July 27, 2019, which division they will be skiing in for placement and which for non-placement. Whichever division they will be skiing for non-placement, they will be first off the dock (seeded by non-placement skiers) in that division except jump where the running order will by ramp height first. The age division events of the GOODE Water Ski National Championships will not be delayed for any skiers choosing to ski twice for the purposes of entering the America’s Cup Invitational (i.e. non-placement in open). Age division Nationals’ events would only be delayed for the purposes of accommodating overall skiers under rule 3.03F. Lastly, regarding Regional participation, anyone entering Open at the GOODE Water Ski National Championships for the purpose of non-placement and thus just a score for America’s Cup Invitational, do not need to ski twice at Regionals in the same manner. Only skiers skiing twice under rule 3.03F must ski both divisions at Regionals.  

Jeff Surdej
AWSA President