2013 Proposals – Final for Tomorrow’s (2/9) Meeting

2013 Proposals – Summary

BAR Points / Competition
• Formally recognize the U23 men as a PAR BAR (Road) category
• Add Women 3-4 category to the PA Track BAR
• Change Master’s age groups to 40+/50+/60+ for the PA BAR
• All PA BAR races must meet USAC upgrade (distance) requirements
• Have all Junior classes in the same points bracket

PACX Points / Competition
• Formally recognize the Single Speed category as part of the PACX series
o Option A: USAC competitive event (standard rules & regulations)
o Option B: USAC non competitive event
• Move the 35+ men’s race to its own slot for all PACX races
• Split the U19 category for both men and women to 10-14 and 15-18 for all PACX races
• Revise the PACX race agenda based on U19 and 35+ proposals

PCA Governance
• Include a $1 per rider surcharge in PA Road BAR races to provide funds to support USADA drug testing at selected races.
• Expand the boundaries for PA Road BAR races to non PCA states such as MD, DE, or NJ provided the promoter/club is registered by USAC in PA or WV.
• Provide a set of regulations/recommendations for riders and officials in the event of a crash where a rider’s helmet is cracked or an individual displays the symptoms of a concussion.

2013 Proposals – Detailed

Proposal #1

Author: David Mitchell

Brief Description: Formally recognize U23 men as a PAR BAR (Road) category

Long Description: In 2012 the U23 (men) category was added to the PA BAR (Road) as a proof of concept to recognize the contributions of the 19 to 22 year riders in the elite BAR races (M1-2-3). This proposal is to formally recognize that category and include it in the PA BAR series. Points will be awarded in the same format as the Elite men (100-80-65-55-50-47-44-41-38-35-32-29-26-23-20-17-14-11-8-5-2) and riders who are members of team’s that have registered for the 2013 PA BAR series are eligible to earn individual and team points.

Rationale: The U23 riders are an integral part of elite men’s racing and this proposal will not only highlight the successes of the 19-22 year old riders but provide them with an opportunity to compete with their peers in the PA BAR.

As of 12/26/2012 there were 28 U23 riders with PA licenses and as we (PCA) get a lot of NJ/DE/MD riders competing in the BAR the total increases to 47 when those states are included.

Proposal #2

Author: David Mitchell

Contributor: Sallie Urffer

Brief Description: Add Women 3-4 category to the PA Track BAR

Long Description: The number of women racing the Masters & Rookies series at the VPCC is growing and this proposal will incorporate the W3-4 field in the PA Track BAR series under the current format of eligibility and point structure.

Rationale: The mission of the PCA is to enhance cycling in PA and WV and this proposal will provide the women 3-4 riders who race at the VPCC on Saturday’s with the opportunity to compete for PA Track BAR points and the series championship at the conclusion of the racing season. I feel the numbers (W3-4 riders) warrant inclusion of this category in the PA Track BAR.

Proposal #3

Author: David Butterworth

Contributor: PCA Board

Brief Description: Change Master’s age groups to 40+/50+/60+ for the PA BAR

Rationale: The results of a PRO-AM survey in 2012 indicated that a change to 40+/50+ was favored by the majority of master’s racers. With the membership approving single category races (i.e. Men 3 versus M3-4) the 40+ master’s will want the option to race master’s events rather than harder category (M3) races. Under the current structure those riders must wait until they turn 45 to race (with the exception of events that include 35+ races).

Note the PCA board weighed in on a master’s age change proposal and if the format was 40+/50+/60+ the board proposed that a 30+ category be excluded as the majority of those riders race senior (M1-2-3 or M3) events.

Proposal #4

Author: Erik Mitchell

Brief Description: All PA BAR races must meet USAC upgrade (distance) requirements

Rationale: The PA BAR was the reason that the PCA was formed in 2003. Over the years, the quality and quantity of the races has grown along with field sizes. This simple measure is to ensure that as the BAR series continues to grow and adds new races, they are quality races deserving of being included in the series. It also ensures that as PA riders continue to pursue their dreams and goals, the PA BAR offers a chance for them to do that at every level.

Distances in Miles (miles and minutes for criterium)
Category RR (PA BAR) RR (USAC) Crit (PA BAR) Crit (USAC)
M1 50 80 35 / 70 min 30 / 60 min
M2 50 50 35 / 70 min 20 / 40 min
M3 35 25 25 / 50 min 15 / 30 min
M4 25 15 20 / 40 min 10 / 20 min
W1 35 50 20 / 40 min 20 / 40 min
W2 35 40 20 / 40 min 15 / 30 min
W3 35 25 20 / 40 min 15 / 30 min
W4 25 15 / 30 min
35+ 35 25 / 50 min
45+ 25 20 / 40 min
55+ 25 20 / 40 min

USAC distances/minutes requirements are for upgrading to the category noted

Note: Traditionally the PA BAR distance meet or exceed the USAC upgrade standards for criteriums. Road race distances are a challenge as most races do not meet the 80/50 miles requirements for upgrades to Cat 1 for men/women. If a RR distance is short of the USAC requirement upgrade points are awarded based on criterium points which are only 6 deep and fewer points are offered.

The following changes would be required to meet this proposal:
• M1-2 road race distance increase by 30 miles from 50 to 80
• W1-2-3 road race distance increase by 15 miles from 35 to 50

Proposal #5

Author: Greg Danielewicz

Brief Description: Have all Junior classes in the same points bracket

Long Description: JB & JG 17-18 are in the same point brackets as Senior Men and Women. All younger Junior classes are in the Senior Men and Women’s 4. This proposal is the have all Junior classes in the same point bracket of (80, 60, 45, 35, 30, 27, 24, 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3) with the exception of giving 1 point to all remaining finishers of the race. Furthermore, Junior racers can only earn points in their respective age bracket as an individual or team. Competitors who “race up” in age cannot earn or alter points in that age bracket.

Rationale: In 2012, PA JB 15-16 fields were generally larger than their 17-18 counterparts. At most races all Junior fields are relatively small. The 15-16 age bracket over the last several years had some very talented, advanced riders. To foster new Junior riders into the sport of cycling, adjust the point structure to the same for all Junior classes using the same point bracket from the Masters classes. The addition of the 1 point for all remaining finishers will give extra incentive to finish a race and contribute to their respective team.

Note: The PCA has a rule for JR racing that riders who race up an age group will not be awarded BAR points for that bracket.

Current JR Points Structure

JB/JG 17-18

U17 JR Boys & Girls

I feel the JR 17-18 points are too heavy and are most likely that way as in the early years of the PA BAR that age group was the only junior category. (David Mitchell)

Proposal #6

Author: David Mitchell (A) & Michael Doupe (B)

Option A

Brief Description: Formally recognize the Single Speed category as part of the PACX series

Long Description: The Single Speed category was included in the PACX series in 2012 on an exhibition basis. This category is growing as riders recognize the skill and technique required to race on a cross course with a single speed bicycle. This proposal is to bring the Single Speed category into the PACX series and award points to the riders as follows: 35-30-27-24-22-20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

The inclusion of this category under the auspices of the PACX series are contingent on the PACX, promoters and riders complying with all USA Cycling rules that apply.

Rationale: This proposal is to recognize the growth of the Single Speed category in cross races. The USAC national championships include single speed events and that is indicative of the riders who want to race cross on a fixed gear machine. In PA for 2012 there were 11 single speed races with 76 competitors. Clearly the numbers are present to warrant inclusion of this category.

Option B

Brief Description: Because they can be more fun than allowed by law, PACX Single Speed races will be run after races conclude, and they will be permitted as USAC Non-Competitive Fun Rides and receive a separate permit, like a celebrity or kids’ race.

Rationale: Much of the fun of PACX single speed races comes with activities and behaviors contrary to USAC competitive event rules (some costumes, course changes and obstacles, hand-ups, etc.). Officials are subsequently faced with the choices of disqualified riders, halting the race, altering promoters’ SS courses, or ignoring the USAC rules. Ignoring the USAC rules puts the officials in an unfair position of liability. These rules are in place to ensure a fair and safe COMPETITIVE race, and SS events and racers often exceed these parameters.

A USAC Non-Competitive Fun Ride permit fee would be an additional $25 for the promoter, but the rider insurance surcharge would be $1.50 instead of $3, so the expense is about the same.

Proposal #7

Author: David Mitchell

Contributor: Ellen Dorsey

Brief Description: Move the 35+ men’s race to its own slot for all PACX races

Long Description: Cyclocross is the fastest growing discipline in cycling. The current PACX series rules/regulations have the standard schedule using one time slot for all master’s races (35+, 45+, 55+). This proposal is the move the 35+field to its own time slot to reduce the number of fields and riders on the course at the same time thus reducing current scoring challenges that were exposed in 2012.

Rationale: Many times over the course of the 2012 PACX series scoring and other issues in the master’s races were conveyed by many officials to Ellen Dorsey and she passed along her thoughts to me. Per Ellen the master’s races were very difficult to manage due to the sheer number of riders. She recommended splitting one age group from the race agenda.

The following are some metrics based on results in the USAC system from the 2012 PACX Series. Please note these numbers are based on riders classified not starters:

35+: Average field size 27 with a max of 43 (Town Hall)
45+: Average field size 31 with a max of 51 (West Chester)
55+: Average field size 11 with a max of 20 (Town Hall)

Using the averages there were 69+ (does not include DNF’s) riders on the course at the same time and that posed a challenge for officials as those 69+ riders were from three separate races. The officials do a great job handling large M4 or M3-4 races but unlike master’s events those races have one field on the course not three.

Splitting the 35+ riders out will add an hour to the promoter’s event but this step is necessary to keep pace with the growth of cross and to better position the hard working officials to provide quick and accurate results in addition to better race management.

If this proposal is passed this rule will be part of the unreleased PACX Series guide.

Proposal #8

Author: Erik Mitchell

Brief Description: Split the U19 category for both men and women to 10-14 and 15-18 for all PACX races

Long Description: Junior fields continue to grow at PACX races and this would be a nice way to allow the younger riders to compete for medals and an overall title.

Rationale: This change would not add a race to the promoter’s agenda. Junior riders would still race at the same time and promoters/officials would have the option of starting them separately or together. Riders will be scored separately and medals will be given to the top three in each age group. The only burden for promoters would be to provide three additional medals and from a financial perspective that cost is very minimal.

Note: I did some research on other cross races, primarily in MD, and noted that all races split the U19 categories as described in this proposal. In some cases the U19 women and 10-14 boys raced in the same time slot and the older boys (15-18) raced with the M3-4 or W1-2-3. (David Mitchell)

If this proposal is passed this rule will be part of the unreleased PACX Series guide.

Proposal #9

Author: Erik Mitchell

Contributor: Ellen Dorsey

Brief Description: Revise the PACX race agenda based on U19 and 35+ proposals

Long Description: This proposal may not require a vote but is needed to ensure the PACX series adjusts to the growth of cyclocross and race agendas meet the needs of the various new category/race changes as proposed for 2013.

Rationale: The PACX schedule revision will accommodate the following changes from the various proposals (if passed) submitted and recommendations:

Separate 35+ race slot
Single Speed category
Juniors race with the W4 rather than M4

New Race Schedule for all PACX Events
9:00 AM – Cat 4 Men (40 minutes)
10:00 AM – Master 45+/Master 55+ (45 minutes)
11:00 AM – Cat 3/4 Men (45 minutes)
12:00 PM – Master 35+, U19 Men (15-18) (45 minutes)
1:00 PM – Single Speed (30 minutes)
1:45 PM – Women 1/2/3, Women 3/4, U19 Women (10-14 & 15-18), U19 Men (10-14) (40 minutes)
2:45 PM – M 1/2/3 (60 minutes)

If this proposal is passed this rule will be part of the unreleased PACX Series guide.

Proposal #10

Author: David Mitchell

Brief Description: Include a $1 per rider surcharge in PA Road BAR races to provide funds to support USADA drug testing at selected races.

Long Description: Cycling at all levels has increased its focus and awareness of PED’s and drug testing due to recent crisis involving doping at the highest level of the sport. The PCA wants to be at the forefront of this issue by implementing drug testing at selected PA BAR races and fund the cost of doping controls by implementing a $1 per rider surcharge for all PA BAR series races.

Rationale: The issue of doping in cycling at all levels has been well documented in the media in 2012. The PCA board recognizes the impact PED’s has had on cycling and is joining USAC and other Local Associations (see item on a program implemented by the FL LA) in the fight against doping in cycling and to provide a level playing field for all riders and race promoters who rely on sponsors to help finance their events.

USAC in partnership with USADA is creating a program to provide drug testing for local associations like the PCA. A USADA certified drug testing program is an expensive endeavor but a necessity in the world of cycling today. The program USAC has on the table provides matching funds for testing and the initial outlay by the PCA is $3000. The program is in the final stage of approval by USAC and I hope to have a full set of parameters and criteria for the February 9th governance meeting.

The following is a list of items and facts for this proposed program to be considered by the PCA membership:

1. A $1 surcharge for PA BAR races exists and is collected by the PCA board if race results are not submitted within 5 days of the conclusion of an event.
2. The PCA board has not collected surcharges in 5+ years.
3. This proposal will change the criteria for the surcharge to support the PCA’s drug testing initiative.
4. Any PA Road BAR race can be subject to testing
5. The PCA board will determine the category and races that will be part of the program.
6. The testing program will be conducted in compliance with all rules and regulations set forth by USADA.
7. Information on the USAC/USADA testing alliance will be distributed to the PCA membership and posted on www.pacyling.org when it is available
8. The PCA will ask USADA to open up their portal to the PCA membership to mandatorily watch and take the same tests as national/international testing pool riders prior to license renewal/upgrade.
9. The PCA will develop a handbook/pamphlet that will help educate the membership on drug testing, supplements, and resources available to answer any questions/concerns. This step will happen regardless of the outcome of this proposal (pass/fail).

Excerpt from an article on a similar program in Florida (FBRA):

A lack of serious commitment, indecision and slow action on the national level by USAC has spawned local efforts to fight doping by stakeholders who have a vested interest in keeping the sport clean. Race promoters and teams who depend upon public support and corporate sponsorship are organizing grassroots anti-doping efforts and raising funds to pay for guaranteed testing by USADA. One such effort was launched by Florida Clean Ride, a non-profit organization “designed to facilitate USADA testing at Florida road cycling events and ensure fair competition at the local amateur level.” According to their director, Jared Zimlin, there was enough suspicion of doping in local events to take action. Through donations from clubs, teams and sponsors they raised $17,000 and secured USADA testing at seven Florida events this year. Zimlin is now confident that cheaters are being driven away.

Proposal #11

Author: David Mitchell

Brief Description: Expand the boundaries for PA Road BAR races to non PCA states such as MD, DE, or NJ provided the promoter/club is registered by USAC in PA or WV.

Long Description: The PCA covers a large geographical area (see below). In some cases promoters may look for a unique venue that is outside the geographical area covered by the PCA. This proposal will allow said promoters to apply for PA Road BAR status for a race outside the confines of PA/WV provided the race director/club is licensed by USAC in PA or WV.

PA: 46,060 square miles
WV: 24,230 square miles

Rationale: Some history behind this proposal is warranted. In 2012 Joe Jefferson who promotes the Tour of Washington County inquired about having that race be part of the PA BAR. From his prospective the race was contested by a great many riders who live in PA as the event was just over the border in MD. He felt including the race in the PA BAR would benefit the series and would add another SR to the calendar as well as allow the elite/masters riders an opportunity to earn RR points for the new scoring system.

Over the years the PCA Board has been approached to expand the PA BAR outside of Pennsylvania. The board considered every proposal but felt that the series roots were in PA/WV and should remain there.

I swapped numerous emails with Joe and while I liked the proposal on its merit I needed data to support it. After gathering some metrics I noted that on average only 6.4% of the classified riders in the 2012 Tour of Washington County were from PA. Nevertheless I felt this proposal had to be put forward to the membership for a vote.

In the past several years the JR State RR for PA was held at the Oley Valley Road Race. That event is not on the 2013 calendar. The NJBA has offered their JR State RR to include PA riders. If no PA/WV promoter hosts the event the PCA Board has no issues with the NJBA initiation. After all the Oley Valley RR was also the NJ JR State RR.

Let’s say Club A from Lancaster (PA) had JR riders race the NJ event and in 2014 wanted host a PA BAR RR for juniors. For examples sake Club A contacted several townships to use their roads for their event. It is possible, as promoters know all too well, that the townships may not support cycling in their community. If Club A decided to continue their efforts and approached the venue owners of the NJ race would it be right to deny the race PA BAR status?
USAC allows any club/race director to permit an event irrespective to its location. While the scenario I’ve laid out may seem remote it could become a reality and the PCA should not be biased.

Proposal #12

Author: Jack Poplar

Brief Description: Provide a set of regulations/recommendations for riders and officials in the event of a crash where a rider’s helmet is cracked or an individual displays the symptoms of a concussion.

Long Description:
A cyclist will not be able to continue racing in an event if:

1. His/her helmet is cracked or damaged as determined by an official, or
2. The official observes signs or symptoms of a concussion demonstrated by the cyclist, or
3. The onsite EMS staff report symptoms of a concussion

The official should suggest that the cyclist not participate in bicycle racing or training for a minimum of 48 hours and completely rest for at least 48 hours after the injury. It is also suggested that the cyclist be evaluated and cleared for racing by an “appropriate medical professional “ such as the following:
– Licensed Physician trained in evaluation and management of concussions or a certified health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and designated by such licensed physician
– Licensed psychologist neurologically trained in the evaluation and management of concussion or who has post doctoral training in neuropsychology and specific training in the evaluation and management of concussions

Rationale: The following dialog was included in an email from Jack Poplar to David Mitchell:

I think in light of the continual research and new information on concussion coming out every day we should try to take reasonable pro-active steps to protect our cyclists. I think thoughtful discussion on this topic is really important.

I think you know that I provided a training session on concussion at last year’s annual officials training session and will be providing a session this year as well. I don’t expect all officials to be experts on concussion but clear observations about a cyclist crash, reasonable observation of the cyclist behavior post injury and most importantly information from the EMS staff on site should provide valuable data to assist in making a good decision concerning the cyclist safety. It is always best to err on the side of being overly cautious. Just as Preston Plevrete of LaSalle University’s former football team said, ” I could have sat out another game but now I’ll sit out the rest of my life”. Check out the video clip on line @ espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5163151

In PA’s “Safety in Youth Sports Act” that applies to student athletes in PA – the section of the act concerning “removal from play states- A student who, as determined by a game official, coach from the student’s team, certified athletic trainer, licensed physician, licensed Physical therapist…. who exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury shall be removed from participation.

As you can tell I really think this is an important issue and hope we can come up with a plan to address concussion in our sport that is reasonable.

Note: Jack Poplar is the President/COO of ACADIA Community Integrated Neuro Rehabilitation in Lancaster and is a highly qualified expert with regards to head injuries and concussions. As an experienced USAC official Jack is acutely familiar with the dynamics of bicycle racing and over the years has seen the impact head injuries can have on a rider after a crash in addition to the ongoing issues that may endure well after the mishap.

David Mitchell will address the membership at the meeting on the legal implications of this proposal.