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michael_t

Wtc Vs Cma - Why Not Have Both?

126 posts in this topic

120 posts and the debate will continue to no end with no conclusions. As with all Moto groups, build, then divide is just the way it is. Trials is no different.

 

Focus on the promotion of Grass roots development...getting new riders interested and a avenue to develop their skills.

Heck I would get 10 riders out just to ride in my shop on many a cold winter days in central Ontario. Together it garnered a lot of interest and develop a whole lot of new skills and a few new trials riders.

I did a event that pulled 70 plus riders in Ontario that was club only sanctioned .....so it can be done.

Now in Northern BC and working on building a ridership base here including some trials trail development with interested people.

 

If everyone is just going to sit and argue over sanctioning bodies do you really think that is going to interest a newb to get involved....

 

 

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120 posts? All the same people have been talking about this since 2008... http://www.trialscentral.com/forums/topic/22076-true-canadian-national-series/

 

Pretty much since there was a Canadian section on this forum...

 

Steve recently sent me a note saying we need to look at going about this a different way so I have been thinking hard about that.

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 "The area where Dave operates (the BC Interior) always enjoys a very healthy entry for the area's trials, usually forty to fifty riders - sometimes more.  Compare that to Ontario, where, with a population of some 13 million people, they manage to get only a couple of dozen people out to their main trials."

 

 

Not true, in Ontario the ATA events which are sanctioned by the CMA get about 25 riders. The SOVT not sanctioned by either the CMA or WTC get about 25 to 30 riders. Very few cross over riders. all toll around 50 very active riders. I would guess around 25 competitions a year in Ontario for riders to enjoy. Key item here is they are card caring, dues paying members of their respective organizations. If they joined together I could see 40 to 50 riders per event X 12 events. My personal opinion, and its only my opinion is they won't until the CMA makes some top substantial changes and shows a clean new approach.

 

Oct 16 there were two trials in Ontario. CMA with 26, SOVT with 24. total 50 riders. Congrats to both organizations for promotion of trials. These are healthy numbers considering the split. 

 

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You know I wonder if it isn't really better to have 2 events with 25 each instead of one event with 50... I suppose it depends a lot on how well the events are organized but personally I think I would start having a logistic issue when getting up around the 50 rider mark... although it would be the type of issue I wouldn't mind having :D.

 

I do think it odd that the 2 events where on the same day... you would think they could at least go Saturday and Sunday if they insisted on being the same weekend.

Edited by michael_t

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Thought I would (rather reluctantly) weigh in on this hot topic, perhaps from another viewpoint.

 

I've been involved in organizing, promoting and hosting Southwestern Ontario Vintage Trials Group (SOVT, www.sovt.website) events over the last four years. 

 

This post being a Canadian topic, I'll resort to a hockey analogy: if ATA/CMA trials in Ontario is the "Double-A" hockey league to the NHL, SOVT is a local "House Recreational" league.

 

Just finished crunching some numbers for Ontario trials events the other night. There were 9 CMA sanctioned events which had a total of 227 entries with 46 different riders. SOVT (which runs under the "sanction"...read "insurance"...of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) held 13 events totalling 329 entries from 72 different riders. Interestingly enough the average entries per event for each group was he same at 25 riders. One additional event which was industry-organized with no CMA/CVMG sanction garnered 38 riders of which 11 were CMA riders, 5 were SOVT riders, 7 were CMA/SOVT riders and 15 riders had no club affiliation at all.)

 

 

We (SOVT) have spent the last three years "tinkering" with the structure of the club and have been able to increase ridership by approximately 35% over that period. I personally believe our modest success has been a result of holding events which are geared towards new and returning trial riders in an accessible, supportive and "fun" environment. Although our "premier" class is the "Vintage A" class, we have classes for modern (>1990 liquid cooled) bikes as well. In fact our "C" (easiest line) classes mix vintage and modern bikes. At that level, our belief is that rider skill level and skill development is more important than the bike you happen to ride. Our mix of vintage and modern bikes at events is approximately 50:50. We continue to "tinker" with our classes and format to attract new riders.

 

EDIT: In 2016 we had 29 new riders show up to events who did not attend 2015 events. 72% of those new riders were "C" class (beginner trials) riders. We also had 12 riders from 2015 that we did not see again in 2016. 67% of those riders were A or B class riders. Our main goals for 2017 are to retain our rider base from 2016 and attract another 30 new riders, again primarily in the C level.

 

The following comments are strictly my personal opinions on the state of trials in Ontario and WTC vs CMA...

 

Having ridden and been involved in trials since the early 1970's; it's evident that trials continues to decline in event attendance and popularity over the last 30 years. Given the current status here in Ontario, I believe the CMA sanctioned trials represent an unsustainable business model. In fact, the original model based on CMA clubs organizing and hosting CMA series events is essentially gone because most of the CMA clubs are gone; having long-since abandoned the CMA. (The reason(s) they have done so are really not important to this discussion.) This has put significant stress on dedicated, enthusiastic trial riders themselves who picked up the slack, individually doing the work that CMA clubs used to do...and ultimately burning out doing it.

 

I don't have hard numbers to back it up, but suspect that new riders make up a very small proportion of entrants at a CMA event in Ontario. As the 'core" rider base for these events continue to age some will (like myself) gravitate towards more recreational events/series like SOVT, some will (as many have) quit riding altogether. Unless new riders are brought in, trials is on the endangered species list. This should not be shocking news to anyone who's been around trials for any length of time.

 

The annual CMA "Competition License" is a significant deterrent to new, returning and recreational trials riders who want to try, or return to riding select events. Debate the value and importance of the CMA license fee and FIM affiliation ad-infinitum...the bottom line is that to riders that want to try trials or may want to ride a few local events per year...honestly...they don't care. Spending time and effort to convince them why they should care is a waste of time. All they see is that to show up and try their first event it's going to cost them $105 to attend. And if they have a couple of young kids on Oset's...costs add up pretty quick. Until and unless the CMA changes it's business model to include "day pass memberships" for new and occasional/recreational riders, they will continue to deter those riders from entering the sport and risk losing Ontario trials to another sanctioning body.

 

Although it's a very small sample size, the above rider statistics bear this out when the largest single group of riders at a non CMA/WTC/SOVT event are affiliated with none of those organizations. SOVT events do have an annual CVMG membership fee of $40 BTW, although our entries are only $5 per event with free entry for first time riders and all Youth C class riders.

 

Because of this membership fee disincentive, (for both CMA and SOVT) the WTC would seem to be an attractive alternative model for hosting events. However, WTC is no different from the CMA in one respect; both orgainizations carry significant, historical political baggage as evident in this forum thread. Perhaps this could be the reason WTC currently has no presence in Ontario. 

 

The "big picture" IMO is that the single biggest threat to the survival of trials competitions in Ontario and Canada is lack of new riders entering the sport. Debating FIM affiliations, TDN attendance, sanctioning "rights", hidden organization and industry agendas and the "best" way to develop "world class" Canadian trials riders is "fiddling while Rome burns." Forget about it; because in the short-term none of it matters. And if we can't find a way to improve ridership in the short-term we won't have to worry about the long term because there won't be any.

 

Do you support CMA trials? Good for you! WTC? Well good for you too! I hope in either case your focus is dedicated to making your events more inviting, supportive and economical for new riders to enter the sport. Sharing information, ideas and supporting each other's organizations is a much more productive use of time and efforts if we're truly concentrating on what is best for trials itself.

Edited by canadaler
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Great to hear a new voice on the matter and one with experience and numbers to share.

I totally agree having the few remaining riders fighting over who is right or wrong isn't doing anybody any good. Anything anybody can do to grow the sport by getting new riders out is critically important. If your club already has its own insurance just start having events. Especially If you are in PEI or Nfld where there currently are not any events being held, if there is no provincial organization or club with insurance reach out to the WTC for coverage and start having events. We also need to figure out how to get those who want to ride at the world level up to that level and have the FIM backing to do so... that is a very small number of people (less than 10?) so we will need to be very creative in how we can support them without expecting every new rider to pony up for something that doesn't really matter that much to them. IMO if the sport can work together we should be able to provide something for everyone.

We just need to keep chipping away at building something great.

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