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Yeap, ideas. 

Guys n Gals, I think we need to address some things in the Trials sport. 

It is no secret that the sport is in a decline, everywhere. 

But that doesn't mean that we should just accept the status quo, we can make things easier and better. 

Below are my ideas, I'm just waiting for someone(s) to get on board with one or many of them. 

There's no "I" in Meat Pie

...well there is.. but "Meat" is "Team" backwards.

Ok, its not, but you can rearrange the letters. 

People of trials...  from my short experience of riding these events, it looks like each club is burdened with finding the "solution" to putting on Island/National Champs and they deserve a big bloody pat on the back for doing so.

The above is apparent by the various methods of sign up for each event, multiple different ways of results being delivered and each and every club trying to solve the "VCS" scoring and ranking problem, which is a pesty problem to say the least. 

Turns out that its not just a simple spreadsheet when you actually get deep enough into it. 

So.. I opine, that.. Trials as a whole, should use one, ONE solution for these events. 

Ok so whats this one solution? Well, read on brave reader.. fore it tis the ramblings of a madman. 

Sign Up/Payment

"Marty, You've got to come back with me.... back to the future" - Doc 

Lets go back to the future. Sign up needs to be easy AND quick, we want riders to sign up early, not put it off till the last minute, such is the trend.


We need to ditch the legacy formats - 

The mail in/PDF form -  Both too painful to not get put on the back burner by the riders.

The bank transfers - Same thing, painful, and added admin for the clubs.

The "Jotform" - Step in the right direction but not far enough.

We need to move to online payments (not internet banking) - 

But, oh, there is a 2% surcharge plus ticketing fees! Yes, about a cup of coffee.. its not heaps.

So why online payments you say?

Lets minimise admin for an already very busy club. 

Lets make sign up a one step process and remove the "its too hard, Ill do it later" excuse. 

Remove the barriers to sign up. 

We need "Early-Bird" pricing - 

Its an on going issue with all types of events, late sign up/ticketing, its scary for those putting on the events. Was it all in vain? Should we cancel? 

Using a ticketing service will allow early-bird pricing, "X amount of sign ups can be sold at this reduced rate".

This will get you your early sign ups. 

Remove the barriers to sign up. 

Refund Policy -"But I'm not sure if Im going to be able to go, I'll sign up if I like the weather" 

YEAP! Same here, same for everyone, so lets put a full refund policy front and centre. 

It should be VERY clear that if you change your mind about going, you will get a full refund. 

Remove the barriers to sign up. 

Those who are signed up already are more likely to come, even if they are 50/50 on the idea. 

If you have to process a refund, ah well. 

All "sign up" events should use the same sign up method. 

Plain and simple, it shouldn't be invented by each club everytime, it should be a ready to go solution that any club running an event can use. 

Simple and predictable for the riders, and no wheel reinvention for the clubs. 


The big painful scoring problem

Righto, you made it this far, so you're either furious or interested.

So lets either poke the bear some more or drive deeper in to this for the fun of it. 

Scoring, its painful, the data entry, the collating of the results and applying of the rules correctly. 

This again is a problem that clubs try to solve alone, perhaps with the input of the last club to run the rounds before them, or perhaps a spreadsheet that someone sent them.

This is why its so inconsistent, its a hell of a burden, and to anyone thats even half solved this problem, you need a pat on the back. 

So, how do we make it easy then?

I'm gonna say it again.. well, for one, you have everyone sign up online, with the SAME method for EVERY event.

Why? Because that gives you have consistent data to drive the rest of the system. 

Then, you use the SAME system for the entire series. 

I've built one thats pretty good to go.

Capiche? 🤌🤌🤌


The decisive VCS System

Pros and Cons, Pros and Cons. 

Let me first say that I sit firmly on the fence with the VCS system, but I would like to give you an idea that I came up with during the building of my scoring tools. 

Just open your mind for a moment and believe.

Shock and Horror, BUT... VCS might be important to the shrinking trials scene in NZ. 

Heres why:

The community is split into groups, we have those on modern bikes, we have those on classic bikes, and we have perhaps those that are not catered for, maybe, I dunno, but lets say we have them too, somewhere. 

The classic trials bike used to be your farm bike too, but not anymore.

Now you have to have a specialised machine.

How's that for a shower thought... the modern Trials bike killed Trials.

Interesting. Is it true? Dunno, but it makes sense to me, time and tech changes, maybe we need to make a change too. 

So, we have a shrinking community, not ideal. 

I believe that we need to be as inclusive as possible, and VCS could helpful to do this.

The VCS system allows for concurrent series to be run. Let your mind bend around that for a moment. 

Yes, don't shoot me dead, I'm suggesting that the clubs need to start running the VCS system at the club level. 

With VCS, you can run club modern, classic, side chair, mini champs etc etc all at once, with one series of events, not 3, 4 or 5. 

Its not that simple, but it might be important to Trials in New Zealand. 

I'm suggesting that bringing the community together by making club events as inclusive as possible is critical. 

Despite its issues, VCS could be a great tool for that. 

But what about all the admin involved? Well, yes and no, if you have a tool that does VCS and grade ranking automatically, which we do, then there is no extra admin.

Ok, maybe lied, there's a little more admin, you need to write down what class a rider is in, thats it. 

Oh and the blue line needs to be non-stop.. ok, theres a few more steps involved but its not that much. 

Very very easy to run the VCS system along side the grades. 

Then, you have an event that the classic riders can come to, that modern riders can come to, that kids can be ranked and scored in, and yes, its a pipe dream, but the secret side-chair guys can come to.


So I don't know if VCS has more pros than cons, I know that it doesn't incentivise those in some ages groups because they can't win without beating the vets. But I do know that it is inclusive, and inclusive is what a shrinking community should be. 

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