Maybe Judgement Can Be Reserved

In the interests of being conscientious, I’ve read very carefully Andy’s brilliant explanation of how the FIM have simplified the rules for the World Indoor Trials Championship.

The trouble was I fell asleep at my computer before I reached the end!

No seriously, THEY HAVE LOST THE PLOT. I’m sorry, call me an Old Codger or whatever you like, but with the best will in the world how anyone in their right mind can think that the format suggested is going to go down well with the spectators – and be understood by them – is beyond my comprehension.

Let me get down to basics. Whether you agree or not, the World Indoor Trials Championship is (or at least should be) a competition designed to entertain a paying audience. That is the first criteria and by far and away the most important criteria.

The second criteria is to find a World Champion. Almost inevitably, the best rider in the world, over a five round series (heard it was going to be seven with two in Chile, but that was never going to happen) is going to come out on top, no matter what format you present it in. So if the best rider is virtually certain to win long term, then why not make it as easy as possible to understand and as entertaining as possible.

Simples eh!

But no, quite how or why the contest has got to this ridiculous stage I can’t quite fathom out. What I do know is that the past two indoor events at Sheffield in 2008 and 2009, were definitely the most entertaining for many a year, but this year’s event held just two weeks ago turned out to be a bit of a bore. My opinion I know, but we are all entitled to our views.

Further down the line, if I was an organiser with a round scheduled over the next couple of months, I would be shaking in my boots. Neil Crossthwaite and Martin Lampkin were fortunate to some extent that their Sheffield event was the first trial to try out the new format. Imagine what Neil and Martin would be thinking now if their trial was due in six to eight weeks time and they still had an arena to try and fill. They would be looking at the small print of their contract and trying to find a way to pull out.

The costings may well be different abroad, but I know full well that promoting Sheffield costs an absolute fortune even though they’ve now done it 15 times and have therefore got many of their year on year expenses covered. Even so, the costs are horrendous (well they are to me!) and the potential for failure simply can’t be contemplated.

Of course, this is being written as Marseille is being held and as there’s no live transmission as I type, I can’t comment further. However, if I finish this column on Sunday, perhaps I shall know more and can relate some details.

It’s Sunday night and I’ve read the postings through and through and whilst there is obviously lots of interest with over 1400 views of the results in the last 24 hours, I still can’t get my head around the format. Maybe, just maybe it will all come right in the end, but for the moment, judgement is reserved until we all get to see the action for real when it’s eventually transmitted.