I'm here at work with only a DSL connection and never got to see page 1 after waiting 3 minutes.
Could it be that someone doesn't want the vision seen?
Or is it just horribly bad coding?
Just taking power point slides and posting them isn't an efficient way to communicate on the web.
The guiding vision due by 2005 that needs coke-bottle-bottom glasses to see and an inter-galactic modem to view includes:
*10-12 national championship events (only 9 now if you count Pike's
*Host 1 FIA WRC event (yeah, if SCCA annexes Mexico)
*Strictly enforced championship event organizing criteria (or perhaps
a combination of FIA and SCCA so no ones no which criteria
prevails when/where and then don't enforce rules equally
throughout the competitor field)
*Age Limit for all classes- 6 years or 2 body styles for
non- homologated classes (Hey, disposable cars for everybody,
*Substantial championship prize funds (someday, sorry you'll be dead
and buried before then)
*Professional Presentation Team Award
*Consistent technical & safety standards across all events that follow FIA standards
*Schedule (nope, and we don't want 20 minute services either)
*Routebook (Routebooks haven't changed and are a far cry from FIA
however the stagenotes are appretiated even if SCCA
overcharges for them)
*Scoring (left to the organizer and sometimes late, really, hire Jean-Georges Marcotte to score each event he is willing to do, there is none better)
*Timing system (thanks Rally America)
*Core support staff present at all events
*Chief of scoring (not filled but really needs to be. Hire Jean-Georges Marcotte and if he is unwilling, kidnap and clone him)
*Media relations (?)
*Standard equipment used at all events (thanks for bailing them out
*Public exposure (maybe this should be re-phrased cause there are
laws against public exposure)
*TV commercial (now that would be something)
*Major series sponsorship
*Title sponsor (still waiting)
*Series prize funds (put the Pro in ProRally)
While some of the vision has become reality (incuding the bad with the good) and some outlook has been given to the club through the efforts of Rally America, the Pro aspect of the vision is really blurry.
>1. Adoption: To what extent is the leadership of the sport
>following the Guiding Vision?
In some needed places it has been adopted. The addition of a National Tech Inspector (Doug Robinson's current position) for example.
>2. Execution: What progress has been made towards each of
>the stated objectives in the Guiding Vision?
Depends on how large a role Rally America is willing to take to make up for the deficiencies SCCA still has. And which objectives should be deceided upon to simply abandon.
>3. Vision: What changes should be made to the Guiding
>Vision? What do we want our sport to look like in the
Hence my original post. I was surprised to see the vision still posted on the SCCA website unchanged. US Rally was in dire need of many of the items on the vision. Some items are unattainable in the near future. Others we've tried and failed. Some re-thought. A couple we are not ready for. Several more probably now should be added to the Pro level and many more could be added to the ClubRally level which was somewhat neglected other than stating what we already have.
>4. Communication: How might the Guiding Vision be better
>conveyed to the membership?
It is the members who should be conveying to better the Guiding Vision. Maybe now that it has been a couple years since the vision was written and now we all know the FIA aspects and what will work for us and what won't, the vision should be re-written (updated) with member input. And then, of course posted in a proper PDF file, rather than just posting your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF.
Good work Mark. I see many good ideas in the presentation. It also looks like the SCCA is trying to look at the "big picture" of rally in America and provide opportunities for rally to happen at many levels. Personally I would like to see more emphasis placed on creating more club rally events. But I do like the ideas presented for the Pro series.
>Personally I would like to see more emphasis placed on creating more >club rally events.
To my knowledge there is still not a decent ClubRally Site Acquistion Plan available and this alone would be the biggest step in acheiving more ClubRallies. A problem for organizers starting new events has been obtaining road-use permits, especially hard in urban sprawl areas. A 'real' ClubRally Site Acquistion Plan with demographics of possible economic benefits generated to the local community, environmental impact studies, and whatever else a potential landowner/land manager/special permit officer would want to see while promoting that a rally would be benefitial to the area and some favorable references from previous National Forest, state agencies and timber companies who have allowed us use of the roads. Maybe even a CD version of the plan.
This year Bighorn Rally signed Makita and is now the Makita Bighorn Rally. At the awards ceremony last year Makita and other event sponsors handed out lots of prizes including nice rechargable impact guns, Hella lights, ...
That and CARS has National title sponsors that offset entry fees by reducing sanction fees.
And thanks to the efforts of Subaru of Canada, an agreement between Hansen's railway shipping company and CARS to ship rallycars and service vehicles from coast to coast and back for the western leg of the series at no cost to the competitors.
Its just that the SCCA isn't trying. They already have your membership fee, inflated license fees and inflated sanction fees you must pay organizers to offset the PRD cost. But they'd still like to deface your car with Fram, Sunoco and Hawk decals anyway.
>This was a volunteer effort ...
>I wrote the Guiding Vision in January 2001, with
>participation and concurrence from the PRB, as my first act
>as Chairman of the PRB to establish a set of targets to work
>I chose to express it as a PowerPoint presentation.
>After obtaining authorization from SCCA headquarters to make
>it available on-line, it was converted to PDF images (I
>believe by someone in the SCCA web site support chain) and
>But instead of sniping at the cumbersome format of what has
>been placed on-line, I submit that the more important issues
>4. Communication: How might the Guiding Vision be better
>conveyed to the membership?
I've probably inserted my foot firmly in my mouth. This happens from time to time. I assure you I'm not evil.
Do you have the original of the document? I'd like to mess around with it. Information will always be limited by the format it's presented in.
A person who has heard the points presented verbalized will have an absolutely different connotation than someone who works strictly from a written version.
So, in addressing your 4th point, is it useful for the guide to also affect and drive communications and presentation with the public at-large, who may or may not be members?
There is another level(s) to the participant triangle, that feeds into Rallycross, or Clubrally. There are interested spectators/car ownders, as well as disinterested members of the public.
If we work from assumption there are 5 participant levels (Prorally, Clubrally, Rallycross, Knowledgeable Non-participant, Unknowledgeable Non-Participant) I think the vision, and what aspects are emphasized should be tailored to suit them.
Event media quides usually contain an obligatory paragraph explaining performance rally. They are short overviews, and not laden down with specifics. What is the attention span of the mother of 3 reading a newspaper in the dentists office, waiting for her kids? How much can she absorb about performance rally in one sitting.
Move up a level. A knowledgeable non-participant is primed, and receptive to the message. They are in a position to make a go/no-go decision. I'm making the assumption that part of the purpose of making a vision statement is to be able to work toward common goals, which will include growing and promoting the sport.
A person at this level presumably is a sponge. They will read anything they can get their hands on, if they can find it. The next stage, participating in either Rallycross or Clubrally, should be presented and explained in a manner that makes it easy and desirable for the person to say "ok, I'm going to do that".
The slice presented to them should concentrate on making them a part of it. The particulars of ProRally won't interest them, and in all actuality, could intimidate them on some level. The concepts of "a fun grassroots sport" should be emphasized.
At some point, organizational issues will need to be addressed. I don't think the casual participant wants to deal with a lot of those issues, but at the same time, it's important to maintain 2 way communication with them. The public must have knowledgeable advocates of the sport among them.
Up to this point, "The Vision" has been presented in external media.
Do event organizers have tools available to them to present a consistent global plan to the public? (I'm asking, because I don't know)
I think it's a long road just to get the public to the point where they are knowledgeable about Rally, and have figured out if it's something they want to do. My impression is that this step is left largely up to local organizers. If that's true, it's quite a burden.
Once people are brought into the fold as participants, they'll be willing to deal with organizational issues and the "Big Picture". A lot of the complaining is done at this level. The "fun grassroots sport" feeling is wearing off.
The flow of information here has to open up, in both directions. We need to know who is making decisions, in what capacity, and why.
I've been poking at this stuff for 6 months or so. I've worked a couple of events. Haven't joined SCCA for various reasons. One of the reasons is that I don't see much official representation from them to counter the oft repeated complaint that the general membership isn't consulted.
I would propose that the SCCA create their own official forums within their website to engage in real dialogue with the members. Pull in the ideas and concerns of the members in a visable manner and show they are being addressed. Appearing to disenfranchise your members is the same thing as actually doing it.
While specialstage is the "de-facto" media source for many of these things, it also serves to reinforce the notion that there is some lack of caring at a top level that prevents the formation of anything formal and official.
So, the vision should be expanded in scope to include non-participants. It should be presented in slices, catered to each group, in a format and medium accessible to that group. Non-participants will primarily view print, TV, and static web information.
It should be dynamic document and responsive to the membership's desires for the sport. If mechanisms don't exist for this to happen, work should begin on creating them. Participants at the low and medium level will engage in dynamic information sharing, the telephone, meetings, and web based messaging.
Top level participants will possibly care less about the rungs underneath. Expect information to be filtered before reaching them. Executive summary style communiques, along with the other dynamic methods should be used.
It's likely I'm not saying much new with any of this. Or they are ideas that people have thought, or knew on some subconcious level, but hadn't seen in (rambling) print.
I'm not sure how anyone can answer your first two questions, as the only communications regarding the future of rally are encapsulated in the vision statement you wrote.
When this was published some two years ago, I asked a simple question; "Where is the implementation plan?" It's all well and good to state objectives, but without a solid plan that defines the journey, roles and responsibilities, how can anything be implemented?
Are we any closer to this vision? IMHO, no. Whether for reasons of economic downturn or lack of planning, I do not see us much closer to implementing a WRC style level of professionalism and competition in Pro Rally. But again, I haven't seen the implementation plan, so there could be a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes of which I am unaware.
We can argue all day whether or not there is more professionalism in the sport today, but to what end? (And yes, I do believe we are on track to implement a more consistent and professional series.)
For this vision to be a reality, there needs to be a significant commitment of financial resources from external entities. i.e. sponsors and as of yet, I have heard nothing to indicate that is in place. Yes, I do understand this is a catch-22/chicken-egg scenario. If we build it, perhaps the sponsors will come, but the process of building an exclusive high end series puts the current participants and momentum at risk.
As for a scorecard on our "leadership" I'm afraid the marks are not that high. So far we have followed a strategy of putting lipstick on the pig, so to speak. Fancy clocks, stage notes, and foreign competitors are all well and good, but the sport, and more importantly, the SCCA has yet to change.
Last year the PRB asked for comments on the rule book. I took time out of my very busy schedule to read the rules, cover to cover. I collected approximately 5 pages of corrections to the rules, ranging from spelling and gramatical errors to flawed "logic" that made the rules unclear and, perhaps incorrect. I was shocked (and, frankly, pretty darn pissed) to see that not one of my corrections was included in the book. The result? A rule book that is still unprofessional, confusing, and incorrect. The PRB and PRD should be ashamed of themselves.
Rally as we know it was about to completely fall apart because organizers (who, let us not forget, are perhaps the most important volunteers in this entire program) were not happy with the way the PRD was administering the series. Thankfully Doug Havir and Rally America stepped in to calm the tide, but for how long? Have we addressed the core issues that spurred this uprising in the first place?
I think your final question is quite telling. "How might the Guiding Vision be better conveyed to the membership?" Here's a lesson in change management. Telling people what they are getting does little to get buy in, especially when the perception is that you are taking something away from the membership that they already have.
Mark, I am more than happy to discuss with you how I believe this can be done. You can contact me off line if you wish. I will not, however, spend the time doing this online. After spending time trying to help this sport only to be summarily ignored, I'm no longer going to waste my time with people or organizations that don't really want the help.
>>Personally I would like to see more emphasis placed on creating more >club rally events.
>To my knowledge there is still not a decent ClubRally Site
>Acquistion Plan available and this alone would be the
>biggest step in acheiving more ClubRallies. A problem for
>organizers starting new events has been obtaining road-use
>permits, especially hard in urban sprawl areas. A 'real'
>ClubRally Site Acquistion Plan with demographics of possible
>economic benefits generated to the local community,
>environmental impact studies, and whatever else a potential
>landowner/land manager/special permit officer would want to
>see while promoting that a rally would be benefitial to the
>area and some favorable references from previous National
>Forest, state agencies and timber companies who have allowed
>us use of the roads. Maybe even a CD version of the plan.
I called National many many months ago about demographic/economic data for rally. Never got a response. Supposedly, there is some of this that exists.
Luckily, in Tennesse, there has been a recent OHV study (not us, but close) which details local impact. Based upon rally numbers from personal experience, we are talking about a minimum of $50K into the economy from a 35 competitor Club Rally event.
I'm am currently using the OHV model to try to sell rally to a number of small communities (like 100AW does), based upon economic impact, which in turn allows the local Chamber to press landowners.
So, if the SCCA is serious about expanding rally in the US, this is exactly the information they need to be able to provide.
>Its just that the SCCA isn't trying. They already have your
>membership fee, inflated license fees and inflated sanction
>fees you must pay organizers to offset the PRD cost. But
>they'd still like to deface your car with Fram, Sunoco and
>Hawk decals anyway.
That's the problem with an amateur organization . . . it feeds off of the membership, not the sponsors.