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An Informal Look at AMA C Class (lengthy post)

Discussion in 'MX/SX General' started by jrminiquad, May 25, 2017.

  1. jrminiquad

    jrminiquad PR Member

    Location:
    Salem, OH
    Although it has been discussed and debated for years, and seems to pop up every season, I actually took an informal, but in depth, look at the AMA area qualifiers to see if C class sandbagging is as common and widespread as made out to be.

    What prompted this was an observation at the Malvern area qualifier for the Loretta Lynn’s National Championship where an A-class rider signed up to race and qualify in the 450C class. The rider was quickly recognized by a fellow racer and after speaking with the track referee, was disqualified for the day.

    Looking at results after the same area qualifier I did a quick Google search of a rider that finished in first place in two C classes. This rider was from Canada and I easily had found out he raced in 250B and 450B classes in Canada a total of thirty times last year (winning two thirds of those races). The AMA looked into it and deemed that he was ineligible to race C class. Their statement was that once you race a higher class race in the same style of competition, regardless of location, that is where you stay.

    Moving on, I referenced the AMA’s 2016 B class Advancement list that is issued at the end of every season to alert what riders are being moved from C to B class because of either participation in the national or because their Rider Performance Value (RPV) was high enough to bump them to the next level of competition.

    What I found was that there were a total number of nineteen riders who had qualified in one or more C classes at one or more area qualifiers who should have been racing B class. Their names were either on the AMA’s advancement list, last revised in December, or they had raced in at least one B class race last year.

    Some of these riders raced in only one area qualifier, while others raced in up to four qualifiers trying to secure a qualifying position to advance to regionals. A few still did not qualify in some of their classes, while others swept whatever classes they raced.

    The AMA also has a “Rider Search” function as part of their website. It is here that you can look up racers who have competed in AMA events and is also where the AMA pulls the information to assign the riders’ RPV number. It was here that I found that seventeen of the nineteen advanced riders who were racing C classes, had appealed their B class advancement and had it approved by the AMA.

    According to the AMA, the appeal process consists of paying a $50 fee, filling out a form, and having a review by a three member panel. One of the things they take into consideration is how many years the rider has been racing in C classes, and of the appeals granted, most riders have been racing C for three to five years.

    Once the AMA makes their ruling on an appeal it is final, and may not be appealed again. Of interesting note is the following taken from the AMA completion rulebook regarding rider classification appeal:

    e. Riders who wish to contest placement, are only those who are considered completely noncompetitive in the class they are leaving and won’t dominate the class in which they are returning.



    h. The AMA Appeal Board reserves the authority to re-evaluate and overturn an advancement/

    classification appeal decision based upon new information and / or documented race results

    within six months of the Appeal Board’s decision.


    On the surface it seems the advancement system is in place to serve riders who enjoy racing and occasionally finishing in a top spot, but who may not be of the talent required to make it to the national. However, that does not seem to be the case and in complete opposition to section “e” regarding noncompetive riders when some of these approved appeal riders have swept their four areas qualifier classes with finishes of first place in each. In reality, all seventeen riders who had their advancements repealed by the AMA qualified in the area qualifiers to advance to regionals. It makes you wonder what documentation they included in their appeals process that made the AMA believe that they were “noncompetitive” in their class.

    The AMA touts that they have a system in place to ensure that competition is fair in their sanctioned races and the road to Loretta’s. You might even remember an article they published at the beginning of this year titled “A is A, B is B and C is C” reiterating the monitoring of rider classification. The only part that seemed to be left out of that article is that if you didn’t like your classification, $50 could buy the one you want. The AMA’s 2016 Advancement list had a total of 99 riders who were advanced to B class because the RPV number exceeded the allowable limit to stay in C class. Of this total, 25 riders appealed and were approved to continue racing C class.

    Old-timers will tell you it was a bit of an honor to receive word from the AMA that you were being bumped up a class because of your riding abilities. Many argue that C classes should not be offered at the national. I can see the argument for that, but at the same time you want to build the sport and a sure way to do that is including the C classes at the national.

    Bottom line, and everyone should be willing to admit it, it all comes down to money. Whether you are MX Sports requiring the “Qualifying Fee” at races, E-Score bumping up the price of transponders at regionals, the RV site raffle at the national, or the dad driving his kid to four area qualifiers across the country just trying to get into one spot.

    In summary, it seems to be that everything that has been repeated each season regarding “sandbagging” appears to have merit, and looks to be actually be promoted by AMA.
     
    Ron505, honda907, Vet261 and 7 others like this.
  2. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    740
    I'm tapping out of this one early. This topic is worse than political topics.motopolitco.
     
  3. John250

    John250 PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Xenia, Ohio
    Racing Number:
    250
    Nice "I" Team investigative reporting. Proving everything most of us already knew.

    Now.....Knox's response in 3........2.......1.......
     
    ChubbyCat113 and hershey like this.
  4. jrminiquad

    jrminiquad PR Member

    Location:
    Salem, OH
    I figured it was going to be a tight race on who was going to chime in first...
     
    GeorgiePorgie likes this.
  5. MxFreedom33

    MxFreedom33 PR Elite

    Location:
    Sheffield Lake, OH
    Racing Number:
    33
    Some guys take a lot of pride in being the fastest slowest guy. C class heros I call them. I myself, don't understand it. I'd rather be a slow B rider then a fast C rider. Unfortunately 9 times out of 10 the top 5 at minimum in the C class are B riders. C class is Novice.. Novice riders don't whip, they don't scrub, and they don't jump everything on the track. Stop chasing plastic and MOVE UP. People like that are one of the reasons racing numbers are down. End rant.
     
  6. hershey

    hershey PR Elite

    Location:
    Ozone Layer
    Racing Number:
    01
    Zzzzzzzz
     
  7. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    740
    These threads usually take a turn for the entertainment factor after one Moto dad reads some posts and then takes everything personally when nobody really care to name names because it's a generality with the C class.

    But the rules are gray. And if you're within the rules and pay your appeal and yada yada, good on ya. Go race C class.


    And, great start to the thread because it's just filled with facts. I can't find how anyone could get offended. But don't worry thats where the mxperts come in. I'm sure some feathers will get ruffled and mid next week the pitch forks will be out full force for the winner of this weekends c class at the battle.
     
    ChubbyCat113 and hershey like this.
  8. MX099

    MX099 PR Addict

    Location:
    Oil City, PA
    Racing Number:
    7
    Last week the rider that finished 2nd in 250B at the GNCC in Indiana is a MX Pro Card Holder. The AMA isn't looking to correct these issues unless someone else does the leg work.
     
    honda907, Bill480, jpelaston and 2 others like this.
  9. John250

    John250 PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Xenia, Ohio
    Racing Number:
    250
    It is pretty simple in my opinion. If your AMA card has a number for years memberbership larger than "3", then your NOT eligible to qualify for Loretta Lynns in the C class.

    See how easy it is to fix the issue when your an "expert".
     
    honda907 and hershey like this.
  10. jrminiquad

    jrminiquad PR Member

    Location:
    Salem, OH
    In full disclosure, my son is a C-class racer. After making it to regionals in the mini division last year, but failing to advance to the national, he asked that we sell his small bike and move to a 250 four stroke. I reluctantly agreed, but after a few weeks on the 250 he won his first race, and realized maybe he made the right choice. He went on to race a handful of races last year and his goal is to try for the nationals in 2017.

    My son made the decision before this season began that he will self-advance to B class regardless of what happens at regionals this year, and like the old-timers will find a small sense of pride in being able to say he is a B rider. After all, this is supposed to be just for fun, except for maybe the .01 percentile that will actually make a living out of it.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  11. MX955

    MX955 PitRacer Pro

    Location:
    Waterford,Pa.
    Racing Number:
    955
  12. john lilly

    john lilly PR Addict

    Location:
    Canton
    Racing Number:
    548
    Well, if I base it on that pic, my son is an "A" rider...lol
     
    Original44 likes this.
  13. owndjoo

    owndjoo PR Member

    Racing Number:
    852
    Do they still automatically put kids in B after competing a year in Mini Sr? I quit racing while running 85's, and came back 6 years later on a 250F and was autoclassed to B. My rare racing every few years and not being competitive, now I'm listed as C. I never asked to be reclassed. I'm fine with it for now, as I am relearning (It's been over 10 years since I came back on the 250f for a race). I just race Vet class now anyway.
     
  14. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    740
    Doesnt matter vet classes are open skill level.
     
  15. owndjoo

    owndjoo PR Member

    Racing Number:
    852
    Sometimes I ride 250 or open as an extra class, so I ride C.
     
  16. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    740
    That's funny they auto classed you to B. Mini riders usually never go from super mini straight to B for whatever reason around Ohio. Couple of us did 15 years ago. But the majority went to C. And they didn't make it to lorettas in c anyway. Usually the excuse is "we didn't move straight to B because we are trying to lorettas." If that's the first thing that comes to mind chances are you aren't going to make it. And no shame in not making it. Regionals are still wicked competitive and you can do it in one weekend as opposed to all week.
     
  17. owndjoo

    owndjoo PR Member

    Racing Number:
    852
    It was definitely a while ago, 2000 time frame. We had a wicked group of mini racers then that ended up as pros. It's crazy looking back now at all the battles we had, to the careers they had/are having. (Gracyk, Grabiel, Bowers, Browning, Ames, Willard, etc) definitely was a stacked group. I went and got my district card in '06 and it was MX-B. It was pretty funny trying to remember how to ride dirt after years of road racing.
     
    GeorgiePorgie likes this.
  18. GeorgiePorgie

    GeorgiePorgie PR Founding Father

    Location:
    Ohio the 440
    Racing Number:
    740
    That coupled with all the d5 kids. This region was fasaaaaast.
     
  19. Erek Kudla

    Erek Kudla Noob

    Location:
    Baltimore, OH
    Racing Number:
    363
    That is actually legal within the AMA rules. by AMA rules, an MX Pro racer is considered MX A in amateur competition. As an MX A rider your classification can vary 1 skill level between disciplines. So he is legal to race Off-Road B.

    The ONLY leg work you have to do for me to correct it is to tell me and show proof and they're out.
     
    MX099 likes this.
  20. honda907

    honda907 PR Addict

    Location:
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania, United States
    Racing Number:
    04


    Are you sure? I read this as "A" is "A". But maybe MX isn't included. Who knows. Ambiguous, like most rules by the AMA.......


    From the rules of the GNCC......

    1. Riding Out Of Class: Riders must compete in their designated or assigned skill level and may not “ride down” at the GNCC, i.e., riders that compete at the “A” or “B” level in any other series or events must compete at the “A” or “B” level in GNCC. This applies to AMA and non-AMA sanctioned events. Riders determined to be riding out of class will be removed from the race results and prohibited from competing further in such class, and the class rescored. Objections to class eligibility must be supported by data and will be accepted up to 48 hours after results are posted. Email objections to results@gnccracing.com.



    BTW, I thought it was a very well written read. Thank you for posting. Shows why the sport has no pros in it anymore.....
     
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