Pay for what you get (Closed for comments)

Comments about this discussion:


"Pay for what you get" was highlighted during European committee meeting.  It think it shall apply especially for Unicon, but also for other conventions.
The point is to reduce costs either for participants and hosts. It will reduce number of participants in competitions and time needed to run them.

Shall we work out regulation for that?


Another problem is the host responsibility. If host fail with organizing competition or other thing that one payed for (e.g. XC race in San Sebastian) than shall refund it. It sound quite hard, cases shall be closely specified. If there are requirements for competitions and host does not keep to them than it is a point for warranty claim - refund. Let's say the 10k course will be 9.5k, than there shall not be excuse for host. The different situation is if the race is closed due to safety reasons that were unpredictable due to natural phenomena (e.g. thunder storm) or due to lack of experience, guidelines (people crossing during Marathon race). 


Can you explain what is "pay for what you get" ?


 He means that if you want to compete in trials Street and flat at Unicon  at registration you would only pay a monetary amount per competition that you signed up for. The money that you paid at registration for each particular competition would only go towards that competition. And if a Unicon host failed to run a particular competition that you paid for, your money would be returned.


I think this could be a good idea for small competitions. But I do not think this will work on the Unicon level


In reality, there would still have to be a "base" registration fee that applied to all riders. This would cover all the stuff that must be provided regardless of events entered. Maybe like the Non-Competitor fee we have now. Possibly some competition events would be included automatically; perhaps the low-cost ones like Track (though possibly not, since they might be overcrowded).

Then other events entered would be paid separately. To enter a large number of disciplines would cost more. Hopefully this would help riders focus on the events they were really good at, and cut down on the hours of waiting to ride the Downhill course, for example.

There are many possible ways to work this, but we must consider the many pros and cons of such a system. Much of that depends on how it is implemented; the devil would be in the details. Potentially it could help us to have focused competitions of top riders that were more fun to watch, didn't take all day to complete, and might even allow non-competitive versions of the same events to be held just for fun. Like a Downhill course that's just open for fun rides (after the comp), or possibly even to ride it non-competitively and still get a time, to compare with your fellow riders.

But with reduced ridership in many events, the registration costs for them alone might not be enough to cover their awards. They might have to be subsidized from the main budget. Also the cost of facilities to run the events should probably come from the main budget, because all the spectators and "fun riders" will benefit from those facilities as well.

People who want to ride the courses for fun could also be charged a smaller fee, to help pay for the venues, awards, etc.

Much as I like to compete in many disciplines, I have avoided some at large competitions like Unicon because I don't want to spend half a day waiting around to race for a few minutes. To have a focused competition of the top riders, that's short enough to be a good entertainment event, would be great to combine with the time to ride the courses for fun.

If we attempt this, what I would like to see is the addition of non-competitive rides, such as guided Muni trail rides, city tours or workshop-like sessions to learn Urban skills, or similar.

I don't know if a "pay for play" model can be made to work, but it could be an interesting experiment to try and figure it out.

Penalizing Hosts for intentional break-downs:
This could be difficult to legislate, but might be a way for the IUF to have recourse if events end up not happening for the wrong reasons. If a race is cancelled due to bad weather, there would be no penalty. But if it were cancelled, or inferior, due to lack of planning, negligence, etc., there could be a fine levied against the host, with the intent to deter them from letting this happen.


"perhaps the low-cost ones like Track"

This was probably the most expensive competition because of the demands of the competitors to have Tissot do the time keeping.


I think it's a horrible idea. From an organizer point of view it would be extremely difficult to make a budget.
From a rider point of view, many don't so much money to go to Unicon and compete and for them it's their chance to compete in many events.
Most riders enter many events so I don't see how this would be an advantage as riders would most probably end up paying more for their registration fee.


I completetly agree with Emile. 


Maksym points out that this was "highlighted" in the European Committee. This idea was indeed mentioned at the one meeting that the EC has had so far. Opinions were mixed and nothing has been decided.

We have had this differentiated system for a few years in our Dutch Nationals: a base fee plus a fee per entered competition. The idea was indeed to have participants focus on their core disciplines. It appeared to NOT have that effect. So we have gone back to a flat fee. This is easier for us as an organisation, and it does not generate more or less money.

At Unicons, the travel cost for virtually all competitors overwhelms the participant fee, so I doubt that a differentiated fee would make a difference in numbers of competitors, but it would only make matters more complicated.


You would have to make a budget for every comp based on the number of rider fees.. that sounds like a lot more work for hosts then necessary.


@Emile: "This was probably the most expensive competition because of the demands of the competitors to have Tissot do the time keeping."

Wow! Back in the day, we used stopwatches.  :-)  I think we got good value for money though; those Swiss Unicycle Timing people seemed to do an amazing job, and I hope we can afford them in the future. Don't know how much of their specialized equipment can travel by air, to places such as South Korea though.

@Phil: "You would have to make a budget for every comp based on the number of rider fees."

Realistically, that would probably never work, and hosts would probably have to design their budgets based on estimated attendance. Even more realistically, if we were to try something like that, the fees for event entry would end up just being a part of the overall budget. I would hope not to ask competitors to pay more, just to cover the cost of awards. We don't compete for the objects that are presented to us at the end; we compete for the honor of achieving the best possible results we can manage.

Yes, the awards top riders receive should be nice. I also prefer that they be somewhat unique (specific to that championship), but don't want to subject future hosts to  higher costs. Sticking with awards for only 1-3 place saves money as well as time (at award ceremonies) though I would also be okay for the option of hosts to offer more. That option already exists of course, though I'm not sure if hosts realize it.


I honesty think this is currently is a non-issue. This whole concept. I can't really come up with any significant gains that could be made by switching to a system like this. 

But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise


This is also highlited every two years by several germans because they do it for some events here but it is not possible to compare those events with a Unicon or a Continental championship.

@ John: Emile point the track race out as the most expensive event. They had the option to get the swiss racing team but this would have been even more exensive. They do an excelent job but this is not a cheap service as it needs a lot of people and equipment and oversee traveling cost come on top.

@ Maksym: In general I agree that a host should have some responsibilty but this will come together with becoming much more proffessional then which come together then with higher cost per Rider. In proffessional Sports the sportsmen are financial supported by their federations and the complete sport is a proffessional busines, in unicycling its completely different and most of the participants has to pay the complete event by themself. Also to become more proffessional means to lost a lot of the unicycling spirit as you can see in other similar sports which grow and then also split into the pfoffessional part and those who want to keep the sport as it was before. I know several riders who do unicycling because it is different to other sports. This go along with the old discussion about unicycling and Olympic games. A great Idea but it means also that one out of more then 20 disciplines would make it and the rest not like in BMX for example.

It should be also keep in mind how difficult it is to find a Unicon Host at all, usually we have one or maximum two proposals for a Unicon as it is a lot of work and a financial risk covered by nobody. Even with our slightly growing IUF Budget we are far away from covering that risk actually, maybe in the future this will be an option. We learn from every Unicon and try hard to implement all experience into the next one but it is not an easy task at all and if a host would be financial responsible for mistakes, I bet we end at 0 proposals for a Unicon in the end. X/C in SPain is a good sample. It was for sure far away from beeing perfect organized but also local people affect it as they delete markings after they was placed to destroy the race. So is the host then 50% responsible and some stupif private people nobody knows for the other 50%? Will some volounteers who did a bad job be also responsible? To reach that target you need a proffessional host with hired judges / observers / team. This would provide participant cost for a Unicon up to 400 to 600 Euro per person for sure.

How ever, pay for what you get sounds good but wont work for a Unicon or similar events, the only thing I maybe can inagine is to have for some very expensinve events an On Top fee to make it a bit cheaper for the others but we talk here about 20 to 30 Euro maybe which is in no relation to the cost you have to travek and stay at Unicon.


"I honesty think this is currently is a non-issue. This whole concept. I can't really come up with any significant gains that could be made by switching to a system like this."


The significant benefit that I can see is reducing the number of competitors in an event who don't take the event seriously enough to ever practice.

This will reduce the strain on volunteers as they won't need to run an event for 6 hours when if we only had riders who were somewhat serious about the event should take 3.

The extra volunteers who are not getting smashed or are not needed may be more likely to help out in another event therefore leading to more volunteers per competitor.


Does this make the pay to compete feasible? I am not sure, I think it would be incredibly hard to implement at a UNICON as it is so big. Additionally, it will probably fall over as trials judges cannot spend the time checking peoples registration status before giving them a piece of paper, and once they have that paper the judge will take it not knowing. This will happen in many events.

If it was going to be attempted I think events would still need to subsidize others, i.e. trials may cost 40x more than backwards slow race because of pallets but that doesn't mean you have to pay 40x more to take part in that.

You would need to work out total cost of unicon, how many competitors are going to compete at unicon, a rough estimate of how many events each person goes in and then divide that total cost by(competitors x events) That way everyone is paying a certain fee per event whether they are taking part in a cheap or expensive competition.

It should still have the effect of largely stopping people from taking part in events they don't really care about just because it is world championships.


I guess that the cost of travel and accomodation, and the base competitor fee, is on average about € 1000 per competitor, while the additional fee per event would probably be in the order of a few € or $. Would this small difference stop stop people participating for fun (i.e. non-seriously)? I doubt it.

This is in line with our experience at Dutch Nationals: with a differentiated fee system our competitors still did the same number of events, as I wrote earlier.


@Olaf: "This go along with the old discussion about unicycling and Olympic games. A great Idea but it means also that one out of more then 20 disciplines would make it and the rest not like in BMX for example."
I think the goal of Olympics is "baked into" the IUF's core purpose, but that need not prevent us from making great Unicons. If a small piece of unicycling could be added to the Olympics someday, that would be a great thing to grow our sport. But I don't think it's a reasonable goal for the short term, as we though it could be back in the 80s.

@Olaf: "It should be also keep in mind how difficult it is to find a Unicon Host at all, usually we have one or maximum two proposals for a Unicon as it is a lot of work and a financial risk covered by nobody."
Absolutely! This cannot be overstated. Even if the idea of this discussion goes somewhere, I would expect it to be an optional way for a convention to be structured, and not expected to be the only way. There are too many things that could scare away excellent convention hosts.

Same applies to things like a fine for things that go wrong. In the example of the XC races, it was an unexpected circumstance that hikers (I will assume it was hikers) took down enough course markings to "break" the course. Clearly this was not the fault of the host, but at the same time, hindsight tells us that there was sure to be an issue where our race course blended with and crossed a very popular hiking trail. We learned that for it to work, we would have needed multiple people along those parts of the course to guide hikers and make sure the course marking were intact and sufficient.

@Klaas: "...the base competitor fee, is on average about € 1000 per competitor, while the additional fee per event would probably be in the order of a few € or $. Would this small difference stop stop people participating for fun (i.e. non-seriously)? I doubt it."
I would not expect that ratio of costs to deter anyone from entering more events, you would have to charge more (probabaly a lot more) for it to actually deter people, but that brings a lot of uncertainty to how much to charge. You have to make sure you cover costs, but if you can't predict how many people will enter each event, it would be a very big guess.

Perhaps a better way to limit "overparticpation" in some events is to have qualifiers, or limits of competitors by country. Both would also be complicated and hard to do, but would both be cheaper. Would they be worth it to cut down on giant amounts of participation? Hard to know. Probably applies mostly to Unicons held in Europe, at this point, where we get the really big crowds.

Indeed, another way to possibly cut down on competition entries is to offer "games" or "fun rides" that would be a sufficient substitute for many casual riders. I miss having organized Muni rides, workshops and games at these big conventions. At this point in my own unicycling experience, I think I'd rather go on a recreational group ride on some beautiful trails than do a race or two that involve half a day or more of waiting. Also, I am willing and prepared to help make such events happen if future hosts want to do them.  :-)


If you want to "deter" people from entering non-seriously in "too many" competitions, the additional fee per event would indeed have to be significant. This would make attendance very costly for those riders who enter in a lot of events in a serious way. Also, to remain budgettary neutral, the base price would then have to be very low, which I consider also undesirable.

In short, I don't see a meaningful way to do this fee differentiation.


I totally agree with Emile. I think this is so much more work than it's worth, if even possible, and would only help a select group of competitors, and only at Unicon.


I think you and Emile are right, it's messy, and not necessarily a solution to the original problem, which is overcrowding of events at large competitions. If people are interested, we should start a fresh discussion on possible ways to deal with hundreds of entrants in some events, which make them take a very long time to run.


I think that would be useful John


It is fair to pay what you get.
Why should a young starter doing only a low-cost group freestyle performance pay the same amount as a multi-talented star doing all expensive disciplines.

We practice this fair payment-method at all German and Bavarian Championships and it works well and is very much appreciated.
As registration is done online, the fee is calculated automatically with no problem at all.

It saves children from exhaustion and frustration, caused by parents saying 'do everything because we paid for everything'.


John is right, we shouldnt mixup stuff. The problem of "anybody participate in anything" is different from "pay what you get". The option to disqualify a rider who not appear to more then one competition he signed in for helps already a lot, serious qualifications, at least for nationals, continentals and Unicons would help even more but we still dont have a working system for qualifications beside of track races.

Pay what you get is a nice idea for sure but in a global view the reality for a host is very different. In Germany for example a host often get the gym and the track for free or for a very small fee from the city. In other countrys you can very fast pay 2000 - 10000 Euro to rent facilities like that for 3 days+
Beside this there is a difference between a convention like Unicon is and a pure championship. For a Unicon as a sample the participants fee is by far the smallest ammount you have to pay. We see over the last year that cheap beds was only avyiliable for the full 2 weeks. So if you pay for your trip and for bed and food, what is the advantage you get from pay what you get? As you has still to pay for the event itself you maybe have to pay then 80€ instead of 160€ and yes, 80€ is a lot of money but you already had to invest about 500@ or more to go tjhere and another 500€ or more to stay there so its 1160€ or 1080 Euro we talking about. I think it should be always in the hosts hands to define the participant cost. We already had implemented the "pay by event" feature into the IUF registration system so every host can use it if he think it works for him / his event but if not, he shouldnt be forced to use it, especially not a Unicon host. 

At some Unicons the small groups would be shocked what they would have had to pay in relation to others based on the rent cost for the gym. The host still needs the full amount of money to pay the event so some would get an advantage but some would be very surprised of their cost. 

Beside this, no rule will prevent children from strange decissions their parents do for them!

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