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2010 MEET SCHEDULE PROPOSAL - FEEDBACK PLEASE
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« on: October 29, 2009, 08:47:19 pm »

This is the proposal for the meets to be arranged in 2010. NOW IT'S FEEDBACK TIME! Are we covering enough of the meets you would be interesting in? Are the dates ok, or did we manage to put in a meet on a significant holiday...? Representing a team, but finding that this schedule conflicts with your own planned events? Whatever is on your mind, please speak up and I'll see what I can do to accomodate your wishes.

Feedback is welcome until Sunday November 8th. After that the draft will either be finalized based on your feedback or a new draft presented for another round.

A few notes about the thoughts behind the proposal:

  • We're starting meets later this year than usual, the reason for this break is to make a bona fide attempt to finally roll out the reborn Virtualmeet.net (aka version 2) and to give some time for bug fixes etc.
  • The first weightlifting meet is pushed all the way to April and there's one less than in 2009. Virtualmeet has grown out of a close-knit powerlifting circle and honestly we've done very little to spread the good word in weightlifting circles. This year the one thing I want to focus especially on is to get the weightlifting side of things properly started. Those of us here are evidence enough that Virtualmeet is a great idea, but let's face it: the threshold to compete is pretty high as long as there is little precedent.
  • Co-jointly with the first weightlifting meet of the year in April, we are introducing team competitions. One of the new features in version 2 is the ability form teams (which can mirror real-world teams/gyms or be completely virtual spanning any borders) and as in traditional meets it will become possible to score points for one's team too. The details of how this will work will be forthcoming.
  • In the spirit of trying something new every year, this year we'll finally give the kettlebells a go. If the May meet turns out to be a success, we can consider adding one or two more of those later in the year.
  • The second Gathering is confirmed to be held again at Toffe's Gym in Vaasa, Helsinki. This time we'll go at it on August 20-22 (meet day Saturday 21st). It will be an evening powerlifting meet with metal smashing through the torch illuminated darkness followed by a midnight sauna etc. If there are weightlifters interested in attending, this meet will be preceded by a weightlifting meet. Of course, the Gathering will again tie into virtualmeets (both powerlifting and weightlifting) so if you can't make it on location you can do the next best thing.  Smiley
  • Finally, let's redo the Challenge meet and see how it plays out this year. I'm all for ensuring that there are both the staple meets and more "fun" events on the palette.


VIRTUALMEET 2010 MEET SCHEDULE PROPOSAL (draft 1)

FEBRUARY 12-14: Push-pull

MARCH 19-21: Military bench

APRIL 2-4: Weightlifting (+ INTRODUCING TEAM MEETS)

APRIL 23-25: Powerlifting

MAY 21-23: Kettlebell challenge

JUNE 25-27: Bench press

AUGUST 20-22: Powerlifting/Weightlifting weekend + THE SECOND GATHERING, TOFFE'S GYM, VAASA, FINLAND

SEPTEMBER 17-19: Military bench for reps

OCTOBER 15-17: Challenge meet 2010

NOVEMBER 5-7: Powerlifting

NOVEMBER 26-28: Weightlifting

DECEMBER 10-12th: Bench press
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Warren Djemal
Lifter
 
United Kingdom United Kingdom Male 88 posts
WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 10:46:46 am »

I like the idea of cutting down the WL meets and promoting them more, and the team meets are a great idea if you can get the numbers.

How much bench press do we need though? Including the powerlifting and the push-pull, 8 out of 12 meets include benching or military benching. If there's going to be single lift events, I would rather see a more deadlift, squat, front squat or overhead press competitions for variety.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 01:21:04 pm »

Warren, very good points. I don't expect there to be very many teams for the first team competitions, but that's when teams will start to get noted for their participation and they can start collecting team points etc. But one needs to start somewhere. Smiley

I also see your point regarding the bench press. The main reason for this is that Virtualmeet currently caters for not only powerlifters and weightlifters but also bench pressers. When I make the yearly schedule, I always try to view it from the perspective of these three groups to see whether there's enough meets evenly spread out for each. Of course there's some overlap (eg. powerlifters often do bench press meets), but the big issue is that there's many benchers out there who due to injuries cannot squat or deadlift. In that sense, two regular bench meets seems like about the minimum. The second issue is the introduction of the military bench for both max weight and reps. I added one each of those since the lift seems to be growing a yet small but dedicated following. With the schedule being planned a full year in advance, it's also pretty hard to say how many people would be affected by cutting down on the dedicated bench meets.

The one meet I'm personally starting to feel is a bit redundant is the push-pull and I would not mind terribly to cut that one out. Perhaps replace that with a deadlift only meet? I also really like the idea of introducing more variety, particularly the overhead press carries a lot of appeal. Perhaps one way of lessening the total amount of benching would be to add in other meet options that also those who are unable to do a full powerlifting or weightlifting meet can do?

Creating the schedule is a really tricky equation and feedback like this is worth its weight in gold. There is a clear tension between trying to provide enough "staple meets" to meet the needs of the three different groups for the next year AND to try out new stuff to create some exciting variety. Then add in the question of how many meets one can realistically hold over a year and a wild guess about whether the site will grow some more after version 2 is out and I start putting serious effort back into growing it (I'm the first to admit that 2009 was really mostly about a gigantic coding effort with the site clearly suffering from it).

But it is not a given that we must cater to all of these groups nor that we should be arranging military bench events. With the addition of challenge meets and kettlebells we are indeed increasingly going into the direction of providing a real smorgasbord of events that suits a more diverse audience. Provided there is a demand for this, it will long-term probably result in an increase in the total number of meets for a year.

Anyone got any thoughts or suggestions how to take it from here?
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Nico Feliciano
Lifter
 
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Male 8 posts
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 09:54:32 pm »

I am new here and I hope to hit a few of your 2010 meets. I will be active in the powerlifting and bench meets. I am trying to recruit more local lifters as well. Thank you for having me and making so many virtual meets available
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 10:53:41 pm »

Nico,

It's truly my honor to have you here. One of the driving ideas behind this site is to create a virtual platform where both rank beginners and Elite lifters can feel at home and respected. As a member of the latter group, I am sure that you will become an inspiration to many of us. Best of luck with your training, I'm looking forward to having you around.  Smiley

P.S. For those of you not familiar with Nico, here's an informative interview and here's your destination at YouTube.
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Warren Djemal
Lifter
 
United Kingdom United Kingdom Male 88 posts
WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2009, 12:04:55 pm »

I wasn't aware there was a separate group that only bench! I'm the exception to the normal, I'll do anything but. My shoulders are beat up, so I don't compete in any bench meets (nor can I back squat pain- free). Of course I'm the exception to the norm, most people will continue to bench even if they are hurting.

I agree the push-pull is a little redundant, as the full PL meets will always attract more interest. The kettlebells are a great idea, perhaps something similar to the RKC snatch challenge, or max reps in 5 minutes? The judges probably wouldn't like this though if the turnout is big.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2009, 12:49:54 pm »

Thanks for clarifying. I now see that while we cater quite well for those with low-back problems, there is indeed not that many options for someone with shoulder issues due to the ever-presence of the bench. I think the first thing we can do about that is to indeed get rid of the push-pull for now and replace it with a deadlift only meet. Like you say, it's never been as popular as the powerlifting meets and those who cannot squat (say due to knee injuries) can still find their fix in the deadlift only and bench only meets.

This also makes me think we could consider having the members send in their wishes for the meet schedule when we do this again next year. Perhaps something along the lines of "I'd like to compete in the following meets: January: powerlifting meet, June: challenge meet, November: powerlifting meet"...? This would give me a reasonable idea of when everyone wants to compete and what meets are most in demand. Of course, as long as we decide to support every one of these sports, I will make sure we don't drop any type of meets just because the group interested in those is smaller than those doing other meets. But obviously, we don't have to offer as many options for those who don't need them.

Also, thanks for the great suggestions about the kettlebell meet. I see your point about the judging overhead for rep-based/time-based lifts. On the other hand there would only be one attempt sent in for each. In a pinch, we can also get together two judging teams to split the load among them.

Thanks, good food for thought here.  Smiley
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Nico Feliciano
Lifter
 
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Male 8 posts
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 09:02:09 pm »

Thank you brother. I am here to learn from all of you. My performance is not what it used to be since I had shoulder surgery Feb 2009 but I am working on it. Raw is a different game all together. MY respect goes to anyone that gets PRs regardless. We are all iron brothers and sisters. Thank you again for providing the virtual platform for us to unite in our common interest.

Up the iron Smiley
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 07:23:02 pm »

The 2010 meet schedule has now been finalized! Time to start planning.  Smiley
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