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Posts posted by Thornaby48

  1. I am sure some speedway will take place this year but nothing of any significance. Why dont we take this opportunity to experiment with new (and old) ideas?Why not try handicap racing , or perhaps changing the points scored in races to 4,3,2,0 to encourage team riding just as in the pairs competition ,what about trying out the old 13 heat+ second half used in the 70s.? Perhaps teams of 6 riders each or maybe 8  riders to bring more juniors along. Teams could have mini leagues of say 3 teams racing each other twice trying out a new formula ,which if sucessful could be used next year.

  2. I also think it's a daft idea ,when we can clearly see what is happening. Also, would we be able to hear above the noise of the bikes, plus in some parts of a stadium we cannot always hear the race result being announced. Might it also cause noise problems with the neighbours?

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    • Thanks 1

  3. Speed way has never made a serious attempt at automatic promotion and relegation ,so why not try it now? It's recognised that there isn't the massive difference in standards between the Premier and Championship Leagues that there used to be . The 1st division ( Premier League) could be the existing 7 teams plus the top 3 from the Championship and the 2nd division(Championship League) could add 2 teams from the National League or elsewhere. Promotion and relegation would be the top2 teams up with the bottom 2 relegated. This is assuming that all this years teams still run.

    The season would open ,as suggested ,with a regionalised competition  involving mixing all teams and the end of the season with a Ko cup likewise.

    This would mean that doubling up would have to end and if the scourge of guests persisted ,then they would come from the opposite league and not their own.

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  4. On 10/2/2018 at 12:53 AM, Tapeworm said:

    Okay, I confess that I haven’t thought this right through. But I would welcome the input of any other radical free-thinkers who think that this aspect of British speedway needs a major review.

    I can understand that the current system leads to an evening out of strengths during the annual team-building but in which other sport are participants penalised for improving their performance (average) by becoming less attractive for re-selection? Can you imagine a top football team being forced to let go a striker because he scored too many goals in the previous season? Or “Sorry, I can’t select you for the Ryder Cup team as you’ve won too much money!” This is plainly ridiculous.

    The current system also lends itself to manipulation. Who has not harboured suspicions at the tail end of a season when certain riders suddenly under-perform against expectations, or experience sudden illnesses, or are the victims of an unusually high level of mechanical failures, or ride across centre greens, or engage in gardening with the bike facing the wrong way, or fail to make the 2 minutes, or blatantly crash through the tapes? And who doesn’t feel gutted for the rider who is sacked because his average is too high to fit within a team change? And what about assets on loan to rival teams unexpectedly experiencing a significant loss of form only to return to their home team next year with a lowered average? It all stinks.

    So, what other system could we employ? I wouldn’t advocate an unrestricted free-for-all or speedway might eventually follow football by being owned by absentee millionaires or foreign oligarchs. Some sort of control would be beneficial for the common good.

    An American “draft” system would not work as riders might not be willing to ride for the team which picks them for geographical, historical, financial or personality reasons.

    My suggestion, therefore, is to invoke a system based on riders’ ages. I haven’t analysed the spectrum of current riders’ ages but would envisage a possible format such that each team must comprise:-

    One rider younger than 18 at January 1st

    One rider younger than 21 at January 1st

    Two riders younger than 24 at January 1st

    Two riders younger than 30 at January 1st

    One rider older than 30 at January 1st

    Someone within our governing body could refine this outline but it should continue the aspiration to introduce younger riders to the higher leagues. With the abandonment of averages, more thought may have to be given to possible restrictions on riding order but why not simply make this a free choice for team managers? And, yes, I realise that each team ages by 7 years every season but all riders would not necessarily move up an age category so it might be possible to retain a winning line up for a couple of seasons………… in theory a team could comprise six 17 year olds and one 40 year old but managers would have to specify into which category each rider is nominated. Guests would have to fit the same category as the rider being replaced.

    Until Brexit is resolved, riders of any nationality could be allowed subject to obtaining a work permit, if required. This would dispense with debatable claims of a British licence/wife/granny.

    What does anyone else think?

    Like Tapeworm, I don't like rider control but it is a necessary evil. Speed way, unlike other major sports doesn't have strength in depth. Take football, it has hundreds of teams from pub teams to the Premier League with thousands of players, so the cream can rise to the top. Rugby likewise has thousands of players. When I played for West Hartlepool RFU we had 5 teams and I played in the 2 nd team. Cricket is another and sports like golf ,tennis and athletics have mass participants with the best rising to the top.

    Speed way does have a stepped structure from junior teams ,the NL, then CL and at the top PL.  But with 28 teams and about 250 riders ranging from novices to world class it is not possible to have  league's of teams with similar strength. Since we no longer have the traditional second halves the new riders are not coming through. In deed non of Redcars junior team have ridden in the first team. So without a points limit the rich teams would sign all the best riders and the PL would consist of maybe only 4 teams!

    Tapeworm idea was a bit like looking at a painting by Picasso----puzzling, but at least someone has raised the question.

    Like guest riders, the points limit is a necessary evil but needs some refining to stop  teams abusing the system. The only thing I can think of is to raise the points limit but I would like to see teams who raise a rider from novice to heat leader having some form of exemption so that they can keep them rather than being punished.




  5. 9 hours ago, waiheke1 said:

    Except the quality of racing in speedway gps is better than it was "back in the day."

    So I'm not sure what the parallels you are seeing are?

    Unless you mean sports with better quality racing are less popular than F1?

    If you genuinely think speedway hasnt always been a sport where first from the gate and best bikes is a massive advantage, maybe ask why Mauger won 6 world titles to peter Collins 1.

    The point I was making is that here is a sport (Formula 1) where billions of pounds is spent ,run by millionaire owners and drivers, massive sponsorship and tv coverage and attendances in the tens of thousands and yet some fans find the racing processional with little overtaking ( what do they expect when the fastest drivers start at the front of the grid ) and boring.So speedway  ,with its limited budget, is not the only sport where some of its fans complain about boring,processional racing. It was just an observation.

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  6. I was just reading the letters page of the Daily Express this morning and I saw a letter about  Formula One  racing having similar problems to speed way. I quote "What used to be motor racing has now been reduced to a fast procession, the cars often finishing in the order they started. Super-expensive machines overloaded with electronics, some of the best drivers in the world and the result? Total boredom." He goes on " But the FP3 and F2 races are great, fast and exciting.Young drivers really going for it, overtaking close racing,what F1 used to be before the dead- hand of engineering took over.


    Sounds familiar? Except F1 pulls in the British GP more fans in one meeting than speed way combined attracts in one season.

  7.  I see from last night's results that the Scunthorpe v Sheffield and Glasgow v Newcastle that all 4 teams used r/r. What happened to the rule that when both teams use r/r and or guests they ruled each other out and promote the no8?. 

    People say they want to see 7 riders in the team's and comment that next season there will be a shortage of riders, well the good book says (and I don't mean the BSPA  rule book)  "Reap what thy shalt sow" but if we don't give our no 8 a chance then the harvest of new talent will be very thin.

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  8. 34 minutes ago, oldtimer said:

    I have never understood why reserves are allowed 7 rides, it's a farce when a rider can be in nearly half the races. If you have two reserves with a max of 6 rides each, that would give you 2 rides each outside of their programme rides, if you had a rider injured in the first heat you have only got that riders 3 other rides to cover and you would still have a spare ride in the rare event of a reserve having a tactical ride.  

    Unless I am mistaken all riders can have 7 rides. 4 programmed rides,1 tac.sub.,1 r/r, and1 nominated rider. I do agree that this is too many rides for anyone.

  9. 4 hours ago, steve roberts said:

    Personally I feel that a meeting should consist of 20 heats whether that be of an extended match varirty or a junior match following the main event or such as something you suggest are all possible variations.

    Of course there are financial implications and/or rider commitments and/or fans enthusiasm to be considered.but personally I feel that 20 heats would offer better value for money.

    The danger with 20 matches is if a team is running away with the match it becomes very boring. I am in favour of the old "40-38" formula with interval after heat 13 followed by a second half.


    22 hours ago, cinderfella said:

    Got thinking back to the days of old 13 heat league matches followed by 5 or 6 further races in the 2nd half culminating in the Rider Of The Night Final.
    Why don't they bring back a National Rider Of The Night Final but with points awarded throughout the season with the rider with the most aggregate points at the end of the season winning something like a new machine, van etc.
    A scoring system awarding success at an away track (such as an extra point for reaching the final) could be introduced to make things interesting perhaps.
    Any thoughts?

    The good thing about the old system is that it allowed the reserves extra rides including the up and coming riders who got valuable experience against established riders. At Middlesbrough several riders came through the ranks like this. At Redcar  none of the current second  junior's have appeared in the team despite on the odd occasion being listed at no 8.

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  10. I think that most people will agree that to win away from home, in any sport, is quite difficult with the old adage "home advantage"  being true. In speed way tracks are different sizes, shapes and surfaces and so it is possibly even more difficult to get a good result. Therefore why not give away wins or draws extra points? I would suggest a system of 4 points home win, 2 for a home draw. Away win 6 points, 3 points for a draw and of course 0 points for defeats. Also give the away team 1 bonus point if they lose by 6 or less. When I have applied this system to the current league tables it hasn't made must difference position wise but does reflect the contribution a good away record makes to a team and could in the final run up to the season make a difference.

  11. 4 hours ago, moxey63 said:

    For starters, let's look at the actual staging of an average match. Majority I see on BT always run-over time. Can we not have a strategy in which there's no longer than five minutes between the heats. New fans and old alike don't like the wait between the heats. I used to see numbers of fans having to leave the stadium early after a drawn-out meeting and because they had to catch the bus. Not all have vehicles. Over two hours to do 15 heats is not good. That's one idea. I know accidents etc hold things up. But by aiming to get things done and out of the way within 90 minutes or so would be a start to make an evening seem more organised.


     I agree totally with what you say. According to the Speed way Regulation 2018  rule 15.2.1 and I quote "The time from finish of a heat to the start of the next not  exceeds 4 minutes( including the 2 minute time allowance)".

    Allowing 60 seconds for the race then a meeting should last about 75 minutes (assuming no hold ups). I do not understand why we need an interval after 10 heats to my mind its an unnecessary delay and should be after heat15  and before the after match racing. After all if a match is exciting a 15 minute break could break its momentum and if the match is a bore it only prolongs the agony.

    Here ,up in the frozen north east it can get chilly late on and any unnecessary delays are  not always welcome.

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  12. 21 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

    What about having a block scoring system for a missing rider? Just an idea, maybe a bad one, but based on points per match the missing rider averages, his team can either use rider replacement for him or the block scoring system in which the team is given the missing rider's points either before or after the match.  So, one of the top boys would get about 13 points a match from 5 starts, his side would already secure those missing points in his absence. It has its flaws, but just a way to clamp down on guests and rely on your own resources. At the end of the day, speedway fans are mainly interested who's going to stand-in for an absentee. Sometimes guests can be a lottery. At least this method would guarantee the missing man's usual score.  

    I can see your point but a rider cannot guarantee to ride to his average. How often do we see a heat leader score badly and a reserve get a very high score?

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  13. Tonight Redcar will be using 2 guests for the missing Anderson brothers, and I am not going. Had they used r/r and a guest then yes I would be there . I do not like guest riders but unfortunately in speed way they are a necessary evil but it has to be controlled. Use a guest for an injured no.1 only and limit the appearances to say 6 or 8meeting only and withdraw the facility three quarters of the way into the season so guests cannot influence  end of season play off positions.No guests for reserves, use the no8.

    I am very much in favour of the r/r system , you are at least watching your own riders. Wouldn't it be cheaper using r/r than paying for a guest?  However the system falls down because you are not replacing like for like, you are replacing a missing rider with riders of inferior average in many cases ,why not allow riders up to 2 r/r rides  to even it up.








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  14. I have never understood why we have play offs, just copying football I think. Why not, at the end of the season have the KO cup with the top 4 teams automatically going into the quarter finals to meet the 4 surviving teams from a series of qualifying ko rounds. The top 4 would then be drawn against the other 4 and not each other until the semis.


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  15. Here is an idea , if we want a Mickey  Mouse sport to attract the kids ,have the riders dress as Disney characters. The rider in red would be Prince  Charming, in blue Mickey, in white The Wicked Witch and yellow/ black would be Black Beard the pirate (no  disrespect to Poole). 


  16. 2 hours ago, Spl77 said:

    Imagine if the eggs were not available because they were doubling up in the cafe over the road so beans were brought in as a guest meanwhile chips were forced to appear at mcdonalds to be rearranged as French fries so chip replacement was used..... You'd end up with a plate of beans instead of egg and chips. Surely this is British speedway all over? 


    2 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

    Only interested in 13 heat matches if the cost is £9.99 ( or less ) and matches, without on-track problems, are finished in 75 mins ( as they should be ) so that those not interested in meaningless 2nd halves can get away if they so choose, as you suggest. Never much was unless the Next Great Thing was riding. Crisply run meetings seem to be high on the agenda of many fans ( definitely myself ). Not my first choice for speedway's next change of direction. which should be one upper league of 14 tracks running over 15 heats ( as now ) . Crisply run of course with no need for a 10 minute plus wait for heat 15.

    Are we starting to get to the crux of falling attendances ? After having the starter and main course at SP 177's cafe we are told there will be a 15 minute delay before the dessert because the chef wants a rest.

  17. Could one reason new young fans are not coming through is the time meeting finish?  They usually start at 7-30 and finish between 9-30 and 10 and then they have to  get home ,it could ,perhaps  be too late for many when they have school or college the next day or they want to get back to their computers. The most popular sports such as football and rugby are 9 times out of 10 played on a weekend afternoon so there isn't a problem, we never hear them comment about lack of support. So if this could be a factor lets try to finish the main match in good time. Why do we need an interval after heat 10 ? All we are doing is standing around for 15  minutes twiddling our thumbs waiting for  the last 5 heats get under way. Redcar do provide entertainment of a sort with a competition, interviews with any former riders who are there and the excellent Smoggie the Bear entertaining the kids but I would rather be watching the racing.Whilst the Redcar  stadium is very pleasant with a friendly atmosphere it is basic in places, no cover from the weather on the standing terraces for instance , and it can get chilly up here late on.

    Last Thursday I attended  Redcar  v  Ipswich (a very good meeting) which was threatened by rain so the promotion got a move on and 15 heats, a couple of delays as the track was graded ,no interval until after heat 15 and the main match was over by 9pm, which if you had kids gets them home in reasonable time.

    Let's return to the old "40-38"(13 heats) days with the interval after the main match and before the Rider of the Night second half then people can decide whether to go or stay

    It would be interesting to know if a Saturday track ,like Berwick  starting at 7pm, pulls in more youngsters than a mid week track.

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  18. 26 minutes ago, uk_martin said:

    Let me guess, you have a black & white television and don't fancy a modern curved screen OLED 4K TV with surround sound, as all you watch is Laruel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin films?

    Here's the news...the world has moved on, and belongs to those who move with it. Stand still (as speedway has) and you'll be left behind. Miles behind in speedway's case.

    You know me too well ha ha


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