DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

**Broadcasted** | TUESDAY | Practice @ 6:20pm | Qualifying @ 9pm | Race @ 9:15pm (EDT)
Season start on September 17th and end on November 19th
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jalmenar
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DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by jalmenar » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:38 am

I hope that I'm wrong, but here is a potential scenario that I see coming up next week, and one that I’m not going to like.

There is a good possibility that we will only have one DIV this season, as participation is not as popular as last season. My guess, this is partly due to the 1300 IR requirement that was imposed by the league. I’m not criticizing the rule, in fact I agree with it 100%, I’m just stating a possible cause for the lower participation this season. Anyways, IF we end up with just one DIV, I’m ok so far. Following current rules, Premium members will get a spot guaranteed, then recurring drivers will get the second priority, then priority will be based on IR. CORRECTION: the third priority is based on who signs-up first. We are still good so far. BUT, what I see happening right about Monday night is, some people buying a Premium membership, so they get a spot in DIV 1, and consequently kicking out recurring drivers and drivers with good IR. We are not good anymore! If this happens, then we are basically saying that if you pay some $$$, then you’ll get what you want. But what about those recurring drivers that have been consistent in attendance with PRL (Even for years), what about the drivers with good IR, that are more likely to provide a good show during races? (Good shows = league popularity) Furthermore, what about if I pay for that Premium membership and I still don’t get a spot, because there is simply no space for all Premium members in DIV 1? I think this happened last season, but I’m not sure.

I get it, PRL needs to make some money too, so they can pay for expenses, it’s a business and that’s how it works. I agree and support the idea (I'm a Capitalist 100%), but I think we can do better here guys.

Anyways, I’m not here to criticize anyone or point fingers at somebody. I’m here to find a solution to the problem that some of us may have on Tuesday. I figured, if I pay for the membership I’ll get to race, so why to worry? I’m here for the competition, and to have fun. I’m sure a lot of you are here for the same reasons. But, following the possible scenario that I described above, it seems that I and some of you may not race at all, EVEN if we pay for the membership, that is disappointing, and that is why I’m writing this note, to find a solution.

One solution could be that PRL creates a DIV 2 regardless of how many drivers they get for any season. That way, whoever is not competing in DIV 1, at least can compete in DIV 2. My guess is that this DIV 2 will be less populated, less competitive, and of course is not broadcasted, all downsides. But drivers will get to compete in a “friendly” environment, and I’m all about that. Oh! and by the way, DIV 2 should have a more lenient IR requirement, maybe 1000? and possibly free?

The way I see it, DIV 2 will always have drivers, not 40 like DIV 1, but definitely at least 10+. This statement is well supported by the recent trend on iRacing sign-ups, last month iRacing broke the record on sign-ups by a lot! And I think is fair to make the assumption that, the more iRacing sign-ups, the more PRL participants. Additionally, what if instead of making DIV 1 a 40 drivers series, they make it 30 or 35, so DIV 2 can take those 10 or 5 drivers left out?
 
What do you think?    Please reply to this post with your comments or new ideas. No finger pointing and no calling out. Just ideas and solutions PLEASE!
 
Last edited by jalmenar on Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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madace
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by madace » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:24 am

I think this is a good idea, to impose a cut of for div 1 that way everyone can race. Good idea imo
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jeromef1
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by jeromef1 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:55 am

Hi Jonathan,

First, I would like to thank you for your comment and suggestion. Those are all good points that we will consider them for next season. I will try my best to answer your question and concern and share you why we have build those specific rules. I would like to remind everyone that we have a feedback thread in which you can fill up a form to make suggestion. Those are very appreciated from PRL staff as it helps us improve!

Regarding the minimum iRating needed, maybe you are right and we will consider it for next season. When we started doing GTE Series 2 years ago, we didn't have that much people we get today so we surely need to review that. Also, we added this minimum iRating requirement because we have a lot of experienced drivers and sometimes, when we mix low iRating drivers with high iRating, it could turn really bad :( Especially with blue flag. There is some drivers who are competing only on iRacing series and, since drivers are classified automatically by their iRating, they rarely see the blue flag in iRacing series.

Regarding our rules with Premium member, you are wrong for this part: "Premium members will get a spot guaranteed, then recurring drivers will get the second priority, then priority will be based on IR". The order is Premium members, returning drivers and new drivers. If we are going 1 division, there is no assignment by iRating. With less than 1 week of the season start, everyone must understand we can't change the rules last minutes as we will make some drivers angry because they would have paid Premium for nothing. Yes, we may end up with returning drivers getting push out of the roster list, but everyone know the rules and it's own responsibility of all drivers to follow the signup sheet. We are opening the signups almost a month before the season start so we can give enough time to drivers to figure out where they could end up in the list. As for Premium members being kicked out, I've never saw that and we are actually 12 spots from that to happen. Also, I would like to remind everyone that even if we may have rules that may seems "capitalism", we are not here to make money! If a driver if not satisfied from our service, they will 100% be refunded. As you can see, I'm not ashamed to say that we are probably the biggest north american iRacing league and we are offering a lot for the money. To be able to give to our members such offering, we need money of course! Main money comes from Sponsors and we can't thank them enough for the support. If you look carefully on the forum, we have 2 series this season not having sponsor (Sunday & Wednesday). To be honest, they are on the fence of not being broadcasted next season because of that. PRL staff members will not put their own personal money to cover the broadcast fees. At this point, we need to trace a line... The whole purpose of the premium membership is to get a priority seat. If we are removing this perk, then we will not have half of drivers getting premium and we even may end up not having enough funds to cover the broadcast :( So I get you that we should get a priority seat for returning drivers and drivers with high iRating for the show, but without premium, this show won't last long because we will run out of money :(

I would like to announce everyone also that we are working on a project to replace premium membership, but it's a very big project and may take 2+ years! Remember that we are all doing this on a volunteer basis. All the PRL staff have 40+ hours' job + family + school for som, so sometimes it's hard to find the time to work on project and sit together!

As you could see, there is a big change we will go 1 division this season. But since we are short of being 2 divisions, we will still create a second division for free! Drivers that end up in second division will be refunded and will be able to race for free. However, there will be no broadcast and field might be small, but we will still offer this opportunity.

Again, I thank you for those constructive comments! It's somethings we will surely talk about approaching next season or two! (because I'm moving end of the month so I'm gonna have a crazy life until November :()

Thanks!
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jalmenar
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by jalmenar » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:03 pm

Jerome,

Thank you for your reply, I agree with everything you said. Here are few comments,

"we added this minimum iRating requirement because we have a lot of experienced drivers and sometimes, when we mix low iRating drivers with high iRating, it could turn really bad"

I agree with this rule and I think PRL should keep it permanently. This will add a level of relevance and competition to the league, and to the DIV, so I definitely see this a a good point to maintain.

"Regarding our rules with Premium member, you are wrong for this part: "Premium members will get a spot guaranteed, then recurring drivers will get the second priority, then priority will be based on IR". The order is Premium members, returning drivers and new drivers. If we are going 1 division, there is no assignment by iRating"

My apologies for making the wrong statement, although I was 70% correct, I misinterpreted the rules about priority. I'll make a correction.

"To be able to give to our members such offering, we need money of course!"

Absolutely! and I support the idea of buying a Premium membership, and paying a fee for participation, I am 100% on board with it. I never intended to criticize this model, and I encourage PRL to keep it and develop it. There is no such thing as a free lunch! and, you guys provide a premium service here by organizing these leagues. I'm sure most of us are happy to financially support to the cause. With that said, I think PRL can use its league platform to expand and go beyond a premium league, and offer a space for those that are new into the Sim racing world, but are still learning about the simulator, the leagues, the competition, etc.

"The whole purpose of the premium membership is to get a priority seat. If we are removing this perk, then we will not have half of drivers getting premium and we even may end up not having enough funds to cover the broadcast"

Agree! keep the current model, everyone should by a membership or at least make a small donation to support the league, I'm making mine soon.

Thank you! Jerome
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FKNCommishLB
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by FKNCommishLB » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:16 pm

One point I'd like to make:

This is a league, and one that should have various skill levels of drivers. I'm all for iR minimums, as there is an assumed skill set that entails, however it doesn't tell the whole story.

In all races, there's someone who finishes 1st, someone who finishes Last, and everyone else in between. This isn't the NEO, DGFX or SCO. This is a place for people of various skill sets to participate and challenge themselves.

As this will be my SIXTH season in PRL, I feel comfortable saying I know I'm a mid-pack driver at best, but I have some awesome battles there, and I've found myself getting decent air time.

We are not elitists, nor should we ever try to have a 2500 iR or above requirement, even if I were over that number (2147 as of this message). We should provide the best experience possible that has given the PRL some of the publicity it has earned.


I do minimally think that if a Div 2 is made this year, which looks like it will be very small, that if attendance drops in Div 1, those racers be promoted based on points DURING the season. I think both Divisions took a hit being too rigid last season, as there were often around 20 to appear in both divisions last season, which is 50-60% participation.
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Gary Schilling
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by Gary Schilling » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:50 pm

I thought about that last season.
Problem is what to do with points when advancing from D2 to D1
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jalmenar
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by jalmenar » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:32 pm

Gary Schilling wrote: I thought about that last season.
Problem is what to do with points when advancing from D2 to D1
I would think drivers promoted to DIV 1 would have to start with 0 points.

I suggest this based on current championship models. For instance, in F1 if a reserve driver gets promoted to a permanent seat, that driver will start the championship with 0 points.

I do think PRL has to ask the driver if he/she wants to move up and lose the points, or stay in the DIV and keep the points until the end.  
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Spinn
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Re: DIV 1 - Premium membership - left out drivers dilemma

Post by Spinn » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:25 am

I bought a premium membership to support the PRL heading into my second season here. Having said that, I do hope we get 2 divs, and that the split is done by iRating - mainly because I could use some more seasoning in D2 and don't want to get in the way of the D1 front runners!
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