And should the WSL add shark fighting to the contest criteria?
With yesterday’s shark-fest in the rear view the healthy glow of excitement and admiration has worn off and it’s time to start second guessing.
Can you believe the WSL only gave Mick and Julian 8000 points each toward their title campaign? After they fought off like a million sharks with their bare hands? What an injustice!
Or so feels the brain trust behind the newest pointless petition up on change.org.
“WSL has decided that both Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson are to share 2nd place points in the J-Bay open final. Awarding them both 8000 points. That is not how you split points. The points of first and second should be collectively split. 18000 points on offer = 9000 each. Furthermore, Adriano was going to lose the ratings lead irrespective of who won the final. Making this decision within an hour of the incident was the wrong call. World Surf League, this is a shameful outcome considering the dramatic events that took place. Step up and do the right thing and award a fair distribution of points. Sign this petition to have the total points on offer split between both surfers!”
Far be it from me to miss an opportunity to take a shot at pro surfing’s owners, but I’m having a tough time swallowing the petition’s argument.
Despite the weighty math-based reasoning employed I can’t help but suspect that at least a few people started spouting ideas online without taking the time to check the WSL rule book.
If they had, they might have found this intriguing bit of information:
142.03 If a prize money round is not completed: (a) Advancing Surfers shall receive points applicable to the last non advancing place in the uncompleted round.
Pretty clear cut, that. The WSL got it right, as per the book.
We can argue all day long about whether it’s a good rule, or a fair one, or whether it should be altered next year, but that wouldn’t change the fact that it’s there, it’s clear, and it’s how the situation should be handled. Sports have rules, and we can’t just run around changing them willy-nilly to fit whatever fleeting emotional response we’re currently enjoying.
Personally, I think it makes perfect sense.
Yes, the prize money gets split evenly. That’s because the WSL promises a certain amount for each event, and the further a competitor advances the larger the share they receive.
But world tour points are not pooled and split, they are determined by how you place. And neither Mick nor Julian took first, they tied for second. Though, if I had to choose who won, I’d give it to Julian. He was the only one to catch a wave and shark fighting has yet to be added to the scoring criteria.
But shark fighting should be added to the judging criteria, which is why I’m asking you all to sign my petition, Add shark fighting to the WSL scoring criteria
Together we can change the world!