Petition regarding the super final
To Whom It May Concern: After one full season of the super final we want to express our thoughts and concerns with the new format and our hopes it will change moving forward. We feel the super final has proven to be anticlimactic, and not in the best interest of the athletes, the spectators, or the media. Athletically, the super final is not showcasing our best runs. In almost every super final the times as well as the overall scores have been consistently lower than in the final round. This could have many factors including athlete fatigue, rougher course conditions, typically flatter light, and other weather variables. We also feel it adds an unnecessary increased risk of injury for the athletes. Consider Sho Kashima in Calgary; not only did he tear his ACL in the super final he also finished on the podium. It reflects poorly on our sport when athletes finish on the podium injured or without doing a top to bottom run. Longer competition days are not conducive to keeping spectators interested in our sport, especially when they do not understand the new format. People leave after the finals, not realizing there is still a super final. We have heard several negative comments about the super final from spectators mostly due to the lack of excitement. A majority of the time athletes are doing the same run as in the final round, if not more conservative if one or more of the athletes before them has made a mistake. When our sport is showcased with the super final on TV it is poor representation of our sport. Finland, for example, would have viewers assuming men doing double spreads and not hitting the bottom air are top four in the world. It is not showcasing to the viewers, live or on TV, what we are truly capable of, thus making the sport less impressive to watch. We appreciate attempts to increase the excitement, following, and story line of our sport, however, we feel the super final does not accomplish these goals. Some suggestions include: putting more effort into increasing the amount of spectators live at our events, changing to more accessible venues, encouraging innovation in the sport, and giving announcers more information about the athletes to create more of a back story. Please do not hesitate to seek athlete input moving forward. In summary, we feel strongly that we do not like the super final format and feel the two run format we have always had is more successful. Considering the response to the super final format we have serious concerns about the format for World Championships and the Olympics and feel it is a huge risk to gamble on a new format that has already tested poorly at our biggest events.