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World Slalom Series Statistics 2007-2012

Competitions and organizing countries

There can't be competitions without sportsmen and there can't be new sportsmen without competitions. World Slalom Series events have several levels: 4 until 2010 and 5 after. They are marked with a number of golden cones except the smallest local ones which are marked with a grey cone. Every level has certain conditions an organizing party must meet. The higher level the stricter they are. For example, a "4 cones" event requires 3 years of organization at least, capital or equally large city with airport, international access and money prizes for winners. Sportsmen in their turn receive more points for participation in such high level events. The points tables are on the same page as the conditions. We'll talk about points later, and now let's observe competitions organization stats in 2007-2012.

WSS Events 2007-2012 by levels

Every year number of competitions grew: from 35 in 2007 up to 87 in 2012. It's shown at the chart above in total and by levels. The growth in number came both from new slalom countries and increasing popularity in the old ones. The fall of "grey" contests and the peak of "1 cone" were caused by adding a level to the system. Most of the former "would-be greys" became "1c". Of course, it couldn't happen without many certified judges throughout the world, as at least one certified judge is required to get "1c" level for the competition.

With introducing 5 levels of events the maximum number of high level ones was fixed: 2 events for "Major" (4c) - one in Europe and one Asia, and 8 events for "Main" (3c) - 4 in Europe and 4 in Asia. Maximum of "3c" contests wasn't reached then and "4c" only in 2012 when both major events were conducted fully with both classic and battle.

By the way, it's well known that freestyle slalom consists of two rather different disciplines - "classic" and "battle". Even during one event they are considered as separate competitions but their results equally enter the single Freestyle Ranking. To be precise, there were few events where classic\s level was lower than battle's one. It's possible that there will be independent Rankings for classics and battles in the future. Just in case here are their general features. A classic performance is individual, uses own music, lasts about 90 seconds and is compared with all participants. In battles sportsmen compete in groups, usually 3-4 persons. They have several 30 sec runs and common background music. Two best skaters from a group go to the next round.

Number of classics and battles by regions

At the beginning there was only classic form of style slalom. But from 2004 Sebastien Laffargue actively develops and promotes battles and now it's a dominating form of slalom competitions in the world. The development of the "classic-battle" balance is shown on the chart above. It seems European classic contests were almost forgotten in 2008-2010. The thing is that there were enough classics in Europe during those years but they just weren't put into WSSA Rankings. Every European classic contest in 2007-2009 was conducted by French CNRA, Russian FRS and others European organizations under rules of International Freestyle Skaters Association (IFSA). But due to a conflict between IFSA and WSSA in the middle of 2008 almost all classic competitions were withdrawn from WSSA Rankings along with skaters and their results. The only exception was made for 3 Russian contests in 2008. Sébastien Laffargue wasn't fond of classics and created battles as an alternative form of slalom competitions. Until 2010 he agreed to organize only one classic contest during PSWC 2009. And that was a new page for all European skaters as new classic rules came to their doors. The chart shows that Asian skaters preferred classic competitions over battles. But they developed their own rules, quite different from ones European skaters were accustomed to. From 2010 the number of classics under WSSA rules started to grow. This growth was also stimulated by mandatory requirement for "3c" and "4c" events to conduct both battle and classic competitions. Thus the number in 2012 even got equal to Asia but in the same time the number of battles grew much more.

Classics and battles by regions

In 2012 the situation became stable. The number of battles is 2 times more than classics. Most of the battles were organized in Europe. Interesting that in South America skaters got fond of classics, and in North America they didn't.

Let's have a look at the countries which most actively organized WSS competitions. They are ranked by the sum of "golden cones" or, in other words, the sum of contests levels. Zero-level “grey cone” events are not so significant because any tiny backstreet competition can get such status by proper registration in WSS. Nevertheless, they have a nominal weight of 0.1 to make a difference when, for example, golden weights are equal. Only integer parts of golden weights are shown over the columns.

Organizing countries by golden weight

Country colors are taken randomly and in most cases match colors in other charts of this report. Naturally, countries with top level skaters are active contests organizers. For a more detailed picture let's have a look at the next chart, where organized events are counted directly.

Organizing countries by numbers of events

The most active organizers in different regions are: France (Europe), China (Asia), Argentina (South America) and USA (North America). All 6 years Russia kept good activity and as a result 4th place among other countries.

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