My first thought is, and its something that I am bored of saying --
bigger fish to fry in USOF right now. The relay is basically fine. Focus
the energy elsewhere. Go fix the absurd visa eligibility rules, which
discriminate based on the type of visa you have. One way or the
other just make it consistent. One of my last actions on the BoD was to
attempt to get this fixed, but AFAIK, it went nowhere (but who knows).
Anyway, since I've made myself a part of the crime, I guess I'll allow
one more post on the relay rules. I'm in favor of having a zero point
relay championship. The counter argument that few clubs will be able
to field teams wears a little thin on me (I still like the idea of a
club championship -- if people want to form or join all-star clubs, fine,
but the club championship thing is cool). It would be zero or more points,
not zero points and no more. Certainly a club with a good 4 point team could
"run up" to the 0 point category, just as we run up to blue now. And since
us 35s are all so much faster than the 21s, we would run up and we would
walk off the podium decorated like Christmas trees.
So, if the 21 field were too thin that we were stealing all their medals,
too bad, build more 21s. If not, then the argument goes away. Of course,
we would need an M and F point category for 0 point teams. Its an open
question (in my mind) whether the Fs could run on a team in the M class,
but I don't see why not. The same underlying thought applies.
If seniors did run up, this would pull some of the better seniors out of
the 4 point category, and open up A teams in the 4 point category to seniors
who typically run their age (who now may be on B teams or the 8 point A
teams). This would be a good thing. If the market forced the seniors
back to the 4 point A teams, this would be a good thing also. The lack of
the 0 point category seems to "constrain the market", as it were. Furthermore,
some of the pull into the 4 point category would be pulled from the 8 point
category. This, perhaps, would have the effect of opening up A teams on
the 8 point category for kids, which, again, I think is a good thing.
Perhaps the 12 point category would be unnecessary. Its all relative, isn't
it? Elites, masters/juniors, veterans/kids seems logical to me -- more
logical than the 4,8,12 proposal.