Duh! (Jersey Numbers)
Last Post 03/02/2014 03:56 PM by Nathan Finch. 24 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/18/2014 11:38 AM
Peter Stetina talks the obvious,  Why not have season long numbers for each rider printed on his jersey?  Like baseball, football, etc.  Numbers you can see from the side and front so we viewers can actually tell who we are looking at without a start list in hand.  For fans lining thew roads 150k from the start where the start list was actually available in hardcopy.  Instead, Cannondale #23, Peter Sagan!  Omega-Pharm #4, Tom Boonen!

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/16305/Stetina-wants-rethink-on-dossards-Cycling-is-still-an-amateur-sport-in-so-many-ways.aspx

True, there would be duplicate numbers in the field.  So , you make the team kits distinctive (instead of their own shade of black).  A little advertising space is lost.  (Well, the riders are not being paid or getting any royalties from that advertising.  Peter makes a case for a strong riders' union; another duh! spoken of a few times in these forums).  And the real loss, the wonderful tradition of number one being worn by last year's winner.  Oh well.

Another loss; the age old tradition of pinning on numbers.  Like high school sports, amateur 10k runs.  Is that a tradition the highest level of sport really wants to hang its hat on?

Instead, we could all have implanted in our brains #7, #23, #4 like real sports.  Is that bad? 

(Boston Bruins #4, forever implanted in my brain!)

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:723

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02/18/2014 11:56 AM
Should track and field and marathon running change too?
ChinookPass

Posts:483

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02/18/2014 12:07 PM
whatever.
this is the least of cyclings problems.
Liggett would still misidentify all the riders.
Dale

Posts:514

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02/18/2014 03:07 PM
CP, that was pretty good, still the idea has merit and would be a simple implementation
jrt1045

Posts:362

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02/18/2014 04:48 PM
The number thing is overdone in MX and NASCAR

Bigger problems to solve
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/18/2014 07:05 PM
Sure there are bigger problems. But this one takes what to solve? UCI announcing that starting the 2016 season, all riders are to have numbers incorporated on their jerseys, that UCI will announce number locations and sizes fall of 2014. Each team will decide who gets what number. A rider's number is to stay the same throughout the season.

And each race may have a marker to indicate last year's winner. Races are to propose possible markers fall of 2014. The idea deemed best will be adopted spring of 2015 so races have time to design theirs for the following year.

And with that, UCI can continue with he bigger issues.

Ben
Dale

Posts:514

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02/18/2014 09:31 PM
The little issues are easier to solve… let's grab the low hanging fruit while we pontificate what to do about low salaries, doping and socks that are too tall.

This one is so easy it's stupid to not do.
Master50

Posts:246

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02/19/2014 09:58 AM
Peter is naive. I get his point but we would get 4 or 5 digit numbers if each pro got a permanent number. Then teams might have sequential numbers across 1st digits like 14 to 36 or 589 to 604.
At each race the team gets 1 to 10 the next team gets 11 to 20.... maximum 3 digit numbers. each team uses 8 of the possible numbers. It works great and it is a lot easier on the judges to sequence numbers like this. Try to judge a finish where the first guys are 1403, 21242, 4, 334, 10000, 1000, 100 10100. now read that back. Do it accurately. Even with photo finish this is hard to do.
Orange Crush

Posts:1234

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02/19/2014 11:56 AM
I think Peter's suggestion was that some duplication of numbers would be OK. So the 228 world tour riders could get permanent numbers 1-228 for 2014 based on their 2013 rankings (Rodriguez would be #1 and so on) and then something similar for continental riders.

OK, that gives us semi-permanent numbers on an annual basis one could put on a jersey but still does not do anything for the identifyablility of riders for joe average.

To me Peter's proposal tries to walk some weak middle line. If you're going to do this, make completely permanent numbers where each team can number their riders 1,20 or whatever and these numbers stay same throughout riders' careers. So the dedicated fan can buy a jersey in store with #13 Oscar Freire. That really would work towards rider identifyability.
GJanney

Posts:76

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02/19/2014 12:28 PM
So someone like Froome may or may not be #1 in the TdF? Cancellara not #1 in this year's P-R? Horner is #343 in the Vuelta? Sure it'd be a small change to make, but I don't see the merits.
Oldfart

Posts:490

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02/19/2014 12:31 PM
We did that here in BC but with number plates for mountain biking and pin on numbers and a plate for road. As a rider you could tell by looking at the number which category the rider was which is useful in a race situation so you know if the person is in your age and skill category or not.

You wouldn't need a four digit or more number system. They don't do that in NHL or NFL or any other pro team sports. I would like to see the riders names on their jerseys as well in larger font than what Sky do now. Maybe with a phonetic spelling for Ligget too.

#4, Boston , The great Bobby Orr. Or number 99. Who is that?
Pin0Q0

Posts:229

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02/19/2014 02:29 PM
I have thought about this often and could not understand for the life of me why UCI has stayed primitive for so long. Numbers should be assigned when you apply for your license and be formatted and associated to your name. For example Mike Smith would be SMITMI00 and if there are two Mike Smiths then the second would be SMITMI02, or something similar. That way you only will need to remember popcorn!!
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/19/2014 08:18 PM
see next post
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/19/2014 08:23 PM
Peter suggests it be done like any other pro sport. Each team assigns between 1 and 99 to its team members. Since each team has a different jersey, duplicate numbers between teams doesn't matter. (And it might encourage teams to make their jerseys more distinct, a good byproduct.)

Andy, Bobby Orr, the best skater I have ever watched in any sport. And like the great running backs and quarterbacks, eyes in the back of his head and incredible rink awareness.

Ben
Master50

Posts:246

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02/19/2014 10:34 PM
Posted By Andy Eunson on 02/19/2014 12:31 PM
We did that here in BC but with number plates for mountain biking and pin on numbers and a plate for road. As a rider you could tell by looking at the number which category the rider was which is useful in a race situation so you know if the person is in your age and skill category or not.

You wouldn't need a four digit or more number system. They don't do that in NHL or NFL or any other pro team sports. I would like to see the riders names on their jerseys as well in larger font than what Sky do now. Maybe with a phonetic spelling for Ligget too.

#4, Boston , The great Bobby Orr. Or number 99. Who is that?


You never have judged a race have you? repeat number are a real problem since as an official I have up to 200 riders at a time to keep track of. You are in a car and have to get all the numbers of a 50 man break away. Typically the driver goes tot eh front and reads the numbers to me and I write them down. Now add 19 teams all with the same numbers I would have to go garmin 4 postal 4, postal 8 fdj 4 instead of 12, 14 l77 123, etc. In a hockey game you have 2 teams on the ice and distinct uniforms, Announcers have a name and a number not 200 of them on 20 teams or ? As for the BC permanent number system? it is general crap for road races. It starts out OK but as riders move up and down or race masters one day and elite cat 3 the next it is a pain. The shorter the number the more accurate the result. Now if you have both photo finish and transponders this all gets easier except for the group compositions are still very hard to get and we rely on numbers to ID the riders. I can't tell you how many times I only know the number of the rider who won and frequently read their names the next day online
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1173

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02/20/2014 10:55 AM
Look....let's get ot the practical matter here. If cycling adopts permamnent numbers, than what the hell will Phil and Paul do when there are 6 different "51's" in the field. Telling everyone that 51 is the magical number in the TdF is half their schtick.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/20/2014 11:57 AM
Master 50, good point. (The race scorers' challenge.) The placings in the hardest and fastest race I rode went 25 deep. The big split of the race happened 15 miles from the finish. 30 riders. I was the last to make it. (The smartest race move I ever made. I knew that hill was going to split the field. I moved up until l I felt everyone in front of me would make it. The guy behind me didn't.)

I dropped my chain twice over the next 12 miles and was last up the final hill. Caught and passed a few riders, finishing overlapped with #1. I went to the scorers' table and told them I finished behind #1, last year's winner. (Standard practice after races in those days in New England. You told the scorers who you finished behind and in front of.) They told me they didn't need that info; that they had it all on film.

At the awards, I watched them award 24th place to #1, then gave 25th to the guy who finished behind me. What the heck! They only make positives of the first 10 places and never looked at the rest. Upon seeing me in the negative, they gave me a pair of cheap sew-ups.

Back to the present. Suppose you had numbers that were one letter and 2 digits for the World Tour riders and 2 letters, 2 digits for everyone else. Each team gets a letter or two depending on whether they are World Tour or not. Yes, this is 4 characters to report for the lesser teams but it also makes the top riders look one step more "elite".

Ben
Yo Mike

Posts:276

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02/20/2014 12:22 PM
make the jersey numbers BINARY; just 1s and 0s

this will firmly place cycling in the modern world, and help make us all more tech literate
Keith Richards

Posts:755

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02/20/2014 02:04 PM
I think numbers based on World Cup/World Tour whatever placings at the end of the year would be cool. I used to race BMX and to have a #1 plate meant something.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
79pmooney

Posts:1190

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02/20/2014 03:09 PM
Thanks Keith. That would make the World Tour matter to fans. I like it.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:723

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02/20/2014 03:27 PM
LOL Yo Mike!
binary, like 2 wheels.
BikeCzar

Posts:53

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02/20/2014 06:37 PM
Every team could have a number 1, a number 9, a number 25, etc. etc. I don't think timing and scoring would be an issue at the pro level. The transponders are scoring the riders anyway. They could easily review the camera for riders who have switched bikes, etc.

The toughest part would be parting from the tradition of the previous champion of an event wearing the #1.

Now if it were so easy for the local racing associations I could quit killing my kit with a thousand safety pin pricks.
jacques_anquetil

Posts:231

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02/21/2014 01:18 PM
i'm with Master50 on this one. and he speaks from real-world experience too.
Keith Richards

Posts:755

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02/21/2014 01:56 PM
And I disagree with Master50. I think it is totally doable at the professional level. With today's camera and GPS/transponder tech, placing riders accurately is a non issue. Elite and amateur? Not so much. I actually think it may help everyone if Peter Sagan was #72 the entire season. With riders in team kits looking identical on the bike due to helmets and glasses having a set number for the season would not be a bad thing.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
mtnbkr

Posts:16

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03/02/2014 03:56 PM
Posted By 79 pmooney on 02/18/2014 11:38 AM
Numbers you can see from the side and front so we viewers can actually tell who we are looking at without a start list in hand. 

This is an interesting idea, but the sponsors may have a thing or three to say about it.

Looking at current kits the only place without sponsor information is the lower back. Trying to get the sponsors to give up the prime space on shorts or jersey sides/fronts might be a challenge.

Sometimes money seems to rule all and the powers that be probably don't want to lose any sponsors that supply that money.

I could see them doing some interesting things with technology for broadcasts -- the way they follow hockey pucks, etc. -- more than they currently do with the "arrow" identifiers. Analog might be more of a challenge.


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