IW skaters travel to Lee Valley ice rink, London, on 3 July to take part in the National Team Challenge 2011. Good luck to everyone.
This year, eight clubs are competing: Alexandra Palace, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Chelmsford, Guildford, Isle of Wight, Lee Valley and Romford. It’s a long day for all the teams: Isle of Wight team members were up from 4.30am to travel to the event.
Clubs enter skaters into eight of 14 classes, scoring points based on the position achieved within each class. So with eight teams competing, first place scores 8 points, second place scores 7 points, third place scores 6 points, and so on, down to eighth place, which scores 1 point. Whether a class has one skater or eight skaters, first place still scores 8. Ideally a skater wants to find themselves unopposed in a class, because provided they go on and skate they will score the maximum 8 points for their team. (Disclaimer: well, that’s how it used to work. It may have changed.)
Much of the fun of the Team Challenge is picking which classes to enter, as it allows weaker teams with a broader disciplines base to stand a chance against stronger, better resourced clubs that may be focused on one discipline. None the less, consistency of results usually triumphs – no strategy stands up to a club that can achieve first place in everything regardless of class size.
All the teams must also enter class 15, the show number, in which a team has seven minutes to step onto the ice, set up props, and complete the performance. The show number is the highlight of the day’s events, and involves all members of the team.
To date, the best overall position the Isle of Wight has achieved is third place, achieved in 2006; it has managed to win the show number class once, in 2007, with Phantom of the Opera.
Please note that the official National Team Challenge website appears to be dead except for the main page.
Lee Valley events: http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/en/events/index.aspx?EventID=476