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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Talk Competition Powwows - Age Category Change Suggestions Competition Powwows - Age Category Change Suggestions

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Old 08-21-2016, 07:43 PM   #1
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Post Competition Powwows - Age Category Change Suggestions

Hi First time poster. I attend as many pow wows as possible & watch many videos from youtube and other sources. What I have noticed is that there are two cats. that could use some adjustment. First, is the junior kids cat. The 6-12 age gap is just too big. The cat. should be split into two, 6-9 and 10-12. The two cats. would allow both groups to dance (skill aside) against others who are at the same physical development level.

The second group is the junior adult. Firstly, the age range 18-35 does not seem to be standard. Some powwows use the 18-39 range. If anything, the 18-39 range seems more logical and appropriate for competitive powwows. More and more, dancers are taking the athlete approach and are training their bodies to withstand the rigors of competitive powwow dancing and the effects of the powwow trail. Consequently, a highly competitive dancer, who has adopted a more modern training regimen, is probably not ready to be relegated to the senior category (35-54)upon reaching their 35th birthday. Suggested changes could be to standardize the age cat. to 18-39. If that won't fly leave the 18-35 cat. as is and allow a highly competitive dancer the option of registering for the 18-35 cat. even though they might have had an easier path to the money in the senior cat. Just some observations. Feedback?
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:46 AM   #2
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Good points. The problem is that if you divide up the categories and compress the age brackets then the committee will have to shell out significantly more money, especially for the older brackets.

As for someone training their body for peak performance and being placed in Sr. Adult category well that just means that the other people in that group should train just has hard. I've seen some older guys and gals out there dance better than younger people just entering that category. Kind of the point behind "competition".
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:06 PM   #3
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Two points - Firstly, on the kid's categories my point was to even the competition field based on their probable physical development. The money pool for the junior girls/boys category is usually around $400 with four or five places. In my scenario, the majority of that pool would be allocated to 10-12 while the smaller portion is allocated to the 6-9 category. I don't have any data to support this but I doubt that many 6-9 dancers place in the 6-12 category. So receiving smaller place amount for 6-9 is probably better that they are getting now.

Second point - the Jr. Adult category seems to be the most competitive category based on the number of registered dancers. Based on observation, it is not unusual for this category to be split into 2 or 3 groups. Under those circumstances, the placing dancers will have demonstrated great skill, determination and stamina. My point on the adult age categories was that the dancer should be able to choose which adult category they want to dance. They accept the longer odds and place their faith on their skills and competitive spirit. In this scenario, no additional money is required as the opting in dancer is pursuing the existing money pool.

On the Sr. Adult category, I mean no disrespect. In referencing that group I was merely pointing out the arbitrary age limitation.

Dancers at all levels should be applauded for their commitment and willingness to put themselves out there in front of large crowds to be judged and more often than not found wanting based on the limited placements available.

It has occurred to me that the adult category discussion we are having here is moot. It is entirely possible that no adult dancer will want to opt into the Jr. Adult category. Maybe, they are comfortable with the status quo. Who knows? However, I do think there are some dancers whose competitive nature drives them to compete against the best regardless of category.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to provide my point of view. Any perceived disrespect is unintended.
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Barney_G View Post
Two points - Firstly, on the kid's categories my point was to even the competition field based on their probable physical development. The money pool for the junior girls/boys category is usually around $400 with four or five places. In my scenario, the majority of that pool would be allocated to 10-12 while the smaller portion is allocated to the 6-9 category. I don't have any data to support this but I doubt that many 6-9 dancers place in the 6-12 category. So receiving smaller place amount for 6-9 is probably better that they are getting now.

Second point - the Jr. Adult category seems to be the most competitive category based on the number of registered dancers. Based on observation, it is not unusual for this category to be split into 2 or 3 groups. Under those circumstances, the placing dancers will have demonstrated great skill, determination and stamina. My point on the adult age categories was that the dancer should be able to choose which adult category they want to dance. They accept the longer odds and place their faith on their skills and competitive spirit. In this scenario, no additional money is required as the opting in dancer is pursuing the existing money pool.

On the Sr. Adult category, I mean no disrespect. In referencing that group I was merely pointing out the arbitrary age limitation.

Dancers at all levels should be applauded for their commitment and willingness to put themselves out there in front of large crowds to be judged and more often than not found wanting based on the limited placements available.

It has occurred to me that the adult category discussion we are having here is moot. It is entirely possible that no adult dancer will want to opt into the Jr. Adult category. Maybe, they are comfortable with the status quo. Who knows? However, I do think there are some dancers whose competitive nature drives them to compete against the best regardless of category.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to provide my point of view. Any perceived disrespect is unintended.
One point. Why do you make it about money? My son started dancing when he was 13 months old. By the time he was 6, I moved him up to the 7-12 category. He won in that catergory. It was a long time before he 'lost'.

What I taught him as a child was to dance to dance. Never mentioned winning or money. Don't break up the categories. Teach the children to dance for the right reasons...and money 8snt one of the right reasons.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:21 PM   #5
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To be clear. I never raised the issue of money for the kids category. My first post only addressed what I thought were potentially positive changes in the categories. I only addressed the issue of money after it was introduced by Toolbox in the reply to my initial post.

When I watch dancers via the internet or as a paying customer at a pow wow, I'm not thinking of the money being paid in each category. I'm there for the spectacle of dance and for the personal feeling produced by the drums and singers. You are right about dancing and money. It should never just be about money or other rewards. However, for better or worse, casinos and other big sponsors are offering larger and larger financial rewards to lure competitive dancers. So money is definitely part of the modern competition pow wow reality. Internet chatter suggests that many disagree with the trend towards more competition and less tradition. Whether that trend is ultimately deemed a misstep or a necessary evolutionary step remains to be seen.

My suggestions and the ensuing discussions, I think are positive, if only for the opportunity to freely express a viewpoint in a respectful manner. Opinions, whether they be contradictory or otherwise are valued and are welcome. I am not a dancer or in any way connected to a pow wow. So, I am not directly impacted if the categories change or remain as is. If the primary participants in the pow wow world don't see a need for change, who am I to suggest otherwise.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:48 PM   #6
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One point. Why do you make it about money? My son started dancing when he was 13 months old. By the time he was 6, I moved him up to the 7-12 category. He won in that category. It was a long time before he 'lost'.


What I taught him as a child was to dance to dance. Never mentioned winning or money. Don't break up the categories. Teach the children to dance for the right reasons...and money isn't one of the right reasons.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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Just so there is continuity to this discussion, I did respond to Joes's Father post yesterday. I did address the "money" concerns. For whatever reason, that post is subject to review by the moderator. Once reviewed, presumably it will be posted. I'm not sure why it is subject to review, as I did not go on a rant or use objectionable language. My response was respectful of Joe's Father's concerns while trying to generate an open discussion on the subject. To be sure, my goal was an open dialogue (to plant a seed) and not an action plan.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:39 AM   #8
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Just so there is continuity to this discussion, I did respond to Joes's Father post yesterday. I did address the "money" concerns. For whatever reason, that post is subject to review by the moderator. Once reviewed, presumably it will be posted. I'm not sure why it is subject to review, as I did not go on a rant or use objectionable language. My response was respectful of Joe's Father's concerns while trying to generate an open discussion on the subject. To be sure, my goal was an open dialogue (to plant a seed) and not an action plan.
Well , I don't know what's going on. I went to the Moderator Control Panel and It's no longer there ! I guess they're probably improving it again and forgot to tell the mods !Maybe I got fired and nobody told me ! LOL
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Barney_G View Post
Just so there is continuity to this discussion, I did respond to Joes's Father post yesterday. I did address the "money" concerns. For whatever reason, that post is subject to review by the moderator. Once reviewed, presumably it will be posted. I'm not sure why it is subject to review, as I did not go on a rant or use objectionable language. My response was respectful of Joe's Father's concerns while trying to generate an open discussion on the subject. To be sure, my goal was an open dialogue (to plant a seed) and not an action plan.
I did not find your post in "Moderation" Perhaps it's lost in the mix somewhere. Maybe you could re-post.
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:50 PM   #10
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Maybe look in his profile and see 'Post by'
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Old 08-25-2016, 01:10 PM   #11
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Maybe look in his profile and see 'Post by'
LOL Not there ! Thanks for the suggestion though !
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

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Old 08-31-2016, 12:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Barney_G View Post
Just so there is continuity to this discussion, I did respond to Joes's Father post yesterday. I did address the "money" concerns. For whatever reason, that post is subject to review by the moderator. Once reviewed, presumably it will be posted. I'm not sure why it is subject to review, as I did not go on a rant or use objectionable language. My response was respectful of Joe's Father's concerns while trying to generate an open discussion on the subject. To be sure, my goal was an open dialogue (to plant a seed) and not an action plan.
I fixed it. It is now showing. Not sure why it wasn't showing in the MOD panel.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:25 AM   #13
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To be clear. I never raised the issue of money for the kids category. My first post only addressed what I thought were potentially positive changes in the categories. I only addressed the issue of money after it was introduced by Toolbox in the reply to my initial post.

When I watch dancers via the internet or as a paying customer at a pow wow, I'm not thinking of the money being paid in each category. I'm there for the spectacle of dance and for the personal feeling produced by the drums and singers. You are right about dancing and money. It should never just be about money or other rewards. However, for better or worse, casinos and other big sponsors are offering larger and larger financial rewards to lure competitive dancers. So money is definitely part of the modern competition pow wow reality. Internet chatter suggests that many disagree with the trend towards more competition and less tradition. Whether that trend is ultimately deemed a misstep or a necessary evolutionary step remains to be seen.

My suggestions and the ensuing discussions, I think are positive, if only for the opportunity to freely express a viewpoint in a respectful manner. Opinions, whether they be contradictory or otherwise are valued and are welcome. I am not a dancer or in any way connected to a pow wow. So, I am not directly impacted if the categories change or remain as is. If the primary participants in the pow wow world don't see a need for change, who am I to suggest otherwise.
What is a competitive powwow?
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