Chronic Shortage of Racers

Northern Hemisphere summers is upon us and many racers have went outside and took a hiatus from Zwift. Now this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem as many races don’t even have 5 riders per pen. This problem is bigger on cat D, with more riders recently being bumped up by zMAP and not having an inflow of new riders.

I was wondering, can we start to scrap some races. Some organizers have too many races per day and it leads to oversaturation of races. Like does 3R need 16 difference races in 1 day? Some races have 3 people TOTAL. Not even 1 person per pen. Is it still a race when no one else joins? We probably don’t need 3 crit race during the same hour.

Organizers should be limited to a certain number of races. Only after establishing a certain threshold of riders should they be allow to add more races. There should be some degree of novelty relative to another race at the same time block.

And as fun as Zwift Monthly Races and Zwift Hilly Races, and Zwift ITT are they volume of it is killing organizers races. Certain hours, they are hosted almost hourly. I swear I seen 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm. Like 6 out of 7 hours? Was the missing 3pm a miss click? Zwift monthly race generating great turnout, but they are butchering other races ability to create interest.

I think the idea was to remove race events that couldn’t somewhat consistently get at least a dozen or so riders, but at the same time I think these organizers were going to be asked to make them club races. With evidence that there was high participation as a club race, they could be reconsidered to return to the main events calendar.

That said, for some reason there hasn’t been any substantial Futureworks Clubs update in quite a while, but I don’t think Race organizing yet exists within clubs. Could be surprises coming I suppose though – look at steering. No updates on steering development/dynamics for year(s) in the Futureworks forums, and bam, it’s suddenly on by default in all events and Zwift is selling a controller.

Yeah it’s a tricky conumdrum, thank goodness for the Saturday Tiny Races, pen D usually attracts 20+ fields now, when they were more like 40+ through the northern hemisphere winter.

I’d be amazed if a race demoted to a club event were not doomed to obscurity. There are not many examples of club races that get sufficient promotion to get a decent field. Chasing series and who else?

My main concern about pruning the calendar is it would likely affect many of the races I enjoy most, which are longer and have hills. C category fields for those events are often 10-30 riders which is adequate but not great. I try to pick the ones that have at least a few signups and enter well in advance to encourage others to join. Those races also don’t get as many last minute impulse entries compared to short crits and such which are more like a trip to the candy store.

Yeah, I don’t know enough about Clubs, ie. how they advertise their own events to their membership, etc. 3R was referenced. Could/should half of their events be moved over out of the general calendar and be club only events? Don’t know, but as pointed out, if a race only has less than a dozen entrants who are spread across all 4 pens, it’s already somewhat in obscurity.

I can probably guess that there is also some competition between Race, Ride and even Training events. That is, someone jumps on Zwift and joins whatever catches their fancy available at that time. So probably if there ever is some sort of rationalization that takes place around how many offered events there should be (eg. within the current hour, there are 14 of them listed), Zwift would have to figure out the balance and numbers overall between event types and numbers. I agree that part of this decisioning should also ensure some variety of distance, as well as gender balance, regional/language offerings.

I agree if the race is not on the main page then it doesn’t exist.

I joined a club for a specific race and left it after a day because of all the chatting and notifications .

RGT have something similar where the race only goes public if X amount of people enter but no one knows about the event so no one enter and therefore it never gets on the calendar.

There are few races in my riding time zone so I don’t really care if there is only a few people in the race.

What would be more helpful is if Zwift made dynamic pens where if there is less than 10 riders in the pen 1 minuite before the race starts then they combine 2 categories.