The much-touted “one tier system” proposed by the ASP less than six months ago, “is not going to happen” according to WQS Tour Manager, Al Hunt. He did not, however, rule out the possibility of a one world ranking system at some point in the future.
The brainchild of the ASP’s former president, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, the one tier system was meant to emulate the PGA. This would effectively eliminate the differentiation between the ASP World Tour and the WQS. Under the one world ranking system, the top 45 ranked surfers compete in the elite events while surfers ranked 45 to 128 compete in six star events lower ranked surfers rise through 1- to- 5 star events.
Bartholomew contends that the one-tier system is “less confusing and more in line with other sports.” However, both Dave Prodan (ASP Media Manager) and Renato Hickel (ASP Tour Manager) recently said that there were a number of technical difficulties with the proposed system and not enough time to iron them out before the commencement of the 2010 season.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Renato Hickel, adding that the single world ranking, “is a huge change that affects a lot of aspects of the tour, both at QS and at a World Tour level. We have licenses and contracts with the sponsors and also the surfers have contracts that are related to their standing on tour.”
Another reason that Hickel sights for the change not taking place, is that following the World Tour as well as WQS events simultaneously is a very costly thing–something that most QS surfers simply would not be able to afford. Furthermore, “the magic number” that would allow the two tours to merge and share ratings points has not been an easy one to find, Hickel said.