Elo Flags Changes To The Mid-Year Cut
Last year, when the Woz introduced the mid-year cut, longtime comp watchers got a jolt of deja vu. Elo may have thought he was introducing something entirely new but it wasn't the case.
Back in 2011...so pre-Woz days...the then-ASP introduced the mid-year rotation, where poorly performing surfers were shuffled off the CT and top QS surfers got an early promotion. Yeah, it wasn't exactly the same in execution, but both ideas tried to implement mid-year drama.
Despite it being hugely succesful in kickstarting Gabriel Medina's career - he immediately won two CT's - and providing an early look at JJF, the concept was roundly criticised, most vocally by Bobby Martinez who launched his infamous "wannabe tennis tour" tirade on the eve of the first rotation.
Fast forward twelve years...
Though B-Mart is long gone, resentment is building to the mid-year cut, and for much the same reason as the old mid-year rotation: If surfers have one or two dud performances then they get the vaudeville hook.
Overnight, Nine Media reported that Elo said "fans and competitors can expect tweaks to be made next year" to the mid-year cut. “We want to get through this year before we make any seismic changes."
“Once we get through 2023, 2024 is an Olympic year," continued Elo. "That’s a good opportunity to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. And I think it’s fair to assume that we as a league will make refinements to these [formats, including the Finals Series at Trestles].
Elo will have to be clear-eyed about what he wants, as the drama that saw veterans like Owen Wright and Sally Fitzgibbon cut from the tour - or more correctly, relegated to the Challenger Series - is the theatre upon which the Make or Break docu-series relies.
At present, Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbon sit outside the mid-year cut line, while in the Men's Kelly Slater is inside yet in the last advancing place.