Rookies should be just that: ROOKIES!!
We know that no one is going to stop rookies from going to Nationals at this point, it just aint gonna happen, but by giving them National Plates, its killing the sport, and your post proves the point.
There needs to be time limits on Rookies, and possibly should have never been invited to Nationals. It takes away the incentive to move up. Isn’t racing about getting better???
Yes, I know there are going to be some rookies that may never improve there skills, but that is what the local programs are for. I have seen alot of the #1 rookies at the nats, and they should all be at least Novice by now.
This is also another reason to have pre-race meetings with parents and new riders during their first couple of months: to drive home some of this stuff and urge riders to improve and grow. Anyone who encourages sandbagging is only hurting the rider in the long run.
This is all about LONG TERM thinking.