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Did You Know...

... that the draw of the sequences will be done publicly?

posted Feb 23rd, 2011 - The NSL News reported the changes of the dive pool on 29 January 2011 and followed up with a few stories related to the new Block 13 (Offset - Spinner) and the modified Block 1 (Snowflake - Snowflake).

The same story broke the news that Skydive Dubai will host the World Championship of Formation Skydiving in 2012 and that the event will be a part of a new Mondial, which features all skydiving disciplines at the same time and at the same place.

There were more rule changes that were decided at the same meeting of the International Parachuting Committee (IPC) at the end of January in Montenegro. The VFS 4-way teams (Vertical Formation Skydiving) are dealing with a complete makeover of their dive pool, and a few additional adjustments apply for all Formation Skydiving teams.

"Self-Grip" permitted    
One of the other changes is a topic that was brought to the public attention in January 2010 when the IPC Delegates in the FS Committee discussed the "self-grip". The same paragraph of the IPC rules was revised once again and now reads as follows:

3.3.6 Contact is allowed between different subgroups during the inter of a block sequence.

3.3.7 Where subgroups are shown, they must remain intact as a subgroup with only the depicted grips on other jumpers in that subgroup.

3.3.8 Assisting handholds on other bodies in a scoring formation are not permitted.

3.3.9 Handholds by the jumper on their own body within a subgroup or a scoring formation are permitted.

    Hand-out of the competition draw in Menzelinsk 2010
Last not least, the IPC decided to support a live competition draw from here on. Only two words were added to the paragraph related to the procedure of the competition draw, and they still make a big difference. This is the new language:

4.2.1 The draw of the sequences will be done publicly and supervised by the Chief Judge. Teams will be given not less than two hours knowledge of the results of the draw before the first call/first competition jump.

There used to be live competition draws, long ago and before Omniskore created PrintPool and before CamScore and others followed up with electronic programs for a competition draw. It became easy and convenient, even at the larger and more relevant events, to just push the button that creates a new draw and then print out the copies for the teams.

Live competition draw by DeLand Fire at the Shamrock Showdown 2005...    
However, the excitement of a live competition draw got lost, and eventually suspicions came up here and there that the important button may have been pushed a few more times than necessary. That was especially the case when a fast sequence of random formations was drawn at any event and when such a sequence seemed to appear frequently on different leaderboards.

The IPC rules apply directly only for the IPC sanctioned events. This means in reality that the IPC FS Committee creates the rules specifically for the World Meets and World Cups of Formation Skydiving competition, plus a few other potential "A Category" events. The national federations and other event organizers usually adopt the IPC rules, but they don't have to.

The rules for the live competition draw, as all other rule changes, are effective 1 March 2011.

    ...and Sinapsi at the Shamrock Showdown 2006
The new dive pool was already applied at the first meets after this year's IPC Meeting end of January, the Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving Championships 2011 and the Valentine's Meet 2011. However, the live competition draw was not executed at those events, as it is not mandatory.

In fact, the exact definition of the new rule only requires a public competition draw supervised by the Chief Judge. It does not define the environment for the procedure and what "public" means. It also doesn't mean "manually" where the letters and numbers are drawn from a hat.

However, the Shamrock Showdown 2011 will once again and traditionally apply both. Public will stand for the stage at the reception on Thursday evening at the Clarion Hotel, and the sequences will be drawn manually by the participants from one of the trophy's bowl while the teams are being introduced to the crowd. It has been a fun and exciting part of the competition in the past...

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