However, it looks as if the upcoming weekend is the real start of the 2006 season. A total of ten different leagues have scheduled events for the same date, May 20-21, including three leagues in Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Austria). The competition draw will be provided by the Deutsche Sky Liga in Germany and posted at the NSL website Friday evening, as usual.
Virginia Parachute Council
The league network also continues to grow. Good news for teams and competitors in the Virginia area recently came to the NSL headquarters. There were indications at the end of the 2005 season that the oldest competition series in the country might not have the leadership to continue in 2006.
Former Virginia Parachute Council Director Dave Milliron was not able any longer to maintain the VPC operation, and it took longer than expected until a new leadership was possibly ready to take over the necessary chores to run the league. Chris Halsan recently works on final preparations to re-initiate the VPC activities in 2006. The NSL News will follow up with new information as soon as possible, and the meet dates will be added soon.
Swedish team Phoenix at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2003
France is not the only new league player in Europe. Lennart Vestbom in Sweden and his FS national coach, Mattias Nord, former member of Sweden's national 4-way team Phoenix, have worked on plans to launch a league in the Scandinavian country and join the NSL/ESL network.
These plans have materialized for the 2006 season, and Sweden has scheduled three meets in June and July. Other Scandinavian countries, as Denmark and Finland, have already posted their meet schedule for this year. These two countries will launch their 2006 season simultaneously on May 25. The NSL News will follow up with more information from Sweden.
Canadian team Evolution
In the meantime, the number of officially registered teams for the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2006 in Germany has grown. Ten countries have registered their national teams in the 4-way Open Class at this point, and seven of these teams already have their team pages at the NSL website for the event. Cypres is a new country, the NSL News is not sure if the team from Lithuania ia already qualified on the national level, and the national team for Russia first has to win the Russian Nationals 2006 in July.
Four countries have signed up for the 8-way event at the moment. As in 4-way, the Russian team still has to qualify at the national championship in July. There is no doubt that USA and France will register their teams at any time. Arizona Airspeed will compete for the USA, and the French 8-way team will also be the same line-up that competed at the Malevsky Cup 2005 and at the World Cup 2005.
UK team Airkix
Norway and Great Britain recently signed up their teams for the 4-way Women's category at the World Meet 2006. The Norwegian team is a military line-up that trained in DeLand this year. The UK team is Airkix, one of the expected medal contenders in this competition class. The other top teams from France and the USA are already qualified and will probably be registered by their delegations very soon.
There will be a lot of 4-way competitions with many teams and many scores this year, and the major international events, World Cup 2006, Malevsky Cup 2006 and ESL Championship 2006 will bring the additional highlights on top of the weekly updates throughout the regular season. It will be worth to visit the NSL website on a regular basis, or sign up for the NSL Newsletter for weekly updates.