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Did You Know...

... that a small 4-way meet exposes a big flaw in the tie-breaking rules?

VPC Director John Meyer (right) with Suffolk Sabotage
posted Jun 25th, 2016 - The June meet of the Virginia Parachute Council was only a small event with four teams. However, it included an exciting and very interesting battle for the 2nd place behind winner Suffolk Sabotage.

Where's Chris? and Sister Wives ended up tied after their five rounds, and Where's Chris? was declared the team in 2nd place of the VPC meet, as the Sun Path Products NSL News reported on June 22nd.

VPC Director John Meyer had applied the current USPA/FAI rules for a tie-breaking situation, and the battle of his two AA Class teams exposed a weakness of the current definition.

The Sun Path Products NSL News had published an update with the related and latest FAI rule changes on May 19th, which included the previous language of the tie-breaking rules and the new and simplified one.

June 18th, 2016
RankAA Class13,61,B,EO,K,P,411,22G,19,15TotalAvg
2Where's Chris?USVPC35622183.6
3Sister WivesUSVPC25533183.6
1st place after jump-off and old tie-breaker
The effort of simplifying the rules may have gone too far this time and for the tie-breaking scenario.

The issue was raised after the outcome of the FAI World Cup 2013. The Golden Knights had the momentum over the French Girls after recovering from a 3-point loss with three point deductions in Round 8.

The U.S. Army team tied the next two rounds with the reigning world champions in 4-way Women and had the better Round 11 for the jump-off tie breaker.

The Golden Knights completed the last common scoring formation in Round 11 significantly faster than the French Girls and still ended up in 2nd place, as the tie-breaking rules had the highest score in the meet and then the higher scores for a round in reverse order for the game winner by then.

This meant that Round 2 won the meet for the French Girls, even though the power balance seemed to be different at the time of the jump-off round.

FAI World Cup 2013
Rank4-way WomenO,4,H,39,17,PL,1,G,127,10,2116,E,A,158,2,B18,5,QF,14,K,NM,C,D,1320,J,1922,11,6TotalAvg
1French Girls212716182017172324201720320.3
2Golden Knights222517171918212024201720320.3
2nd place after jump-off and old tie-breaker
The tie-breaking rules were discussed for a while and then changed. Purpose of the change was to determine the team that is stronger at the finishing line, which is either the jump-off round or the last round of the meet, if a jump-off round cannot be completed.

The simplified rules still consider the finishing line by using the stop watch in the "last common scoring formation in the last completed round". However, the recent VPC meet exposes a flaw of the tie-breaking rules.

Sister Wives won both of the last two rounds and had the stronger finish before both teams ended up tied after Round 5. There was no time for a jump-off round, and Where's Chris? completed the "last common scoring formation in the last completed round" faster than Sister Wives.

IPC meeting at the end of the FAI World Cup 2013
The outcome of the VPC meet, with the correctly applied FAI/USPA rules for the tie-breaking procedures, does not produce the stronger team at the finishing line as the winner. The score in "the last completed round" alone produced a winner - Sister Wives.

It makes sense to use the stop watch for the "last common scoring formation in the last completed round" if the teams are still tied after all completed rounds, and there is no jump-off. However, there is no need for a stop watch if one of the tied teams won the last completed round. That team was naturally the stronger one at the finishing line.

The current tie-breaking rules, including the use of a stop watch ("the fastest time measured to hundredths of a second"), also leave it wide open how the timing will be executed. There is no definition of the actual timing procedure. The IPC commission might have some additional home work to do quickly, as the Mondial 2016 could easily produce the critical tie-breaking situation...

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