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Did You Know...

... that the circumstances for the selection of the U.S. team are unusual?

Jim Rees handing out medals to Mass Defiance at the USPA Nationals 2019
posted Apr 26th, 2020 - It did not take the United States Parachute Association (USPA) much time to respond to the cancellation of the Mondial Tanay 2020, which was officially announced two days ago.

With the official announcement, the NSL News pointed out the implications of the decision by the International Skydiving Commission (ISC), who were in agreement with the Russian host in Tanay, Head of the Organising Committee and 8-way competitor Andrey Barabash. Yesterday's NSL News update continued with the next tier of organizations and people who have to react to the decision and its consequences.

One day later, USPA's competition committee already had the U.S. response. Jim Rees, original Mass Defiance member and FAI Judge, announced the decision, after he and the other committee members Kirk Verner, Albert Berchtold, Josh Hall, Larry Hill, Alixandra Hubbard and Chris Wagner voted and approved the application of a rule for "unusual circumstances".


Jim Rees: "The committee has voted and approved the decision to apply the 'unusual circumstances' clause (SCM Ch4/3.1.3) with respect to selection for the Mondial 2020 to be held August 2021. The current US Team is still the US Team for Mondial 2020. Any Nationals '19 competitor who declined selection onto the team will not be automatically re-invited back on (I don't think that applies to anyone here in FS). If someone does decline going forward, we will go back to the original pecking order from the 2019 standings to fill the slot(s). Essentially, nothing that happens in ZHills this November will affect the makeup of this US Team. There will be a formal announcement on the USPA website and FB page shortly. If anyone has further questions, I'll make sure they get answered officially as soon as possible. Thanks again for your feedback, Jim Rees."

Jim Rees is referring to the part of USPA's "Skydiver's Competition Manual" that defines the selection of the national teams. The competition committee members needed to apply the special rule for "unusual circumstances" to come to their conclusion that the qualified teams after the USPA Nationals 2019 (SDC Rhythm XP, Airspeed XP8, Aviatrixx) will still be the national teams for the Mondial 2020 next year.

3.1.3 In unusual circumstances, a different method may be set out or used by the Competition Committee to select competitive personnel.

The selection under usual circumstances would possibly change the "Competitive Personnel of the U.S. Team and Delegation" in Formation Skydiving competition. The USPA Competition Manual explains in the same chapter that the national teams qualify at the most recently completed U.S. National Championships.

3.1.1 Competitors and teams qualify to join the U.S. Parachute Team based on the medal standings in the open class at the most recently completed U.S. National championships.

The Mondial 2020 is now scheduled with the same name for August 2021. The USPA Nationals 2020 at Skydive City in November this year will be the "most recently completed U.S. National Championships". However, Jim Rees made clear in his announcement that "nothing that happens in ZHills this November will affect the makeup of this US Team".


FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Avg
Rank 4-way Open 13,11,16 P,22,4 O,7,21 9,20,G 18,15,L K,10,3 6,14,C 1,M,A,17 F,D,Q,8 2,5,E Total Avg
1 Arizona Airspeed US 20 -1 22 28 29 21 21 -1 21 -2 29 31 -2 24 -2 246 24.6
2 SDC Rhythm XP US 19 -1 22 25 21 -2 20 -1 20 23 25 29 -1 24 -2 228 22.8
3 Airspeed Odyssey US 14 -2 17 -2 22 -2 21 -2 18 -1 16 -3 21 23 26 -3 17 -2 195 19.5
4 Defiance US 17 17 21 -1 22 16 -2 15 -2 21 20 -2 26 16 -2 191 19.1
5 Aerodyne Cypres Lille-Bondues FR 15 -1 16 19 21 16 -1 17 18 22 25 21 190 19.0
6 Echochamber SE 17 14 -3 22 20 -3 17 16 -1 19 20 23 -1 21 189 18.9
7 Chimera UK 14 -1 16 -1 21 19 -1 17 16 -1 18 -1 22 26 -1 18 -1 187 18.7
8 Pro Team FI 15 -1 18 20 17 -1 17 15 18 21 26 18 -1 185 18.5
9 Kinetix AU 14 -1 17 19 19 15 -1 17 18 19 23 -1 16 177 17.7
10 China CN 12 -1 17 19 17 -1 14 -1 13 -1 16 20 24 15 -1 167 16.7
11 Eros UK 12 -2 16 20 18 15 -1 13 -2 12 -4 17 -1 22 16 -1 161 16.1
12 eX3MO IT 13 13 -2 17 -2 13 -4 12 -1 14 13 16 -1 22 -2 14 147 14.7
13 Pajama Pumas UK 10 -2 12 17 14 -1 13 12 15 16 15 -2 13 137 13.7
Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP at the FAI World Cup 2019 - Video Footage Courtesy of FAI/IPC/OmniSkore!HD
SDC Rhythm XP with Andrew Starr (2nd from right)
As a result of this decision, the USPA Nationals 2020 at Skydive City in November will not qualify any U.S. teams for FAI/ISC outdoor events in 2021. SDC Rhythm XP, Airspeed XP8 and Aviatrixx will compete for the United States at the Mondial 2020 in August 2021, and the International Skydiving Commission have not scheduled a world cup for next year. The next world cup will take place in Norway in 2022.

There is no guarantee yet that the USPA Nationals 2020 will take place, due to the corona virus crisis, even though it is still more than six months away. However, a cancellation of the national championships this year would probably generate the same result of the selection, and USPA's competition committee avoids more complications and delays with an early decision.

The decision still creates an interesting situation that will be the topic of many discussions in the Formation Skydiving competition community. Arizona Airspeed took back the U.S. outdoor top spot at the FAI World Cup 2019, just a few weeks after the USPA Nationals. Then they followed up indoors with the new lineup, first at the Wind Games, then at the Paraclete XP Indoor Championship 2020.

At the same time, SDC Rhythm XP's Golden Knights substitute Andrew Starr had committed only until August 2020 and was planning to be back with his own Golden Knights Gold lineup at the USPA Nationals 2020. The U.S. national 4-way team for the Mondial 2020 might not be done yet considering the circumstances, which surely are unusual...

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