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Did You Know...

... that many judging calls raised eyebrows at the World Cup?

Polaris: Total separation not clearly presented?
posted Aug 15th, 2011 - Bodyflight Aerodyne, the British national 4way team in the female category, was one of the teams that completed Round 10 at the World Cup 2011 and Round 1 at the UK Nationals 2011 within a week. The scores of both events are posted now, and the UK team had almost exactly the same meet averages (14.8 - 14.7) at both meets.

In fact, Bodyflight Aerodyne also ended up in the same 5th place, in Germany as well as in Hibaldstow, after ten rounds at both places. There was no other British team that completed ten rounds at both events. UK's national team SonicNutz completed only nine rounds at the World Cup after missing the second cut. Unagi and Escondido did not qualify for the semifinals and completed eight rounds in Germany. The Brit Chicks completed all ten rounds in 8way at the World Cup but did not make the cuts at the UK Nationals last weekend.

The new NSL-TV clip now features all teams in Round 3 and Round 4 of the female 4way competition, and the point deductions have also been added to the leaderboard.

World Cup 2011Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7Round 8Round 9Round 10TotalAvg
Rank4way WomenC,22,19E,M,1,212,9,16O,8,10Q,14,5P,17,K,1821,L,J,133,11,B20,G,H,4N,F,A,7TotalAvg
1Aerodyne DB Defenders 16 20 16 17 19 20 19 17 17 2818918.9
2Illusions 12 (-2) 21 17 14 (-3) 16 16 19 18 15 1916716.7
3Polaris 13 (-2) 19 13 (-3) 15 15 17 17 13 16 2316116.1
4Golden Knights 13 (-1) 16 14 15 14 14 13 15 15 2415315.3
5Bodyflight Aerodyne 13 (-2) 18 12 (-1) 14 12 16 12 14 14 2314814.8
Adding the penalties to the leaderboard and watching the related videos brought back the question that was raised earlier and that also raised the eyebrows of many competitors and observers: What made the judges apply a lot of common sense when they reviewed the critical video of the Golden Knights in Round 9 and apply the toughest standards in other situations?

The judges usually relate the tough standards to the same key definition in the current set of rules:

Scoring formation: is a formation which is correctly completed and CLEARLY PRESENTED either as a random formation or within a block sequence as depicted in the dive pool, and which, apart from the first formation after exit, must be preceeded by a correctly completed and CLEARLY PRESENTED total separation or inter, as appropriate.

Infringement: is a formation, inter, or total separation not CLEARLY PRESENTED
Illusions: "Camera angle / grip visibility"
There are serious problem with this definition, which puts the whole weight of responsibility for scoring a point or not conveniently on the shoulders of the teams. What, if a team makes an effort to "clearly present" a formation or a total separation, and the eyes of the judges don't see it or cannot follow the action?

The third Polaris penalty in Round 3 is one of many examples where the judges simply make a wrong call, which is based on the above definition. It is a fact that there was a total separation, as the frame image shows. It is also clearly presented since all team members make an effort to show separation.

It is - no doubt - a very short time frame and very difficult to see. However, the windows at NMP-PCH Hayabusa or Aerodyne Aerokart jumps are often even much shorter. Arizona Airspeed is not going slower either...

Illusions Diamond: Not pretty - but complete
It happens more and more often that teams have to accept point deductions where they performed correctly and that they know about situations where real infringements were not detected. Polaris also lost the first two points in the same Round 3 since the first Bundy of Block 12 out the door was not completely in frame, just as much as the two pieces during the inter of the same block.

It is obvious to any reasonably experienced competitor that the first Bundy and the pieces are complete, as much as it was obvious that the Golden Knights did not make any mistakes in the last seven seconds of Round 9. Common sense here but not there? It becomes increasingly difficult for teams, competitors and observers to understand and follow the interpretation of the rules.

There are several other examples of incorrect judging calls in the ten new videos that are now available for reviews. In fact, there is not even one of the seven point deductions that holds its ground after reviewing them in real time, slower motion and frame by frame.

Illusions Canadian T: Incomplete formation?
The toughest case and the poorest victim of this new NSL-TV were probably Russia's Illusions in Round 4. "Camera angle / grip visibility" was the reason why the first Canadian T (Block 8) after the exit Satellite did not count. The image frame shows a total separation, and it seems to be impossible that the Canadian T might not have counted as a scoring formation.

The other penalty is an incomplete formation for the Diamond of Block 10 at the end of the second page. It may not look pretty, and the judges may not like the break of it, but it surely is a complete formation. Last not least and even worse comes the third penalty in the same jump, the 17th point in working time.

The cat grip is the last one for the completion of the first Canadian T of Block 8, and the "impatient front piece" begins to move for the inter. However, the Center Inside ignores the moving energy in the front and calmly waits until the second cat grip is taken before breaking the formation. It wasn't good enough for the judging panel. Sorry, Illusions.

There is hope though, as the NSL News reported on 12 July 2011. The door at least seems to open for a different way how to get closer to the real truth that happens in freefall. Maybe it is also time to include the application of "common sense" in the definition of the rules.

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