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Did You Know...

... that Mass Defiance is the Most Valuable Amateur Team in the USA?

First team back in the Open Class: Frost in 2002
image by: Omniskore
posted Dec 27th, 2011 - The NSL News mentioned during the coverage of the USPA Nationals 2011 that this year's event was special looking at the continuity of teams and their lineups. This observation was related to the fact that the three Advanced Class winners of 2008, 2009 and 2010 were all competing in the Open Class competition of 2011.

This indicates how strongly committed 4way teams and competitors have become to their goals and team projects. It also shows very well how much fun the teams have and how 4way training and competition is more than a passion and close to a serious addiction.

It wasn't always like that, not at all. In fact, it used to be an exception when the winning team of USPA's Advanced Class, which is basically identical with the Open Class except the qualification requirements, would continue in the Open Class competition next year. It has not unusual between 1999, the first year of USPA's Advanced Class in the current format, and today that teams would compete in the Advanced Class for a few years and try to win a set of medals. However, stepping up into the Open Class competition was a different story.

USPA Nationals 2011Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10TotalAvg
RankAAA ClassM,5,1321,14,2212,20,D11,Q,16O,C,10,KP,L,19,818,6,215,9,G7,F,17A,B,N,J,3TotalAvg
4SDC Rhythm XP 22 17 18 21 24 20 19 22 26 2621521.5
12Carolina Turbo XP14 10 13 15 1714 13 16 18 2015015.0
15SDC Furies XP 13 11 12 16 7 15 13 16 19 1814014.0
3Spaceland Lite1412111114121314161413113.1
Changed the Advanced/Open Class story: Mass Defiance
image by: Omniskore
The winner of USPA's Advanced Class competition is not allowed to come back in the same category, according to USPA rules. There is no defending Advanced Class champion. The members of the winning team have to compete in the Open Class next year if at least two of them stay together. A single Advanced Class winner is allowed to compete again in a different lineup.

The early years of the Advanced Class did not see many teams at all motivated enough to compete in the Open Class while they were still the same weekend amateurs as in the year when they won the Advanced Class competition. Team Frost, winner in 1999, was the first team coming back to compete with two new members in the Open Class of 2002. Teiwaz, winner in 2000, did the same a year later, also with a very different lineup.

The situation began to change when Mass Defiance won the Advanced Class competition in 2005. The New England team came back year after year to compete in the Open Class, and other Advanced Class winners began to follow the Mass Defiance example. The MD members obviously knew and accepted that they cannot win the Open Class, as well, and just enjoyed the competition in the "Big League".

Back in the Open Class of 2011: Carolina Turbo XP
The USPA Nationals 2007 was the first event where more than one former Advanced Class winner came back for the Open Class competition. Arizona Divewerkz, 2006 champion, joined Mass Defiance in the Open Class of 2007. That was the year when Mass Defiance scored the still standing US "amateur record" of 19.3 average.

The next step happened in 2010 when the latest Advanced Class champion of 2009, SDC Furies XP, came back in the Open Class, together with 2008 winner SDC Rhythm XP. Mass Defiance, with Scott Latinis filling in for Jim Rees, was still around under a different name (Amphibious Attack Tigers) and made for the third former Advanced Class winner in the Open Class of 2010. Carolina Turbo XP won the Advanced Class the same year and was ready to move up into the team's third category in three years.

And that's exactly what happened at the USPA Nationals 2011. Turbo came back with a new team member and joined the former Advanced Class champions SDC Rhythm XP and SDC Furies XP, while the four original Mass Defiance members were scrambled all over the Open Class leaderboard (DNR, Team Captain) and the judging room (Jim Rees). Spaceland Lite can join the group of former Advanced Class champions in the Open Class next year in Eloy.

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