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Did You Know...

... that Marylou Laughlin updated the NSL News after the recent IPC meeting?

Marylou Laughlin and BJ Worth in Russia 2005
posted Feb 8th, 2006 - The NSL News story on January 3 updated the NSL News audience on the eligibility status of new Airspeed 8-way member Thomas Hughes. One week later, the next NSL News story on January 9 followed up with the official language of the revised rule, provided by Italy's IPC Delegate Sara Sacchet.

The only missing piece for Thomas Hughes was the official confirmation by the United States Parachute Association (USPA). USPA's IPC Delegate and Chair of the Competition Committee, Marylou Laughlan, who represented the USA at the recent IPC Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, was still waiting for the official confirmation by the IPC when these stories were posted.

IPC President Patrice Girardin at the devastated competition site in Croatia 2004
She updated the NSL News after her returning from Sweden and confirmed that the official language of the eligibility rule, as it was posted in the NSL News story on January 9, is correct and will most likely be adopted by USPA as it is. She also said that the revised rule has immediate effect.

IPC President Patrice Girardin, who represents the IPC (International Parachuting Commission) at the the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), clearly confirmed the immediate effect of the FAI eligibility rule when Marylou Laughlin asked him for clarification in Stockholm. USPA's second IPC Delegate, Larry Bagley, was also present when Patrice Giradin confirmed the important rule change.

Opponent of the "$100 Rule", Norway's IPC Delegate Pal Bergan, with wife and FAI Judge Tone
The official door for Thomas Hughes into the US 8-way team seems to be open now, and the only thing left to be done is USPA adopting the rule into the Competition Manual at the BOD meeting in two weeks.

USPA's Marylou Laughlin had more interesting feedback for the NSL News and its audience after the IPC meeting in Stockholm. The NSL News on January 31 reported that the "$100 Rule" was removed from the IPC rule book for the 2006 season. The story included some background information.

Re-judgement winner Airspeed Odyssey at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy
The NSL News was not aware of all calls that were made in 2005, and the experienced international USPA judge from New England had the details available: "There was a total of six cases when teams used the re-judgement option. Four of them came from US teams, and two calls reversed the previous decision and gave the scoring points back to the team."

Airspeed Odyssey was the lucky winner who won back the two points. DeLand Fire paid the $100 fee once at the World Cup 2005 in Eloy and was rejected. DeLand Fire member Gary Smith still supported the rule in general and commented the removal for the NSL News when he heard about it:

Re-judgement loser DeLand Fire with "$100 Rule" supporter Gary Smith
"I can fully understand the judges' feeling that this rule might degrade their judgement and also the opinion of the Norwegian delegation that this is not the direction that the sport should be heading. However, as a competitor I enjoyed having the option to use this rule. If you have a 3/2 split, either on an infringement or whether a point is in or out of working time on the freeze frame, it would be a good call to ask for the re-judgement. The fact that you can only use it once means that some strategy comes into play. It is like having a Mulligan in golf where you can take one shot again per 18 holes. You are never sure when to use it. I know that Arizona Airspeed used it at the Malevsky Cup and also at the World Cup and came out with a favorable result in both cases. We used it at the World Cup when we thought we had both grips on the close of a Block 19, but we were turned down. It still makes it more exciting to know that you have one chance to get the extra point back."
Scoreboard at the World Cup 2005
Marylou Laughlin explained that Gary Smith had a good point: "This rule was not really made to double-check on the general judging again. It was more for giving the judges another opportunity to watch a critical situation a few more times in these special situations. The normal procedure does not allow a judge to look as often as it may take to be sure about the call. The timing of the exit is another situation where the re-judgement could go easily the other way."

However, fact is that the re-judgement option was removed from the IPC rule book for 2006. The teams have to accept whatever they get after the official posting of the scores.

The NSL News will follow up with more breaking news very soon. Marylou Laughlin also confirmed that the US team for the World Meet 2006 in the Women's Class, the reigning world champion Perris Synchronicity, has officially canceled its trip to Germany. Synchronicity has asked for one of the four US slots at the Malevsky Cup 2006 instead.

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