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Did You Know...

... that FAI rules define how a world record can be set?

posted May 10th, 2006 - The Belgium national 4-way team Spa Hayabusa scored an unofficial 4-way world record at the season opener of the Belgian Skydiving Trophy on April 29. The NSL News posted the news story of the 45-pointer on May 1 and followed up with more meet information on May 5.

The stories included the plan of the Belgian meet organizers and team Spa Hayabusa to ask the International Parachuting Commission (IPC) for recognition of the jump as an official world record. The NSL News followed up by studying the rules more carefully to find out what it takes to score an official world record.

DeLand Fire's 47-pointer at the Shamrock Showdown - see video
The US national team DeLand Fire had also scored an unofficial world record at the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2006. DeLand Fire's 47-pointer in round four of the 10-round competition was already shown on NSL-TV and commented by the NSL News on March 20. The same story provided information of the record history in 4-way competition.
The FSL management and DeLand Fire knew that the record would have little chances to be recognized as an official world record and did not even try to file in the paperwork for the FAI/IPC headquarters. The reason for not making the effort was not that the jump was not clean enough or that it was not done under serious competition conditions.

In fact, the FSL Shamrock Showdown has turned into a mini world meet with several teams visiting from all over the world. There was enough serious competition and sharp judging. However, FSL management and DeLand Fire knew that the FAI/IPC rules require additional conditions that were not given at the DeLand meet in March this year.

The NSL News opened up the rule book and found the relevant parts for world record jumps in the latest 2006 edition of the FAI's Sporting Code, effective March 1st, 2006. Section 5 of the FAI Sporting Code is the part that defines the specific rules for skydiving competition.

(1) Competition Records may only be established during the scheduled competition rounds at an International Sporting Event, which has been registered in the FAI Sporting Calendar, or at a National Championships, which is not open to participation by NACs other than the organising NAC. For purposes of this provision, unless a specific invitation is issued by the organising NAC to another NAC, teams or competitors from a country other than the country of the organising NAC that are permitted to participate in a National Championships are considered not to represent participation by an NAC other than the organising NAC.
The main criteria whether a record can be recognized or not is obviously the "FAI Sporting Calendar", which shows the events where new world records can be set. The FAI 2006 calendar of Formation Skydiving competitions includes only the World Meet 2006 in Germany and the Malevsky Cup 2006.
France Maubeuge's world record 42-pointer in 2002 - see video
The other option is a "National Championships, which is not open to participation by NACs other than the organising NAC". Neither the FSL Shamrock Showdown 2006 nor the Belgian Skydiving Trophy's season opener are listed in the FAI Sporting Calendar, and both events are not the official national championships of the respective countries.

The FAI's official Belgian Nationals 2006 is coming up at the end of May, and the USPA Nationals 2006 is the official FAI national championships in the USA. It seems as if any world records in Formation Skydiving competition would be limited to taking place at these events.

Spa Hayabusa at the BST 2006 season opener
Airspeed's 39-pointer world record jump in 1999 was officially recognized by the FAI since it was set at the USPA Nationals 1999. France Maubeuge's 42-pointer was next and recorded in 2002 at the Coupe de France de Vol Relatif in Pujaut, France. This event was obviously considered of the same importance as other countries' national championships.

Spa Hayabusa's 45-pointer seems to have only a chance to be recognized by the FAI if the BST event on April 29-30 will also be considered an event that is of the same importance as a national championship. The FAI might have to compare the event series of the Coupe de France to other event series like the Belgian Skydiving Trophy and then decide whether any of the single events of a series can have the value of national championships. There is a good chance that the NSL News will have to follow up on this topic.

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