... that Block 12 continues to make history as a troublemaker?
posted Sep 20th, 2004 -
The valued NSL audience may have wondered why there has not been any commentary of round five and Sunday's summary in the 4-way Open event yet. The NSL News has ignored the issue and delayed the publication on purpose. The emotions were very high at the end of the day and after the viewing and scoring of France Maubeuge and DeLand Majik. The NSL News decided to walk away, turn off the computer and let everybody have a good night sleep before taking on a new round of Block 12 (Zipper - Star) discussion.
In fact, the NSL News considered complete silence for a little while since the majority of teams, competitors, judges and officials seems to be committed to vote against Block 12 as a part of the future 4-way dive pool anyway. It might be wasted time to pick up the discussion once again. However, the events around yesterday's situation offered more than only another Block 12 discussion. Thus, the NSL News was ready this morning to cover the whole affair.
Judging of this round was business as usual before the two top teams appeared on the screen at the very end of the judging session. Some teams decided to use the slower version of the block and stay away from the ominous center point of Block 12, some decided to get as close as possible and take chances to gain a few tens of a second. Some teams avoided any point deductions, some teams received penalties. Nothing was different compared to other previous events.
Things changed when it was time for the first viewing of France Maubeuge's video. The French team had used a different videographer for this round to make sure that Block 12 would not become a problem. The result was exactly the opposite. The French videographer of this round switched position and level thoughout the entire jump, including an angle located vertically between the two pieces during the inter of Block 12. It was impossible for the observer to see where the two pieces were in relation to the center point.
The judges did not hesitate to penalize this maneuver two times, a third penalty on the last page was short of one judge. The total number of 23 points in time was reduced to a score of 17 points, due to an additional penalty on the first page. The French video was so unusual that the audience, including the NSL News, sat in silence, shocked and in disbelief.
The current leader, DeLand Majik, was the last team to be judged, according to the judging procedures. The audience was still shocked since the French result probably meant the end of the 4-way competition for the gold medal. The two top contenders are too close, most likely neither of them would be able to make up a distance of seven points. The Majik video was not different compared to previous ones. Graham Harding remained on top of the formation and adjusted his position slightly when it was time for Block 12. The maneuver looked just like several peviously shown techniques.
However, the result for Majik was still shocking, as well. Two of the three Block 12 maneuvers were not accepted by the judges, while the audience watched the big red X flashing in stunned silence. Majik's score was reduced from 22 points in time to 18 points on the scoresheet.
The video showings were followed by emotional discussions and endless debates. Emotions were high in the audience, in the judging room, in the team rooms. DeLand Majik decided to file a protest against the emotional environment in the judging room at the time when their performance was evaluated. This was the time when the NSL News decided to wait for a little while before trying to get feedback.
Monday morning was the time for the NSL News to begin with the summary of the new Block 12 affair. This update is the beginning of more coverage. The NSL News will now collect feedback and comments and try to offer a comprehensive story of the incident later.