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Did You Know...

... that Majik's round five is now on NSL-TV?

Shannon Pilcher in the NSL office in Croatia
posted Sep 20th, 2004 - Shannon Pilcher, alternate for DeLand Majik, provided the NSL News with Majik's perspective of the Block 12 affair. The NSL News did not want to distract any of the active team members from their focus on the competition. Former Genesis and PD Blue member Pilcher has been Majik's alternate for two years and is a popular coach. He works with several teams in Croatia, while Majik competes.

Pilcher was watching the last jumps of round five on the large screen outside together with Lise Aune, Norwegian national coach and former member of the DeLand Norgies. All Majik members were watching the jumps being judged in small groups in front of the large screen. Pilcher explained that everybody felt the same way when France Maubeuge's round five was shown: "Why is France doing this?" This meant in other words why the world class team would jeopardize their score by playing with the video like this.

Shannon Pilcher working with Canada Stratosfear
"We all felt that we could not believe what we saw." Pilcher is sure that the judges must have felt the same emotions that the experienced competitors had: "At the end of the day, we all have emotions."

Majik was next on the screen. Pilcher's team mates had already told him that it was a great jump, one of the team's best performances in Croatia. Pilcher himself thought that it was a great jump after watching it on the screen: "It was a good clean jump. I was paying extra attention to Block 12, obviously. I was surprised that Graham was changing headings, since it did not look to me like it was necessary. On one of the block maneuvers Graham dropped a little bit. However, this particular one was not penalized." Pilcher said that the whole team was just as disgusted as he was when the scores came up.

The affair was not over with the penalties both France and Majik had received. Another incident stirred up the emotions even more. Pilcher went to check the internet when Majik started creeping the next jump. There he saw by coincidence what Omniskore had posted as a comment for round five. He copied the comment to his computer and went back to have the other Majik members read it. When he met the team, they were already formulating a protest based on verbal comments Wagner had made to DeLand Majik after the jump.

DeLand Majik working at the mockup
The Omniskore comments on the website basically included two points. The first one stated that the competitiors must think that the judges are stupid. The second one explained Block 12 more in detail and how the teams try to play tricks with the camera by dropping up and down during the inter. The Omniskore comments left the impression that these "camera games" were insulting for the judges, and that they were not willing to let them get away with it. The comment was not posted on the website any longer the next day.

Overall Pilcher had his own conclusions: "I like Block 12. When I am coaching or judging as a spectator I have no problem identifying a center point violation. It is black and white to me. I think it is unfortunate that the teams feel it is necessary to play video games." Pilcher also thinks that the judges are going too far: " The judges now try to read the intentions of the competitors rather than judging the actual execution. There is nothing in the rules that says a cameraman cannot move around, as long as the angle allows proper judging."

Russian Sky Panthers after round seven
Majik's protest was denied today after the jury listened to judge Ted Wagner and chief judge Klaus Wellens, who both did not remember that there were emotions in the judging room when Majik's round five was evaluated. Life and competition has gone on in the meantime. Pilcher knows that the Majik members are strong competitors: "They were really upset last night, and I know that they feel they have been cheated, as well. I cannot speak for Majik. However, I know they will be good sports and move on."

Round seven has just been completed. The Russian Sky Panthers had the highest score with 28 points, and DeLand Majik is now six points ahead of France Maubeuge. They surely did move on. By the way: Majik's round five with the critical Block 12 is now on NSL-TV. Stay tuned.

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