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Did You Know...

... that the FIFA World Cup gets in the way of skydiving 4-way and soccer fans?

UK Rookie Class winner, Team 100%
image by: John Williamson
posted Jun 16th, 2006 - The situation in the Netherlands seems to be quite similar compared to last weekend's competition in Great Britain. The English soccer fans that competed at the first competition of the Grand Prix 4-way tour were very lucky when a wind hold at the right time allowed the soccer audience to witness England's 1-0 victory over Paraguy.

The NSL News story on June 12, which mentioned the possible interference, was posted before the details of the competition in Great Britain reached the NSL News office. British participants of the Grand Prix meet later confirmed that the wind hold was a lucky coincidence, and the opportunity was used by many soccer fans on competition site.

Dutch 4-way league
Today was the first competition day of the Tomscat Trophy in the Netherlands, the second of four events of the Dutch 4-way league. At the same time, the second match of Netherlands' strong soccer team was scheduled for today and began at 6 pm European time. Netherlands had won the first game and could secure its entry into the next round with a win over Trinidad and Tobago.

Soccer is as much a major sport in the Netherlands as it is in England, and there surely are a lot of 4-way competitors who are very interested in the FIFA World Cup. The game scheduling for the skydiving soccer fans in the Netherlands was still a little bit better than on the previous weekend for the Grand Prix competitors in Great Britain.

Dutch soccer fans cheer after a goal
England's soccer game had started at 3 pm European time, right in the middle of the Grand Prix 4-way competition day, and only the wind hold saved the day for the soccer fans. Netherlands' soccer game started at 6 pm and would only interfere with the last two skydiving hours before sunset.

Once again, the NSL News has no information yet how the first competition day of the Tomscat Trophy turned out. However, it would be no surprise if the meet management had decided to stop jumping at 6 pm and allowed the whole crowd to follow the soccer action on TV. The first scores and details of the meet will probably arrive soon and explain what happened.

Award ceremony of the Tomscat Trophy 2004
The soccer scores came with a live telecast from Germany, host of the FIFA World Cup, and the match ended successfully for the Netherlands with a 2:1 victory over the team from the Ivory Coast in Africa. Skydiving is still short of a live telecast from the competitions. However, the scores will be provided as soon as possible.

The meet management of the Tomscat Trophy was well prepared for the event, which is the major 4-way competition in the Netherlands. League organizer Mike Pennock counted already 16 teams ahead of time and registered these teams with pictures and line-ups. He also announced what to expect at this year's Tomsacat Trophy:

Team Tomscat with Dan BC in Perris
"All is looking good for the Tomscat 2006. This is our Memorial Meet that honors the members of team Tomscat that died in the horrible plane crash in Perris 12 years ago. It started out small but grew into the biggest FS-4 meet of Holland. Even our Nationals can't bring so many teams together in Holland!"

League assistant Marloes Swarthoff added meet information last week: "This year, the majority of the teams are competing in the A-Class. Our advice to the teams that it might be better for them to stay longer in a lower class seems to be paying off. We hope that this concept will support the basic skills of 4-way, which will have more time to grow for our skydivers. In the end, the step into the AAA/Open Class will be much easier for our teams than it is now."

Punky Fish
She also provided some details about the teams that are currently competing in the Netherlands: "Of course, our national champions Punky Fish will join, and our national ladies' team Infinity will compete at the Tomscat Trophy, as well. They will use this meet to officially qualify for the World Meet 2006 in Gera. This qualification is only a formality, as there is no real competition for both of these teams. They will use the meet as a training tool to see were they stand on their way to the world meet. We are all curious to see where they are right now."

More soccer interference will naturally come with the game of the US team, which is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 pm Eastern US time. Five leagues in the USA (Carolina, Florida, MidAtlantic, Mideast, New England) have scheduled 4-way meets for tomorrow, and the skydiving soccer fans in these areas might miss an interesting game.

The US team lost the first game at the FIFA World Cup against the Czech Republic 0-3 and stands with the back to the wall. The team needs a win, and the opponent tomorrow is one of the strongest soccer nations in the world, Italy. There are probably not as many skydiving soccer fans in the USA compared to England and the Netherlands. However, the match will be interesting to watch for each sports fan.

Finland and Sweden complete the line-up of 4-way competitions this weekend. Finland did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup and only hopes for good weather, while Sweden's skydiving soccer fans are lucky. Their soccer team played already on Thursday and is off this weekend. Sweden plays against England next week and needs one more point to secure the next round. The NSL News will follow up with all skydiving scores and meet information as soon as possible.

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