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Did You Know...

... that the new IPC rules clarify selection, semi-final and final rounds?

IPC Meet Director Dr. Rainer Hoenle with members of the FS Committee
posted Feb 8th, 2007 - Wednesday, August 9th of 2006, was a challenging day for IPC's Meet Director Dr. Rainer "Exi" Hoenle, and also for the teams and competitors at the World Meet 2006 in Germany. The weather situation was already frustrating enough, and it did not look like it would get any better soon.

The forecast did not offer much hope, and Dr. Hoenle tried to beat the weather whenever there was a slight chance. The situation was not enjoyable for anybody. The Meet Director had to take chances and send the teams even though the weather was critical and re-jumps could be necessary.

Judges meeting in Germany 2006
The teams and competitors were forced to remain on alert most of the time. The focus and concentration level went up and down according to the calls to the planes and the possible canceling of these calls. This gamble with the weather and the inconsistent jump preparations were already draining a lot of energy out of the athletes.

The judges had a hard time to identify formations and maneuvers whenever jumps were made and the screens of the cameras were foggy, due to the moisture in the air. It was no surprise that several re-jumps had to be rewarded. The 4-way teams from Russia, France, Belgium and Germany had to repeat their jumps for Round 4 on this rainy Wednesday. Round 4 was finally completed, and the teams prepared for the new sequence of Round 5 at the end of the day.

Unloading a jump plane in Germany
The struggle for the completion of Round 5 on Thursday was just as challenging as it had been for Round 4 on Wednesday. In fact, it became even more challenging. The ongoing stand-by situation was the same as the day before and kept the teams on alert without much of a chance to finally make a jump. In addition, the teams knew that the IPC Meet Director might give up on Round 5 of the selection and skip forward to the semi-final round, which would bring the new sequence of Round 9.

However, the actual sequence of Round 5 was finally used when all teams jumped again on Thursday. DeLand Fire secured the gold medals with an outstanding performance. The situation was still similar and confusing after the completion or Round 5. The teams now prepared for Round 6, while they needed to keep the semi-final sequence of Round 9 somehow in mind.

Preparation for a new round
The teams were literally prepared for two different sequences throughout a certain time period on Thursday when Dr. Hoenle announced a very realistic chance that there might not be enough time any longer for any more selection rounds. The semi-final round with the sequence of Round 9 might be next.

The IPC Meet Director finally announced at 1 pm on Thursday that Rounds 6 - 8 were history. There was only enough time left for semi-final, final and possibly a tie-breaking round. The semi-final brought the first cut, as well, and only the best ten teams began to prepare seriously for the semi-final sequence of Round 9.

Concerned competitors at an open IPC meeting
The best ten teams were called to the jump planes at 3 pm on Thursday, and the semi-final round was almost completed. Only three teams were not able to jump due to the weather conditions. Dr. Hoenle had to consider the semi-final round incomplete and drop all scores. It was now time for the final round, which would bring the new sequence of Round 10.

The situation was still quite confusing. Some teams had made jumps and re-jumps, which did not count. Other teams had not jumped at all and were either eliminated or had to prepare for the sequence of Round 10. It was finally almost a relief when Dr. Hoenle had to make the final announcement, which canceled the final round and concluded the World Meet 2006.

IPC's Formation Skydiving Committee took care of the confusing situation in Germany at last month's meeting in Italy. The rules for the "Program of Events" at an IPC World Championship have been changed, and the next Meet Director at the World Meet in France 2008 will not have to deal with the same confusing mixture of selection rounds, semi-final and final rounds with changing sequences.

New IPC rules: Selection rounds, semi-final, final, tie-breaker rounds
The cuts after the up to eight selection rounds and after the semi-final round are still the same. The new IPC language for the completion of a round and the according sequences will now allow the continuation of the round in progress, and it also clarifies that the next drawn round and its sequence will be the final round.

The new rules make the procedure as simple as expected. Each round in progress will be completed and might become a semi-final or final round if the weather situation does not allow the completion of all rounds. The next drawn round with the according sequence will be the next jump to be made - no matter what. The cut will be applied in a logical order.

IPC trophies
The new rules, applied at the World Meet 2006 in Germany, might have caused a different outcome. Most likely, Round 6 would have been completed. France, Italy and Russia were separated by only two points in the race for the silver and bronze medals. However, the meet was over after five rounds, and France finished in 2nd place, Italy in 3rd place.

These new IPC rules will already be applied at this year's IPC events of the 1st category, the Malevsky Cup 2007 and the FAI World Cup 2007. The national associations have the option to adopt these rules and apply them at national championships.

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