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Did You Know...

... that sudden death conclusion may enter formation skydiving competition?

   
posted Nov 14th, 2013 - Another Turning Points contribution for the NSL column at Blue Skies Mag was published in the October issue and has not been posted yet for the Sun Path Products NSL News.

The topic was a more technical one and related to the 4way thriller between Golden Knights and Aerodyne French Girls at the World Cup 2013. The exciting competition between the world's two top teams in the female 4way category was covered with several stories, and the tie-breaker in Banja Luka received additional attention on 19 August 2013.

The Blue Skies Mag article went deeper into the same topic and provided additional food for thought. The events at the World Cup and the following discussion of the rules may lead into some changes in the near future. It could become a sudden death situation.


   
France wins in Banja Luka after jump-off and tie-breaker    
Turning Points - Sudden Death


What a year it has been so far — 1-point battles week by week, and jump-off after jump-off after jump-off. The 2013 competition season might be the most exciting and dramatic one in the history of the sport.

The recent and most discussed competition was the jump-off between Aerodyne French Girls and Golden Knights for gold medals in women's 4-way at the World Cup 2013 in Banja Luka. They were tied in first place after eight rounds and then matched their scores in the two following rounds.

The jump-off Round 11 did not change the situation, and the IPC officials had to dig deeper to find out who would get the gold medals. Current IPC rules determine the winner by finding the highest scoring round in the whole competition; at this World Cup France won with their 27-pointer in Round 2, which had been completed a few days before the jump-off round.


Click on the score for a round with a link to see the teams' videos
World Cup 2013Rd. 1Rd. 2Rd. 3Rd. 4Rd. 5Rd. 6Rd. 7Rd. 8Rd. 9Rd. 10Rd. 11T.
R4way WomenO,4,H,39,17,PL,1,G,127,10,2116,E,A,158,2,B18,5,QF,14,K,NM,C,D,1320,J,1922,J,19T.
1Aerodyne French Girls212716(-2)18 20(-1) 1717(-2)2324(-1)2017220
2Golden Knights222517(-2)1719(-1)182120(-3)24(-1)2017220
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    Last scoring point on InTime freeze frame
Officials, teams and competitors discussed the tie-breaking rules with perfect timing. Former Polaris member TrudeSviggum conducted the annual open meeting of her IPC Competition Committee shortly after the dramatic jump-off and tie-breaking procedure in Banja Luka. It was no surprise that the tie-breaking rules were a topic at the meeting.

The tied teams are performing the same sequence at any time of the meet and always try to complete as many scoring formations in the 35-second working time as possible. There is always the last formation within working time for each team.

That's literally the last action of the competition for all teams, including the two or more tied teams. The first team may have completed the last scoring formation at 34.78 seconds, and the other team at 34.95 seconds. The first team was obviously a little bit faster/better at the very end of the competition and would be the winner with this tie-breaking procedure.

Rd. 10 Aerodyne French Girls
Rd. 10 Golden Knights

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Hot topic at the open IPC meeting in Banja Luka    
It seems to be the better way to. determine the winner. The attendees at IPC's open meeting agreed to take a closer look at this option, and the highest score of the competition may soon not be the tie-breaking meet winner.

Now the hobby judges can get out their stop watches and review the videos of the Golden Knights and the French Girls one more time, or a few more times. It was an extremely exciting finish in Banja Luke, and both teams deserved the gold. However, there can be only one winner, and the French team had the upper hand with the 27-pointer in Round 2, according to the current tie-breaking rules. Sudden Death might be up at the next IPC event...

Several participants questioned whether the score for Round 2 was the proper and fair factor to break the tie between the two teams in Banja Luka — and for any other competition. The jump-off itself as the first level of the tie-breaking procedure was never in doubt and is fully supported by everybody.


   
    Golden Knights after Round 11 in Banja Luka
Of course, it adds extra spice to an exciting competition and offers another opportunity for the teams to win the battle in freefall. The main questions are behind the next level of tie-breaking, in case the teams don't do it in the jump-off round, or when the weather situation or the schedule may not allow any additional jumps.

As usual, I like to look around at other sports instead of re-inventing wheels, or rules. "Sudden death" it is called when ice-hockey teams break their tie in overtime. Everything that happened before doesn't matter any longer. The same counts for any other overtime rules in other sports (basketball, football, soccer, etc.) Golfers play additional holes and have to forget what happened earlier.

The jump-off in formation skydiving competition follows the same rule and the same idea: The performance of a team at the jump-off point in time is the deciding factor. In other words, the better team at the last point in time should be the winner.


   
Three medal winners in 4way Women at the World Cup 2013    
This is not the case when the tie-breaking procedure finds the winning factor in Round 2 of a 10-round meet, which was done days earlier.

Officials, teams and competitors were discussing other ways to break a tie, and the current rules actually have a better way when it comes to our third level of the tie-breaking procedure. If the teams also matched their highest score of the meet (second level), then it is time to look for the higher score per round in reverse order.

In REVERSE ORDER — that's the difference. The better team at the end of the competition — at this "decisive point in time" — should be the winner, just as in other sports.

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