... that Germany and Austria contributed to the May 20 record weekend?
Gary Smith and Solly Williams with DeLand Majik in 2004
posted May 31st, 2006 -
The NSL News is still not done yet with the Mondial Dubai 2012, even not after the Grande Finale with Usher and Katy Perry. In fact, there are still many topics that deserve to be covered, and the winter break will hopefully bring enough time to catch up with most of the missing aftermath.
The last NSL Reality TV clip has now been uploaded, and it features another round of the Coaches Corner. The NSL News invited Gary Smith and Solly Williams to discuss the Formation Skydiving competition rules, specifically the ones related to penalties and point deductions.
Gary Smith and Solly Williams were team mates with the South African 4way team Equanimity who won bronze medals at the World Meet 1997 in Turkey. Then they moved to the USA and became 4way world champions with DeLand Majik in Croatia 2004. Gary Smith defended his gold medal successfully with DeLand Fire in Germany 2006 and has been coaching NMP-PCH Hayabusa this year. Both are professional coaches and invented the Mantis body position when they trained and competed with Equanimity.
AAA/Open Class leaderboard on May 20
The record weekend of May 20 with 62 teams competing in the USA and Europe offered the content for many stories. Several of these meet stories have already been posted. They can be found in the NSL News overview and its search engine, and links to the stories are also set at the pages of each league's event.
Austria and Germany were part of the record weekend and contributed to the record number of participating teams with several teams competing at three different locations. The NSL News story on May 23 covered one part of the international competition when the Austrian team Monkey Circus and FSL team Teiwaz Lake Wales had their own internal race for the third place in the AAA/Open Class competition.
Penalty topic: Solly Wiiliams at the IPC meeting
The NSL News invitation for the new Coaches Corner came after the traditional meeting between teams and competitors and the IPC Delegates of the Formation Skydiving Committee, chaired by Polaris member Trude Sviggum. This meeting is held annually after the conclusion of either the World Meet or the World Cup.
The rules and format of Formation Skydiving competition are the main topic for those meetings. The IPC Delegates are collecting feedback, and important issues will be worked on by the committee if it becomes necessary. Rules and format have not been causing any serious troubles in the past years, and the discussions have been on a low level most of the times.
Once again, there were no urgent issues that needed to be addressed. The last major topic was the introduction of slower motion viewings, which have now been accepted by teams and judges, as they have brought more accurate results to the sport. The only critical questions from the audience were related to the cuts after eight and nine rounds, which are not very popular for the teams who travel long ways to compete at the major events.
Austrian 8-way team FILA Circus
Monkey Circus is not the current national 4-way team for Austria. Team FILA won the qualification for the World Meet 2006 last year and will represent the country in August. However, Monkey Circus will still compete at the World Meet this year. Team FILA and Monkey Circus formed the FILA Circus 8-way team last year and won the national championship in Austria. FILA Circus is already registered for the 8-way competition at the world meet.
The situation was very similar for a team in Germany that competed on the May 20 weekend, as well. X-Ray Remscheid was right next to Teiwaz and Monkey Circus in the AAA/Open Class rankings that weekend. The German team was shortly behind in 5th position and was the strongest German team on May 20, together with the German Army team.
Open IPC meeting with the FS committee members
However, there was still a topic that needed to be addressed. It is not the most popular one, as it is once again related to penalties. The relevance of penalty situations and rules are obvious, as the drama of the most exciting 1-point race in the 4way Open Class competition demonstrated very clearly.
Solly Williams brought up the penalty rules at the open IPC meeting, and the NSL Live Talk picked up the topic hours later. Solly Williams was engaged in the same discussion when the additional point deductions for an infringement were removed in 2003. From then on, there was no actual penalty any longer for an infringement, only the scoring formation did not count that was related to the infringement. At the same point in time, the IPC Delegates also decided to stop the application of slow motion for judging.
Solly Williams pointed out that the performance and scoring level has increased dramatically ever since, which was the main reason why the slower motion review has now come back to Formation Skydiving competition in a more sophisticated and technically advanced way. He is now wondering whether is is also time to bring back additional point deductions to enforce cleaner performances by the teams and stop the "speed fest" that 4way meets seem to have turned into. The NSL News will follow up with more feedback after the first round of the discussion in Dubai.