Friday, November 10

The drop zone is swarming with competitors and spectators anxiously awaiting the final rounds. There are some clouds that might get in the way, I have yet to hear any calls.

Finally -- a T1 Bit

Yes, he's alive!!!  And if you pause the ground video coverage, you can find me on a frame here and there, racing about helping judges and keeping a close eye on the air-to-ground video operations.  Now that the semi-final rounds are in the can, I can report on a few items, including a meeting I just attended with members of the IPC's FS Subcommittee, chaired by Pål Bergan.
First, I've got to second T2's comment about the judging.  They have been a tad lenient on the separations, but they are consistent, which is most important.  My only real complaint is that, depending on who the Event Judge is at the time, they take too long to judge a skydive, which sometimes results in the next (live) jump being missed.  There is no excuse for that; the Event Judge must be a firm and alert leader in the judging room, and 210 seconds is more than enough time to watch a skydive three times and be ready for the next team. 
And watching the skydives three times each is happening way too often; this is another area where I believe the Event Judge must be a leader, and deny requests for third viewings when the results of the first two (as well as his or her own judgment of the skydive) indicate a clean skydive.  If there are no red marks anywhere in the results after two viewings, or just one or two singular judgment calls, what is the point of taking the time with a third view?  It never changes a score; instead it just wastes time and makes live judging more difficult.
And now on to lighter matters ...
Some of you may know about a discussion I had with the IPC that originated when Andrew, an Australian judge, reported "incorrect scores" posted at the U.S. Nationals, where 3 of 5 judges had scored the last point on the freeze-frame but disagreed on whether it was a point or a penalty.  Andrew stated that the final formation should have collated to a point or a penalty, because a majority of the judges had determined it to be in working time.  OmniSkore! does not do this; if only three or four judges score the final formation, OmniSkore! will only collate a result if at least three call it a point, or at least three call it a penalty.  This is based on Paragraph 5.7. of the 2000 IPC Formation Skydiving Rules, which states Infringement marks will be assigned to the respective formation, if it has been penalized by a majority of judges observing the jump.  Now, to me, "the judges observing the jump" is all five, not just the three or four who called the final formation in working time.  Therefore, if three judges determine that the last formation is in working time, and two of those judges call it an infringement, then according to the rule, it cannot collate as an infringement. OmniSkore’s collation algorithm is based on this rule.
In an informal meeting of members of the IPC's FS Subcommittee this afternoon, this matter was discussed again.  German delegate Exi Hoenle suggested that the rules be modified (at the next IPC meeting) explicitly so that a point is awarded only when at least three judges award a point, and keeping the same requirement for a penalty.  French representative Jerome David further suggested that when any combination of judgment calls -- Point, Penalty, and Not Judgable -- fail to contain a majority for Point or for Penalty (e.g., two NJs, two points and one penalty, or two NJs, one point and two penalties), that the result be called "No Collation" or "No Majority" and treated the way "Not Judgable" is currently (no credit for the formation, but no penalty either). 
I like this idea; here is an example of what a collated score would look like:
            1 2 3 4
  Judge 1   - - J -
  Judge 2   - - J -
  Judge 3   - - 0 -
  Judge 4   - - - -
  Judge 5   - - 0 -
  RESULT    - - # - 3
Here, the "no majority" collation is represented with a '#'.  Under current rules, the score would be a 2 (with a penalty collated for the third formation); under the proposed rule, it's a 3.  A collation of 'J' would only appear when at least three judges have marked it as 'J'.
Here are two more examples, with a few more collation examplettes:
            1 2 3 4 5 6 7                    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  Judge 1   - - J - - - -          Judge 1   J - - - J - -
  Judge 2   - - J - - -            Judge 2   - 0 J - - -
  Judge 3   - - 0 - - - -          Judge 3   J - 0 - J - 0
  Judge 4   - - - - - - 0          Judge 4   - 0 - - J -
  Judge 5   - - 0 - - -            Judge 5   - 0 0 - - -
  RESULT    - - # - - - # (5)      RESULT    - 0 # - J -   (2)
Your opinions?
The topic of live air-to-ground was discussed, and I am very pleased that most of those present were firmly in favor using live judging at the World Air Games (i.e., the next World Championships) in Spain next summer.  I am not very optimistic that it will happen, however, because the organizer is not currently planning on it, and 4-way will be conducted from ramp aircraft (Casa 212s).  More on this ongoing topic soon!

1015: Still on Weather Hold

T2 Rants: “I don't get it.”
We are on a weather hold. Yes, I get that.
What I don't get, or what I certainly don't agree with, is the fact that yesterday the Formation Skydiving competitors were released after doing a single round of 4-way and two rounds of 8-way. They were done by noon, and the rest of the day was sunny blue skies. The Freeflyers, Freestylists and Skysurfers were also done early. This morning we are on a weather hold, and instead of dealing with hangovers from celebrating victories and being off to see the Grand Canyon, we are watching the clouds go by.

The reason for this is that the IPC adopted this rule: “ - Finals for presentations. Two days must be reserved for the semi-final/final rounds at the end of the competition.” I guess the plan was for the press to be here to record us watching the clouds go by! Okay, I know that's a little strong, but as a competitor I have to disagree with the concept that these games are for the press first and deciding the champions second. If it rains for the next two days -- which is very unlikely, but possible -- then neither the public nor the competitors will be served. If the final rounds had been completed yesterday, at least we would have decided with certainty the rightful champions, and we would have final round footage for the public. I spoke with a few competitors this morning who feel, rather strongly, the same way. The new IPC rule, while well-intentioned, ultimately does not serve the best interests of the sport.

1200: Still on Weather Hold

The skies have cleared enough to put Freefly and 8-way on a 15 minute call. How about that flat rainbow in the picture above! I've never seen anything like it.

At 1405, I heard a 10 minute call. At 1420, I walked outside and it was...raining.

The meet director just released all teams until 0800 tomorrow. Well, the day wasn't a total loss - Barbara, a long time member of Skydive Arizona's excellent manifest team, brought Amy and I a tray of her famous enchiladas for lunch. Yummy! Thanks Barbara!

This just copied from rec.skydiving from a post by B.J. Worth:

Catch the highlights of the World Cup on the Discovery Wings Channel!

This week, the Discovery Wings Channel is airing a series of 2-minute clips showing highlights of the World Cup taking place in Eloy. These clips are airing at 58 minutes after the hour, on the even numbered hours.


I thought that was worth repeating.

Lotus positions everyone, let's hope for good weather tomorrow!