International Water Ski Federation
Tournament Council Report
September 17, 1998
R. Corson, Chairman
Once again, it has been a very busy and successful year for tournament skiing. The major tournament successes this year have been and excellent World Junior Championships won by the host country, France, and the Series of sixteen World Cup tournaments which culminated in a successful final tournament, the Italian Masters. These tournaments are providing a high level of world visibility for our sport. Although not a tournament, our demonstration to the IOC in Seville was also a great success, demonstrating the skills of our athletes and the sophistication of our sport.
There were also two World Trophy tournaments. The second World University Trophy was held in the US with enthusiastic, but limited participation. The World Senior Trophy held in Germany drew contestants from around the world, but mostly Europe. The TC will examine the popularity of these tournament formats.
As a rules summary, this year was the first year of fully mandated speed control. This mandate helped drive the speed control technology to a much higher level of reliability and availability although more improvement is still needed. There are currently two manufacturers with only one having a fully 3 event capable system. Other manufacturers are poised to come into the market.
The IWSF web site, maintained by the Chairman continues to see increased activity. At the current time, we are seeing about 12,000 accesses per month which represents a 3 to 4 times increase over last year. The web site has proved to be an excellent vehicle for communication. The TC published the 1998 Rule Book only on the web site as a fully hypertext document. Also available on the web site is the video of the Seville demonstration produced by the Italian Water Ski Federation. All of the World Cup results and news is published on its own separate site in parallel to the IWSF site.
Another innovation by the TC was the allowing of records in overall. As we set a minimum standard, we have now been able to approve the first Overall record by Rhoni Barton USA at the World University Trophy tournament. Rhoni’s record was the only one approved for the 1998 season.
Technology continues to improve in other areas. Video jump distance measurement has greatly increased tournament efficiency through the elimination of bad triangle rerides. There are currently two types of system in widespread use. Currently a video trick time measurement technology is being experimented with. One such system was used successfully at the World Junior Championships.
At the current point there are no major rules changes being applied for. The TC continues to refine the rules as technology and athletes improve. Also as a great improvement, the athletes commission has become quite active in organizing the skiers to solicit rules suggestions and refinements. Hopefully the skiers feel they now have a direct voice inside the rules making process.