MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE WORLD TOURNAMENT COUNCIL HELD AT THE AGORA PALACE HOTEL IN BIELLA, ITALY ON WEDNESDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER 2001
Bob Corson USA President
Jeffry Armstrong USA
Peter Person CAN
Alain Amade FRA
Stefan Rauchenwald AUT
Gillian Hill GBR
Ron Fergusson AUS
Gavin Brain AUS
Adriano Bottinelli SUI
Murray Eade NZE
Bob welcomed everyone to the meeting. The members stood in silence in memory of those people who had died in the tragic happenings of the 11th September in the USA.
The Council members were disappointed that no athlete representative was present at the meeting.
The Minutes have been organised into sections for each event and general items. They do not reflect the order in which the meeting was conducted.
The decision taken by the Council by email had resulted in 7 skiers coming into the Championships with scores equal to or higher than 8th Place on the latest World Rankings List.
The Council needed to consider if a specific rule was needed to replace the World Cup Rankings entry system should the World Cup not take place in any year. This was just another part of the ranking list debate which the committee needed to address.
The current Ranking List has problems
The World TC had already agreed it wished to move to a placement based system but this had to be realistic and workable for those who have to do the job. At this time it was unrealistic to believe we could introduce a system that required competition registration and a great deal of administration. Our Federations are not set up to handle this type of structure. However, the ranking list is the single most important thing to the athletes and we have to do it correctly and make it believable to the sport and outsiders.
The World Cup is current - it has a controlled number of tournaments - pro skiers want special considerations.
A placement system from the world cup series (or selected major events) might resolve the problem initially. With perhaps a performance based second list for the lower skiers. To bring this in immediately was impossible unless all the calculation programmes were adjusted to show placement in a similar format. It was agreed to insist this information to be supplied in the data from each competition in order that trials on a placement based system could be implemented in 2002.
In the meantime the current score system would continue and the following changes were agreed:-
The TC had received a petition from the skiers to have a flat number of skiers in the final, taking no account of the team skiers whatsoever. The TC were of mixed views on this issue and despite several discussions over the course of the week no final conclusion was reached. The discussion included the following points:-
Eventually it was agreed to discuss this further by email with Bob Corson summing up the various options.
Whatever was decided would apply to the World Juniors and World Under 21's as well.
From our last meeting the American Association were asked to work with the manufacturers to achieve the best possible timing scenario. They have proposed method 4 which will be attached to these Minutes. The TC unanimously agreed the use of Method 4 for All Buoy Timing. The bad time reride procedure would be reviewed by Bob Corson and amended as necessary.
The American Association had suggested ABT become mandatory. The TC agreed ABT will become mandatory for Record tournaments starting January 1st 2003.
The Council reviewed the rules on limitation of flips as changed in the rule book last year. After discussion it was agreed that a skier can only score a maximum of 6 flips, but he can list as many as he likes in the same manner as other tricks. If the skier performs more than six flips then the highest 6 will be scored.
Video Trick Time Requirements
A request had been received from the American Association to delay implementation of the requirement for mandatory use of video trick timing.
The TC agreed video trick timing remain mandatory for Record Homologation.
Video Trick timing is optional and recommended for Ranking List.
Video Trick timing would become mandatory for Ranking List from January 1st 2003.
Discussion on the problems of timing even with video technology. In essence we are counting frames, rather than timing 20 seconds. It is accepted the time can be half a frame out either way.
Judging tricks from the boat.
All agreed that judging tricks from a camera feed from the boat is an improvement and should be allowed for in the rules. The back up video can be made from the shore. It was noted we will have a ranking list with results from the shore and from the boat, but it was generally felt there is little difference in the results. As always it is the quality of the judging which makes the difference in the scores.
At a later meeting of the TC (on site) it was noted that skiers should not be kept waiting between passes for video review. It was acceptable to hold the next skier whilst a video review was carried out of the previous skier, but not between passes.
The TC were keen to make sure the Front Flip is done properly. However, after discussion it was felt this was a judging issue and that judges should not give credit if the trick does not comply to the existing rules.
Use of 3 or 5 judges.
EAME experience showed that at titled events it was preferable to use 5 judges and the World Championships would continue with 5. But at World Cup and professional events 3 judges were considered sufficient if wished.
Jaret Llewellyn on behalf of several of the skiers had submitted a suggested set of values for tricks. There were additional points for "blind" landings, handle passes, etc…
It was agreed to take the proposal to the site and seek the opinion of skiers during this Championships.
At a later meeting it was agreed that the list as submitted would be re-presented by the Athletes in a format that clearly showed all the existing points and the proposed points. Further athlete consultation would be undertaken by the AC and then the TC would re-discuss.
Start of the Trick Pass
A wake trick at the start of the pass is gaining the skiers probably half a rotation. The TC had no solution to this problem and feel it is more important to get the judging standards more up to par in which case some of the pre turn issues would be picked up on.
Agreed to stay with existing rules.
Moomba Trick Event
The organiser allowed skiers to do more than 6 flips at the event. Some skiers felt their scores would be put on the ranking list, but this cannot happen as the rules were more generous to the skiers than the IWSF requirements. It was noted that such rules changes should published well in advance and if the organizer wishes that event to be L or R, the exception must be specifically authorized by the IWSF TC through the Chairman as an allowed experimental rule.
Trick Review Video
Suggested by AA that if a trick score changes as a result of video review the team representative should be immediately advised. Not agreed, because all feel it is the responsibility of the Team Captain to maintain a presence in the scoring area whilst the sheets are under review.
However, it was agreed that a notice should be posted to the effect that some scores are under review and naming which skiers. This can be done by marking the posted results or by separate notice. Add to Rule 6.04
Judging Slalom Gate Buoys
Proposal from AWSA to change back to the slalom gate rule of 2 years ago. The TC agreed not to change the slalom gate rule.
55m BUOYS IN SLALOM
Agreed to make the use of 55m buoys in slalom mandatory.
Permit Line Length To Be Shortened Below Maximum Speed.
Request from AWSA to allow skiers to shorten before maximum speed. The TC viewed this as an administration rule that is allowed under the existing rules. However, for ranking list purposes, no score on short line should be recorded until the skier has completed the maximum speed for his division.
Handle Throw in Slalom
Suggestion from AWSA that skiers be allowed to throw the handle before any pass in slalom for reasons acceptable to the judges. Not agreed.
210m Buoy In Jump
Agreed to make the 210m buoy mandatory for the 2002 season. With effect from 60 days of posting.
Suggestion from AWSA to eliminate the "Normal" timing chart and use the fast second segment only. Not agreed.
The Athletes commission had put forward a suggestion to have a universal ramp. Subsequently a number of athletes have signed a petition against it. It is therefore not an agreed suggestion from the athletes and would not be discussed at this meeting. The AC requested to come back with further ideas if thought necessary.
Jump Rope Changes
On a proposal from the AC it was agreed to allow the optional use of Spectra ropes on a trial basis. This would not prevent scores for Record and Ranking List Homologation. The organisers would need to supply both ropes (Spectra plus 80 strand).
Jump End Of Course Video
A suggestion had been received that end of course video be implemented for jump. Chief Judges should be advised to check boat path in jumping very carefully and to be aware of the problems that can occur. Experimental video will be taken if possible for analysis by the TC.
A requirement for the jump ramp to be waxed with proper paraffin wax will be added to the homologation requirements.
New World Record
The TC accepted a record application from Nicholas LeForestier (FRA) for 12120 which has been checked and ratified. The score submitted was higher but there was an issue concerning timing which has subsequentially been resolved.
An overall record cannot be approved until such time as each individual event element is approved if that individual element is in itself a record.
Age Category records
The only records kept for Junior / Under 21 skiers are those set at World Championships in those age categories.
The records are known as World Junior Championship Records and so on…..
Slalom Gates- the TC agreed to allow video review at normal speed, slow motion or frame by frame in order to get the right score.
If the two gate judges are still split after review the Chief Judge will review the tape and make the casting decision. Agreed.
The TC agreed to incorporate the American rule on the prescribed size ratio of the gate buoys on the TV screen which is 1/6th of the full width of the screen minimum with 1/3rd recommended.
Camera in the boat for slalom. Rule 17.03 Optional Slalom Judging method. A camera feed from the boat may be used and be monitored on the tower by another judge who will advise the CJ if he disagrees with the event judges decision. In which case the CJ will ask the event judges to review. This is a separate optional rule and may be used with 3 or 5 judges or need not be used at all.
The TC wished to establish which factors can be changed by skiers and which by the drivers and what is fixed before the competition starts and what issues might change during it.
It was agreed to have a chart published each year that set out these parameters and was based on the EAME idea. Bob Corson will work with the manufacturers on getting this established for each new version of speed control.
The rules already stated the required class of judges if 5 judges are being used in an event. It was agreed the following standards applied If 3 judges are being used
Number of people in the boat for Slalom and Jump
It was agreed to remove the final "green" paragraph in Rule 14.13
Add to 13.09 and 14.13 "2 or 3 people may ride in the boat for jump and slalom".
The Homologation rules are quite clear and state the homologator must be on site for the duration of an event. If this does not occur then the rules are not being followed.
It is the duty of each skier to report to the Chief Judge during the competition if he believes the rules are not being followed or adhered to.
The Akita organisers had asked for an overall competition, which cut the medals down from 18 available to 6 available. In future the TC believes there should be event medals as well as overall medals.
The IWSF EB had given full support to the World Games, but some members of the Tournament Council were not certain of the benefit of the Games given the lack of press coverage.
Proposal from AWSA to remove the need for backup timing in slalom and jump. This based on the premise that speed control is doing the timing and if the Speed control time is wrong (even if another timing system says it is good) then the tournament equipment (speed control) has failed (either to operate or to operate properly) and the pass should be rerun.
The TC agreed to reword the rules to be altered to say in the case of using speed control no back up time is required. We do need to leave the existing rules in place to cover manual driving.
Suggestion from AWSA that handle measurement be done after the skier has skied. Not agreed.
Ron Fergusson gave information on ideas to encourage the participation of new countries to the World Championships. It was feared some countries did not send teams as they could not win a medal and the AA Region felt some encouragement might be offered. There was nothing at this stage for the TC to do.
The AA Region had asked for the Conflict of Interest Rule to be re-discussed on the basis that it suggests all officials suffer from a lack of integrity and might be considered to be cheating. Conflicts of Interest can be many other things than just related to family. The rule was being interpreted as a slur on officials and was affecting the number available to judge at national and international events.
A further concern is that the rule might not stand scrutiny at law. The TC were not concerned at the last point made as several of those present were required by their Government Sports Authority to have special rules concerning Conflicts of Interest in committee, selection and governance issues.
The TC has never believed officials are cheating in respect of their family members but the sport is increasingly professional and it is incumbent on us to make sure we are seen to be completely fair and open. It does not look correct to have a relative acting as an official. The analogy put forward was to consider the father of a major tennis player sitting on the court as a line judge. He may be completely fair to his son and the other player, but it does not "look" right. Although our sport had grown up with "family" officials it was now time to move forward and to stand on the international sports arena in a professional manner.
The discussion went on for a considerable time during the week and eventually it was agreed by majority that no change should be made to the existing rules. It was up to each region to define its rules on conflict of interest at present.
It was suggested that the motivation and reasons behind this rule be published in order to dispel the existing bad feeling about it.
The Tournament Council met for the whole day on Wednesday 26th September and on three further occasions during the 2001 World Championships.
Meetings with Athletes Commission representatives were also held during the Championships.