Category: News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The Worlds Most Accomplished and Famous Female Freediver, Natalia Molchanova, is Missing.

Natalia_Molchanova

Photo: DeeDee Flores

Formentera, Spain. Natalia Molchanova was recreationally freediving off the coast of Spain on August 2, 2015 when she was separated from her peers. She was diving without fins to around 30 to 40 m and supposable got into strong underwater current. Search efforts have been ongoing during daylight hours and the next day since she was reported missing by three peers. She disappeared while diving approximately two miles northwest of the port of La Savina at Poniente de es Freus.

Natalia Molchanova is the most decorated competitive freediver in the world, holding 41 World Records and is a 23 time World Champion in Freediving. Natalia trained hard for her sport, she had a nine minute breath hold, could dive to a depth of 101m using a fin and swim a distance of 234m with a fin. Along with being one of the top athletes in the world she has a PhD in Pedagogical Science and has authored multiple scientific articles and two freediving training handbooks. She is the creator and current president of the Freediving Federation of Russia. She designed and taught freediving programs all over the world. She is based out of Moscow and has created one of the most vibrant recreational freediving communities in the world. Natalia has trained thousands of people to freedive in locations worldwide.

Natalia is a proud mother of Oksana and Alexey. She loved children and was awaiting the day when she would become a Grandmother. She was an inspiration to all freedivers and despite being one of the fiercest competitors in the world, she was always calm and relaxed during competitions. She said “birth and death are important, but freediving competitions are just games for adults”. The cause of Natalia’s disappearance is unknown, but she was doing what she loved. Natalia has a passion for freediving that burned so deep inside of her that she dedicated her life to it.

Contact: Galina Zveryaeva (editor@free-diving.ru – http://molchanova.ru/).

 

Aida Board meeting notes May 2015

Meeting of the Aida International Executive Board: Executive Summary

The Board met via Skype call on 10 May 2015, 14:00-16:30 CET

The first topic was AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Vedran followed by a discussion regarding the next meeting of the European Underwater Federation which is in June, in Bristol, UK. As Kimmo will judge two Aida competitions outside of Europe during June, Antero was asked to attend this meeting for AIDA. Board voted to approve his actual travel expenses (hotel and transportation), not to exceed €750.

The Board reviewed a proposal for the 2016 AIDA Pool World Championship from the Finnish Divers’ Federation (www.sukeltaja.fi). The Board noted that the proposal appears very strong — with excellent facilities and amenities — and voted to send the proposal to the Assembly for review and vote.

The Board noted that the proposals for the 2016 AIDA Team World Championship are due not later than 30 September. Please ask interested organizers contact AIDA International for further information (board@aidainternational.org).

The Board voted to elect Radoslaw Gaca as Jury President for the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships, and Ekaterina Romanova as Vice President. Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic (Jury President in Belgrade 2013 and Cagliari 2014) will be Board liaison to the Belgrade jury, available to consult on all matters, and to ensure that any issues are resolved appropriately; Petar will also review existing and new pool rules with the jury (and athletes) before the competition. Judge Instructor JP François will be teaching an AIDA Judge Course, and oversee measurement of the pool(s).

The Board reviewed assistant judge candidates for Belgrade and Cyprus, and approved assistant judges for both events. Because fewer judges applied for advanced selection than the number permitted (16 for Belgrade, and 12 for Cyprus), the jury at each competition will be able to appoint additional assistant judges (up to the maximum number) from students who complete a judge course at those locations. In addition, the Board approved travel subsidies for the three judges from outside of Europe, who will be assistant judges in Belgrade or Cyprus: Guillaume Latzko-Toth (Canada), Fran Rose (Australia), and Rachel Cat Wang (China). The subsidy (as last year) will cover actual costs for hotel (double occupancy) and meals, not to exceed EUR 700 per assistant judge. The Board is pleased by the interest and commitment shown by these judges, and looks forward to having at this year’s world championships.

The Board discussed a suggestion from AIDA Poland to have official AIDA stop watches for world championships. The Board approved the purchase of eight Casio waterproof stopwatches, total expense not to exceed EUR 500; these will be tested in Belgrade, and available for future world championships and world record events. The Board also approved production of 100 cotton judge T-shirts, to be given to judges in Belgrade and Cyprus, at a cost not to exceed EUR 1,500. The Board is reviewing a proposal for sponsored T-shirts for all judges and instructors; if implemented, this would allow all AIDA judges and instructors to order lycra and cotton T-shirts, paying only for shipping (the cost of the shirts would be paid by the sponsor).

Robert also noted that there will be judge Continuing Education (“CE”) courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus (like the one held last year in Cagliari). As previously noted, AIDA will be offering AIDA Judge courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus, at a reasonable fee (approximately EUR 70): AIDA International is committed to ending predatory pricing of judge courses at AIDA World Championships: judge students paying for airfare to and hotel at a WC should not have to pay nearly EUR 400 for a 16 hour judge course.

The Board voted to approve airfare for Carla Hanson to Cyprus to do media/PR for AIDA (up to EUR 1,200), and EUR 800 for Daan Verhoeven to act as AIDA’s photographer and videographer in Cyprus.

Official Gauges. The Board reviewed a proposal to renew the 2011 Suunto agreement, under which Suunto would provide 15 new DX (i.e. “D ten”) gauges, plus maintenance (including on the existing 15 gauges), in return for branding at AIDA world championships and world record events. The terms of the agreement are unchanged from 2011 (except for the addition of 15 new DX gauges). AIDA expects to have more judges promoted to senior levels, and it’s important to have official gauges with many of these judges (it can be difficult to ship gauges to locations outside of Europe, due to customs and risk of theft). The Board voted to approve the renewal agreement with Suunto.

Carla reported on an application for Observer membership from a group in Hong Kong. After reviewing the application, the Board voted to ask the Assembly to vote on admission for this group, and to recommend approval.

After discussion, the Board voted to approve promotions for judges, listed at the end of this summary. Petar noted that it required many hours to manually review each judge’s records to determine eligibility for promotion, and that this could be automated with an upgrade to JOS. The Board will review options for upgrading JOS to manage more functions automatically.

The Board noted that the 2009 IOP prevents nearly all judges from being promoted to higher levels. In particular, no judges met the requirement for promotion to Level C (i.e. being elected to judge at two AIDA world championships); only one judge met the requirement to for promotion to Level B (i.e. judging six world records). The Board noted that until the IOP is changed, it will be impossible for most judges—even those with years of experience judging—to be promoted. The Board voted to request the Assembly to vote on changes to the IOP (mainly as presented to the Assembly in March), in order to fix this long-standing problem (put in place by the previous AIDA Board); this vote will be requested in the coming weeks.

The Board voted to appoint Kimmo Lahtinen (Finland) senior judge for an upcoming world record attempt in Bonaire, and vote to appoint Guillaume Laztko-Toth (Canada) junior judge for this event.

The Board discussed the need to have a person responsible for each of AIDA’s major applications (e.g. CARS, JOS, EOS), in order to respond to inquiries, manage maintenance, and recommend upgrades. The Board voted to appoint Milorad Vlajic (assistant to the Judge Responsible) as application manager for JOS, and Mario Zuzic as application manager for CARS (and Associate Sport Officer).

Further Information. If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.


 

Judge Promotions

Promoted to Level D

ADOLFSSON Felix
BUBENCHIKOV ALEXANDER
CAMPBELL Sara
D’IMPORZANO LEONARDO
DEMLOVA Zdenka
DODUC Natalie
DUBERN Remy
FALKENROTH Andreas
Filinis Mihalis
FRIEDRICH Christopher
GIOBBI Piero
GOTO Shuichi
GRUEMBEL KREUTZ Michaela
HANSON Carla
HAWRANEK Tom
INABA Tetsuya
LARSEN Nikolaj
LUKOVA Olga
MARTINO GALLO Marco
MATSUMOTO Megumi
MILAT Vedran
MORAWIEC Bartosz
MUKHA Olena
PéAN Philippe
RAKHMATULLIN Yuriy
RUSSU Alexandru
RYLOV Denys
SAEGER Horst
SHARAPOV Evgenii
STUMM Gunnar
SUGAWA Hiroshi
TAPANI Sofia
VAN CROMBRUGGEN Wouter
VERHOEVEN Daan
WAMBERG Britt
ZUZIC Mario

Promoted to Level C

none

Promoted to Level B

SUBOTIN Darija

Promoted to Judge Instructor (Level AI)

BOJOVIC Petar

Assistant Judges

Pool – Belgrade

JEREMIC Sasa
KANIVETS Nikolay
**LATZKO-TOTH Guillaume
RAKHMATULLIN Yuriy
SAVVA SAVVAS
SAYERAS RIERA Ferran
**WANG Rachel Cat

Depth – Limassol

AL SABEH AYOUN Wessam
BANTU DINU Adriana Gabriela
BORISOV Konstantin
JEREMIC Sasa
KARTAPANIS Marinos
**LATZKO-TOTH Guillaume
LIM Suzanne
RAKHMATULLIN Yuriy
ROSE Fran
SAEGER Horst
**WANG Rachel Cat

**May choose Belgrade or Limassol

 

 

AIDA Board March Meeting

The Aida Executive Board met via Skype call on 21 March 2015.

The first item discussed was AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Vedran. Then Kimmo and Antero reported on the new Rules update process for 2015. Kimmo is working with a number of National representatives on the new Rules update procedure, and will send the Assembly a note this week on how this process will work for 2015. If you have suggestions for changes to the Rules, you will be able to use this procedure to have the TC and Assembly consider them.

The Board also reviewed two requests for Rules clarifications. The first request came from AIDA Japan, to clarify whether a late start penalty (for DYN, DNF, CWT, CNF and FIM) would apply to an athlete who submerges his/her airways by the required time (e.g. 10 seconds after OT for DYN), but does not leave the wall (or surface, for CWT, CNF, FIM) until after that time. The Board confirmed that no late start penalty would apply in such case. A note will be sent out to the judges email list noting this clarification, and the TC will discuss clarifying the rule to avoid confusion in the future. Thank you to AIDA Japan for raising this question.

The second request was to clarify whether the new grab rule for DYN and DNF (Rules 6.1.11, 11.6) permits an athlete to grab and pull in connection with the surfacing motion, or only grab. The Board confirmed that the intent of the rule is to allow both grab and pull in connection with the surfacing motion (to increase athlete safety); the Board noted that it would not be possible in many cases for judges to distinguish between grabbing and pulling, and that pulling while surfacing would be upward, rather than in the direction of the performance. A note will be sent out to the judges email list noting this clarification, and the TC will discuss clarifying the rule to avoid confusion in the future. We thank the persons that raised these questions: AIDA’s goal is to have the Competition Rules be as clear as possible, and interpreted uniformly.

The Board reviewed the Assembly vote for judges for the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships (Belgrade,Serbia), and 2015 AIDA Depth World Championships (Limassol, Cyprus). The Board noted that two senior judges (Level B or higher) applied for Belgrade (one is currently Level C, but has met the requirements for promotion and is expected to be promoted to Level B in May). Seven senior judges have applied for Cyprus. In Belgrade, Judge Instructor JP François will be teaching an AIDA Judge Course, and oversee measurement of the pool(s). Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic (Jury President in Belgrade 2013 and Cagliari 2014) will be Board liaison to the Belgrade jury, available to consult on all matters, and to ensure that any issues are resolved appropriately.

The judge vote will conclude 4 April, which will allow the organizers to purchase plane tickets in April (at lower prices than in May—especially for Cyprus, whose busy season extends through September). The Board noted the importance of controlling transportation costs, which are paid by athletes (through competition fees).

Robert noted that after the Assembly vote for judges, the Judge Responsible will request assistant judge candidates. As previously noted, AIDA plans to subsidize travel costs for four assistant judges traveling to the 2015 AIDA World Championships from outside of Europe. Robert also noted that there will be judge Continuing Education (“CE”) courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus (like the one held last year in Cagliari). Preliminary agenda for those courses will be sent to the Assembly shortly; please feel free to request additional items. As previously noted, AIDA will be offering AIDA Judge courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus, at a reasonable fee (approximately EUR 70): AIDA International is committed to ending predatory pricing of judge courses at AIDA World Championships: judge students paying for airfare and hotel at a WC should not have to pay nearly EUR 400 for a 16 hour judge course. Please contact Carla if you would like to sign-up for a judge or CE course.

The Board discussed medals for the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships, and approved up to EUR 2,000 to produce medals for Belgrade and Cyprus (18 for each competition).

Kimmo noted that proposals for the 2016 AIDA Pool World Championship are due not later than 30 April, and that proposals for the 2016 AIDA Team World Championship are due not later than 30 September. Please ask interested organizers contact AIDA International for further information (board@aidainternational.org).

Education Officer JP provided information on Benoît Canell, an instructor in France that AIDA France recommended for Instructor Trainer. The Board voted to approve Mr. Canell as AIDA Instructor Trainer, subject to the standard 6-month review period. Mr. Canell has been working extensively with AIDA France, providing AIDA courses and training.

Kimmo and Carla reported on the sanctioning of competitions in countries without Nationals (AIDA Competition Rules, Section 2.3.11). Ute and Kimmo and Carla reported on the sanctioning of competitions in countries without Nationals (AIDA Competition Rules, Section 2.3.11). Ute and Carla have prepared guidelines to organizers in countries without Nationals, with instructions on what information is needed to request sanctioning a competition. These instructions have been posted on the Aida Facebook page or you may contact us for more information.

The Board continued to discuss the problems with the 2009 Judge IOP (which prevents judges from being promoted to senior levels) and how to reach AIDA’s goal: to have a senior judge in each AIDA country, and a Judge Instructor in or near each AIDA country. Rob noted that a proposal to address the problems with the 2009 has been sent to the Assembly for review and comment. That proposal recommends the following changes:

  1. Simplify point system, so one point reflects roughly one performance judged.
  2. Simplify levels (from 23 to 5)
  3. Eliminate “D” point requirement, that’s difficult for many judges to meet
  4. Eliminate Level C requirement (get elected to judge at 2 WCs), that’s impossible for nearly all judges to meet; replace with effective and achievable training requirements
  5. Eliminate Level B/A/AI requirement (judging 6 or more world records), that’s impossible for nearly all judges to meet; replace with effective and achievable training requirements
  6. Provide a fair and effective system for judge training, emphasizing assistant judging, continuing education, and judge courses

The Board requests comments from the Assembly by 30 April, and plans to request an Assembly vote on this subject in May.

The Board reviewed a Google email group tool, with information provided by Milorad Vlajic. The Board will examine this tool to determine if it may be an acceptable replacement for Yahoo Groups; if so, it will be piloted along side the Yahoo Groups tool to ensure reliability and usability.

Further Information. If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.

AIDA Board

 

Board Meeting Notes February 2015

The Aida International Executive board met via Skype call on 21 February.

Many important topics were discussed beginning with financial matters presented by Kimmo.

Kimmo and Antero reported on the new Rules update process for 2015. Kimmo is working with a number of National representatives on the new Rules update procedure, and will send the Assembly a note shortly on how this process will work for 2015. If you have suggestions for changes to the Rules, you will be able to use this procedure to have the TC and Assembly consider them.

The Board discussed matters relating to the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships. Ute and Petar recently visited Cyprus to teach a judge course, and reviewed the 2015 AIDA Depth World Championship venue. Ute noted that the hotel is nice, with athlete-friendly food, WiFi, event rooms, and changing rooms. The walk from the hotel to shuttle boats is less than two minutes, and the competition site is about two miles from the dock. The competition boat is large enough for three competition lines, staff and athletes. Evacuation plans are in place, and will be reviewed further closer to the event (and tested at the pre-competition).
In the next few days, the Judge Responsible will call for judges interested in judging at either 2015 AIDA World Championships: Belgrade and Cyprus. Due to September being a busy season in Cyprus, the organizer has requested that judges be elected as soon as possible (to book flights for judges). In March, we will ask the Assembly to vote on judges for both competitions. As recently approved by the Assembly, each judge is eligible to judge at one WC this year (but not both).

Carla presented information for National groups applying for either full National voting status or Observer member. Groups in both the UAE and Mexico met all requirements for full status and the Board voted to ask the Assembly to vote on admission for both groups, and to recommend approval. Groups in three other countries have applied for Observer membership: Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Ecuador. After reviewing their applications, the Board voted to ask the Assembly to vote on admission for these groups, and to recommend approval.

Ute reported on the sanctioning of competitions in countries without Nationals. Ute and Carla are preparing guidelines to organizers in countries without Nationals, with instructions on what information is needed to request sanctioning a competition. These guidelines should be posted on AIDA’s Facebook page (and to the Assembly) in the near future.

Rob reported on the results of the recent Assembly vote on three items relating to judge training and promotion, noting that the Assembly approved each item (almost unanimously). The Board wishes to thank the Assembly for supporting these measures, which will make judge training and promotion more fair and effective.

The Board continued to discuss the larger goal: to have a senior judge in each AIDA country, and a Judge Instructor in or near each AIDA country. To make this possible, the 2009 Judge IOP must be fixed: the 2009 IOP prevents judge promotion, but can be changed to govern judge promotion fairly and effectively. The Board reviewed a proposal to fix the six major problems with the IOP:

  1. Simplify point system, so one point reflects roughly one performance judged
  2. Simplify levels (from 23 to 5)
  3. Eliminate “D” point requirement, that’s difficult for many judges to meet
  4. Eliminate Level C requirement (get elected to judge at 2 WCs), that’s impossible for nearly all judges to meet; to be replaced with effective and achievable training requirements
  5. Eliminate Level B/A/AI requirement (judging 6 or more world records), that’s impossible for nearly all judges to meet; replace with effective and achievable training requirement
  6. Provide a fair and effective system for judge training, emphasizing assistant judging, continuing education, and judge courses

The Board voted to deliver this proposal to the Assembly, for a review and comment period of approximately six weeks; no vote will be requested until after that review and comment period. The Board believes that AIDA and its Nationals need a better system for judge training and promotion. This proposal will be delivered to the Assembly in approximately two weeks.

Kimmo and Rob reported that they have received a first draft of the study on chest squeezes in freedivers from medical researcher Erika Schagatay. Ms. Schagatay has requested time to clean up the draft before it is released publicly (including a formal proof reading). We hope to have a version ready for distribution to the Assembly in the coming weeks. As previously noted, this study examines the relationship between squeezes and low O2 sat levels after dives, and appears to provide a means to quantitatively identify squeezes. We hope to have Ms. Schagatay present at one of the 2015 AIDA World Championships to present the results of her study.

JP provided information on Amro Dabash, an instructor in the United Arab Emirates. The Board voted to approve Mr. Dabash as AIDA Instructor Trainer, subject to the standard 6-month review period. Mr. Dabash has been assisting the Education Officer with matters in the near east, and is a native Arabic speaker (which has been valuable to assisting with the education system in the near east).

Kimmo noted that there have been delays in the instructor renewal process, in part caused by issues with the EOS system (currently being addressed), and in part by time constraints of the responsible officer. Kimmo requested that Carla Hanson assist in the renewal process, to minimize delays to instructors.

The Board discussed issues with the Yahoo Groups email service, noting that the Wiggio system has not turned out to be a viable alternative. The Board is looking into a suite of services by Google, including email; these services have been recommended by freedivers working in the mobile and IT sectors.

Further Information. If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.

 

Aida International Board Meeting Notes: 31 January 2015

Kimmo welcomed AIDA’s new Treasurer, Vedran Milat. Vedran has been working with Kimmo, Robert and Ben to ensure a smooth transition for treasury functions. The Board reviewed AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Vedran. Kimmo noted that AIDA is saving a significant amount by not reprinting instructor and judge cards (new instructors and judges will have cards printed). Kimmo also noted that the StampKey smartphone application (for example) allows divers to hold certification cards (and other nonpayment cards) in soft copy form on smartphones; this may be an alternative to issuing plastic cards (lower cost, and less environmental impact). In all Aida electronic certificates there is also a QR code that points to the original electronic certificate at AIDA’s webserver.

Kimmo and Rob then updated the Board on AIDA’s Competition Rules and announced that the 2015 version of the Rules has been posted on AIDA’s website, and Rob has distributed a summary of major rules changes to the Assembly (also posted to AIDA’s Facebook page). The Board discussed ways to help athletes, judges, organizers and others use the updated Rules. The Board plans to offer judge continuing education courses covering the new Rules at both 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships.

Kimmo is working with a number of National representatives on the new Rules update procedure, and will send the Assembly a note shortly on how this process will work for 2015. If you have suggestions for changes to the Rules, you will be able to use this procedure to have the TC and Assembly consider them.

Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic presented information on judges eligible for promotion. The Board discussed the candidates, and voted to approve a number of judges for promotion to Level D, C and B (under the 2009 IOP, no candidates were eligible to promotion to higher levels). Petar will notify promoted judges, and update their information on the judges list on the AIDA website.

Promoted to Level D

  • VILLADSEN Astrid Rosenvold
  • DINIĆ Sandra
  • SUCK Christina
  • ZUCCARI Andrea
  • JARDINE Kate
  • ZINCHUK Natalia
  • CHRISTENSEN Flemming
  • ZELENKOVA (NARYCHEVA) Irina
  • ZINCHUK Arkadiy
  • LINDQVIST Max
  • MARTINEZ LAHTINEN Marie
  • HANSSON Klara
  • CAILLET Franck
  • LARA Isabelle
  • KITAHAMA Junko
  • SAVVA SAVVAS
  • WRIGHT John

Promoted to Level C

  • SUBOTIN Darija

Promoted to Level B

  • KING Robert
  • PROCHAZKOVA Pavlina
  • GACA Rładosw

JP provided information on Stephan Randig, an instructor in the Philippines. The Board voted to approve Mr. Randig as AIDA Instructor Trainer, subject to the standard 6-month review period.

Ute reported on the sanctioning of competitions in countries without Nationals. The Board discussed, and voted to simplify the sanctioning process to avoid having Nationals asked to sanction competitions outside of their countries: for competitions in a country with a National, the National must approve; for competitions in other countries, AIDA International will approve (Competition rule 2.3.11).

Ute noted that two competitions in November and December (in Thailand) were represented as AIDA competitions, but were not sanctioned. In order to protect the interests of the athletes—who spent time and money to attend those competitions—the Board voted to ratify those results and post to the ranking list.

Kimmo then noted that AIDA’s judge promotion system has failed to allow the promotion of experienced judges, and to assist with judge training generally. The source of this problem is the 2009 Judge IOP (which practically prevents experienced judges from being promoted); the cost of certification, training and experience is also contributes to the problem. The Board discussed this problem, acknowledging that it interferes with AIDA’s mission: to develop the sport of freediving worldwide. The Board voted to approve four items to help with judge training:

  1. To subsidize travel expense for up to four dedicated AIDA judges, to assistant judge at 2015 AIDA World Championships (up to a total of EUR 2,000; i.e. EUR 650 per judge); this will allow judges from other continents to gain experience as assistant judges, at a reasonable cost.
  2. To have an AIDA Judge Instructor teach an AIDA Judge Course at the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championship in Belgrade, at a cost not to exceed EUR 75 per student; this will allow judge students who pay to travel to Belgrade, and for hotel there, to take a judge course at a reasonable cost; (total cost not to exceed EUR 1,500). This also reflects the fact that there are no pool or classroom costs to run this course: Petar and Carla have volunteered to assist.
  3. To subsidize an AIDA Judge Instructor to teach a judge course at the Pan Pacific championships in Brisbane, Australia, in November 2015 (expense not to exceed EUR 800—class and EUR 50 fees included); the organizer will pay for airfare). Cost of the judge course will not exceed EUR 75 per student; this will allow judge students in the Asia/Pacific region to take a judge course at a reasonable cost.
  4. To hold judge continuing education courses in both Belgrade and Cyprus. These courses will cover a number of topics, including: 2015 changes to the Competition Rules, the CARS system, equipment, pool and rope measurement, start and surfacing issues, video, anti-doping testing and WR documentation.

Kimmo noted that the failings of AIDA’s judge promotion system are too large for the Board to fix on its own: there are a number of items that require Assembly vote to address. The Board reviewed this issue, and voted to request that the Assembly approve three items to help with judge training:

  1. To approve two Assistant judges per elected judge at the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships: 16 for Belgrade, and 12 for Cyprus. (The Assembly approved two assistant judges per judge at last year’s AIDA Team World Championship.)
  2. To approve judge credit for judge continuing education courses at the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships (equivalent to a morning of judging, plus 1-2 “B” points). (The Assembly approved such credit for the continuing education course at last year’s AIDA Team World Championship.)
  3. To approve a change to the process for electing judges for AIDA World Championships, so that different judges may be elected (currently, a small group of senior judges is elected for every AIDA World Championship; this prevents other judges from getting experience at AIDA World Championships). The change would allow a judge to judge only at every other AIDA World Championship: if a judge judges at an AIDA World Championship, he/she would not be not eligible to judge at the next.

An Assembly vote on these three items will be requested in early February.

The Board discussed another item relating to the judge system which is the 2009 IOP, which has failed AIDA with respect to judge promotion: rather than govern judge promotion, the 2009 IOP prevents it. Rob noted that, AIDA has only six judge instructors, and ten other senior judges (Levels A and B): After 22 years of existence, AIDA has only 13 senior judges worldwide (many of whom are currently in-active) Kimmo noted that the 2009 IOP is unlike any system for judge/referee promotion in any other sport. In order to allow experienced AIDA judges to be promoted, sections of the IOP that prevent promotion must be replaced with fair processes for promotion. The Board discussed ways to change the 2009 IOP to permit experienced judges to be promoted, and voted to recommend that the Assembly review and approve the following changes:

  1. Simplify the system of points and levels (this was included in the draft from May 2014); recommend a system of one judge experience point representing one performance judged.
  2. Judges in countries without a Level D judge have often been unable to earn “D” points. Eliminate “D” points concept to reflect current AIDA Competition Rules (where there is only one type of AIDA competition— no longer “International” giving D points and “National” giving “E” points).
  3. Very few judges are elected as main judges at AIDA World Championships (required under the 2009 IOP for promotion to Level C). Remove requirement to be elected main judge to be promoted to Level C; recommend replacing with experience as main judge OR assistant judge, plus continuing education and assisting at a judge course.
  4. Very few judges are main judges for AIDA world records (required under the 2009 IOP for promotion to Level B and higher). Remove requirement to be main judge for world records to be promoted to Level B or higher; recommend replacing with experience as main judge OR assistant judge, plus continuing education and assisting at a judge course.

The Board will present the Assembly with a proposal for these changes in February, and will provide six weeks for review and comment prior to requesting a vote on them.

The Board discussed matters relating to the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships. Rob noted that information regarding both World Championships has been sent to the Assembly and posted on Facebook, including competition dates, wild card invitation, and registration information. Please make sure that athletes planning to attend register by the registration deadlines.

The Board noted requests from athletes without AIDA Nationals to attend the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships. The Board voted to approve such requests, and appointed Carla to manage them and coordinate with the organizers on this issue.

As noted, the Board voted

  • (i) to subsidize room and board costs for committed AIDA judges from outside of Europe, who wish to assistant judge at the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships.
  • (ii) to provide a judge course at a reasonable fee (taking into account airfare, room and board that students must pay – EUR 75).
  • (iii) to hold judge continuing education courses in Belgrade and Cyprus. 2015 AIDA Depth World Championship Safety Planning. Ute and Petar will be in Cyprus in February to teach a judge course, and will review facilities and plans for the competition with the organizer then.

Rob reported on safety preparations for Cyprus, noting that the organizer is working actively to implement the new safety rules (effective 1 January 2015). The Board voted to appoint Rob as safety liaison for the Cyprus competition; he will continue to work with lead organizer Savvas Savva on safety preparations. The Board reviewed work performed by the Vertical Blue safety team in December, including implementation of the new rule about squeezes. Tom Ardavany, medic for the 2014 VB competition, has volunteered to serve as adviser to the Cyprus WC; the Board voted to pay for airfare to fly Tom Ardavany to Cyprus to advise the Cyprus team (not to exceed EUR 1500); Tom will pay his own room and board, and will provide his services without charge to AIDA.

In 2016, there will be both AIDA Pool and Team World Championships. This is the first time that Pool and Team will be held in the same year. In order to allow organizers and athletes to attract sponsors more effectively, the Board voted to approve proposal deadlines for these events approximately one year in advance: for the 2016 AIDA Pool World Championships, by 30 April; for the 2016 AIDA Team World Championships, by 30 September. The Pool World Championships are expected to take place during April-June 2016, and the Team World Championships during August- October 2016.

In accordance with AIDA’s Statutes, the Board voted to appoint the following non-voting officers for 2015:

  • Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic
  • Medical and Science Officer Per Westin
  • Legal Officer Petar Bojovic
  • IT Officer Julien Alias

If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.