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:
- Simplify point system, so one point reflects roughly one performance judged
- Simplify levels (from 23 to 5)
- Eliminate “D” point requirement, that’s difficult for many judges to meet
- 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
- 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
- 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.