Category: Board

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.

 

December Board Meeting Notes

The Board reviewed AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Ben. The Board discussed information from AIDA’s accountants regarding transfers of funds by Sebastian Nagel to an account in Netherlands (during years 2007-2010). AIDA’s accountants are currently reviewing information they have received from the person with access to those funds, to determine if they were used for AIDA purposes.

As previously noted, AIDA received its first repayment from Swiss authorities of the funds embezzled by former Treasurer Sebastian Nagel. This week we received notice of a second transfer.

Kimmo reported on results of the annual AIDA Officer & Budget vote, noting that Carla, Ute and Rob were re-elected, that Vedran Milat was elected Treasurer, that the 2015 budget was approved, and that the annual member fee was lowered to zero for 2015. Ben and Robert agreed to work with Vedran to prepare him to take over the Treasurer role on 1 January.

Kimmo and the Board thanked Ben for his 4½ years of service on the AIDA Board. As a new father, Ben should not have a problem staying occupied ☺.

Kimmo noted that there had been no disciplinary matters for 2014, which is a positive. The Board discussed potential members of an AIDA Disciplinary Committee for 2015. The Board reviewed the qualities important for DC members, including judgment, professionalism, experience, and ability to work effectively in a group environment. The Executive Board voted unanimously to recommend the following persons as members of the 2015 AIDA Disciplinary Committee: Ekaterina Romanova, Secretary (Russia/Germany; judge, attorney), Michael Board (UK/Indonesia; elite athlete, instructor), Simon Bennett (Chile; athlete, instructor, IT professional), Per Westin (Sweden; elite athlete, medical doctor), and Claude Chapuis (France; AIDA Founder, AIDA National President). This group will be recommended to the Assembly for approval in an upcoming Assembly vote.

The Board first noted that AIDA had received seven excellent proposals for the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships: four for pool, three for depth. The Board will work with organizers to continue this level of interest from qualified organizers.

The Board discussed numerous items for the 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships, to be held in Belgrade, Serbia (pool) and Limassol, Cyprus (depth). The Belgrade organizer will determine the exact dates of the competition in the next few days, and we will notify the Assembly and post it on AIDA’s Facebook page. In addition, both organizers are preparing for athletes who want to arrive early to train; we’ll post information on training dates (and costs) for both World Championships on Facebook. AIDA will also post the names of athletes who receive “wild card” bids to the World Championships (i.e. the top ten athletes per sex per discipline, from the 2014 AIDA ranking list). Both organizers have indicated that they have significant capacity for both competition and hotel spaces; accordingly, each country will be allowed to send up to four athletes per sex per discipline to the 2015 AIDA World Championships (wildcards do not count toward a country’s maximum).

At the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships, two new items worked well. First, AIDA subsidized the travel costs of three assistant judges from other continents (from Japan, Venezuela, New Zealand), allowing them to gain valuable experience and knowledge. We plan to continue this program in 2015, subsidizing room and board costs for committed AIDA judges. Second, AIDA held its first judge continuing education course, presenting information on a number of key subjects. Given the positive feedback on this course, we plan to hold another at one or both 2015 AIDA Individual World Championships.

The Board discussed having a member serve as safety liaison for the 2015 AIDA Depth World Championships in Cyprus, to review safety and evacuation planning and training for this competition. The Board will appoint this liaison at its next meeting.

The Board also discussed media coverage for both World Championships. Given the positive response of coverage in Cagliari, the Board voted to approve travel costs for Carla Hanson to provide media coverage in Belgrade (not to exceed EUR 1,500), plus funding for a dedicated photographer/videographer (not to exceed EUR 800).

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, AIDA is requesting proposals for these events approximately one year in advance of the events: for Pool, by 30 April; for Team, 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.

Kimmo reviewed the “special Assembly” vote that was called by seven Nationals (demanding a second vote on Competition Rules updates, which had been approved by Assembly vote in September). The Assembly rejected the “special Assembly” proposal (it got only 10 votes, less than 1/3 of AIDA’s 33 Nationals).

AIDA is a volunteer organization, which depends on time volunteered by members of the Assembly and Nationals. This “special Assembly” occupied the entire Board and Assembly (approximately 90 volunteers), for three months. After this three-month process, the result was the same as in September: the Assembly upheld its September vote. AIDA, however, lost three months and a lot of energy that could have been spent on other matters (e.g. judge promotions). We apologize for this delay, and hope that in 2015 AIDA will be allowed to promote its mission – to develop the sport of freediving – rather spending volunteer time on politics and repeat votes.

Changes to the AIDA Competition Rules approved by the Assembly in 2014 (i.e. the May line item changes, July safety changes, and September line item and “clean up” changes) go into effect on 1 January 2015. To help Nationals, organizers, judges and athletes prepare for these changes, we will post the 2015 Rules on AIDA’s website and Facebook page, along with a copy showing all of the 2015 changes. In addition, we’ll post a summary of the major rule changes (e.g. touch rule, grab rule) to use as a reference.

Kimmo has been working with representatives from several Nationals to pilot a new Rules update process for 2015, in which the Rules will be posted on an online document management tool: Google Docs. Each National will be able to comment on the Rules: items it wants changed, deleted or added. A smaller group of representatives, led by Technical Officer Antero Joki, will review comments, and work on items supported by a number of Nationals. Rules updates should be smaller but more regular: likely a small number of changes voted on each year, to become effective 1 January of the next year (with emergency changes still possible if needed). Kimmo will present the Assembly with more detail on this process in the coming weeks.

Robert reported on the safety changes to the AIDA Competition Rules, which become effective on 1 January 2015. Several Nationals have asked for guidance on how to use these new rules: in particular (i) limitation of announcements; (ii) prohibition on recommencing descent; and (iii) consequences of squeezes. Robert will work with Technical Officer Antero Joki and AIDA Judge and special project manager Mario Zucic (President of AIDA Croatia) to produce “how to use” guidelines for these rules. Dr. Per Westin and Dr. Kerry Hollowell will prepare guidelines for organizers and competition doctors, on how to evaluate the severity of squeezes (also requested by several Nationals).

Robert also reported on the study on chest squeezes and freediving co-funded by AIDA, and being completed by medical researcher Erika Schagatay. The preliminary report is due out shortly; we will post it on AIDA’s Facebook page (subject to approval re copyright). Information from this study – in particular, the correlation between severity of squeeze and oxygen saturation over time (easily measured with an inexpensive device) – will be useful for competition organizers and doctors in evaluating the severity of squeezes.

Robert reported on information provided by AIDA Japan, from an October competition where an athlete was seriously injured (on a 46m CWT dive). Symptoms were similar to those of Nick Mevoli’s fatal accident. At the AIDA Team World Championships in Cagliari, the competition doctor gave a demonstration of how to treat this type of injury (based on his work saving an athlete with similar symptoms in Italy); fortunately, representatives from Japan at that demonstration were also at the October competition, and used the technique recommended by the Italian doctor to resuscitate the athlete (who recovered completely). It’s important to note that the athlete appears to have started ascent and recommenced descent twice; this may been a significant factor in his injury (as it was in Nick’s case). This incident highlights the importance of the rule prohibiting an athlete from recommencing descent; it also highlights the importance of AIDA focusing on safety and other critical functions.

Robert reported on safety-related activities at the 2014 Vertical Blue competition, just completed in the Bahamas. By agreement with the athletes, the organizer used many of the new safety rules that will go into place on 1 January 2015 (including limitation of announcements, prohibition on recommencing descent, and consequences of squeezes). Information from VB will be included in the summary described above on those rules. Of particular interest is VB’s measurement of oxygen saturation of all athletes after their dives (measurements that will go to Erika Schagatay for her study). These measurements were used to detect squeezes in athletes, and proved to be highly effective in doing so. This process may be useful as a model for other organizers.

Finally, we note that there was a DCI case at a recent competition. This case, and other reports in the last year, highlights the importance of better understanding the risks of DCI and freediving, and of how athletes may avoid DCI. The 2015 budget contains partial funding for a study on DCI and freediving, which we hope to begin in 2015.

Antero reported on the recent EUF meeting in Vienna (European underwater federation). In particular, he noted that several agencies are considering working together to gather data on freediving incidents; AIDA is likely to work with this group to share incident data. (Safety is not a competitive issue.)

The Board discussed the need to allow reactivation of inactive judges. Many inactive judges are high-level athletes or organizers, who are highly familiar with judging, but have not had time to judge due to other demands. Some judge instructors have required inactive judges to take another judge course to reactivate – at a cost of over EUR 300 – which appears unreasonable for judges who have already paid for a judge course (and who are not paid for judging). Accordingly, the Board voted to fund the development of an online judge reactivation course (similar to online CPR and first aid courses offered in the US and Europe), at a cost not to exceed EUR 4,000.

The Board reviewed problems with the 2009 Judge IOP, which prevents most judges from ever being promoted above Level D. For example, promotion to Level C requires being elected as main judge at two AIDA World Championships: for most judges, it is impossible to be elected even to one (a small group of senior judges judge at most AIDA World Championships). Promotion to Level B requires being a main judge at six world records; in the past few years there has only been an average of six world records per year (typically only one judge at a world record is below Level B).

Until the 2009 IOP is changed, it’s mathematically impossible for most judges to be promoted above Level D. The 2009 IOP also prevents judges in many countries (those without a Level D judge) from being promoted above Level E.

Are you in a country where judges have not been promoted above Level D (or Level E)? Do you think this system should change? We will ask the Assembly for input on this subject after the holidays.

The Board voted to approve the following instructors as AIDA Instructor Trainers:

  • Yoram Zekri (Australia)
  • Antero Joki (Finland/Germany)

Jean-Pol noted that, as is the policy for all new Instructor Trainers, these new ITs will have a six-month review period, to ensure that they actively teach AIDA Instructor courses. The appointment of these Instructor Trainers reflects AIDA’s ongoing commitment to having an AIDA Instructor Trainer in or near every AIDA country. All AIDA countries need easy access to AIDA Instructor Trainers, as they do to senior judges and Judge Instructors.

The Board voted to fund the development of a safety diver course (not to exceed EUR 2,000), in order to better train safety divers (including coordination with medical personal, and evacuation plans).

The Board voted to end the practice of annually reissuing all instructor (and judge) cards. This practice is no longer common in the industry – most agencies now use an online system for both instructor and student validation – is expensive, and is not ecological (both in use of plastic, and shipping).

Nonetheless, AIDA will continue issuing cards to newly certified instructors (and judges). Kimmo noted that the AIDA smart phone app will allow instant issuance of certifications, and may be used for students who prefer them (especially in locations where it’s difficult or expensive to ship physical cards).

The Board discussed the creation of AIDA International Freediving Centers: dive centers that offer AIDA courses and other freediving services. This is similar to dive centers supported by a number of other agencies. The Board believes that starting AIDA International Freediving Centers is important to developing the sport of freediving, and will make this program a priority for 2015. The Assembly has approved funding for this project; we will be updating you throughout the year on progress. The owners of several large freediving operations have given input on items that would be useful to AIDA International Freediving Centers.

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