The Aida Board met on Saturday , August 9 2014 via Skype conference call.
The first item discussed was AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and it was noted again that the old PayPal account should no longer receive payments; instructors will be notified to send payments only to the new PayPal account. AIDA Nationals: when making payment to AIDA International by PayPal, please use only the following payment information: bank @ aidainternational.org.
The Board reviewed a proposed competition in Crimea, which was sanctioned by AIDA Russia, but opposed by AIDA Ukraine. The Board noted that the United Nations and IOC currently recognize Crimea as a region of Ukraine; accordingly, the Board voted unanimously to remove the proposed competition from the AIDA calendar unless and until AIDA Ukraine sanctions it.
The Board reviewed SSI’s recent appointment of former AIDA Education Officer Lotta Ericson as Freediving Training Director of SSI (http://www.divessi.com/news/1213), noting issues relating to the protection of AIDA intellectual property (primarily in AIDA’s education system). The Board voted unanimously to terminate Ms. Ericson’s status as AIDA instructor/instructor trainer, and access to the AIDA’s Education Online System; this termination also applies to Ms. Ericson’s business partner, Linda Paganelli. The Board noted that during the first 7 months of 2014, together they had certified only three AIDA students; accordingly, access to AIDA’s systems was unlikely to be used for valid training purposes. The Board also voted unanimously to maintain both Ms. Ericson’s and Ms. Paganelli’s current AIDA judge status, with the following caveats to prevent possible favoritism toward SSI or SSI‐affiliated athletes: (1) neither may judge at AIDA World Championships; (2) before acting as senior judge for any AIDA world record performance, each must request advance approval in writing from AIDA International, not less than two weeks prior to the performance (with respect to the latter, the only records currently possible to break in the Dahab Blue Hole‐max depth 90m‐is woman’s CNF; accordingly, the Board has pre‐approved both judges for performances by recent woman’s CNF record holders Natalia Molchanova and Ashley Futral).
The next topic was the selection of judges for a World Record attempt. By email vote, in July the Board appointed the following judges for the upcoming Winram record event (30 August – 6 September): Senior Judge, Petar Bojovic; Junior Judge, Radoslaw Gaca. Due to issues relating to Mr. Gaca’s availability at the event site on the event days, the Board voted unanimously to replace Mr. Gaca with Denys Rylov as Junior Judge for the event. Robert King and Petar Bojovic recused themselves from this vote therefore the vote was done by the other Board members.
The Board reviewed results of the recent vote on the Safety Proposal, noting that numerous changes were approved, and that the items on feet first descents and consequences of blackouts were not approved. The Board would like to thank all Assembly members and members of Nationals that took part in the review of and vote on this Proposal, and also the safety work group that prepared the proposal: these changes respond to the risks identified with the fatal accident of diver Nick Mevoli last November, and should increase safety for AIDA divers worldwide. The Board noted that approved changes will become effective on 1 January 2015, and will incorporate them into AIDA’s Competition Rules by that time. Please note that there will be NO CHANGES affecting athletes at the upcoming 2014 AIDA Team World Championships in Sardinia; though the AIDA Board will work with the organizer to implement some organizational items (e.g. use of Sonar and pocket masks), there will be no rules changes that will apply to athletes. At least two Nationals requested that with respect to approved item #4 (“consequences of squeezes”), that AIDA International provide guidance to organizers on how to implement the changes effectively and uniformly. This recommendation is well taken, and AIDA’s Medical and Science Officer will be working on a set of guidelines for working with athletes with squeezes by end of year.
The Board noted that Item 1 of the Safety Proposal (“limitation of announcements”) resulted in a tie (10 for, 10 against); in accordance with AIDA’s Statutes, this item will be sent back to the Assembly for revote (with the proposed changes for the Competition Rules). The Board also noted input from Nationals on this item, however, will be included in the revote. First, if an organizer wishes to limit announcements, the limitation will be to no greater than 10m below the depth done in training (previously, announcements could be limited to no greater than 3m below that depth). Second, recent dives will be considered even if not done onsite or on the ranking list—essentially allowing the second option, which is the athlete stating what depth he/she has done, and who the safety diver/witness was.
The Board voted unanimously to reflect the above input from Nationals when the item is sent for revote.
Kimmo and Robert reported on progress on the AIDA Incident Reporting System; Per Westin, also working on this project, was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. Per and Robert are working with developer Simo Kurra to prepare a prototype version of the Organizer Reporting Form for demonstration in Sardinia. The organizer reporting system will be mandatory—i.e. organizers are required to report serious incidents—and this component should allow for statistically based reporting of incidents (i.e. number of incidents of each type per 1000 starts). Work is also progressing on an optional athlete reporting system that will not be statistically based (i.e. it will not be possible to determine the frequency of incidents in detail), but which may be useful in identifying types of incidents warranting additional attention. For both systems, personally identifying information (e.g. name) will not be captured.
Jean‐Pol Francois , Aida Education Officer , reported on safety‐related updates to the AIDA education system. Jean‐Pol noted that safety updates on the 1* and 2* courses should be ready by this fall; revisions to the AIDA Safety Diver course should be ready by late fall as well.
The Board reviewed matters relating to the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships, to be held in September in Sardinia, Italy. The organizer has set up a website and Facebook page for the competition:
Please take note of these pages. Aida will also be posting on the Aida Facebook page unofficial ‘live results’ as the dives take place. Robert reported that the Assembly has approved two courses to be given in Sardinia: a judge reactivation course, and a judge continuing education course. The AIDA judge reactivation course will allow inactive AIDA judges to reactivate their judge status (at a nominal fee). AIDA believes that reactivation of inactive judges, without the expense of retaking a judge course, is important for judges in a number of countries. AIDA will also offer a continuing judge education course (free of charge). The AIDA Judge Continuing Education Course will provide AIDA judges with important information on judging at higher‐level events, and common judging issues generally. AIDA believes that continuing education is critical for the training and promotion of judges. Experience points will be granted to judges attending this course. AIDA Board will also host an open meeting in Sardinia, like the open meetings that took place in Belgrade and Kalamata last year. All persons will be invited; Board members will review several important items, and other items will be discussed as requested by participants.
Please note that the AIDA Board is accepting proposals from organizers to host the 2015 AIDA Pool and Depth World Championships. Please request any organizers that may be interested in hosting a pool world championship in the spring (April-June) or a depth world championship in the fall (August – November) to forward proposals and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board voted to require that all proposals be delivered not later than 30 September, in order to allow them to be finalized and sent to the Assembly for vote in October.
Kimmo reported on a new Assembly web tool, to allow members to update their contact information: similar to functionalities in the EOS and JOS systems. Kimmo also reported that the IT group is working on a new email distribution system (to replace the Yahoo Groups service): the Yahoo email service is experiencing significant issues (including dropping members, and not delivering messages and/or attachments). This project is aimed at implementing a new service to solve those issues, and at better integrating Member data with the current AIDA web‐based tools (EOS, CARS and JOS). Note: If you are not receiving emails from or are unable to send them to the Assembly group list, please contact AIDA Secretary Carla Hanson (email@example.com) so we can keep you copied until the new system is implemented.
The Board voted unanimously to recommend to the Assembly that organizations in the following countries be considered for Observer Membership: Slovak Republic; Iceland; Peru; Latvia; and the Philippines. Each of these organizations meets the requirements for Observer membership (including statutes, and number of members). The Board also voted unanimously to recommend to the Assembly that the following Observer members be upgraded to National membership: Romania; Malaysia. Each of these organizations meets the requirements for National memberships (including statutes, number of members, instructors and judges). The Board plans to ask the Assembly to vote on these membership items in October, in connection with the vote on 2015 World Championship locations.
The Board is pleased that three observer members—South Korea, Romania and Malaysia—have grown to meet the standards to be upgraded to full National members. We remain concerned, however, that most observer members have not demonstrated significant growth. A larger number of observer members over a period of years have not been able to reach 25 members, one instructor and two judges—the minimum requirements for an AIDA National. AIDA International’s mission is the development of freediving world wide, and we see the development of organizations in countries without AIDA Nationals as a key component of that development. The failure of most observers to grow into Nationals is a concern for AIDA. We plan to review this matter further, and recommend to the Assembly actions that may be taken to better promote growth. Such actions may include AIDA International sending instructors, instructor trainers and judge instructors to countries with observer members, as well as to other countries with or without AIDA organizations, who request access to instruction in order to develop the sport of freediving.
If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board member.