Sanctioning requirements for "events"

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Fred Wilson
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Sanctioning requirements for "events"

Post by Fred Wilson »

Following posts all courtesy of Davis Straub.
- For some reason I could not get the "Link" to activate this thread in the Forum, under his authorship.

Scare! / Davis. Could you sticky this one also please? It is a classic piece of work well kept on top for referencing. Tnx Fred

Sanctioning requirements for "events" (Nov.12'08 12.225#0)
Tue, Nov 11 2008, 7:32:51 am PST

And yet more burdens 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

http://ozreport.com/toc.php?articles=12 ... 0,12.217/0

Well, it gets worse. Also the Working Draft points to the wrong appendix, and the right appendix is empty, so this is somewhat unclear.

There is currently only a requirement that a meet organizer submit an application for the Nationals by the Fall BOD meeting (and even this has been waived at times). No other time stamp requirements for the other USHPA sanctioned competitions, but meet organizers try to get their applications in to the USHPA office (it is unclear where they should be by a certain time - the office or the Competition Committee Chairman's mail box) by the Fall BOD meeting, or the Spring BOD meeting for later competitions. But still competitions are approved when the applications are received at other times.

The Working Draft requires the sanction applications be submitted eight weeks prior to the start dates of local and regional events (Class A). By paying $50, you can shorten this time to four weeks, as long as the Executive Committee agrees.

For national, World, and National events (Class B and C) meet organizers are required to submit two weeks in advance of the Fall or Spring BOD meeting (Fall only for Nationals) and must be at least six months in advance of the event. (If these rules applied to 2009, Dustin would have to get on the ball re the Santa Cruz Flats Race.)

You can get a dispensation for a $500 fee, Executive Committee approval, and by submitting the application twelve weeks before the event. $500, you're killin' me.

So, once again ratcheting up the requirements and burdens on the meet organizers.

In addition, how about the requirement for wind indicators at goals, even goals that are 215 miles out like the goal we had at Big Spring. We use virtual goals, and don't have wind socks there.

The requirements refer to the Competition Rulebook, which it doesn't seem will exist if and when this document gets approved by the USHPA BOD.

We (and this is true in Australia also) have used protest committees comprised of three pilots (plus an alternate pilot) for years. Now the Workgroup wants us to use two meet officials, and one pilots. As protests are often against the meet director or organizer this sounds like a bad idea. If there is a pilot conflict, the alternate is used.

I see no reason to change a system that has worked without complaint for years. In fact the current Rulebook specifically says that members of the competition organization cannot by members of the protest committee. I wonder what problem the cheating paraglider pilots ran into.

The meet organizers are not allowed to run additional flying contests for the competitors. This is crazy. We have had a successful spot landing competition every year at Big Spring. I realize that this is in the current rules, but we have successfully ignored it.

There are currently no requirements in the USHPA Competition Rulebook for radios, but the Working Draft requires that the pilots and meet director have radios that transmit on USHPA frequencies unless alternate frequencies are agreed to unanimously by all participants and the meet director. This is nuts. It encourages illegal activity. I have not used the USHPA frequencies in a decade.

"...a secondary means of disconnecting the towline." Does a weaklink on the left shoulder, which most of us use, qualify?

Again, an organization like the USHPA BOD is, over time, going to add more and more burdens to the meet organizers and do less and less for them in providing assistance. It is just the structure of the organization and the community. It is cheap to add the burdens to someone else and very expensive to actually provide them support. (Follow the money, or the lack there of.)

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Class C "events"

Post by Fred Wilson »

Class C "events" (Nov.11'08 12.224#0)
Mon, Nov 10 2008, 7:35:43 am PST

GAP scoring required 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

http://ozreport.com/2.223

http://ozreport.com/2.222

http://ozreport.com/2.221

http://ozreport.com/2.219

http://ozreport.com/2.217

Unlike our 2009 Nationals at King Mountain, the Competition Workgroup Working Draft of the Competition Manual and Rulebook requires that the Nationals use GAP scoring, in fact that it use the version of GAP that is accepted by the FAI (the Workgroup is confused thinking that RACE is a scoring algorithm). So the 2009 King Mountain Nationals wouldn't meet the USHPA own proposed criteria. It guess it's good that these draft rules don't apply for 2009.

Now while two mentoring sessions are required (that will go over great at the pre-Worlds and Worlds, I'm sure), there is no requirement for Sport Class unlike with Class B "events." Why not a Sport Class at the Nationals? Don't we want a Sport Class National Champion? Why require it in other "national events" but not at the Nationals? Of course, it wouldn't go over well at the Worlds.

Other requirements apply as per Class B and my critique of those issues apply here also.

Now, the USHPA Competition Workgroup does offer a carrot, along with these additional requirements (how many meet organizers are going to be discouraged by all the requirements, and decide not to put on meets?). The carrot is free ads in the USHPA magazine. Big Whoop!

Class A events get class C treatment with one free business card size ad. Class B events get a quarter page ad. The pre-Worlds and Worlds events get a bit of the class B treatment with one free half page ad or two quarter page ads. The Nationals gat a free full page ad or two half page ads?

Hmmm?! Does this sound familiar? Didn't the 2008 Nationals get an ad-hoc free full page ad? It looks like this is a retroactive "make it right" "event." A full page for the Nationals, but hey, we just can't be that generous about the Worlds (hell, only six US pilots can go to it anyway, so what is the point of the ads?)

Isn't this beginning to make no sense at all? Class A events with the smallest ads? Burdening down prospective meet organizers with additional requirements and really very little support other than some useless ads (at no cost to the USHPA)? Why isn't the USHPA providing real support for "events." I sent in a bunch of proposals to Mike HaleyMike Haley (the head of this Workgroup) to support competition. You'll not see any of these proposals in this Working Draft.

The Working Draft says (in the first paragraph) how the competitions can support the sport, but then does almost nothing to support competitions, adds burdens, and guts the competition system. Why exactly don't they support competition?

Here is what I recommended to Mike and others in early September:

There are a number of steps, concrete steps, that the USHPA can take to encourage many more pilots to attend competitions (and by competitions, I mean race-to-goal type competitions). I believe that competition and competition venues are vital to sustaining and growing hang gliding. If the pilot doesn't have a goal that promotes personal growth, they will drop out of the sport once they have brought their skills up to the level that they need to. No more skill growth, no more fun.

1) Encourage and support new competition organizers at all levels.

The USHPA has significant human resources that it can use to mentor new competition organizers and directors. They include Mike HaleyMike Haley, Lisa Tate, Steve KroopSteve Kroop, Jamie SheldenJamie Shelden, David GloverDavid Glover and I, among a few others. These people can volunteer their time to be a mentor to others wishing to put on competitions, whether they be spot landing competitions, regional competitions, or national level competitions.

They can help with getting in the sanctioning applications, the details of organizing and running a meet, preparing local regulations, and scoring. They can make material available to the USHPA to put on their web site that will help meet organizers.

This mentor program can be advertised and made available to all the regions and all the clubs by a concerted effort on the part of the membership and development committee and the USHPA office (addresses, mailings, magazine).

2) Encourage and support the development and growth of Sport Class competition to bring in new competition pilots. Encourage meet organizers to include Sport Class competition. Pay meet organizers $200 per Sport Class pilot registered at their national level meet to help reduce the cost of entry into the meet by Sport Class participants.

Encourage meet organizers to include mentoring of Sport Class folks by Open Class pilots. Assign mentors to the Sport Class pilots and encourage the Sport Class pilots to contact their mentor and ask questions.

Let Sport Class pilots gain NTSS points by participating in tasks that are the same as the Open class tasks and score them with everyone else as well as separate their scoring out for Sport Class affirmations.

Provide Sport Class trophies for competitions. Encourage meet organizers to apply for CIVL sanctioning of their Sport Class competitions. (These can be scored separately than the Open Class.)

3) Set up two scoring laptops that can be sent to meet organizers to help them score their meets. Put all the scoring software on them, network them, and set them up so that pilots can see their flights. A few of us have the expertise and experience to set these computers up in the proper configuration.

Pilots learn a great deal at competitions and have a lot of fun. Competition can be the life blood of the sport, if we encourage its spread and growth. There are a number of barriers to this and if we see the goal, we can overcome those barriers.

And this list didn't exhaust the suggestions that I have made to the USHPA recently about how to improve competition, nor does it include other recommendations by others that were made and apparently overlooked. A lot more suggestions and fixes soon.

Discuss Class C "events" at the Oz Report forum link»
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Welcome to the C class Worlds

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Welcome to the C class Worlds (Nov.10'08 12.223#0)
Fri, Nov 7 2008, 6:44:55 am PST

And Class A regional and local events 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

http://ozreport.com/2.222

http://ozreport.com/2.221

http://ozreport.com/2.219

http://ozreport.com/2.217

Now this is really silly, but also very revealing. The USHPA Competition Workgroup proposes to set up a three tiered system of "events." Class A events are local or regional events. Class B are national in scope. Class C are National Championships, pre-Worlds and Worlds (held in the US, more on this later). Backwards? Upside down? Hmmm?!

Maybe the names don't mean anything, but it turns out that they do. More on that later.

Each event type has its own requirements for officials, scoring, budgets, training, USHPA appointments, and corporate sponsorship. There are added USHPA requirements on top of the existing system (the sticks) as well as a little bit of help (carrots). More on this soon.

The Class A events (local and regional in scope) are the least restricted, it just requires that the meet officials be USHPA members. GAP scoring is optional, but non GAP scoring must be approved by the USHPA Competition Committee (and the BOD).

Now it appears as though these "events" (they are never called competitions) could include spot landing contests (a skill that we wish to encourage), ridge races (like at Torrey Pines in the "old" days), duration contests (like the real old days at Chelan, Dog Mountain and many other sites), speed gliding, etc. Now we've had these "events" all along (we have a great spot landing competition for money at Big Spring during the "real" competition, for example), so what is different here? Why would anyone want USHPA Competition Committee sanctioning, for such a meet?

Well, this might be the reason: The results of these "events" are added to your points for National Team selection. "...the average score calculated from the best five rounds in Class A events over a two year period will be added." So you can get points for your NTSS ranking from attending and doing well in a spot landing contest? Just how is unclear at the moment.

The Class B "events" are what we normally think of as USHPA sanctioned competitions. The Nationals have been separated into Class C, which we'll get to soon. GAP scoring is optional (like at the Nationals in 2009), trophies (or awards) must be awarded (this is a new requirement), the "event" must include a Sport Class, must include at least two "mentoring sessions," there is a requirement for a Safety Director that can't not be replaced by a Safety Committee made up of pilots, this is a new requirement.

The meet director must hold a USHPA Meet Director Appointment (more on this later). He must allow two apprentices to assist and be trained through the USHPA Director Apprenticeship Program.

Submit a budget, if entry fees are over $250, unless a USHPA Chapter is putting on the event for their benefit. Corporate partnering

So what we see here is some significant new requirements and burdens on the national level "meet" organizer. (Why do they keep using this term, "event?")

The USHPA has decided that it is best at deciding the qualification and qualities of the meet director, and it is not up to the meet organizer to choose the meet director from their own pool of candidates. We'll have a lot more to say about this later, as there is an elaborate Meet Director program.

I'm not a big fan of trophies, and this is an additional requirement, not now in the USHPA Competition Rulebook. But it looks to me that you can get around this requirement (which is often met, by the way, by handing out medals (which I like, and fit in my trailer) or other "awards" (say discounts on harnesses, etc., GPSes, tee-shirts)).

I do like the idea of "forcing" Sport Class on meet organizers as well as mentoring sessions. I feel that the burden is relatively small for the great benefit of bringing more pilots into competition, but I'd like to see a little more support for meet organizers and a little less forcing.

We have used Safety Committees extensively in our competitions and only rarely have a designated Safety Director. There is not problem with a three person safety committee made up wholly of pilots in the competition, and that should be allowed to continue.

What is so magical about the figure $250? No change over time? The USHPA relies on private persons to create their competitions ("events"). Without these private individuals taking the time, effort and risk of creating competitions, there would be no USHPA sanctioned competitions. Why are we adding this burden?

And why allow USHPA chapters to get away without a budget? Why the difference? What is the ideological reasoning behind this distinction?

I'll get to Class C competitions in the next article (this article is already getting too long), and discuss carrots and sticks and what it takes to have a successful competition system.

Discuss Welcome to the C class Worlds at the Oz Report forum link»
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Changing the focus of competition

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Changing the focus of competition (Nov.7'08 12.222#0)
Thu, Nov 6 2008, 7:28:06 am PST

Not for competition pilots 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

http://ozreport.com/2.221

http://ozreport.com/2.219

http://ozreport.com/2.217

The very first paragraph of the Working Draft of the USHPA Competition Manual and Rulebook makes it very clear what the focus of the Workgroup is and what they want from the Competition program. Here it is:

The USHPA recognizes the many benefits of hang gliding and paragliding competitions in the United States. These include community and public relations, site retention, marketing our sports, camaraderie among pilots as well as a means to select a US Team to compete internationally.

So while previously the major focus (actually at one point the only focus) of the NTSS ranking system, was to choose a US National team that could compete at the Worlds, this document's proposal will almost completely gut that focus. It will do so in a manner that is often blatant, but at times very obscure.

The Competition Workgroup wants to harness competitions to promote other goals of the USHPA. They want to use the competition pilots to promote those goals. The assumption here is that competitions will go on and that they can be used for other means without upsetting the apple cart.

What is missing is a focus on the pilots and what makes the pilots come to the meets and want to compete. Notice that the first three benefits have nothing to do with the actual pilots at the actual meets. This lack of focus on the pilots themselves has and will have very serious consequences for competition.

For example, site choice. The King Mountain Nationals would not be the first choice of many competition pilots, and many "top" competition pilots have already said that they are not going to compete at the King Mountain Nationals. King Mountain seems to have been chosen for the first three reasons (or the hope that these benefits will be realized), and not because it is the best place to help select a US National Team.

Now, the choice of going to Big Spring for the Nationals provides an excellent choice for the desires of the pilots (as we have seen from pilot comments, the choice of it for the 2007 Worlds, and pilot attendance). In addition, as an extra benefit, it fulfils the other criteria listed here. We get to keep using the Big Spring airport because we have great relations with the community, for example.

So the first paragraph sets the tone for a document that essentially guts the current competition system and turns it on its head.

I have a number of suggestions for what we can do now to address the problems that the Workgroup have addressed. I don't want to just be a critic. I want to give us a quick and relatively easy way to make some changes for the short term and a way to make longer term changes. I will present these soon.

Discuss Changing the focus of competition at the Oz Report forum link»
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Early starts

Post by Fred Wilson »

Early starts (Nov.7'08 12.222#1)
Thu, Nov 6 2008, 7:30:44 am PST

I favor allowing pilots to start early, and not giving them much of a penalty -28.118319,153.203487,Beechmont,+QLD,+Australia(Beechmont, QLD, Australia)

I think that it is a good idea to allow pilots to head out on course before the first start time. I figure that they are taking the chances, so let them go off by themselves. Also I know that conditions can change at launch and it is best to allow pilots to head out.

Also there is a lot of difference between the first launches and the later ones if there is a restricted launch and a lot of pilots. If you want pilots to launch in the first part of the launch window you've got to give them a reason to get off, and being allowed to start early is an incentive to launch early.

Yes, I realize that there is the argument that the pilots could be flying in different conditions, and I'm sure that this happens and happened at the 2008 Canungra Classic.

One way to get around this is to have an early start time at thirty minutes after the window opens to get those pilots who want to get going an opportunity to do so. But then pilots complain that it doesn't give everyone the opportunity to take the first start time. There is no perfect solution.

As a scorekeeper and scoring program writer (using the GAP 2000 and OzGAP 2005 algorithms) I allowed pilots to start before the first start time. But I move their start time to past the first start time. For example, if they start fourteen minutes before the first start time, I add two time fourteen minutes or twenty eight minutes to the start time and twenty eight minutes to their finish time. This works fine with OzGAP 2005 and GAP 2000, but not GAP 2002 (unless you changed all the times in the pilot's track log).

Now assuming that the start time intervals were fifteen minutes long, you would get the first start time, with a fourteen minute penalty. Of course, if you started fifteen minutes and one second early, you would get the second start time with only a one second penalty. But you would be penalized by having the second start time instead of the first.

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USHPA Competition Workgroup

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The secret USHPA Competition Workgroup (Nov.6'08 12.221#0)
Wed, Nov 5 2008, 8:31:17 am PST

Making the rules for the rest of us 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

http://ozreport.com/2.219

http://ozreport.com/2.217

The Competition Workgroup, a workgroup that you've never heard of unless you've heard about it here, has completed a draft "Competition Manual and Rulebook." It is unclear to me what the status of this "Working Draft" is, but is certainly extensive (copying many parts of the current USHPA Rulebook). As I reported earlier, the Competition Rulebook can't be changed except at the USHPA Fall Board meeting, so there may be a lot of work to do before it gets voted on. It wasn't voted up or down at the recent BOD meeting.

Right off it seems strange that the Workgroup is combining a Rulebook with a guidebook for meet organizers, with a set of standards for meet organizers, with a "Comp in a Box" pep talk to prospective meet organizers (and that will be combined with the Tree Toppers "Comp in a Box"), combined with a Public Relations Guide, and finally combined with an out of date Competition Planning Check list (still refers to CB radios). Perhaps all useful documents, but it is unclear why they are all together.

The Competition Rulebook is an essential document for pilots engaged in competition. Combined with the local rules (and perhaps the CIVL rules), these are the rules that govern a competition. Pilots (and meet directors) need to be familiar with them. So the target audience is: competition pilots, and meet directors.

The Competition Rulebook needs to be as short and sweet as possible, so that the pilot actually can read it and so that the meet director (and the protest committee) can quickly apply it. Right now our USHPA Competition Rulebook has a lot more in it than it needs, to be to useful to pilots and meet directors, and much of it could be moved to another document to make it easier on this audience.

So I find it a bit crazy to try to pile on and make it more difficult for pilots and meet directors to know what the rules are. It was my hope earlier (when I was in charge of the USHPA Competition Rulebook) and my hope now that the Competition Committee actually go in the completely opposite direction and simplify the task of competition pilots by editing the Competition Rulebook to make it focused just on what pilots and the meet directors need to know.

You know, it would also be nice if the USHPA provided a set of boilerplate local rules. I have such a set and provide them to meet organizers to help them out.

More on the Competition Manual and Rulebook in the next issue.

Discuss The secret USHPA Competition Workgroup at the Oz Report forum link»
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ABS, DNF?

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ABS, DNF? (Nov.6'08 12.221#1)
Wed, Nov 5 2008, 8:32:01 am PST

What do these terms mean? 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

The 2008 CIVL Section 7A FAI Sporting Code states:

5. 5.4 Pilots Who Do Not Fly

A pilot who did not fly scores zero and is indicated DNF on the score sheet. A pilot who is disqualified will be indicated DSQ on the score sheet for all subsequent tasks. A pilot who withdraws due to illness or accident shall be marked as ABS (absent) for all subsequent tasks and no longer counted in the group or class for the purposes of scoring.

The FS Scoring Program Guide, used to score CIVL sanctioned category I and II meets, states:

http://fs.fai.org/cgi-bin/trac.fcgi/wiki/FS Guide

After checking tracklogs, set status for those not having tracklog. Most will probably be minimum distance, this is done by just setting the pilot status to DF. Remember to set ABS for those not present at takeoff, or DNF for those that chose not to fly for some reason. ABS does not influence the scoring, while DNF ‘'does'' influence the scoring by reducing day quality.

The Australian Competition Manual at http://www.hgfa.asn.au/ states:

5. 1 DNF- Did Not Fly

Pilots that do not launch due to safety concerns will be scored DNF (which devalues launch validity) and given a score equal to bombout score on the day. By default, the RACE scoring program scores DNF as zero. To correct this, negative penalty points must be awarded, equivalent to bombout points.

5. 2 ABS – Absent

Pilots who do not present themselves to launch are scored ABS. They will score zero for the day and they do not affect validity. In some circumstances, pilots scored as ABS will receive negative penalty points. See “closing of launch to particular grading of pilotsâ€&#157 refer 3.13 for details.

First, there is a contradiction between the CIVL Sporting Code and the CIVL scoring program on the criteria to be used to determine ABS (absent). The Sporting Code says that the pilot has to have withdrawn from the competition. The FS scoring program says that the pilot just has to not be present at takeoff. Perhaps they want to get this better defined and agreed upon.

Second, what does withdrawn mean? Official notice? Withdrawn, just by not showing up? Withdrawn for a reason other than illness or accident? When does this occur?

Third, what does "not present at takeoff" mean? Not in the launch line? Not set up? Not on the hill? Not at the takeoff/launch point, the actual last spot where you start your run? If at a tow meet, not on the cart? Not at the flight park? Not at the airport (say at Big Spring)? Just not willing to launch?

Fourth, what constitutes a safety concern? A stated concern by the pilot or the meet or launch director at the launch point with the pilot hooked in and ready to launch? A hang over? Food poisoning? Sickness on the pilot's part? Is a safety concern anything a pilot says it is, or a launch director? Which one?

Do you have to setup to be able to have a safety concern? Do you have to be in line? What does it take to get a DNF, not an ABS?

Fifth, why under the Australia scoring system is the day devalued by the DNF and not by the minimum distance (as though the pilot had flown)?

There is some discussion of this issue here: http://fs.fai.org/cgi-bin/trac.fcgi/ticket/58.

Discuss ABS, DNF? at the Oz Report forum link»
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What's next for USHPA sanctioned competition?

Post by Fred Wilson »

What's next for USHPA sanctioned competition? (Nov.4'08 12.219#0)
Mon, Nov 3 2008, 6:53:34 am PST

What is it with the secret committee rewriting the competition rules? 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

This from the USHPA Spring BOD meeting (not the latest meeting) minutes:

Strategic Planning Initiatives: Competition sanction evaluation/restructuring—CC discussed some great ideas. An action item for Mike HaleyMike Haley to start new strategic planning work group to restructure the competition program and fly in program.

Coordinate with past organizers for events—Integrate into a new strategic planning work group to restructure the competition program and fly in programs.

That's it. That's all the notice you get that there is a proposed major restructuring of the competition program in the USHPA coming your way. Of course, if you are a competition hang glider pilot you have never heard of it. That's because they haven't contacted any competition hang glider pilots. They're going to do that later. How much later is unclear.

Oh, did I mention that the Spring BOD minutes were way late, and didn't get posted onto the USHPA web site until recently?

Now, to be fair, Jeff O'BrienJeff O'Brien was on some of the early Workgroup conference calls, and a member of the Workgroup for a while, but he stopped participating after a while because he found that he wasn't able to participate because he was too often at hang gliding competitions. (Ironic, 'eh?)

So what has the Workgroup come up with, when will they contact pilots who have an interest in competition and when will the changes go into effect?

One thing we find interesting is that changes to the USHPA Competition Rulebook shall be made during the Fall BOD meeting, to keep things from changing during the competition season. The USHPA Competition Rulebook states:

1. 4. Amendments

Amendments to these rules shall derive from the USHPA Competition Committee (CC). The Competition Rulebook shall be amended once annually, if necessary, at the scheduled fall meeting of the USHPA Board of Directors. Recommendations and comments from USHPA Directors, meet organizers, meet directors, ranked competition pilots and others shall be used to determine whether or not amendments are necessary.

So the Competition Committee can't change the Rulebook until a year from now. And notice that the Competition Committee is supposed to take comments and recommendations from ranked competition pilots (they have the list of those pilots) before and during the process of revision. Perhaps they should contact all of them now that it is almost too late in the process.

The Competition Committee is also directed (and required by the USHPA Competition Rulebook) to contact meet organizers and meet directors to solicit their ideas about any changes that they might want in the Competition Rulebook. Jeez, I just haven't heard from them. I wonder when they are going to get around to it. Shouldn't those individuals be asked at the beginning of the process?

It sure would have been nice if there had been some consultation all along with interested parties instead of this secret process. This might have helped keep the Workgroup from going off the deep end. This might have focused them on the actual problems.

Oh, did I mention that the Workgroup is essentially made up of paraglider pilots (not that there's anything wrong with that - disclaimer, I am a USHPA rated paraglider pilot and have over 150 flights, although that was long ago)? Explains a lot, as apparently it is their concerns that are addressed in the Working Draft with little to no institutional (hang glider pilot) memory informing the discussion.

Much more on the Draft Plan very soon.

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Why Big Spring

Post by Fred Wilson »

Why Big Spring (Oct.31'08 12.217#0)
Thu, Oct 30 2008, 5:57:52 am PDT

If there is going to be a Nationals, it should be Big Spring 32+13+5.93+N,101+31+32.42+W,Big+Spring,+Texas,+USA(Big Spring, Texas, USA)

Why not go to the place that has the best and safest conditions for a hang gliding competition? Why not go to the place that was chosen for the World Championship? Why is the USHPA BOD so unaware of what is really going on? Do you really think that CIVL would have chosen Lisa Tate to organize the Worlds and have chosen to fly at King Mountain? Guess again.

Big Spring is an incredible site for hang gliding. In 2008 we set the World record for the longest task set and made in any competition ever. Ever. This was a task that the pilot loved. Even the ones who didn't make it all the way. The smiles were high wattage.

Big Spring is the site where we have had the highest percentage of days flown during a competition compared with any other site. The only one close was in Hearne, also in Texas. This is the number one desire of competition pilots.

The area around Big Spring provides unlimited areas for safe landings, safe low saves, and easy retrieval from goals and if you don't make it to goal. The goals are almost always at small airports which provide for wind socks, grass breakdown areas, building shading from the sun and wind.

The air conditions are Big Spring are magnificent. They are made for hang gliders, unlike the Owens and King Mountain, which were made for hang gliders of the eighties. We can do triangle and out and return tasks even with significant winds as we showed again in 2008.

The city of Big Spring provides incredible support. They bring out flocks of volunteers and we salute them every time that we go to Big Spring. Our event really rallies the community and gives them something to look forward to each year. They see Big Spring as having a special niche and we love to encourage them and repay them however we can for their generosity. Given them the prestige of the Nationals is one way to help them.

I actually find it a terrible slap in the face to the good people of Big Spring for the USHPA BOD to give the Nationals moniker to the King Mountain meet. But the USHPA BOD really has no idea, no connection with the folks in Big Spring, so they would not even be aware of what they have done.

The Big Spring Internationals got huge media exposure in the papers and on TV around Texas. We have worked for years to build this up and it is paying off.

The airport facilities provide for pilot safety and comfort. Hang gliders can be stored in the hangar, and pilots can rest in air conditioned comfort in the terminal building while keeping track of world affairs on their computers.

Why give the moniker to an event that wouldn't be successful without the moniker, when you already have an event that clearly deserves the moniker because it truly represents a site of National quality?
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Sam Kellner
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Location: hwy83@ Leakey,Tx

Re: Why Big Spring

Post by Sam Kellner »

Fred Wilson wrote:Why Big Spring (Oct.31'08 12.217#0)
Why give the moniker to an event that wouldn't be successful without the moniker, when you already have an event that clearly deserves the moniker because
it truly represents a site of National quality?
Thank You Fred,

Obviously, because of who was at the helm of ushpa, and their regional director at that time and king meet director, all at the same time.

The popularity/momentum in Reg11 was just about killed ~5yr ago, by that fiasco.

Now we have to overcome that neglect in addition to re establishing more flying opportunities for all who wish to fly here.. But I'm optimistic with the new folks @ ushpa
and freshly generated public interest in the sport. A big Thanks to those who are doing the "right stuff".

Well said Fred,
Sam
SW Texas Hang Gliders
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