We’ve heard from some experts in the Canopy Formation arena, clarifying a few things about our post from a couple of days ago (Part I here).
Let’s begin with the actual rules in question – straight out of the IPC Competition Rules, Canopy Formation Section:
4.3 All forms of Canopy Formation jumping must cease by 750 meters (~2500ft). The FAI Controller has the authority to disqualify a team that breaks this rule, for that round or the whole event.
4.4. After working time has elapsed, only the drawn sequence for that round may be performed. If any other sequence is performed the team will receive a score of zero for that round.
The Russian infraction took place on Round 3 (not Round 2 as we misstated in the original post). At the end of the round, the Russian videographer flew away and the two front jumpers quite clearly performed a sequence that was not a part of the actual competition jump. This was videotaped from the ground and the recording presented to the chief judge.
Rule 4.4 was invoked and the Russian team given zero for the round.
In the past, this particular team has been observed playing the same game on a number of occasions. Since the previous ones had not been caught on video, the team could not be penalized. When team members were confronted about this practice at one competition, they flat out admitted it to other competitors, but denied everything when questioned by judges at that meet. Many of the CF competitors feel that this has been a long time coming and are glad to see some kind of penalty issued to a cheating team.
We don’t know the score they would have received for a clean round, but it is quite possible that this act costed the team a podium seat, as they ended up in 4 place.
Now on to the topic of the British (GB-2) and Australian (AUS-2) teams who built themselves a little 3-stack after the competition sequence was over. The two teams are relatively new to CF competition and likely got carried away in a moment of exuberance. They were initially penalized in the same manner as the Russian team, for an alleged violation of rule 4.4.
The teams filed a complaint on the grounds that a 3-stack is not a sequence found in the 2-way draw, nor could a single point be construed as a “sequence”. The teams presented a photo of the stack as a part of their evidence. The jury then ruled in their favor and gave back scores for the round.
The FAI Controller apparently caught wind of that and invoked rule 4.3 by claiming that the stack was built below 2500 feet, using the aerial photo as his evidence. This resulted in both teams being disqualified from the competition. At that point, a protest was filed with the jury to appeal the decision. Judging by the scores posted on the Mondial webpage, the protest was successful and the teams completed the competition without further upset.
From the perspective of many CF competitors, the meet management was quite poor and the judging ranging from inconsistent at best and at worst, incompetent application of competition rules.