But first, another bit from T1:
|T1 Bit 4
Jerome David, coach of Perris France
was kind enough to chat with me this morning about
their video strategy, in response (I assume) to T2’s
remarks on this web page about the quality of their
competition video. Here’s what Jerome had to say.
Basically, their strategy is to frame the team in
a narrow visual perspective to increase, not
decrease or degrade, their judgability. The theory
is that the judges will see the synchronicity of
their builds and keys more easily than if the team
filled the video screen. I am familiar with this
theory, and it has merit -- it’s the reason judges
prefer to use small (no larger than 13-inch)
Jerome emphasized that they are in no way trying
to hide any performance miscues, or make them more
difficult to see. Rather, they are trying to make
the formations and separations easier to pick up by
keeping the team in a compact, focused visual area,
where the taking or release of grips all across the
formation is easier for the judge to see without
moving his or her eyes around the screen. I believe
But, I’m still not convinced theirs is the best
strategy. The DeLand Norgies, even more than
Airspeed, use the opposite, in-your-face-video
approach. If you look at the results from this
competition, Maubeuge has forty-five individual judgment
calls (i.e., a not judgeable [NJ]
or penalty [0 or
I] awarded by an
individual judge). Norway has a grand total of three.
It’s my belief that the Norgies’ strategy was at
least partly responsible for their squeaking
ahead of Sebastian XL for the bronze medal in Corowa
last year, where Maubeuge had eight judgment calls
to Norway’s one.
Well, that’s my two cents worth. I understand
Jerome’s strategy with their video, but on this
matter we will have to politely agree to disagree…
If a team wants to maximize their judgability, they
should 1) shoot tight video with steep camera angles
and 2) wear dark color jumpsuits with white gloves.
If judges want to reduce the scanning area and use
less eye movement, all they need to do is back away
from the monitor a bit (which is what I sometimes
do). To move the camera farther away to accomplish
the same effect merely reduces the image resolution
of the team on the monitor, making it that much more
difficult for the judges to see formations and
inters. My humble opinion.
|T1 Bit 5
There was some polite finger-pointing going on
around here yesterday about the banding problem on
the DZTV (http://www.perriscam.com/ijava3.htm
had a blurb that said "OmniSkore is responsible
for the quality of this video. E-mail OmniSkore if
you would like the waving picture problems
This is a fairly common problem wherever I go,
and naturally it has nothing to do with OmniSkore!
or our video equipment. The problem rarely exists
early in the morning or late at night (my first
clue). It’s caused by problems in the electrical
system, either insufficient grounding, incorrect AC
phase settings, insufficient voltage, overheated
flux capacitors, or inversed transduction in the
So I whipped out the handy digital multimeter and
hooked it up to the power outlet, and got exactly
what I expected: 102.5 volts. I’m amazed anything
is working at all in here! My scoring processors
(the -486 DOS computers that generate the "DZ
TV" pictures) are only rated for 105 – 230;
anything under or over and they’re supposed to
shut down. Small wonder all the televisions wink and
warble when the air conditioner kicks in.
So, please don’t e-mail us if you would like
the waving picture problem fixed, we’re peddling
as fast as we can!
As I was madly typing the 8-way teams into the computer
last night, I was drafted out of semi-retirement to be on
one of the teams. Cool! The webmaster will be jumping with
Kathleen Turner Overdrive.
Expect totally biased coverage ;-)
Wow...I just scanned through the morning's e-mail, and
I want to say thanks to all you who wrote for the
wonderful comments, I wish I had time to reply to them all
right now. Very cool! Now it's time to creep round one...
...an hour later, manifest is announcing that the fog
will probably clear in an hour or two. So get your work
done now, when it clears it's show time again. The 8-way
turnout is awesome: 9 Open teams and 13 Intermediate. In
addition to the Knights and Airspeed, team 804
has Maubeuge with some more talented skydivers, so look
for them to be right up there. And with 13 teams in
Intermediate, who knows what will happen?
|One of our readers (a camera flyer)
writes: “Now that the teams provide their own
video, do you think that the camera flyers deserve
some sort of compensation for the use of their
footage other than for judging purposes?”
In a word, no. It will probably be written in the
rules starting next year that USPA will have the
rights (non-exclusive) to all competition footage
for judge training, promotion, and marketing
I have had the privilege (for lack of a better
word) the last two years of producing the Nationals
video. In 1998, I almost broke even. Last year, I
made about $3.00 an hour for my efforts. This year I
hope to crack $5.00. It is safe to say the producing
a Nationals video is not a very profitable
enterprise, and the overhead produced by revenue
sharing with camera flyers would probably kill the
On a related note, now that teams provide their
own video, it is a remarkable statistic to note: Of
more than 600 competition jumps on Sunday, NOT ONE
of them resulted in a rejump.
Still watching the fog...
Some feeble sunlight is beginning to filter through,
so maybe pretty soon now...
We are about to finish Round 2 now, but T2 has been too
busy competing with his team to pound the keys for these
juicy tidbits at the moment. T1 will be adding some
T1 here! (Sound of knuckles cracking) Okay
Round 2 is in the can and T@ (oops) T2 is running around
like a hicken with his chead cut off. Now that Dad
has the team photos done, he & I can team up and cover
some of T2's bases today!
The first two rounds of 8-way completed quickly, with
the judges breaking for lunch before starting Round
3. Airspeed and the Knights both looked terrific in
the first round, matching each other with 22s.
In Round 2, Airspeed posted a 20 to the Knights' 19,
again both teams skydiving clean. Fighting for the
third medal position are DeLand PD 8 and Deguello, with 23
and 21 points total respectively.
Speak of the devil ...
(t2 is back for a minute)...WHOA! This pace is brutal!
Three rounds in three hours. I haven't done 8-way in
years, I forgot how much fun it is. We're not doing that
great, at least compared to the big boys we're up against,
but we're having loads of fun trying. We'll have some
pictures from the day up here later, so be sure to come
After four rounds, the Knights have a one point lead
over Airspeed 8...this is too good...the battle for
supremacy in the air was never better...
“More Tidbits! More Tidbits!” screams the e-mail.
Okay then! These judges are BRUTAL on Kathleen Turner
Overdrive! IT'S NOT FAIR WHAA WHAA gripe wine two busts in
two rounds THEIR OVERPAID UNDERWORKED but I love them
anyway - oops, gotta go dirt dive -
There is a pause in judging while the judges take a well
deserved break. Round 6 is taking off shortly; Round 5
will be posted soon as well.
Doh! In Round 5, Airspeed starts the first
Accordian - Opposed Stairsteps transition out the door
with a missing grip in the Accordian but still finish with
an 18. The Knights follow with a nice skydive, a clean 19,
to take a two-point lead going into Round 6...
Lemme tell ya, this 8-way Open stuff ain't easy...lemme
tell ya, my 8th grade English teach is rolling over in her
grave...okay, Airspeed 8 is up for round 6, and lemme tell
ya, it's amazing how well these guys are skydiving
considering they haven't jumped as a team in a year...
BOOM on round 6, the Knights and Airspeed both put
their 16th point right on the freeze frame, but Airspeed's
grips were clearer and they got the point, while the
Knight's got a bust
instead. One point advantage for Airspeed heading into the
final four jumps. Wow.
The scuttlebutt regarding US Team selection: If
Airspeed wins, I've heard they are going to keep 6 of the
current 8 and go to the world meet. Wouldn't that be
something - two world meets in a row without the Golden
And we have another jump-off! 702 Perrisinore Sibling Rivalry
and 705 Willy & the Bone Lickas have tied for the
silver in Intermediate. Tune in tomorrow, same time, same
station, for the exciting conclusion of this thriller!