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Here you will find the latest news from the "National Skydiving League". Special thanks to Kurt Gaebel, founder of the league and webmaster of its web site.
[Updated: April 26, 2001]
SkyVenture is sponsoring free tunnel time
Good news for the NSL and the affilliated leagues. SkyVenture and the NSL headquarters have worked out a deal that will support each league for the 2001 season. The vertical wind tunnel in Orlando will show its support for the Nationa Skydiving League by providing each season meet of each league with a certificate that entitles the winning team of the handicapped competition in
each class to get 30 free minutes when buying 30 minutes. SkyVenture will also provide the league champion team of the handicapped class with 30 free minutes and a team set of Tshirts at the end of the season. With this effort, SkyVenture wants to reward the most improved team of each league.
NSL's web site
SkyVenture already rewarded the most improved team last year at the U.S. Nationals. At that time, the most improved team was "Tunnel Rage", winner of the Intermediate Class competition in Perris. The NSL handicap system is recognizing the teams that continue improving their performance through the whole season. Thus, SkyVenture's support of the skydiving talent and the NSL system match perfectly. A team can now win a lot of free tunnel time through the league season. At each season meet, the winning team after handicap will have the chance to receive 30 free minutes when making a reservation for a purchased 30- minute session. A 30-minute session in the SkyVenture wind tunnel has the value of $300. At the end of the season, the league champion after handicap will receive an additional free half hour of flying time without the obligation to purchase 30 minutes at the same time. Along with the free tunnel time comes a team set of Tshirts for the league champion.
SkyVenture wants to introduce their training facilities to all teams in the country. Many top teams, including Arizona Airspeed, DeLand PD Blue, the DeLand Norgies and national teams from all over the world are already using the wind tunnel in Orlando to sharpen their skills. Airspeed and other coaches are offering regular tunnel skills camps at SkyVenture in Orlando. Airspeed is even running a separate website just for the tunnel camps. Teams training in Florida are including the tunnel training as a part of their training program and schedule. SkyVenture's NSL sponsorship will now encourage even more teams to test the impressive effects of the tunnel training. To show the support and co- operation, the NSL headquarters and SkyVenture will soon send banners to the leagues that will welcome teams, competitors and spectators to the league meets. The NSL headquarters appreciate SkyVenture's support. Blue Skies - Go Compete, Dark Skies - Go Tunneling.
The Ranch Skydiving League
The Ranch Skydiving League is getting ready for the 2001 season. The RSL website has been updated with current information. William "Murph" Murphy will be the official RSL Director. Guy Wright is in charge for scheduling, administration, awards. Ivan "Big Rat" Kaczor, former RATs member, is the "spiritual leader" for the "heart and soul" of the league: the competitors. The Equinox members (Pam Barlow, Scott Barlow, Dave Gifford, Joe Mangan) will be in charge of judging and coaching at the season meets.
Team Equinox has been competing at several competitions all over the country for many years. Last year, they went to the U.S. Nationals in Perris, competed at the NSL Playoffs in Atlanta and at the NSL Championship in DeLand. Equinox member Scott Barlow explained the use of creepers in an interview for the TV audience at the NSL Championship 2000. Copies of this 30- minute show will soon be delivered to every NSL drop zone in the country. The Equinox experience will be very helpful for the RSL teams and competitors. However, there is more for teams and competitors around the Ranch.
In addition to the normal staff, RSL Director Murph has lined up high-profile coaches for the season meets. Eric Heinsheimer of the Golden Knights Gold team will provide the teams with engineering and technical advise at the season opener May 5-7. The whole Golden Knights team will compete and coach at the third season meet at the end of June. Arizona Airspeed members Craig Girard and Kirk Verner will serve at the fourth season meet in August. They may return from the World Championship in Spain as world champions, Girard in 4-way and 8-way, Verner in 8-way.
The Ranch Skydiving League will apply the NSL handicap system, created and provided by Dr. Joel Shugar. The whole structure of the RSL system with more information and details is posted at the RSL website. The Ranch Skydiving League is eager to offer their teams and competitors incentives and a very attractive competition environment. The RSL is still the only league in the country running meets only at one and the same drop zone. Other leagues in the area have been forming to offer the teams in their regions the same competition and learning opportunities. Recently, the MidAtlantic Skydiving League formed with Skydive Cross Keys, Skydive Delmarva and the Chambersburg Skydiving Center. The New England Skydiving League is already preparing its second season after a successful launch last year. There is a lot of competition in the northeast.....
Foreigners may get in trouble
The March issue of the USPA Parachutist released information of the last USPA BOD meeting in San Diego that may cause some trouble on the top level of 4-way competition in the United States. The exact words of the little article on page 25 are: Foreign Qualifications reconsidered In the past, several competitors have participated at the U.S. nationals and on U.S. teams without being U.S. citizens. The issue was debated in January 2000 when two foreign competitors had entered the previous U.S. nationals and won. One wanted to travel with the U.S. team. USPA changed the rules to allow more classes of visas to make foreigners eligible for medals and the U.S. team. However, at its most recent meeting in San Diego, the USPA Board reconsidered its position. Beginning next year, only U.S. citizens or those actively en route to becoming one will be allowed to earn medals at U.S. nationals or serve on U.S. teams.
This little statement may have a significant impact on the top level of 4-way competition in the United States. Just recently, four top competitors, who have been residing in the United States for years and have become eligible according to the old rules, made long-term plans with their teams in pursuit of gold medals at the U.S. Nationals and the World Championship. David van Greuningen with his roots in the Netherlands has been team member with Genesis and PD Blue for many years. His new team mate, Niklas Hemlin, is originally from Sweden. However, both are permanent residents in the United States. PD Blue just completed their first two-week training camp of the new season with the new team squad aiming at the U.S. Nationals in 2002 and the World Championship in 2003. Solly Williams and Gary Smith competed for South Africa in 1997 before they moved to the United States. They formed the new team "Magic" with the same goals as PD Blue. Former FX members, Joey Jones and Doug Park, complete the new team.
Both projects are now in jeopardy according to the new rules. Another foreign top competitor will not be troubled anymore since this rule will apparently take effect beginning next year. Airspeed Vertical member Mark Kirkby is originally from the United Kingdom. However, his participation at this year's World Championship in Spain is secure. Hopefully, there will be a reasonable solution for the mentioned competitors and their team projects. Both teams are so promising that it would be a shame to see them fall apart for the lack of challenging goals. The NSL will continue to welcome foreign competitors and medalists. As the National Hockey League, 4-way skydiving competition in the United States would lose a lot of excitement without its foreigners. The NSL News will try to get more background information and details on this issue.
More on NSL's web site...