|National Skydiving League and America's Cup To Merge|
NSL Press Release January 3, 2001 - [www.skyleague.com]
After years of silent co-operation between the National Skydiving League and the America's Cup tour, both organizations have decided to officially combine their efforts. Over the course of 2001, AC President, Alan Metni, and NSL President, Kurt Gaebel, will integrate the currently scheduled Americas Cup events into the NSL. Currently scheduled America's Cup events will become the NSL Playoffs of the 2001 season.
The NSL introduced the Playoff concept at the end of the 2000 season. Due to its success, and in an effort to broaden participation and reduce travel distances, the NSL recently decided to increase the number of playoff events for 2001. The merger with the America's Cup offers the perfect opportunity to continue the AC concept of higher-level competitions and integrate it into the overall NSL structure.
The combination of the America's Cup and the National Skydiving League was natural and inevitable. Both organizations began their efforts at almost exactly the same time. Both were built to achieve the same basic goals: to increase the number of competitions in the U.S.A. and to drive formation skydiving into the mainstream of American Sport.
The Florida Skydiving League began its first season in late 1996 while the first America's Cup event was held in the Spring of 1997. During 1997, the Texas Skydiving League and the Georgia Skydiving League launched their first seasons. With the combination of the Florida, Georgia and Texas Leagues, the National Skydiving League was born in 1998. While the America's Cup continued its concept of holding a smaller number of larger competitions, the NSL built an extensive network of regional leagues for teams at all levels of performance. The NSL grew to eight leagues in 1999 and thirteen in 2000. Five more leagues are preparing their launch of the inaugural season in 2001.
Over the years, the America's Cup owed much of its popularity to the attendance of world-champion caliber teams locked in a series of ferocious battles building up to the US Nationals. As a result of its well-developed competition structure and organization, the National Skydiving League has grown to include competitors of all levels across the country. As a direct result of both of these efforts, the amount and quality of formation skydiving competition has grown dramatically in the last four years.
As a result of the merger, all of the assets of the America's Cup have been sold to the National Skydiving League. In a separate transaction, Mr. Metni has become a minority partner in the NSL. The two America's Cup Trophies (graciously donated by Dr. Joel Shugar) will be donated to the USPA and the U. S. skydiving community as perpetual trophies awarded each year to the U.S. National Champions in 4-way and 8-way. The NSL will remain focused exclusively on the 4-way event.
Gaebel and Metni expect the National Skydiving League to continue its rapid growth as it improves the environment for competitors and moves Formation Skydiving into the mainstream. They have already begun to work together in the key areas of marketing, public relations, media coverage, and relations with the USPA.
Gaebel and Metni plan to hold five different "NSL America's Cup" playoff events at various locations across the country. These playoffs will serve as the qualifiers for entry into the 2001 NSL Championship. The complete concept for the 2001 season will be posted soon. Depending on the outcome of discussions between USPA and NSL, the NSL Championship may run concurrently with the 2001 U.S. Nationals. Merging the NSL Championship with the U.S. Nationals seems to be the next natural step on the way to a well-functioning and progressive nationwide structure of U.S. Formation Skydiving.
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