2015 SE Season Wrap Up

Posted by Steve Sides
Posted on 12/7/2015



The 2015 season is now history and we’re looking forward to the 2016 campaign.  Quite an eventful year in the region. 




Some successes :

  • 3 new contests appeared on the calendar :  House Mountain, IMAC Over the Glades and the Sod Farm Basic only contest. 
  • In a regional first (as far as I know) there was a ladies only event held in South Florida.  Not a sanctioned event but organized and held by IMAC folks. 
  • John Schroder’s Summer School at Clover Creek
  • Youth Masters at Triple Tree

Some not-so-much :

  • Wireless score posting at contests.  Couldn’t quite get the kinks out of this effort.
  • Tough season for Virginia contests
  • Lack of activity in Alabama


 Some statistics (for those who enjoy them) :

  • 5 judging schools were held in the region (including the national judging school) with 87 attendees
  • A total of 18 contests were run in the region – 4 shortened by weather 
  • 433 competitors attended those contests
  • 134 sequences flown – 117 known and 17 unknown
  • 1,392,528 individual scores were entered  !!!
  • Average contest attendance – 24 pilots
  • Largest contest – 44 pilots
  • Smallest contest – 10 pilots


Flying and Judging Question

Whose responsibility is it to call the box when beginning a sequence ?  The pilot ? The caller ?  Either or both ?  How exactly does the pilot know that the judges have heard and understand that the sequence is starting ?  In the 2015 season, we’ve had 2 instances (and perhaps more of which I’m not aware) where individuals were penalized for not calling the box.  In both cases, both the pilot and caller were sure that they did call the box however in both cases none of the judges heard the call.  So what happens ?  Under our current rules the ENTIRE round is zeroed !  Despite every effort to give the pilot benefit of the doubt if the call is not heard by the judges then the issue is pretty cut-and-dried.  If you’ll indulge me in some editorializing it seems that the penalty is way out of line with the infraction IMHO.    The next rules cycle will not take effect until the 2017 season and there is no certainty that this rule will be addressed.  So what can we do at the local level in the interim ?  I’d suggest a few things.  First, pilots and callers make sure that you communicate your intention to start a sequence loudly – especially if there are other engines running or the judges may not be as close to the pilot as normal.  Callers – please make eye contact with the judges so you know that you have their undivided attention.  Judges acknowledge the pilot / caller verbal declaration with one of your own.  Some sort of verbal communication back to the pilot / caller team letting them know that you have heard and are judging.  Could be repeating the pilot / callers words or any other sort of communication.  These are only suggestions as they are not in the current rules but there is nothing preventing us from implementing them in some form.  They may go a long way to preventing application of this penalty due to poor communication.  It’s not tough to do.  It’s a much tougher communication for the CD and the pilot sharing the news that his / her entire round just got zeroed for failure to call the box.  While we must adhere to our rules, we must also do our best to avoid inadvertent penalties assessed through simple misunderstandings.