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AIDA World Ranking Lists

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Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2004
Referring to the non-existing AIDA World Ranking List 2004 do we need an updated version? Shouldn’t it be updated anytime?

I have to admit the reason for starting this thread is personal. My result in the last competition was kind of good and for sponsoring reasons I want to see myself on top of this list... stone me if I’m too selfish!!

But despite that the Aida World Ranking List is one of the most interesting sites for me. It shows the best results from all over the world so I don’t have to search the web to see them. I suppose most of the competitive freedivers are also interested in ranking lists otherwise they wouldn’t go to competitions. It is also a good orientation for beginners or people who are just interested in the sport. For them it makes the sport more open and less confusing concerning the results. But since I freedive competively the Aida World Ranking List hasn’t been updated regularily and in my opinion an updated version must be available for the freedivers and the public at anytime.

Would you agree or am I just too impatient?

Anyway, Bill did a great job by creating and taking care of the lists. I don’t want to offend him and I’m very sorry if I just don’t know the background why it takes so long to update the lists. I have sent him an E-Mail about this issue and hope he answers soon. But I also think it is worth discussing it.

See you in Nice, Tom Sietas
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Hi Tom,
Myself and Bill have managed the ranking lists since 2002, so I'll answer this one.
The lists have been a little delayed this year, basically because I have been delayed in writing them. The arrangement so far has been that I update the .xls file with all results, and Bill launches them to freedive.nu. This year, I haven't had the time to write them untill these last few days (funny you should ask). My only defense is that I work voluntarily (as everyone else in AIDA) and I need to tend to other boring parts of my life before I get to do the fun stuff. :)

By the way, the ranking lists changes a bit as of 2004. They're are planned moved to the main AIDA site, and with the aid of Jorg Jansen they should be based on an actual web database, instead of an excel file. The updating of the lists will soon be handed out to more people (and not just me and Bill). Our deadline for all of this is April 10th, so the 2004 ranking lists are just around the corner.

Also new is that there will be a limitation on admitted competitions in the lists. As of now, all competitions must be judged by official AIDA judges (level E+) before they are elligable for the ranking lists. (The AIDA calendar http://www.aida-international.org/aida_calendar.htm will now indicate which competitions are accepted for the lists.) I myself am a little saddened by this, because it was quite cool to see results from even the 'small' competitions world wide in there as well. But I understand the reasons why, we need a greater focus on the professional integrity of the lists, and besides more and more people are becoming AIDA judges anyway (I just completed the course in Sweden this weekend).

Hope it's enough explanation. Gotta go, have five 2004 competitions I need to get into the lists :)

Best regards & please have a bit of patience with us working people,
Chris Engelbrecht, AIDA ranking lists
Hi Chris, thanks a lot for your informative answer.

I didn’t know you were also responsible for the rankings, so you did a great job as well. I can imagine that it is much work, espacially alone. Good to hear that there are soon more people responsible for the lists which ensures they are regularly updated. That is actually all I intended with my post it’s so much easier if there are more people.

It's good to see the development in the sport and people who do great jobs :)

But I’m really sad about the other point that there are less important competitions soon.
Being not considered in the World Ranking some competitions will have less people. Some of us go to “small competitions” because we take part in the “big competition”. So if a good freediver intends to become number one on this list he might not go to a “small comp.” which makes it less attractive. Even the World Ranking looses meaning because less competitions are considered. Imagine a diver did a great 200m dynamics but isn’t mentioned in the ranking... it mustn’t be like that.
I understand the point why it is like that but compared to the future loss of meaningless concerning competitions and ranking it is not significant.

The only good effects are that we might soon have more ‘E+ judges’ (by the way what does it mean?) which results in more professional comps and less “small comps”. But isn't there another way to improve the skills of our judges?

Whatever, I will still attend every competition that is available and in range of my money because it is a lot of fun.

Tom Sietas
E+ just means that AIDA judges at present are grouped into five levels A, B, C, D, E, indicating the level of experience of that particular judge. (Last I heard was that maybe that will change soon to only three levels.) E+ means that any level judge judging a competition will make the competition elligable for the ranking lists.
With the judge thing, I hope that the outcome is that more will become judges and in the end there won't be any small competitions without AIDA judges (doesn't have to spoil the fun). It's only good for the credibility of the game when all judges are educated through the same system, then the ranking lists cannot be questioned (in sponsor situations, as you mentioned).
The course I took this weekend in Sweden saw like 10 new judges, that's a lot! That one course alone can make judges expenses acceptable for any competition in Scandinavia, Northern Germany, Poland, the Baltic, etc.

Chris Engelbrecht
Ranking since 1998

Hi Tom,

The list will be updated on www.freedive.nu , this weekend.

The AIDA international site will not be ready yet.

I try to send you a mail, but it come back all the time???

....anyway, train hard to hit 9min.

ok :)

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Once again my respect to the two fo you !!! As long as there are competent people who are aware of the meaning of these lists I'm fine. I don't doubt it's a lot of work and hope you are enough people soon, so the lists can be regularly updated. If you need help I'm offering my support...

Hey Bill, I don’t worry about the 9’ anymore ;-)
What about you? Do you still have time to freedive?

Usually I have no problems with my E-Mail account but next time you could try this: tomsietas@hotmail.com
Give it time, dude, the summer competitions ususally gets registered very late into the year.
Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
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Hi Chris, what are you calling me a dude for?

Because I (and many freedivers) are upset that Nice and Cypress do not suit anymore for the AIDA ranking list?

My criticism does not mean your work (for the AIDA ranking list).
greetings from berlin, wolle
I think that's an unfair description of the situation. There are quite sound reasons for increasing the demands for competitions before they can be found on the ranking lists. The biggest one is credibility. If people should make use of their position on the ranking lists to seek for sponsors, the lists must be undisputed. Changing the demands for a competition so that official AIDA judges must be present at every entry I think is the only natural step. Remember, the idol is IOC.

I'm not sure about Nice, but as for Cyprus I believe the people behind this competition have strong differences of opinion with the AIDA policy. Differences of opinion they don't wish to compromize (it's the samba crap again). As that may be (and disregarding the fact that I personally agree with the Cyprus-people's POW's in this one case), we don't have a serious sport without everyone complying to the same standards. And those standards are and should be defined by AIDA with it's (it does actually exist) democratic build up as it's known in the IOC umbrella.

Cyprus and Nice both have a good starting point for something that could last for many years. But the people responsible won't compromize with the political management (being right or wrong), and I believe that's a mistake. So even if it's a frikkin' shame that this beautiful buildup cannot be a part of the official ranking of the official AIDA umbrella, then the heck with it. It's allowing Nice and Cyprus onto the lists as things are now that would be the mistake. In return, that would upset me, then AIDA would continue making the same mistakes from the 90's.

Mind you, I don't agree with every decision that comes from AIDA, but in this I believe they have right on their side. It cannot be any other way.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
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Although I don’t agree in everything Wolle said he got one important point:

The Ranking doesn’t gain, it looses credibility by listing only some of the competitions. If you have a look on the Ranking 2004 www.freedive.nu you will see only two competitions on it and it is almost may now... I must say: one cannot be too proud to be on top of this list by now.
I’m very upset that Nice and Cyprus will have no official ranking. If Howard wants to use different rules it cannot be an AIDA comp. If it is an AIDA comp it must be in the ranking and you must have the possibility to set a World Record. These features make the comps. exciting!!!!

Chris, what do you mean by the mistakes that were made? What I remember is that we had a lot of comps. to attend and many opportunities to get in the ranking. And if there were a few decisions not perfectly right, who cares? Imagine the decisions in a football or tennis game... there are many wrong decisions and although it is a matter of money here the system is not questioned. There are good and bad referees – but the games take place - even if there is no Sebastian Nagel. You can’t have a Sebastian (who also makes mistakes) present at every comp. in order to make it fair!!! I agree that a World Record must have a check by an authorized and competent judge but not every little place in the ranking. We don’t earn millions in the sport so don’t make it unnecessarily complicated!!! The price for this rule is much too high you can’t seriously tell me that it’s good if people don’t have the opportunity to get in the ranking or to set a WR!!
It only results in a big loss of competitors and great performances!!

I vote for a ranking of all AIDA comps. and for the opportunity to set a World Record at every comp. Of course, if you set a World Record in a competition it needs to be checked by qualified and through AIDA authorized judges (video tape). We don't need the E+-Nagel combination, a judge-E+ combination will do!

Although understanding and agreeing with the point that we need competent judges I still don’t agree with this new system!!!
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I agree with Tom completely.

Looking at the 2004 ranking, I immediately thought to myself 'didn't so-and-so do more than that recently?' Yes, but it isn't in the ranking, making the ranking pretty much irrelevant. Personally I won't be checking it anymore.

In my opinion, AIDA was much better in the mid 90's, and after Sardinia things started to go downhill. Perhaps we should go back to the way things were then.

I don't 'buy' the argument that the rules for the ranking must be as strict as for records. If so, then you should be forced to take a doping test just to get on the ranking! This is not the case, so the rules to get on the ranking are NOT the same as the rules for a record. So why make the rules so strict to get on the ranking?

The people who are working with AIDA keep saying, OVER AND OVER, that it is 'all about strict regulations.' NO! NO! NO! That is NOT what people want! When did people say they wanted that? When? Which vote occurred asking that question? That question was never asked.

Listen to the complaints people have. Listen. People do NOT want a sport which is governed by extremely strict rules where even the slightest deviation means that you are a 'nobody' and your performance is 'worthless.'

I once read the most beautiful post on deeperblue. Someone commented that the job of a freediving organization is NOT to just sit around and hope that athletes BEG to get recognition of their performances.

The job of a freediving organization is to ACTIVELY SEEK OUT the athletes and verify their performances.

The same person said the following:
- If a clean, true performance is done, and not recognized by AIDA, is not the failure of the athlete, is the failure of the organization.

So, in that sense, Mifsud did not 'fail' AIDA, but AIDA failed Mifsud. AIDA's job is to 'seek out' the best athletes and verify their performances. Instead, more and more the athletes are basically degraded by being told that their performances 'don't count'! With the new ranking rules, it looks like 80% of all performances DON'T COUNT. This makes the organization 80% irrelevant.

I'm also sick and tired of officials arguing that various regulations must be in place to satisfy IOC guidelines for sport organizations. WTF? If trying to satisfy IOC guidelines is going to ruin our sport, then why bother trying to satisfy them? Why don't we stop dreaming about freediving being in the olympics? Even if it did happen, it would be 20 years away, so why not focus on doing what's best for the sport NOW, as opposed to destroying the sport by trying to follow the IOC model...

I'm also upset that AIDA officials constantly make certain claims which I don't think are true. For example, AIDA officials said that if Mifsud's record was accepted, then Martin Stepanek would be extremely 'angry' because Mifsud was subject to different rules. Did anyone ask Martin? Why not? Maybe because Martin would have said that he too thought Mifsud's static should have been recognized? Why not set up a NEW rule, where once a new 'record' comes in, you just ASK the previous record holder if the dive/apnea was good, and if the answer is YES, then the record is accepted, if the answer is NO, then standard regulations will decide it.

Sorry for my rambling.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Hi tomsietas, are you the guy who did 8:58 static? If you are couldn't you tell us a little about it?

Don't believe that I don't try to get your points:

Yes of course there are reasons why the performances of the two most important competitions are not listed in the ranking this year...

Yes of course there are reasons why there was so much trouble in recognizing every single World Record last year...

Yes of course there are reasons why there are only two people anymore who are authorized to recognize World Records...

Yes of course there are reasons why less competitions take place, entrance fees explode and organizers resign...

Yes of course there are reasons why an lmc rule seems practical (although it is obvious that it doesn't work and won't work (despite expensive high tech equipment and complicated rules))...

Yes of course there are reasons why it is maintained nevertheless, although it seems to be the reason for all the problems...

But I and probably no active diver trains to make the IOC stating in the end commendably to the "great" AIDA standards...

That both of the biggest competitions aren't considered in the ranking anymore insults the will of the athletes to perform...

Why is there actually AIDA if these events despite participation of almost all active competitive freedivers (including the worlds best divers) aren't acknowledged by themselves?

So fast the situation can turn! Not only that the responsible persons at short notice made it possible that the two most important competitions in Cyprus and Nice are valid again for the AIDA ranking. Additionally even a lot of new competitions were added for the ranking. Congratulation AIDA!
That gives not only additional possibilities to the athletes, but strengthens our confidence into our organization also. I am confident that in the future also many of the other problems can be solved in this way.
Last edited:
I don't know why there is so much confusion about it but I have just discovered that Nice and Cyprus are taken back to the Ranking again!???? Anyway, that's great. I just hope that there will be more competitions in the Ranking and that we will have enough World Records and great performances...

Hi Eric, you got many good points!!!
But please don't decide to soon to turn your back to AIDA. I don't know too much about your history concerning AIDA but I know you are a very good freediver with good ideas which can be very useful for AIDA... AIDA is the biggest and best organization we have so let's work on it!!!

Hello Ulf,
I'm afraid I have to tell you that there is no special secret
about my statics. But if you specify your question I'll do my best
to answer it.
Well Tom,

Congratulations on your 8'58" static WORLD RECORD. At least it is a record for me! I recognize your record!

And that is 29 seconds longer than any other person under any conditions (except yogis)!

Do you get contractions (or are you like Mifsud!) If so, when do you get your first contraction? What is your warm-up pattern? When/what is the last food you eat before the attempt?

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Wow mate 8:58 is a serious kick ass time can u please tell us a little about yourself, where ur from, how long u been doing it for, what are ur personal bests in other disciplines ? VERY INSANE :cool:

Yes Tom, tell the freediving communitie a bit about yourselve. You kick ass man !! I didn't know you, or had ever heard of you before i saw your awsome 7'48'' in the last competition in Berlin. To my knowledge the fattest static ever done in a competition.
Now i hear you did 8'58'' as well ????? My god, that IS insane.

You are the man !!
Thanks a lot for your respect, you are really nice guys. But I don't take it too seriously until I have made my performance official. I'm always a little bit nervous in the comps. so the last results showed I did always one minute less than in training. So please, if anyone has a good advice how I can be more calm just tell me.

I don't like it actually to express myself too much, but I don't want to leave you with a question sign: I'm from Germany, Hamburg and I started freediving in 2000 and although there were a few interruptions I trained constantly. Cardio training is basic but water training is more important. A training were I don't beat myself is a waste of time so I always do max. attempts. I'm not a scientist I prefer diving to studying. My personal bests are 72m Constant Weight and 170m Dynamic but I haven't seriously trained both of it for a long time. The next training starts in Nice and I hope my lungs don't prevent me from going deep and I won't have to spit too much blood.

To my statics:
The last weeks I did 2-3 times maximum statics per week. I'm afraid I have to disappoint you but my preparation is almost nothing. In the last training I did 9'14'' with my first dive (no warm up).
For preparation I kneeled down for ten minutes on the edge of the pool. Approx. 4min before the dive I packed to the max. And two minutes before the dive I started a slight hyperventilation. For the final breath I packed about 70-80% of the max. And that's it. My contractions start usually at 4min. I don't eat anything for at least 4hours before the dive. In general I try to eat healthy food.

Thanks again for your nice posts, Tom Sietas

P.S.: Hey Eric, has really nobody done better than 8'29''? What about Mifsud? And doesn't he get contractions??
Congratulations Tom. It sounds like you're bound to break a world record soon.

A man with your capabilites talking about spitting blood scares me. Be carefull, I think that if you do everything right, there's no reason such a thing would ever happen.

Regading your question, I have heard some unbased rumours that Seb Murat might have gone somewhere close to 9 minutes, but just as a romour, has anyone have any information about that?

I also have a few questions that I'de be glad if you could answer, might not shed any light on your acheivments, but would atleast add some to the statistics.

Have you tried static apnea while connected to a pulse oximeter?
the results should be extreamly interesting...

Do you know your hematocryt levels?

Do you know your lung capacity, and if so how much with/without packing?

When you get contractions, what is their frequency? what type are they? - the ones that resemble inhaling against a close throat? or the small diaphramic ones? or any other?

How does it feel to do such an enourmous amount of static time? :D

Good luck in the next competitions.
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