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Freediving Blue Paper

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
I'm surprised no one has posted this yet, but the controversial Freediving Blue Paper is now available on the web.


Personally, I think that Peter, Tyler and Eric have done a great thing here - a lot of people talk about trying to change the sport they love for the better, but these guys are actually doing it. Even if this paper just opens AIDA's eyes that there's a small group of people not happy with the way things are being run, then it's done some good.

I think that all options presented would be an improvement from today.

Very good:)

I do not feel experimented enough to sign the petition, But I really like your way of working for freediving, Peter, Tyler and Eric.
You have done a great job!

Good work by the petition writers. This is how things change!

But let us not forget that AIDAjudging rules are changing slightly all the time. Because it is obvious that they are not perfect and because of constant contemplation of alternatives (and challenges from the outside; like FREE rules)

My comments on the options in the petition.

A. An improvement of FREE rules. We will still se athletes lying shaking on the platform trying to keep straight. Falling of platforms e t c.
B. Improvement of AIDArules but it will let LMC into competitions/records.
C. This is basicly the FREE rule together with option A again, but asking less of the athlete than option A.
D. Well that’s AIDA with a slight improvement. But not enough improvement.

So I would go for E. But I would never sign E without coming up with an alternative to the present Aidarule.

Here is my alternative:


1b) DO THIS BY PERFORMING RANDOM TASK. (like the signs in petition option A. BUT also ask the athlete to say loud his first or second name (random).
3) Still DQ all LMC. Which will be easier now since we force the athletes to perform tasks.

1) If one can HIDE A LMC, then one has shown enough mental AND motor control.
2) Safety is not only what happens during a performance. Rules are educational. If LMC is let into competition, TRAINING WILL CHANGE. And the GENERAL VIEW of what is accepted. It will be a fact; FREEDIVERs may look like retarded monsters and still be approved.

Sebastian /Sweden

PS - these are my first thoughts - might of course change opinion Tyler ;-)

Do you really think someone who is having a bad samba can get up onto a platform? I would like you to prove that.

A person who is having a samba can't even see, or hear properly (you should know that from your own experience). A person having a samba would not even be able to locate the platform, let alone get up onto it.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I think one important thing with the rules is that it is good if it ain't to complicated. Every option A-D is good in this aspect.

Even if it's tempting to combine some of the suggestions A-D I belive that one of them alone maybe is the best!

A is the option that (right now) I like because of it's simplicity and "safety-oriented".

I don't like the idea of talking within the first 20sec after a dive because in this time the diver is most prone to BO and it's most important to breathe.
I want the rules to "educate" a diver to behave safe for recreational diving. --The way you train/compete is the way you react--
You are right Eric. Someone with a bad samba will not manage to get onto a platform.

1) We would see some athletes shake slighly (small LMC) and then get onto the platform within a certain time - smile and be approved.

2) We would see some heavy LMC cases that needs imediate assistance = DQ.

3) We would see some medium LMC cases trying to recover themselves - doing this and just in time crawl onto the platform.

So when a judge counting (let say to 20 sec´s) says "20" the Athlete should be sittig uppright without supporting himself with any arm (maybe just a arm to a fixed pole if it is wavy). We dont want to see athletes in samba leaning on elbows trying to support themselves OR should anyone getting on to the plattform be approved - they have actually completed a dive and SAVED themselves.

Thinking of it - I would probably aim for the plattform and use my swimming speed to get onto it. Burtsing out of the water - Take a hook breath in mid air so to speak and sitt down and breath and recover. AND then I might get a LMC since I have been known to take three breaths and five seconds after resurfacing faint or start trembling. So I guess I could fall of the plattform or BO on it. Or hold on to a bar while having a concious samba (knowing I am having it) and get approved.

It is FREE thinking but asking more of the athlete (not just delivering a tag). It can work as a rule (it is simple)- might even be more easily judged (MORE FAIRNESS) than present Aidarule. It is not that simple to picture how it would work and we might see more LMC cases. And minor LMC´s will pass. My guess is that the Aida assebly will not approve - my guess is that a majority will ssee this as a way to increase LMC in competition and training. Hence my option F (written above).

I am eager to hear more comments.

Sebastian /SWEDEN

PS. Simplicity is good when possible - in simplicity something will have to be sacrificed as well as gained.
with no disrespect to existing or mooted new rules...

I think that the Aida rules are pretty much perfect as they are but the LMC rules may be suffering from over - interpretation. Recent modifications allowing for points penalties rather than outright DQ have been a major improvement in my opinion and this path is the path to follow for future refinements.

As such my feeling is that the rules should remain largely unaltered in terms of the procedure to follow upon breaking the surface with *minor additions increasing difficulty of surfacing task and allowing for objective judging '.

Surfacing procedure.

1) The 20 second rule is there to limit the recovery time of the diver exposing his difficulties if he is borderline. He is not and should not be under any obligation to look at the judges until the last moments.
2) We should Insist on the *complete removal of the mask and its retention. The diver may be able to remove the mask in a jerky LMC fashion but will he be able to hold onto it ? ( He needs to be sufficiently mentally cognitive to remember to do so and show sufficient physical motor control ) Slipping the arm through the mask strap to take advantage of a default retention should not allowed. It must be an active retention.
3) The tag must be retained too ( *no lanyard on the tag to allow for default retention, it should be negatively buoyant, and must be relinquished actively to a Judge after 20 seconds but before 1 minute.
4) The diver must signal ok as before, within 20 seconds. Even with the tag in one hand and the mask in the other, its not difficult to signal with the tag hand even while holding onto the rope with the mask hand.
5) The airway must be protected as before for 20 seconds and the remaining 40 seconds of the first minute.

*A successful completion of the above should not incur ANY DQ's. This holds good even if the diver exhibits signs of LMC. ( If a diver can express major symptoms of LMC and still complete the process we can consider shortening the time to 15 seconds to prohibit this.)


DQ for LMC should only be given if :

1) The LMC was severe enough to prohibit the successful completion of the physical procedure.
2) The LMC was severe enough that the contestant required assistance. ( any involuntary loss of airway constitutes a need for assistance.) Slipping below the waves is DQ. Judges will allow for poor conditions and waves. Any condition requiring assistance is DQ.
3) B/O is DQ.

I feel this should the total sum of the Judging criteria for success or failure (DQ)of the dive.

Points Penalties

We can consider one standard level of *penalty ( -10 ) for non debilitating signs of LMC ( where the athlete successfully completes the process but with some shaking or twitching. i.e. twitch in the neck or hand or arm or head or all of the above.)
( I would not be tempted into controversy by requiring the judges to grade the severity or extent of the minor LMC and award graded penalties. i.e. -10 / -20 / -30 etc.)
The dive is not DQ'ed. Its is awarded successful but with points penalties.
All records however, must be penalty free. World, or National or regional.

All the above in my opinion is simple and very effective as:

1) Its in line with existing physical rules with a minor addition of complete mask removal and active retention and active tag retention. This increases the standard of competance required to be displayed by the diver, thereby reducing the subjectivity required to be displayed by the Judge.
2) It simply allows for objective judging of the overall success of the dive by limiting judging to the observation of the completion of a mostly already established physical process.
3) It removes subjective judging from the 'success or failure' decision of the judges ( i.e. its totally objective ) and relocates subjectivity to a less important level where subjective judging now only concerns points penalties and judging errors only cost 10 points and record recognition.
4) This reduces pre - dive anxiety in the diver ( owing to perceived and anticipated inconsistency in judging ) making for a better performance.
5) It still discourages LMC effectively through Points penalties and non recognition of records if there are points penalties.
6) It ensures more harmony in Aida and between Judges and contestants.
7) It signals a return to the fundemantals of freediving where the success or failure of a dive is based on its survivability rather than looking good, without encouraging LMC.

I really do believe its the simplest and most fair and efficient way forward while largely adhering to Aida's existing rules and culture.

Greg Lewis - Monto.
Freediving South - Africa.
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These are some very good suggestions! However, telling them to the people here at deeperblue is not the answer. I strongly recommend that anyone with a new idea sign the petition, select option 'E' (other) and then include your suggestion with your signature e-mail. Even if your suggestion is 2 pages long, it will be included with your name on the petition. This way, for once we can have all the suggestions in one document, instead of scattered on various boards, forums and e-mail lists which not everyone reads.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
right channels

And most of all - an AIDA assembly member must suggest the board these new ideas.

...as Nagel has repeated several times: AIDA is changed from within - not from a mixture of members and non members signing a petition.

But let no one forget that this petition is actually making people like myself and Greg formulationg new aideas on the LMC rule. And we are Aidamembers both of us - but it has to be taken into the assembly....

Sebastian /Sweden
...and there are many persons who are AIDA-members who have signed the petition.

Thats a reason for AIDA to respect the petition?!
I totally agree with Greg Lewis Monto. Use what is already there but use it properly.

As for the platform - well (Eric will flame me for being a weakling) but I have never been able to bounce out of a pool or onto a rib so if he brings in the platform I am out of competitive freediving.. plus my freeology suit is so fragile I wouldn't ever sit on a platform let alone climb onto one in a hurry as it would get shredded every time...

Sam;) ;
The platform would be about 30cm below the surface of the water, made from soft material, so anyone can get onto the platform by swimming on their back and then sitting up -- no upper body strength needed.

Concerning the AIDA assembly, it makes no difference if someone on the assembly proposes a new rule change. My understanding is that only the 'president' (or dictator?) can decide whether an issue will be voted upon (correct me if I'm wrong).

So, if the president decides that it is not time for a new LMC rule, then there will be no vote on a new LMC rule.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Current AIDA rules encourage LMC in training

The current AIDA rules were designed to try to prevent LMC's in training and in competitions. That's what we all want, but the current rules encourage LMC's in training.

Because the judges are 'looking' for signs of LMC, then if the athlete can hide the LMC, then his performance is given a white card. So, this encourages athletes to learn how to hide LMC. The only way to learn to hide LMC is to have many, MANY, LMC's in training. That's why Trevor Hutton and I have had hundreds of LMC/samba's over the last 2 years, and we both found that if you have enough LMC's in training, you can learn to hide it so it is not visible. If the rules were different (for example rules A, B, or C of the blue paper: http://www.holdyourbreath.ca/petition.htm), then there would be no reason to learn to hide LMC, so there would be no reason to have LMC's in training.

I think we should change the rules so that we don't encourage LMC in training anymore.

As long as the rule calls for judges to 'look' for signs of LMC, then we encourage athletes to learn to 'hide' LMC by having LMC's in training.

If the athlete must perform a task instead (getting onto a platform, giving a tag to the judge, responding to mental processing signal), then there is no reason for the athlete to learn to hide LMC, so there is no reason to have LMC's in training.

For example, with the current rules, if someone offered a course on 'How To Hide LMC', it would be popular, because it would help people in competitions. On the other hand, if the rules were changed so the athlete must perform a task upon surfacing, then no one would be interested in taking a course on 'How To Hide LMC....'

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
French connection's answer:

"...Few freedivers proposed recently a petition to try to change AIDA rules
in competitions (and may be records)
I thank them to participe to the giant debat which freediving rules is

"...Never in a freediving competition we should reconize a performance if
the freediver can't control himself, any LMC it can be
The only problem is how can a judge give an quick judgement to tell that
for him the performance is not valid.
The answer to this question for me implies a giant discussion on the
AIDA athlete's list
Not a petition..."

claude chapuis

Full text is available in the archives of the Chat_AIDA mailing-list.
Problem is that AIDA currently accepts LMC's all the time, in competitions, as long as the LMC occurs below the waist or as long as the athlete hides the LMC.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Originally posted by efattah
My understanding is that only the 'president' (or dictator?) can decide whether an issue will be voted upon

But seriously, if the board of dictators,oops directors, is willing to consider and respond (politely) to the petition that to me would be a minor victory...
Blue Paper clarifications and request for consideration...

Ok so it seems obvious that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the concept of this "blue paper". I think it is worth clarifying what I believe to be inconsistencies.

1. What is this petition?

An organized set of opinions and suggestions in the attempt to better the world of competitive freediving from the perspective of those in the community. This perspective would normally go unheard and be long in the making of an actual focused realization. This would be due to fractured and disorganized suggestions here and there, all of which would sound unimportant.

2. Has there been a large misinterpretation of the point of the petition?

If it was called "Interest of Many in the Freediving Community Towards Competitive Freediving" instead of "Petition" would this increase the consideration put toward the paper from some of the key representatives of AIDA? This being said there seems to be some AIDA representatives who are fully behind the spirit of the "paper" and are exploring the suggestions and the interest of the paper. I congratulate them on being explorative people!

3. Why is it UNFAIR to suggest this has been a WRONG approach?

It is claimed that the PROPER channels should have been used and this petition is the WRONG means. If the CORRECT channels should be used then why is the "blue paper" somehow seen in disagreeance with those channels? Could we not place the link to the "blue paper" in the PROPER channels and then immediately be part of the appropriate channels? It appears strangely unproductive, that people are complaining about the "blue paper" being presented improperly instead of including it as input in their PROPER channels!!!?? The Reps. already know what those channels are to introduce our paper. I do not know what or where those channels are!? If the Reps have time to complain about it not being in the correct channel, then it is hard to believe there is not time to put them in those channels of which they know and are referring to.

It appears that if we REWRITE the blue paper as a mailing list entry in the appropriate AIDA CHANNEL, then it will get fair consideration?!!! Am I correct here or missing something? Tell me if I am getting the correct picture that the contents of the blue paper will not be considered if one of the many people to have already read it were to post a link to it in the AIDA CHANNEL? If it will be considered appropriately, then lets do that and why then do we need to as opposed to the leaders of those channels already doing so? If it won't be then what is the nature of the lack of consideration towards it? Either way, if what I have been reading is correct, it says there is some rather incredulous resistance to community input.

If the "paper" expresses general concerns and demonstrates support for change, then why is it suggested that "ANOTHER" huge discussion should take place on AIDA mailing lists when the paper was formed from HUGE discussions from here and many other places? Should all those who spent lengthy discussions already, attempt to restate everything for the convenience of AIDA in their list? Or should the AIDA reps and other interested parties see the main points of the "paper" and follow-up on any ideas that they need more understanding of, by using the current discussions existent already at other locations? If the problem was finding those, I am sure there are some keeners (Eric ;P ) who could come up with a list rather quickly.

4. In reading the "paper" are you expected to agree with a SOLUTION and blindly support that?

No. The intention was not to provide SOLUTIONS, but to express the ideals that would be satisfied in coming up with a SOLUTION, and give some practical examples of how the ideals could be satisfied. These examples leave room for more consideration and similar SOLUTIONS. The intention is that you express support of which ideals ("Guiding Principles") you wish to see satisfied and can most strongly see some potential in discovering a practical and satisfactory SOLUTION for. This further pursued to include input and consideration into what those might be using our examples as a base or not.

To see our intention and whether you are assessing the petition based on that, try reading each of the “How Option X addresses the Guiding Principles” alone without reading what the option is. Then make your selection of preferred order based on that alone. Now with those use your preference to explore with us how we could best implement that in practice. This is our intention. The option is only an example that it can be achieved in practice. Not that it is the best way to achieve it due to other concerns. So we all need to further work on making the best preference into a practical method. However, we are certain that if the focus is first recognizing your preference from the principles then you will be more inclined to explore the option further for its benefits and possible minor adjustments to address other concerns.


I hope some of things I have said above will get QUOTED into the APPROPRIATE CHANNELS and that we get some clarification on where I am not understanding and that others see some of our intention.

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