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Should AIDA Allow Sambas in Competition?

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.

Should AIDA Change the Samba Rule?

  • No - it's fine the way it is

    Votes: 25 33.3%
  • Yes - they should allow competitors to attempt to recover under their own power

    Votes: 12 16.0%
  • Yes - they should change it so that any shake at all is classified as a samba

    Votes: 2 2.7%
  • Yes - they should attempt to change it so that it is less subjective

    Votes: 36 48.0%

  • Total voters
    75
S

stevevidar

New Member
Sep 11, 2003
50
85
0
55
The negative publicity argument might not be so good. There are always going to be people blacking out at competitions and if the media is there they can film it and show it, regardless if the winner has a samba or not. What the AIDA should do is a better job publishing that there is no evidence that Sambas and even short-term black outs are unhealthy and the sport of freediving has some real health benefits.

Its like we are trying to hide a part of sport just because the general public may not understand it, when they are going to see it anyway. So we should be honest about how we feel about it.
Steve
 
flyboy748

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
118
Although I'm new to the sport and have never competed, I feel that clear guidelines to what constitutes a samba are required. Also if an athlete wants justification on why she/he was DQ'd (referring to Silvia Da Pon and others) it should be available. I realize that a bulletproof system with no subjectivity is most likely simply not available, however I believe that things could be better than they are.

As Don pointed out, working on your acting would seem to be necessary before a comp! I'd hate to get DQ'd for a shrug, shiver, blue lips ect. when I'm really fine! Karma to you Sam (If I could but I gotta spread it around!) for calmly 'agreeing' with the judges decision.

My vote goes to making the judging in regards to samba less subjective. If I could I'd vote for clear guidelines for Samba as well. Maybe this is the same thing! Safety obviously is paramount and I'm not sure if the rules should be less restrictive than they are, however I do believe clarification on this issue is required.

Aaron
 
Last edited:
fpernett

fpernett

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
832
102
133
52
My opinion
I think the whole problem is with subjectiveness of the judging. I you look the exit evaluation document, there are descriptions in different places (samba and fatigue) that are similar.
For me the samba is the incapacity of keeping the airways out of the water by the apneist alone. This is just for security. For example if an apneist comes after a 65 meters CW dive, and just remove his mask after 30 seconds, is he in a life-threatening situation?. No; so, what is the problem with that. Or if he is lip shaking but normal respiration, No.
The security problem doesn't relates on how "good" the diver looks, is with the sittuations that are life-threatening. A diver shaking the whole body and sinking is a samba and has risks for the apneist. A blue lips or tics will not kill anyone.
I think SAMBA should not be allowed, what AIDA have to do is to define more objectively what we call a samba.
 
E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
489
173
I would like to see a rule where in the case where the athlete was disqualified, the official results MUST show a clear description of the disqualification. For example, the results of a competition could show something like this:

1. Pernett 98m 98pts Clean
2. ....

30. ...

66. Dover 88m 0pts DQ: Unable to keep airway above surface
67. Tweed 86m 0pts DQ: Left hand shaking badly while trying to remove mask
68. White 81m 0pts DQ: Head twitched strongly back and forth while trying to recover
69. Simson 79m 0pts DQ: Blackout at 3m below surface
70. Craig 76m 0pts DQ: Blackout at surface while trying to recover


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
J

JimGlynn

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
278
19
0
58
I agree with changing the rules. Samba should be serious impairment-head going under water, uncontrollable shaking, etc. Anything less becomes too subjective.
Jim
 
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E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
489
173
The day that AIDA makes the samba rule more objective will be a historic day for freediving, and it would (and will) be the first step in unifying the two remaining freediving organizations (AIDA and FREE).

The people in the poll have spoken! Now AIDA must act.

Personally, if the rule is made more objective, I will be far more motivated to actually train and compete in an AIDA competition.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
W

welwichia

New Member
Apr 23, 2003
38
0
0
the question that strikes me in this thread is: the way the rules were applied/interpreted in Cyprus was almost as if we are saying the athletes should present themselves in perfect composure after having just pushed themselves and their bodies near/ to the max ... is this at all realistic ? (think for example of the "LMC" most 100m sprinters exhibit after the finish) Secondly, we all accept that the mental state is an integral part of a good freediving performance - any diver being in a state of intense focus (i.e. "in the zone") can hardly be said to appear "normal" in the sense of usual everyday behaviour - how do we distinguish this from someone "loosing it" ...
While I do not have much experience in competitive freediving, I do have some background in neuro-psychology and found it quite amazing how judges could "know" after 30 seconds or so the mental state of what are essentially complete stangers to them ... I do not think any health professional would be willing to make an authorative statement based on this mini- interaction - just think of the people around you ... some are perpetually fidgety, others always appear "dopey" or spaced out - surely that must be taken into account in any appraisal of mental states and/or behavioural control. So the decision can only end up looking unjustified, arbitrary and subjective with the resultant disappointment and frustration.
So, perhaps we should think of some test/task the diver has to complete within a certain time after surfacing (I have no ideas as to what shape of form this could take atm) - this would take some of the subjectivity out of the equation: did the diver complete the test - yes or no? Instead of: did he look good/strong/in control/smiley while doing it ... just did he manage to complete it?

just an idea ....

Best regards
 
L

Longfins

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2001
254
43
118
Here's a suggestion: Right after an athlete break through the surface from a dive, have each of them pick up (immediately or within 1-3 seconds, say) and hold a raw egg for a specified period of time and hands it to a judge. This to me demonstrates fine motor control. If he/she have trouble finding / picking it up, drops it, or crushes it, the dive is invalid.

(Of course there'll be debate about gloves vs hands, method of holding egg, cracked eggs, etc.)
 
A

ash

New Member
Nov 5, 2002
160
22
0
Originally posted by icarus pacific
And there's your problem. As with the Olympics, the issue of subjectiveness is always present to some degree. Perhaps it's more noticable in freediving owing to the smaller venue. That and judges with agendeas despite having "clear"guidelines...

Hi Sven

You're absolutely right, judging something like this will always be subjective but from what we are seeing in this thread, the judging in some cases seems to be inconsistent. More so I think than would be acceptable in Olympic figure skating or gymnastics?

Eric's suggestion that the official results show a clear description of the disqualification is a good one IMO. It's a start at least.

Ash
 
st3fan

st3fan

cu @ the bottom
Nov 2, 2002
85
21
98
I don't think that the description thing will work. Judges would have their standard phrases and the uncertainty would be the same.

Freediving is not Ice Skating. As looking good is not the topmost priority, all we need is a clear protocol for an exit.

At the moment some of the judges are talking about "shooting-quotes" and a judge who's quote is below the average is considered betoo soft.....
Something is definitly wrong here.
 
B

bobbybuttr

New Member
Sep 11, 2003
52
87
0
65
or example of the "LMC" most 100m sprinters exhibit after the finish

I have heard it said that 800m is the most physiological similar foot race to freediving. Take a look at those guys after they cross the finish line and are not being judged on how they look.
 
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A

ash

New Member
Nov 5, 2002
160
22
0
Originally posted by st3fan
I don't think that the description thing will work. Judges would have their standard phrases and the uncertainty would be the same.

You may be right but it would make it very easy to check the decision using video (if it was available) and if the diver questioned the judge’s call.

Ash
 
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E

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
489
173
The good thing about the 'description' method is that if the 'problem' with the diver can't even be described in words, then it probably was not worth disqualification. For Silvia Da Pon, I would like to hear the 'description.' If the only problem was 'gazing into space,' and that is not on the 'list' of allowable problems, then it would be obvious.

I don't think that judges would develop 'standard phrases.' You can't say, 'diver's head was shaking' as your standard phrase, because the video will show what really happened. Whatever your descriptive phrase is, the video must confirm it.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 
loopy

loopy

Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
719
51
0
40
Yeah I agree - that system would remove a little of the subjectivity... it'd be relatively simple to implement as well, and what possible excuses are there for not having to specify a reason for the DQ?
 
N

naiad

Apnea Carp
Supporter
Oct 11, 2003
2,897
449
138
41
I almost always get blue lips/hands in cold water even before holding my breath, and sometimes also during dry statics. I didn't know this could lead to disqualification in a competition (I have never competed, but want to give it a try). Surely if there are no other signs of trouble this is not a good reason to DQ an apneist.

naiad
 
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J

Jussi

Well-Known Member
Sep 23, 2003
33
8
48
Originally posted by naiad
I almost always get blue lips/hands in cold water even before holding my breath, and sometimes also during dry statics. I didn't know this could lead to disqualification in a competition (I have never competed, but want to give it a try). Surely if there are no other signs of trouble this is not a good reason to DQ an apneist.

naiad


If you look at the exit evaluation document (page 2 of this thread), "Extreme pallor or cyanosis, without any other symptoms" is mentioned as a symptom of fatigue, not samba. So you would not be disqualified in a competition for cyanosis.
 
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H

Herbert

New Member
Sep 9, 2003
57
38
0
Originally posted by stevevidar
What the AIDA should do is a better job publishing that there is no evidence that Sambas and even short-term black outs are unhealthy and the sport of freediving has some real health benefits.

Its like we are trying to hide a part of sport just because the general public may not understand it, when they are going to see it anyway. So we should be honest about how we feel about it.
Steve

I second Steve’s argument!
Why are we trying to hide a LMC or BO?
If you see a summary of a formula one race you will see all the accidents, because this is what the spectators want to see.
If you are honest, even most freedivers find the only interesting thing in a static competition are the BO, and the LMC’s are even funny – this sounds cruel but freedivers knowing that this is perfectly safe and common, see the funny aspect of some spectacular LMC. Nothing wrong with that – is it?

Although I definitely agree that the LMC and BO rule should change, I want and have to support Aida by saying that the rules are quite clear and the judging seems very objective to me. I strongly disagree to many opinions that people where judged DQ because of blue(black) lips or strange looks. Those signs are sometimes the only thing one can see on a video clearly, but not the reason for DQ!

I have seen many athletes being DQ which claim they have not been even close to their limit, but it was more then clear to me that it was definitely a LMC or even a BO according to Aida rules. It is NOT that one just looks bad! There are small clear signs, which (most of the time) show a LMC and are a lot different from shivering or balance problems. One can not see those small but clear signs of LMC without having seen many many LMC live!

On one hand there are usually one or two judges who have not seen too many DQ before – how should they know those small signs of LMC and how do you want to explain other less experienced freedivers why they were DQ, if those signs are not distinguishable without a lot of experience.

I think most protests for DQ where given OK, because one could not see it on the video, not because the performance was OK.

How the heck do you explain a LMC to the Public?
My 8’07” static DQ in Ibiza was on TV many times in Austria (more often the any other dive), with the commend that I was DQ because of blinking with my eyes. Many people couldn’t understand the DQ even after me trying to explain. Most non freedivers even thought (were laughing) what stupid, childish,…. rules this sport has.

I saw a new freediver being DQ, who is absolutely sure his dive was OK. Even after me explaining to him that it is hard to see, but still clear, he was very pissed off for a long time. He and a lot of others are so scared to be DQ that they just stare straight at the judges like frozen, because the think any suspect movement could be judged as a LMC.

According to the current rules I have seen a lot more performances which actually should have been DQ.

Depending on the conditions (waves) one could have a small LMC or not. More drastically, I could clearly see a LMC (2 contractions) in the muscle between the neck and the shoulder of and Aida judge. He was not DQ because of less experienced judges, but if he would have worn a suit (which he didn’t) nobody could have seen that anyway.

I think the rules should be a lot less strict. Even though I don’t think a LMC is desirable, it is no solution to say a mild LMC is OK. The only clear thing is LMC yes or no. I don’t see any safety problem in saying, if you can make it without help, it is OK. Even the rule (which is not yet implied, I think) that the face has to stay above the surface, seems to be to strict. I had a dive without fins where I was shortly sinking back in the water after surfacing, because of not wearing fins. There was nobody helping be, because it was clear that everything was OK, why should something like that be DQ? Even if someone inexperienced waits until it is clear that the athlete needs help, I doubt there will be any risk.

I don’t understand all that hyper-safety thoughts only going in a few directions. I think it is a lot more important to talk about the use of 100% O2 after deep dives, functional safety lines, lights in dark lakes …, those things really kill. I find it hard to believe that tinted goggles ore nose clips are live threatening.
 
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BlueIcarus

BlueIcarus

New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
212
34
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I actually think that competitors in many cases knows more abut freediving physiology than judges

Weird situation :D
 
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donmoore

donmoore

New Member
Aug 19, 2002
958
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Hebert,
It’s great to hear your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them with us. If you don’t mind, would you share what you try to do, under the current rules, to look good to the judges? Where do you look, facial expression, thoughts, etc.? I would love to hear others thoughts on this too.

Jussi,
I don’t know that much about it, but from what I have heard, blue lips are a sign to look for signs of LMC/Samba. A diver with good color in the lips is probably not going to be scrutinized as much as one with blue/purple lips.
Just my fear,
don
 
flyboy748

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
118
Quick question. LMC, does this not mean Loss of Motor Control?? If a diver can remove their mask and remain above water, how can they be said to have had a LMC? I must be misunderstanding something. Some people get ticks in their eyelids and/or neck for no apparent reason while completely relaxed! It would be unfortunate to get these during a comp!

Is there an explanation available for the LMC/Samba rule that I could look up or have explained? Or is it simply up to the judge to base on her/his experience and training what is and what is not a LMC/Samba?

:confused:

thanks!
Aaron
 
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