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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

I can't believe what you just wrote!

The way you make it sound so simplistic makes me wonder how much experience you have in competitions & record attempts. Tell us, how many international competitions have you competed in? How many years have you been doing competitions?

You say, 'If you are too low on oxygen, the first thing failing will probably be the diaphragm' ??????

How many sambas have you had? I have had hundreds and my diaphragm (or lips) have never LMC'd.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
a Perfect World?

One of the best things about life is that there are many ways to achieve something.

What I think would be 'great' is if freediving competitions inspired further friendships, exploration and discoveries about human potential (not necessarily in that order :D ).

As long as freedivers who take part in competitions out of a love of the sport leave with a sour taste in their mouth, freediving competitions are not following the spirit of apnea.

This is why I have entered the debate; and why many other people I know are involved in it.

In a perfect world, there would be no judges in freediving. The 'official' watching you at the surface, or better yet, in the water, should be concerned, first and foremost with your safety, not with how you look--clear, bug-eyed, trembling, or otherwise. In addition, following the recent swirl around Carlos Coste's rejected WR in CWWF, this 'official' should be able to ratify a performance on the spot, as the overseer of all aspects of the athletic performance.

It seems to me that a great many experienced athletes want something better from AIDA. Media and sponsors, which make many of the competitions happen also would like change. So far it seems we have the following options:

1. Let athletes vote with their entrance fees, chosing non-AIDA sanctioned events (FREE or independent competitions)
2. Ask AIDA representatives for change through the democratic, albeit limited channels outlined by Chris in his post
3. Form a new freediving organization :duh
4. Boycott competitions until the rules change
5. Invite an independent body like Guinness to ratify 'world records'
6. Hold a indie competition where the athletes, media, sponsors all have input on deciding the rules
7. Organize as freedivers to bring about change more quickly (within AIDA or without--see #6)

Personally, I think that trying to make change within AIDA is the best short term option. The athletes are all there, from many different countries, national chapters are emerging with more and more members, the infrastructure is in place--so it does make sense to try to make changes within AIDA if possible. (I really like FREE's approach--but unfortunately they are not positioned right now to give all the active AIDA freedivers a new look on competitive freediving--hopefully they will have competitions in the future to show that alternatives are a good thing.)

What I was trying to emphasize on my last post was that posting on Chat_AIDA, freediver.co.uk, or deeperblue is not enough. If AIDA lacks transparency and athletes find it difficult to get their collective voices heard within AIDA forums for discussion, then it is up to the athletes and other interested participants themselves to organize and bring a coordinated and thoughtful pressure on the debate over rule changes and perhaps more importantly, changes to AIDA's structure and functioning.

So again, I suggest that if freedivers from a variety of forums, web sites and egroups, from expert competitor to newbie, from Denmark to South Africa to Venezuela to Italy lent their voices to a well-thought out petition or letter of concern (or you could call it a "blue paper" :D ) about their recommendations for 'measuring freediving performances' or some such thing, I think AIDA, FREE and the freediving community would sit up and take notice.

If you don't think it would work, then I challenge you to sign on and see what happens...

I do believe that EVENTUALLY competitive freediving will change, but why waste years of aggravation on slow change, when things could be changed quickly, leaving time for lots of good times in the Blue/Green.

Any takers?

Vancouver, BC
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Hell with it, I'm with an official petition, something needs to be done and the more clear this image comes for AIDA etc., the better.

How does that come about for real? Can someone host an electronical signature collection on a website, or will an actual letter need to be signed (nah...)?

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
My body parts shaking...

Eric F and others

First of all I see a discussion as a way to learn. Nothing I say or write is on my part written in stone.

I can only fall back upon my own experience (my own LMC´s and seeing others with LMC). I have competed in totally 10 times (counting each category). I have had numerous LMC´s and I have seen maybe 50 live ones at close hand (LMC/BO). I have been monitored scientificly several times while holding my breath ( LMC did occur).

But when it comes to LMC´s I will probably have to bow down to you Eric. You are the master ;-)
But please note, the sentence that aroused you contained two questionmarks, one "probably" and finished of with a humble "am I right"?

So tell me, in your experince, If finishing a performance without any unecessary movements (not using muscles - only breathing) Just trying to float or hanging on the pools edge or the rope - IN WHICH PART OF THE BODY IS LMC MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR?

Yes, I was simpifiying it. Because I have decided that I believe that LMC belongs in training not in competition. I want it to be simple! (I am trying to sell this sport when working as a journalist and it is hard as it is without athletes looking like retarded drewling monsters while we are cheering them for their perfomance).

Therefore I have a problem (as all others condeming LMC in competition), since we all know that the line is hard to draw. But if Athletes performed within their limits, turned towards the judge, did their breathing properly - AND - The judges keeps getting better in understanding what a LMC is and looks like. I think we will only have 1-2 inocent athletes out of 180 NOT getting the benefit of the doubt. And I can assure you I have been one of them, but I am willing to suffer that in order to keep LMC out of competitions as much as possible.

Sebastian/ Sweden

PS: Eric, admit it, AIDA rules has improved since 1998. Aida judges are becoming better att drawing the line.

PS2: I will be very happy to come and compete at a FREE competition (tell me when Rudi) - as long as we all are judged in the same way (or by the same subjective judges).
Petition: Blue Paper

Hi Chris,

I'm working on the petition with several freediving friends based on this discussion and past discussions.

When the peitition is ready, I'd like to get feedback quickly on how it is presented and then move quickly to get the petition out to as many online sources as possible before the AIDA board votes on the rules.

As for verification, real name and email address and geographic location should do it, maybe along with competitions you have taken part in (AIDA or not). But the petition is not restricted to competitive freedivers.

Peter Scott (Option B)
myemail@address.com Vancouver, BC, Canada
CAFA regionals 2001, 2002, 2003; CAFA Nationals 2001;
AIDA World Championships 2001 etc...

Any other ideas for verification?

Vancouver, BC
Any petition on changing a rule should be accompanied by an alternative rule with directions on how this rule should be carried out. That is my view.

What I am saying is that any proposition has to be constructive.

And please note that AIDA works for its members.
A petition from AIDA members would be more efficient than a list of none AIDA members.

And beware of that AIDA works as any representative democracy. National members vote for a national board. Each nation has a vote in the assembly.
According to AIDA statutes this is the way the organization shall change and develop.

But if a majority of AIDA members (individulas) would question the board in a petition the board can do three things.
1) silence
2) refer to the statutes and say that the board (and its views) can be changed next time they are up for election.
3) Or see it as a real act of democracy and put the sambarule up for a vote (AGAIN)

Because if I am not wrong (?) it has been voted upon many times (in the assembly) and the message from the national representatives was clear; NO LMC IN OUR COMPETITIONS.

At Hawaii this was voted upon - hell, no vote was needed - because no one of the elected national representatives (on location)voiced any other opinion.

As I see it. AIDA is the no LMC organization.

Use your energy in supporting F.R.E.E to start organizing competitions. Send an e-mail today to Rudi C and offer your services.


PS. As I have said before. I would compete in both FREE and AIDA comps. I am a freediver.

You are correct about many things. Our petition, once signatures are added from freedivers, AIDA and non-AIDA alike, will be sent to the AIDA international board and to national reps. Don't think that our expectations are to change the mindset of AIDA. We really want to strengthen the voice of freedivers who want change. If AIDA does nothing, then perhaps FREE, or Howard Jones, or the Dolphin's Cup or some other independent events and organizations will see that they have an even clearer and stronger mandate to offer an alternative. But I think it can only benefit if we send this message clearly and loudly. FREE rules are more desirable and their statutes promote a level of safety greater than AIDA. But some of the options we propose would increase this level of safety even more. (We already have a first draft, and I hope to have the final one ready soon, so I don't have to speak in generalities). It also has 4 different options to choose from, so freedivers can show if they simply want to build on the current 'no SAMBA' mentality or replace it with more objective alternatives that promote safety to a greater degree.

We will use our contacts to ask for AIDA members and athletes to join the petition.

Maybe next year we'll see something new? :confused:

Pete Scott
Vancouver, BC

AIDA is not a 'no-LMC' organization. Currently it is very easy to have an LMC in an AIDA competition, and still have the performance accepted. When I get LMC it is in my legs, always below the surface. My friends never know it happened. AIDA judges only look at your face and hands to judge LMC. For this reason, AIDA currently allows LMC in competitions as long as the freediver can hide it, or as long as it happens below the surface (i.e. in the legs). What we propose is a new rule which makes it impossible to hide. You'll see what I mean when we publish the petition.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Can't you guys reveal it now, so the rest of us can have a saying as to how the petition be worded?

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
safety and fairness

Eric, my respect for your inquisitive, scientific, pragmatical approach to
the depths of freediving is total. And thanks to your sharing attitude I
have learnt a lot from you. And as i said , I discuss to learn.

We obviously find ourselves on opposite sides of the "sambarule fence".
As I see it, today, if one wants to TRY to keep LMC out of competition the Aida rules are the best so far.

But I am first and foremost a freediver. And I too are looking for safety and fairness. Soo if you are on to something (with this petition) we are many that will line up and support.

But I still claim that if athletes behave differently in competitions and judges are more experienced - the samba rule can be enforced!

Since this thread of discussion has moved in another direction I will post my claim in a new thread.


You will get a chance to provide some input...we just want to get our initial ideas right on paper, first. But overall, we want to move fairly quickly on this so that AIDA has a chance to consider it before they vote and gather signees.

Pete Scott
Vancouver, BC
Petition is done, and we are accumulating signatures from top AIDA athletes first, then we will post it here (in a few days).

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
I say samba should be allowed, and that you should get bonus points for the most intense samba. It will do wonders for ratings.
  • Like
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Originally posted by donmoore
... 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.


Sebastian answered this question very well in the topic:
How does one detect a LMC - how does one "hide" it.

The only thing I want to add, is that I try to smile, and not just look at one junde only this might look like staring. As soon as I am safe i start talking - just act normal:)
  • Like
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In case you missed it

The 'Petition to AIDA' is already causing a commotion within AIDA and on the various lists. If you haven't had a chance to review it, please take a look and sign it.

Please have a look at the thread for the invitation to sign and some commentary and clarifications: http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?postid=300183#post300183

Also have a look at Claude's challenge of 152 signatures on the thread. If you know any trainers, safety divers, volunteers, media, and AIDA representatives, please let them know about the Blue Paper, and invite them to get involved in the discussion and sign on!


Peter Scott (laminar)
Vancouver, BC

I see that the platform issue is coming up a lot on the posts here on DB and also other forums.

I sometimes train with a soft foam lifeguard buoy that I can sit on and breath up. It submerges me 6'2" 175lbs (I don't know meters sorry ;-)) up to my chest. If you could possibly construct this into having a back to it it could be used in the ways that you describe. It could be a seat and if the person suffered a LMC or BO they could lay back on 2 floats, one supporting the legs the other supporting the back or head.

Just a thought.

I have to admit I was skeptical when I first read the "blue paper", but I'm in favor of the tougher rules on LMC's because I agree that people are training themselves to control these LMC's and pushing past their limits, I've seen it with my own eyes.

Keep up the good work!

Letter/Petition sent to AIDA

Hi everybody (sorry for the duplication),

We sent off the following letter to AIDA today. Thanks to all who took part in the petition and the discussion. Hopefully our ideas will be considered and there will be some progress soon at all levels.


Pete Scott
Vancouver, BC


Dear Members of the AIDA Assembly,

The petition to AIDA (Blue Paper) has brought forward some intersting ideas for alternatives and modifications to existing AIDA rules and safety standards. We present the petition, its signatures and comments for your consideration:



Thirty-four freedivers signed the petition from the following countries: Russia, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, United Kingdom, Colombia, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, Spain, United States, and Canada. These individuals are AIDA competitors, trainers, world record holders, and recreational freedivers.

We support AIDA and its future development around the world, improvements in rules and safety protocols, strengthening of national chapters and increased democratic transparency throughout the organization.

We hope that the Blue Paper petition will inspire new solutions to existing challenges and productive discussion within the AIDA Assembly.


Peter Scott

Tyler Zetterstrom

Eric Fattah

British Columbia, Canada

Originally posted by Pezman
I say samba should be allowed, and that you should get bonus points for the most intense samba. It will do wonders for ratings.

rofl rofl rofl :blackeye
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