The situation in Italy | DeeperBlue.com Forums
  Guest viewing is limited
  • Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

The situation in Italy

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.

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
This posted on the Italian Apnea Academy forum...

Per ciò che attiene le gare fra persone di nazionalità diversa, la CMAS ha un regolamento (che non riguarda solo l'apnea e omologo alle direttive del CIO) che proibisce a chi sceglie di fare gare nel proprio circuito di partecipare a competizioni che non siano approvate dalla Confederazione.
Non va bene? Non lo si condivide?
Legittimo, basta non aderire.

Mi permetto di chiarire ciò, in questa sede, perchè non credo che ai ragazzi sia stato spiegato bene.
Vado oltre, giusto per chiarire a Danilo qualora avesse ancora dei dubbi.
Se si organizza una gara di costante fra italiani, non accade nulla, ma se alla stessa gara partecipano stranieri, tutti i partecipanti saranno segnalati alla CMAS che prenderà provvedimenti disciplinari.
Sono stato chiaro? Spero di si.

La CMAS non teme boicottaggi di sorta da parte di nessuno e lascia liberi tutti di fare le proprie scelte a casa propria.
In bocca al lupo.


This post basically explains a rule of CMAS (the governing body for underwater sports in Italy) which states that any Italian member of CMAS may not take part in competitions with non-Italians. If someone organised a competition in which a foreigner competed then all the italian participants would be reported to CMAS for disciplinary action.

Furthermore, in other posts many Italian apneists are complaining about CMAS' decision to not include constant weight in any official competitions. Instead it will be substituted by Jump Blue, a discipline in which the freediver descends to 15m, where there is a 15m square demarcated by ropes. The winner is whoever swims the most number of laps around this square and returns to the surface safely (basically a dynamic at 15m).

Personally I think it is sad that one of the great nations of freediving has both closeted itself off from the rest of the world and turned its back on the essence of the sport. What a shame that there isn't a good international organization these deprived athletes could defect to...
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Wow, this sounds like a bad joke..
Is it even legal for CMAS to ban people for diving with other people? I think it might be against some principle liberty laws in some countries...(constitution or whatever).
I don't understand why the Italians accept being dictatored (and ridiculed if you ask me) around by CMAS, are they punishing themselvs for AIDA's mistakes?!?:duh:duh
There must be a better alternative....
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
They are not banned in the sense that it is a criminal act! If the athletes want to be associated with CMAS then they cannot participate elsewhere; if they do then I guess they lose their membership with CMAS. Big deal? Some Italians would find it difficult to travel outside of Italy to compete, and those who do may not view the alternatives (AIDA etc) as much of an improvement...
 

efattah

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2001
3,294
487
173
Great Italian article:
http://www.apneamagazine.com/articolo.php/717

Speaks about why CMAS will not hold constant weight competitions:

Here is a broken altavista translation of some key parts, with some minor edits by me, for readability:

"Two over the others: the first one is the possibility of the breach of the eardrum to the maximum depths with loss of consciousness; the second is the Taravana (i.e.DCS) and the diseases in which incur from the excessive ascent speed.
Analyze this possibility:
an athlete comes down for a test of constant to -102 mt; arrived on the bottom an eardrum is broken and loses consciousness. Possible? Sure that yes.
The assistants who are to those depths have the duty to carry him to the surface, being respected the speeds of ascent in order not to incur serious risks for their own safety.
How many minutes are necessary in order to carry to the surface the injured person? He would be still injured person or already died?
In the case of an athlete who loses consciousness on the bottom and that he comes sent to the surface with a liftbag, there is absolute certainty that the Malpieri maneuver and the moderated speed (to avoid DCS) will not be applied. All that would involve serious damages, probably irreversible, for the athlete.
The Taravana and the search of Dr. Massimo Malpieri and the experiences of the CMAS in the last years, also during the contests of spearfishing in apnea, they have been serious and repeated problems. The fishermen in apnea, also not operating to the depths caught up from the athletes of the constant, manifested more and more of frequent serious traumi. The studies have carried it to of the conclusions that they force to us to assume precise responsibilities to us. Therefore, Malpieri, after to have completed studies, recommends to the athletes to make two things:
a) one opened ascent maneuver of glottide, renamed maneuver 'Malpieri';
b) the lessening of the ascent speed of, in particular in the last 10 mt.

Currently, far away from the public and the manifestations, absolutely unacceptable things happen: there are athletes who do not respect some norm of safety, and that they carry out diving to abysmal depths without a minimum of safety. They are limited, to the maximum, having a skin-diver who follows them to the surface: for the CMAS, that it is aberrant and lacking in justifications. Of other part, the safety costs, and having to cut it is not found better than to save on the emergency.

The evolution of apnea in the constant is the greatest enemy of the same. More it is gone deep and more the problems increase."

* * * * * *

If an italian speaking person can offer a better translation, in particular of the Malpieri maneuver, it would be appreciated.

Interestingly, in my mind many of the CMAS concerns are valid. By holding a competition, athletes are encouraged to train, and we all know that most athletes use minimal safety while training. So, in a sense CMAS is taking responsibility not only for the safety of athletes during competitions, but also in training; and feeling unable to protect athletes during training, they choose not to encourage such training by not holding constant weight competitions.


Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
I couldn't find any text describing the Malpieri manoeuvre over than what you have already:
una manovra di risalita a “glottide aperta” ribattezzata manovra “Malpieri”;
A manoeuvre during the ascent with an open epiglottis, termed the "Malpieri manoeuvre."

This article and the ruling is based on the premise that CW apnea is too dangerous to justify the organisation of competitions. As Eric mentions. this danger is not just apparent in competitions but also in the athletes' training to prepare for the competitions. My response would be:

Regarding competitions: It is a tired statistic, but noone has so far died or been permanently injured in a competition (how many die/are permanently injured every year in boxing, racing, skiing...) With ample surface and midwater support, deep water sincope is the only danger. Please inform me if I am missing something, but I can't see any fault with using a liftbag to recover an unconscious athlete in the (rare) case of a DWB.
Danger to deep water scuba divers is also quoted. However I hear of divers going to depths of 130m, in narrow, dark cave systems, by themselves. The scuba world record is over 300m. Surely a short 100m dive in open water with surface communication can't be too demanding?

Regarding training: If CMAS wants to play safe then they shouldn't even promote freediving at all. By holding 'Jump Blu' competitions they still encourage apneists to train, and some will still do so alone, exposing themselves to SWB risk (which is far greater than that of DWB).

It is really a case of where do you want to draw the line in terms of risk. For a while it was only No Limits diving that was 'outlawed.' (I agree with this, but more because No Limits is little other than a stunt). Now CMAS isn't prepared to take the risks associated with CW.
There have been ruminations over holding CW competitions with 65m max depth limitations, but this was discarded on the basis that many athletes might all reach this depth. If that is the only problem then why not instead hold UCW competitions? (where noone currently reaches 65m) A poor solution for finners, but I'm sure it would be found preferable to 'Joke Blu.'
Furthermore, as a competitive sport spearfishing (which CMAS condones) seems far riskier than freediving. I've heard stories of competitions where a spearfisherman has recovered from a BO and jumped straight back in the water, or had their fin pinned to the back of a cave by another spearfisher who shot at a 'big gray shape.'
Risk is like water - it always finds a way in. I would respect a decision to withdraw from all competitive underwater activities based on their risk, but drawing a line under CW seems contradictory.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erik

joefox

Well-Known Member
Oct 27, 2001
131
12
108
51
Hi guys, we're working on the translation of that article by Gianfranco Ciavarella, I'll be glad to post you the link as soon as the page is online.

Anyway CMAS is not the italian governing body of freediving (that would be the FIPSAS) and Will didn't understand the real meaning of the post he quoted.

CMAS is the world governing body of freediving, and it's composed by over 100 national federation. Many of this federations have atheltes who take part to non official comps as well (ie: AIDA).
This is not possible anymore: freedivers of CMAS are not allowed to take part to non official international competitions, that's it.

It's as simple as that.

Now Apnea Academy is organizing a CB com in Sharm El Sheik, which will be held this year. Who posted that message was just explaining that if any foreigner freediver took part to that comp, then it would be considered as an international competition.

deep water sincope is the only danger => not true. Never heard of freedivers spitting blood after a dive? You know why that happens? When you go down, your heart pumps blood in your lungs to compensate the pressure increasing. During the ascent, the heart pumps the blood out of the lungs, while the air volume comes back to its initial state..... but if your ascending speed is too high then your heart cannot compensate the air volume increasing, and your lungs get abnormally extended. Then you spit blood.
I'm not a doctor and my English is bad, but I hope you got my point.

Joefox
 
Last edited:

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Originally posted by Will
They are not banned in the sense that it is a criminal act! If the athletes want to be associated with CMAS then they cannot participate elsewhere;
That's what I meant as "Banned".
if they do then I guess they lose their membership with CMAS. Big deal? Some Italians would find it difficult to travel outside of Italy to compete, and those who do may not view the alternatives (AIDA etc) as much of an improvement...
And I think this is the worst part of those rules.
I think that in our country, if such a thing would've happen, it would've been easy to win in court against it, since they have no right to discreminate against people regarding what they do in their spare time.
Can you imagine not being sold Coca-Cola because you like to drink the competitor's drink as well on the odd days?
Or being asked to fly one air-line, using one bank, one car manufacturer, or even being able to hear only one music label on your CD player?!?
This demand is of cruel monopolistic nature!! What if they demanded that no one will use Sporasub products for some reason?!?
Serenity, blue, silence and FASCISM in the freediving worold.
Something doesn't fit.
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Originally posted by joefox
Now Apnea Academy is organizing a CB com in Sharm El Sheik, which will be held this year.
Do you know when this event will be? a none-italian link maybe?
Will they ask foreigners to forfeit any other participation with other organisations?

deep water sincope is the only danger => not true. Never heard of freedivers spitting blood after a dive? You know why that happens? When you go down, your heart pumps blood in your lungs to compensate the pressure increasing. During the ascent, the heart pumps the blood out of the lungs, while the air volume comes back to its initial state..... but if your ascending speed is too high then your heart cannot compensate the air volume increasing, and your lungs get abnormally extended. Then you spit blood.
I'm not a doctor and my English is bad, but I hope you got my point.
I thought that the main reason for spitting blood is a raptured blood vessels (alvioli? ravioli? :) ) in the lung because they were'nt stretchy enough to contain all the blood, or to stretch fast enough.

I never thought I should control my ascent speed when diving...
I usally go slow, but in the last dives I like to sprint...

Anyway, I think that this 'jump blue' thing is just a try to immitate what might be more a common dive profile when not in competition.
Although there's less potential for health damage, I think that it incourages more people to get to their hypoxic treshold, and at the end we'll end up with a greater amount of SWBs. In training as well, so a lethal potential still exists.
 

Baur

Spearomania Desperata
Apr 10, 2004
201
16
18
Its sad that CMAS has imposed this deadlock on divers participation in international events. What do you think the motives behind this decision are? Ive noticed similar situations in greece with restrictions on competitive spearfishing for those that dont have a federation approved diving clinic diploma.
I heard that Pipin established an "International Freediving Association". Do you think it will have enough standing to organise competitive tournaments that could yield records universally recognised?
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
Will didn't understand the real meaning of the post he quoted.
I would hope that I understood the meaning of Sig. Ciavarella's post - after translating Pelo's Corso di Apnea it would be unfortunate if it turned out that I couldn't understand Italian!?
The literal translation of:
"Se si organizza una gara di costante fra italiani, non accade nulla, ma se alla stessa gara partecipano stranieri, tutti i partecipanti saranno segnalati alla CMAS che prenderà provvedimenti disciplinari."
is (if you trust my translation):
"If one organizes a constant competition amongst Italians nothing happens, but if foreigners participate at this competition then all the participants will be referred to CMAS, who will then take disciplinary measures."

L'ho saputo che FIPSAS is responsible for Italian apnea, but it is still a member of the 100+ organizations of CMAS, and therefore must adhere to CMAS legislation. So for all intensive purposes CMAS rules are FIPSAS rules.
I was unaware that CMAS organises international competitions (mainly because I have never heard of a single one), so you can see how I took Sig. Ciavarella's post to mean that Italian freedivers are presently restricted to competing amongst themselves (if they want to remain part of FIPSAS).
And this is where I mourn the loss...

I am in Sharm when the Trofeo competition is taking place, but I am prohibited from competing, as are all non-Italians (nonostante il fatto che l'Italia è la mia seconda patria...) Look at the "Dutch Freediving Inns," French cups and Colombian champs - all open to international competitors.
So sorry Michael, but there is no non-Italian link for the Sharm comp. This is the Italian page. Briefly, it is a CW (max 65m) + static competition from May 20-21, although registration (teams of 3) is due by the 8th.

deep water sincope is the only danger => not true. Never heard of freedivers spitting blood after a dive? You know why that happens? When you go down, your heart pumps blood in your lungs to compensate the pressure increasing. During the ascent, the heart pumps the blood out of the lungs, while the air volume comes back to its initial state..... but if your ascending speed is too high then your heart cannot compensate the air volume increasing, and your lungs get abnormally extended. Then you spit blood.
Maybe you have not understood my post? I was discussing risks to life or permanent injury. There are a score of things that can go wrong such as burst eardrums, reverse blocks or the pulmonary bleeding that you mention, but the only life-threatening danger that would cause CW to be substituted by JB is the risk of DWB, through CO2 narcosis or whatever means.
 

cebaztian

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2003
827
177
133
I wonder how much Italian freediving is spelled CMAS.

Is it not so that The APNEA ACADEMY is the governing body that compeeting italian freedivers respect?

When we did the Swedish Record week in the Blue Hole (april-2004) two nice representatives from the Apnea Academy in Sharm came by and did some safety diving.

In the coming (late may) Apnea Academy competition in Sharm several non italians are planning to take part. Eusebia, Monica, Lotta, Bevan (Spain, Argentina, Sweden, South Africa).
The rules seem to be like the aida rules. But you seem to have 30 seconds to show that you are OK.

Sebastian
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
Apnea Academy, Scuola di formazione e ricerca per l'apnea subacquea
(School of instruction and research of subaquatic apnea).
The AA is not involved in the competitive side of freediving at all - this is managed by FIPSAS. However you are right Sebastian in saying that Italians respect AA above the other organisations (it helps that it has the charismatic Pelizzari for president...)

This regarding the competition at Sharm:
Spero però che tu sia al corrente che per poterti iscrivere devi essere tesserato FIPSAS, e avere il certificato medico agonistico
(However I hope that you are up to date that to be able to compete you must be affiliated to FIPSAS, and have a medical certificate for competitions).
I talked to Bevan about forming a team, but this was before I discovered these rulings. Now it looks like we will be spectators.
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
By the way, CMAS (Confederazione Mondiale Attività Subacquee) means "World Confederation of Underwater Activities). It is huge, encompassing many underwater sports other than freediving and is recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Here is a very interesting interview with its president, Achille Ferrero, outlining the reasons for CMAS' recent decisions regarding apnea as well as his attitude towards AIDA. Joefox, if you want to translate something then do this page - I may even do it myself.
 
Last edited:

joefox

Well-Known Member
Oct 27, 2001
131
12
108
51
Will, you didn't understand because you seem to ignore the basic rules of CMAS and national federations. Since your Italian is for sure better than my English, please read the article posted by Eric (by the way, Eric, I guess you have more in common with CMAS than you think)

---- L'ho saputo - hem, perhaps you meant "Lo so" :) - che FIPSAS is responsible for Italian apnea, but it is still a member of the 100+ organizations of CMAS, and therefore must adhere to CMAS legislation.

Yesssssss

---- So for all intensive purposes CMAS rules are FIPSAS rules.

Define "intensive purposes". FIPSAS has CB comps, for example, as well as static, not only dynamic and JB. Anyway, you're right. As an example, now that CMAS has introduced freediving comps, FIPSAS cannot go to another AIDA WC as they did in 2001.

---- I was unaware that CMAS organises international competitions (mainly because I have never heard of a single one), so you can see how I took Sig. Ciavarella's post to mean that Italian freedivers are presently restricted to competing amongst themselves (if they want to remain part of FIPSAS).
And this is where I mourn the loss... [/i]

Every freediver of a CMAS federation can compete only in official international competitions (= CMAS comps). This doesn't mean that Italians compete only among Italians, it means that atheltes of the Italian Federation can compete with athletes from other countries only in CMAS competitions. You still have the choice not to be part of a National Federation (few of AIDA freedivers are, and none will be in the future), I don't see any problem. It's your choice, CMAS doesn't care.

Regarding CMAS competitions, after the cancelled WC of last year, the next WC will be in Rovigno (Croatia) in September; after that, there will be the European Champ in Italy next year (JB and dynamic) and then there will be the WC 2006, which will be held in Spain or Cuba. This is the beginning.

In Italy we have 13 regional competitions which select the best freedivers who can access the three national championships (static and dyunamic, contant weight and JB). Other CMAS federation are setting up national competitions (among them there are Spain, France, Croatia, Russia etc..).
All Italian competitions, including Apnea Academy's ones, are FIPSAS, except for Sharm El Sheik CB comp. In case you don't know, AA affiliated a sport club (Apnea Academy Competition) with FIPSAS this year. CB limit in Italy is 65 meters.


Anyway, if you know what sport institutions are (and many seem to ignore it, and talk about AIDA as it was an institution! Recognized by who!?????? Freedivers????????????? Not enough to get into the CIO world!), you also understand what it means to have freediving inside the CMAS, which is, for the CIO, the only world governing body of competitive freediving.

It means a chance for each freediver to become part of a REAL AND OFFICIAL NATIONAL TEAM, with REAL OFFICIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS and NO PROBLEMS with the law of any country! Do you understand what I mean?

If you think that JB is bull***** that CMAS is bad and so on, what's the problem? Don't get involved in it, and go where you like... AIDA will still be there. I really don't understand... Chapouis invited everyone to ignore CMAS freediving... what would you expect from CMAS now?

As a freediver, I'm interested in every freediving event, regardeless the flag. I respect who wants to compete in CMAS comps and I respect who prefer AIDA of whatever comps, which many freedivers here seem unable to do.

Joefox :)
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
Originally posted by joefox
...
As a freediver, I'm interested in every freediving event, regardeless the flag. I respect who wants to compete in CMAS comps and I respect who prefer AIDA of whatever comps, which many freedivers here seem unable to do.
So do I, that's why I think it's a real setback to the freediving world to pressure people to use only ONE organisation. What can the freediving world lose if on Sunday I'll compete with AIDA, Monday with CMAS and Tuesday with F.R.E.E?
Only gain comes out of it.
It seems like CMAS's way of getting acknowledgment is by trying to eliminate their competitors. If they are the only governing freediving body in the world, what are they affraid of?
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
410
173
42
The other organisations don't take "diciplenary actions" against people who compete on multiple organisations.
That's what I'm angry about.
 

Roland

New Member
Mar 11, 2004
82
24
0
It is very sad when organisations want to take action against a activity which does them no harm.

I can see no harm at all in competitions with also non-Italians present and the same goes for doing constant weight dives (under a different organisation) if you want to. It could be regarded as a limitation of basic human rights and discrimination against non-italians. I hope this is no bad joke to see if one gets funny reactions.

There are always people who will want to have ultimate power over others. I hope the Italians will throw over the CMAS board members who made these rules and elect a new board to correct this. Democratic values are a precious thing and worth preserving, you will know when they are gone.
 

Will

Freediver
Jun 20, 2003
556
151
133
40
Firstly Giorgio my compliments on the interview with Achille Ferrero, I found it very informative, as are most articles in your magazine. Since you are in a position to know more about Italian apnea and CMAS than most perhaps you could answer a few questions?
- Why was the CMAS World Cup cancelled last year? Lack of interest?
- We now know there is a WC this year in September, where athletes will contest in dynamic at 2m and dynamic at 15m. I couldn't find any information on this event at the CMAS homepage other than dates (12/9 - 19/9) and a contact e-mail address: [email protected]. How many countries are enlisted so far other than Croatia and Italia?
As a freediver, I'm interested in every freediving event, regardeless the flag
As an Italian freediver you are forced to choose between CMAS and non-CMAS freediving events. If you are "interested in every freediving event" then aren't you annoyed by this limitation?

Obviously Italian apneists want to compete in their native country, but this prohibits them from competing internationally (other than at once-yearly, dubious 2m dynamic & 15m dynamic CMAS 'world cups').
Furthermore, foreign apneists are prohibited from competing amongst their Italian friends in Italy.
How is this segregation beneficial for our sport?
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2021 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT