4 Way Dynamic Competition in FlyStation
image: Lika Borzova

There is no doubt that indoor skydiving is sweeping the nation. Flying videos have gone viral, and the introduction of new disciplines and music to accompany existing ones have made this niche sport an international interest. Indoor skydiving is accessible to all ages and is quickly being recognized not only as an entertaining family activity, but as a competitive sport.

The numbers of first time flyers is rising dramatically every day, leaving participants wanting more and asking, what’s next? Indoor skydiving competition gives hobby flyers a direction and goals to achieve.

Just like any sport, there is a progression that takes time and determination. There are multiple paths that you can take with your flying, and multiple competitive disciplines to participate in. Each discipline comes with a necessary skillset and rules and scoring systems that set them apart. Each category is often split into classes based on experience and sometimes by age. This makes it accessible for flyers of all levels to join the competitive world of indoor skydiving.

If you love to fly and are interested in pursuing the competitive side, this article will educate you on the different paths available. Make sure to check out the event listings where we post upcoming indoor skydiving competitions.

Indoor Skydiving Disciplines

Formation Skydiving (FS)

Formation skydiving takes a belly to earth orientation inside the flight chamber. There are multiple competitive categories within FS, 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, and 5-way. These indicate the number of members on each team. Within these categories, there are subcategories that are determined by the team’s skill level (ex. Intermediate/Advanced etc).

There are multiple formations or shapes that competitors make by taking grips with their team. These formations are a pre-set dive pool with designated numbers/names that you can train prior to competition. For each round, competitors will be given a specific sequence that they must complete in order, as many times as possible within 35 seconds. There are a minimum of 3 rounds within each category.. This is a very speed-driven, high intensity discipline. The team with the most points at the end of all the rounds, wins.

Judging:

Each tunnel will have a camera that is either facing down, or net-level with complete view of the flight chamber/competitors. A minimum of (3) qualified judges will judge the rounds either live or through video review. Reviewing the videos must be at normal speed to make sure that each formation was completed correctly and determine the scoring for each round. Judges are able to review videos if they are judging live. They are allotted a maximum (3) video reviews where they can watch the videos in slow-motions to determine judging and scoring decisions. Scores will be tallied for each round, the team with the most points at the end of the rounds, wins.

Scoring:

Point: Each successful formation made within the sequence counts as a point.
Every random that is completed within designated time-frame

(2) Points: Each block correctly performed within the designated time will receive 2 points.
(competitors continue to score for each successful completion until the 35 seconds is finished)

Deductions:

Omissions: When the team does not have the intent to build the required sequence, another move is substituted in place of a drawn move, or a piece of the sequence is missing.

  • For every omission, (3) points will be deducted.
  • Any unclear or unjudgeable random, the random will result in (0) points.
  • If a competitor touches the net while performing a random or a block, they will be given (0) points.
  • If the block is performed correctly but the top/bottom of the block are not, competitors will be given (1) point.
  • Competitors must have total separation between random and block formations. If they fail to do so, it will be considered an incorrectly performed formation and will be given (0) points.
  • Judges have the authority to deduct points from the team’s score if the competitors touch the net or walls of the tunnel intentionally.

Vertical Formation Skydiving (VFS):

Vertical Formation Skydiving is a discipline where competitors fly in vertical orientations. This can either be in a feet to earth body orientation or a head to earth body orientation. There are two competitive categories within VFS, 2-way and 4-way. Each categories will have ‘Beginner’, ‘Advanced’, and ‘Open’ options based on the team's level of competency. Just as FS, VFS is a very high intensity category based on speed and formation building. Each category will have specific formations with corresponding numbers/names that the competitors can train prior to the competitions (aka dive pool). Prior to each round the competitions formations will be drawn at random. These drawings determine the sequences and formations that the competitors must complete in order, as fast as they can. Competitors are given one ‘practice round’ prior to the competition round. This is to determine the appropriate wind speed for the competition rounds. Competitors are not allowed to take grips or touch each other during the practice round. The allocated working time for each round is 35 seconds. This discipline usually requires a higher skill level and fast wind speeds because of the vertical orientation of the formations.

Judging:

Video cameras will either be net-level or in the plenum (basement) facing upwards with complete view of the flight chamber/competitors. A minimum of (3) qualified judges will judge the rounds either live or through video review. Reviewing the videos must be at normal speed to make sure that each formation was completed correctly and determine the scoring for each round. Judges are able to review videos if they are judging live. They are allotted a maximum (3) video reviews where they can watch the videos in slow-motions to determine judging and scoring decisions. Scores will be tallied for each round, the team with the most points at the end of the rounds, wins.

Scoring:

Point: Each successful formation made within the sequence counts as a point.
Every random that is completed within designated time-frame

(2) Points: Each block correctly performed within the designated time will receive 2 points.
(competitors continue to score for each successful completion until the 35 seconds is finished)

Deductions:

Omissions: When the team does not have the intent to build the required sequence, another move is substituted in place of a drawn move, or a piece of the sequence is missing. For every omission, (3) points will be deducted.
Any unclear or unjudgeable random, the random will result in (0) points.
If a competitor touches the net while performing a random or a block, they will be given (0) points
If the block is performed correctly but the top/bottom of the block are not, competitors will be given (1) point
Competitors must have total separation between random and block formations. If they fail to do so, it will be considered an incorrectly performed formation and will be given (0) points.

Dynamic Flying (D4W / D2W)

Dynamic is very different from all of the other disciplines. Dynamic flying involves fluid flying and can include artistic routines. It does not require creating shapes/formations with your team however, this is also a speed driven discipline. The dynamic discipline has 2 categories, 2-way and 4-way. Within each category, there is ‘Beginner’, ‘Advanced’, and ‘Open’ based on your team’s skills and flying abilities. Each level of flying will have their own series of moves with various levels of difficulty. Depending on the competition, competitors will participate in speed rounds and free rounds (some competitions only have speed rounds).

Speed Rounds:

Speed rounds involve a dive-pool just as the other disciplines do. There are a series of snakes, verticals, and mixers. Prior to the competition rounds, these will be drawn at random. Each round will involve one move from each category that must be flown in order, (4) times (also known as ‘pages’), as fast as they can before exiting the flight chamber. The time will start when the leader enters the flight chamber, and will stop as soon as the last follower exits the flight chamber or passes the finish line (depending on the event rules). There are a total of six competitive rounds that the competitors will participate in.

Free Rounds:

Free rounds give the competitors the opportunity to express themselves through an artistic routine. This routine is typically 60-120 seconds long and doesn’t have any pre-set rules, moves, or requirements. Teams should build a cohesive routine that showcases their flying style and technical abilities.

Judging Speed Rounds:

Dynamic judging is much more complex than any other discipline. There are two led vertical lights placed strategically on the tunnel. These lights signify the start and finish line for each ‘page’. There is also a ‘ring’ placed (... meters) high on the flight chamber. Cameras will be positioned in both areas. This discipline introduces busts or time penalties. Snakes, verticals, and mixers must pass the start and finish lines. If the whole body does not pass the line, this is a ‘bust’. The ring only applies during verticals. Each competitor must fly over and under the ring, a body part cannot pass through the ring or it is considered a bust. Judging is always live for this discipline. There will be a minimum of (3) specific judges designated to watch the lines, the centerline and the ring for busts. Each bust will add 5 seconds to the team’s time.

Potential Busts (5 second penalty):

  • If the flyers whole body does not pass the sidelines during snakes.
  • If any part of the flyers body passes through the ring.
  • If the flyers crash into each other.
  • If the leader crosses the finish line before the follower passes the opposing line (D2W).
  • If any part of the flyers body passes through the doorway prior to the time starting.
  • If the original competitor order is compromised. For example, competitors choose designated slots prior to competition. Ex. 4-way will have a number 1,2,3, and 4 slot, competitors must maintain this order throughout the entire round.
  • Incorrect or unjudgeable patterns.
  • Omitted Compulsories (20 second penalty).
  • If the flyers skip or miss a move.
  • There isn’t a clear intent to finish the pattern.
  • If the team intentionally crashes to save them time and benefit the team.

Judging Free Routines:

Free routines are judged solely on the judge's preference. There will be three judges, that will vote based on preference. This judging is typically based on technique, level of difficulty, synchronization, and precision.The majority vote, wins.

Two common types of dynamic competitions:

Strictly Speed Round: The team with the fastest time and the end of all (6) rounds wins. This means that a relatively slower team can take the gold if they are competing against a team that receives too many busts/penalties.
Speed Rounds and Free-routines: This is a ‘head to head’ format. Teams are placed against one another at random. Both teams will compete head to head with a speed round and a free round.The speed rounds will have a clear-cut winner that will be announced after both speed and free have been completed. If the same team who won the speed round, wins the free round, they will move-up in ranking. If the other team wins the free round, there is a head to head tiebreaker in the form of a speed round (with a completely different series than before). Winner of this tie breaker moves up in the rankings. All teams continue to compete until there is an overall winner. Each team is placed accordingly based on their performance. This is based on skill and luck of the draw.

Freestyle/Artistic:

Freestyle/Artistic is the only individual competition that currently exists. Freestyle is unique from all of the other disciplines for various reasons. This is not a speed intensive discipline. Freestyle consists of a series of rounds (each competition can have a different number of total rounds). Competitors train and design an artistic routine that is judged by qualified judges. The routines are typically 60-120 seconds long (depending on the competition) and consist of cohesive moves meant to wow the crowd and judges. Typically each round is a new and fresh routine designed to showcase the flyer’s abilities and style. Recently, a new addition to the freestyle discipline was introduced in the form of a music round. The competitors build a routine that is performed to their song of choice. The music round is judged based on the competitor's ability to design and fly a routine that blends seamlessly with the music.

Judging/Scoring:

This judging is purely subjective. The judges vote on the routine that they liked the best. Each round is judged individually. The judges can score the routine from 0.0-10.0 based on:

  • Technical Difficulty and Precision
  • Creativity
  • Delivery
  • Use of Time

Judging is typically conducted in a live setting. The competitor with the most points at the end of all the rounds, wins.

Competition Resources

Dynamic Flying
FAI Parachuting Division
IBA Competition Rules
Event Listings on ISS

With the world or indoor skydiving growing immensely every day, the level of talent is drastically increasing alongside it. Indoor skydiving competitions are changing the way the world views this sport. Competition drives motivation and gives flyers an end goal to work towards. More and more flyers of all ages are training and sacrificing for the opportunity to compete with the best flyers in the world. Making a goal in a particular direction, will help you progress quicker, choose the appropriate coaches for that goal, and succeed in competition. Who knows, maybe even take home the gold!

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