Freediving Rules for AIDA Static Apnea (STA) Competition Success
This post is an abridged version of the AIDA Freediving Rules for Competitions and Records (Version 16.0 November 2018) to help freedivers participating in their first freediving static competition, to familiarise themselves with the freediving rules for Statics and to know what to expect on competition day. This is not a comprehensive list of all the freediving rules but rather a guide to understanding the essential rules to perform a successful Static and to avoid penalties and disqualification from a simple rule infringement. Where possible the rule numbers on the left of the page correspond to the rule numbers in the AIDA Freediving Rules 2018 manual. The complete manual of AIDA Freediving Rules for Competitions and Records can be downloaded from the AIDA website here.
126.96.36.199 Each athlete must be a member of an AIDA National (e.g., Australian Freediving Association, AIDA Philippine).
188.8.131.52 All athletes must be in possession of a signed “medical certificate of non contraindication to freediving” written in English to participate in competitions. The medical certificate cannot be older than one year. The signature must be that of a doctor and must include doctor contact information.
184.108.40.206 Each athlete must be in possession of a valid passport.
The passport, and signed medical certificate must be inspected during registration
4.1.5. The exact time an athlete has to start his/her performance is called the Official Top; hereafter mentioned as OT.
4.1.6 Each athlete must appear at a location designated by the jury at least 60 minutes before their OT.
4.1.9 Any “Black-out” detected by the judge(s) will result in disqualification of the athlete for the discipline. This includes if the athlete is unable to maintain the airway out of the water.
220.127.116.11 The athlete can be touched by the coach, partner and safety freediver for repositioning and safety chcks during static. Any touch after the airway emerges will result in disqualification.
18.104.22.168 The Surface Protocol (SP) consists of the following tasks:
- Remove all facial equipment (mask, goggles, and nose clip).
- Give 1 visible OK signal to the judge.
- Give 1 verbal OK signal to the judge by saying “I’m Ok” “I am OK”.
22.214.171.124 All the above must be done in this specific order within the time window of 15.0 seconds upon resurfacing. Failure to do so in this order and time frame is regarded as a disqualification and noted as “failing SP”.
4.1.14 Upon surfacing, the athlete’s nose and mouth must remain out of the water until the jury has communicated their decision to the athlete, if any part of the athlete’s airway fully dips below the surface during this time, the athlete shall be disqualified (DQAirways).
4.1.16 At the end of each performance the jury informs the athlete of their decision regarding the validity of their performance with a white card (the performance is ok), a yellow card (the performance is ok but with penalties) or a red card (disqualification).
126.96.36.199 Three zone are marked off: a warm-up zone, a transition zone and a performance zone. The warm-up period starts 45 minutes before the start of the first official attempt(s); the athlete may not access the warm-up zone until 45 minutes prior to her/her OT. Athletes may not access the transition zone and / or performance zones until such time as the preceding athlete has left the area.
4.2.9 The following countdown is conducted in English by the speaker, and where possible for World Championships by an automated system 2’00, 1’30, 1’00, 30’’, 20’’, 10’’, 5’’, 4’’, 3’’, 2’’ 1’’, official top. , 1’’, 2’’, 3’’, 4’’, 5’’, 6’’, 7’’, 8’’, 9’’, 10’’, 20’’, 25’’, 26’’, 27’’, 28’’, 29’’, 30’’., start cancelled.
4.2.10 The interval between OT times is determined by the organisers. AIDA recommends that each athlete be permitted at least three minutes in the competition zone prior to his/her OT.
10.3 Early start. If the athlete starts before the their offical top (OT), a penalty of 1 point per unit of five seconds is applied (EARLY START).
10.4 Late Start. If the athlete starts after the authorised ten seconds window in pool disciplines a penalty of 1 point per unit of five seconds is applied up to 30 seconds after OT (called a “LATE START”). After thirty seconds the athlete is disqualified (called a “DQ LATE START”) and not allowed to start.
10.5.1 In static disciplines when the RP (Realised Performance) is lower than the AP (Announced Performance, a penalty of 0.2 points per second is applied. This is called “Under AP”.
6.1.3 An AIDA International judge and a timekeeper of the organisation will time the attempt. They will start their stopwatches upon immersion, when the nose and mouth are below the water or when the snorkel is released if preparation is performed with a snorkel. They will stop their stopwatches once the nose and/or mouth of the athlete are out of the water.
6.1.4 In order to calculate the performance of the athlete, the average of the two registered times are taken by the two time keepers. All measurements are rounded down to the nearest second. This time is then converted to points with 1 second of immersion = 0.2 points. The performance is then rounded down to the nearest 0.2 point.
6.1.6 A partner is authorised to monitor and supervise the athlete’s warm-up and performance, they are permitted to assist in the three time zones. This partner is allowed to touch the athlete throughout the performance and manage any safety signals. As soon as the performance has ended, the partner is no longer allowed to touch the athlete without disqualification, following the provision in 4.1.10. They are only allowed to verbally coach the athlete.
6.1.7 Following 6.1.6 the main safety of the event is the responsibility of the organiser and an organization safety diver must be in the competition zone during the entirety of the athelte’s performance.
6.1.8 An organization safety diver or a partner is present in the water during the complete performance. This person is responsbile for verifying the state of consciousness of the athlete by touching the athlete in an agreed manner. The athlete responds by using a gesture agreed upon in advance with the safety diver or partner. The following procedures for safety checks will be used:
- In the case of an organization safety diver every 30 seconds starting 1 minute before reaching the announced performance (AP), then every 15 seconds starting at the AP a safety check will be performed.
- In the case of a partner/coach, whenever checks they wish will be performed or none at all.
6.1.9 If the athlete does not respond by using the chosen gesture, the judge will immediately request a repeated signal from the athlete. If an incorrect response persists, or there is none, the judge will ask the safety freediver or partner to remove the athlete from the water.
Summary of Static Apnea Competition Freediving Rules:
- Make sure all paperwork is completed and submitted to competition organisers by registration deadline.
- To be recognised for your performances on the AIDA database for athletes and rankings make sure you are a member of an AIDA National prior to the competition. In Australia, this serves two purposes: 1. It provides public liability insurance; and 2. It enables the athlete to create an Athlete profile on AIDA (see https://www.aidainternational.org/Athletes) and for international recognition and ranking of your performances.
- Make sure the time you announce prior to the competition (called “Announced Performance”) for your breath hold will be less than the time you actually want to achieve (called “Realized Performance”).
- Make sure you attend the competition site at least 1 hour prior to your OT.
- You are allowed to enter the warm-up zone 45 minutes before your OT.
- Go through your warm-up routine so you are ready to move into the competition zone at least three minutes before your OT.
- You are allowed a partner/coach to be your safety diver (along with Competition Safety Diver). Ensure your buddy or partner knows what you want. If you don’t have your own partner/coach the Competition Safety Diver will go through competition designated time signals. Only your partner/coach can give your verbal feedback regarding times etc.
- Make sure you start your breath hold within 10 seconds of OT and do not start before OT.
- At the completion of your static, and once airways above water, do not allow your mouth or nose to be submerged again and make sure no one supports you by touching you after your airways are clear.
- Go through the Surface Protocol in the correct order and within 15 seconds of mouth/nose clearing the water.
- Wait patiently for 30 seconds for the judge to show a white, yellow or red card.
- Use visualisation to practice and remember the key points and freediving rules of your dive and surface protocol prior to your performance.
- Good luck!