The International Skydiving Commission (ISC) is concerned that the number of entries in the three 4-way Formation events at the 2020 FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving in Charleroi, BEL, would be beyond the capacity for judging. While the problem seems resolved after an additional judge has been assigned to officiate, the record-level participation in an indoor formation event held under FAI auspices could signal major shifts - and in various directions ...
One will need to wait for a few more weeks to get an even clearer pictures of where these shifts will take 4-Way Formation Skydiving. Here is what is known at this point: total participation in the three FS events at the 2020 FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving is at a staggering 64 (!) teams, that is decidedly more than the 34 teams that competed two years ago in Bahrain. That is growth spelled in very capital letters, depending on the exact breakdown of this year's entries. 22 Open, 8 Women and 4 Junior teams fought for the titles in 2018.
If we look at 4-Way Formation outdoors, the FAI World Cup held at Eloy, USA, in October 2019 had a much lower participation of 13 Open and 7 Women's teams – obviously, a Juniors division was not contested. Only 8 nations were involved.
Could there be a shift away from events held outdoors? Quite possibly so. Somehow the indoor formula seems to be the better fit when it comes to the preferences of today's time-pressed skydiver. Predictability is the key word for competitions that are never put on "weather hold," that run like clockwork from dawn to dusk – and beyond – and that are an example for overall efficiency.
That the upcoming World Cup seems to dwarf other long-standing indoor competitions in formation skydiving in terms of participation could still be a coincidence. Or the first shift already. We'll know more soon.
The promo for the FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving two years ago! There were many ... Now there are more!