A number of team leaders have voiced concern about the lack of clear publication and/or advertisement of the 10 pilots per nation rule as no other Europeans had been run like this.
The main concern is that the team choice was based on the expectation of a team size of 5 + 1 and this is how they based their selection/funding for the season. Some nations did not expect to have to try and find this many more pilots at short notice.
Questions were also raised about team scoring and CIVL had to point out that these extra pilots will form no part of the team scoring and will not receive a medal if their nation is on the Podium. Some pilots might feel frustrated that they don't contribute. One team leader expressed the view that these extra pilots were only being included to make up the numbers (financially ).
Finally, with more than 30 non team pilots flying ( the extra ones are all from the strong Nations France, Swiss, etc.), this could have the potential to skew the team scores a lot, making in what some people already find is an unfair team competition even more unfair.
CIVL would like to underline that…
- We know it's important for the organizers to get 150 pilots so they can balance their budget. It is probably the main reason why St-André opened the door to 10 pilots per country.
- Today, tendency is to make the selection criteria harder, not easier. If organizers want 150 pilots, the number of pilots per country has to be more than 5 + 1. St-André had a choice: stay at 5 + 1 and open to non-European pilots; go 9 + 1 and open only to European. They chose to have more European pilots flying and will not allow any non-European pilots.
The Morzine, France, 2005 Euro was based on 8 pilots team, not far from St-André 10, for the same financial and political reasons. At the time, the selection level was top 1000 of the WPRS, not top 400 like St-André, a big difference.
- During the last February CIVL Plenary, we talked at length about making the selection criteria harder and what the consequences would be. What's happening in St-André should not be a surprise to anyone.
- Rules are supposed to be know by all. Local regulations were published on time in March. It's a European championship. Travel expenses are not that high. Nations had ample time to get prepared for 10 pilots team if they wanted.
- Team leaders are smart. Yes, having extra pilots not scoring for the team is a problem for pilots and team leaders. It is also a big opportunity to have more pilots in a top level competition and nations should be happy with it.
- Every country can send 10 pilots (if they are good enough). Every country will have the same number of pilots scoring. The team results will show strictly the strength of nations.