Over the past three days, the USPA Board of Directors met at the Historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane, Washington, to discuss a variety of matters impacting skydivers worldwide. The first order of business was seating two new board members—Eastern Regional Director Dave Grabowski and National Director Angie Aragon. Grabowski replaced Shauna Finley, who moved out of her region, and Aragon replaced Al King, who retired from the board.
Halfway through their terms, the group of 22 skydiver representatives looks back proudly at the progress made so far, but looks forward to a strong 2024. “With a year and a half left in this term, we’re looking forward to spending our final two meetings pushing some major items across the finish line,” said Mountain Regional Director Ray Lallo after the conclusion of today’s final session.
Below are a few highlights from the Summer 2023 USPA Board Meeting.
- The committee approved a change to the language governing the size of competition juries, allowing greater flexibility to accommodate smaller competitions.
- College students no longer are required to be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours in order to be eligible for the USPA Collegiate Skydiving Championships. Instead, they will be required to provide a statement establishing that they are a full-time student.
- The competition committee changed the requirements for state sequential records in CF, FS and VFS--removing the 25% of the largest-formation state record requirement--in order to encourage local jumpers to pursue sequential records. National and International records were unaffected.
Finance & Budget
- The board planned to engage a trust attorney to assist in updating USPTTF paperwork.
- Adjustment of member dues was discussed, but no change was made.
- New timelines were established for preparing meeting agendas and soliciting committee agenda items from membership.
- A form was created to assist in guiding members on how to prepare an idea for board consideration
- The committee reviewed a staff-developed SMS template for use by USPA Group members to improve safety at their drop zones.
- Al King, D-4240, received the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship, skill and personal contribution to the sport of parachuting and the United States Parachute Association, its goals and purposes.
- This year saw two recipients for the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service, Steve Curtis, D-20818, and Bob Feisthamel, D-7730.
- The lone USPA Regional Achievement Award of 2023 went to Joey Freeman, D-23490, for his significant contributions to the Mid-Atlantic region’s skydiving community.
Safety & Training:
- The committee discussed adding a new section in the SIM to address Extreme Relative Work, or XRW. The topic will be explored further in future meetings.
- Language was altered so that rather than recommending a C license to jump a camera, it is now recommended to be a licensed skydiver with 200 jumps.
- In an effort to aid drop zones with irregularly shaped landing areas, the USPA Director of Safety & Training and relevant Regional Director may approve landing areas that do not have the necessary radial distance, but are of sufficient square footage.
The final minutes from the meeting will be posted on USPA’s website upon their completion, and a full write-up will appear in the September issue of Parachutist.