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American Water Ski Association

New Jump Driving/Timing Options 

Approved By AWSA Rules Committee

Optional Jumping Timing Tolerance Table (Acrobat Reader - Download)


The jump driving rules have always called for a "constant boat speed" in the jumping event, and so the associated timing tolerance tables for our two-segment method of jump timing have been developed from an assumption that the boat speed throughout BOTH segments of the timing course will average to the EXACT specified nominal speed.  The advent of Speed Control systems in recent years, and the need to program these to comply with these rules, has shed more insight on what really goes on with the boat speed during the jump event. This has led various committees to recommend changing those practices. 


The evolution of Speed control devices, has become somewhat complex.  This has included the necessity of a device called a "Jump Switch", which senses towline tension.   This device serves as a trigger to the speed control system to apply additional throttle, in order to maintain the desired nominal boat speed whenever the skier is cutting hard and hence putting a load on the boat.  One significant byproduct of this operation is that, for any given nominal speed, at the time the jump switch disengages (when the skier leaves the ramp surface into flight), the boat speed will surge ahead momentarily, before the added throttle can be rolled back by the control system. 

Consequently, the boat speed at the beginning of the 2nd jump timing segment will always – unavoidably -- be somewhat higher than the nominal intended speed.  Then given our traditional jump timing tables, in order for the speed control device to deliver an "Ideal" average time in the 2nd timing segment, then it has been necessary to program it to actually reduce the boat speed, to a level below the intended nominal speed, through the remainder of the 2nd segment. While necessary from that traditional rules perspective, this is otherwise undesirable, and may actually serve to impede the most aggressive skiers who have been landing far ahead of the boat. 

Led by a proposal by the Athlete's Advisory Committee to the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF) over this past winter season, several other AWSA Committees have recently collaborated on refining new optional rules for Jump driving and timing. 


A new optional rule will now allow the boat to continue thru the 2nd jump timing segment, at the elevated speed with which it enters the 2nd segment. This will be approximately 3 mph (4.5 kph) faster than the intended nominal speed for the Men jumping at 35 mph (57 kph), and approximately 2 mph (3 kph) faster for all other nominal speeds. 

There is also an alternative option for those skiers who may prefer a less aggressive pull. Here, the boat speed for the remainder of the 2nd segment will be programmed to return to the intended nominal speed, instead of continuing at the elevated speed. If this 2nd alternative option is chosen, or if a skier is not sufficiently aggressive to engage the jump switch, then the "Opt(2)" slow time limit column in the new timing table will be used instead. 

There is a new jump timing table (link) which is to be applied when either of these options are chosen by the skier. This table includes tolerances to support these options for both Record Capability and for Class C tournaments.  Additionally, the WSTIMS computer scoring package has been modified to incorporate these new options and is available at www.awsaeast.org.   

Skiers and Officials should recognize that both of the AWSA - approved Speed Control Systems currently support these two new options -- see the manufacturer's materials for details on setup and usage.