by Karel Křivanec
On Friday, 3 May, the General Assembly of the International Fly Fishing Federation is going to be held in Almaty (Kazakhstan). The meeting will follow traditional scheme and also the organization of the following championships will be assigned. One of the most important points on the agenda is the approval of changes in the competition rules. These changes will be applied already from this year. The motion is submitted by the Presidential Board and at the beginning it needs to be said that the number of proposed changes is extraordinarily high. The motion says that the Ladies World Championship should be held from 2020. I have been promoting the independent Ladies World Championship for about 10 years and I am pleased that this point is now ready for approval.
World Championships of Seniors, Masters and Ladies should be held in even years and regional (zonal) championships in odd years. So the considerations that the European Championship could be held annually have not been confirmed. The Slovak Anglers Federation submitted a countermotion where they request the organization of these world championships annually. To be honest, this Slovak motion has no chance and shows fragmented opinions in this point directly in the Presidential Board, because the current FIPS-Mou President is from Slovakia. I cannot omit that, for example, Czech motions for permission of micro rings were not approved during the last ten years and they were legalized after they were proposed into changes by the Presidential Board.
Youth World Championship will continue being held annually, despite the fact that in 2018 a two-year cycle was proposed. Fortunately, at the General Assembly it was possible to stop this motion after the countermotion of the Czech delegate was presented. A two-year cycle of the World Championship of seniors was proposed three times in the past, but it never succeeded, but this motion was pushed forward in 2018. It needs to be said that generally competitors do not like this idea, however, the return to the one-year cycle is nowadays completely impossible, because such a change would require three quarters of votes at the General Assembly.
Other news are that from now on only anthems of winners will be played and not anthems of all medal holders as until now. It is a reasonable motion, as this normally happens in other sports too. After the last year’s incident at the World Championship in Italy, when teams revolted against the proposed way of rotation on the lake, from now on such a proposal will be allowed at the last moment only to the International Organizer and the main representative of FIPS – Mou and to nobody else. The rules will newly allow the controller to watch the competitor even from an island, if there is any. Newly is also implemented a term “Wild Card”, which can be granted to one team without a membership in FIPS-Mou.
Names of team members must be disclosed to the Organizer at least 60 days before the start of the Championship and each federation must issue a certificate to members of their team. This new provision may cause certain problems, because there is not said which sanction will be applied if the team fails to deliver this. It seems that except the substitute, it will not be possible to make any other changes in the team at the last moment. This might be the case that teams will pay for five competitors, but they will not be able to make changes.
The rules will embody the minimum size of eligible fish (20 cm) which is good, but it is a pity that a sentence saying “all fish species are eligible fish” is missing. The rules continue to allow the organizers not to score some fish species (non-salmonid species) and I regard this as a big mistake. It seems to me that the new wording of rules might allow the use of weights called “heavy body”. But rubber worms (Squirmy or Glajcha) are over. On the contrary the pattern San Juan Worm is probably still allowed.
And finally, the end of the ban on use of cameras and videos is here. Finally, somebody got the idea that this is a complete nonsense. On the other hand the use of mobile phones during competition for all team members will be applied. It is a pity that this is not going to be applied on controllers who often provide the most updated information to the headquarters of the home team.
There are more and more changes in the rules and often they are small and insignificant. Regarding the changes in Statutes, I am not going to express myself to them. Their presentation is beyond my understanding. And this is probably all I wanted to notify you about and now it is on the representatives of national federations, even if I do not think that something could be changed.