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Record Submission Procedures

Chapter 3 of the Skydiver’s Competition Manual stipulates procedures by which records are established and claimed. Of course, the hardest part of setting a record is developing the skills and talent and organizing the record attempt. Not quite as difficult but certainly important is arranging for qualified observers–normally, USPA judges–and making sure that you and any other participants are properly credentialed with valid USPA membership and any other requirements. For example, you’ll need an FAI sporting license in order to attempt an FAI world record.

The process of filing your claim with USPA for a state or national record entails submitting your Records Claim Form to USPA headquarters' Competition Department. After your record is approved, you can purchase a commemorative certificate suitable for framing, along with a place in history.

State And National Records

Chapter 3-2 of the Skydiver's Competition Manual has instructions for establishing state and national records. Appendix B, the claim form, is available for download to the right. A summary:

State records: You'll need the jump(s) observed by at least one discipline-specific judge. For example, you need a FS judge to evaluate a FS 4-way sequential record attempt, plus one other qualified person listed in Chapter 3 (also listed on the claim form). You only need two authorized signatures to confirm a state record. Not only that, your judge can take part in the jump!

National records: For "performance record" attempts made outside of a USPA National Championships (for example, a formation skydiving large formation record attempt) you'll need three judges, at least two of them nationally-rated in the discipline involved. One can be a regional judge rated in the discipline. For disciplines documented and graded by air-to-air video, only one judge must actually be on site to validate the performers, document the jump plan and collect the video; the judging itself can be done remotely.

Altitude jumps and most-jumps-in-24 hours claims: You don't need a judge, although using a judge as an official observer is perfectly acceptable. However, if you'd rather, the pilot's signature and one other qualified observer–as listed in Chapter 3 and the record claim form–will satisfy the requirement.

World Records

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the official accrediting body in the world for aviation records. USPA is the official governing body for all world parachuting/skydiving record attempts in the United States in Class G (Parachuting) records. The record classes are listed in the FAI Sporting Code, Section 5. Skydivers may claim records in many disciplines, including accuracy landing, freefall style, largest formation of jumpers in freefall, largest formation of jumpers with open parachutes, most points accrued on a competition formation skydive, as well as various forms of wingsuit flight. There are team and individual records and can be in female, general (non-gender specific) and junior categories. For the latest FAI records, and to see eclipsed world records, go to the FAI records search page where you can do a search by name, year or discipline. See Chapter 3-1 of the Skydiver’s Competition Manual for instructions on establishing world records.

What is Competition at USPA all about?

Competition is one of the three primary missions of USPA. The Skydiver's Competition Manual prescribes procedures by which competitions are conducted, how judges are rated, how records are set, and how teams are selected.

Annually, USPA conducts the National Parachuting and Skydiving Championships to recognize national champions in the sport’s seven competition disciplines: Accuracy Landing, Canopy Formation, Canopy Piloting, Canopy Piloting - Freestyle, Formation Skydiving, Artistic Events, Speed Skydiving and Wingsuit Flying. In addition, USPA hosts the National Collegiate Skydiving Championships annually for the collegiate skydiving community.

The top placers from each Open class of the National Championships (except the Collegiates) are chosen to represent the United States at international parachuting and skydiving competitions.

In the United States, USPA oversees all competitive and record-setting parachuting activities, in consonance with its relationship with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

USPA is a member of the International Skydiving Commission (ISC), the parachuting arm of the FAI. ISC is responsible for promulgating the rules by which the world meets are conducted and world records are measured and ratified. USPA's delegate to the ISC is National Director Jim Rees and the alternate delegate is Albert Berchtold, USPA's Executive Director.

Early each year the ISC meets to deal with issues of international scope. The 2024 ISC Plenary meeting will be held Jan 31-Feb 4 2024 in  Orlando, FL

A Bit of History ...

Parachuting competition dates back to around 1930 in Russia, where jumpers demonstrated who could land closest to a target. In 1948, the Federation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) named American Joseph Crane to chair the newly established Commission Internationale de Parachutisme (CIP), now called the International Parachuting Commission (IPC). The first FAI sanctioned World Parachuting Championships took place in Yugoslavia in 1951, with five European teams competing. The U.S. fielded its first team at the world championships in Moscow in 1956. From 1951 through 1975, FAI-sanctioned skydiving competition consisted exclusively of the “classic” disciplines of freefall style and accuracy landing.

Group freefall skydiving, then called “relative work” and now called “formation skydiving” (FS) grew increasingly popular through the 1960s and emerged as a competitive discipline in the early 1970s. The first 4-way formation skydiving event was introduced at the 1970 U.S. National Skydiving Championships in Plattsburgh, New York. 10-way speed star formation skydiving debuted at the 1972 National Skydiving Championships in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In September 1975, the first FAI World Championships of Relative Work took place in Warendorf, Germany. Modern 4-way and 8-way FS sequential dive pools were formulated by the IPC in 1976 and introduced as official events at the 1977 USPA National Skydiving Championships. The Second World Championships of Relative Work, featuring 4-way and 8-way sequential events took place in November of 1977 in Gatton, Australia. “Mirror Image” from the United States won the first-ever 8-way sequential gold medal.

Canopy formation (CF) was added as an event in 1983. Canopy piloting (CP) became a medal event at the 2005 Nationals in Perris, California. Vertical formation skydiving (VFS) became official in 2007 when USPA included it in the National Championships at Skydive Chicago. Mixed Formation Skydiving was added in 2013. The newest discipline, Wingsuit Flying debuted in 2015 at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Meanwhile, the original events, style and accuracy, remain an enduring part of the USPA Nationals. The biannual style and accuracy world championships remains the largest FAI parachuting championships, both by number of participating countries and the number of individual competitors.

Competition, Records and Judging FAQs

All USPA members are welcome to attend the National Championships. Members not eligible for medals or the U.S. Team will be entered as guests. See SCM Chapter 1 for more information.

USPA has a stock of medals perfect for framing as gifts to sponsors. For more information please send an email to competition@uspa.org

Registration methods vary depending on the host. Please contact us for more information about a particular event.

All active USPA judges are listed on our website. Just go to " Find A Judge" and search by name, or by location and discipline to find a judge.

Any state record requires two officials to certify. One of these must be a judge rated in the discipline. For more details see SCM Chapter 3.

The USPA Open National Record is for records set in U.S. airspace that contains foreign jumpers. The U.S. National record requires that all jumpers be U.S. citizens for permanent residents.

Sporting Licenses are separate from USPA licenses (A, B, C, D) and are issued by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) , on behalf of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). They are required for participation in international competition or any international record (world or continental). Please see the NAA’s website for more information. You may use the following guide during your application process. FAI Sporting License Application/Renewal Procedure Guide
Competition Records

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