Dear FPA Members & Jamming Community:
Freestyle is expanding world-wide and the FPA Board of Directors continues to be hard at work behind the scenes to support international events.
The European Freestyle Championships (EFC) has been part of the growth of freestyle in Europe – starting over 10 years ago and with a specific eligibility criterion (e.g., Europeans only eligible to play), which was decided in order to foster the expansion of freestyle players in Europe. This has proven to be successful since there are so many jammers now in Europe, many of whom are some of the top-ranked freestylers in the world.
In North America, however, there hasn’t been a regularly offered, annual, FPA major tournament for many years. But recently, the FPA Board has established the American Freestyle Championships (AFC) as an effort to recharge freestyle within the Americas.
A dilemma emerged through this process, which was whether to maintain the “closed-format” of eligibility to compete in the new AFC or to use an “open-format” to allow all freestyle players to play, regardless of their country of residence. Since EFC has traditionally been for Europeans only, this proved to be a difficult situation. Potential AFC tournament directors were requesting to have everyone eligible, and it appeared that opinions within Europe were split as to whether to change the EFC eligibility to an ‘open-format’ or not.
The FPA Board discussed this issue at length, and came up with a compromise: That AFC and EFC on even-numbered years would be open to all freestylers in the world; and during odd-numbered years would be considered continent-only (“closed-format”).
In other words, if tournament directors bidding on an AFC or EFC want their tournament competitors to be only from their continent , they can wait until an odd-year (e.g., 2015, 2017, 2019) to host the AFC or EFC (and bid the previous year for their event).
On even –numbered years (2014, 2016, 2018), EFC will be shifted to an open-format, and tournament directors who wish to invite competitors who are non-Europeans to their event may do so; AFC will also be open-format with everyone eligible to compete.
It was also proposed, to help avoid confusion, that AFC and EFC during the even-numbered years be renamed to: the American Freestyle Open (AFO) and the European Freestyle Open (EFO).
· 2014: AFO/EFO: open to all (bidding process occurs during year before)
· 2015: AFC/EFC: closed to continent
· 2016: AFO/EFO: open to all
· 2017: AFC/EFC: closed to continent
· 2018: AFO/EFO: open to all
Bidding process for AFC, EFC, AFO, and EFO will remain as it is currently, with slight modifications to the bidding application to acknowledge whether the tournament is using an open or closed format. Financial support by the FPA for AF/EF tournaments will be the same whether the event is Open or Closed.
This odd/even eligibility criterion is considered a temporary measure for the next few years – and the FPA Board will be reassessing this process over time. Meanwhile, we hope that this compromise results in prospective AF/EF tournament directors hosting a continental tournament that fits for the type of event that they want.
Once other continents let us know about their ability to host a major FPA event, then we’ll add them too (e.g., Asia, Central America, Africa).
We hope you agree that this is a productive change that supports the growth of our beloved sport I look forward to seeing many of you at FPAW 2013 in Santa Cruz and at our FPA All-Members meeting!
– Lori Daniels, Executive Director, Freestyle Players Association