Flew to Palm Springs today for the first World Cup of the season. Lots of interesting developments in the world of pent. The second WC, to be held in March is cancelled as it was scheduled for Cairo. That's a shame as I don't think they will be replacing the competition elsewhere, but perhaps they will, hard to know.
Second big item is that the laser technology is being introduced at this meet. It was first seen at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Check it out as it's pretty interesting - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IcTO9mmPYQ
This will be the first time it is used at the senior level. To implement this technology, there has been a significant amount of resistance and conspiracy theory. This meet will be a true measure of its acceptance. The vote to include it took place in December.·It is hard to get the real story·of·what transpired, but here·is what I've put together.·At the UIPM congress, it was struck down on the first vote, a second vote was cast on some technicality which brought it closer to acceptance but not quite a majority. An international press release went out that portrayed the congress vote - senior athletes would not use laser until past 2012, but it would be fully introduced for youth and junior immediately. The next day that press release was retracted or revised, or ignored and a new ruling came out that sited a rule in the UIPM book that allows laser to be used at international meets. This small caveat of a rule that likely drew no attention by anyone in the past is now the impetus for the introduction of the laser into competition. From what I understand, there was tremendous pressure from the IOC to accept the new technology. Apparently, the IOC essentially said - "vote? why vote, we thought this was a done deal."
The laser has been terribly contentious for a couple reasons. The first is that it was essentially forced on the athletes with little discussion. Beyond that, it's distribution has left a lot to be desired. My adaptive piece is still stuck in customs in Calgary and I have to loan one from the manufacturer here. The concept of the technology is positive - it reduces the use of lead, it's better for the environment, easier to let kids play with, etc. It is also forward-thinking technology in a sport that is usually old fashioned (shooting in particular). Cost was also supposed to be a real feature, but I'm not convinced yet that cost will be that low given that an open source system is not being used and so there is not competition for product development.
Tomorrow the women's semi-final is up. Mel, Mathea and Donna will get it going. The community here has embraced the event well and it is in the media frequently. This is a huge world cup as far as I can tell. It seems nearly every nation is present and even some that I rarely see, like New Zealand. It should be interesting. I will keep things posted as best as possible. Best luck to our girls tomorrow. Take care. Josh.