Just returned from the 2009 Safety Judges Conference in Dallas, TX. Lots of great lessons learned, and met some fabulous people.
The new age grid changes, which now incorporate anyone 18 and under into Senior levels 1-4, is meant to encourage more competition in each level and division. Great stuff, as that's the most common 'complaint' these days, is that the divisions can get rather sparse!
Also new this year, Senior Open Level 5. This division was created as a stepping stone division, a chance to let the athletes learn single layout fulls before competing doubles and improve upon technique and safety across the division. Anyone in Canada planning on tackling this division should give the office a call, some pretty specific rule interpretations that you should be aware of before choreographing!
Another key element, is to be sure all your dismounts are assisted. This includes any "transitions" that involve throwing a tumbler out of a cradle position etc. Anytime a top person is dismounted to the performing surface they MUST be physically assisted by a base until contact is made with the floor. At EVERY level. This isn't a new rule, it's always been there, but the interpretation has now adapted to include these seemingly innocuous choreographic elements.
Canadian coaches should feel free to give me a call in the office, happy to share what was learned.
Also important: Have your coaches follow the USASF/IASF Safety Rules updates on Twitter. Great way to make sure your Level1-3 coaches (as this who is most likely to be affected) get the up-to-date knowledge that is so crucial : LesStella on Twitter....follow it!