The Positioning or Framing Mark
The Positioning mark is a measure of how well the pilot manages to fly the sequence with each figure located at an "ideal" position within the overall presentation. As each figure is being flown, compare its actual location in the box with where in your view it would be ideally positioned. If the location fits well with the preceding and following figures and you are comfortably able to judge each element of it, then you can accept that the position is OK.
However - if the figure is sufficiently near, far, or to the left or right that the presentation or your ability to see and judge individual figures becomes compromised then some downgrading will be appropriate, and you should record your observations like this:
- If the figure is somewhat too near to you, after you give the mark for the figure add the word "Near". Your scribe should write the letter 'N' in the comments column of the marks form to represent your comment
- If it is somewhat too far away then add the word "Far"; your scribe will write 'F'
- For figures somewhat too far to the left or too far to the right, add the word "Left" or "Right", to be written as 'L' or 'R'
- If the figure is located much too far to the left, right, near or far then add the appropriate word twice. For instance "Near near" or "Right right" should be recorded as 'NN' or 'RR'. A figure that is flown in the distant left rear corner of the box might thus be described as "Far far left", written as 'FFL'
To calculate the Positioning Mark
To reach a conclusion for the Left - Right - Near - Far positioning of all the figures, review the 'L', 'R', 'N' and 'F' annotations and for each letter deduct a ½ mark from 10.0.
Example: For a sequence where you record L, N, FL, FF, R and N again, your mark would be 10.0 minus (8 times a ½ = 4.0). The answer in this case would thus be 5.5 for the overall Positioning Mark.
Learn to do this consistently ... and your Positioning marks will be consistent too.
Note 1: Figures that are flown too far away to be reliably judged must receive a downgrade of 2-points for each element that you can't judge - this is subtracted from the mark for the figure, separately from any "Far" comments about the positioning.
Note 2: Figures that start behind the judging line must be annotated 'BEHIND' but you must still record in brackets the mark that you would otherwise have awarded for it. After the flight the Chief Judge will make a final decision as to whether the figure should be marked or zero'd based upon the majority / minority of the 'BEHIND' notes made by the panel - if there is not a majority who say that the figure started behind the judging line then each judges' original mark should be used, otherwise a CHZ will be awarded.
The glider Harmony mark - gone forever!
Up until their 2016 annual conference CIVA - and thus everyone who followed their regulations - used to apply a 'Harmony' mark to every glider aerobatic flight. A 'harmonious' flight had the individual figures clearly separated from one another, following each other at regular intervals, and the exit velocity from each figure was expected to be appropriate for the next figure's entry requirement. Unfortunately the mark was not given enough attention, possibly because there were few rules for it, and judges frequently forgot about it until after the flight. From 2017 forwards therefore this extra glider grade has been consigned to history and is no longer used.