John Lightfoot's Justification for proposed changes to the Postal Rules

1. Allow only one attempt on any day of the month ---
Clock running on first flight means committed to that day's score.

I have had so many comments about pilots not being able to fly on the official day(s) that I started wondering about why two attempts at all? The idea is to fly the Postal! So why not allow pilots to fly when they can? But then allowing more than one attempt would make it all too easy, so only one attempt, decided when the clock is running on the first flight.

One objection seems to be that some clubs like to make an outing of the postals, with everyone flying together. No problem --- a club is welcome to add its own rules within the framework, but the guy who can't manage the (club's) scheduled day is not prevented from flying on another day (and counting his score in the team score if it's good enough)!

The idea is to get out there and fly the Postals --- the fewer restrictions the better!

2. Have four pilots scores count for the Team Total. (I originally thought 'five' but ...)

The idea behind this was ---
(a) To give more members of each club the opportunity of feeling that they have contributed something
(b) To try to persuade the top pilots in clubs with relatively few members to encourage and coach their less experienced pilots in order to get four (or more) pilots eligible for the Team Score. Isn't coaching one of the more important aspects of development?

Having just finalised the 2007 results, you might find the official scores of interest, (only showing the top contenders) compared to counting the top four scores (easy enough to do in retrospect) ...

--CLUB---(3)--- (4)
1 DMAC 20359 26874
2 SGC 19595 26112
3 MMS 18183 21966
4 BERG 18143 24669
5 ETB 17533 17533
6 SSC 15204 15204

Note that the only change is BERG displacing MMS from 3rd position,
but more pilots were involved in the official team results!

Does it matter that ETB, SSC and the rest are left further behind?
I don't think so --- it's the order that counts!


What I can deduce from the voting so far is the dominance of the dreaded RTC.
(Resistance to Change)
What surer way is there to stifle improvement / development?

How about trying something new? Then if it is shown not to work ... change back!


In 1977, the Nats were to be run in Port Elizabeth, run jointly by SSC and PEMAC, and we thought of trying a novel approach --- we had tried it out, circulated the idea and the rules, and invited other clubs to try it out and offer their input.

You can guess --- absolute zero response!

After several more attempts without a single word in reply, we said ---
"Okay, we're going to try it!"
Again, you can guess --- Howls of protest, including "It'll never work!" ...
"You can't do this!" ... and, from the most prominent gliding club at the time
"If you try this, we'll come down there and wreck the event!!!"
(Can you believe that attitude? Absolute determination to get their own way.)

As usual, the "Power of Negative Thinking" prevailed and the old rules were used.

And the idea we wanted to try?
Flying "man-on-man" ... almost identical to the "slot" system introduced for World Championship F3B events only a couple of years later and then for F3J.
We actually developed the idea from the UK rules which became F3J.