The NZAA/Stihl South Island Regional TCC was the first official tree climbing event this year with the new scoring system in place. As Nicky Ward-Allen posted in a previous blog one of the biggest changes for 2010 is in the throwline event. If you have not downloaded the 2010 Rules yet, do it now!
Here's a summary of the throwline event from the 2010 rulebook:"The throwline is a timed event that tests the contestant’s ability to accurately place a throwline and climbing line in a tree at heights between approximately 10 and 20 meters. Contestants attempt to toss a throwline through two of eight targets. Targets can be located in a single tree, four on each side; or in multiple trees as long as there are two distinct sets of four targets. The targets are worth 10, 7, 5, and 3 points, respectively, depending on the difficulty of the throw. Each contestant is allowed unlimited throws within 6 minutes, but a contestant can score in only one target on each side of the tree".
"The throwline may be manipulated in the tree. This includes attaching more than one throwline or climbing line together to perform manipulation techniques. The throw is counted by the judges as a score only if it is in the target area and both ends of the line are hanging parallel and touching the ground. A throw is considered legal and scores only when the throwline or climbing line is isolated within the target area and both ends of the line are touching the ground".
"Additional points may be earned for installing a climbing line through one target on each side of the tree. The climbing line must be pulled through the target with both ends of the rope touching the ground in order to score additional points. The value of these additional points depends on the difficulty of the throw. Installing a line in a 10-point throw is worth 5 additional points. Installing a line in a 7-point throw is worth 4 additional points, a 5-point throw - 3 points and a 3 point throw - 2 points".
You can score a maximum of 20 points for hitting the targets (10 points on each side of the tree) and an additional 10 points (5 points on each side) for installing the line.
There is a 3-point penalty to any contestant who does not install at least one climbing line within the time provided.
This new scoring system means making the most of each throw and in many cases, manipulating the line to reach the desired target. Line manipulation skills are likely to play an integral part in the throwline event under this new scheme - unless of course you are deadly accurate with each throw! Certainly, the use of line manipulation was evident at the throwline event in South Hagley Park on Saturday.
Practice makes perfect, as they say, but if you are looking for some additional advice (and bedtime reading) download the 'Slick Tricks One' and 'Slick Tricks Two' articles by Mark Adams in the Climbers Corner section of the Arborist News - in our opinion these are the best articles available on the use of a throwline. (Thanks to Drew Bristow for pointing us in the right direction in researching this article).
Adam Hartshorne working his throwline at the South Island TCC