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Light Lines – Clarification from Rules and Tech

Clarifications, Questions, and Answers for Light Lines

There still appears to be confusion regarding light lines. Light lines are tournament-supplied at the option of the local organizing club, with approval of the Chief Judge or Technical Controller (depending on classification). Skiers cannot show up at the tournament starting dock with their own light lines to be used.

Light Lines Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Are light lines tournament-supplied or skier-supplied?
    Answer: Light lines are tournament-supplied. They may not be skier-supplied.
  2. Can a skier bring his or her own rope?Answer: No, skiers may not bring their own ropes, but if the tournament is aware and a line is brought ahead of time, it can be considered the tournament line.
  3. If a line is brought in advance for consideration as the tournament line, how much time in advance of the event must it be delivered so that it can be measured?Answer: That’s up to the Chief Judge or Technical Controller, if they want to allow this.
  4. If the skier-supplied rope is long (nearing the tolerance), should the skier be allowed to use it ifit’s anticipated that the rope may go out of tolerance?Answer: That’s up to the Chief Judge or Technical Controller. The Chief Judge or Technical Controller can decide to not use any rope, at their discretion.
  5. If the tournament accepts the skier’s rope, are other skiers entitled to use it?Answer: Yes, that rope is then considered “tournament-supplied” and needs to stay for the whole tournament, for any competitor in an eligible division to use. (Eligible divisions include B1, B2, G1, G2, and W6-11.)
  6. Does the tournament accept responsibility if the rope comes apart or breaks, injuring a skier that uses the rope during the event?Answer: Yes, since that rope is the tournament-supplied rope. The Chief Judge or Technical Controller has the ultimate say in whether to use the rope or not. An old rope may appear to be acceptable, however, the ultimate tension load has decreased a lot and may break under normal loads. Never use a rope that has or had a knot in it because it can become 50% less manufacturer specification and could break at the knot.
  7. How is a Chief Judge or Technical Controller supposed to identify a light rope, especially given that MasterLine is now selling an “intermediate rope”?- Answer: Light/Jr Rope: 5 mm (approx. 3/16”) Poly-Pro 8 strand (40 Yarns per strand) that can be used up to 35 off only, the tension load is approx. 1,000# which should be used for B1, G1 only and in Class C or E only.

Intermediate/Mid Jr Rope: 8 mm (approx. 5/16”) 12 Strand (40 Yarns per strand) that can be used up to 38 off only, the tension load is approx. 1,500# which can be used for B1, B2, G1, G2, W6 and above only in Class C or E. (Currently do not have anything in IWWF allowing this rope to be used in Class L)

Standard Slalom Rope: 12mm – 10 mm (approx. 3/8”) 16 strand (40 Yarns per strand). All rope length and the specification meets AWSA/IWWF rules and can be used for all divisions and classes.

However, at this time there is no rule specified for the rope dimension (max take off for the light/Jr ropes), it was the rope manufacture and TC Committee intent that the Light Line (5mm) NOT be used for anything shorter than 35 off due to the loads being applied. The Mid Rope (8mm) is being made for use down to 39 1⁄2 off. However we have only done studies up to 38 off at this time.

  1. What is the rule regarding tow lines? Answer: See Rule 8.04 regarding tow lines.
  2. What optional ropes can be used?Answer: The optional ropes that can be used are a 23m non-segmented rope (jump line), light line, or mid line. Skiers do not have to use any of these lines.

10. If a skier reaches a light line’s shortest option, can he change ropes to finish his run? Answer: No, his run is over.

11. Are light lines allowed for E, L, & R events? Answer: See above Question 7.

Thank you,
AWSA Rules and Technical Committees

About the Author
Michael Newth is a Kansas State University waterski alumni. Currently residing in Columbia, MO, Michael helps out the collegiate teams in the area. He's also the current webmaster of AWSA Midwest, MCWSA, and runs the popular ski site whatshouldwecallski.

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