Management hgcomps Sat, 20/02/2021 - 17:03

The HG Competitions Panel runs according to the HG Competitions Panel Constitution.  The most recent version of the Constitution was approved on 25 October 2023.  Link below:




Management of all UK national hang gliding competitions is exercised by the Hang Gliding Competitions Panel (the Panel) on behalf of the Executive Board of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (Exec). The Panel is responsible for the fair, effective and impartial administration of UK hang gliding competitions, the selection of national teams and any UK representation at other international hang gliding events.


Communications between the Panel and Exec will normally by via the BHPA Competition Director.


Panel may delegate the management of specific competitions to other bodies within the BHPA but will retain responsibility for the fair, effective and impartial administration of those competitions.


The management of competitions at club level shall remain the responsibility of the BHPA clubs concerned.



1.2 THE HANG GLIDING COMPETITIONS PANEL hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:03


The Panel shall consist of the following:

  1. • A CHAIRMAN - responsible to the Panel and exec, elected from the Panel subject to approval by Exec.
  2. • A VICE CHAIRMAN - appointed by the Panel from elected members.
  3. • A SECRETARY - appointed by the Panel.
  4. • A TREASURER - appointed by the Panel from BHPA members.
  5. • Other members as considered necessary by the Panel.


Rules concerning election to the Panel, voting and responsibilities of certain Panel members are in Chapter 2.


1.3 THIS CONSTITUTION hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:05

A 2/3rds (rounded up) majority of panel members eligible to vote shall be required to approve changes to this constitution i.e. to Chapter 1 of this document.


1.4 NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:08

Rules and guidance for selection can be found in Chapter 5 . 


2.1 SERVICE ON THE COMPETITIONS PANEL hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:09


Those eligible for election to the Panel are British Open Hang Gliding Series (BOS) or National Hang Gliding Championship (Nationals) officials or those pilots who have entered all meets in the current or most recent year’s BOS or have competed in the most recent hang gliding nationals.


In September each year 2 members of the Panel shall stand down and elections will be held for replacements. If insufficient panel members stand down voluntarily the members who have served the longest period since election will be considered to have stood down from the Panel. Any pilot wishing to be considered for a place on the Panel should put himself forward to the Chairman or Secretary by 1st September or at such other time as volunteers are called for; retiring panel members are eligible to stand for re-election.


In the event of vacancies occurring for positions within the Panel other than at the end of a competition season the Chairman or Secretary will announce this and endeavour to find suitable people to cover the responsibilities at the earliest opportunity.


Notice of elections to the Panel must be given by the Chairman or Secretary on the competitions email list a minimum of 14 days in advance. Those eligible to vote are those pilots who have entered all meets in the current or the most recent Open Series or have competed in the most recent hang gliding national championship. Election votes may be cast in person or by email or by a combination of both depending upon the timing of the elections and the decision of the Panel. The Secretary shall prepare a list of those eligible to vote and record votes cast in order to avoid duplication. The candidates with the highest number of votes shall be elected to the vacant posts.


It is anticipated that most panel decisions will be arrived at by consensus but when a vote is needed all elected panel members  shall have an equal vote on panel decisions. Except where stated elsewhere in these rules a simple majority is required to approve a decision; if there are equal numbers of votes for and against a proposal the Chairman shall cast the deciding vote.

2.1.6 QUORUM

Except where specified otherwise in these rules 60% of current panel members shall be present or consulted for panel decisions to be valid.


A possible conflict of interest is any situation in which a person’s judgments or decisions might be influenced by relations that person has with other persons or organisations that might be affected (positively or negatively) by those judgments or decisions. The conflict becomes real if the person fails to reveal the potential for conflict and then expresses an opinion or makes a decision in favour of, or against, the person or organisation concerned, or accepts any benefit from that person or organisation.
Conflicts of interest may arise as a result of direct personal relations, or indirectly, through the interests of a closely related third person (spouse, partner, dependent etc).
Any person to whom this applies must make full disclosure to the panel and should not take part in the discussion or decision making process for the relevant matter.
Additional rules concerning conflicts of interest in team selection may be found in the relevant section of these rules.


2.2 RESPONSIBILITIES OF PANEL MEMBERS hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:12

All Panel members have a responsibility to act and make decisions for the benefit of the BHPA and those BHPA pilots competing in competitions. Such decisions shall not conflict in principle with the rules and guidelines of the BHPA.


The Chairman is responsible for convening panel meetings, direction and overall supervision of panel officers. He approves the minutes of panel meetings.


The Vice Chairman is responsible for deputising for the Chairman when necessary.


The Secretary is responsible for recording minutes of Panel meetings and publishing these after approval.


The Treasurer is responsible for managing panel finances in accordance with decisions made by the Panel and to provide annual reports to the panel at the AGM (also known as the annual planning meeting) for each year ending 30th September.


2.3 OTHER MEMBERS hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:14

In addition to those specified above the Panel currently appoints the following individuals and committees to exercise safe and fair management of national competitions:


He is appointed by and responsible to the Panel. Responsible for the operational management of the Nationals and BOS competitions including setting the day's task after consultation with the Task Advisory Committee and subject to ratification by the Safety Officer. Responsible for stopping or suspending a task if conditions become dangerous and the Safety Committee is not available. The MD should always have a radio tuned to the competition safety frequency while a task is in progress.


The head of the Safety Committee; appointed by the Panel and if not a panel member is invited to attend panel meetings other than selection meetings. Responsible for ensuring all necessary accident/incident reports are submitted to the BHPA Office. Advises the MD on task safety before each task is set and reports to the Panel on any adverse trends in competition safety.


This member is responsible for the organisation of sites, accommodation, access to meteorological information and local aspects of the efficient setting up of a competition. He works with the Meet Director and responsible to and appointed by the Panel. This responsibility may be delegated to a person who is not a current panel member.


Responsible for collating the best available weather forecast and ensuring this is briefed to competitors before the task is set. This information must also be available to the TC, SC and MD.


Suitably experienced people appointed by the Panel to carry out necessary scoring and organisational tasks in a fair and impartial manner, responsible to the Meet Director and the Panel. These responsibilities may be delegated to persons who are not current panel members.

2.3.6 JURY

Previously known as the Appeals Chairman, he or she is the independent arbiter in any dispute resulting in a formal protest and an automatic party to any decisions taken; charged with selecting two non-competing persons to form a panel and achieve a consensus with them over any dispute. Appointed by the Panel Chairman; the Jury President should not normally change once a competition has begun. This responsibility may be delegated to a person who is not a current panel member.


2.4 COMMITTEES hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:19


The Safety Committee is responsible to and appointed by the Panel. It will have 5 members, be headed by the Safety Officer and other members should be selected to give a broad range of experience in competition flying. Temporary members of the SC may be appointed if permanent members are unavailable. No person shall be a member of both the TAC and the SC.


A maximum of 3 pilots selected by the Panel Chairman or the Meet Director from a pool of suitable pilots; every effort should be made to include a knowledgeable local pilot. The TAC is responsible for advising the MD on suitable tasks for the day.


A list of current panel members and the various committees can be found on the competitions website


3.1 THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:31

The National Championship is intended to:

  1. Select British Champions in each FAI class when there are a minimum of five pilots wishing to compete in that class.
  2. Select the British Women's Champion.
  3. Encourage a spirit of sportsmanship among pilots.
  4. Provide a safe and fair environment in which UK pilots can develop the skills and gain the experience necessary for successful participation in international competition.
  5. Provide a pool of pilots from which teams for international events may be selected.


3.2 THE BRITISH OPEN SERIES hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:33

The British Open Series is intended to provide a safe and fair environment in which UK pilots can develop the skills and gain the experience necessary for a successful transition from club competition to national championship standards.


3.3 RULES hgcomps Sun, 21/02/2021 - 15:34
  1. Detailed rules for both the Nationals and the BOS are published separately.
  2. Rules will be based upon Section 7A of the FAI Sporting Code 
  3. These may be varied if local conditions necessitate this but a basic principle shall be that no additional rule or variation will be retroactive.
  4. The BOS rules should be relaxed in order to help in making these competitions less intimidating for pilots new to this level of competition.

5.1 Process

5.1 Process hgcomps Fri, 19/02/2021 - 21:24

Half of the initial team size, rounded down, will be selected by the automatic process. Where the team size is increased after the initial selection this will not affect the number of places that are allocated by the automatic selection. The remaining team places not filled by the automatic selection will be decided by the selection panel.

5.2 Automatic Selection

5.2 Automatic Selection hgcomps Fri, 19/02/2021 - 21:25

The automatic selection process will be based on the WPRS competition scores for the 2 years preceding the selection date without the time devaluation applied. Scores from the British Nationals will be multiplied by a factor of 1.2. Scores from both Cat 1 and Cat 2 competitions will be used,

Pilots will be ranked according to their best 3 WPRS scores from the last 2 years, at least one of those scores must be from the last year. (i.e. the best score from the last year and the best 2 remaining scores from any time in the last 2 years).

5.3 Selectors

5.3 Selectors hgcomps Fri, 19/02/2021 - 21:27

All members of the Competitions Panel are automatically members of the Selection Panel. In addition the panel may invite the team manager and pilots who have already been selected for consultation on remaining selections.


5.3.1 Quorum

The Panel will be quorate if 2/3rd (rounded up) of the Panel is present and a simple majority will be required to decide selections. The Panel shall still be considered quorate if some members withdraw for part of the selection process under  {XXXX}. If less than half the panel remain or if the remaining members of the panel have insufficient experience of international competitions or knowledge of the potential team members’ recent performance then additional suitably experienced individuals without a conflict of interest may be invited to join the selection panel by the chairman, or vice-chairman if the chairman is a candidate for the team being selected.

5.3.2 Conflict of Interest

Panel members who are also candidates for the team being selected should withdraw from the selection panel. If they are selected for the team, or ruled out from the selection, they may then return and take a full part in the selection process; this also applies to any other panel member with a conflict of interest as defined at  {2,8} of these articles.

5.3.3 If less than half

he panel remain or if the remaining members of the panel have insufficient experience of international competitions or knowledge of the potential team members’ recent performance then additional suitably experienced individuals without a conflict of interest may be invited to join the selection panel by the chairman, or vice-chairman if the chairman is a candidate for the team being selected.




5.4 Guidelines for Discretionary Selection

5.4 Guidelines for Discretionary Selection hgcomps Fri, 19/02/2021 - 21:35

Competition attendance by candidates may affect team selection on the basis that others are unable to compete against absentees. All pilots should endeavour to keep the panel secretary apprised of their intentions and availability for selection.

The following factors will be considered by the panel in making their selections. They are listed in approximate order of priority. For all competition and task results the quality of competition will be considered i.e. other competitors, tasks and conditions.

  • Overall results in past Cat 1 comps
  • Task results in Cat 1 comps
  • Overall results in British Nationals
  • Task results in British Nationals
  • Overall results in “Pre” comp applicable to selection
  • Task results in “Pre” comp applicable to selection
  • Overall result in Cat 2 comps
  • Task results in Cat 2 comps
  • Results in British Open Series
  • Performance in similar terrain
  • Experience at competition venue


  • Team Characteristics
    • Positive team influence
    • Positive outlook even when not flying well
    • Support for other team members not performing optimally
    • Contribution to team task & tactic discussions
    • Positive use of radio
    • Ability to contribute and listen
    • Balance of consistency and risk in the team

All pilots putting themselves forward for selection should include in their case for selection a list of the pilots that they would select (excluding themselves) with reasons for their selection. This is to assist the selectors who may have less first hand experience of the pilot’s recent international competition performance than the other pilots up for selection.

The BHPA expects its pilots to “play hard but fair”, upholding the good name of British sportsmen and women at all times. Selected pilots must maintain an appropriate level of discipline and moral behaviour as ambassadors of Great Britain.

5.5 Reasons why this selection process is being adopted

5.5 Reasons why this selection process is being adopted hgcomps Fri, 19/02/2021 - 21:37

5.5.1 Background

For a number of years half the team (rounded down) was selected automatically based on the WPRS so long as those pilots were in the top 30 of the WPRS. The remainder of the team was selected manually by the comps panel.

In 2008 that automatic selection was dropped, with the agreement of the pilots affected, and all pilots were selected manually. The reason for this was that it was felt that the automatic selection would not necessarily be selecting the best pilots, and the panel should have the flexibility to pick what they considered to be the best team.

At an open comps panel meeting in 2009 the overwhelming view of the pilots was that there should be and “automatic” selection for some places on the team to give greater transparency to the process. This has now been defined for future selections. In addition to this, the factors considered in the manual selection have been laid out in more detail.

5.5.2   Aim

The overall aim of the team selection is to select the team with the best chance of getting the best team place and hopefully a team medal. In addition the process should encourage Britain’s top pilots to compete in British competitions, in particular the Nationals.

5.5.3   Use WPRS?

The main problem with the previous automatic selection that used the WPRS was that competitions devalued too fast. The figure below shows how the points for a competition vary over time. After 1 year 10% of the points are lost and after 2 years 90% of the points are lost. So to maximise your WPRS ranking ideally you need to do 4 high ranking competitions a year and certainly at least 4 every 2 years. Most of the top British pilots are not currently able to do 4 high ranking competitions a year, so a pilot’s WPRS score is dependant not only on how good they are but also how many high ranking competitions they’ve done.

Any alternative automatic selection system based on competition results would need to take into account the varying quality of the different competitions being used, and the WPRS was seen as the only straightforward way to do that. Although not perfect it has been developed over many years and aims to reflect the quality of a competition in terms of the standard of the pilots that have entered the number of pilots and the number of tasks flown.

Using the WPRS also encourages pilots aspiring for selection to attend the highest value competitions, which will generally be the best preparation for Cat 1 competitions.

5.5.4   How far back to look

The selection process should be aiming to assess future potential rather than past performance, so needs to consider relatively recent results. 1 year was considered to short as many pilots are only doing 2-3 competitions a year. 2 years seemed a good compromise.

5.5.5   Number of competitions to count

The panel looked at using the best 3, 4 or 5 competitions results in the last 2 years. The ranking didn’t change much as the number of competitions was changed. The aim was to get enough competitions to show consistently good performance, but choose a small enough number so that most pilots would be entering sufficient competitions to ensure that the selection was reflecting pilot ability rather than just the number of competitions entered. It was felt that 3 competitions were sufficient to show consistency so that was used.

5.5.6   Boosting the score for the nationals

One of the aims of the selection process is to encourage attendance at the British Nationals. This allows transfer of skills from the country’s best pilots to the up and coming pilots. It also provides an opportunity for pilots up for selection to compete against each other, providing useful comparative data for the manual selection. This is why a factor of 1.2 has been applied to the British Nationals scores. The factor of 1.2 means that winning the Nationals equates to coming around 10-20th in a Worlds, Europeans or Pre-comp.

5.5.7 Include Cat 1 comps?

Only the selected team are able to compete in previous Cat 1 competitions, others cannot enter, so there was an argument for not including the Cat 1 comp scores in the selection process. On the other hand a Cat 1 comp typically takes up 2-3 weeks including practice time, so pilots not on the team could have entered 2 Cat 2 competitions in that time. Also having spent 2-3 weeks at the Cat 1 competition most team pilots don’t have sufficient leave to enter many Cat 2 competitions.

Also more WPRS points are generally available in Cat 1 competitions which could give an unfair advantage to previous team members. However, although the winner generally scores more WPRS points in a Cat 1 comp than a pre-comp, further down the field it is actually easier to score more points in the pre-competitions. In the pre-comps there are enough good pilots to keep the validity nearly as high as a Cat 1, but with a lot of the top pilots not there it’s easy to place significantly higher.

The figure below shows a comparison of the 2009 Worlds and Pre-Euros. The solid lines show the points from the Worlds and Pre Euros. The dotted lines show just the pilots that entered both competitions, and show the WPRS points they scored vs. their position in the group of pilots that entered both competitions. Although the winner of the Worlds scored more than the winner of the Pre-Euros, most of the pilots that entered both competitions scored more WPRS points in the Pre-Euros.

fig 1

The figure below shows a similar analysis for the 2008 Euros and Pre-Worlds. Again the winner of the Euros scored more than the winner of the Pre-Worlds, but most pilots that entered both scored more in the Pre-Worlds.

fig 2


Taking into account all the above it was clear that excluding the Cat 1 comps from the process would unfairly penalise the current team pilots.

5.5.8 Number of automatic places

How many places should be allocated by the automatic system and how many should be manual? Ideally all places would be allocated by an automatic system, however no system will be perfect and there will always be exceptions. On balance the panel felt that the number used previously of “half the team rounded down” was about right giving sufficient scope to deal with those exceptions.


5.6 TEAM MANAGEMENT hgcomps Tue, 02/03/2021 - 15:02

When possible a non-flying team manager should be appointed for Category 1 competitions and one member of the team should be appointed captain