For GEBA balloonists that enjoy this activity, competition involves flying in different types of events throughout the season, which is November 16th through November 15th of the following year. Points are awarded for each event/task completed. At the end of the year, those with the greatest number of points are recognized by the club. Competition flying provides pilots with an opportunity to increase their flying skills through various types of events/tasks.


Major Highway- a roadway with more than two lanes total.

Red Zone- a restricted area defined at the pilot briefing

Entered- checked in for the task, available and ready to fly

Task- a single scorable competition (multi-part competitions can count as more than one task)

1.0 Approval

1.1 All competitions should have approval by a member of the Competition Committee to ensure timely recording of scoring information.

1.2 Any task described in chapter 15 of the BFA Competition Rules that require drop distance measurement may be used as is, or as modified by the balloon organizer and discussed at the briefing.

1.3 All GEBA pilots – Students (with prior approval of instructor), Private, Commercial- in good standing are eligible to earn points towards the annual ranking

1.4 A valid task is one in which:

  1. a) A minimum of five four competitors fly (not including hares).
  2. b) A minimum of two eligible GEBA pilot members fly
  3. c) At least 50% of the pilots entered in the event fly

1.5 Targets and markers are at the discretion of the organizer, but all markers should be uniform. The pilot is responsible for obtaining his/her marker prior to the flights. No object, other than the official marker may be dropped from the balloon without the approval of the balloon organizer. For safety, the marker’s streamer should be unfurled prior to release.

1.6 In the absence of the GEBA scoring representative, the balloon organizer’s results will be official. However, it is the responsibility of the competing GEBA pilot to forward the scoring results to the GEBA Competition Committee within 30 days of the event.

2.0 Safety

2.1 A briefing is required which should include a discussion of weather, sunrise/sunset times, red zones, competition rules, and other items at the discretion of the balloon organizer.

2.2 No goals for targets may be within 100 ft. of any major highway, within 500 ft. or across country power lines or within a red zone. A goal or target place in those locations will invalidate the task.

2.3 If a hare is used, it should fly no more than 60 minutes and must land a minimum of 15 minutes before official sunset. Markers dropped after sunset should not be scored. Volume XXVI, Issue 148 Page 17 Complete GEBA Competition Rules

3.0 Penalties and Protests

3.1 Penalties-Pilots will receive a “no score” under the following circumstances.

  1. a) Failure to attend the required pilot briefing
  2. b) Unsportsmanlike conduct or blatant disregard of FARs.
  3. c) Being the cause of basket to envelope contact.
  4. d) Landing or touching the ground prior to the dropping of their marker.
  5. e) Landing and blocking the target area so as to interfere with other competitors.

3.2 Protests – Any protests should first be directed to the balloon organizer for mediation. Protests to the Competition Committee must be in writing and postmarked no later than five days after the competition.

4.0 Scoring

4.1 The GEBA scorer or event scorekeeper will determine the drop distance of each competing pilot, in inches, within 200 ft. of the goal only in the field occupied by the goal. Landings are not to be considered drops. A point score will then be obtained by subtracting the drop distance, in inches, from 3000. All pilots who flew the task but scored less than 400 points are eligible to earn a minimum score of 400 points unless given a “no score” penalty. However, to receive the minimum score of 400 points the pilot must expressly notify the GEBA Competition Committee within 30 days of the event.

4.2 The score for the hare volunteer is the higher of: 400 points ,or the total of all scores by GEBA pilots in the scoring circle divided by the number of scores +1. A maximum of two hare scores count towards the annual ranking of the GEBA pilot as Hare.

4.3 A pilot given a “no score” penalty will be treated for the purposes of scoring as having not flown the task. However, this pilot will be counted in order to determine a valid task under paragraph 1.4.

4.4 Score sheets or other official results must be submitted to the Competition Committee chair in a timely manner. (Within 30 days)

4.5 Scores for events using BFA rules or other modifications will be recalculated using GEBA rules to account for any differences in formulas.

5.0 Ranking

The annual GEBA ranking will be determined by the sum of the highest six scores for each individual pilot. If a pilot has less than six scores, the sum of the scores for that pilot will be used.

Click here to view the results for 2019

Past Winners

2019 – Ken Leota
2018 – Ken Leota
2017 – Jim Duncan
2016 – Matt Lidinsky
2015 – Keith Sproul
2014 – Matt Lidinsky
2013 – Mark MacSkimming
2012 – Rodger Kell
2011 – Uli Krahenbuhl
2010 – Christine Serra
2009 – Uli Krahenbuhl
2008 – Tim Strand
2007 – Uli Krahenbuhl
2006 – Ken Leota
2005 – Jon Radowski
2004 – Uli Krahenbuhl