Criterios de Puntuación Freestyle

Find out how judges in the freestyle world score and what aspects they consider.

By:, David Ortlieb

Being a jury is a science in itself and has always been very controversial. You do not have established rules or fixed criteria to score certain tricks, as there are in acrobatic sports or in figure skating. There should not be too many ties, since you always want to keep the ‘freedom’ part of the freeski. And, therefore, as a judge, you do not follow strict rules, but a concrete philosophy.

This philosophy is called ‘general impression’. It is what makes the sport free and in constant development, avoiding being limited by the rules. However, this type of assessment can be very subjective. But that is one of the objectives: to allow the judges to express their own opinion. In this way there will be no restrictions and the evolution of the sport will depend solely on the athletes.

And now, a judge, what do you mean by ‘general impression’?

Judging the overall impression does not follow a specific scoring aspects for each trick. When assessing, they are based on guidelines and leave space for the creativity of the riders. A round is seen as a whole and not as a succession of tricks.

The general impression covers the following aspects:

• Execution

• Difficulty

• Amplitude

• Variety

• Progression

These general guidelines allow judges sufficient space to adjudicate the points they deem appropriate.

Execution: How has the trick been carried out? Take off, grip, control, style and landing.

Difficulty: How difficult is the trick? The objective here is not to count the greatest number of turns or turns, but the combination of grabs and axes / rotations. In this way, a simple trick with a special combination can become a very difficult maneuver.

Amplitude: How has the trajectory been? With a good flight path you have won half the battle. That does not mean that a rider has done better when he has jumped farther. Riders are not encouraged to land beyond what is stipulated. A good range includes a clean takeoff, a nice and smooth flight path and a landing at the ‘ideal point’ in the center of the landing zone.

Variety: How many variations has the round offered? Combining directions, rotation axes and grabs is essential to have a good score and be able to show the repertoire of a rider.

Progression: Is this a new trick? Progression is what drives the sport to new spheres. Here are the newest and least used tricks, the grabs, the variations and the chosen line of the track.

A round is based on these guidelines and compared with previous rounds. Of course, the judges do not remember all the rounds of a tournament, so they are forced to point the keys.

What are those keys? We leave you the way the judges document the rounds of the riders with abbreviations in order to compare and evaluate the athletes.


Before a tournament, all judges observe the training in order to evaluate the level of each attempt. They create a kind of score range and the rounds are categorized into three groups: below the average, in the middle and above the average.

Each judge gives a score between 0 and 100 to establish the average and know where the bar of each attempt is.

Pillar of scores

Between the five and the first ten rounds of a tournament, they define what the ‘pillar of scores’ is. The rest of intense are evaluated around those first.

If two of the attempts are at the same level, the five guidelines described above are those that determine which has been the best.

For example, in a tournament in which both riders chose a similar line and similar tricks, what would make the balance to one or the other side could be the stability and confidence with which the kicker has faced.

In the Arena the regulation can be applied in the same way

The criterion that the organizers must have together with the judges is the degree of difficulty of the dune where the jumps or maneuvers will be made (size of the dune, place of takeoff, degrees of inclination, distance for reception). Why?

FORMATION OF THE DUNE: Many of the dunes do not have the same inclination for an adequate takeoff and will depend on the ability of the athlete to gain a certain speed, this speed can be driven by an additional platform of height, but in the same way the difficulty will exist difference that in the snow.

PERMANENCE IN THE AIR: The ramp and / or rails, unlike snow, the difficulty in the sand always prevails, you have to be very technical to execute the maneuvers similar to snow, especially that the stay in the air is much shorter to execute some extreme maneuvers.

LANDING: The reception of the jump, here we must also take into account the distance that the dune provides, many athletes in short dunes may wish to perform a broad jump but the reception may be flat and this means that their technique to remain balanced is difficult .

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