Presentation Judging Part 1: Repeating Skills

This week on the blog, we are discussing repeating skills. Variation was one of the key elements of a winning routine that the Technical Congress identified. We believe that the rulebook can promote variation by encouraging athletes to avoid repetition. We want athletes to be rewarded for creating original choreography that demonstrates a large range of skills. One way we have done this is through required elements, which were discussed on the blog last week. Athletes are required to perform a variety of different types of skills during their freestyle routines, in order to avoid a deduction. Another way this can be done is by deducting from the presentation score when a skill is repeated.

In the FISAC-IRSF judging system, repeated skills were not scored. Although this is one way to encourage athletes to avoid repetition, we believe that this is not the most effective method. In the IJRU judging system, every single skill that an athlete performs will be judged and scored by the content/difficulty judges. If an athlete performs a skill for a second or even third time during their routine, that skill doesn’t actually become any less difficult. As a result, we believe the skill should be awarded a difficulty level and corresponding point value. Instead, the IJRU Technical Congress has decided to subtract from the presentation score each time a skill is repeated during a routine. We believe that repeating skills actually detracts from the originality and creativity of a routine; therefore, it makes sense for this to fall under the presentation score. In order to meet this need, we plan to make the presentation judging system as objective as possible. Judges will be asked to input scores while watching a routine in real time. This way, any time a repeated skill is identified by a presentation judge, they will input a deduction to the system as it happens.

Both FISAC-IRSF and WJRF wanted to encourage athletes to be creative and avoid repetition. We agree and believe that this is best tackled by the presentation judges. Next week, we will continue to discuss presentation judging in more detail. 

Community Commentary

I believe that interactions are an important required element for single rope, but requiring 4 may be too time consuming.

Thank you for your comment. In order to address this, we will explain how we have defined interactions for single rope more clearly. An interaction is defined as any skill that involves two or more people, including scoops, stacked power, assisted gymnastics, and exchanging handles. Each individual skill completed in this way is considered an interaction; therefore, we don’t believe they will take significantly longer to complete than any of the other required elements. For example, if an athlete scoops another athlete while doing a multiple and then does a cross-scoop during the next jump, this would be considered two skills. In previous judging systems, an interaction was defined as any time the athletes came together, performed a series of skills, and then separated. In our definition, each skill performed while the athletes are interacting, even within the same combination or sequence, are considered individual interactions. As a result, we don’t think it will be too time consuming to complete this required element.

Will an athlete/team have to fulfill all required elements to receive no deduction or will it be like FISAC-IRSF in that you can get a maximum score by fulfilling a minimum required elements standard?

In order to receive no deduction, athletes will need to fulfill all of the required elements. The IJRU system does not require as many elements as the FISAC-IRSF model, and as a result, this rule will not impact an athlete’s ability to create an original and engaging routine. We also believe that if a certain element is “required,” there should not be a way to get full points without actually completing each element. In the IJRU system, failure to meet each required element will result in a deduction, instead of additional points. You can also get a partial deduction if you only complete some, but not all, of the elements. For example, if you completed 3 of 4 power/gymnastics skills you would receive 1 deduction, and if you completed 2 of 4 power/gymnastics skills you would receive 2 deductions.

Crosses are just as foundational to single rope freestyle as multiples and power. They act as a building block for a number of different skills and perhaps should be included as a required element.

We can discuss the option of adding crosses to the list of required elements. They could possibly be added to the section on wraps and rope throws if we rename that element rope manipulations. It may not be necessary to require crosses, since most routines will include at least four crosses, regardless of whether or not they are required by the ruleset. What do you think? Should crosses be added as a required element? Should they be combined with wraps and rope throws as a form of rope manipulation? Or should they be their own distinct element?

I believe there should be more turner involvement skills required in double dutch freestyle.

We understand that turner involvement is a very important aspect of double dutch freestyle and is one way that athletes can add to their difficulty score. It is important to remember that just because we are only requiring 4 skills doesn’t mean that athletes can’t complete more than 4 turner involvement skills in their routine. Athletes are encouraged to be creative and choreograph dynamic and difficult routines. The number of required elements act as a minimum not a maximum.

Until next week,
The IJRU Technical Congress

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