PKRA France 2012 – day 4
Competition on Hold in Leucate
Day four in Leucate provided a fairly bleak forecast, with wind coming from the southern direction. While whitecaps and swell were apparent, these conditions were unsuitable to carry out any competition heats. As a result, the riders took to the village in an effort to entertain themselves, utilizing the Orange rider’s lounge to cruise the web and taking part in various activities provided throughout the village. Competitors also used this no wind day to look over previous heat scores to ensure their understanding of the new judging guidelines matched-up with the scores they have received. The judges also spoke further, addressing any concerns and issues that have arisen throughout these first events and the use of the new iPad scoring methods. All in all, it was a relaxed day, which proved to be a much-needed break of rest to prepare the riders for tomorrow’s action. Day five looks good for the continuation of competition with expectedly strong winds beginning early on.
In terms of the new scoring system, the following explanation can be used to gain a greater understanding of the methods and guidelines utilized by the PKRA as of 2012:
Representing one of the most important changes to the PKRA since its inception and one of the most significant breakthroughs to revolutionize competitive kiteboarding as a whole, the new world scoring guidelines and scoring system stand out as an improved and much anticipated modification to the current judging model. This new system is revealed in combination with a live, computerized scoring system, which will greatly enhance the viewing experience by providing real-time scores as they happen. These marks will be visible to the riders and onlookers on the beach, as well as to online viewers tuned into to the live broadcast feed starting with the event in Holland. Falling in line with other more mainstream sports, the new judging criteria model and computerized live scoring system stand out as major developments for the sport of kiteboarding.
First and foremost, judging guidelines will take into consideration the quality of execution, while the difficulty level of tricks performed will also be assessed. The best seven, out of a maximum of 12 tricks, will count towards a final score. Tricks will be judged on a 0.1-10.0 scale in increments of .10, which will amount to a final heat score. In this format, crashes will constitute a trick attempt and will count towards the 12 total tricks a rider may attempt. Such crashes will earn a 0.1 score. If a rider has not landed (or performed) 7 full maneuvers, each non-attempted trick will rate as 0.0 in the system. In the case of a tie, trick scores will be listed from best to worst until a numeric difference is reached, at which point, the higher score will define the winner. This computerized scoring system will not be utilized for qualifying rounds. For the women, these same rules will apply; however, they will work with a maximum of 9 total trick attempts, with 5 of their best tricks counting towards their final score.
In years past, the scoring system operated on an overall impression system, which judged riders less by individual tricks, and more by the full impression of their heat. Realizing that many riders may avoid executing more powerful or risky maneuvers in order to move forward, the PKRA opted for the new system as a way to drive the sport forward and forge innovation within and outside of the tour. As such, these changes characterize the ever-growing demand for forward thinking in a sport that continues to develop and progress at an extremely fast pace.
While the model of scoring has been significantly altered, many aspects of the PKRA scoring guidelines remain the same. Judges will still score based on the level of power utilized for execution, speed gained, the risk factor involved with completing a trick, the variety of tricks performed, the height reached by riders, the smoothness and fluidity of tricks executed, and innovation carried out within a given heat. The overall quality of all of these factors with regards to each trick will, in turn, result in a deserved score.
Trick categories such as rolls, raley based maneuvers, jumps, s-bends, loops, KGBs, toeside, back, and front mobes also represent the main freestyle categories that currently exist within the judging parameters; however, these categories do not limit riders from developing new tricks. Basic rules regarding right of way, safety, and registration still remain the same as in previous years.