b.loftin2's skateboarding journal

Judging freestyle skateboarding

In a couple of weeks I’m serving as one of the judges at the U.S. Open of Freestyle Skateboarding. This is, obviously, “open”, which means that pros and ams will be competing all in one big group. A chance for a good amateur to teach the pros a lesson!

Judging at freestyle contests can be a thankless job. It is hard. For quite a few years now people have been working on new judging systems, hoping to make it a bit more of a science. What is really needed, however, is good judges. People with years of experience in freestyle, who can judge with as little personal bias a possible, appreciate different approaches to freestyle while honoring the past and what I would call the “shared understanding” of what freestyle is, and hopefully a panel of three judges of different generations. I don’t think any system can replace knowledgeable and capable judges.

My goal is that we get the top three people right, and that there are no absolutely incorrect placings. I don’t want someone who should have been in the middle, for instance, coming in last.

The other two judges and I will do the best we can. Ultimately you want people who come to a contest to have a good experience.