The WFSA Contest Guidelines
The following guidelines are not rules, but guidelines meant to serve as an aid to anyone who wishes to organise freestyle skateboarding contests within the UK. These are provided not only to help organisers understand what is required for a good freestyle event, but to try to achieve some sort of standard so that freestylers know what to expect at the end of what could potentially be a long and expensive journey to a competition.
Please e-mail us if you have any questions or require more information.
2-minute runs to skaters’ chosen music
2-minute runs to skaters’ chosen music
The Beginner Division may also be divided into different age groups.
A jam may be organised for beginners and special events, but not for National, European, or World Championships.
Each competitor must bring his or her own music to the event. Organisers, please inform competitors what formats are acceptable – CDs, MP3s on USB sticks, or even just Spotify links are all possible, depending on technology available on site.
Preferably a very smooth, clean, flat, and crack-free surface that is neither slippery nor excessively grippy, with an area of at least 30 meters by 15 meters. Always try to find a contest area with attractive surroundings for the benefit of competitors, spectators and media. Demarcate the performance area to clarify the space that is off-limits to spectators.
If indoors, the contest area should be heated. Smoking should not be allowed, even if it is at other times.
If outdoors, the contest should be staged at a time of year when the weather is warm and dry. An indoor back-up site should be planned in the event of rain.
The contest invitation should make it clear if the surface is smaller or less smooth than ideal. Please check with the WFSA first if such a surface is to be the site of a National, European or World Championship.
A strong PA system, preferably with a cordless microphone, is a definite must and adds great value to events for both competitors and spectators.
An announcer is required to indicate which competitors are to perform, and in what order. The announcer is also entrusted with inspiring both the skaters and the spectators. A freestyle competition is, after all, a show in addition to a contest.
A few hours in the morning should be reserved for the competitors to practice and adjust to the surface and area. If there are more than ten participants, they should be divided into multiple practice groups based on divisions, run order, or other criteria. Practice sessions of 30 minutes are recommended. Prior to the start of new contest divisions, a warm-up of 10 – 15 minutes must be given. Ensure that only the correct skaters are using the practice space during this time – i.e. no amateurs during professional warm-up sessions, and vice-versa.
Starting order and Heats
A clearly-announced drawing should decide the starting order. If there are more than ten participants, they should be split into heats of ten skaters to keep them warmed up. Prior to the start of new heats, a warm-up of 10 – 15 minutes must be given.
Time between competitor runs
The judges may need up to two minutes to decide upon scores. During that time, the next competitor may roll around to feel the surface. The MC should enthusiastically announce the upcoming performer.
Judging should be done by the Category System or 0–100 System as outlined below. Different judges with different levels of experience are likely to decide each competition, so the WFSA has worked to make this as simple as possible. Ideally, former pros should serve as judges, since their experience gives them greater discernment of the subtleties.
• Four judges award 0–25 points for each category.
• 0 = not good; 25 = perfect
• The scores of each judge are added together.
Technical, 0–25 points
The level of difficulty of the tricks executed and landed. Points are not deducted for missed tricks in this technical category, which also encompasses how elements are executed and linked.
Consistency, 0–25 points
Consistency refers to a seamless, fluid routine that is free of mistakes. Points should not be deducted for occasional planned stops, or for controlled changes in tempo and pace. Points should be deducted in this category for mistakes, missed tricks, unplanned breaks in flow, and excessive number of stops-and-starts. Note that a fluid, interesting routine can conceal mistakes. It is up to the judges to decide how much an error hurts the routine.
Artistic, 0–25 points
The Artistic category encompasses numerous elements: Style, form, ease, and control of the entire body and skateboard. Musical interpretation. Originality in style and technique. Use of the entire competition surface. Transitions. (The space between elements can be as important as the tricks themselves.)
Variety, 0–25 points
Variety in technique. This does not necessarily mean performing elements from each and every technical category, which might encourage formulaic skating. But a perfect score should only be awarded to a routine that, within the chosen approach, shows an interesting, exciting variety of elements.
5 judges give a score between 0–100 for the whole performance. Highest and lowest score is removed.
Tips for the judges
We recommend first looking at the routine as a whole, and then observing the details:
After observing the “big picture” and forming an overall impression of the skater, it is time to look at the details such as technical, consistency, artistic, and variety.
How does the routine look as a whole? Is the pacing good? Is the routine fluid and exciting?