The Competition Area and Judging Criterias

Read below the detailed information about the new competition area and the freestyle judging criteria. If you want to learn more about the big air and wave ruling, please click here! If you have any comments or questions, write on our Facebook wall using #PKRAChanges

New competition area:
In order to improve the quality of the judging and to drive the media attention to a more predictable area, for 2015 we will introduce a reduced competition area and new interference rules and penalties to make sure only one competitor jumps at a time and to bring the action closer to the judges. In some scenarios with 3 competitors per heat we may use an offset mark to be rounded before any jump attempt inside the competition area.

Interference may be called if:
- a rider changes course to obstruct another rider.
- a rider enters the competition area when another rider is already inside.
- a rider that has crossed or jumped inside the competition area changes direction and enters the competition area again
- another rider is approaching the competition area.
- there is deliberate unsportsmanlike action with the competitors in the heat.

Interference penalty:
The Head Judge will call an interference penalty only if the majority of the judges will call the interference.
An interference penalty will be called using colored flags or discs corresponding to the Competitor’s competition vest colors in the water.
If an interference is called on a Competitor, then the Competitor’s final score will be penalized with a loss of 50% of his best scoring trick.
If a Competitor incurs a second interference penalty during the heat, they must immediately leave the competition area and won’t be scored from this point losing 100% of his best scoring trick.

Scoring system:
A new Freestyle scoring system is introduced for the 2015 season following all the feedback from the various parties involved and the discussions with the media partners.
In summary, the new system is based on individual tricks (similar to the previous one), but breaks down the current and re-worked judging criteria into three main scoring criteria or categories, each one being judged by two or one judges.

Judging Criteria’s:
Technical Difficulty – The technical difficulty of a trick completed during the heat.
Power – The power during the execution of the tricks. Power will be considered as a combination of: - Speed into the trick to pop, not using the kite to get the initial pop. – Height and amplitude of the trick.
Height – Height of the trick completed during the heat. This aspect will exponentially come into consideration as the wind conditions increase, but only when the height is achieved along risk factor and technical difficulty.
Variety – The variety of tricks completed during the heat is considered in the maximum number of different tricks to be counted for the final score per trick category.
Risk factor – Is directly linked to the Power involved in the execution of the tricks, but also to the commitment of the competitor, technical and physical challenge during the execution, duration of the critical moment, amount and quality (lines direction) of the air in the trick, and energy on the execution.
Smoothness – Smoothness and fluidity during the execution and landing of tricks completed during the heat.
Innovation – Tricks that have never been landed in competition before.

Scoring Criteria’s:
Technical (40%): technical difficulty and execution – Reflects the technical difficulty of the executed trick.
Intensity (40%): power and height – Reflects how big and powerful the trick is performed.
Performance (20%): smoothness, innovation and risk factor – Reflects the performance in terms of fluidity, originality and energy for each trick.
In Dakhla 2015 there will be a panel of 5 judges – each judge contributing 20% to the final score per trick:
- Technical (40%): 2 judges.
- Intensity (40%): 2 judges.
- Performance (20%): 1 judge.

Crashes have been re-defined and clarified.
A crash will be considered when:
- a competitor is capsized, losing control of the board or bar when landing a trick.
- a competitor grabs the bar leash to regain control of the bar.
- a competitor lands a trick but did not control the kite throughout the execution of the trick resulting in the release of the bar and/or the crashing of the kite into water after landing the trick.
- a competitor sinks and is completely stopped when landing a trick.
- a competitor lands on their back and the board is completely out of the water.

Judges may give credit to a landed trick that is not a crash when:
- a competitor butt-checks when landing the trick but keeps riding and control the kite.
- a competitor grabs the chicken loop to regain control of the bar.

You want to learn more about all PKRA changes? Click here to have the full overview!