For 2011, the Freeride World Tour has continued to streamline its judging system to produce the fairest, most consistent and non-restrictive freeride judging system to date.
This dynamic, constantly evolving system is a critical element in evaluating the world’s best snowboarders as they continue to push the boundaries of freeriding at each and every FWT contest. Multiple judges score competitors individually and their scores are averaged in order to be as fair as possible. The judging method allows any style to win, an important factor for the athletes as they breed from various backgrounds like freestyle, alpine racing, boarder cross, skiers cross or pure freeriding.
A complex judging manual, which has been developed jointly by the Freeride World Tour organisers, judges, and competing athletes, serves as the basis for the training method for FWT judges. The objectives are to continually improve the overall quality and coherence of the Freeride World Tour and Freeride World Qualifiers’ judging systems. In order to become a FWT certified judge, potential candidates must complete the training program, pass a series of tests, judge past years’ competition runs and do real time judging at competitions.
Judging is based on overall impression, which takes into account the athlete’s line, fluidity, control, jumps and crashes. This split criteria mentality is key to determining the best overall impression of the run. Riders are scored on a scale with 100 possible scores and judges are trained to use the full scale when evaluating runs. Prior to the competition, judges check the competition faces themselves and analyse possible lines and snow conditions while imagining what could be a very difficult or a safe line on the face.
Each Freeride World Tour contest has three judges and one head judge. For FWT11 a major effort has been made to keep the same group of judges throughout the entire tour. Head Judge Berti Denervaud (SUI) explains that, “We believe it will bring stability in the judging throughout the season.” All judges have been professional freeriders and only judge their respective disciplines. All have judged FWT events in the past. Snowboard judges include Lolo Besse (FRA), Xavier Jordan (SUI), Jarkko Henttonen (FIN) and Gunnar Ploner (AUT) for the Big Mountain Fieberbrunn.
For more info check out freerideworldtour.com