BODYBUILDING POINTS SCORING
THE BASICS OF BODYBUILDING COMPETITION: JUDGING PROCEDURE
This post continues the competition series, which tries to provide the newbie bodybuilder with the basics of competition. In particular, this post covers the judging procedure in a bodybuilding contest and the basic criteria used to evaluate the competitors
Typically, contests are evaluated by nine judges (one head and eight regular). Each judge provides a list per weight class ranking each competitor. This list orders the competitors according to the judge?s feeling on the position the competitor should place. The competitor?s position in the list determines a number of points that he receives. For instance, a competitor placed in the second position obtains two points from that judge. Following this procedure, at the end each competitor obtains a series including his scores from all the judges. For instance, a participant may obtain a series like the following: 3, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 2 (assuming 9 judges). According to this, a perfect score in bodybuilding is to receive all 1?s.
At this point, each competitor must throw out his two higher and two lower scores in order to obtain a more unbiased score. For instance, in the previous example, two 3?s and two 1?s will be thrown out, resulting in the following series for that competitor: 1, 2, 2, 2, 2. By adding up these values, the final score for that participant is obtained. In the example, this final score will be 9. This process is repeated for all the competitors, and the one with the lowest score wins.
Sometimes, contest can be evaluated by seven or five judges. In the former case, only one high and low score can be thrown out for each competitor. If only five judges are present, then their five scores must be used (no scores can be thrown out).
In order to score the different competitors, the judges evaluate different criteria that contribute to the overall quality of the competitors? muscular development. These criteria include Mass, Definition, Proportion, Symmetry, and Stage Presence, being all of them equally important. Mass refers to the perception of muscular size. Definition indicates the degree of muscularity brought about by the absence of subcutaneous body fat. Defined muscularity is necessary to fully display the development of the physique. Proportion implies an even balance of muscular development in comparison to each muscle group. Theoretically, having a ?stronger? body-part can be just as detrimental as a having a ?weaker? body-part. Bodybuilders must strive for equal development between all muscle groups. Symmetry denotes equal development of muscularity on both right and left sides of the physique. There is a common misconception with this term, which is often used to refer Proportion. Finally, Stage Presence includes posing performance and other factors influencing general appearance such as skin tone, grooming, charisma, and poise. Effective stage presentation is essential to display the physique to its maximum potential.
Bodybuilding is all about subjectivity – We as judges subjectively critique each athlete’s physique and compare and contrast each competitor in the line-up and place each athlete accordingly. Now, as subjective as the sport is, measures are taken to maintain as much balance in the scoring structure as possible.
The highest score is taken out and the lowest score is taken out, leaving each athlete with the same number of judges marks (i.e. if there were 7 judges, the competitor would have 5 judge’s results). These scores are then added to make a total score.