How Does Scoring Work In BMX?

How Does Scoring Work In BMX

BMX, short for bicycle motocross, is a widely recognized division of bicycling sports. The recognition of the BMX world and culture has grown from humble beginnings in skateparks and dirt tracks to an Olympic event. With all the different styles and kinds of BMX events it can be difficult to understand the fundamental point system that determines the champions of the sport. How does scoring work in BMX? Keep reading to find out.

Types of BMX Events

The term BMX is a broad description of a category of bicycling sports. BMX events can be broken down into two categories, racing events and freestyle competitions. Both of these kinds of BMX cycling are scored differently, and riders focus on different skills and techniques in each.

BMX racing, as the name suggests, is a speed-based competition wherein the higher your position at the conclusion of the race, the more points you score. BMX freestyle, on the other hand, is based on tricks, and the score is determined by a panel of judges who oversee the competition.

Scoring in BMX Racing

bmx racing

BMX racing, one of the major divisions of bicycle motocross, is scored based on the position the rider finishes in at the conclusion of a race or heat.  The base principle of BMX racing is that participants will race on a single lap off-road, or custom-built, track with the end goal being to place the highest out of eight other competitors participating in the event.

The winner of the race, like most competitive cycling sports, is determined by the order of who finished the given track length in the shortest time. The competitor who finishes the course first is given one point, the second-place finisher is given two points, and the pattern continues with the score given to the rider being equivalent to their finishing position. The goal of BMX racing is to have the lowest score during the course of a competition.

Scoring in BMX Freestyle

bmx freestyle

BMX freestyle, the other major division of BMX, is a stunt and trick competition that is scored based on the opinion of a panel of judges. Bike motocross freestyle events are further broken down into five types of stunt competition.

Freestyle Categories

Freestyle BMX categories include park, flatland, vert, dirt, and street. The differences between these competitions are determined by the environment that events take place in, with park competitions being held in specifically designed terrain parks, and dirt competitions being held in dirt arenas with large mounds of earth for riders to perform tricks on.

Scoring Criteria

The scoring of BMX freestyle events is based on the expert opinions of the panel of judges, who assign a rider a score between 0.99 and 99.99. The score is assigned based on the technique, difficulty, execution, and fluidity of a rider's run.

Generally, a run is composed of a 60-second timed section in which a rider can perform a series of tricks that the judges will score. Riders may lose points for sloppy landings, overly easy tricks, lack of height on vertical ramps, or low originality in the composition of a run.

Determining a Winner

At the conclusion of a competition, the rider with the highest score is deemed the winner. The freestyle scoring system does not change based on the type of freestyle event being held, and all competitions are judged based on the 0.99 to 99.99 scale.

Scoring in Olympic BMX Racing

BMX racing made its Olympic debut in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and it utilizes a scoring system almost identical to the ones used in most major BMX competitions. In Olympic-level BMX racing, riders are still assigned a score based on their finishing position in a race; however, due to the large number of racers in the Olympics, there are some additional caveats.

While an average BMX competition could only have one group of racers, the Olympics has competitors work through a series of races wherein the top two competitors from each heat move on to the next race until the final heat, where the finalists compete for bronze, silver, or gold medals. In Olympic BMX scoring, the lowest times in the final heat are the winners of the race.

Scoring in Olympic BMX Freestyle

Olympic-level BMX freestyle competitions are scored in the exact same way as regular BMX freestyle competitions. A panel of six judges assigns a score between 0.99 to 99.99; however, Olympic level BMX freestyle events only take place in specifically designed parks. Freestyle BMX made its Olympic debut in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.


How do you score points in BMX?

The way that points are scored in BMX depends on the type of event. In BMX racing, points are determined by position at the conclusion of a race. The closer to first place you are, the fewer points you score. In BMX racing, the lowest score is the winner of the race. In BMX freestyle, points are awarded based on the difficulty and technique of the tricks performed by riders in a 60-second run. The more technical and difficult the tricks, the more points will be awarded. The score assigned for freestyle BMX ranges from 0.99 to 99.99, with the highest score in BMX freestyle winning.