How Does Scoring Work In Skateboarding?
Skateboarding is a sport where players perform tricks on a board with wheels. By using one foot to propel themselves forward, skaters glide across the ground on their boards and use their expertise and training to maneuver their feet to perform impressive tricks. In official competition, judges will assign skaters individual scores based on how they perform these tricks. Read on to learn how scoring works in skateboarding.
Judging and Scoring
Before discussing how skateboarding competitions are scored, it’s important to first define a few terms:
- Run: the timed portion of a skater’s performance that involves completing a course.
- Aesthetics: How a trick looks as it is performed. Is it pleasing to watch?
- Jam Session: The portion of a skater’s routine when they display multiple tricks.
- DNS (Did Not Start): Occurs when a skater fails to do their run or jam sessions.
- Individual Trick Session: Similar to a Jam Session but involving only one trick (these are the trick sessions described in the Olympics section).
Judges score a skateboarding run, jam session, or trick based on their experience, knowledge of skateboarding, and expertise. There is no way to judge a trick quantitatively, so judges must score a trick based on their own discretion and to the best of their ability.
Scores are always based entirely on a skater’s present performance. Judges do not award a contestant more or fewer points due to their previous performances, status, fame, position, or anything other than their current performance. Additionally, judges are trained to use Skateboarding Common Sense (or judgments based on expertise, skateboarding knowledge, and experience in the field) when scoring a run or a trick.
Categories of Scoring
When scoring a trick or a run, judges make their decisions according to five categories:
- Difficulty and variety of performed tricks
- Quality of execution
- Use of course and individual obstacles
- Flow and consistency
The first category is the difficulty and variety of performed tricks. This includes obstacle selection, trick selection, and the originality and innovation demonstrated by the tricks performed.
The second category of scoring is quality of execution, which includes many factors such as speed, height, distance, fluidity, power, aggression, and aesthetics. The third category of scoring is use of course and individual obstacles. Under this division, skateboarders will be scored based on the quantity of tricks performed, the variety of obstacles used, and how all the tricks are connected together.
The fourth category for scoring is flow and consistency. This covers how well a skater connects their tricks and remains consistently good throughout their run. In the case of a jam session (or when the athlete is doing their tricks), it would describe how well a skater avoids falling and keeps tricks and landings smooth.
The fifth and final category of scoring is repetition. When skaters duplicate tricks, it usually results in a loss of points. Performing the same trick repeatedly is seen as a lack of originality. Skaters should aim to perform with both expertise and a unique routine.
With all of the above rules in mind, judges score a contestant with a rubric known as the Judging Scale. Below, we give an example of one for runs and jam sessions and one for individual trick sessions.
Run or Jam Session
The runs and jam sessions are scored out of 100 points.
|DNS||Did Not Start|
|Low Level of Criteria Met||00.01 - 29.99 points|
|Medium Level of Criteria Met||30.00 - 69.99 points|
|High Level of Criteria Met||70.00 - 100.00 points|
Individual Trick Attempt
The individual trick attempts are scored out of 100 points as well.
|DNS||Did Not Start|
|Non-make or Trick Attempt Score Refusal||0.00 points|
|Elementary level of criteria met||0.01 - 20.00 points|
|Basic level of criteria met||20.01 - 50.00 points|
|Standard level of criteria met||50.01 - 70.00 points|
|Advanced level of criteria met||70.01 - 80.00 points|
|Expert level of criteria met||80.01 - 90.00 points|
|Master level of criteria met||90.01 - 100.00 points|
Olympic Skateboarding Scoring
Tokyo introduced the sport of skateboarding street into the Olympics in 2020. Since then, Paris has made some changes to how scoring will work in 2024. First, each contestant will be allowed two 45-second runs and a phase of tricks. While contestants were scored out of ten points in Tokyo, Paris plans on changing the runs and tricks to be scored out of 100 points. Each contestant gets two runs and a set of tricks.
The judges will give them a score on their best run out of the two between zero and 100 points and a score on their best two tricks between zero and 100 points. Therefore, athletes will receive a final score out of 300 points. Additionally, Paris instituted a new rule called the Scoring Refusal Procedure, which allows contestants to scrub their tricks and try to redo them for an improved score.
How do you score points in skateboarding?
Judges score a skater’s run, jam session, or trick according to five aspects of a skater’s performance. These five aspects are difficulty and variety of performed tricks, quality of execution, use of course and individual obstacles, flow and consistency, and repetition. Runs, jam sessions, and individual tricks are scored out of 100.00 points with two decimal places.