Judge This – Video #1

Following up on this discussion about difficulty, Z Weyand has put together an example of how 15-second difficulty judging might go. The video (7mb, mov), from my 2003 FPAW semifinal round of Open Pairs with Dave Lewis, shows 30 seconds of freestyle. A difficulty judge would write down two scores during this period. On the video, you can see the word MARK to indicate when to award your score.

Once some people chime in with scores and comments, Dave, Skippy Jammer and I will give our perspectives.

22 Replies to “Judge This – Video #1”

  1. Great to see that our discussion has such a quick response, but the link is dead Arthur )

    No jump, no catch!

  2. Ok, i guess ill start. I think the segment merits a 5 for the first segment, a 6.5 for the second, so that summs up to 5.75 for the whole thing.
    First segment has some isnt that high in diff and has a "the" in the middle. Second segment could be a 7, but Dave misses the indigenous take (if i saw that correctly), so thats that.

    No jump, no catch!

  3. First of all – I’d like to tell Z – awesome job for putting that video here! I think it should help a LOT!
    Alex and I discussed the video a bit in Skype and had some disagreement, I am glad for the opportunity to see what you think.
    Well, it wasn’t easy at all for me to rate it, but let’s try…
    The first part includes the following moves:
    An UD disc into a scarecrow catch, to a flamingitis set->flamingo brush, then Arthur receives it in "the", and passes to a really nice gitis.
    I was impressed by the conseq, and the final gitis was very difficult considering the fact that Dave caught it from Arthur’s (great 😉 ) set. I am not sure how I should rate it, but I think it is a 6.
    The second part includes the following moves:
    A Bad Attitude pass, to a missed Indig, then a spinning utl brush to a roll and another nice gitis.
    I am not sure how a "missed" move should be rated. The brush-roll-gitis combo was superb. I think I might give it a 6 as well.

    “If the ball could choose, it would be a frisbee”

  4. ah yes, another thing (on which Omer and I have a disagreement hehe). In my opinion the second segment has a higher level of consequtivity, especially if the failed indigenous take is to be um… taken into account )

    No jump, no catch!

  5. This is a great topic and I’m so glad that it’s getting such a strong response.
    Thanks Z and Arthur for doing this. Here are my thoughts.
    As Z mentioned at the Santa Cruz Masters/Juniors I altered the method of
    phrasing in difficulty from the ‘time-block’ to the possession method. Here is
    my thinking on the subject. I personally feel that the possession method is a
    more natural expression of difficulty where as the time block seems artificial
    to me. Now with that said, I still think that the time block method is helpful
    and a better system for those who are less steeped in judging. So it can be a
    fairly accurate tool. When I watch this video several things come to mind. I
    watched this maybe a dozen times and came up with these as my scores:
    Time block: 7 and 6 for an average score of 6.5.
    Possession: 4 for the scrow catch, 7 for the next combo and a 6 for the last.
    Since the Scrow was taken out of context that skews the score. If i had seen
    Arthur’s complete combo then it would recieve a different score. If i take it
    out of what is being judged for the sake of clarity then the scores would be
    the same. As golfing great Lee Trevino says "It ain’t the arrow, it’s the injun".
    In this cace the judging system is the arrow and you, my fellow jammer is the
    Now back to what Z so eloquently states "there are no aliens that are going to
    come down and do harder moves". This is indeed an old maxim and where we
    get our priorities turned around is thinking in terms of what is possible
    ‘difficulty wise’. Fabio mentioned Tommy doing a triple spinning gitis pull into
    a consecutive move. But that was done in a jam, not in a routine (or am I
    mistaken?) This too is an old saw. People who are judging are accustomed to
    seeing someone like Joey or Donny Rhodes in the old days and thinking they
    are hitting 9’s and 10’s then use that as the standard for competition when in
    fact they are quite different. We are better served if we think of what big
    combos people hit in competition and reward those with scores reflecting
    their value difficulty wise.
    Skippy Jammer

  6. First of all, I think it is very cool that two rising players are thinking so
    analytically about diff and striving to learn more.
    Now that we have a few responses and Skippy has contributed his analysis, I’ll
    give my scores. I’m going to come in a little lower than Skippy, probably
    closer to Alexvir.
    This 30 seconds is not Arthur/Dave at their most shreddingest, and the time
    blocks chop things up a bit (that’s a pitfall of the system), so I might be
    judging this a little on what I expect from Arthur/Dave instead of what we
    really did (another pitfall).
    The first segment’s strengths are the crow, Dave’s quick but very difficult
    brush pass, my set and his gitis. The weakness, as everyone has mentioned
    (geez!!!!), is that my reception of Dave’s pass was a THE. So, a 6. Maybe a
    5.5 if I’m being a conservative judge. If I did a medium difficulty pull of
    dave’s brush or even a restricted pass to his gitis, it’s an easy upgrade to one
    or more points higher.
    The second segment’s strengths are my bad attitude pass, Dave’s spinning
    brush and my roll to a gitis. Dave’s non-indigenous doesn’t really detract
    from the score like a THE. He went for a super hard move, it wasn’t there,
    and we moved on. It’s neutral in my book.
    One note on judging the moves vs. judging moves done well. Sometimes two
    players do the same move, but one player does it in a superior way. Imagine
    a crank, one really messy and using rim momentum, and another perfectly in
    the center. Basically the same move, but I rate the clean center crank at a
    higher difficulty level.
    In the second segment, I might weight the bad attitude pass a little higher
    because of the distance between us and the slower speed necessary to set
    Dave up for his indig attempt. For the second segment, I’d give a 6 if I were
    judging by whole numbers, maybe a 6.5 if I were breaking it down into
    Scoring a 10 is a tricky issue because it’s so rare that someone really steps up
    in competition. I think I’ve given a few 10’s over the years. I’ve given many
    9’s and countless 8’s. The issue isn’t really raising scores, it’s spreading them
    out, feeling comfortable using the whole range from 1-10. Legendary player
    did nothing special? Give him a 2. New phenom does an amazing combo?
    Give it the same mark you’d give if Schiller did it. 8, 9, even 10.
    Getting huge marks for co-ops seems a little more rare. Everyone can see
    when a player peels out in an individual combo, but it’s hard to appreciate the
    true difficulty of two or three players working together, especially at the
    cutting edge. I’m proud that my teams have received a few 10’s for co-ops,
    but co-ops in general are probably under-scored.

  7. 1) Arthur, you comment with your 2 cents inside it doesnt show… Maybe its only my problem?
    2) I dont understand why Skippy finds the 1st segment to be higher in diff than the second. Any comment on that?

    No jump, no catch!

  8. On the underration of coop.
    Thats why i tend to favor the second segment, because of the higher level of coop conseq. Even tho Dave missed the indig, he had a chance, and the roll straight off the brush was really nice.
    Coop just seems as good a way to increase diff as straight forward shredding ) Take a look at the G-bros routines. I just re-watched their pairs routine from FPAW 2005. They just keep on passing, and that has got to count.. I sort of imagine myself being inside their game and feel – "Oh that was a great pass" "Oh that one sucked but he kicked it right back to me". But that might not actually be diff…
    I just think that introducing more jam spirit into competition would be great. And that certainly involves using a more natural system of scoring (by posession and not time blocks). By jam spirit i mean counting great saves as diff as well ))
    PS – now i see Arthur’s comment. Wierd )

    No jump, no catch!

  9. First, thanks to all for your comments.
    Alex, as you already know, I agree with Skippy and I don’t think the second segment is more difficult, I actually think they’re pretty even.. I will explain why a bit later in this reply.
    I think we should make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of possesion_vs_timeblock juding systems, and then maybe make a vote on FPAW 2007.
    I agree with Arthur’s saying that co-ops are underrated. Giving someone else a good set, and receiving a set from your partner – are pretty difficult techniques in my opinion. (Alex, there is my explanation) Dave’s great gitis was, in my opinion, harder than Arthur’s only because it was from Arthur’s set, while Arthur set it for himself. Moreover, even though Arthur has a "the", it doesn’t ruine the flow.
    We might want to take the two segments and divide them to parts, and then compare them. I will do it this way:
    1st segment move – 2nd segment move:
    Arthur’s scarecrow – Arthur’s bad attitude pass
    Dave’s flamingitis set to a flamengo brush – A missed indy to a spinning utl brush.
    Arthur’s "the" to a rim set to Dave’s gitis (again, the set for the catch is not done by the one who catches the disc) – Arthur’s roll to a gitis (now, he sets it to himself).
    To me, both are pretty even. I think it is better seen when you compare the two segments.

    “If the ball could choose, it would be a frisbee”

  10. You’re right Skippy, huge combos in jam (especially with Tommy :D) are always happening, but what I wanted to demonstrate rising the difficulty of the same combo is: sometimes I judge medium diff. combos with 5-6 (it always happened in my first tournament), then a huge combo happens (Ex: when I see Clay playing, well… it happens A LOT) and I don’t know anymore how to judge, because the move goes out of my judge-ranking.
    If we would have Donny today…well I wouldn’t know how to judge him in some combos 😀
    Going back to Arthur & Dave’s combo:
    I’ve seen several times the video…and I find that’s quite helpful, probably we should try to view it only once and write down immediately after the scores.
    I score the first combo 6, and the second one 6.5 because of the continuity of it, I personally think that Dave’s attempt of indigenus pull is to be taken in consideration and not as a THE penalty, because he could not go for the attempt seeing the disc coming so high, but he tried and risked to miss the disc. So nothing more or less to me.
    I find the first flamingo brush by Dave to be very risky (I’ve tried it sometimes, but with no success) because that set and position leaves you no way to recover a bad setted disc and probably that’s why Skippy scored higher on that.
    It’s nice seeing some players scoring higher some kind of combo-style than others. I’ve seen some brushing combos scored very high and spinning combos scored very low. And viceversa…the solution maybe is doing spin-brushing combos! 😀
    One last word:
    From what I’ve seen on the beach in Rome, European players went crazy after FPAW in Berlin and they started making incredible high diff. combos, I think in a year or two we’ll have a lot of GREAT players around, with amazing routines. Can’t wait the time…I have a really good feeling!
    "I did it B.S.A.A."


  11. You are totally right Fabio about people going crazy after Berlin. I personally had a huge learning spurt right after coming back and it feels sooo great. And its all thanks to you guys!! Gotta love it.
    2 Omer – The set Arthur made for Dave’s gitis was a "the" rim shoot, so making it accurate isnt that difficult, but going for a roll set directly from a very accurate spining brush is really nice, the disc wasnt even coming back, it had a forward trajectory so to speak, which added considerably to the flow of the coop ))
    Ok, i think id better stop arguing about which combo was more difficult, as it will always be a matter of personal taste )) But you can see that the discussion is about combos, and we just got lucky that each timeblock has a separate combo in it (excluding Arthur’s ud crow).
    Would be really nice to do this again, i mean have another video which we can judge together. Its fun )) Especially for us judges in training

    No jump, no catch!

  12. I mixed up my scores. The second combo or time block should warrent the
    higher score. So a 6 then a 7. One of the key things I look for in analyizing
    moves and combos is how efficient they are. How little wasted movement is
    involved is a key consideration. A big part of that is the sets. Either to your
    own move or to a partner. Notice how clean the sets are by both Arthur and
    Dave. The spinning brush to a perfect roll to a perfect set to a perfect gitis.
    All of this can quickly deteriorate if not done with precision.
    I understand what Arthur is saying about thinking that this segment is a little
    flat. But when you are savvy vets and at the top of your game as these two are
    here then the most difficult thing looks easy, effortless almost. I credit that
    with higher scores than if someone is scrambling around trying to amend
    there errors with effort and determination.

  13. When i put together the video I chose that sequence, its not luck , ok some. I do plan on doing another harder to judge sequence soon. Can we get some other feed back on this, i encourage other players who read this to participate. Wadda ya think?

  14. Something else that would be a fun project is to create a ‘box score’ of a
    routine. You can set up catagories such as catches, brushes.windplay, tips and
    delays. if may provide some insight into the content of a routine.

  15. Three people in the room
    Person 1 Score 6
    Person 2 Score 6.5
    Person 3 Score 5.5
    Person 1: Straighforward, no super high risk, no super restrictions, no super spins, nothing beyond straighforward freestyle. It’s freestyle, it’s valid and real, but not exciting or innovative particularly.
    Person 2 (6.5): The moves appeared hard and restricted, but several of the moves were incomplete (for example the standing gitis brush attempted turned into a flamingo brush). Not exciting. Crash and burn gitis does not make a harder move than a gitis, does it?
    Person 3 (5.5) : In the first block the "the" set by Arthur distracted from the consecutivity, lowering the score. In the second block the spinning brush was difficult enough to counteract the failed attempt at the indidenous pull (which was outside and not completed).
    Can’t wait to hear the discussion. We decided to write this before reading what everyone else said!

  16. Its interesting that by using this small clip we can write down our perceptions and reread and evaluate. Writing the moves down definitely adds to reality. But judges don’t have that luxery and as we build up to more complicated combos and coops I think alot could be learned from scoring as you see it not writing it out, then write it down and rescore to compare differences , we will see how much most judges miss the first go around. The only solution to this problem is to do what we are doing -Educate ourselves and in that, keep up to date. Maybe this discussion will turn into an online primer for judging.

  17. I’ve experienced what Z talks about. I’ve been blown away by routines live, then
    when I watch them on video I go "meh." I’ve watched routines live that have had
    little impact on me, then when I watch them on video I’m in awe. Sometimes we
    get caught up in the moment, and sometimes we don’t realize what the moment
    is presenting to us.

  18. I have never experienced judging LIVE, but I can understand what you say.
    I suggest that in movie #2 we’ll do the following: Each person will write to himself scores, and give explanations out of memory.
    Then, he’ll watch it over & over again and write down the "new" score+explanation.
    We might learn a thing or two from that 😉

    “If the ball could choose, it would be a frisbee”

  19. Hello everyone,
    I would like to ask wheter a choreographed routine affects difficulty. I know that choreography mainly affects AI.
    However, making moves to the music makes the players be very precised, and thus makes everything a lot harder. Shouldn’t choreographed routines get a "bonus"? I think doing a specific combo to the music and not to the music has a big difference when it comes to difficulty.

    “If the ball could choose, it would be a frisbee”

  20. A choreographed routine can definitely affect difficulty, but as a judge my
    priority is the technical difficulty. So, it would be rare for me to rate a simple
    move made fancy by choreography equal to a technically difficult trick
    performed in a plain way.
    If someone uses choreography to enhance the difficulty, that’s a different story.
    For instance, I remember Paul Kenny doing his machine gun tips and stepping
    over his teammate (Lori Daniels I think?) while doing it. More difficult.

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