Judge This – Video #3, Speedflow

Following up on the first and second “judge this” videos, Z Weyand chose a different flavor of freestyle for the next discussion: speedflow. Since speedflow (throw and catch) is not seen as much in competition routines, it will be interesting to trade ideas about how to judge the difficulty of this skill.

As always, the video (1.2mb, mov and 3.2mb, mp4) shows 30 seconds of freestyle. Think about the two scores you would give if you were using the current FPA judging system. Award your score when the video shows MARK.

Z’s introductory comments are in the extended (Read More) section of this article.

From Z:

“After enjoying the 2007 FPA Worlds in Berlin I reflected on the state of freestyle. One of the elements that jumped out at me was the lack of speed flow in most routines and in jamming. One of the elements that eliminates the interest in speedflow is the current system (including education of judges) which does not reward speedflow with the appropriate difficulty scores. Speedflow is the first skill in freestyle that was judged in the ol’days and today it has evolved with greater difficulty of catches and throws. Completing 5 catches in a row total with flow and spins, etc. is hard to do. But why even try it if one is so penalized for catches that turn to drops or bobbles, thus depressing the overall score. Tommy L had a great suggestion
that maybe “speedflow” should receive a separate score, that is outside the 15 second format. I don’t think that the system needs to be changed as much as the judges have to be educated how hard it is and give scores reflecting that. This fits better with Skippy’s system of “natural segments”, instead of 15 second intervals. Please view this one 15 second segment and give it a difficulty score. Then we can discuss. Thanks to Dave L and Matt G.”

2 Replies to “Judge This – Video #3, Speedflow”

  1. I’m thinking that this would warrent an 8. Yes, Z is correct that speedflow is
    more difficult than it appears. I docked a couple of points for basic breaks in
    flow. In the old days (pre delay) the maxim was to have the catch go seamlessly
    into the throw and again into the next catch and the next throw. This kind of
    play also brings to mind the jazz style of call and response which is part of the
    beauty of the genre.

  2. FPA Worlds 2007 in Berlin ?! Sounds interesting 🙂
    I totally agree with what Z said. Everyone who has tried to make a speedflow combo consistent will experience how hard it is. The first problem with speedflow combos in tournaments is, that drops happen so easily because catching ist the most risky part of a combo. Secondly it doesn’t look very difficult, so many judges would give Dave’s and Matt’s combo a 5 or a 6 in difficulty. Why risk one, two or three drops if you could do some turnover to some nesting to an spinning UTL catch instead and receive the same score? A combo that is technically difficult but becomes very consistent after a while. Every drop means -0.9 on the judging sheets, so why do it? If you wanna do good in a tournament risking a speedflow is just irrational.
    From my point of view the solution to the problem is not to change the judging system. A drop looks bad, feels bad and should be punished. Instead I think speedflow should be rated higher. People, including me, should dare to give a combo like this an eight or even a nine. Playing risky should be rewarded.

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