What’s up, I’m Rob Meronek, digital and numbers guy at The Boardr. I have an accounting and software development background and I’ve been skateboarding my whole life, spending much of that time working in the contest and events business.
What I’m showing you today is a new technology I developed for scoring a skateboard contest. Right now, skateboard judging is 100% subjective.
I want an option that makes it more objective, easier for a non-expert audience to understand, has more accountability, and of course is more fair to the skaters.
This all started with conversations with Tim McFerran at World Skateboarding Federation. He’s got a sports brain and is always pushing us to do new and innovative things in skateboarding events, from the head to head format at Kimberley Diamond Cup to the first instant scoring system we developed together 10 or so years ago.
So here’s how I approached the trick for trick scoring system. I took a skateboarding trick and broke it down into four basic building blocks.
First, you can enter into a trick in a variety of ways: regular, switch, Cab, half Cab, fakie, wallie, etc.
Next, you can do the actual trick. Regular kickflip, switch flip, half Cab flip, wallie kickflip. Same goes for frontside 180, 360 flip, no comply, boneless, backside flip, etc.
Then there’s two optional pieces to a trick. The first one is sliding, grinding, or a manual. On that kickflip you did, you can do it to boardslide, to manual, to nosegrind, etc.
Finally, you can do any one of those same tricks out. Kickflip manual kickflip out, for example.
Multiply all those options together and you’ll see how there are millions, if not an infinite, amount of skateboarding tricks.
A fifth dimension that needs to be considered in all those tricks is the obstacle it was done on. That backside flip. Did you do it on flat or down the big four set?
And it doesn’t even end there, because style matters.
So, that’s a lot to take in. Imagine how hard it is to comprehend if you don’t skate.
That complexity might be why we’ve never moved on from purely subjective judgement in skateboarding.
So, we here at The Boardr created a trick for trick scoring system that attempts to simplify this complexity. In all five of these dimensions, a point value is assigned to every option in every segment based on difficulty. The combined score from all segments you hit equals the score you get for that trick.
At the end of a run, the system has the full list of tricks you’ve done and the obstacles you did them on, with a total amount of points you’ve accumulated.
To address the style segment, a panel of those traditional judges get input to affect the score by a pre-defined percentage.
This video is a demo of the system applied to the Kimberley Diamond Cup World Skateboarding Championships.