Competition Judging & Scoring: The Responsibilities of the Athlete

"Is this a good rep, Matt???"

“Is this a good rep, Matt???”

After watching several of my athletes compete over the past two weekends, I thought this post might be helpful for other competitive exercisers.

Competitions are meant to be fun, challenging, and an entertaining test of fitness.  Personally, I have competed in a dozen events and have hosted the “Gangs of the Mid-Atlantic” competition for the past 3 years.  As an event organizer, I can tell you whats most important to me:

  1. My number one priority is the safety of the participants.
  2. My second priority is that athletes, judges, and spectators have fun.
  3. My third priority is that the events include weightlifting, gymnastics, and monostructural movements and effectively evaluate the 10 skills of fitness.
  4. My fourth priority is that the events are consistently judged and scored so that the athletes’ efforts are accurately documented.

With all of that being said, I have yet to participate in an event where mistakes did not occur.  Every year that we have hosted “GANGS” we have had someone complain about something.  Humans make mistakes.  The key is to minimize the potential for mistakes through preparation.

Most judges and scorers at “Competitive Exercising Events” are volunteers.  Quite often it is their first time judging an event.  When they hear the 3,2,1..Go – they get nervous just like the athletes competing do.  They want to do a good job.  As athletes, we have the power to HELP them do a good job.  Here are a few simple tips to insure that your judge gets it right:

  1. Introduce yourself to your judge and shake their hand.  This signifies a mutual respect and partnership (if you will).
  2. Show the judge your movements to make sure they coincide with their understanding of the standards.  This is particularly important if you have range of motion issues or awkward technique.
  3. Ask them to count your reps out loud.
  4. Check your equipment.  Make sure that it is loaded properly and meets the prescribed standards of the event.
  5. Be a good mover.  If you try to get away with cheating the movement standards or if you have shitty form, don’t get pissed when the judge “no reps” you.  Like I tell my athletes, show them “no doubters”!
  6. After the event, double check your judges’ math before you sign your scorecard.
  7. Follow up by checking the scoreboard to insure that your score was entered correctly.
  8. If a mistake was made – don’t be an asshole about it.  It wasn’t intentional.  If you are a jerk to the event host, the score keeper, or your judge then they will be much less motivated to get your score corrected.
  9. Make sure to thank your judge, the volunteers, and the host.  Appreciation is a simple way to reward others for doing their job.

Give these tips a try at your next competition and I am confident that you will have an enjoyable, excuse-free experience!

Stay Hungry,



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