Dear FPA Members (Jammers),
After numerous email threads and telephone conferences, the FPA Judging committee (consisting of Claudio Cigna, Lori Daniels, Rodney Sanchez, Jan ‘Mahony’ Zahradniczek and myself) has agreed on a proposal for changes to the current FPA judging system. Based on FPA members’ input through various communication channels we tried to modify the judging system in order to:
- Encourage diverse, risky and innovative styles of play;
- Make judging more fair;
- Make judging less demanding.
The most common answer to each of these challenges is judging education: The current system is quite well-designed but often judges lack experience to apply it correctly. Because judging education is a time-consuming and ongoing task that goes beyond the scope of this committee, we focused on formal measures that are easy to implement to make things a bit better (hopefully). However, it is the Judging committee’s desire that judging education should not be considered secondary or insignificant as a follow-up to the proposed judging changes. In fact, the hope of this committee is that all FPA members who wish a viable, reasonable and fair-as-possible system will commit to learning more about the nuances (fine-points) of judging efficiently, objectively and accurately.
The pages below outline the key topics and agreement points of our discussions. We also included notes on some of the things we considered but eventually dismissed:
You, as FPA members, now have 45 days to comment on the proposed changes, so the deadline for your input is the 7th of June, 2012. At this point in the process, the idea is to fine-tune things or possibly dismiss them. New ideas will not be considered in this part of the process – sorry!
No changes will be implemented before September 2012, so you are safe to build your routines for the big tournaments this year based on the current judging system.
As you can imagine, the more one thinks about judging Freestyle disc, the more one realizes that it’s a very difficult thing. Part of the challenge is due to the lack of boundaries of a sport such as Freestyle disc (e.g. everything is allowed in Freestyle and, hence, everything has to be covered by the judging system) as well as the subjectivity of judging, especially in the categories of Difficulty and Artistic Impression. Our job as the FPA Judging Committee was largely to synthesize and operationalize what many players supported as modifications to our current judging system, and suggest implementation methods (what is doable) in a thoughtful and pragmatic way. Please give the proposed judging system ideas fair consideration, given this context.
After the fine-tuning input has been received, the proposal will go to the FPA Board of Directors for final approval and an official new judging manual will be created. After, the judging system changes will be implemented tentatively for 15 months, after which time, there will be another vote of the changes for final approval.
Thanks for your attention,
Philipp Lenarz (FPA Judging Director)