Ryan Young has offered the sport an opportunity to take advantage of his unique skill sets.  Specifically, if FPA membership supports Ryan’s proposal, he and a newly created committee will develop a new FPA Judging System* that combines the best of current FPA Judging**, as listed in the competition manual, with the best parts of modern technology (an electronic Judging Tool***).  There will be active feedback and interaction with the freestyle community throughout the process.


This effort is not intended to address concerns with current FPA Judging**, although there will be some modification. Instead, the problems attempting to be solved with this initiative include:


  1. Manual data tabulation; getting rid of the manual work will eliminate calculation errors and reduce time entering results (e.g., preventing manual data entry until 2am)
  2. The need to bring special devices to tournaments and ensure that device failures don’t impact a judging round  – use ubiquitous devices (e.g., phones or tablets)
  3. Current lack of integration with other systems such as live stream, results database and more
  4. Lack of sustainability of the current tablet tool
  5. Lack of tournament efficiency


RATIONALE: As discussed at the FPA Annual Membership Meeting in Trnava, Ryan can no longer support the current tablet-based FPA Judging Tool***. The tablet-based Judging Tool*** has matured as much as possible, and is no longer sustainable as Ryan is the only person who can manage it.  Ryan will be able to support the current tablet-based FPA Judging Tool***, through 2019 FPAW in Seattle, but will then retire it.


VOTE: There will be a separate email vote sent to people whose FPA membership status will be paid up and current as of August 31, 2018. Eligible voters include only those who are 18 or older.  The ballot will come out September 1 and be open for voting for 10 days. A simple majority of votes will decide the outcome, and the FPA Board will honor the result of the vote.


Vote YES indicates your support for Ryan and the committee to develop a new Judging System* to be in place by FPAW 2020.


Vote NO indicates your support of the FPA continuing to use non-tablet data entry and judging as currently spelled out in the competition manual.


To be clear, to vote YES on the emailed ballot means that the current FPA Judging** will be modified to make it work with the new tool by 2020 FPAW.  Ryan can not commit to this effort unless he knows it will be used.

Process (if approved):

A committee will be formed before October 1 and will be made up of 6 total members, including Ryan – including members with a variety of perspectives. Requests to be on the committee will be solicited by the FPA Board. Ryan and the committee will work as equal partners to develop the new Judging System.


The changes will be tested several times at various tournaments prior to 2020; FPAW 2020  will become the target for the new Judging System*. Each tournament will generate feedback that Ryan and the committee will collect and use to improve the new Judging System* for the next tournament.


Ryan and committee will develop the necessary changes to be incorporated into the competition manual when complete.


Goals and Benefits:

The new tool will be intended to leverage modern technology to create an accurate and sustainable judging tool that will capture the judges’ perceptions of each category of routines:


  •       Intuitive interface that can be used by anyone (good for players, TDs and judges)
  •       No single point of failure. This means backups and redundancy (organizational benefit)
  •       Transparent calculations. Everyone can follow from raw scores to final results
  •       Sustainability – Maintainable by anyone with web experience (organizational benefit)
  •       Minimal hardware requirements (less TD stress)
  •       Fast score tabulations (player experience – audience experience)
  •       Easy setup (for players, TDs)
  •       Live scoreboard integration (audience experience, live stream and on-site)
  •       Additional livestream integration (engaging worldwide audience, growing the sport)
  •       Future integration (example is results database)



Potential Challenges

As with any efforts involved with changes to our sport, there are unforeseen risks and challenges that may be encountered.



*new Judging System = Judging elements of each routine as will be updated in the competition manual, combined with an electronic Judging Tool

**current FPA Judging = Judging elements as currently laid out in the competition manual; how routines are judged, using the categories of Difficulty, Artistic Impression and Execution and combined for a total score for each routine.

***Judging Tool = the way that judges’ impressions of each routine are recorded (on paper, or with the tablet, dial, or some other tool)




The new system will be built in a full web stack environment. The front-end will utilize React while the backend will take advantage of Amazon Web Services. The codebase will be written in Javascript and CSS. The average smartphone will be targeted as the primary platform.


High level goals:

  •         The system will be useable on any hardware that can run a browser.
  •         The system can be run in a local LAN environment or through a remote internet server.
  •         The codebase will be written for read time.
  •         All changes will be documented and open source on GitHub.com.
  •         The system should have no single points of failure. Ideally this means no paper backup will be required.


High level design: