The scoring system can be incredibly confusing at first glance. There is a ton of information and requirements for your routines, all packed into a few different tables. We'll attempt to make a little bit more sense of the scoring system, break down the numbers, and show how the judges are scoring your athletes routine.
The Varsity scoring system adds up to a maximum possible score out of 100.
There scoresheet is broken in to 3 main sections:
With a Base Score of 85/100, the rest is up to the judges to decide how you did. This is where there can be some variability. You have to ensure that you doing the most to maximize each area of the scoresheet and clearly show the judges that you've mastered the skills that you're presenting.
TECHNIQUE: 60% OF TOTAL SCORE
It's fairly clear that technique is king. The scoring system promotes execution over numbers by rewarding skills executed with proper technique. We drill down on technique to make the biggest difference on the score sheet.
This is probably the area on the scoresheet with the most variance between judges and can differ by up to a point or more from event to event.
Judges should be consistent throughout the event with what range they are placing teams in. But being scored higher in technique across all five categories by even 0.5 in each, will have more weight on your overall score than skill difficulty.
CREATIVITY + OVERALL ROUTINE COMPOSITION: 26.67% of total score
Creativity and Overall routine composition can have a big impact on your score as well. This is how well your routine "flows", your dance, your performance, and all your use of creative transitions in your stunts and pyramids.
This again is left solely up to the judge's discretion.
BUILDING DIFFICULTY AND TUMBLING DIFFICULTY: 13.33% OF TOTAL SCORE
Once you are within the low, medium, or high range on the scoresheet (this is determined by the number of level appropriate skills performed by the team), it's up to the judges to determine where you will score within the range. Your score is based on "score drivers" given to coaches over the summer and is comparative to the other teams at each individual event.
When considering building, including more ELITE level appropriate skills in both stunts and pyramids will drive the scores higher within the range. For Tumbling, the number of specialty tumbling passes in the routine, synchronization, etc.
Deductions can play a huge role in your overall score and where you'll place within your division. The value of deductions is high enough to wipe out any gains that you would get from the increase in difficulty. Let's have a look at their impact on your score.
Deductions generally come from poor technique. You're potentially hurting yourself in two areas if you're putting in harder skills with poor technique.
Scores will vary from event to event, from panel to panel. Being in a judged sport, you can't compare scores across events. Coaches choreograph the routine to meet the requirements to get into the HIGH ranges. From there, coaches spend a considerable amount of work on technique because this is the biggest driving factor in determining the overall score.
Good technique also has the effect of making your routine appear cleaner, as there are fewer bobbles in building skills and less falls in tumbling. Good technique will also reduce the chances of deductions, which play a major part in your score, almost completely eliminating any points you would gain by adding difficulty. Bottom line: if it's not solid, it likely will not be put in the routine.
The changes to the scoring system for 2017-2018 actually make it easier to get into the high range, so that athletes are not being "forced" to throw skills they are not ready for. Coaches are taking advantage of these changes by not putting elements in their routines that athletes have not perfected.