To the untrained eye (and sometimes even contest veterans), the difference between halfpipe runs and scores can be a total mystery. Here are the basics of the criteria that will be used in Torino.

There are eight total judges; five of them actually score each rider’s run. Judges score based on an Overall Impression (OI) system, meaning that each judge considers all of the aspects of a run: amplitude, difficulty, variety, pipe use, and execution of tricks, and the overall flow or fluidity. Judges also consider the sequence of tricks—back-to-back 720s are more difficult than two sevens separated by simpler tricks.

We tracked down Ola Sundequist, one of the five scoring judges for Torino, and asked a few questions to break it down further.

Are there any differences between the way halfpipe was judged in Salt Lake and the way it will be judged in Torino?

For the 2006 Games, there will be five judges doing Overall Impression judging instead of the separation system that was used in Salt Lake City. Included in this is a requirement that riders must do at least one straight air during their a run.

Given the criteria, and to help television viewers understand what’s going on, what will the judges be looking for in simple terms?

As judges, we look at different aspects of the runs. You can’t win with good amplitude alone, but of course it’s one of the most important ingredients in a halfpipe run. A winning run needs to show: execution of tricks, variety of tricks, difficulty, pipe use, and amplitude.

How does a fall affect a rider’s score?

For 2006 we are using a deduction scale (see judging criteria at transworldsnowboarding.com). In Salt Lake, the maximum deduction for a fall was ten percent of the total score—in Torino it will be twenty percent of the total score.

Head Judge: Steve Brown, Australia

Assistant Head Judge: Remi Laliberte, Canada

Scoring Judges:

Marcello Centurione, Canada
Mattheiu Giraud, France
Sami Savela, Finland
Ola Sundequist, Sweden
Kyoji Yokoyama, Japan