Competitive Jam Skating Judges have a lot to watch and things move really quickly during a battle or performance. By separating the judges into 5 different categories, (FOOTWORK, GROUNDWORK, POWER, MUSICALITY AND BATTLETUDE) it makes it much easier for a judge to compare one Jam Skaters’ set or performance against another.
Even though the judge is focusing on just one of the judging categories, there are multiple criteria (THE GRID), as it relates to that category, that they must analyze and compare. Seasoned, professional Jam Skaters/Judges are able to do this very quickly and some almost do it instinctively. After considering all judging criteria (THE GRID), judges will then come up with a composite score based on their analysis of the criteria and will give the Jam Skater a composite score on a scale from (0-5) *Including half points.
(O – NONE, 1 – POOR, 2 – AVERAGE, 3 – GOOD, 4 – EXCELLENT, 5 – OUTSTANDING)
CONFIDENCE: Confidence is demonstrating through your actions and skating skills that you believe in yourself and are sure in your movements. Confident skaters battle boldly and won’t show any nervousness, fear, apprehension or trepidation.
+ Showing confidence will earn credit with the judges.
– Lack of confidence will lose credit with the judges.
QUANTITY: Quantity relates to how many moves you perform within a particular judging category. Jam Skaters should balance their time to ensure they give ample attention to and/or perform multiple moves within each of the five judging categories.
+ Performing lots of moves will earn credit with the judges.
– Doing too few moves will lose credit with the judges.
VARIETY: Variety relates to the number of different moves you perform within a particular judges category.
+ Executing an assortment of diverse moves will earn credit with the judges.
– Repeating the same move(s) over and over will lose credit with the judges.
UNIQUE SETS: During battle, Jam Skaters combine multiple sets (i.e. combinations of moves) to complete their overall performance. These set of moves should be unique and different throughout a routine and from one round to the next and should not be repeated from earlier battles.
+ Executing multiple distinctive and unique sets will earn credit with the
– Repeating sets or performing ordinary ones will lose credit with the judges
TO THE BEAT: Jam Skating at its core is skating to the beat of the music. Jam Skaters should perform moves so that they go to, are in sync with, match and/or compliment the song; often including the lyrics.
+ Performing moves that go well with the music will earn credit with the judges.
– Moves that don’t match or sync with the music will lose credit with the judges.
DIFFICULTY: Difficulty relates to how hard customarily a move or set of moves is to perform. Although this may sometimes vary from one skater to the next, in general, especially when moves are combined into complex sets and/or transitions, the varying degrees of difficulty become decidedly evident to the judges.
+ Moves that are more difficult to perform will earn credit with the judges.
– Moves that are less difficult to perform will lose credit with the judges.
DYNAMIC MOTION: Dynamic Motion relates to the art of utilizing the entire body smoothly and designedly while performing moves in any category. Jam Skaters should execute moves with continuous energy and personality with purpose rather than being stiff and rigid or jittery and/or without deliberate intent.
+ Jam Skaters that exemplify dynamic motion will earn credit with the
– Moves that are stiff, haphazard or out of control will lose credit with the judges.
EXECUTION: Execution is the ability to start and finish a move or set of moves with precision and excellence. (aka. “clean”) *Especially without utilizing any “cheats”. Cheats are when a Jam Skater is not able to execute a move as prescribed and instead transitions into a different move to avoid magnification of their shortcoming. Falling, landing awkwardly, slipping, utilizing cheats or any way of not properly completing an attempted move are just a few examples of poor execution.
+ Attempting AND executing clean moves will earn credit with the judges.
– Failing to execute moves with distinction will lose credit with the judges.
ORIGINALITY: Originality is one thing judges often easily remember. It is the ability to create and perform moves and/or sets of moves that are creative in style, individualized and supremely different than everyone else.
+ Creating and performing unique moves will earn credit with the judges.
– Performing few or no original moves will lose credit with the judges
FLOW: Flow is the ability and art of lacing together moves and sets of moves, particularly when transitioning from one judging category to another, in a seamless and masterful way.
+ Smooth, skillful flow throughout performances will earn credit with the
– Unpolished, imprecise and aimless flow will lose credit with the judges.
USE OF FLOOR: The area of a 30 foot diameter Jam Circle is just over 700 square feet – use it! Jam Skaters should perform moves and sets of moves that transition them to different parts of the Jam Circle albeit they should direct the focus of their attack towards their opponent.
+ Utilizing the majority of the Jam Circle while focusing on your opponent will earn
credit with the judges.
– Skating mostly in one place or not projecting towards your opponent will lose credit with the judges.
TRANSITIONS: Transitioning is the ability to skillfully go into and from one move to another seamlessly without stopping the flow of your performance. Moreover, Jam Skaters should not break or stop between moves. Transitions are particularly important when moving from one judging category to the next. (i.e. Transitioning from Footwork to Groundwork or from Power back to Footwork, etc.)
+ Proficient ability to transition between moves will earn credit with the
– Clumsy or uncoordinated transitions or stopping will lose credit with the judges.
REPRISAL: Reprisal is how well you respond to your opponent during a battle. (aka. “counterattack”) In other words, it is a Jam Skaters ability to ‘top’ any moves or sets of moves performed by their opponent. A well-executed counter-offensive demonstrates plainly to the judges the proficient ability of the Jam Skater mainly because they are required to focus and adapt quickly in the middle of battle to combat any move their opponent comes at them with.
+ The ability to respond to and top any of your opponents moves will earn credit with
– Failure to respond to any of your opponents moves will lose credit with the judges.
HYPE: Hype is the ability of the Jam Skater to impress spectators and judges alike in a way that evokes a positive, even pumped-up reaction from the crowd. Big moves, creativity and originality, masterful reprisal, stage presence, battletude and charisma are just a few elements that can generate hype.
+ Performing in a way that creates and bolsters hype will earn credit with the
– The inability to get a continuous positive response from the crowd will lose credit with the judges.
TIME: Jam Skaters should use the majority of the time allotted to them for their performance WITHOUT going over! In order to give adequate attention to all judging criteria and categories, time management is of utmost importance.
+ Utilizing the time available to you wisely without going over the limit will earn
credit with the judges.
– Going over the time limit, finishing your performance too soon or simply filling the allotted time aimlessly will lose credit with the judges.
RULES: Jam Skaters are expected to adhere to the basic rules and regulations outlined in the Competitive Jam Skating Rulebook which ultimately will factor into their composite score. (i.e. Time limits, boundaries, physical contact, sportsmanship, hazardous or unsafe conditions, uniform requirements, etc.)
+ Jam Skaters that follow the rules will earn credit with the judges.
– Jam Skaters that break rules will be penalized and will lose credit with the judges.
SYNCHRONIZATION: Synchronization is one criterion that can quickly take Jam Skaters Jam Skating to the next level. It is when two or more skaters are performing moves or sets of moves “in sync” or at the same time as each other and specially choreographed to accentuate the overall performance.
+ Performing moves in sync with your team will earn credit with the judges.
– Being out of sync or not performing moves together at all will lose credit with the judges.
COMMANDOS: Commandos are a mini routine between two or more Jam Skaters where the Jam Skater(s) currently skating switches out with another Jam Skater(s) using synchronized movements. Commandos are an effective way for Jam Skating teams to express themselves creatively while making transitions from one Jam Skater(s) to another smooth and seamless exhibiting important team continuity.
+ Performing creative, complex and dominant commandos that are polished and dynamic will earn
credit with the judges.
– Transitioning between skaters without using a commando or performing commandos that are simple and ordinary will lose credit with the judges.
FORMATIONS: Jam Skating in sync when performing as a team is one thing, but doing so while changing positions within the Jam Circle is the essence and complexity of formations. Execution, timing and synchronization of moves becomes increasingly more difficult as Jam Skaters switch spots with each other and/or move around during a performance creating an array of differing formations.
+ Performing together skillfully as a team in different formations throughout a performance
will earn credit with the judges.
– Team performances that don’t include a variety of formations or when formation changes are sloppy and executed poorly will lose credit with the judges.
TEAM STYLE: One powerful way to show judges and spectators alike the unity and cohesiveness a Jam Skating team has is their overall team style. Team style may consist of having matching or complementing skates and/or outfits, individual and/or team names displayed prominently or a unifying and underlying theme or style to the presentation of the Jam Skating/performance that is unique.
+ Jam Skating teams that demonstrate carefully considered and unique team style will earn
credit with the judges.
– Teams that are haphazardly thrown together with little to no forethought or that convey minimal team style will lose credit with the judges.