A thorough review of why a “system” is necessary in aerobatic competition judging, and what FPS does for us.
Sports Results and Judging Systems
In most competitive sports selecting the winner is easy ... it will be the first race-car past the finishing post, or the football team that scores the most goals, and so on. However some sports require experienced judges to rank the artistic and technical skills on display, and competition aerobatics is one of many activities where it takes a trained expert to tell how well each performance has met the standard required. Where such complicated judgements are required it is normal to assume that the performance can theoretically be perfect, so we simply need to count the “errors” that are seen and calculate the mark for each item by subtracting the total of errors seen from a fixed number - the winner of course is the one with the highest remaining score after adjusting for complexity and other factors.
Nick Buckenham recognized for his excellent track record as a judge FAI in aerobatics competitions and being Chief Judge Contest numerous times in the European Championships and author of the Aerobatic ACRO scoring software, makes us an overview of how it is to be an international judge and explains us the basics of FPS (FairPlay System), system in which he was very active and has revolutionized the scoring system in aerobatic competitions.