First, there was crowd funding. Now, in dressage, there’s crowd judging. A new spectator judging “app” is being introduced at this weekend’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival at Palm Beach, in Florida.
Also being introduced at the event is the FEI’s new Degree of Difficulty (DoD) Freestyle Judging System, which asks riders to create and submit floor plans ahead of time with the Floorplan Creator. The software also has a second element, Judge Assistant, which displays the floor plans for the judges and allows them to score the freestyles.
The scoring is regulated through the FEI, and now riders compete and work to achieve high freestyle scores through challenging choreography. The software calculates the degree of difficulty executed, which will then be awarded to the over-all degree of difficulty mark that belongs to the individual freestyle.
The new spectator app was was first thought of with the help of FEI 5* judge Katrina Wüst of Germany and created by software developer and German national judge, Daniel Göhlen.
AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur is excited to introduce the two innovative technologies during the circuit, which runs to March 25. “I think it’s a good step forward, to make the subjective freestyle a bit more objective,” he said. “We will continue through the season in the CDI-Ws with it, to get ready for Omaha and the FEI World Cup Final.”
Göhlen explained that the Degree of Difficulty (DoD) Freestyle Judging System could be compared to ice skating.
“The riders know beforehand what degree of difficulty score they might get. The degree of difficulty is highly dependent on the technical execution.”
Floorplan Creator displays elements including combination, difficult transitions, particle, and “joker” (which allows the rider to repeat a particular movement if they are in need of a re-do).The software requires the judge to communicate with the scribe, asking the judge to accept or reject the degree of difficulty awarded to each movement.
To actively incorporate the audience into the world of dressage tests, Göhlen also developed the Spectator Judging app, which gives those watching the chance to actively participate by giving them three different live scoring options.
Göhlen noted his inspiration for the creation of the app: “I always looked at these performances and thought, ‘What would I give? What marks would I choose?’ I thought it would be fun to try it out, to try judging in that way.”
Each app user is able to give a score movement by movement, in a simplified manner, or create an overall score at the end of the ride. The spectators are then able to compare their scores directly to the scores given by the judges.
The system was launched successfully in the United States in 2016 at the International Omaha, and will be making its way back to Nebraska for the FEI World Cup Final in April.
The Spectator Judging app is available for Apple and Android devices.