Tariff Judging

Having  completed a county judging course, I feel in a position to empathise with those of you who have been similarly thrown in at the deep end when it comes to tariff judging!  If you’re at a club with a significant number of high grade performers, then recognising a rudi or a ball-out is no doubt second nature.  For those mortals among us, it all comes as a bit of a shock when you’re expected to write down every move in a routine using some alien notation, rather than just scribble down its tariff.   About 4 moves in, you suddenly realise that you’ve forgotten what the 3rd move was and you’re still trying to right down the first one!  This guide is aimed at novice judges, so all you experts look away!


So, you’ve been form judging at grading competitions for a while and your head coach decides it’s time that you got a bit better.  You’ve been booked on a  County Judge course, so you hunt around the internet a bit to try to get a head start on this tariffing malarky.  The first thing you find is the ‘FIG notation’.  Ok – this looks nice and logical.  Every move is defined by the number of 1/4 rotations, the number of 1/2 twists in each summie, and the shape (o=Tucked, < = piked, / = straight).  So a piked barani would be “4  1  <“.  Easy enough so far.  The tables you find are very impressive – full-ins, half-in half-outs, shake-it-all-abouts – you name it, they’ve got another move you’ve never even heard of, let alone seen!


Never mind, you think.  It can’t be that hard.  I’ll find a few videos of routines to practise on.  Those nice ones from the world championships should be good for practising…….. hmm.  Maybe not.  Let’s try something easier.  Ministry of Air has a good range of videos – give one of those a shot.


One hour, lots of slow-mo replays and a bottle of aspirin later, you start to wonder why you agreed to this.  This FIG notation means you have to write 3 bits down for every bounce.  Some of the grade fives have finished their vol before you’ve written the first 2 moves down!  There has to be an easier way – and there is.  The trick is to use a simpler shorthand for the ‘little’ moves, so that you can get them all written down.  Then convert to FIG if you need to at the end of the routine.  You’re obviously free to use whatever notation you like, provided you can unambiguously work out what the routine was afterwards.  What follows is based on a suggestion from  Kevin Redgrift (big thanks Kevin!) with a couple of my own interpretations.


First, you need simple symbols for shaped jumps – use the FIG symbols here:
o = Tuck jump < = Pike jump / = Straight jump v = straddle jump
Now for summies, use T, P or S according to the shape.  Assume they are back summies.  If you do get a front summie, put an ‘F‘ in front of the letter (usually easy, ‘cos front summies normally come at the end of a routine).  If they land to seat, add an ‘s’.
Once they start adding twists in, just put the number of half twists after the shape – a piked barani is then P1, a rudi (1 and a half twisting straight) is an S3 etc.


Next, think about the other simple moves – a half twist or a full twist.  Just use the number preceded by a dash -1 or -2  (getting close to FIG eh?)


For backdrops and front drops, you can use FIG again – rotation with a suffix to indicate the landing –   1F for front drop, 1B for back drop.  If you don’t fancy that, just put F or B.  (sorry Kevin – I know you use F for a Full instead of S2)


Any other moves, I tend to use FIG for – but miss out the default ‘tucked’ shape identifier.  So a crash dive (3/4 front summie) would be 3B  (‘cos you land on your back) and a lazy back (3/4 back summie) would be 3F.   If they do a 1 and 3/4, that’s a 7  – (don’t forget you may need to add a shape though).  Coming out of these moves will either be a ballout (5), a ball-out barani (5 1) or a cody (5).  You can tell which one by the preceding move’s landing.


 That just leaves a few oddities – seat drop (I used “-s“), tucked back to back (use either TB or 5B), half twist to feet from backdrop ( 1 1)


And that’s it!  After a few runs through, I found this very much simpler than going straight to FIG, which only really comes into its own with the bigger moves (for which you have much more time anyway).  Here’s an example:
Move Shorthand FIG
Straight back S 4  0  /
Straight Barani S1 4  1  /
Pike back P 4  0  <
Rudi S3 4  3  /
Tuck jump o 0  0  o
Tuck barani T1 4  1  o
Tuck back to seat Ts 4s 0 o
Half twist to feet -1 0  1  /
Crash dive 3B 3B 0 /
Barani ball out 5 1 5  1  o
As you get more comfortable with this, you can gradually feed in more of the FIG notation – especially for multiple somersaults (801= half out etc.)
I hope you find this helpful – it certainly makes for a much simpler introduction to recording routines, whilst starting to build some familiarity with the formal notation you need to progress to later.  Good luck with the exam!