Fair Freestyle Rules

We need fair rules for freestyle, to make our sport attractive.
If we want our riders to continue with freestyle, we have to make it fairer.

We have to remove the arbitrariness in many rules and provide clear objective rules that are applied for everybody.
In the attached file are our proposals for the new rulebook.

Please give a short opionion on every proposal. Thank you!
If you do not want to open an account here, you can send your opinion to info@einradverband.de and I’ll publish it here with or without your Name, as you choose.

I have no hardcopy for proposal 26,27,28 an kindly request Patricia to copy it from her internal access to http://freestyle-2016.committees.unicycling-software.com/…/1 or show it publicly there.

rulebook proposals freestyle 2017.pdf (483 KB)

When rules are fair, competitions are fun!
I’m looking forward to your good ideas for fair rules and to a lot of fun at the next competitions.

Freestyle Rulebook Committee

It looks like none of the proposals have been approved yet, and they are all 2 months old. Are you seeing the same thing? Do you know when they will get this thing moving?


Here are some comments on the document you posted:

Proposal 18:
The assumption is that “the group” is always right. If you score more than 10% you are “wrong”. But what if the rest of the group is wrong? I don’t like it. Freestyle is not an exact science, and much of it is opinion. This is as it must be, because it is a mixture of technical riding and art.

Proposal 19:
I love the idea. To ensure that judges are all “on the same page” they must be exposed to performances that can be analyzed and discussed. I hope such a system can be set up! It might take some time to develop the training materials because they might generate a lot of discussion. But this is a good thing.

Proposal 20:
Note that “Artistic” is no longer a part of the names of the Freestyle events. On this proposal I don’t agree, and still believe each judge must make a score for the overall performance. Call me old fashioned.

Proposal 21:
(I prefer having boundaries, as rides would have in any real-world performance situation)
This proposal divides up dismounts by what they look like, but not by how they are performed and how the rider deals with them from the Presentation side. Dismounts are scored as part of Presentation, yet the descriptions are purely technical. A good performer can make a bad dismount look better, or even make you wonder if it was on purpose. Ignoring such nuances means you are only looking at the mechanics of the riding, and not the performance.

Proposal 22:
Very strict. I always think of these rules in terms of an international competition scenario, where teams may have traveled a very long way. If a rider is injured, they don’t necessarily have an available replacement rider who is not already competing. That’s why the existing rule is designed as it is. I do not see this as a hardship, or an area where people are taking advantage. If you can offer scenarios of this, it would help me understand why you think such a change is needed. The scenarios don’t have to be things that have happened; sometimes it helps to just think up the worst possible situation, since they always seem to happen eventually…

Proposal 23:
As a former convention organizer, Chief Judge and Artistic Director, I think this is overly strict also. For the very reasons of language barrier and possibly being a volunteer for the convention, flexibility makes competition more fair, and more fun. “Fair” is a subjective thing. What’s fair for one person may seem very unfair for another. In rule-making, I define “fair” as having rules that can be applied without bias. But uni-conventions are imperfect things, so it’s good to have “safety valves” that can be used to fix things if they go wrong.

Proposal 24:
The logic is good. The rule only runs into problems if you don’t have enough willing and qualified judges from each country or club to make it work. Maybe this is not as much of a problem anymore, but it used to always be difficult to find enough judges, let alone qualified, experienced ones. Hence the flexibility of the current rules. But there is much room for improvement there, as there is for actual judge training (not just workshops).

Proposal 25:
Trick list? This is Freestyle. Some of the tricks we do are similar to the scored figures found in Standard Skill, but mostly they aren’t they are not done for complete circles, eights, lines, etc. Instead they are done for varying distances, at different speeds, for different amounts of time, and often combined with other things. If I include on my list that I’m going to ride one-footed, do I have to provide detailed descriptions of the one-footed, spinning mount I used to get there, or the transition I make to backwards one-footed by doing a one-foot backspin? These tricks don’t have scores, and many don’t have names. Asking for a list of tricks suggests that all tricks have names, that nothing is new, and that there are no variations. I think it’s a terrible idea for Freestyle at its current state of development.

Proposal 29/30:
I agree with the idea (assuming all skills have fixed values, which they don’t), but remember to include in the math that the bigger the group, also the harder it is for all riders to do all the skills. But that a bigger group must not win based on size alone, so there must be a way to average things to allow for different amounts of riders per group (hope that makes sense).

I hope the proper discussions can start soon.


Proposal 18: A 10% expected deviation seems far to strict. I do agree that judges should be removed if there score differs greatly but 10% seems like too small of a margin.
Proposal 19: Great idea! I agree, many judges do not have the expertise anymore to judge accurately.
Proposal 20: Seems like that is fair. It gives judges more specific tasks. Good idea.
Proposal 21:I like the idea of classifying the types of dismount more specifically. I dislike the idea of specific scoring from points. Remember dismounts are still part of performance. They can be done with differing grace and composure. If I fall and put two feet on the group firmly and with grace compared to someone who falls and puts two feet on the group and flails there arms dramatically, judges should have the ability to score me higher. Same dismount, different execution.
Proposal 22: Agreed.
Proposal 23: Seems a bit strict. Competeions are not flawless events and there should be some degree of allowance. I remember you saying that these free stylists worked hard and should be judged fairly. I would like to still compete if I traveled around the world to a competition but I was a little late. Obviously if the completion has concluded then yes, they are disqualified.

To be continued