*TO QUALIFY TO JUDGE, YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED AT LEAST ONE JUDGES' CLINIC, BE A CURRENT JUDGE MEMBER OF USA YOGA, AND HAVE BEEN TEACHING FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS.
1. All JUDGES MUST DEMONSTRATE DIGNITY AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE POSTURES
1.1 A judge must be able to explain the mark they have given.
1.2 Judge must be critical and practical in allotting points.
1.3 Judge must be cautious of giving full marks to competitor. It is very rare that a posture is ever perfect.
1.4 Judges should not talk during competition. They may talk between contestants.
2. METHOD OF SCORING
2.1 ALLOTMENT OF POINTS:
2.1.1 Start with 10, and deduct from full points.
2.1.2 Always keep .5 reserved for unforeseen situations.
2.1.3 Stillness utmost significance:
22.214.171.124 Simple trembling – deduct .5 or 1/2 point.
126.96.36.199 Greater movement – deduct 1 full point.
2.1.4 Breathing should not be labored: it must be normal. If the breath is loudly expelled or labored – deduct .5 or 1/2 point .
2.2 Performance of the posture must be smooth and consistent from beginning to end.
2.3 Contestant must enter and exit the posture the same way with consistency, hold final level/step of the posture. Points must be deducted if this does not occur.
2.4 If the contestant falls out of a posture, deduct 5 full points. Second chance starts with score of 5 points.
2.4.1 In the Standing Head to Knee, it is considered a fall if the fall occurs before the contestant touches forehead to the knee.
2.5.1 Tie Breaking Protocol In the event of a total score tie between two or more participants placing either first, second or third, the following will be the order of tie breaking criteria:
2.5.2 The higher averaged score of the five compulsory poses;
2.5.3 If there is still a tie, then it will be broken by:
2.5.4 the higher averaged score of Standing Head-to-Knee Pose. In each case, the methodology of score calculation shall be consistent with that of the original tied score.
3. EXECUTION OF POSTURES
3.1 Each posture has its own character which must be maintained. If character of the posture is lost, they will receive a zero (0) – i.e., Standing Head to Knee – if head is not on the knee (on the shin) the posture has lost its character – they get a 0.
3.2 All muscles must be engaged and tight along with deep stretching engaged.
3.3 Each posture must be rhythmically performed. If not, then grace points are deducted.
3.4 Watch posture from start to finish – if someone wants to hold the posture longer, but is incapable and gives up, deduct .5, which is different than someone who decides to end posture with steady control – executed and doesn’t need to hold any longer, then there is no deduction.
3.5 The posture must be entered into and exited the same way; if not, deduct .5 or 1/2 point.
3.6 If the competitor starts before being told to, the timekeeper should stop them and instruct them to begin again. If that does not happen, deduct .5 from grace because it demonstrates nervousness.
3.7 If a competitor states the name of one posture and does another, they receive a zero (0).
3.8 If a competitor leaves a posture out, they receive a zero (0), even if they add the posture back in later.
3.9 If wrong leg is demonstrated to judge, deduction .5 or 1/2 point.
4. STANDING HEAD-TO-KNEE POSE
4.1 If the standing leg is not locked, then they get a zero (0). Standing knee must be locked.
4.2 If the head does not touch the knee or the shin, then they get a zero (0). Head must touch the knee. If it is hard to determine if the forehead is touching the shin or anywhere below the knee, deduction is a matter of degree, subtracting .5 or more depending upon severity.
4.3 Deduct .5 or 1/2 a point for the following:
4.3.1 Fidgeting, re-adjusting, grabbing wrong foot first, etc.
4.3.2 If kicking knee is not locked and thigh muscle engaged.
4.3.3 If elbows are not down at least with the calf.
4.3.4 If grip is foreshortened, deduct .5 from grace – this prevents elbows from coming down which is .5 deducted from the posture score. Writs must stretch, not bend in order to keep the elbows down.
4.3.5 Bobble – move up and down.
4.3.6 Shaking – depends on matter of degree of shaking - can deduct more than .5 if continuous shaking occurs during posture.
4.4 If the movement is continuous – i.e. if the forehead first touches the shin and during the continuous movement, moves up to the knee, then the final position is judged and scored.
5. STANDING BOW-PULLING POSE
5.1 The following results in a score of zero (0):
5.1.1 Standing knee not locked.
5.2 A fall results in a loss of 5 full points. Second chance score begins at 5 points.
5.3 The following results in a deduction of .5 or 1/2 point:
5.3.1 Grip begins too high or too low on the leg, or at the toes instead of the ankle. If leg is very long, there is no deduction if the hand slides down an inch or two. If hand slides down low due to cheating or lack of strength, then it would be a major deduction.
5.3.2 Fumbles with picking up foot, or grabs wrong foot and corrects themselves.
5.3.3 If two shoulders are not in one line.
5.3.4 If foot is not over center of the head (12 o’clock).
5.3.5 If two feet are not in one line from the side – matter of degree – deduct more than .5 if two feet are far from being in one line.
5.3.6 If the body is not parallel to floor.
5.3.7 If chin is not touching with the shoulder.
5.3.8 If wrist is not straight and stretching.
5.3.9 If there is a hop in the balance.
6. BOW POSE
6.1 The following results in a deduction of .5 or 1/2 point:
6.1.1 Grip must be 2 inches below the tips of the toes.
6.1.2 Wrists must be straight.
6.1.3 Both feet must be in one line, with toes in the center like church steeple.
6.1.4 Must be balanced on center of abdomen.
6.1.5 Knees and feet shoulder distant apart like two wheels in one base. Knees should not open wider to go higher, or then the character of the posture is lost, which results in major deductions.
7. RABBIT POSE
7.1 The following results in a deduction of 5 full points:
Losing grip on one foot is similar to falling out of a posture – second chance begins at 5 points.
7.2 The following results in a deduction of .5 or 1/2 point:
7.2.1 Rolling on back of head instead of top of the head.
7.2.2 Forehead not touching the knees.
7.2.3 Wrists not straight – it is acceptable to have thumbs touching with index fingers as it strengthens the grip.
7.2.4 Shoulders should be away from the ears stretching up and back. Deduct if they are rolled down.
7.2.5 Thighs should be perpendicular to floor (judge and deduct as matter of degree).
7.2.6 If spine is not completely rounded – indications of areas of the spine that are flat and not opened (judge and deduct is a matter of degree).
7.2.7 Heels apart, in order to stretch spine to potential does not result in deduction.
7.2.8 Toes must remain touching floor or deduct 1/2 point.
8. STRETCHING POSE
Intensity of and full expression of posture includes the face down so that top of head completes the straight line of stretching.
Thumbs are not important – goal is to do posture without hands and bite the toes.
8.1 The following results in a deduction of .5 or 1/2 point:
8.1.1 If knees are not locked and there is a small gap under the knees.
8.1.2 If feet and ankles are not together.
8.1.3 If feet are not flexed.
8.1.4 If spine is not straight.
8.1.5 If face flops down at 60 percent of the posture, deduct .5 or 1/2 point.
8.1.6 If there is a gap between the belly (stomach) and the thighs.
9. OPTIONAL POSTURES
9.1 If an easy posture is the choice – i.e., triangle pose, cow-face pose, etc., the maximum amount of points available is 5. Scoring will start at 5 points.
9.2 If a contestant performs the Crane facing front with feet showing at judges, there is no deduction. However, it is more appropriate to be shown from the side.
9.3 Lotus in Peacock is best performed by first moving into Peacock, then Lotus, then Peacock as you exit is the correct way to perform it.
9.4 There are four stages to the Full Camel. It is executed 100 percent with head on floor between the legs, hips pushed forward all the way for a 10 point maximum, otherwise it is based on only 5 to 6 maximum points.
9.5 Fish in lotus is very easy posture and should only receive a maximum of 5 points.
9.6 Contestant should demonstrate through the optional postures strength, flexibility, and balance that has been achieved through the practice of Yoga and demonstrated in the performance.