Image credit: Ryan Ng/SportSG
Taolu competitions involve two different panels of judges, each focusing on a distinct aspect of the performance. The first panel comprises at least three judges, and all of them are in charge of grading the quality of the athletes’ movements. The second panel is responsible for grading the performance as a whole. There will also be a head judge who oversees both panels.
Each competitor or competing duo/team begins an event with 10 points, five of which are for the quality of the movements while the other are for the overall performance. This makes up the maximum value of the team’s routine. The judges will then deduct points according to errors or flaws in their execution and performance as a whole.
The first panel of judges will look out for inaccuracies in the competitors’ moves based on a set of criteria. These include balance, postures, stepping techniques, hand forms and movements, as well as lower limb techniques that include kicks and sweeps. 0.1 points will be taken for each error committed per movement. Two or more errors in one movement will result in a deduction of 0.2 to 0.5 points.
The second panel, on the other hand, deducts points based on the presentation of the entire routine. Criteria include rhythm of movement, accurate application of force, coordination, and adequate conformation to the style category that the contestant is competing in. 0.1 points will be deducted for one error committed within a movement, while up to a whole point may be docked from the total score if the entire performance as a whole is deemed to have failed to meet the standards.
Having finalised the total, the second panel of judges will then score the overall performance based on three established categories. A person or duo/group who has attained 1.01 to 2.90 points will be classified as “inferior”, while 3.50 to 2.91 points will be considered “average”. Anything from 3.51 all the way to the full five points will be graded as “superior”.
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