We are not even over Quad Cup, yet another big event is in store for us. It was really big news when CIB announced their first roller skate competition ROLLPOCALYPSE for June 18, 2022. CIB was founded almost 10 years ago but this is their very first park and street competition. And they want to get this one right from the beginning. A major goal was to create a judging framework which we are sharing here with you.
2022 seems to be the year where competitions step up their game. We’ve seen smaller local events all over the world in past years but so far they have often flewn pretty much under the international radar. In a few weeks CIB will show what they’ve been working on.
After experimenting with formats like the VERTual Challenge Show on Twitch.tv, and Quad Pro Quo – a competition show that was produced last June in Oregon (coming out soon) – CIB Crew are hosting their very first street and park competition at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest. Wait! California? Again? Yes, it’s Cali. Not New Zealand, not Europe or any other place in the US. According to the CIB organizing team there are several reasons to host the first edition at Etnies.
“Location-wise, it made the most sense for us to pick a place that would be easy enough for most of us to get to, in order to produce our first competition. And we knew we wanted to run street and park/bowl competitions in one event. SoCal has an incredibly diverse and robust community of roller skaters, and some parks that are a heckin’ delight to skate – like Etnies”, Erica says. She is part of the organizing team of Rollpocalypse along with Nick the Medic and Mary “Kid Ace”. As some might know CIB Crew creator Trample is taking a break and she handed all projects over to the team.
“Lots of folks have asked us: Why not New Zealand or Europe? The answer is: We’d love to get the format down first”, Erica explains while also pointing out that they are working to create a competition structure that can be replicated around the world. So we’ll just have to wait and see what’s going to happen in the next couple of years. Or maybe if you are a CIB chapter with the perfect park in your city reach out to them.
Subjective & Objective – On the judging format of Rollpocalypse
Etnies Skatepark has a versatile street and bowl area. These two courses will allow skaters of three levels to compete with each other. One thing that’s important to the organizers is a transparent and well-elaborated judging format. Prior to the event CIB started to announce and introduce the judges on their Instagram. And they worked out a detailed judging framework. Nick the Medic is the main brain responsible for it. He kindly sent us the document so it’s available to the skate community (you can read the full text here). “It was important for me to work out a detailed framework because I didn’t see anyone else doing one yet. I felt it was important for the community to have some structure when it came to competitions, which I saw many skaters gaining interest for,” he told us. Nick wanted to create a starting point for the roller skating community to build on.
And it’s true, roller skaters are inexperienced in contests, and participants might want to know how to prepare. Others might not care and just skate with the flow. Each approach is valid. But even as a spectator it’s cool to comprehend what’s going on.
“The most difficult part was trying to figure out a skaters objective score (the trick) and how their subjective score (style) plays a role in their overall performance,” Nick says.
How many tricks can you land in a run?
For example, judges will look at how fast a skater is going, how high an air is, how long a slide or grind is, or how many tricks they land and combine in a run. While the valuation of a skater’s style, their power, fluidity and aesthetics will reflect the subjective opinion of a judge.
“It’s important to note that we are not necessarily creating a hierarchy of tricks–for example, saying inverts are more complicated than grinds. Especially in our initial use of this framework, we recognize that complexities look different depending on a skater’s style and trick focus.”
(CIB Judging Framework)
What we all love about roller skating is that people have different bags of tricks and their own styles. Trying to compare them will always be subjective to some extent, as we all have our own ideas of what good skating is, and what we enjoy watching or consider hard (and this is highly subjective as what comes easy to you might be a life-long struggle for your pal). But seeing what people are capable of and how far they can push each other in a competition is exciting.
Nick says: “My hopes for competitions in the future is that they keep happening. I feel like there’s a lot of us that have been waiting for this to happen. The time seems right. The community wants it, but we have to start somewhere. Here we go!”
Folks and brands who are interested in sponsoring or have other ideas can drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to register and check out the categories head over to the CIB Crew website for more details.
Words by Marta Popowska
Photo by Brad Gunnet, featuring Kiana Maxwell