We want you to win! Follow these seven simple strategies from the IPSF to avoid deductions and boost your overall score. Keep in mind that the 2015 WORLD POLE SPORTS RANKINGS range from point totals of 15.6 to 45.4, therefore, eliminating deductions and holding onto just a few of these points could mean the difference in YOU hitting top scores and ranking amongst your sport’s top athletes in 2016!


1. Point your toes! Yes, we know, this is a no brainer, but did you know that you get deducted 0.2 points from the Technical Judge for EVERY SINGLE incidence when you don't point your toes? This could add up very quickly and result in a devastating amount of deductions if you don’t keep your form in check! Flexed feet, even while climbing, will result in a deduction (unless, of course, they are a clear part of your artistic presentation), so keep your toes pointed at all times!


2. Transitions count! Did you know you can lose 0.5 from the Technical Judge every single time you perform a poor transition? The Silver Lining: you can EARN up to 2 full points from the Art & Choreography Judge if you incorporate creative, original transitions. Keep your transitions smooth and clean to avoid deductions. Snaz them up to score bonus points! 


3. Drying your hands is a NO NO! Did you know that you will lose 1 full point from the Technical Judge every time you dry your hands? And fair warning, the Judges spot those sneaky wipes on the pole and the floor too! We know it’s not easy, but be careful, because it will cost you 1 full point for each instance and this could add up very quickly!


4. Spin! Spin! Spin! You must do a full spin on both poles to avoid deductions from the Technical Judge, and there are some particulars here. On the spin pole, it’s all about momentum! You must spin with a good deal of momentum on the spinning pole at least once or you may be deducted 2 full points. Momentum on the spinning pole is defined as high velocity, which pulls the body away from the pole. The rule for the static pole is all about getting around! You must complete at least one full 360 degree FIXED position spin on static, or you may incur a separate 2 point deduction. This can be any fixed position spin, even a chair spin, but it must remain fixed during the full 360 degrees. That's a total of 4 possible spin related deducted points from the Technical Judge, so spin away on both poles to steer clear of these deductions! 


5. Get high!! Up the pole, that is! You must use the full height of any pole, at least twice, to avoid deductions. This rule can get confusing, so let’s clear it up. The “full height” is defined as “at least 70%” of the pole. The “twice” part of the rule applies to ANY pole, so this means, you could do one pole once and the other pole once, or either same pole twice. You will lose 2 full points from the Technical Judge if you do not fulfill this requirement, so get up there, TWICE!


6. Watch your mouth! Did you know the Art & Choreography Judge is tasked with deducting 1 full point for grunts and groans? The basis of this rule is that uttering vocals causes a distraction and takes away from the artistic impression of your routine, so deductions are mandatory. We know, this is a tough one, and it takes focus and practice, but you can do it!


7. Connect with your pole! This is a tricky one. Athletes are only allotted 30 seconds of floor time while NOT touching a pole. This includes your acrobatic element as well as your dance sequence. If you are on the floor while NOT touching a pole for a total of more than 30 seconds throughout your routine, the Head Judge will deduct 2 full points for going over time. This is not an arbitrary rule set by the IPSF. This is in accordance with the SportAccord and FIG (Federation International Gymnastics), who have mandated that for Pole Sports to be considered an official sport, we must set ourselves decisively apart from other official sports, such as gymnastics. For our sport, what sets us apart is the pole. Therefore, we must maintain contact with it for the entire routine, save 30 seconds. A Helpful Hint: you can certainly stay on the floor for longer as long as you are making contact with a pole. For instance, leaps, jumps, turns, poses, where you maintain contact with the pole with at least one part of your body, do not count as part of your 30 seconds.


Keep these seven simple strategies in mind to reduce your deductions and bolster your overall score and maybe we'll see YOU in this year’s WORLD POLE SPORTS RANKINGS! Join us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful competition strategies to keep you at the top of your game.


Kriston Leagh, IPSF Certified National Judge  




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© International Pole Sports Federation 2015