Development of the hydro·score live competition scoring app has been in development since 2014.  The latest competition in Bermuda, Battle on the Rock, aka BOTR, showcased  hydro·score live in a new customized version to great success.  The stats behind the scenes tell the story.  2183 individual “instant scores”, 107 registered single rider sessions (some partial and restarts), two days of non-stop competition, 23 riders, one champion.  Live LED wall video display from capture cam with instant scoring visual overlay.  Five judges linked to a local network running hydro·score live with zero lag and no network interference. 

Much of what we at Stratospheric do, is monitor existing examples in sport and determine the gap between the execution and the goals. These efforts are to drive forward the growth of hydrosport competitions, something that we value as essential for the advancement of the industry.  See our post here regarding the benefits of competitive efforts. hydro·score’s driving factor of creation was hydrosport needing a new system. The clear cut goal, to assure the quality of competitions and to grow hydrosport!

Each competition results in a new version of hydro·score live, bringing to fruition new capabilities, the BOTR version included five different categories and weighting of those category averages into the final score result.  In Bermuda, the judges used instantaneous scoring entry through number pads which displayed on a large LED wall overlaid on the live video of the rider.

How it worked at BOTR:

  • Instant scores.  These are displayed live on the large LED video during the actual run of the rider.  The purpose of these scores is to provide notes for the judges to determine their final score, and feedback for the audience to get a glimpse into the impression of the judges as the run progresses. Each of these scores is entered into a database with a millisecond time-stamp for posterity.
  • Final Judges Scores at the conclusion of the run.  Using the “instant scores” as a basis, each judge entered scores into their laptops in five different categories.  Technical execution, Variety of moves during a run, Intensity of the run, and overall Flow, all of these factors and the judges impression distilled into the final category, overall Impression.
  • Notes.  Each judge enters notes into his laptop at the conclusion of the scoring process.  This moment is critical as these impressions are at their freshest.
  • The hydro·score live application then averaged all of the category scores from each of the judges, average technical, average variety, etc, and then weighted each of these category and combined for a final score.
  • Technical impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Variety impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Intensity impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Flow impression was worth 15% of the final score.
  • Finally Overall Impression was worth a higher percentage, representing 40% of the final score.
  • Each factor is based on a 1-100 scale and the final maximum score, 15 + 15 + 15 + 15 +40 would equal a perfect score of 100 points.

Here are some scenarios that were discussed and work-shopped with the judging team ahead of time.  Scores below are for examples and not fixed.

  1. A rider executes a run of only perfectly executed doubles, smoothly transitioning from one to another, intense, high, no pauses, absolute double back perfection.  How would this potentially be scored?  Technical 100 pts, Variety 0 pts, Intensity 100 pts, Flow could also be 100 pts, then the biggest factor, overall Impression, a judge here could reasonably say, “I was bored after the first two backflips, this is a high level competition and we expect more” and give a score of 30 out of 100.  The total in this case would be 15 + 0 + 15 + 15 + 12 = 57 pts.
  2. Another rider goes big, attempts some impressive tricks, a front flip but misses the landing, does a high triple but lands ankle deep, takes all kinds of risks and throws things not seen before but misses landings.  Technical would be a partial score deducted for missed landings but weighted for high risk 80 pts, Intensity 90, Variety 100, Flow 90, and overall Impression might be high for a given judge 90 for example.  12 + 13.5 + 15 + 13.5 + 36 = 90 pts.
  3. Final example. A rider throws every trick into a run in a frenetic, pinballesque romp, non stop nervous crazy energy, technically complete but executed low and jangly.   Technical 100 pts, Variety 100 pts, Intensity 100 pts, Flow 10 pts, Overall Impression 60 pts. 15 + 15 + 15 + 1.5 + 24 = 70.5 total points.

These examples illustrate a score that would more reflect the impression of the audience and the enjoyment of watching the elements come together in a balance.  This is what we strived for at BOTR and by all accounts achieved.

What would hydro·score live look like had it been developed without reacting against the previous “standard” that existed in hydroflight? We know it would be good, it would just not be as good, having been developed with the competitive drive to be better.  In reaction and contrast, we put transparency and immediate feedback at the top of the list of features, calculation and visibility a close second. Instant feedback from the judges and informing the live and remote viewing audiences is our goal. We want to remove the mystery and replace it with clear communication of what makes a hydro flight fantastic.  This working application has now been demonstrated in real action at major competitions and is ready to move to the next stage!

BOTR post event conclusion and review.  We went into this event with high ambitions and a slate of new features and goals, yet to be tested in the field.  Local networked system.  Live video acquisition through a PTZ (pan tilt zoom) camera, judges instant scoring integrated into the video stream, rider’s profiles and stats, live stream, instant replay capabilities.

Rider stats did not happen through lack of participation from many of the riders so this feature was left out as incomplete.  This was a loss, fortunately Blaine Jeffery was able so supply video clips that we managed to combine into the live display, big thanks Blaine.

Instant slow motion replay was worked out by the final battles and played during the judges score compilation.  For future events, four camera slow motion highlights are possible.

Future hydro·score live technical display on screen possibilities:

  • Multiple cam and drone inputs
  • Height indication real time through optical calculation or sensor transmission.
  • Engine RPM
  • Jet ski angle inclination, front to back. How high was the nose lifted out of the water? (more of a curiosity than anything affecting scores, but still would be cool to see in the heads up display. )
  • Jet ski side to side angle display. Did the ski roll go past 90 degrees during a run?  The practical result would be the handlebars touching the water and according to the rules, incurring a sizable penalty.  This affects the riders score, as this loss of control can result in a ski being damaged and potentially knocked out of the competition and negatively affecting the entire competition.
  • Rider angles, acceleration and flip counting twist RPM, visible on-screen in near real time (1-2 second delay est.).