General Info


Please check out our new Judges' Tips page for more information on snowboard judging and tips on how to improve your score!

USASA uses an overall impression system of judging. It’s commonly referred to by the acronym D.A.V.E. and is described below. 

Judging Criteria:

Difficulty - The difficulty in each trick, the features utilized, and the run as a whole.

Amplitude - The height and size of the tricks.

Variety - The variety of tricks and features in a run. Each rider should aim to craft a run that shows the spectrum of their abilities and uses the course to its fullest. Try different grabs and rotations and above all, be creative!

Execution - The execution of each phase of each trick as well as the run as a whole.


Phases of a trick:

  • Preparation

  • Initiation

  • Takeoff

  • Apex

  • Release

  • Re-entry

  • Landing



Deductions occur when there are instabilities in the tricks or run as a whole. The following instabilities are the most common.

  • Hand Touch = The rider touches the snow with one or two hands to regain control.

  • Light Bail = The rider uses one or both hands for support.

  • Bail/butt check = The rider touches the snow with other limbs, mostly the butt, but doesn’t lose much speed.

  • Hard Bail = The rider falls, and the run pauses.

  • Flat Landing = The rider lands in the flat or in the lower part of the transition.

  • Lip or deck landing = The rider lands outside of the halfpipe, on the lip.

  • Slide In = The rider makes an incomplete rotation, causing the last part of the rotation to be slid on the ground.

  • Sketchy = The rider is sketchy, meaning he or she was unbalanced when releasing the trick.

  • Touch Grab = The grab is too fast; the rider isn’t able to hold the board.

  • Edge Change = The rider lands on the false edge causing instability and change of direction after landing.

  • Revert = The rider changes direction.