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