Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reading A Score Card

The first time I entered a reining class, and went to see my score after my run, (the score cards are usually posted once the class is finished), I needed an interpreter to understand what I was looking at!! 
So here is an example of a score card with some scores. (Click on image for a larger view) I will explain MY understanding on the first few scores. Then there is the test:

1. Note at the top of the card "Maneuver Scores"-Judges can award or detract points from each maneuver from -11/2 up to +11/2
2. "Maneuver Description"- Depending on the pattern, Judges write in the description of each maneuver in the order they are to be performed. 
RC (Right circles-includes large fast and small slow)
RS (Right spins-in NRHA patterns that includes 4 spins)
LC (Left circles-includes large fast and small slow)
LS (Left spins- includes 4 spins)
8 (this is a figure 8 maneuver with a flying lead change both directions)
LRB (this includes a sliding stop with a roll back to the left)
RRB (this includes a sliding stop with a roll back to the right)
SB (this includes a sliding stop with a back up)

3.  Riders start with a score of 70. They are given a score of "0" if they perform the maneuver correctly. The judge can award "bonus" marks (up to 11/2 points) or can assign "minus" marks (up to -11/2). These scores are recored in the "SCORE" box. If the rider has a penalty on any maneuver, the penalty marks go in the "PENALTY " box for that maneuver. Read my prior post on what constitutes a penalty!! 

Maneuver 1 (Right Circles) No + or - points so he stays at 70
Maneuver 2(Right Spins)  He did the maneuver "good" so he was awarded a +1/2 BUT he got a 1/2 penalty! (possibly over or under spun-a common penalty in this maneuver) 
Maneuver 3 (Left Circles) - He did "good"so he earned a +1/2
Maneuver 4 (Left Spins)- he scored a -1/2. (some reasons for this are not being on your marker, or incorrect pivot foot, or resistance in the horse)
Maneuver 5 (Figure 8, lead changes) He performed this maneuver correctly, scoring a "0", BUT he got a penalty point (This could possibly be for not switching leads through center)
Maneuvers 6-8- He performed "good" on his stops, rollbacks and backups so scored +1/2 on each of these maneuvers. 
START at 70 add 2 and 1/2 points for plus scores, and take away a -1/2 for maneuver #4=72 NOW MINUS his Penalty Points (1 and 1/2) = FINAL SCORE 70 1/2

You will notice that he got a "0" Score in the Penalty box for Maneuver #4 (Left Spins) A "0" Score indicates that you have done something wrong-gone off pattern for example, so will receive a final Score of "0". THIS IS BAD!!-but very common-ALL RIDERS GET THIS SCORE A SOME POINT! Even the pros!! The judge will mark the rest of your pattern though, so you still can see how you performed.

SO, Here is the Test: 
1. See if you can determine how the judge arrived at his final score for Draw #3 (I want this ride!!)
2. On runs 4 and 5, What are the assessed penalty points? What is the final score for each rider? Post your answers in the COMMENTS box-NO Cheating (by looking at other people's answers first) HINT!! These are scores more typical of beginner riders(ME!!)

ALSO, If you have read my description, and see any mistakes I've made, please post a comment and correct me!!


  1. ha ha... that looks ALMOST as complicated as trying to interpret Irish dance solo competition results - crazy-complicated ! You practically need a Ph.D in Math to fully understand them !

  2. Actually, the -1/2 the judge awarded for the left spin on the first scorecard would not have been given for being off-center. If the spin was off center, or drifted off center, it would be considered a penalty point. The severity of the penalty is to the judges discretion, but obviously, the more off center you are, the bigger the penalty! In the spin, a -1/2 on the maneuver can be assigned for a variety of reasons, but commonly, inconsistency is the biggest killer. It can really all come back to the definition of the reining horse...willingly guided. If your horse isn't willing in the spin, the maneuver will suffer as a result, and you will see it reflected on your score.

    The score for draw #4 is a 64&!/2 There were 1&1/2 penalty points awarded (but alot of poor marks on the maneuvers too!!)

    Score for draw #5 is a 62 (ouch! Haha) including the 2&1/2 penalty points.

    however, both of these scores pretty accurately reflect what a beginner (horse OR rider...OR BOTH!) can expect to see from most NRHA sanctioned judges. They will be fair.....and brutally honest. Its the best way to learn from your mistakes!

    my first ever NRHA score was a 66....on my nutball 3 year old! learning is FUN!


  3. Thanks for the clarification, CJ!! Let's see if others come up with the same scores as you!!

  4. figure it out? are you kidding?! i'm just happy to have no zero at the end of my Dawnna