All the young bodybuilders who start bodybuilding aspire to participate in the world’s biggest competitions. When you start exploring the world of competition you come across various federations like NPC, IFBB, WBFF, etc. however NPC and IFBB are the most recognized ones out of which IFBB is the bigger league. Often called the IFBB Pro League, this fancy acronym stands for International Federation of Body Building and Fitness and dates back to 1946. The IFBB professional league is a sanctioned committee for bodybuilding awards and recognitions through a series of contests like Mr. Olympia, bodybuilding super bowl, and IFBB Legion sports fests. The scoring is different from that of other federations, this article will help aspiring bodybuilders to understand the apparent scoring system.
The IFBB scoring system
Since it is a world-recognized federation, judging, qualifications, and scoring are much more difficult and complex structures in a set of procedures. The scoring starts with two sets of prejudging rounds unlike in NPC. The judges are basically supposed to score on the overall physique of the builder as per the new guidelines. Every aspect of the bodybuilder is judged in the three rounds that take place during the competition with around 3 participants at a time. Let us briefly describe all the three rounds that the participants go through.
The first round is called the “symmetry round”. This involves the participant standing in a relaxed posture without flexing or posing, which does not cover up their physique faults and tends to highlight the overall shape and proportion of their body. All the features of the body are covered and judged in this round. They defined whose presence is strongly felt and has a great stage impact while standing still.
With Round 2 bodybuilders start flexing and posing to impress the judges with their built physique. The second round also includes the overall structure and posture of the body while posing or flexing the muscles. However, this round does not implies showing off one’s muscularity, although it does impact the results a little bit the judges also keep into consideration other weak points of the participant.
The third round usually works in the favor of the competitor. It is more like a presentation round; the participant can show off their muscle and physique in a way they want to present it by maximizing their specialization and minimizing their weak points. However, much of the poses are similar to those in the second round which are already seen by the judges, therefore unless you have something unique to display, you should not expect anything high out of it. This round is beneficial for those people who do not look impressive in certain postures due to genetics however nail some other poses.
The three rounds are often referred to as the “symmetry”, “muscularity” and “posing” round respectively in local terms, therefore unwillingly and unintentionally the judges might end up focusing on particularly isolated areas in each round even though they are supposed to judge according to the overall physique. This might also cause a few controversies and some bodybuilders might not get what they actually deserve. However, the judges are constantly being reminded of the scoring criteria at regular intervals now. Once the three rounds are over, the final judgment is announced based on the total of the three rounds, finalizing three competitors who then have an additional opportunity to impress the judges to choose them as the ultimate winner.