Over the last few seasons a trend has emerged for athletes to approach members of the judging panel to ask for “feedback”, often as if they have just been pre-programmed to do so and not even knowing what they are asking for. This section will lay out the basics of the judging process, the role of the judges and guidelines on how to obtain the information you require.
A panel of 5 scoring judges sits for each division of the contest. Each judge will rank the top 6 in any qualifier class (top 7 at the finals) in the order in which they feel they should place, based on how they compare to others in the line-up and taking into account the discipline in which they are competing in (e.g. Just because a Men’s Physique competitor is the biggest or most conditioned in his class, it does not necessarily make them the best according to the criteria of that class as laid out in the section below). Judging is subjective and it is not uncommon for individual judges on a panel to choose a different ranking order to others.
Once a judge has completed their selection, their job is over and they move on to the next class. They are under no obligation to perform a detailed assessment of individual physiques or to clearly remember every athlete who has stepped onstage. NBFI contests have up to 10 different divisions and can feature up to 100 athletes, taking up to 9 hours to judge. It is unreasonable to expect any judge to do anything other than focus on the job at hand and as of the 2020 season it is requested that judges are not approached during contests for “feedback”, and all NBFI judges will have it made known to them that they are under no obligation to provide “feedback” to any competitor.
Should a judge choose of their own free will to satisfy your request, please bear in mind that that judges opinion counts for 20% of your final score, assuming they even scored your division.
Self-assessment is almost always possible. Obtain the official contest pictures, study them and usually your own questions will be answered.
If you require a physique assessment, please approach an experienced professional with your photos to obtain one. Be careful however when selecting a coach and make sure to choose one with a sufficient background in the sport. Avoid inexperienced and uneducated coaches who will tell you whatever you want to hear just to secure your business.
If however you wish to challenge a judging decision which you are not happy with, please email firstname.lastname@example.org within 14 days of the date of the contest you competed in, clearly laying out the basis of your grievance. You will be provided with the scores given to you by each judge on the panel and a summary of the rationale for your placing by one of the head judges for the event. Judging decisions will not be changed or overturned once rendered however, except in the case of a subsequent disqualification.