If you are a Monster Truck fan you probably know what the Freestyle part of the Monster Truck competition is. For those that are newer to the motocross sport, we have all the details for you. Freestyle is the competition that takes place at the end of most monster truck competitions or shows. It is when the trucks are given the time period of 90-120s seconds, where they can hit any obstacles and perform any tricks on the stadium/arena floor. Many times trucks will utilize crush cars such as vans, buses & dirt ramps to complete stunts and rally more points. This “free” time also gives the trucks the opportunity to perform special tricks like slap wheelies and donuts.
Adding Freestyle To Monster Truck Competitions & Shows
A lot of the credit regarding the addition of the freestyle competition to monster truck shows & competitions can be given to Dennis Anderson. Anderson is well known for being the driver of The Grave Digger. He came up with the idea to bring the trucks back out as an encore to the audience. It also gave trucks that were eliminated early in the competition or those that were less well known to showcase themselves and their stunts & tricks a little bit more. While many audience members and some monster truck drivers enjoy being a part of the Freestyle competition, implementing the proper judging protocol seems to be more of an issue than expected.
For now, there are 3 ways you can go about judging Freestyle competitions:
Cheer Off Method – This type of judging is generally used in smaller shows and is where the fans scream and cheer for the truck they like the most when introduced. A lot of fans tend not to approve of this method because they think that is unfair to the lesser-known trucks
Judges By The Numbers – This method is usually adopted for larger shows & audiences and entails using a number of judges to score each truck’s performance on a scale of 1-10, with .5 increments allowable. 1 is the lowest score that can be given with 10 being the highest.
Mobile Votes – The most modern and fair way to judge Fresstye competitions utilizing your mobile phone to participate in live voting. This technique was first used atThe Monster Jam World Finals 18’ and is currently what is used in all Monster Jam events. The crowd enters the score for each truck by going to JudgesZone.com and casting their votes for each monster truck.
So what exactly is the judging based on? There are a number of different criteria that judges used to decide on the vote for each truck, which include:
- Use of specific tricks (donuts, slap wheelies)
- Maintain speed & momentum through the entire allotted time
- The amount of aggression in hitting obstacles
- Height/Length of jumps
- Using your entire allotted time
- Avoiding using reverse
- Pulling truck out of sticky situations
- Spectacular moments