1. How will Breaking be judged in the Olympics?

Using the Trivium judging system. Breakers are judged by comparison round for round, whoever wins the majority of rounds wins the battle and will advance in the competition.

2. What will Breakers be scored on?

There will be no scores. Trivium is a comparative judging system where Breakers are compared against each other, rather than against a standardised scoring system.

3. So, the judges do not give points per move?

No, there are no points per move. A points-based system has the potential to limit the freedom of the dancers and dictate what moves should be executed; this goes against the artistic and cultural ethos of Breaking, where innovation and individuality are fundamental. This would also be an impossible task due to the number of moves, including transitions, that are performed per round.

4. How do the judges decide the winner?

The judges compare each round by looking at 3 quality domains that can be identified in every performance:

  • Physical quality (body)
  • Artistic quality (mind)
  • Interpretive quality (soul).
5. How do the judges measure the differences in quality without using points or scores?

The Trivium and Threefold systems use a digital interface that has a crossfader for each quality. The judges only slide the faders of the qualities where they see a difference between the two dancers for that round. One moved fader is enough for a decision.

6. What is the difference between the Trivium and Threefold judging tool?

They both compare the same 3 quality domains. The difference is the level of detail. Threefold is the simplified version that only has 3 faders, one for each quality domain. The Trivium interface has 2 faders for each domain, so 6 in total, to allow more feedback. The Trivium interface also has shortcut buttons that enable the judge to react immediately and make digital notes during each round for elements like a crash, repeat or bite, confidence, form, or execution; all characteristics that influence the quality of performance.

7. So, Breaking in the Olympics will not be a strength, flexibility or spinning contest?

No, being the strongest and fastest can help but it is not all that counts. With Breaking in the Olympics the judges will still try to determine who is the best B-boy or B-girl as a complete representation of Breaking.

8. Will this judging method change Breaking?

No, this system should stimulate the dancers’ artistic freedom of expression, and conversational exchange during the battle, whilst maintaining a consistent and coherent method of judging which limits personal bias. With Trivium and Threefold the Breaker’s level is determined by the performance in that particular moment, and in comparison with the performance of the opponent. This means a Breaker can win with high level dynamic movements but also by dominating in creativity or musicality.

9. What is the advantage that Trivium or Threefold offer compared to other judging formats?

Trivium and Threefold use a holistic approach that permits the evolution of the dance within Breaking’s cultural ethos. It does not place limitations on the many different interpretations and approaches that dancers have to Breaking, nor does it favour one particular aspect. The systems provide a judging framework that ensures artistic freedom whilst maintaining cultural integrity. The 3 quality domains cover all the qualities we value in Breaking. Furthermore the training, certification process and statistics provide greater consistency and transparency compared to other systems.

10. How can the Trivium / Threefold Judging Systems guarantee fairness?

All the judges that use Trivium or Threefold need to be certified. This means that they must undertake specific training and pass an exam that demonstrates their understanding of the systems. Checks are also made to ensure judges can demonstrate the required experience, and that they are free from affiliations that might cause a conflict of interest. The statistics for every judge at every competition are also published online with open access for the public to further ensure transparency. During events a head judge will oversee the behaviour of the judge panel and act in case of misconduct. So fairness is achieved through accountability, consistency, transparency and statistics (F.A.C.T.S.).