Trivium was the judging system that was used to secure Breaking a position in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It has undergone years of rigorous development, testing and independent auditing in order to meet the cultural, artistic and competitive demands of breaking, and the official requirements of the International Olympic Committee. The Trivium judging system and framework were created by veteran Breakers who have dedicated decades to the dance and hold its cultural legacy in high regard.


Trivium, and its simplified version (Threefold), is a holistic, comparative judging system. It is based on three overarching and inter-related domains; Physical (body), Artistic (mind), and Interpretive (soul) with each domain containing core qualities. 

Physical Domain: Who showed better technique, variety, control, and execution.
These qualities are connected to physical training and ability of the dancer’s body.

Artistic Domain: Who showed better creativity, displayed a clear character and personality and was better able to adapt and personalise the dance?
These qualities are choices and a product of the dancer’s mind

Interpretive Domain: Who had a better performance reaction to the moment, the music and their opponent?
These qualities encapsulate the ability of freestyle and being in the moment that we often call the dancer’s soul.

  • It IS NOT a score-based system where dancers are awarded points against a set of
    prescriptive standardised moves.
  • It IS a descriptive method of judging where the judges compare the performance
    of each breaker directly against their opponent.
  • It IS adaptable; by not being restricted to points-based scores, it negates the need for scoring benchmarks to shift as the competition advances. Furthermore, its holistic foundation permits the system to adapt to the natural evolution of breaking over time.

The DJ starts playing a break signalling the start of the battle. Breaker 1 starts dancing, throwing down a challenge to breaker 2, which the judges observe with consideration of the three domains. The dancers are free to express themselves to the music how they choose, but it must be rooted in the style of breaking. When breaker 1 has finished, breaker 2 dances their response and the judges immediately start to compare the physical, artistic, and interpretive qualities of both dancers; they are not looking for specific moves to be included. Once the second breaker finishes, the judges use a digital interface to input their evaluation, comparing breaker 1 against breaker 2. The interface has a set of crossfaders representing the domains along with additional shortcut buttons. Crossfaders are moved in favour of the breaker who embodies the domain better. As it is a comparison, the judges must make decisions about which breaker is superior, thus the system does not permit a draw. All judges adjudicate all domains, ensuring that the performances are judged in their entirety rather than specific judges focusing on specific aspects.

Each exchange between breaker 1 and 2 is one round. The winner of the round is the breaker who the majority of judges deem better than the other. The dancer that wins the majority of rounds, e.g. best of 3, wins the battle and advances in the competition.

The results of the first round are displayed immediately so that competitors and audience can see who is leading as the next round starts. The immediacy of the results being displayed after each round whilst the battle progresses adds to the tension and excitement for competitors and viewers. Thus the system encourages audience engagement for novice and experienced breaking viewers alike.

Comparative adjudication of the three domains permits the judges to determine who is the best B-boy or B-girl as a complete, holistic representation of breaking.

The system is fair; equal weighting is given to each domain therefore it does not favour specialists in one particular domain, but seeks to reveal which competitor is better overall using objective comparison of core breaking values. This reduces the likelihood of judge bias towards certain elements. There is an awareness and reduction of bias and personal preference.

There is accountability; the system permits all decisions to be tracked and evaluated. In the interest of fairness, judges must be held accountable for their decisions.

The system encourages consistency through coherence in terminology and judging; all judges undergo a training and certification process which encourages a reproducible and consistent approach to assessing breaking holistically.

It is transparent; the system provides immediate feedback for competitors and audiences. Judges’ decisions are documented, e.g. a dancer can see which value(s) cost them the win, and promotes audience understanding. Furthermore, this clarity permits judge bias to be highlighted and addressed accordingly.

The system is backed up by statistics. A report is produced on for every event that uses the system which is openly accessible for public viewing. This report includes the statistics for each judge which further supports its accountability.

Trivium does not encourage breakers to include specific standardised movements, instead it promotes a holistic approach to push the boundaries of physicality, artistry and interpretation, comparing each dancer to their opponent within the cultural framework of breaking.

© I.P. Dance Adjudication Network 2022