IKA studies best judging point system in kiteboarding competitions

February 19, 2009 | Kiteboarding


The point system for the various rankings has been under review for a long time to achieve the best possible result to start with. It might not be perfect yet but a good starting point to validate a fair ranking.

One of the major issues has been how to deal with the different freestyle styles of KPWT and PKRA. After long discussions and consultations of the affected parties as well as riders and independent sources, the majority describes the PKRA judging focus being clearly on wakestyle, while the focus if the KPWT judging is more "allround".

The problem was to describe in one word what you have to expect, so all other combinations failed. Until we find something better we therefore call KPWT judging "Freestlye" and PKRA judging "Wakestyle".

As the judging criteria differ so much we found it worth to award two major disciplines in 2009 with seperate titles. During the course of the year the main focus of the judging sub-committee will be to find a way to unite the two styles into one judging guideline.

If this committee, made up from judges from both tours and national associations, come to the conclusion that it is not possible to unite them as they are too different - then be it like that.

The other diciplines are more clear. Waves - should be judged as waveriding and not as freestyle in the waves. Course racing will be accompanied by downwind racing - this is kiteslalom, crossings, long distance, downwind dashes...

The definition is all races with an upwind part of more than app. 20% are considered course racing, those with an upwind part of less than 20 % are considered downwind racing. Speed is clear as well, with only one major discipline in 2009 - the standard offshore speed course.

The overall title is determined by a combination of the various disciplines: each rider can bring his individual points from waves, the better result from freestyle or wakestyle, the better result from course racing or downwind racing, and the result from speed into the ranking. But how are the points calculated and how is ensured that the most important discipline, freestyle/wakestyle, is accordingly counted?

Well, thats quite easy. Each event is graded due to its importance and the price money, beside other factors. The points for each rider are calculated by a confusing looking formula. Let us explain...

While the number of participants on a freestyle event is more or less the same, it might differ on racing events. And of course it is harder to achieve a fifth place from one hundred competitors than from only ten. Thus the number of competitors is considered to calculate the points for each rank.

An example: On a continental championship without price money, the base factor is 5. This means, the winner of the event scores 5x100 points= 500 points. With 50 competitors, the second one gets 490 points, the third one 480 etc.

On an event with only 20 competitors, the point differences become bigger: the forst one still gets 500 points, while the second gets 475 points, the third one 450 points etc. Sounds difficult, but it is quite logical. We will provide a sample chart later on for your own test calculations.

So how does this affect the overall ranking? The higher ranked the events are, the more points you get. Which means that a freestyle/wakestyle events usually is graded as super grand slam with factor 8 or 9, giving the winner 800 or 900 points depending on the amount of pricemoney.

A racing event is usually graded factor 3 or 4, giving the winner 300 or 400 points depending on the price money. With a maximum of 7 events counting for each discipline ranking this automatically allows for the importance of each discipline towards the overall ranking.

Speed for example with probably only three low graded events will give not that many points and is thus not so important for the overall. Which doesnt mean that this could be the missing points to become the overall champion... The idea behind is simple: to encourage riders which are seriously going for the overall title to take part also in disciplines they are not specialised in and thus bring more interest to all disciplines.

Finally, the discards. We have discussed that for a long time as well, and came to the conclusion that more than seven events are not reasonable. We will see how this works and may adopt it for the next season. For now, we are sure that we have found a good compromise for a fair ranking.

World Ranking Point Calculation

Formula for points towards the world cup ranking

X = F x 100 x (N+1-Rank)/N


X = Ranking scored by a competitor at a regatta

N = number of competitors

F = Basefactor + pricemoney/100000:


Grade Description Base Factor
Grade A  World Championships  10
Grade B  Super Grand Slam (min. price money = 20000 €)   9
   Super Grand Slam (min. price money = 15000 €)   8
Grade C  Continental Championships (min. price money = 10000 €)  7
   Continental Championships (min. price money = 5000 €)   6
   Continental Championships   5
Grade D  Grand Slam (min. price money = 10000 €)   4
Grade E  Grand Prix (min. price money = 5000 €)   3
   Grand Prix (continental tour events)  2
Grade F  International- ‘Open’- events     1

Note: Wave events are graded accordingly for waves of 1m and less. For waves of 1-2.5m one  base factor will be added, for waves of more than 2.5m two base factors will be added.

Exceptions to the point system may be only granted by the IKA Executive Committee.

Any country or organizer has the right to apply for an event. The IKA administration (if not the AGM) will decide which event(s) will be accepted as Class Championships; and sanction events graded.

‘An International Event is an event open to entries other than those from the national authority of the venue.’ ISAF Regulations.

The points which each competitor has scored within the last 12 months will be added separately for each sub-discipline. The actual ranking position will be based on the sum of ranking points. The competitor with most points is the first.

The ranking list is a continuous system. After 12 months the points are deleted.

The competitors on top of the ranking system on each discipline on the 31st of December are the World Champions in that discipline, if not determined in a one-off world championship.

IKA World Ranking Discard System - 2009

Each competitors world cup ranking score shall be the total of his results in each discipline with the number of his worst scores excluded as follows:

Each discipline is scored and discarded separately.

 Event Results  Number excluded
 1-3  0
 4-6  1
 7-9  2


 Event Results  Number included
 9 and more  7

If a competitor has two or more equal worst scores, the score(s) for the event(s) sailed earliest in the series shall be excluded. The competitor with the lowest series score shall be first and others shall be ranked accordingly.

IKA World Ranking Discipline System - 2009


The Expression Discipline includes
- Freestyle (major discipline in 2009 - this is the "KPWT style" freestyle)
- Wakestyle (major discipline in 2009 - this is the "PKRA style" freestyle)
- Wave Riding (major discipline in 2009)
- Kiteloop
- Hang Time
- High Jump

Note: Freestyle and Wakestyle shall be combined into one ranking for 2010, if possible. It is the responsibility of the judging sub-committee to negotiate about this development. 


The Racing Discipline includes
- Course Racing (major discipline in 2009)
- Downwind Racing (major discipline in 2009)
- Marathon
- BoarderX

Note: Course Racing means an upwind part of more than app. 20% of the race distance. Downwind Racing means an upwind part of less than app. 20% of the race distance. 


The Speed Discipline includes
- Offshore Speed (major discipline in 2009)
- Speed Crossings
- Alpha Speed

Each major Sub-Discipline is scored separately and provided with world and continental titles. National titles are subject to the nationally governing body.

The Kiteboarding Overall World Championship Title is presented to the best overall sailor determined through the summary of points of:

- Ranking points from the Wave Riding ranking
- Higher ranking points from either Freestyle or Wakestyle ranking
- Highest ranking points from either Course Race or Downwind Racing ranking
- Ranking points from the Speed ranking

The sailor with the highest combined points wins, and others are ranked accordingly.

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