Aerobatic Judge Training


Learning to judge Aerobatics

Competition aerobatic flights, just like Olympic skating, high-board diving and other artistic performances in the sporting world, are a game of two parts: the “ace” in the sky, on the ice, diving into the water - twisting and turning, displaying their performance to the judges who ultimately make all the real decisions … who wins, who comes second and so on. CIVA championship judges always have the "best seat in the house", so if you are not an active competitor this is an important and highly enjoyable alternative activity.

To judge an aerobatic sequence is not especially difficult, but it does require a thorough understanding of the judging "rules" and a good deal of practice to swiftly assess what is seen and quickly determine an appropriate mark for each figure - these are of course personal opinions, hence the panel of 7-10 judges normally present at each CIVA championship.

Judging Q&A

An addition to CIVA's judge training material that was launched late in October 2020 is a completely new info and test area - CIVA Community - that will eventually, we hope, become a valuable training tool for everyone - especially those CIVA judges selected to work at aerobatic championships. What is there so far is just our start-up material, but in time we expect this to develop into a very useful resource for everyone with an interest in aerobatic judging.

You can visit the CIVA Community resource over here. Be sure to let us know what you think of it.

Information and training material

Simply reading the CIVA judging rules in Section-6 is hard work, and often leads to even more questions. Most NAC's or aerobatic clubs run judging seminars each year, and over time most also discover that teaching "How to Judge" requires careful preparation and subsequently the presentation of a considerable amount of clear and interesting training material.

From this page you can download for your own use the current set of CIVA training files - a collection of Powerpoint presentations backed up by videos plus some interactive and practical classroom exercises that enable students to become thoroughly involved initially in "Calling" and subsequently in applying their judging skills to the assessment of aerobatic figures at all levels. This material is updated each year to include rule revisions and additions approved at the CIVA plenary meeting.

The seminar material here is free for you to use, and you can easily tailor it to exactly suit your own requirements.

CIVA International Judging Seminar material - Updated for 2023

Note that for the documents below:
 to view the pdf - Left click the link, it opens in a new Tab
 to download the pdf - Right click the link and select "Save As ..."

Please direct any questions and comments on this material to Nick Buckenham via   Email


Are you hosting an aerobatic event?

Our aim is to provide forward information for everyone with an interest in aerobatic competition flying.

For this however we do need your help, so please make sure that your Aerobatic Club or National Airsport Control sends us details of all competitions that are open to pilots and/or judges from other countries and we’ll add them to our Championship Calendar so that they get the widest circulation possible.

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