During Saturday night's Dirt Shark Biggest Whip contest at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas the Instant Scoring experience (ISX) system will be used for the first time in a freestyle motocross competition.
ISX co-founder Paul Taublieb said he was sitting on the beach of a north shore Pipe Pro contest four years ago when he realized the disconnect between the action and the scoring and he came up with the idea to create a system using a dial that would engage the athlete, the announcer and the fans at home. A practice he calls the "parallel sports theater experience."
"The announcer live on TV, the athlete, the fan and the fans at home are all having the same emotional experience, a victory or defeat on a moment-to-moment basis, so that you're engaged in real time," said Taublieb, who is also a Moto X sport organizer for X Games.
Partnering with David Paull at Dialsmith, Inc., they created the technology for the ISX scoring. Dialsmith's technology measures audience engagement by using a turn dial. Paull said this is commonly used in testing of branding, advertising and focus groups in the entertainment industry.
"Dialsmith technologies tell clients what people are really thinking whether it's candidates sparring in a debate on the major networks, viewers seeing a new ad campaign for the first time during the Super Bowl, or judges scoring a live competition," Paull said. "We've mastered the ability to collect subjective data in real time and in doing so have become critical partners for organizations such as Nike, ESPN, CNN and many others."
Also partnering up with Taublieb and Paull is professional skater and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek. Known for his outside-the-box thinking and his desire to grow the sport he loves, Dyrdek saw the opportunity to marry the ISX scoring with a new contest concept he was creating called Street League Skateboarding.
"I got into ISX scoring because it's what skateboarding needed. A live, real-time, trick-by-trick, run-by-run scoring system that enables that 'buzzer beater' type of experience that keeps our fans and viewers riveted to the action and rewards competitors for taking risks and going big. It's game-changing technology and is the next great leap forward that action sports have been waiting for," Dyrdek said about being brought in as an ISX scoring partner.
ISX does not eliminate judging or the judges, it is a scoring system that tracks the statistics in real time, allowing for a more efficient and engaged story-telling process. Qualified judges will still be used to turn the dial of the ISX scoring unit for a real time score.
"The ISX scoring system is awesome in many ways. I think it completely revolutionized the whole scoring and judging system in skateboarding contests," 2013 Street League champion Nyjah Houston said. "The strategy the whole way where you can do your trick, look up at what you got and know what you need to do to get a higher score on your next trick or to come out on top, that's what really matters."
Because of the jam style format being used in the Dirt Shark Biggest Whip contest at Sam Boyd Stadium during the Monster Energy Cup, the ISX scoring system will not be at full steam, however.
"What you'll see this weekend is very fast scoring, very efficient scoring, clear scoring," Taublieb said. "We'll know what each judge is doing. It will not unleash the full power of the technology, yet you will still be engaged. It will be quick and for the first time in recent history, we'll have a judged whip event."
Best Whip at four X Games stops this year were determined by fan votes on Twitter.
X Games Los Angeles 2013 Best Whip gold medalist Josh Hansen, four-time X Games Best Whip gold medalist Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, X Games Barcelona 2013 Best Whip gold medalist Edgar Torronteras and Todd Potter have prequalified for the event while 11 others, including Robbie Maddison, Nate Adams, Taka Higashino and Andre Villa, are scheduled to go through a qualifying process Saturday.