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Figure International

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FIGURE INTERNATIONAL JUDGING CRITERIA


In most countries, Figure (International) is the most popular female division; only in Australia and NZ has Ms Physique with a muscularity round remained popular. We will refer to this division as Figure International to reduce confusion with our previous class called Ms Figure.

Figure International consists of one round that has two elements – an individual stage walk and group comparisons. Competitors may either come out individually or as a group to perform a stage walk – there is no set path for a stage walk as stage shape and dimension varies greatly between venues. The path will be outlined to competitors on the contest day. However, all stage walks finish with each competitor performing the 4 symmetry quarter turns (in their own time) in the centre of the stage. During the stage walk judges will be assessing stage presence, confidence, execution of quarter turns, figure walk, skin tone, suit selection and overall presentation.

Once the actual group posing starts it is judged identical to the symmetry round in Ms Physique.

In the symmetry round, all competitors face the judging panel and perform four (quarter) turns as a whole line-up. The quarter turns are set with both feet flat on the floor and arms at either side. The terminology used in this round describes it as a non-posing or non-flexing round. Nothing is further from the truth. Think of this as the Academy Award round – you only act like you are not flexed! You will be tensing each muscle (maybe to various degrees) in your body. In the first of the four symmetry comparisons the competitors face the judges.


A tip for virtually every pose: suck in your stomach and keep the waist small and tight.

In this round Competitors will face the Judging panel and perform four (quarter) turns. This displays their physique from every angle.

In this round we are looking for the following:

1. Structural flaws - Faults within the competitor's skeletal structure
2. Proportion - The balance of one muscle group to another e.g. lower body to upper body, biceps to calves, waist to quadriceps etc.
3. Balance - The left side of a competitor's body compared to the right, the front compared to the rear.
4. Symmetry - The competitor's overall shape and line.

In this round a competitor losses one point for every fault found. So that the competitor with the fewest points is ranked 1st.

In the front-on position, look for balance - even development on each side of the body. Also proportion, is the lower body developed to the same extent as the upper body and so forth. When competitors turn to the side, the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should be in a straight line. There should not be excessive curvature of the spine. The back should have the same degree of muscle thickness as the chest and the hamstring and gluteus should be as full as the quadriceps. When the competitors turn to the rear, check that the spine is straight and does not curve to either side, also check the muscular development of each side of the back.


Figure International Overview


Muscular Development

• Muscular and toned figure. However, this is not a bodybuilding competition so excessive mass will take away from the overall muscular toned physique
• Reasonable level of body fat showing separations between major muscle groups (ex. biceps to triceps) without visible striations in the muscle groups

Symmetry and Proportion • No body part should stand out from the rest, train a complete package
• There should be an even flow through the body
• Equal development between all muscle groups

Stage Presence

• Confidence
• Execution of quarter turns and figure walk
• Skin tone, make-up, suit selection
• Overall presentation


SYMMETRY POSING ROUND

Here is a written description of how to perform the quarter turns of the Symmetry Posing Round. This is also available for download as a PDF.

1st Symmetry Pose (facing the judges):

  Move your feet close together to present the best “Y” shape possible.
 Look straight ahead and raise your shoulders, gaining maximum height and width.
 Spread your shoulder blades and back (lats) to maximum “axe-handle” width.
 Pull your shoulders back (external rotation of shoulders) stretching your chest out smoothly and squaring the shoulder points.
 Take a deep breath and inflate your chest girth.
 You may like to bend your knees slightly to better flex your thighs. If so, only bend your knees, very slightly.
 In the front-on pose bend your arms slightly at the elbow to give a “no-effort” appearance to your pose.
 Keep your fingers “loose”, if you cannot, make a fist. A mistake is to have your fingers pointed, in a frozen, tense fashion; this gives away the whole relaxed, confident game.

For divisions which do not hold the truly technical position for symmetry judging, the front-on stance can be to the side with a nice twist to look more aesthetic.

A warning here - some judges have a personal objection to competitors being allowed to twist off-line because it means they can not really judge their symmetry. These judges may ask to see the line-up standing in the front-on position. Therefore, it is also necessary for such competitors to know and practice the traditional bodybuilding techniques for the symmetry round. After the first symmetry comparison, competitors will be asked to perform a quarter turn to the right, so judges can assess competitors from a side view. Make your turn with little movement and fuss. Take just a couple of steps. During this brief moment, relax your (aching) muscles and catch your breath before regaining your erect position:

2nd Symmetry Pose (quarter turn to the right, left side facing the judges):

 Your feet may be wider for comfort in this view; however, your legs should be in the identical position, so from the side the judge only sees one leg.
 Flex your calves by pushing your toes into the floor. Keep your heels on the floor.
 Keep your head up, by looking straight ahead.
 Roll your shoulders back, so you stretch out your chest and crush the rear deltoids and back muscles into a prominent shape.
 Tense your arms and bend at the elbow so you can flex the triceps well.
 Take a deep breath and inflate your chest girth.
 Try bending your knees slightly to better flex your thighs. If you are a female competitor push your glutes out and up to enhance your shape.

For competitors who do not need to hold the truly technical ‘side-on’ position for symmetry judging, this is your pose to cheat in! By keeping your feet facing to the side of the stage. You can twist your torso like a rope, so your upper body faces towards the judges. This presents a most beautiful shape. And this is a great opportunity to reacquaint the judges with that mega-watt smile.

The only instruction you hear in this round is the request for competitors to make another “quarter turn to the right”. When turn a further quarter circle and face the rear of the stage - your rear faces the world. This view shows your calves, hamstrings, glutes, triceps and back.

3rd Symmetry Pose (another quarter turn to the right, back facing the judges):

 Push your toes into the floor to flex your calves.
 Bend your knees slightly to tense your hamstrings.
 Push your hips forward slightly and tense your glutes.
 The judge’s eyes are at the level of your heels, so arch your back to give them a clearer view of your back, plus this allows you to flex your lower back better.
 Spread your shoulder blades and lats to maximum “axe-handle” width as you did in the front pose, squeezing your shoulders back.
 Flex your triceps.
 Look straight ahead – if you look down at the floor the judges will lose the view of your traps.

Finally, there is another quarter turn for the judges to view the opposite side. The same instructions as for the other side apply.

4th Symmetry Pose (another quarter turn to the right, right side facing the judges):

 Your feet may be wider for comfort in this view; however, your legs should be in the identical position, so from the side the judge only sees one leg.
 Flex your calves by pushing your toes into the floor. Keep your heels on the floor.
 Keep your head up, by looking straight ahead.
 Roll your shoulders back, so you stretch out your chest and crush the rear deltoids and back muscles into a prominent shape.
 Tense your arms and bend at the elbow so you can flex the triceps well.
 Take a deep breath and inflate your chest girth.
 Try bending your knees slightly to better flex your thighs. If you are a female competitor push your glutes out and up to enhance your shape.

Once this is quarter turn is completed, you will be asked to perform the final quarter turn to face the front of the stage and the judges again. Return immediately to your signature stance, smile and make eye contact with all judges. It is common for the Head Judge to change your position in the line-up by asking competitors to swap to the opposite end of the stage (so other judges get a fair view of you). If this happens you can expect to go through the round once more.

If you are in a sizable line-up, the judges may ask to compare selected competitors. Usually they will select three competitors in a comparison and instruct them to hit any one or all of the four symmetry positions.

ICN Australia advises that every competitor should understand that the judges guidelines are updated regularly and that website visitors should refresh their cache to make sure they are seeing the most up-to-date version of the page. Rule changes are recorded on the official Rules and Regulations page 'click here' for the latest rule modifications.