Judging System

The Judging System used at the NatBod Showdown: South East is unique to physique competition. We have designed it to be more sports-like, remove subjectivity and provide athletes with useful feedback.

Instead of the judges assigning athletes placings based on their personal interpretations, the judges will assign athletes a score out of 10 for each of the individual criteria, each individual mandatory pose and each individual posedown pose. This gives the judging specific sports-like guidelines, removes the subjective opinion of judges and provides comprehensive feedback for athletes to improve upon.

There are three Rounds of Judging: The Physique Assessment Round (Quarter Turns), The Posing Assessment Round (Mandatory Poses) and the Final Round: Posedown Challenge.

Round One: Physique Assessment Round (Quarter Turns)

Round 1 is the Physique Assessment round (commonly known as the “quarter turns”).

First the athletes will come out and make their way to the marked position centre of stage for individual presentation. They will complete all 4 quarter turns and then one pose of their choice. They will then make their way to the rear of stage with the other competitors to wait for group comparison,

Athletes will come out together in a line for group comparison (callouts) and take a semi-relaxed position, making 4 turns to the right so their physiques can be assessed from all sides and angles.

Here the judges are assessing the competitors on the four main criteria: Muscularity, Condition, Proportion & Presentation. The judges will allocate a score out of 10 for each of these criteria, with 10 representing “perfect”.

Criteria Explained

For the Bodyshaping & Bodysculping Categories the levels of Muscularity & Conditioning accepted are limited – see above graph. Level 5 on the graph represents the highest level a natural athlete can achieve. Athletes in these categories will still be able to score 10 for these criteria, with 10 representing the upper limit for these categories. To make sure the limits in these categories are followed in regards to Muscularity or Conditioning the following guidelines for judging are in place:

  • Slight Over: Scores a 7 or 8
  • Over: Scores a 5 or 6
  • Extremely Over: Scores 4 or under

Quarter Turn Posing

Male & Female Bodyshaping: One hand must be on the hip/waist during all the quarter turns.

Female Bodysculpting: One hand must be on the hip/waist during all quarter turns.

Male Bodysculpting: No hand on the hip/waist during quarter turns.

Male & Female Bodybuilding: No hand on the hip/waist during quarter turns.

Example of Round 1 Judging

round 1 natbod showdown
An example of Round 1 Judging

Round Two: Posing Assessment Round (Mandatory Poses)

Round 2 is the Posing Assessment round (commonly known as the “Mandatory Poses”). Again, athletes will come out together in a line-up (callouts), with the first call out being the Top 5 or 6 from the previous round.

Here the judges are assessing the athletes through their assigned mandatory poses (3 for Bodyshaping5 for Bodysculpting & 7 for Bodybuilding).
The judges are assessing each individual pose based on the criteria from Round 1. The judges will then allocate a score out of 10 for each of these poses, with 10 representing “perfect”.

Mandatory Poses

Bodyshaping (male & female): Front Ab Pose, Side Oblique Pose, Hands on Head Back Pose

Bodysculpting (male): Front Double Bicep, Side Chest, Side Tricep, Back Double Bicep, Abs & Thighs

Bodysculpting (female): Front Double Bicep, Side Oblique Pose, Twisting Side Tricep (to show back), Back Double Biceps, Abs & Thighs

Bodybuilding (male & female): Front Double Bicep, Front Lat Spread, Side Chest, Side Tricep, Back Double Bicep, Back Lat Spread, Abs & Thigh

Athletes will obviously bring their own personal twists to these poses and that is accepted as long as the core essence of the pose is retained. This also allows for female Bodysculpting athletes to bring a model type style to their poses. Please understand that their is no strict guideline for how each pose is to be executed as long as they fit within the general guideline of the pose.

Example of Round 2 Judging

round 2 judging natbod showdown
An example of Round 2 Judging

Final Round: Posedown Challenge

The Final Round is our new and unique Posedown Challenge. In this round all the athletes will come be in callouts and the athletes will strike one front pose, followed by one side pose, then one rear pose and then one more front pose of their choice. The judges will assess and score each of these poses out of 10, with 10 representing “perfect”. This gives purpose to the Posedown section of the event and allows athletes to pick poses that suit their strengths for the Final comparisons.

This will be followed by a traditional free posing style posedown as the final scores are being calculated.

Example of Final Round Judging


The final placings are determined by combining the scores from all three rounds. The highest score places first, second highest second and so on. The scores of the Top 5 for all rounds will appear on screen after they receive their placings and awards.

All athletes will have the opportunity to view their full scores after the show, giving them useful feedback that they can use to work on improvements for their next show.

Example of Placings

Example of Final Placings