Paperless Scoring Rules Amended by FEI After Protests

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Paperless scoring at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival enables results to be posted for spectators before the horse and rider have left the competition arena. © 2020 Ken Braddick/

Jan. 29, 2020


New requirements that would have raised costs and operational difficulties for dressage and para-dressage shows using paperless judging and other digital innovations have been amended by the International Equestrian Federation to apply mostly for Olympics, championships and major finals.

The amended requirements were made available Wednesday after judges, show organizers, the European Equestrian Federation and other stakeholders complained to the FEI about the initial “necessary features and technical requirements” dated 2019 posted on the official FEI Internet site.

The latest document dated January 2020 listed what it described as “Minimum requirements for the use of Dressage Paperless Judging Technology at FEI Dressage and Para Dressage Events” for different levels of competition.

The most stringent requirements specified for Olympics, Paralympics and world championships include local and redundant Internet servers for encrypted data and connected by cable, no wifi. Similar systems were also required for continental and regional championships and games for seniors, World Cup and Nations Cup Finals.

Most other competitions were given the option of wifi or wireless connections to local or remote servers.

The original requirements placed all competitions on the same level requiring high grade computer and communications systems dedicated solely to scores that would have required infrastructure upgrades at most show grounds around the world.

Paperless judging has enabled show organizers to cap expenses–one scribe for electronic input instead of two scribes, one for paper and one digital, no runners to collect score sheets and other costs.

Virtual instantaneous results that can be displayed to spectators as well as spectator judging considered a major factor in fan engagement are among advances enabled by digital innovations. Valuable tools for judges that had not previously been available have also been created by developers of paperless judging that is now in use at horse shows around the world.

The amended requirements: Dressage_Paperless_Judging_Technical_Requirements_per_level_v1_0_1