Talking ISX with Shecklermania

I did a Q&A with Nicole from Shecklermania.org where we discussed ISX, its role in Street League, and how it will evolve for other sports. Reposted here or check them out.


Shecklermania.Org: What made you guys invent ISX? Why named ISX?

David Paull: First, let me thank you for your interest in ISX and Street League. It’s an exciting year for professional skateboarding and we’re excited to be a part of it. Fans like you are the reason we do this. To answer your question, we invented ISX to add instant, trick-by-trick scoring to sporting events that have been traditionally judged or scored in a slower or less organized way. We want to help fans better engage with an event by always knowing exactly how an athlete has performed and how that performance impacts the competition overall. We also want to add a deeper element of strategy for the athletes by them always knowing what score they earned for each trick and what they need on the next trick to possibly take (or retain) the lead. The name ISX is an acronym for Instant Scoring eXperience™.


Shecklermania.Org: What exactly is the purpose of ISX?

DP: The purpose is to speed up the scoring process as well as help with the storytelling of the event for both the athletes and fans. Having to wait for scores, or having a jam session scored at the end with no accountability for each trick or element, is slow and can get boring to watch for more casual fans. Having every trick count and be scored, in real-time, makes the event more exciting for everyone.

Shecklermania.Org: How do you think this will affect the skaters?

DP: All the skaters we’ve talked to like it. It adds a new element of strategy to the competition. Now they know what they need to advance or take the lead and they know instantly how they did after a trick.

Shecklermania.Org: How do you think ISX will change skateboarding?

DP: Part of Rob Dyrdek’s mission with Street League is to further legitimize professional skateboarding. The reason he so strongly embraced ISX early on is because it makes every skater accountable for every trick and adds speed and excitement to the competition. So I think the biggest changes ISX brings to professional skateboarding competitions are strategy on the part of the skaters and engagement on the part of the fans.

Shecklermania.Org: How do you think fans will react to ISX, since none other competitions had done it before?

DP: I think the fans will love it. Since the competition moves from a jam format to a format where each skater goes in order, one at a time, the fans get to focus on every trick and every trick counts. So rather than watching a jam with skaters all over the place, fans get to focus more on the skating and see tricks done more strategically and where every trick matters. That’s much more exciting to watch.

Shecklermania.Org: How does the ISX score the skateboarders? (I heard it shows the score right away.)

DP: With ISX the judges use a hand-held dial to enter a score for every trick. In Street League tricks are worth 1 – 10 points and a missed or incompleted trick is worth 0. As soon as a trick is landed the judges instantly enter their scores, which are displayed on the Jumobtron and other screens around the arena. The judge’s scores will not only determine leaderboard ranking, but will also feed stats such as consistency score (percentage of landed verses missed tricks), average trick score, etc. The skaters get to know, before and after every trick, exactly what they need, how they did and how the other competitors are doing.

Shecklermania.Org: Do you think other competitions will be using ISX anytime in the near future?

DP: Yes, for sure. We are in talks with other competitions in a number of different sports, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Shecklermania.Org: How do you think the skaters will feel about being scored using the ISX device?

DP: From what skaters have already told us, they like it. It forces them to raise their game and think more strategically about every trick.

Shecklermania.Org: Three best words that best describe ISX.

DP: Well, the name “Instant Scoring eXperience” kind of says it all. It’s fast, it makes every trick count, and it creates a whole new experience for the athletes and the fans.

Shecklermania.Org: Do you think it will give them (the skaters) more pressure?

DP: Only in the sense that they need to think strategically about every trick. While that may add more pressure, it will also allow them to customize their performance based on how they, and their fellow skaters, are doing.

Shecklermania.Org: What other competitions event would you like to see using the ISX to score on the skaters? And why?

DP: ISX is proud to be exclusive to Street League for street skating. However, other skate formats, including vert, would certainly benefit from ISX because not only can we score every vert run, but we can also score every trick in a run. It’s so fast and exciting the fans would love it.

Shecklermania.Org: Do you think that with the ISX, the skaters would want to kick their skating up a notch to get the best score possible?

DP: Certainly each skater will want the highest possible score in order to win the competition. ISX allows them to know, before and after every trick, what they need and how they did. That allows them to strategically put together a combination of tricks that give them the greatest chance of winning and putting on a great show for the fans.