During contests pilots fly sequences comprising aerobatic figures, e.g., loops, slow rolls, spins, and other combinations of these maneuvers. Each figure earns a maximum of ten points, multiplied by a difficult factor; judging teams on the ground deduct half- and full points for each deviation from the ideal execution of the figure.
A judge, recorder, and assistant judge make up a judging team. The judge must qualify by completing a judge's school, acting as an assistant judge during a specified number of contest flights, and passing a written and oral exam.
Three judging teams are required for each category at a contest. Contests typically have competitors in all of the five categories. The volunteer coordinator has a daunting challenge in scheduling the teams, because the competing pilots serve on the judging teams when they aren't flying. One scheduling method is to organize the flights into two "relays", such that half the pilots are supporting judging while the other half flies. Of course, judges don't evaluate pilots with whom they are flying in the same category. One set of judges evaluates two categories and another evaluates three categories, with the Contest Director and Volunteer Coordinating organizing the categories for each relay so that each set of judges has roughly the same number of flights to judge.