Fair Play System (FPS)

CIVA approved championship scoring software employs specially developed statistical processing methodology known as the "FairPlay System" (FPS). FairPlay was introduced to accomplish several important objectives:

  • Each judge on the panel must command equal status and relevance
  • All marks should be subjected to a test of their suitability. Any that fail must be replaced by new values free of such influence, calculated to fit the judges normal style
  • National and individual judging characteristics and bias must be eliminated
  • Pilots should always receive the benefit of the doubt in scores calculations
  • All revisions made by FPS must be clearly annotated and easily understood


In addition:

  •  Each judges performance can be thoroughly analysed by FPS through comparison with each other judges output and the judging panel mean
  • Immediate detailed analytical feed-back can be provided to each judge after each completed sequence, from which they can review their own output and compare it and their individual decisions with that of the other judges
  • Longer term training can be focussed toward areas of judge performance that are seen to require further attention
  • A rating known as the Ranking Index (RI) can be established for each judge from each event, enabling judge selection for subsequent events to be based on true merit.


FairPlay was developed by Dr. Steve Green, Professor Derek Pike and Alan Cassidy in the UK during 2005, and introduced by CIVA for its 2006 championships. The clear and open style of contest results handling that has followed has encouraged a greatly improved ethos within the international aerobatic community, within which all pilots, judges, contest officials and observers from around the world now enjoy free access to all of the underlying data and the logical reasoning that guides FPS through all of its moves.

The explanation in the downloadable PDF below was written by Nick Buckenham, author of the widely used ACRO aerobatic scoring software, and draws on his considerable experience as a software developer using FPS together with his UK and international experience as a power, glider and CIVA chief judge.

The ACRO software (including FPS) and most of the CIVA aerobatic championship data files since 2008 are freely available here:


The results from all these events will be found on the official CIVA Results web at:


Here is the document which explains FPS in detail:

CIVA Fair Play System (FPS) Explained

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