Competitor Guidelines

BNBF Judging Criteria

The following document contains an overview of BNBF judging Criteria for both male and female bodybuilding. The information contained within this document provides indicators of judging criteria which pertains to both amateur and professional competition.  The information provided is for guidance purposes only and is not considered to be exhaustive or exclusive.  BNBF judges will be expected to exercise professional judgement where they consider appropriate in a formalised judging environment.

BNBF competition will be based around the same judging criteria for both male and female divisions within both amateur and professional competition. This document relates to judging criteria for bodybuilding only.  Judging criteria relating to Figure, within BNBF events will be supplied in a video

The BNBF judging criteria comprises the judgement of competitors over 3 rounds : Symmetry, Muscularity and Evening Performance. The weighting of each individual round with regards to scoring is divided evenly across the 3 rounds.

Round 1 – Symmetry

Competitors will be judged on the overall shape, structure and proportion of their physique. Competitors should display an evenly balanced physique which is aesthetically pleasing and equally proportioned from the front, side and rear. In addition, an even balance between the upper and lower half of the body should be evident.

Competitors will be judged through a series of quarter turns, starting in a front relaxed pose facing the judges and moving in a clockwise direction, quarterly, upon the request of the head judge.  Competitors should be judged on muscular mass relative to frame size and as such an athlete should not be penalised for appearing to be of a smaller structure than other competitors.

Note : The level of conditioning displayed by competitors should not form the overriding basis for judgement in the symmetry round.  Judges are required to provide their own inference as to how influential a competitor’s level of conditioning is when being judged on symmetry.

Round 2 – Muscularity

Competitors will be judged on the degree of muscle mass relative to frame size displayed on their physique combined with their level of conditioning and muscular fullness. The level of conditioning a competitor displays is of paramount importance in this round : competitors should display a degree of conditioning sufficient so that their muscularity is clearly evident, defined and can be properly judged.  Conditioning should not be to an extreme that it has a detrimental effect on symmetry or muscularity.

The process of judging for this round will be through the 8 mandatory poses : Front double biceps, front lat spread, side chest, side triceps, rear double biceps, rear lat spread, abs & thighs and the most muscular pose.

Round 3 – Evening Performance

In the 3rd and final round, competitors will be judged on their evening performance. Competitors will have the opportunity to display their physique for the judges through an individual routine, lasting no more than 90 seconds (60sec for amateurs). Competitors must supply and pose to their own choice of music.  Props may be employed by the competitor in order to enhance their performance, but should be subtle and not hide or obscure areas of their physique.  There are no poses which are deemed to be compulsory in this round, rather a competitor must aim to showcase the strengths of their physique in order to achieve the highest possible placing.

This round will be judged on how well a competitor showcases their physique and will not be judged purely on the best choice of props, styles of dancing or choice of music. Competitors should keep their routines to a bodybuilding format where possible, with any additional choices of entertainment aimed at complementing the strengths of their physique.


Competitors will be individually numbered and scored on a numerically 1 through to 6, with a score of 1 being the highest possible score for any given round. For example, a competitor deemed to be in 1st place in all 3 rounds will end up with a score of 3 (symmetry – 1, muscularity – 1 and evening performance – 1  = 3) Any competitors out with the top 6 places in any round will automatically be given scores of 7.

The scores from all judges are subsequently collated by the head judged upon completion of a class, tabulated and competitors are then awarded their final places.