What does it take to B-come a Superior B-Scorer?

By Roger Rosales (Actuary, Wushu Athlete, Wushu Coach, Certified Taolu Judge)

You’re sitting in the crowd waiting patiently with eyes fixated on a digital scoreboard. Down on the competition floor, an athlete in a red silk uniform is catching her breath. You hear a voice announce the athlete’s final score and you look at the scoreboard and see “B-Score = 2.65.” What is this B-Score? Is 2.65 good or bad?

In this article, we’ll be analyzing how the B-Score relates to the final score using data from the 2017 World Wushu Championships.

The B-Score is an evaluation of the wushu athlete’s Overall Performance. Judges asses an athlete’s performance based on a scale of Superior, Average, or Inferior and then gives a score that ranks them in relation to the other competitors in that event.  Here is the table for B-Scores from the official taolu rules for events with degree of difficulty:



Score Range



3.00 – 2.91


2.90 – 2.71


2.70 – 2.51



2.50 – 2.31


2.30 – 2.11


2.10 – 1.91



1.90 – 1.61


1.60 – 1.31


1.30 – 1.01

What are judges looking for? Judges are looking for a variety of things in an athlete’s wushu performance. How is the athlete’s strength, force, smoothness, focus, coordination, rhythm, style, flavor, and harmony? All of this comes into play when determining an athlete’s B-Score. A wushu athlete who has many years of experience will tend to get a higher B-Score compared to someone who has less experience. An experienced practitioner should not only know the movements, but also knows how to express the movements in her own way with power, flavor, and accuracy.

Now let’s analyze the B-Score from the Men’s Changquan event at the 2017 World Wushu Championships.

There were 50 competitors in Men’s Changquan (Longfist). We can create a plot of Final Rank vs. B-Score. A Final Rank of 1 means the athlete won the gold medal. Each dot represents a male changquan competitor. Here is the resulting plot:

This is great to see an upward pattern; generally, those with a lower Final Rank had a lower B-Score compared to those with a higher final rank resulting in a higher B-Score. Remember that a B-Score of 2.51 and above is considered a Superior performance, a B-Score between 1.91 and 2.50 is considered Average, and a B-Score below 1.91 is judged as an Inferior performance. Let’s enhance this plot by adding color based on Superior, Average, and Inferior.


From this plot, there were 20 out of 50 competitors with a B-Score of 2.50 and above; they can call themselves superior performers! Everyone else can call themselves an average performer based the red dots. In fact, no one scored an Inferior B-Score.

Now let’s switch gears and look at Overall Score vs. B-Score. Remember that an Overall Score is made up of an A-Score (Evaluation of Quality of Movements – deduction based), B-Score (Evaluation of Performance), and C-Score (Degree of Difficulty, also called Nandu).

Now let’s fit a trend line to this data. An upward trend would indicate that an athlete with a higher B score, would score higher for the overall score. In other words, the best performers tend to be the best with A-score and C-score deductions included.

It is great to see an upward trend line. In fact, the top placing athlete Zhizhao Chang from China, received the highest B-Score at 2.70 and won the event.

Now we are ready for our last plot. I want to see how important the B-Score is for each placing category. For example, the Top 10 finishing athletes will get a different color compared to the athletes finishing Top 20, Top 30, Top 40, and Top 50. Let’s add some color for placing category.

It is interesting to see that some athletes with final placings from 11th to 20th had higher B-Scores than some of the Top 10 athletes. Now let’s add a trend line for each placing category to see the trend for each placing category.   

This is very insightful stuff right here wushu folks. For the Top 10 athletes in red coloring, their trend line is extremely upwards. This tells me that B-Score really determines their final ranking despite their respective A-Score and C-Score. As we will see in my future analytics articles for A-Score and C-Score, these top athletes tend to get full points for A-Score and C-Score, so B-Score is really the most important score for these elite athletes.

For the athletes in the Top 20 (i.e. those who finished 11th to 20th place and in gold coloring), their trendline is flat shown by the gold line. This group’s B scores are all over the place ranging from 2.40 to 2.64. This means that their A-Scores and C-Score played a huge role in their final rankings, not just B-Score.

In conclusion, my analysis here shows us that the B-Score, an evaluation of overall performance, plays a huge role in determining final rankings, particularly in the Top 10. With the top placing athletes usually hitting all their difficulty movements and having no A-Score quality of movement deductions, the B-Score is vitally important. B-Score is the most subjective score out of the three scores. There are usually four certified judges doing the B-score which helps with the consistency of the scores. As wushu taolu practitioners, we need to focus on applying the movements correctly with power, focus, precision, accuracy, and flavor. When I was competing in China at the 7th World Kung Fu Championships, I had the pleasure of meeting athletes who knew how to score high on the B-Score. You could tell they loved the spotlight and they wanted to perform. One of my USA teammates said to me, “Roger, it’s all about the performance. It’s about flipping your hair. It’s about your facial expression. It is like you are in a movie or a play. Go out there and perform your routine!”

This is the second of four wushu analytics article. I hope you enjoyed it! Look out for my next two articles on analyzing the A-Score and C-Score and follow this link to read my first article “How long should your Taolu routine be?”

Jiayou! (or as we say it here, Jiayo!)

-Roger Rosales

Roger Rosales

Article and analysis by Roger Rosales FSA CERA

Roger Rosales is a wushu coach and athlete at Summit Wushu Academy (Portland, Oregon USA) and is the head wushu instructor at Oregon Hope Chinese School Wushu Program. He is a Certified Taolu Judge in the Pan-American Region. Professionally, Roger is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries who analyzes risk and opportunity on a day to day basis. Follow him on Instagram at roger_wushu and if you have other Wushu data ideas or if you (or your school) need help analyzing your data, feel free to email him at rosalesjrr@gmail.com.

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