Magic competitions across the globe rely on the FISM grading system to fairly evaluate participants.
This system has seen remarkable changes over the years, shaping the way we assess magical performances. Join us as we explore the journey of this system, from its intricate beginnings to the innovative approaches of the new millennium.
The Grading System Until 2000 (Lisbon)
Before the Lisbon Convention in 2000, the FISM grading system was a labyrinth of intricacies. It assigned grades based on the contest category and the specific aspects examined. To demystify the grading system in use until Lisbon (2000):
Showmanship, the art of presenting an act in an engaging and entertaining way, could earn a magician a maximum of 20 or 50 points, depending on the contest category.
Post-performance, judges' scores were tallied and averaged to determine the magician's success. Achieving a Grand Prix required a minimum of 85 points, a 1st place required at least 80 points, while 75 was the threshold for 2nd place, and 70 secured a 3rd place.
From 2003: A New Era of Evaluation
In 2003, the FISM grading system underwent a significant transformation.
Article 7/b of FISM Contest Rules and Procedures introduced a paradigm shift, expanding the aspects to be evaluated from four to six.
Alongside showmanship, technique, and originality, two new dimensions were introduced: entertainment value and the magic atmosphere. This change aimed to offer a holistic evaluation of magical performances, recognizing the significance of captivating audiences and creating a magical ambiance.
July, 2023: A New Approach
On July 21st, 2023, a groundbreaking innovation was unveiled. A new approach for hosting FISM Qualified Contests was introduced, known as FQCS 2.0.
This development equips the global magic community with a powerful tool to organize Qualified Competitions in harmony with the FISM World and Continental Championships.
There is a UNIQUE grading system that the judges will use (see figure below: the 2 colummn on the left side of the form) but the awards in a FISM Qualified Regional Contest will be appointed on the basis of the third column (on thr right).
The ongoing evolution of the FISM grading system signifies the magic community's commitment to staying current with the ever-changing landscape of magic.
It ensures a fair and comprehensive assessment of magical artistry, reflecting a field that is vibrant, relevant, and always focused on showmanship, technique, originality, entertainment value, and the enchanting magic atmosphere that continues to mesmerize audiences worldwide.