Muscle Sport Magazine

NPC Resistance Against Improved Judging Software System

If it’s good enough for Lee Haney, one would have to figure that it would be good enough for a local amateur bodybuilding contest held in a middle school auditorium. But such is not the case with the NPC when it comes to addressing a topic of contention with them – the judging system. What makes it even more perplexing is that there have been promoters in the NPC that have used the FitSquid software program with great success, amongst other federations in the industry. But none of that seemed to matter when the program was being shopped to the NPC on a grander scale, especially after a rival organization adopted it.

“We went to the NPC first and were informed that we would not be successful in getting (them) to adopt our technology,” says EventSquid CEO Michael Kranitz. “(Then) I met Mr. (Lee) Thompson in October (2015) after he announced his split from the NPC. He mentioned judging transparency in a Facebook post so I reached out to him. Unlike the reception that I got from the NPC, Lee was excited about making the software work for his league. Why would I refuse that?”

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Since Kranitz had already proven his software to be an asset for bodybuilding competitions with not only the Nspire Sports League, but also Bob Johnson‘s Global Bodybuilding Organization, David Nall’s Naturally Fit Federation and the Lee Haney eight Loss Contest (which is run by eight-time Mr. Olympia’s son Josh), it would seem that a potential client the size of the NPC would be a perfect candidate. But such was not the case.

“I had conversations with several large NPC promoters, reached out to others and was generally ignored or dismissed,” Kranitz explains. “I met with Colorado NPC Chairman Jeff Taylor and spent hours showing him the software and talking about the differences between BodySquid (the version that Thompson licensed and had customized for his use) and FitSquid (our open platform for all promoters). After telling me that he would “bookmark our conversation” I have learned that he has been telling other promoters not to use our software.


“We also know that the head of the NPC, Jim Manion, wanted nothing to do with the software for events because he thought it was unnecessary.”

All that any of the NPC promoters would have had to do was consult with their brethren who ran the 2015 NPC Armbrust Pro Gym Warrior Classic, at which the program worked flawlessly for athlete registration, ticket sales and judging.

“Through the process of it, we found out that it as very, very useful and very time saving.” said Warrior Classic co-promoter Michael Alexander in a video posted on YouTube. In the same clip, a number of judges and competitors speak about how easy the system was to use.


But if anyone watched a recent video posted by Muscular Development with Bob Cicherillo, they would think anything but how well the system worked. And the accompanying forum thread on the same subject was so one-sided that Kranitz feel the need to register for the site and post himself to explain the real situation.


“After hearing Mr. Cicherillo state that our system failed in Dallas during our first live demo for Lee (back in November of 2014 for a show that Thompson was still oddly promoting for the NPC after his resignation from the same organization), I went on to the MD forum to let people know that the system did not fail, precisely because we never used it for that event,” Kranitz says. “A few of us sat in the front row with tablets so we can simulate judging a class or two. The aim was to have Lee use the software in a simulated live environment and show him how it instantly dropped high/low scores and broke ties before the athletes left the stage. After a few classes, Lee was satisfied and we stopped. Cicherillo – who was emceeing the event – said in the video that he saw us pack up our tablets so our system must have failed. I was introduced to (Cicherillo) by Lee and he never looked at the software or knew anything about why we were there.”

But after posting on the aforementioned forum, Kranitz was met with what he described as a “flurry of criticism for associating with the NSL.” Bob Cicherillo sleeveless

That may be an understatement. One of the posts in response to Kranitz by Cicherillo:

“No….not corrupt judgING…corrupt judGES, which are now gone from our organization. Your boy Lee has been on record many times now, and by his own admission was corrupt. 

Problem you have isn’t your system or its efficiency…its your spokesman. Your system has been used against our federation and portrayed as something it isn’t, which you just stated. He also sells it as their “exclusive” Bodysquid program….great….except you just alienated yourself from the other more prominent federations, which want nothing to do with anything Lee is pitching. Bottom line is, he’s doing you more harm than good selling it as he is.

I appreciate the offer, but no one I know would touch it with a ten foot pole now that Lee’s name is attached….”


Going by that post, Cicherillo is saying that Thompson was the one and only corrupt “judGES” – which doesn’t make any sense pluralized – and dismissing the product because in his opinion, Kranitz is guilty by association.

But if Thompson is not part of the NPC anymore, then their argument that all of the remaining judges are not in fact corrupt and their integrity is not an issue. So a system that Kranitz is offering would seem to be a better fit for the ‘newly-cleansed NPC,’ wouldn’t it?

“I will not weigh in on the corruption in the industry,” comments Kranitz. “Let’s say that corruption is rampant for the sake of discussion. What type of corruption? Software can’t fix an entire panel of judges instructed to score a certain way. BUT our software (at least the version that we built for BodySquid) can show judge and the score they entered for each contestant in each round.

“Anyone in the industry can look up the scores and of the them to photos of the competitors,” continues Kranitz. “Will the software fix that problem (corruption)? No. It only illuminates it so people can fix it.”



Here’s what the software can do well:

1. In the Bodysquid version, callout selections are automatically transmitted to the head judge as they are dragged into place by each judge. The head judge need not calculate anything. In fact, in our Bodysquid system, the head judge has NO DISCRETION to manipulate the panel’s consensus on who made each callout group. The head judge simply decides the number of athletes in each group.
2. In both systems, the judges drag and drop the athletes into rank order. Upon saving, those scores are sent to the scorekeeper screen where the scorekeeper can click one button and have the system drop high and low scores, break ties and display the final rank of athletes. All in less than four seconds. The benefits here are obvious. No math errors and several hours of hand calculations eliminated.
3. In the judging screens (both versions), the judge can see the crossover classes for each athlete. In addition, they can see the score they entered for that athlete in the previous classes and use that information as they see fit.
“I heard people arguing that pencil and paper is better,” says Kranitz.  “I’d like to know how.”
When asked about his current clients and their experiences using the software, Kranitz states, “None of these organizations has had a negative word to say! Why would they? Our clients and partners outside bodybuilding include Comcast Business, Qdoba, Golfsmith, USA Archery, David Duval, EAA and thousands of other organizations. They use our software and it saves them gobs of time, delights their attendees and allows them to host better (and more) events in a single year.
We work our tails off to get the software just the way our clients need it,” Kranitz concludes.  “We love working with progressive clients who can see the future and want to improve their industries. We handle all of the virtual archery tournaments in the United States for USA Archery. SAME SOFTWARE. I’ve been in business for 25 years (after having practiced corporate reorganization law for 12) and I can tell you that what I witnessed in the MD forums was not rational business decision-making. It was blowback from people who are upset about what Lee Thompson is doing. From the perspective of an industry outsider, I can only applaud the sheer effort, determination and progress that the NSL has made with resistance like this. It’s obvious that this fight has become personal to a great many people.  If that prevents promoters from using, so be it.  That said, our door is always open to reasonable business people who just want something better for their events.”

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