Performance Defined 

Honor Fly Competition Rules

The following is a description of the types of most of the performances of the Flying Oriental Roller.  

ROLLING:  Rolling is backward spinning or somersaults of at least 2 revolutions. It is a smooth continuous motion without pause, hitching or other interruption. Wings are moving but undetectable and the body is perpendicular to the ground. Revolutions may be high velocity or slow, short (less than 10’) or deep (more than 10’). Rolling may occur as a drop straight down or from above the kit back into the kit or through the kit. Often a pigeon will fly ahead and above the kit and roll diagonally back into the kit. 

PLATE SPIN or FLAT SPIN: Wings are extended flat out to the sides with the pigeon spiraling down without wing movement. Variations on the Plate Spin are: Wings held in a V while the pigeon is spiraling downward. One wing held up and the other held out flat forming an L shape with the pigeon spiraling downward. 

TUMBLE:  Backward flipping usually with wing movement detectable. Tumbles may be fast or slow, short or deep but more often short. The pigeon’s body is typically skewed right or left from perpendicular.  

SPIRAL DIVE or BARREL ROLL:  The pigeon holds wings back and rotates around its axis. These axial spins can be performed as single or in multiple rotations usually during a dive but may happen in level flight or even while climbing. Spins can be fast or slow, single or multiple spirals. 

LOOP:  Swooping up and curving over the top and completing a full circle of a few feet to as much as fifty feet in diameter and perpendicular to the ground. Loops can be singe or multiple. Multiple loops are generally smaller and appear similar to drawing a series of loose circles across a piece of paper without lifting the pencil.  

FORWARD ROLL: Opposite direction of the Roll. These are not common but typically happen at the end of a long ROLL or long TUMBLE. Occasionally, an odd pigeon will execute this maneuver in level flight. It is usually a single flip but may be 3 or 4 consecutive FORWARD ROLLS. This maneuver almost seems accidental.  

TAIL SLIDE or TAIL RIDING: Wings held in a deep V, tail is elevated while pigeon drops. This maneuver, while sometime spectacular, is not scored on its own as nearly all young Oriental Rollers tail ride while developing other aerial performance. 

SINGLE FLIPS or SINGLE TUMBLES:  Single flips or tumbles are many times performed alone. These maneuvers can be so fast the uninitiated might not notice them. They are most often performed in level flight. Many times the bird will not even break from the kit.  

TWIZZLE: spinning in a horizontal motion as if the tip one wing is anchored in place for one or more revolutions. Usually done in several revolutions.   

COMBINATION MANEUVERS: Combinations of any two or more of the above maneuvers. EXAMPLES:  Tail Slide with a single flip at the end; Single flip followed with a single Plate Spin; Tumble - Tail Slide – Tumble. Roll – twizzle - tail ride.  In these examples Maneuvers that would not normally score will score if done in combination with a different maneuver. 

Here is the revised rules for the honor fly. We (the board) have come to a consensus on them, at least for now. I had to re-evaluate them after the mock fly to make them easier for the judges. I tried to operate on the KISS theory. I had not taken into account the frequency of the birds and trying to account for depth at the same time. I am really glad I decided on the mock fly because I believe it saved a lot of headaches.

The Oriental Roller is a versatile high flyer with many types of performance. To promote and preserve the breed as near to the initial intent of the breed, all of its various types of performance should be recognized and scored. Because the Oriental is a high flyer this will be taken into consideration by awarding one point for each minute the kit stays in the air after time in is called up to thirty points. If the birds are too high to discern the type of performance then one point will be awarded for each performance at the judge’s discretion. The judge should have a manual counter and an assistant.  Birds are to be inspected by the judge before the fly.  Any pigeon that does not have the minimum number of 13 tail feathers or has an oil gland is disqualified. Missing or broken feathers are not a DQ. The handler may replace any disqualified pigeon. A contestant may fly three, five, or seven birds. The total raw score will be divided by the number of birds flying. All judge’s decisions are final so be nice to the judge. The contestant is responsible to see that the judge has a manual counter and two stop watches.

Performances to be scored are: 

Rolling award 1 point
Tumbles or loose roll award 1 point
Plate roll or side spin award 1 point
Barrel rolls award 1 point
Combination of any of the above 1 point.
Dives greater than 15 feet 1 point.

10 points will be given for putting up a kit whether it is DQ’ed or not

10 points will be awarded for a kit that flies the at least twenty minutes

1 point for each minute the kit is in the air after 20 minutes up a max of 30 points. Scoring continues as long as the kit is in the air. 

Flying time is a minimum fifteen minutes. Kit handler has up to 2 minutes to call time-in to start scoring otherwise the judge will start judging after 2 minutes.

The contestant can call up to two 5 minute time outs for hawk attacks or when kits are out of view or other unforeseen disturbance.

If any bird lands before the minimum fifteen minutes the scoring is terminated. The kit is disqualified if a pigeon is purposely encouraged to fly by anyone after time in is called.

Out-birds will not be scored until they get back to the kit.  AN OUT-BIRD IS A PIGEON THAT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT FLYING AS PART OF THE KIT. Pigeons that roll deep and continue to perform away from the kit but are working back to the kit are not out-birds and all performances are scored. When the kit breaks apart and pigeons are performing separately but are working toward reforming a kit, all performances are scored. This is important to know especially when judging small kits. An active 3-bird kit might not appear to be performing as a team during the majority of the flying time! At the same time they can’t be flying in different parts of the sky all the time and still be called a kit.

All judges’ decisions are final.  

So that deeper performing birds are not penalized there will be a quality multiplier applied to the raw score. It is as follows. The judge and his second shall concur as to the quality multiplier.  

Quality Multiplier 

10 feet or less 1.0 multiplier

15-20 feet  1.2 multiplier

25-30 feet  1.3 multiplier

35-40 feet  1.5 multiplier

45-50  feet 1.6 multiplier

55-60  feet 1.8 multiplier

65-75  feet 1.9 multiplier

75 plus 2.0 multiplier 

This will always be subjective and the judges second should look for depth on a stop watch. One second per ten feet seems to be an accepted depth calculation now days. Some will be deeper and some will be shallower but it will eliminate subjectivity where one mans ten is another mans twenty. The judge and second should collectively decide the quality multiplier. Notice I did not include 11-14, 21-24, etc. That is because no man can tell a foot or two difference. The birds should perform for a greater majority of time at the quality depth agreed on by the judges. 

The final score will be: 

The raw score X the multiplier

+ 10 points for entering

+ 10 points for exceeding twenty minutes

+ (X) points up to thirty for time over twenty minutes


The contestant can fly either three, five, or seven birds, and the number of birds called in will divide into the raw score.  If one drops early, the scoring will be terminated and the score totaled up. The birds have to kit to score, there is no disqualification for roll downs, or landing after the minimum fifteen minutes.  The birds are to be judged by someone other than the owner, preferably a knowledgeable roller judge, but for this contest if one cannot be found, we will take whomsoever you can get to do it! Along with the score sheet, the judge needs to submit a description of the fly (in his own words), with the approximate weather conditions and a phone number where and when he/she can be reached. The only requirement to participate in the Honor fly is to be a paid up member in good standing in the Flying Oriental Roller Society and a ten dollar entry fee.        

There will be four flies yearly and the first competition will be from Jan 1st. until April 1st, the second from April 2nd until July 1st.   And the third will be from July 2nd until September 1st. The last contest for the year will be from September 2nd until December 31st there will be a winner for the best kit in each of the competitions and a winner for the most total points scored for the calendar year.