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How To Become a Figure Skating Judge

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Figure Skating Judges

Figure Skating Judges

Photo by Doug Pensinger - Getty Images
The judging of ice skating is done by volunteers and is a wonderful way to help skaters. This short article gives the basics on how to become a figure skating judge.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Judging figure skating is an ongoing process.

Here's How:

  1. Make sure you have a thorough knowledge of figure skating.

    Some figure skating judges are former competitive or recreational skaters, and others are parents and adult figure skaters. A desire to learn and to continue to learn as much as possible about figure skating is necessary.

  2. Make sure you understand that judging involves a huge time commitment.

    Figure skating judging means putting in many volunteer hours. Dedication to judging is essential. A skating judge must be willing to spend a lot of time judging both figure skatng tests and competitions. Remember, you must cover your own expenses during the trial judging process and that there is no compensation given to ice skating judges. Figure skating judges are volunteers.

  3. Decide if you possess the characteristics required to be a good figure skating judge.

    A figure skating judge should have a desire to be of service to the sport of figure skating, must be able to handle stress, and must be able to make individual decisions.

  4. Register as a trial judge.

    Contact your figure skating club or U.S. Figure Skating for information on how to register. You will be put in contact with the regional vice chair of the Judges Committee for your region. You will then be assigned to a mentor.

  5. Read the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook.

    Learn about the technical information on judging, test requirements, and competition rules.

  6. Begin trial judging first at your home figure skating club.

    Once you feel comfortable with trial judging, call test chairpersons of other figure skating clubs in other areas and ask for permission to trial judge at other figure skating clubs' test sessions.

  7. Prepare before you trial judge a figure skating test session.

    Get familiar with review the elements of the tests and also learn about the quality expected in order for skaters to pass a figure skating tests.

  8. Attend figure skating judges schools and seminars.

    Learn as much about skating as possible. An exam will be required to receive a judging appointment. Today's figure skating judges must learn about the new ISU (IJS) Internaional Judging System for Figure Skating and the old 6.0 system. Judges should review the U.S. Figure Skating rules each year. Continuing education is required. All figure skating judges must make a commitment to continue to learn as much as possible about the sport.

  9. Once you are appointed as an official test judge, consider trial judging figure skating competitions.

    After trial judging qualifying regional and non-qualifying events, you will be appointed as a regional competition judge.

  10. Decide if you wish to judge singles and pair skating, or if you want to be an ice dance judge or synchronized skating judge.

    Some individuals judge all of the figure skating disciplines. Remember judging additional branches of figure skating involves additional time and commitment. You must also have knowledge of ice dancing or synchronized skating.

  11. Understand that there are different judging ranks and levels.

    To continue to advance as a figure skating judge, official judges must trial judge a higher test and competition level. Understand that to be promoted to the next judging level may take time.

  12. Remember judging figure skating is an honor and conduct yourself accordingly.

    An ice skating judge must be patient, objective, and courteous. He or she must be willing to speak with skaters, coaches, and parents. A figure skating judge must act professionally and should avoid arguments.

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