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The New Figure Skating Judging System

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The New Figure Skating Judging System
Harry How/Staff/Getty Image Sport/Getty Images

ISU Judging System:

The ISU Judging System is a new judging system for figure skating that was implemented shortly after the 2002 Olympics. There are several officials invloved with this new system.

Two Panels of Officials:

There are two panels of officials:

  • The Technical Panel
  • The Judging Panel

The Technical Panel:

Five people make up the technical panel:

  • Technical Specialist
  • Assistant Technical Specialist
  • Technical Controller
  • Data Operator
  • Video Replay Operator

Judging Panel:

In the new ISU Judging System, there are still judges and a referee just like in the 6.0 System. The judges score the quality of the elements. They also score five program components. The referee judges the competition and runs the event.

Technical Specialist:

As a skater performs, the primary technical specialist will identify the elements. He or she will identify a spin or jump and the level of difficulty of each element. The level of difficulty is based on published pre-set criteria. US National Technical specialists are national and international skaters, judges, or coaches.

Technical Controller and Assistant Technical Specialist:

The technical controller and assistant technical specialist support the primary technical specialist. They make sure that any mistakes are corrected right away.

Reviewing an Element in Question:

The judges can ask for a review of an element. They can notify the technical panel that a review is needed.

All calls by the technical panel are recorded on audio tape during a program and a video is made to verify the calls. The elements are available for review after a performance.

Video Replay Operator:

The video replay operator replays the video of an element in question. He or she tapes all the elements.

Data Operator:

The data operator enters all the elements onto a computer (or on paper). Levels of difficulty are assigned to each of the entered elements.

Technical Score:

Each move in a skater's program is given a base value. A skater gets credit for every element. Jumps, spins and footwork all have an assigned level of difficulty.

Grade of Execution (GOE):

Judges give a "grade of execution" (GOE) to each element. The judges give plus or minus grades on each element. The plus or minus values are then added or deducted from the base value of each element. That is how the skater's score for each element is determined.

Program Component Score:

The judges give points on a scale from 0 to 10 for program components. The five components are:

  • Skating Skills
  • Transitions
  • Performance
  • Choreography
  • Interpretation

Technical Score and Program Componet Score = Segment Score:

The technical score is added together to the program component score and the result is the segment score.

Total Competition Score:

The sum of all the segment scores (short program and the free skate) becomes the total competition score.

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