The Current Figure Skating Judging System

A male figure skater

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