Basic Skating

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Basic Skating Judging Protocols

    This information is common sense, but it doesn't hurt to review the suggestions.

   The following ideas are designed to help you when you are assigned to judge larger events (6 or more skaters). When a referee is trying to make up time and you feel rushed, take a deep breath, clam down, and follow some simple protocols that can help you avoid making errors:
  • Make changes to BOTH the official judging sheet AND your worksheet when a skater withdraw/no show occurs. This helps to avoid an error when transferring your marks from the worksheet to the official judging sheet.
  • If the event is split into two or more warm-ups, transfer the marks of the previous group from your worksheet to the official judging sheet during the warm-up. This helps to avoid an error when transferring your marks from the worksheet to the official judging sheet.
  • Watch the warm-up and get a feeling for the range of skating skills. This is especially helpful if there is only one warm-up to establish a range of marks and the base mark for the first skater potentially fits into your marking range. Basic skill events are generally six or fewer skaters; however, official USFS judges may judges groups as large as 18. Develop the habit to use a range that avoids "clustering" marks so close together that it is difficult to insert later skaters to achieve your intended ranking. Allow enough space so you do not have to erase and change multiple marks. The pressure to hand in your judging sheet, so as not to delay the start of the next event, encourages the possibility of errors and increases that possibility with each change being made.
  • Make sure you have one or two spare pencils equipped with an eraser prior to the start of each skater performing their program. This helps to avoid scrambling for a pencil to make notes while the skater is performing their program.
  • Make sure you have have scheduled a bathroom break prior to your judging events. Be sure to allow enough time to arrive at the judges stand five minutes prior to the start of your event. This helps avoid being physically uncomfortable during your event as there is rarely is enough time during a warm-up to allow a trip to the nearest restroom facilities.
  • Be aware of the number of skaters in the event before you are to judge and the length of their programs. Estimate in the time to travel from the judge's room to the judging area to allow enough time to arrive at the judges stand five minutes prior to the start of your event. This helps avoid upsetting the event referee and causing you the embarrassment of being replaced!
  • Dress so you remain warm for your entire event. Some rinks can be bitterly cold, especially in the winter. Experienced judges will layer their clothing so they can adjust if the temperatures change. Expect the rink to be colder if you judge the first event at 8:00 am. Be sure to have warm footwear and bring gloves to the competition. Being prepared for cold temperatures helps you remain warm, alert, and focused on your judging duties.
  • If you judge the first event at 8:00 am, be sure to arrive early to have sometime to eat, have a hot drink, and review the required elements of your event. Referees may schedule a brief judges meeting prior to your event. Be sure to attend this meeting. Being prepared helps you to focus on your judging duties.
  • Be sure to check the POSTED judges schedule when you arrive and before you LEAVE the rink to insure the chief referee has not added events to your schedule because a judge has become ill or is delayed. Your will endear yourself to the referee by checking your schedule and being on time for your events.

ISU Figure Skating Judging

The International Judging System (IJS)

IJS Judging Criteria


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

USFS Test Judging Topics
PDF  IJS Handbook
PDF  Judges Singles & Pairs Training Manual New  Evaluation of Jumps
PDF  Chart of Changes to MITF  9/2/2010 PDF  2011 USFS Tests Book 8/27/10
PDF  A need for Test Program Element Sheet
PDF  USFS Compulsory Figures Rules
PDF  Focus Points: Evaluate Tests
Roles of Skating Judges and Coaches
Discussion of MITF Topics
New & Revised MITF Elements
Critiquing Skating Performances
Requirements to Pass MITF
MITF Judging Criteria
Critique Sheets
Basic Skating Judging Protocols
Basic Skills Judging Competitions
Worksheets & References for Judges
Test and Elite Standards
A Positive Environment for Adult Skaters
Focus of Free Skating Test Judging
Interpreting 6.0 Score Sheets
School Figures

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