Evaluating Step Sequences

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications


Competitive Step Sequences

      The ISU Judging System is the scoring system was designed and implemented by the International Skating Union (ISU), the ruling body of the sport. This system of scoring is used in all qualifying national and international competitions sanctioned by the ISU, including the Winter Olympic Games.

      The following discussion provides an overview of how step sequences are scored in the ISU Judging System by the technical panels.

Levels of Difficulty
Number of features for Levels:
  • 2 for Level 2
  • 3 for Level 3
  • 4 for Level 4
Features 1.
  • Level 1, simple variety
  • Level 2, medium variety
  • Level 3, complex variety
  • Level 4, variety of turns and steps is manatory throughout sequence
Features 2. Rotations (turns, steps) in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the pattern in total for each rotational direction
Features 3. Moderate use of upper body movement (Full use of upper body movementfor Level 4)
Features 4. Quick changes of rotational direction executed with turns and steps

Types of Steps/Turns
Types of turns (executed on one foot)
  three turns, twizzles, brackets, loops, counters, rockers.
Types of steps (executed on one foot whenever possible)
  toe steps, chasses, mohawks, choctaws, curves with change of edge, crossrolls, running steps.
Simple variety
  Must include at least 6 turns and 4 steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice.
  Must include at least 8 turns and 4 steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice
  Must include at least 5 different types of turns and 3 different types of steps all executed at least once in both directions.
Scale of Values
Level Straight Circular Serpentine +3 +2 +1 Base -1 -2 -3
1 SlSt1 CiSt1 SeSt1 1.5 1.0 0.5 1.8 0.3 0.6 1.0
2 SlSt2 CiSt2 SeSt2 1.5 1.0 0.5 2.3 0.3 0.6 1.0
3 SlSt3 CiSt3 SeSt3 1.5 1.0 0.5 3.3 0.7 1.4 2.1
4` SlSt4 CiSt4 SeSt4 3.0 2.0 0.5 3.9 0.7 1.4 2.1
Grade of Excution
For + 1 GOE: 2 bullets For + 2 GOE: 4 bullets For + 3 GOE: 6 or more bullets
  • Good energy and execution
  • Good speed or acceleration during sequence
  • Good clarity and precision=
  • Deep clean edges (including entry and exit of all turns)
  • Good control and commitment of whole body to accuracy of steps
  • creativity and originality
  • Effortless throughout
  • Element matched to the musical structure

Recommended Reading:



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:

ISU Figure Skating Judging
PDF The International Judging System (IJS) PDF   IJS Judging Criteria
ISU Technical Updates
Index of ISU Articles
Free Skating Program Requirements
Basic Jumps
Technical Jump Requirements
Cheated Jumps
Short & Long Programs
Free Skating Test Elements
ISU Judging
IJS Technical Panel
Competition Jumps
Competition Spins
Competition Spirals
Competition Step Sequences
IJS Grades of Execution
PDF  IJS Judging Criteria
PDF  IJS Presentation Guidelines
Program Component Guidelines
PDF  IJS Handbook
PDF  ISU Communication 1593
PDF  ISU Communication 1557
PDF  ISU Communication 1548
PDF  ISU Communication 1547
PDF  ISU Communication 1540
PDF  ISU Communication 1505
PDF  ISU Communication 1504
PDF  ISU Communication 1494
PDF  ISU Communication 1476
PDF  ISU Communication 1459
PDF  ISU Communication 1445
PDF  Search for ISU communications

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