USFS Judging
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Discussing MITF

After a test, judges must be prepared to discuss their marks
      Judges evaluate all aspects of a skater's performance, including the positive and negative performance of each element  in determining the mark they award. It is extremely important that the positive and negative factors be communicated to coaches, skaters, and parents
so when they reviewing the sheet they can plan corrective measures while preparing for the next test or competition.

      Most coaches use the Professional Skaters Association (PSA) MITF Manual as a key reference. It helps to be familiar with the terminology used in the manual as it allows your comments to concisely refer to positive and negative descriptions they are using. 

      Judges may form their expectations from experienced related to figures or ice dancing. Unfortunately, many newer coaches have little or no figure or dance background to relate to these references.

      Communication between coaches and judges should be an on going process, especially since the many changes in the MITF elements that occurred on Sept. 2, 2010.

      Local club officials and the rink's coaching staff can accomplish more if they work together to plan and host events that facilitate and foster an exchange of ideas so everyone is in agreement and teaching and evaluating a skater's performance.

      Some coaches ask judges to critique there students in advance of testing and competing so that areas that need improvement can be identified and fixed. Unfortunately in some areas judges are not readily available and must be brought in great distances for tests and competitions.

      There is an inceasing trend, in areas that must import judges, to combine testing prior to hosting an open competition.

      Even in areas where many judges reside, those who are not retired are busy with earning a living are not able to arrange their schedules for weekday practice and test sessions. As a result, these judges don't have much interaction with skaters and coaches except for competitions, exhibitions, and shows held on weekends.

      Judging comments on test sheets frequently mention the following topics:
  • The MITF have specific patterns that judges evaluate using the concept of long and short axis, used in skating figures and ice dancing and applied when skaters transition from one lobe to another. The consistent placement of the skate blade on the correct edge and on an angle that results in forward and backwards lobes that are equal in size and shape on outside and inside edges.
  • Using the rulebook patterns as a guide, the ice surface can be divided into four distinctive quadrants of the ice surface that coincide with the lines and circles that are universal in rinks that host a hockey club.
  • Skaters need to adjust the size of their lobes and flow to accommodate the edges and turns per quadrant. When this is not achieved, the skater realizes they are running out of room and then slows down in an attempt to avoid running into the barrier.
  • The following articles are being developed to facilitate communication between judges and coaches. The technical descriptions describe common mistakes that are observed by judges and the definitions that are represented by the notations and abbreviations used by judges.
      Comments and suggestions are welcomed. We would like to insure that there is a balance of different perspectives. The more input we receive from coaches and judges, the better the chance there will be to achieve a consensus. It is our desire that our efforts will result in skaters who are well prepared to test and receive a uniform evaluation by judges from rink to rink.

Recommended Reading:

Technical Descriptions

Core Body Positions

Forward Stroking

Forward Outside 3-Turns

Forward Inside 3-Turns

Backward Stroking

Backward Outside 3-Turn

Backward Inside 3-Turn


Test Judging Topics

Training for Judges


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:

Training for Judges

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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