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Figure Skating Judging Systems

International Judging System (IJS) or 6.0 Judging Systems
       Sometimes a skater and/or coach develop a reputation for unrealistic expectations of critiques and are likely to dispute judge's marks/placement in competitions.  The introduction of IJS scoring with a technical panel has helped parents and skaters understand how judges awarded their marks.

       The IJS is more expensive to run, but it helps to communicate a fair and objective appraisal of the technical performance even for the lower events. Ideally, this system will eventually be expanded to include all lower level events, However, this depends on developing a larger pool of available judges and specialists. Lower level events  benefit if judges critique their free skating programs using the IJS protocols.

       The lower level USFS club and open competition events are generally judged using the 6.0 system. This system requires judges to compare the performances and determine who had fewer errors and factor that evaluation with the quality of the technical elements.

       Skaters and parents may not agree, but judges give more credit to less difficult element performed at a higher standard then more technically difficult elements that are cheated and display poor form or performed without speed and confidence.

       Another common misconception is that of the music selected for the program. It should be suitable to both the skaters age and their technical skills. The music must have the potential to allow skating choreography to interpret the musical theme as written by the composer.

       Artistic, interpretive, showcase and Theater-On-Ice events are judged using the 6.0 system. They have a completely different set of rules and expectations. These events are evaluated for their entertainment value, not their technical jumping and spinning skills. Many skaters attempt to use their competitive free skating music, choreography, and costumes in an attempt to qualify for the National Showcase Championships. The results are usually very disappointing for the skaters. These are separate disciplines that require considerable time and effort to produce programs that will receive high marks.

Artistic Marks
       There is a feeling held by some skaters that they can improve their competitive free skating program's presentation marks by entering artistic events and magically, their technically difficult free skating program will become more artistic. For years judges have suggested that developing artistic abilities requires limiting the technical tricks in order to concentrate on developing skills associated with connecting with the audience seated on the top levels of a large arena.

       Some individuals seem to be unable to understand that it is the artistic part of their program that judges will be evaluating and that the choice of music, costume, and the skater's ability to express the composer's musical theme are much more important than the technical difficulty of a skater performing jumps and spins. Since artistic programs are not judged using the IJS system, the levels of technical difficulty of their jumps and spins are not relevant.

Recommended Reading:

Role of Technique in Choreographing Figure Skating Programs

Role of Music in Choreographing Figure Skating Programs

Role of the Choreographer in Figure Skating

Artistic and Interpretive Events

Showcase Events

Theater On Ice Events

References:
Resources:

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

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
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