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Interpreting 6.0 Score Sheets

The USFS 6.0 Judging System
      The 6.0 judging system is used for USFS pre-juvenile and below non-qualifying competition events and for all levels of skaters who have not passed any USFS skating tests.

      The scores of an individual judge in the 6.0 system ranks the placement of the skaters by that judge. These marks are then converted to Ordinals with a "1" being rewarded to the skater with the highest mark by that judge.

      No scores are thrown out. The system is designed to determine placements by a system of "majority rules" that effectively minimize the negative impact of judges whose scores differ from those given by the majority.

      There are from 3 to 5 judges at amateur figure skating events. Each judge awards marks to each competitor on a scale ranging from zero to six. In theory, a performance mark of six indicates no errors, five is very few errors, four is few errors, three is an average performance, two is less than satisfactory, one is poor, and zero is not skated. Two scores are awarded. One for the "technical" quality of the program and a second mark for the "presentation" quality of the skater.

      The public does not actually see the judges scores. What is posted is a sheet that has converted the judge's marks into "ordinals" which are used to compute the standings.

Ordinals
      Each judge issues a "technical" score and a "presentation" score to every skater in the event. Both marks are combined for a total score for each skater. The accountants enter each judge's marks into the computer. The skater with the highest total score receives a first place or ordinal on that judge's sheet. The computer ranks all of the skaters on the judge's sheet in descending order. The skater with the second highest score gets the judge's number 2nd place ordinal; continuing until the last place is determined.

      In the event that two or more skaters have the same total score, the skater with the highest presentation score receives the higher ordinal. It the presentation marks are the same, both skaters receive the same ordinal and the next lower ordinal is not awarded.

      You will see that, since the actual score numbers are not used to compute the final placement for skaters, a judge that marks consistently high or low will not have a negative impact on the ultimate result. Only his final ordered placement is counted.

      An example of the translation process from scores to ordinals is shown here. Assume that there are 5 skaters in a Pre-Juvenile Freestyle event. The table below shows the results given by one judge for those skaters, and shows the translation of the results to ordinals. This process would be repeated for each judge on that event's panel.

                        An Individual Judge's Sheet 

              
 Skater
 Technical Merit Mark
 Presentation Mark
 Total of Marks
 Ordinal Value

 Mary 2.7 2.7 5.4 3

 Jane 2.8 2.7 5.5 1

 Haley 2.6 2.8 5.4 2

 Torrie 2.7 2.7 5.4 4

 Carie 2.4 2.4 4.8 5

                                       A Judge's Sheet arranged in descending order

        
 Place
 Skater
 Technical Merit Mark
 Presentation Mark
 Total of Marks
 Ordinal Value

1
 Jane 2.8 2.7 5.5 1

2  Haley 2.6 2.8 5.4 2

3  Mary 2.7 2.7 5.4 3

3  Torrie 2.7 2.7 5.4 3

5  Carie 2.4 2.4 4.8 5
 
    If a judge ties two or more skaters, the higher second mark (presentation) breaks the tie.

        
 Place
 Skater
 Technical Merit Mark
 Presentation Mark
 Total of Marks
 Ordinal Value

2  Haley 2.6 2.8 5.4 2

3  Mary 2.7 2.7 5.4 3

3  Torrie 2.7 2.7 5.4 3

      If a tie still exists, the remaining skaters are awarded the same ordinal. The following ordinal is then vacant and the following skater receives the next eligible ordinal.

Combining the Results of All of the Judges on a Panel
      The ordinals are then displayed for the full panel of judges to determine the winner. All panels are composed of an odd number of judges, ranging in size from 3 to 9, depending on the level and nature of competition.
Why are multiple judges used on a panel?
      The scoring system is designed to place the skaters in the right positions. The sport has a degree of subjectiveness associated with the process of evaluating a group of skaters whose skills are inconsistent and the quality in variable with different elements which will be performed well, and some of which will be performed with errors ranging from falls (no value), major, and minor errors.

Why are an old number of judges used on a panel?
      Having a panel of three, five, or seven judges insures that a range of "opinions" will be considered, such as those who emphasize:
  • spins, centered and speed
  • jumps, high, clean, fully rotated landings
  • speed & power without excessive crossover of telegraphing jumps
  • presentation and interpretive skills
  • musicality, include choose of music with a theme, highlights, and changes in tempo.
      When results of a panel look a little mixed up, it is shows that the skaters were very close in their abilities and skaters are treated fairly.
  
      The method by which the judge's results are combined confuses many people, and causes many misconceptions. It is quite simply it was difficult to achieve a consensus with the skater with the most "1's" winning. That means that in general the strengths and weakness were distributed rather evenly in the skaters in that groups.

      The event could have been one in which every skater fell one or more times, cheated jumps, didn't hold spin positions, spins traveled, and/or failed to have any relationship with the music. Of course, all of the skaters could have skated very well and judges had to use minor differences in separating the skaters, meaning there was very little difference between the top, middle, and lower places.

      The Accountants follow very detailed rules to determine the skaters' placements.

1st Place First place is whoever gets a majority of "1's"
2nd Place Mentally change any remaining 1st place ordinals  into 2nd places. Then you find the skater with a majority of 2nd places. That skater gets second place.
3rd Place You always converting any "remaining" higher valued ordinals to the value of the level you're looking for and then determine if a majority of ordinals at that level exists.

      The result sheets will have a column labeled "LOW MAJ" (Low Majority) indicates the basis upon which the position is calculated. The notation of "4/1" means that the skater is credited for four (4) 1st place ordinals. The notation of "3/2" means that the skater has three (3) 2nd place ordinals.

      Hopefully, the rules given above make sense, and will help you to figure out most of the score sheets you're likely to find. But there are a few details that usually manage to crop up to make things a little harder.

The Majority
      The skater with a majority of 1st places wins. On a 5 judge panel, you've got to get at least 3 judges whose ordinals agree to get that place. If the judges are pretty split and nobody has a real majority at a certain level, then you start counting the votes for the next place down.

      Imagine ana event in which no one has three 1st places.

      It's necessary to convert all 1st places to 2nd places to see who has a majority of 2nd place ordinals. That person would receive the 1st place.

            
Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM      Place

Ann 1 2 2 2 2 5/2
1

Mary 2 1 1 3 4 3/2
2

Susie 4 4 3 1 1 3/3 5 3

Nancy
3 3 5 4 3 3/3 9 4

Connie 5 6 6 5 5 3/5
5

Ruth 6 5 4 6 6 5/6
6

    You then proceed down the list to award the other positions.

    The following example may clarify how a higher order is counted as the next lower ordinal:

            
Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM      Place

Ann 1 2 2 2 2 5/2
1

Mary 2 1 1 3 4 3/2
2

Susie 4 4 3 1 1 3/3 5 3

Nancy
3 3 5 4 3 3/3 9 4

      In this example, no skater had a majority (3) of 1st place ordinals. So first place was determined by counting who has the most 2nd ordinals. And Ann, even though she received fewer 1st place ordinals than Mary and Susie, still had the more total judges that thought she should place 2nd.

      This example also demonstrates another rule, that of "Greater Majority". You'll notice that both Ann and Mary have a majority (3 or more votes) of 2nd place ordinals. So rather than immediately looking for 3rd place ordinals after placing Ann, you use Mary's lesser majority of 2nd place ordinals. to award her 2nd. Ann placed  1st because she has the "Greater Majority" (5/2 trumps 3/2) for the first place.

Ties - Skaters receive the Same Number of Votes
      Ties are possible because higher ordinals are converted to the placement for the level you're looking at. It is not unusual that 2 or more skaters will receive the same number of ordinals at any given level.  See the example below shows a situation where this occurred. The USFS Rulebook discusses specific procedures by which ties can be broken.

First Level Ties - TOM
      The first rule to resolve a tie is called "Total of Majority", or "TOM". When there is a tie, the skaters who received higher-placed ordinals are favored.

      If 2 or more skaters are tied on the basis of Low Majority, you add up the actual values of the ordinals that the judges awarded to compose their majority. In the following example, the skater will the lowest sum receives the higher placement.

                   
Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM Place

Kimberly
2 4 5 6 1 3/4 7 4

Jane 5 5 3 4 4 3/4 11 5

      If these two competitors are under consideration for 4th place, you would have found that both of them have three (3) 4th place votes. That's why they both say "3/4" in the LOW MAJ column. So you now add up the actual value of the majority votes to see who gets the lowest "Total of Majority". In this example, we add up Kimberly's 2+4+1 to get a TOM of 7. For Jane, the 3+4+4 results in a TOM of 11. So in this example, Kimberly places 4th and Jane gets 5th.

Second Level Ties - Total of Ordinals (TOO)
      Sometimes skaters remain tied even after TOM is applied. In that case you can apply yet another rule to  resolve the tie. "Total of Ordinals" or "TOO" adds up ALL of the actual ordinals given the skater. The skater with the lowest TOO gets the higher placement.

      Consider the following example (this one with only 3 judges)

                     
Competitor J1 J2 J3 Low Maj TOM TOO      
Place


Christina 2 3 4 2/3 5 9 3

Jill
3 6 2 2/3 5 11 4

      In this case, both Christina and Jill have two 3rd place ordinals and are tied on the basis of LOW MAJ. After adding up the TOMs they each got 5 (2+3 = 5), they are still tied on the basis of TOM. The next step is to add up all the ordinals, getting 2+3+4 = 9 for Christina, and 3+6+2 = 11 for Jill. Christina  gets the higher placement because she has the lower TOO.

Third Level Ties
      If after applying TOO, the skaters are still tied, there is no further resolution. They are tied and the next lower ordinal is not awarded.

Other Rules
      There are other rules that deal with the combination of Short and Long programs in higher level events, and which resolve some issues in the conversion of actual scores to ordinals. But the notes in this section explain most of what you need to know to interpret the results on the wall at competitions you go to.

Final Result Sheets

      The following result sheet is a typical final posting at most local club or open competitions. The boxed notes explain the way that the scores are computed.
Shasta Summer Classic 2008
Mt Shasta FSC

August 19 2010
Pre-Juvenile Freeskate A

***** Final Standings *****

Judge number 1        Joe Smith
Judge number 2        Sally Evans
Judge number 3        Allison McInness
Judge number 4        Kathy Evans
Judge number 5        Wayne Turner


Place Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM TOO
 
1 Susie 1 1 2 1 1 4/1

2 Ruth 4 5 1 2 2 3/2

3 Dieon 2 2 8 8 3 3/3 7
4 Alma 3 4 3 3 6 3/3 9
5 McKenzee 5 6 4 4 4 4/5

6 Nicole 8 3 6 5 5 4/6

7 Kelly 6 7 7 6 8 4/7 26 34 TIE
7 Laurie 7 8 5 7 7 4/7 26 34 TIE



Susie received 4 1st place ordinals for a majority of the 1st places and is 1st overall.

               
Place  Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM TOO

1 Susie 1 1 2 1 1 4/1



The 1st in Ruth's row is counted as a 2nd, which gives her a majority (3) of 2nd place ordinals for 2nd place.

               
Place  Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM TOO
      
2 Ruth 4 5 1 2 2 3/2


The same process is used to determine McKenzee's 5st and Nicole's 6th placements.

               
Place  Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj

5 McKenzee 5 6 4 4 4 4/5

6 Nicole 8 3 6 5 5 4/6


Dieon and Alma each have the same number of "3rd" places. The tie is broken by adding up the total numeric value of the ordinals forming the "majority placement of 3rd places. Dieon gets 2+2+3 = 7, and Alma gets 3+3+3 = 9. So Dieon has a lower value for TOM and places 3rd.

               
Place  Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM TOO

3 Dieon 2 2 8 8 3 3/3 7

4 Alma 3 4 3 3 6 3/3 9


Both skaters are initially tied for 7th place, with (4) "7" votes each. On TOM (see note above), they both get a total of 26, and are still tied. Adding up all of the ordinals (6+7+7+6+8 = 34) for Kelly, and (7+8+5+7+7 = 34) for Laurie). Since they both have the same TOO value, they are STILL TIED. If the TOO numbers were different, the lower number would have placed higher.
 
               
Place  Competitor J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 Low Maj TOM TOO

7 Kelly 6 7 7 6 8 4/7 26 34 TIE

7 Laurie 7 8 5 7 7 4/7 26 34 TIE


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providing credit is given. Materials are not to be republished or used for any commercial purposes

    The most current year USFSA Rulebook is the official guide to all rules and requirements.

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:

  
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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