Judging can be very stressful
unless you are prepared to do your job by focusing completely on what
each skater is doing. It is very easy to attempt to make a notation and
end up missing a required element! Practice by watching tapes of actual
competitions. It is very helpful if the tapes are of competitions
outside your regular judging area. This eliminates the possibility of a
skater's reputation influencing your marking.
- 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. 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.
Make concise notes on the sheet in the event you discover you have tied
skaters. Allow enough space so you do not have to erase and change
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
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
- 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
for cold temperatures helps you remain warm, alert, and focused on your
- 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. Most Referees do not allow cell
phones, food and drinks once you take your position on the judging
stand. 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
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