International Judging System

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Program Component Marks

The program component marks and the technical scores equal the total program score
      Planning to maximize the IJS program component marks involves a series of steps to evaluate and develop an objective assessment of the skater's current skills and establish short and long term goals to achieve maximum performance marks:

      There are five Program Component areas that judges evaluate to award a mark from O.25 to 10 in increments of .25 for each of the following categories:

1. Skating Skills

2. Transitions and Linking Footwork & Movement

3. Performance and Execution

4. Choreography / Composition

5. Interpretation

      The scores are added together and multiplied by a factor to produce the skater’s final second mark.

      The Program Component Explanations document that contains the following information can be found on the ISU web site.

      The ISU developed the IJS to evaluate elite international, world, and Olympic skaters. The ISU issued a Program Component Range that provides a suggestion for evaluating program components of elite skaters.

Skating Skills
     Over all skating quality: Edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrating a command of  edges, steps, turns, etc. displaying a clarity of technique, and the use of effortless power to accelerate plus demonstrating a variation of speed. Includes:

Balance, rhythmic knee action, and precision foot placement

Flow and effortless glide: Rhythm, strength, clean strokes, and an efficient use of lean to create a steady run to the blade and an ease of transfer of weight resulting in effortless power and acceleration

Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps, and turns: The skater should demonstrate clean and controlled curves, deep edges, steps and turns that do not impede power/flow.

Varied use of power/energy, speed, and acceleration: Variety is the gradation – some of which may be subtle

Multi directional skating: Includes skating: forward and backward, clockwise and counterclockwise, including rotation in both directions with equal/balance skill performance.

Mastery of one foot skating: Minimum use of gliding/skating on two feet.

Transitions/ Linking Footwork and Movement
     The varied and/or intricate footwork, positions, and movements that link all elements. In singles, pairs, and synchronized skating this also includes the entrances and exits of technical elements.

     Transitions can be short or long, including the use of blade, body, head, arms, legs as dictated by the music and with a minimal use of crossovers). Includes:






     Performance is the involvement of the skater/couple/teams physically, emotionally, and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and choreography. Execution is the quality of movement and precision in delivery. Includes:

Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement: In all skating disciplines each skater must be physically committed, sincere in emotion, and equal in comprehension of the music and in execution of all movement.

Carriage: A trained inner strength of the body that makes possible ease of movement from the center of the body. Alignment is the fluid change from one movement to the next.

Style and individuality/personality: Style is the distinctive use of line and movement as inspired by the music. Individuality/personality is a combination of personal and artistic preferences that a skater/pair/couple brings to the concept, manner, and content of the program.

Clarity of movement: Is characterized by the refined lines of the body and limbs, as well as the precise execution of any movement.

Variety and contrast: Varied use of tempo, rhythm, force, size, level, movement shapes, angles, and, body parts as well as the use of contrast

Projection: The skater radiates energy resulting in an invisible connection with the audience.

     An intentional, developed, and/or original arrangement of all movements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure, and phrasing. Includes:

Purpose - (Idea, concept, vision, mood): To reward the intentional and quality design of a program.

Proportion (equal weight of all parts): Each part and section has equal weight in achieving the aesthetic pursuit of the composition.

Unity - Purposeful threading of all movements: A program achieves unity when: every step, movement, and element is motivated by the music. As well, all its parts, big or small, seem necessary to the whole, and there is an underlying vision or symbolic meaning that threads together the entire composition.

Pattern and Ice Coverage: Movement phrases are designed using an interesting and meaningful variety of patterns and directions of travel.

Phrasing and Form (movement and parts are structured to match the phrasing of the music): A phrase is a unit of movement marked by an impulse of energy that grows, builds to a conclusion, and then flows easily and naturally into the next movement phrase. Form is the presentation of an idea, the development of the idea, and its conclusion presented in a specific number of parts and a specific order for design.

Originality of Purpose, Movement, and Design: An individual perspective of movement and design in pursuit of a creative composition as inspired by the music and the underlying vision.

Utilization of Personal and Public Space: Movement phrases are distributed in such a way they communicate from every angle in a 360 degree skater-viewer relationship.

    The personal and creative translation of the music to movement on ice. To reward the skater who through movement creates a personal and creative translation of the music. As the tempo binds all notes in time, the ability to use the tempos and rhythms of the music in a variety of ways, along with the subtle use of finesse to reflect the nuances of all the fundamentals of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, color, texture, and form creates a mastery of interpretation. Includes:

Effortless Movements in Time to the Music (Timing): The ability to translate music through sureness of rhythm, tempo, effective movement, and effortless flow over the ice surface by: rhythmic continuity, awareness of all tempo/rhythm changes in a variety of ways.

Expression of the music's style, character, and rhythm: Maintaining the character and style of the music throughout the entire program by use of body and skating techniques to depict a mood, style, shape, or thematic idea as motivated by the structure of the music: melody, harmony, rhythm, color, texture, and form. The total involvement of the body should express the intent of the music.

Use of finesse to reflect the nuances of music: The skater's refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal, artistic ways of bringing subtle variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or the musician.

The total Technical Element GOE Scores and the total of the Program Component Scores are added together to arrive at the total combined score that determines who wins the event.
Recommended Reading:

International Judging System (IJS) - Welcome to US Figure Skating  Aug. 17, 2012 In the Technical Score, each element of a skater's program is assigned a base value. ... + GOE) is the Total Element Score (TES), aka the Technical Score.

IJS Judging Rules & Regulations -

Test Judging Topics


Elite Skaters IJS Handbook

Beginning and Test Skaters

Choreography and Artistic Performances

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:

IJS Competition Articles
          GOE Guidelines
          Calculation of Base Values & GOE Scores
PDF  Single/Pair Elements Levels of Difficulty 
PDF  Guidelines marking Single/Pair GOEs
          Calculating Base Values & GOE Scores
PDF  Changes in the Scales of Values
          GOE Spin Elements
          GOE Step Spiral Elements
Final Element Score  
Program Components
PDF  Program Component Marking Ranges
PDF  Explanation of Components
          Planned Program Content
PDF  Planned Program Content Form
          Considerations - Performance  Feedback
          Does Outcome Equal Performance
          Summary of IJS Judging System


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