USFS Judging
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USFS Judging

Types of Judges
       There are three classifications of judges - Basic Skills, Test, and Competition Judges. There are specific skills and knowledge required for each classification.

U.S. Figure Skating appoints and annually certifies individuals who are especially trained to judge different disciplines:
  • Singles and Pairs Free Skating, and Moves in the Field tests
  • Compulsory Dance and Free Dance partnered and solo tests
  • Synchronized Team Skating tests
  • Basic Skills badges and competitions
Note: The candidate must complete separate applications, and be approved to become qualified in each discipline.  All judging appointments includes trialing MITF, except Basic Skills.

Test judges start as prospective judges who trial Bronze level tests. The trialing processes involves independently evaluating and scoring performances of actual tests. The scores of each element on the test and supporting comments are compared with the official panel.
      A monitor is appointed to assist the prospective judge. Upon achieving a minimum number of trialing tests, the monitor will determine if there has been with an acceptable agreement with the judging panel and forward the trial sheets to the appropriate USFS judging committee with a recommendation for appoint- ment. As part of the recommendation process a questionnaire is sent to official judges about personal interactions with the candidate. After approval of this phase, the candidate must pass of written test to become an official judge.

       The same procedure is followed to become a Silver or Gold Judge.

For more information, consult the following:
Classifications of Judges   
       There are also three different classifications of judges:
  • Test judges - judge test sessions and non qualifying competitions.
  • Competition judges - judge non qualifying and qualifying competitions.
  • Basic skills judges - judge basic skills badges and competitions.
Competition Judges
       After becoming a test judge, you may want to explore becoming a competition judge. This involves trial judging qualifying and selected open competitions using the 6.0 and International Judging System.  Example of Completed Competition Appointment Tracking Sheet (PDF).  For a list of non qualifying competitions approved for trial judging, please click here (PDF).

More Volunteers Needed To Become Judges
       Figure skating clubs are urged to conduct seminars for skaters and parents that can also be used as a prospective judges school.

        Clubs sponsoring a Basic Skating Skills program should conduct seminars to train coaches and advanced skaters to become Basic Skills Judges. Non skating parents can also be trained; however, active skaters (Novice level above and who are sixteen or older), already have the technical background to become Basic Skating Skill judges. It also is helpful for skaters to be able to note on college applications that they are Basic Skating Skill judges.

      Ideally some Basic Skills Judges might become interested in becoming a prospective USFS judge.

      For several decades the USFS has been experiencing an attrition of judges without an equal number of new judges. At the same time the introduction of the IJS has seen judges becoming qualified as technical specialist which reduces the number of qualified judges to judge competitions.

USFS Competition Judges use the International Judging System (IJS) and the 6.0 US System
      As open competitions have switched from the 6.0 system to IJS, more judges are involved on multiple weekends almost on a year round basis.

        There is a serious need to train new volunteers as test and competition judges. The following links provide information about the tasks judges perform and the qualities an individual needs to successful as a judge:

          PDF Becoming a Judge

For those interested in becoming a judge, the first step is to call Headquarters (719.635.5200) or send an e-mail to and request a Trial Judging Kit (kit will be sent via e-mail). The kit contains all the information and paperwork you need to start your judging career.


The International Judging System (IJS)

PDF  IJS Judging Criteria

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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