Competition And Scoring System In Figure Skating

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The various competitions of figure skating are regulated and controlled by the International Skating Union (ISU). It has been identified as the prime body responsible for governing the various international competitions related to the sport of figure skating. The body governs not just the different world championships concerned with figure skating but it also controls and governs the various events of figure skating in the Winter Olympic Games.

In the competition of figure skating, where either singles or pairs are involved, two routines are primarily required to be performed by the competitors. These include the ‘short program’ and the ‘long program’. A complete list of elements as per requirements has to be completed by the skater as a part of the short program. These include steps, spins and jumps. There is however a greater choice of elements available in case of the ‘long program’ or ‘free skate’. There are three phases included in the ice dancing competitions. These phases include an ‘original dance’ where in the skater is required to dance to the rhythm of the ballroom; either one or more number of ‘compulsory dances’ and the third phase is any ‘free dance’ which could be as per the choice of the skaters.

In the earlier times, the sport of skating was particularly judged keeping into mind the technical capabilities of the skater in the free skate while in case of short program, the skaters were judged for all the required elements. The presentation of the skater was considered important in both types of programs. The marks that were given by the judge to the skater ranged from 0 to 6. That is why this method of judgment in skating was given the name of ‘the 6.0 system’. The marks that were given as a part of this system were considered to be used for preference ranking by the different judges who were involved in the judgment process. The preferences of the different judges were then considered together for the final judgment. A combined decision was then made based on the individual placements for both the programs separately. The participant who could get the highest placement was declared as the winner.

Another system of judgment that was adopted in the year 2004 was the International Judging System (IJS). This judgment system was made mandatory in all the figure skating competitions that were held at an international level in the year 2006. This was also true for the Winter Olympics held in 2006. According to this system of judgment, the different individuals were allocated points for all the individual skating elements and later on for each of the participant, the total element score was calculated. There was a constraint of the presence of a lot of elements being used for the process of evaluation in these competitions. There was a requirement of the judgment of each of the elements first by the technical specialist. The base value of the element was calculated based on the decision of the technical specialist. There are twelve other judges who are involved in the panel and who will then evaluate each of the elements with respect to the quality and execution. The mark which is given by these judges is termed as the grade of execution. The average value is determined for this score and it is then added to the base value so as to determine the overall winner.

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