The International Judging system ( IJS )

written by Tim Grafton January 2008, updated August 2010

Important Information

This information does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of this information in relation to your own situation before acting on it. 


The information displayed here is for the purpose of sharing coaching knowledge,  I do not promote myself as a  'coach's coach' in fact I'm just an average coach.



What is the IJS ?

The IJS replaced the old 6.0 system in 2003/4 but was not fully implemented in Australia until 2007 for all levels.

Under the IJS each technical element (ie jumps, spins, spirals, footwork) is given a base mark and a grade of execution ( GOE ),  spins, spirals and footwork have 4 levels.  All these elements have a base mark which is detailed in communication 1611.   Then there is a second set of marks called the program component score,  it is an evaluation of the skaters performance on 5 things (not in this order) :- 1.  Skating skills (stroking, posture, speed etc),  2.  choreography, 3. interpretation, 4. transitions (what is done between the elements,  for example an arm movement, spread eagle etc),  5. performance / execution.

There is a lot more to the IJS,  this is just a simple summary.

The IJS from the ISU is still new and constantly changing,  for the latest rules and clarifications go to,  then click on communications.

The ISU rules are written by people who don't use English as their first language,  so some of it is difficult to understand.

What has changed from the old 6.0 system?

Under the old 6.0 system competitions were basically jumping competitions,  so it was whoever did the biggest jump(s),  the spins were never really given credit,  this is just my opinion and there are many judges who will say they always gave proper credit for spins,  and I say sure ....

With the IJS all the technical elements are judged and awarded marks and the artistic side of the performance is broken down into 5 different marks as above,  so now under the IJS a well rounded performance will gain the most points,  it is no longer just a jumping competition.  For example in theory at the lower levels such as preliminary to Pre primary it is theoretically possible that if a skater performed high level spins and a spiral sequence with a high component score,  they could score enough points to place first in a major competition without doing any jumps,  of course they would probably score a deduction for not adhering to the well balanced program criteria. 

The IJS is designed for international level skaters, so it does not reward jumps very well at the lower levels (ie preliminary and elementary levels),  for example a single axel has a base value of 1.1, which makes sense at the international level because a single axel at that level would be a mistake (i.e., popped jump).  Read more,  click here.

Read the sections below on training for the IJS, Spiral sequences and spins.  
Read the ISA well balanced program criteria for the division,  fill up the program with the maximum elements allowed,  for example if 9 jumps are allowed then put 9 jumps in the program,  do not send skaters into competition with less than 9 jumps if 9 jumps are allowed as they will lose out on potential points.   If 3 spins are the maximum then put 3 spins in the program,  read the section on spins.   Now having said that,  it is quite a challenge to fit 9 jumps,  3 spirals, 3 spins and some artistry in a 1 1/2 minute program at Preliminary level,  in Canada the preliminary level is 2 minutes and they only allow a maximum of 2 spins.  

Home Spiral sequences Spins and the IJS Spins versus jumps Comm 1494

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