Train for the IJS

(International judging system), 

written by Tim Grafton January 2008

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. 



Firstly it is important to understand how and where the points are awarded for skating performances under the IJS,  the most important thing to know at the lower levels (Preliminary and elementary) is that these are single performances, in other words the skater only skates once,  at high levels they usually skate twice with a short (technical program) and a long (free-skate program),  in preliminary and elementary programs the program component scores are given a factor of 2,  in other words doubled,  so this makes the program component scores twice as valuable as the technical score in theory,   I say in theory because there is always some reluctance by judges to award very high program component scores if the technical score is not high.  
So generally speaking the elements at the lower levels are valued like this with the highest value elements first going down to the least :-  
1.  Program components,  i.e., skating skills,  progressions,  choreography, interpretation and execution. Highest value
2.  Spins high value
3.  Spiral sequence high value for high levels
4.  jumps lowest individual value
So note that the jumps are the individually the least valuable source of points assuming they are all single rotation jumps.   At higher levels,  for example primary/intermediate and above,  the points earned by landing double jumps quickly adds up,  so to be competitive at higher levels it is important to have a well balanced program with high level spins, spirals and plenty of double jumps some in combination (i.e., double - double).


So where does the costume rate in this?   No where,  it is not marked except perhaps it may help with the interpretation score,  in other words if you are a boy skating to James bond music and you are wearing a tux like costume or you are a girl skating to Carmen and wear a Spanish lace type costume.  But do not over rate the value of this,  it may not be worth spending money on a costume when it could be spent on more ice time and lessons.  

So now that you recognise where the points need to be earned under the IJS (program components) at the lower levels,  you need to train or coach (if you are a coach), for it.   Coaches these days at all levels need to dedicate a large portion of lesson time to skating skills (stroking, edges, footwork),  program creation and polishing,  this will vary by the coach but it may be as high as half to 3 quarters of the lesson time.   Now teaching skating skills one skater at a time in private lessons is an expensive option,  clubs should recognise that it is more cost efficient and enjoyable for the skaters to work on skating skills in classes.   Have a look at the KWSC schedule (Waterloo Canada),  (ie see Junior start skill B at 6:35pm on Monday) and you will see that each evening figure session starts with a 20 minute skating skills section where each coach runs a group lesson with their own students and teaches stroking,  edges, turns,  there is no jumping, spinning or spirals allowed.




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