There has been much discussion on national inflation, the belief that national scores are inherently higher than ISU scores. I decided to do a survey by taking the top 5 finishers from the last 2 US Nationals in all 4 disciplines. I list that skater's/team's national score, their score from their next ISU event, and the difference. ( The * means that skater/team has not had an ISU event since Nats, so I had to take the previous ISU event. ) Here is what I came up with.


Men

skater ........ Nats score ..... next ISU .... difference

2008

Evan Lysacek .... 244.77 ........ 233.11 ....... 11.66
Johnny Weir ...... 244.77 ........ 221.84 ....... 22.93
Stephen Carrier . 228.06 ........ 218.30 ........ 9.76
Jeremy Abbott .... 221.85 ........ 206.40 ....... 15.45
Ryan Bradley .... 221.31 ........ 212.75 ........ 8.56

2009

Jeremy Abbott ... 241.89 ........ 216.94 ....... 24.95
Brandon Mroz .... 229.70 ........ 196.78 ....... 32.92
Evan Lysacek .... 229.10 ........ 237.15 ....... -8.05
Ryan Bradley ..... 221.40 ....... *175.62 ....... 45.78
Johnny Weir ...... 203.99 ....... *215.50 ....... -11.51

Ladies

skater ........ Nats score ..... next ISU .... difference

2008

Mirai Nagasu ...... 190.41 ........ 162.89 ....... 27.52
Rachael Flatt ..... 188.73 ........ 172.19 ....... 16.54
Ashley Wagner ... 188.56 ........ 152.46 ....... 36.10
Caroline Zhang ... 173.16 ........ 171.84 ........ 1.32
Bebe Liang ........ 164.87 ........ 144.25 ....... 20.62

2009

Alissa Czisny ..... 178.06 ........ 159.81 ....... 18.25
Rachael Flatt ...... 173.78 ........ 162.83 ....... 10.95
Caroline Zhang ... 171.08 ........ 171.22 ....... -0.14
Ashley Wagner ... 165.33 ........ 153.57 ....... 11.76
Mirai Nagasu ...... 159.99 ........*124.22 ....... 35.77

Pairs

2008

team ............... Nats score ... next ISU .... difference

McLaughlin/Brubaker .. 190.74 ...... 172.69 ........ 18.05
Inoue/Baldwin .............. 183.17 ...... 156.00 ........ 27.17
Castile/Okolski ............ 175.07 ...... 159.00 ........ 15.08
Vise/Trent .................... 161.20 ...... 134.41 ........ 26.79
Evora/Ladwig .............. 158.94 ...... 138.14 ........ 20.80

2009

McLaughlin/Brubaker .. 178.76 ...... 164.01 ........ 14.75
Denney/Barrett ............ 176.27 ...... 161.69 ........ 14.58
Inoue/Baldwin .............. 171.08 ...... 157.38 ........ 13.70
Evora/Ladwig .............. 159.95 ..... *143.88 ........ 16.07
Castile/Okolski ............ 157.01 ..... *146.03 ........ 10.98

Ice Dance

2008

team ............... Nats score ... next ISU .... difference

Belbib/Agosto ............. 216.07 ........ 203.00 ....... 13.07
Davis/White ............... 206.82 ........ 199.45 ........ 7.37
Navarro/Bommentre .. 187.94 ........ 180.65 ........ 7.29
Samuelson/Bates ...... 175.16 ........ 181.66 ....... -6.50
wester/Barantsev ....... 169.37 ........ 141.06 ....... 28.31

2009

Davis/White ................ 201.68 ........ 192.39 ........ 9.29
Samuelson/Bates ...... 181.64 ........ 180.79 ........ 0.85
Navarro/Bommentre .. 176.30 ........ 151.82 ....... 24.48
Hubbell/Hubbell .......... 171.51 ........ 161.34 ....... 10.17
Matthews/Gislason ...... This team has no ISU events.

As you can see, there were only 4 instances out of 39 where the ISU score is higher. This indicates there is some kind of inflation going on. The average inflation of the 39 samples is 15.47 points. This is fairly significant. I don't know if this is actually a "problem" of any kind, it's just very interesting.