People have been understandably confused by the COP and this results in a lot of frustration. So my idea for this thread is for various people to provide info on the COP in basic and/or summary form. I know Mathman and Pitchka are well-versed in the COP, but this thread is open to anyone to post a "lesson" (I can already suggest that someone do one on just what the abbreviations mean, lol) and of course to anyone and everyone to ask questions.
Since I'm going first, I'll start with something I noticed first: Lack of understanding of what constitutes the five components that make up the Total Component Score (TCS) also known as the "overall criteria," which are more or less equivalent to the presentation score under the 6.0 system.
The following definitions are from the ISU Communication No. 1207
New Judging System Figure Skating / Ice Dancing
Attachment B, p11
Definition Program Components
Figure Skating/Ice Dancing
Definition: Methods used by a skater/couple to create movement over the ice surface.
Purpose: To reward efficiency of movement in relation to speed, flow and quality of
•Overall skating quality
• Multi directional skating
• Speed and power
• Cleanness and sureness of edges (steps & edges Ice Dancing)
• Glide and flow
• Depth and quality of edges (Ice Dancing)
• Balance in ability of partner (Ice Dancing and Pair Skating)
Definition: Skating steps/elements linking program highlights.
Purpose: To reward different steps, movements and elements linking and enhancing the
program highlights so they become part of the program not just isolated
• Difficulty and quality of steps linking elements.
• Creativity and originality of steps linking elements (these are in
Choreography for Ice Dance)
• Originality and difficulty of entrances and exits of elements
• Pattern (Ice Dancing)
• Balance of workload between partners (Ice Dancing)
• Difficulty and variety of dance footwork, holds and linking movements (Ice Dancing)
Definition: The evaluation of the skater’s/couple’s ability to exhibit a pleasing appearance
through body awareness and projection.
Purpose: To reward the skater’s/couple’s ability to demonstrate body line, carriage and
balance while executing element highlights.
• Body alignment
• Variation of speed
• Unison (Ice Dancing and Pair Skating)
• Balance in performance between partners (Ice Dancing)
Definition: The evaluation of the program layout in relationship to elements and their
linking steps. Program highlights should be evenly distributed over the ice
surface demonstrating the skater’s/couple’s skills.
Purpose: To reward the skater(s) that utilizes the entire ice surface and different levels
of space around the skater(s). (Ice Dancing: to reward the couple creatively
utilizing the program to develop a theme or concept by use of music, the entire
ice surface and different levels of space around them.)
• Harmonious composition of the program
• Creativity and originality (Ice Dance only)
• Conformity of elements, steps and movements to the music
• Originality, difficulty and variety of program pattern
• Distribution of highlights
• Utilization of space and ice surface
Definition: The use of the body and skating elements to express outwardly the mood and
character of the chosen music.
Purpose: To reward the skater(s)/couples who express the mood, emotions, and
character of the music by using technical elements, linking steps and
choreography as a result of the music’s structure.
• Easy movement and sureness in time to the music
• Finesse, and nuances of the musical phrases (and accents and
change of pace of music in Ice Dance)
• Expression of the music’s style and character
• Maintaining the character and style of the music throughout the
• Timing (Original Dance and Free Dance only)
Timing (for Compulsory Dances only)
• Skating in time with the music
• Skating on strong beat
• Introductory Steps
Each judge gives the skater a score from 0 to 10 in increments of .25 for each component. The Total Component Score (TCS) is calculated according to what's called the "trimmed mean." The trimmed mean is calculated by deleting an equal number of highest and lowest scores and calculating the average of the remaining scores. For this purpose, for a panel of 9 or 8 Judges 4 scores will be deleted and for a panel of 7 – 5 Judges 2 scores will be deleted. (In the ISU papers, scores are sometimes referred to as grades. Generally the ISU papers use score to refer to the total calculated scores and grade to refer to the individual judge's score. I'll stick to score for both because I think grade implies a letter grade and also to be consistent.)
The panel’s scores for each program component are then multiplied by a factor as follows (same for Junior and Senior):
Men: SP: 1.0 FS: 2.0
Ladies: SP: 0.8 FS: 1.6
Pairs: SP: 0.8 FS: 1.6
The results are rounded to two decimal places. The results are the 5 Program Component Scores or TCS.
For example, in the Skate America ladies free skate, we can see the scores each judge gave each skater for every part of the program, including technical elements and the five components, plus the trimmed mean total scores. Thus we can also tell which scores were thrown out. To get the Detailed Results for a given discipline and SP or LP, go to
and click on Detailed Results, which is the furthest box to the right. The DR are in PDF format so you'll have to download them, but at least on my computer it took less than a minute to download each of the eight Detailed results.
Let's look at an example of how Component scores work and how the totals are calculated. Unfortunately the post format isn't great for tables, so please bear with me.
Let's start with how the score for all five compenents is calculated for one judge, eg, Judge #1, for one skater, eg, Sasha Cohen.
Skating Skills (SS) 8.00
Transitions (TR) 6.00
Perf/Execut* (PE) 8.50
Choreography (CH) 8.00
Interpretation (IN) 8.75
When you see this on the Detailed Results, the scores of all 11 judges will read horizontally for each component and after the name of each component you will see a column named "Factor" under which it will say all the way down "1.60." This is because after the scores for all five components are added up for each judge they are multiplied by a factor of 1.60 for the ladies free program. For the ladies SP the factor is 0.8. (See above for the component factors for the men, ladies, and pairs SP and FS. Dance is judged differently, but that's a different lesson.)
So, for all five component scores by Judge #1 we add the numbers from above for Cohen and get:
Then we multiply 39.25 by the Ladies FS Component factor of 1.60.
39.25 x 1.60 = 62.80
So 62.80 is Judge #1's Total Program Component Score (factorized). This same thing is done with the scores of all 11 judges. EDIT: Then the two high scores and two low scores, plus the scores of two randomly selected judges for the whole competition, as if they had never been on the panel, are thrown out for each of the five components. That leaves five scores after the highs, lows, and random scores are thrown out. When we average those five scores, the result is known as the trimmed mean. Sasha's Total Component Score (TCS), which is the score on the far right column of the table below all the other trimmed mean totals, is 68.88.
CONTINUED EDIT: When I first wrote this, I not only forgot to include concept of the two judges who are randomly excluded by computer before the competition even starts, but I also misunderstood how to mathematically calculate the TCS for Sasha even if I had thrown out the two highs, two lows, and had correctly guessed which judges' scores had been randomly eliminated. To quote GKELLY (see next post), who helped me out by correcting my blunder, here's the right way to do it:
CONTINUED EDIT: So the way I had gone on explaining how Sasha's TCS was calculated and numbers I orginally had listed were completely wrong. So rather than leaving up the incorrect numbers and confusing people, I deleted them. To give an example of the correct way Sasha’s TCS for her Skate America free skate was calculated is difficult since we don’t know which two judges were randomly excluded prior to the competition. As Gkelly said, on the Detailed Results table, you read across horizontally for each component--Skating Skills, Transitions, Performance Execution, Choreography, Interpretation--and it is from each of those components that the same two judges’ scores who have randomly excluded are thrown out, then the two high and two low scores left after that are thrown out, then the average of the remaining five scores are calculated to get the trimmed mean score, which is at the far right of the Detailed Results table. By adding the trimmed means for the five components we get the unfactored total (UT). By multiplying that number by the factor for the TCS, 1.6, we get the factored total (FT) or Sasha’s TCS of 68.88.Just looking at the program components, as Rgirl does, you don't come up with 68.88 for Cohen by adding up judge 1's scores for the five components, then judge 2's, etc., in columns, and then work across the bottom to eliminate the randomly selected judges (if we knew who they were) and the high and low *totals* and average what's left.
Instead, you have to go across the rows for each component, get rid of the secret randomly eliminated judges, throw out high and low of what's left for that component, average the remaining scores for that component, and end up with the average in the right column.
In other words, you work across, eliminate, and average first, and only at the end work down and add. Rgirl was working down and adding first and then working across, eliminating, and averaging last, which is the wrong algorithm and therefore would not produce the right result even if we did know which were the secretly eliminated judges.
FT 68.88, ie, TCS 68.88
So the way I had originally explained how Sasha's TCS was calculated and the numbers I orginally had listed were completely wrong. Thanks again to GKELLY for the corrections.
I think a math mistake by Rgirl is a great place to end this, our first and hopefully not our last lesson in the ABCs of the Code of Points. Other COP professors, please, take it away------->
R(2 + 2 = 5)girl