For immediate release:
The ISU has successfully tested the New Judging System for Figure Skating and Ice Dancing at the 2003 Nebelhorn Trophy and the 2003 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series and Final.
The events ran smoothly and were enjoyed by many thousands of spectators, as well as by a large television audience. There seemed to be a significant improvement especially in the quality of footwork, spins and lifts as the series progressed, because skaters recognized that the hard work required to improve their performances would be rewarded in higher point scores. The competition results were widely regarded as an accurate reflection of the skaters’ performances within the framework of the rules.
Many skaters and coaches made positive comments about the New Judging System during the season. Here are some examples:
Elena Liashenko (UKR) at Cup of China:
“Skating first in the first group, I never would have thought that I could win the event. Today, the new judging system was great for me. Under the old system, it would have been highly unlikely for me to move up to first. With this new system, more athletes have a chance to win.”
Tanith Belbin / Benjamin Agosto (USA) at Skate America:
“It is very helpful for all the athletes. You get a sheet showing all the judges’ marks for all your elements, your programs, and your levels (of difficulty). You get direct, immediate feedback as to what you need to work on or what your strengths are.”
Doug Leigh, coach of Takeshi Honda (JPN) in October 2003:
"I'd never go back to the old way. We can work with this one, and improve it if we need to. It is, by far, a better system, and gives so much more control to the athlete to decide where he finishes. All you have to do is do your job."
Grand Prix Final Men’s Event:
Evgeni Plushenko produced two fine performances at the Grand Prix Final. However, he included a third jump combination in his free skating, although only two jump combinations are awarded credit in order to ensure a balanced program. Therefore he did not gain points for the third jump combination and the included jumps, which he could not repeat (e.g. Triple Axel). He also omitted a planned jump at the end of the program, which would have earned more points. Plushenko finished in second place, 3.1 points behind Emanuel Sandhu (CAN), who skated extremely well to win the gold medal.
Alexei Mishin, coach of Evgeni Plushenko (RUS):
“He did three combinations. He wanted to do the second quad with the loop, and I said, go ahead. But he forgot not to do the Axel in combination.”
2003/4 ISU Grand Prix Winners
Discipline / Name / Country / Score
Ladies Fumie Suguri JPN 182.08
Men Emanuel Sandhu CAN 228.29
Pairs Xue Shen / Hongbo Zhao CHN 196.08
Ice Dancing Tatiana Navka / Roman Kostomarov RUS 175.91*
* The Ice Dancing competition at the Grand Prix Final did not include a Compulsory Dance segment, only the Original and Free Dances.
Highest Total Scores Achieved During the 2003 Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final
Discipline / Name / Country / Score
Ladies MasterCard Skate Canada Sasha Cohen USA 197.60
Men Trophée Lalique Evgeni Plushenko RUS 234.29
Pairs Grand Prix Final Xue Shen / Hongbo Zhao CHN 196.08
Ice Dancing Cup of Russia Tatiana Navka / Roman Kostomarov RUS 225.79 + 183.39 *
+ Including the Compulsory Dance segment.
* Excluding the Compulsory Dance, for comparison with the Grand Prix Final score.
About the New Judging System
The New Judging System, which was developed following a decision of the ISU Congress in June 2002, is a revolutionary step forward in the judging of figure skating. Skaters receive points for each element of their program according to an agreed scale. Points are added or subtracted based on ssessment by judges of the quality of execution of each element, according to strict criteria. At the end f the program judges also give five marks for presentational aspects of the performance, such as iterpretation of the music. Scores for each of a skater’s programs are added and the highest score wins.
Full details of the New Judging System are available on the ISU website – www.isu.org. See in particular Communications 1207 and 1224 about the point scores and Communication 1238 about assessment of judges.