Reading a Figure Skating Protocol – Singles

Reading a Figure Skating protocol can be a daunting process. With so many abbreviated codes and numbers, it can be hard to grasp what the results actually mean.

The Total Segment Score for a program is the sum of two components:

  • Total Element Score (TES)
  • Total Program Components Score (PCS)

minus any potential deductions (e.g. 1.0 for a fall.)

Below is a breakdown of the different aspects of a Men’s singles Free skate protocol. (here: Yuzuru Hanyu’s Free Skate protocol from the World Championships 2019. He earned a Total Segment Score of 206.10 for which he received a silver medal.)

(see also: Reading a Protocol – Pairs and Reading a Protocol – Ice Dance )

Total Element Score (TES)

Each element is rated on its difficulty and assigned a Base Value. During the program, the judges J1 to J9 then give a score based on how well the element was executed. The resulting Grade of Execution (GOE) is added or subtracted from the base value. The Total Element Score is the sum of all the Base Values + GOEs. (see: ISU 2168 Scale of Values for the Season 2018/2019)

(Further information: How to calculate the GOE)

Yuzuru Hanyu’s Free Skate protocol from the World Championships 2019
  1. 4Lo – This is the Quadruple Loop jump. The jump has a base value of 10.50.
  2. 4S< – This is the Quadruple Salchow jump. The < means that the jump was deemed underrotated, bringing down its base value. Furthermore, it also got negative GOE from the judges, lowering the total score further.
  3. FCCoSp4 – This is a Flying Change Foot Combination Spin. It was marked as a Level 4 (the highest level) by the technical panel.
  4. StSq3 – This is a Step Sequence, which is a series of footwork steps completed by the skater. It was judged to be a Level 3.
  5. 3Lo – This is a Triple Loop jump.
  6. 4T – This is a Quadruple Toeloop jump.
  7. 4T+3A+SEQ – This is a combination jump of a Quadruple Toeloop and a Triple Axel. The combination is a new set of jumps that is very difficult to execute. As a step is needed to get into position for the Triple Axel, it’s considered a Sequence of jumps. The X beside the base value means the value of the jump increases because the jump takes place in the second half of the program, which is considered more difficult.
  8. 3F+3T – This is a combination jump of a Triple Flip and a Triple Toeloop.
  9. 3A+1Eu+3S – This is a combination jump of a Triple Axel, a Single Euler, and a Triple Salchow. The Euler used to be known as a Half-Loop, and is used in triple combination jumps in order for a skater to get themselves on the correct edge for their third jump.
  10. ChSq1 – This is a Choreo Sequence. There are no required steps necessary for this sequence unlike in the Step Sequence, and therefore it can only ever be awarded a Level 1 by the technical panel.
  11. FCSSp4 – This is a Flying Change Foot Sit Spin. It’s been awarded a Level 4 by the technical panel.
  12. CCoSp4 – This is a Change Foot Combination Spin. It’s also been awarded a level 4 by the technical panel.

Total Program Components Score (PCS)

Program Components are judged in 5 categories:

  • Skating Skills
  • Transitions
  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Interpretation of the Music

Each judge can give up to 10.00 points for the individual categories. The trimmed mean (discarding the lowest and highest) of the judges’ scores is what you see on the right side. In singles skating, the Free program’s Program Component Score (PCS) is worth twice as much as in the Short program, meaning those numbers are doubled (2.00 factor). (The factors are slightly different for Ladies, with 0.80 for the Short and 1.60 for the Free.)

The skater received no deductions for this program. A skater will receive a -1.00 deduction for a fall.

How to calculate the GOE

If we want to calculate the final GOE, we have to take the trimmed mean of the GOE J1 to J9 gave to an element and look up the value in the scale of values table.

Quadrople Loop Base Value Yuzuru

Example: Line 1 shows a Quadruple Loop It has a Base Value of 10.50 which is displayed in the protocol as well as the table below. The final GOE can be between -5.25 and +5.25.

 ISU 2168 Single and Pair Skating Scale of Values

Out of the nine judges, we do not include the scores given by J2(1) and J4 (5). This gives us an average of 3.286 out of –5 and a final GOE of 5.25*(3.286/5)= 3.45.

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