Reading a Figure Skating Protocol – Ice Dance

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

The score for the entire program is called Total Segment Score and combines two parts:

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

Deductions, for example for a fall or a costume malfunction, are subtracted from the final segment score.

Below is a breakdown of the different aspects of an Ice Dance team’s Free Dance protocol (here: Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue’s Free Dance protocol from the Four Continents Championships 2019. They earned a Total Segment Score of 119.71 and ranked 4th.)

(see also: Reading a Figure Skating Protocol – Pairs and Reading a Figure Skating Protocol – Singles )

Total Element Score (TES)

Each element is assigned a Base Value based on its difficulty. The judges then decide on a scale of -5 to 5 how well this 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 2167 Scale of Values for the Season 2018/2019)

(Further information: How to calculate the GOE)

Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue’s Free Dance protocol from the Four Continents Championship 2019

StaLiB – This is a Stationary Lift. The lift has a base value of 1.00. Although the skaters received a Level 4 for this lift in the live-scoring (StaLi4), when the technical panel reviewed it they dropped it down to Base level. The male skater travelled during the lift, which means it didn’t fit the technical requirements for a stationary lift.

ChSt1– This is the Choreographic Character Step Sequence. It is designed to embody the character of the dance, and as it doesn’t require the intricate footwork of other step sequences, it can only be awarded a Level 1.

SlLi4+CuLi4 – This is a combination lift of a Straight line Lift and a Curve Lift. Both lifts were awarded Level 4s by the technical panel.

OFStL3+OFStM3 – This is the One Foot Step Sequence. It’s judged separately for the Lady and the Man. Both skaters were awarded a Level 3.

MiSt4 – This is the Midline Step Sequence. It describes the path direction the skaters take across the ice. The skaters are judged together for this step sequence and received a Level 4.

SyTwL3+SyTwM4 – These are the Synchronized Twizzles. They are judged separately for the Lady and the Man. The Lady received a Level 3 and the Man received a Level 4.

ChTw1 – This is a Choreographic Twizzle. All choreographic elements can only receive a Level 1 from the judges.

Sp2 – This is the Spin. It received a Level 2 from the technical panel.

ChLi1 – This is a Choreographic Lift. This element is only performed after all of the other required lifts are performed in the program. It can only receive a Level 1.

(Click here for all Skating Elements in Ice Dance and their Abbreviation)

Total Program Component Score (PCS)

Program Components are judged in 5 categories:

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

Judges will award points up to 10.00 for each category. The trimmed mean (discarding the lowest and highest) of the judges’ scores is what you see on the right side. In ice dance, the Free Dance Program Component Score (PCS) is worth a factor of 1.20, as opposed to 0.80 in the Rhythm Dance. The judges’ scores will be multiplied by the factor to get PCS.

The team received no deductions for this program. The most frequent deductions for ice dancers are for lifts that exceed the time limit or falls.

How to calculate the GOE

The GOE is also calculated using the trimmed mean (discarding the lowest and the highest score given by the judges J1 to J9).

To put this into context: In line 8 we can see that the Dance Spin (level 2) Sp2 has a base value of 4.00. The Scale of Values table shows us that the GOE can add or subtract a maximum of 2.25 points.

Screenshot: ISU 2167 ID Scale of Values

Out of the nine judges, we do not include J1 and J9 in the average score. This gives us an average of 3.86 out of 5 and a final GOE of 2.25*(3.86/5)= 1.74. )

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