Two years after initially being announced at the 2016 ISU Congress in Croatia, the proposed changes to the Grades of Execution (GoEs) across all Figure Skating disciplines have finally come into effect. The changes expand the GoE scale from -3 to +3 to a larger -5 to +5.
The decision to increase the range from 7 to 11 values was due to a few key reasons, including backlash from the skating community over +3 GoEs being awarded to flawed jumps in Singles and Pairs events, and the increasingly difficult task of differentiating scores in the Ice Dance discipline as teams begin to reach the ceiling of available points in the International Judging System (IJS). The larger scale also aligns itself with the Program Components Scores (PCS) in an attempt to make it clearer to judges what each score should look like on the ice by matching it to something they are already familiar with.
This new scale does not change the old scale, rather it just increases the potential for higher or lower scores. For example, the requirements for an element to receive a +2 GoE under the old scale remain exactly the same for the new GoE scale. The increased range of the new scale just better allows outstanding elements to be rewarded more over good elements that both would have previously received a +3 GoE. Similarly, an element with many errors can be punished more severely under the new, expanded scale.
Judges are still looking for the same qualities as before when awarding GoE scores, focusing on the shape, unison, speed, flow and quality of skating in each element. However, the potential of receiving more points for outstanding skating will allow teams to work on delivering strong programs and remain competitive, rather than attempting more difficult elements with higher base values that may not be performed cleanly in competition. This contributes significantly to the ISU’s overall aim of returning the sport to a balance of technical skill and artistry while continuing to let the sport grow and evolve.
Grade Of Execution (GOE): each element in a skating program has a base value. The grade of execution score (GOE) measures the quality of the element and is added to the base value.