How to recognize the new Grades of Execution (GOE)
From now on, each element will be evaluated on a scale of ten different grades. / Credits: Les Suprêmes Seniors (CAN) by Navaz Sumar Photography
In order to have more evaluation possibilities, the range of the Grades of Execution (GOE) has been expanded from -3 to +3 to now -5 to +5 in all figure skating disciplines. There are now a total of 10 Grades of Execution.
"Since the ISU judging system has been introduced in 2003 in international competitions, the ISU has been constantly developing and fine-tuning the system. The ISU Congress in 2018 adopted some important changes to adapt the system to the development of the sport," the ISU write in a recent communication.
Judges looking for bullets
In Single and Pair Skating, for example, the ISU explains that "there are six bullets that judges are looking for when awarding the positive GOEs for each element. The more bullets are fulfilled, the higher the GOE is. However, for +4 and +5 GOE, the three most important bullets are mandatory".
At the opposite, in cases of errors, judges reduce the GOE depending on how big the error is. For example, in Single and Pair Skating, the reductions for errors are: a fall (-5), a wrong edge (-3 to -4), unclear edge (-1 to -3), a touch-down with both hands (-2 to -3), a touch-down with one hand or free foot (-1 to -2), etc. For spins, for example, positive bullets include good speed and controlled positions.
According to the ISU, for lifts, judges count as bullets: very good take-off and landing, good speed, flow and ice coverage, effortless throughout (including rotation and changing of positions) and very good air positions. And the GOE reduction could appear for example for: slight problems in the lifting process (-1 to -2), serious problems in the lifting process (-3), the uplifted skater starts or lands on two feet (-2), etc.
First step: Finlandia Trophy
"Smoothness, elegance, originality, and creativity are important features for positive GOEs for elements. Musicality is a set criteria. Judges are evaluating the cleanness and sureness of steps and turns in twizzles and step sequences, the speed across the ice and maintenance of speed or acceleration during the element such as lifts and step sequences," the ISU said. Negative features are stumbles (-2 per stumble), loss of balance (-1), poor or uncontrolled execution (-1 to -2).
This will be interesting to see how this new GEOs change will affect the scores for this new 2018-2019 season. The first demonstration will be the Finlandia Trophy in early October, the first international synchronized skating competition of this new season.