Judges & referees – day two of our officials coverage

We are continuing our coverage of the various roles officials play in figure skating. Yesterday we featured the data specialist and the evaluator in our celebration of Officials Day in Canada (happening tomorrow), today we look at the judge and the referee!


Definition: A judge is a volunteer who has been trained to judge competitions. Judges assign both program component (PC’s) marks and grades of execution (GOE’s). PC’s look at the components (skating skills, transitions/linking footwork and movement, performance/execution, choreography/composition, interpretation of the music) of an entire program. GOE’s are assigned to specific elements in a program and rate the quality of execution of every element.


Nathalie Delisle: For me, skating is a passion. I have been skater, trainer and now judge for over 10 years and I love it! I was looking to do something to stay close to my sport and the skaters.  It was also very important for me to stay involved in the development of my sport, as well as for the skaters.  My role as judge helps me see and understand various levels of skating.  It is a wonderful experience to communicate what I’m learning with athletes and coaches to help improve the athletes’ skating skills and be the best they can be. I have built some strong relationships with coaches, skaters and many other people in the skating community.


Definition: A referee at a competition is an experienced judge who has received further training to conduct a competitive event and monitor the performance of the panel of judges.


Cynthia Alepin: Encouraged by my mother (who has been a judge and volunteer for the past 45 years), the Quebec Section, and countless talented mentors, I began judging as a skater and have enjoyed my many experiences as a Skate Canada official for the past 35 years.

I am grateful to Skate Canada for entrusting me with a referee role at the 2014 Canadian Synchronized Skating Championships in Burnaby, B.C. It was my great privilege to sit on a panel with my peers and to evaluate and enjoy the performances of the 41 teams of talented skaters from all across Canada. These national championships included world class teams, personal best performances and a standard which has reached new heights.

My duties as referee gave me the opportunity to liaise more closely with the devoted volunteers, the Local Organizing Committee, the team of tech and data specialists and the Skate Canada staff whose time, skill and efforts behind the scenes were invaluable to the preparation and delivery of this national event.

Thank you to all those who dedicated themselves to the success of this event, in support of the wonderful discipline of synchronized skating. It was truly an honor to share this experience and I look forward to next year with great anticipation when Canada welcomes teams from all over the world at the 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Hamilton, Ontario.

Tomorrow is Officials Day in Canada! Skate Canada will be celebrating by continuing to provide more information on the importance of the roles of officials in figure skating!

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