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2015-2016 Technical Clarification #1 - GOE GUIDELINES – Singles and Pairs (July 28, 2015)

This clarification has either been developed by Skate Canada or received from the ISU Technical Committees and/or Sports Directorate.  Any further official clarifications provided by the ISU after the date of this communication will take precedence and will be communicated via this website.

This season’s Program Requirements documents contain additional information. Please consult this document, the ISU website’s Questions and Answers and Technical Panel Handbooks and the clarifications below. If you still require clarification, please submit a Clarification Request.

These clarifications all reference ISU Communication 1944 - Updated Guidelines for establishing GOE for errors in Short Program and Free Skating.


1.1 The format of the Guideline for GOE errors page for Singles and Pairs has changed and there are no longer the column headings that indicate “Errors for which the final GOE must be in the minuses” and “Errors for which final GOE is not restricted”.  The only ‘must be’ GOE is the jump combo with no second jump where the final GOE must be -3.  Is this correct?

Yes, this is correct and a significant change from previous years.  There are no longer two categories for GOEs (GOE must be in the minuses and GOE that are not restricted).  The GOEs for all elements are now unrestricted with the exception of the following:

  • Short Program: Jump combination of one jump: GOE must be -3

Judges also need to be aware that a jump combination with one of the jumps with less rotations than required, and therefore that jump not counting, is essentially the same as ‘jump combination with only one jump’ and this must also be GOE -3  (see ISU Q and A) 

Example:  Novice Women Short Program: 3T+1T+C  (GOE must be -3) 


2.1 Next to the GOE reduction for “Lacking rotation (no sign)” the phrase “including half loop in a combo “was added.   What does the addition of these words mean in terms of applying this GOE reduction?

There should be no change to how judges apply this GOE reduction.  This phrase has been added simply to draw attention to the rotation of the half loop (noted as a 1Lo on the judges screen and detailed results) when it is included within a jump combination.


3.1 How do judges decide which GOE reduction to take in the case of an error on the ‘flying’ portion of a flying spin? 

There are two possible GOE reductions on flying entries:

  1. SP: Prescribed air position not attained (flying spin) -1 to -2 

Examples: flying sit – tuck but not such a good position; flying camel – fly in the air to some degree but horizontal air position for the camel not really reached

  1. Poor fly (flying spin/entry) -1 to -3

This reduction applies to both short program and free skating.

Examples: flying sit – no fly in the air such as a small hop; flying camel – step over or turning on the ice before take-off; poor position. 

In a practical sense, there is not much distinguishing these 2 reductions one from the other, particularly now that there is no restriction on the final GOE to be in the minus.  Judges should make the reductions according to the severity of the error(s), always keeping in mind the importance of consistency in applying the reductions from one skater to another.


4.1 The phrase “use of various steps during the sequence” has been added to the guidelines (positive features) for marking + GOE of Single/Pair Step Sequence elements.  Are judges only looking at the variety of steps that a skater includes – i.e. toe steps, chasses, mohawks, choctaws, change of edge, cross rolls and not looking at the variety of turns they might have?

This change aligns with revised requirements for achieving levels of difficulty within step sequences.  Technical panels will now count choctaws (and not the other steps listed above) along with 5 turns towards achieving feature 1 in a Step Sequence (Skate Canada Levels of Difficulty / ISU Communication 1944 p. 8 and 12).

The responsibility is now given to the judges to reward skaters for including a variety of steps within a step sequence, while technical panels consider the variety of turns (including choctaws).

5.0 Choreographic Sequence

5.1 Can you provide guidance about when a judge should apply the new GOE reduction for choreographic sequences:  Inability to clearly demonstrate the sequence -2 to -3   

There are times when the inclusion of the choreographic sequence in a skater’s program is not obvious and a judge is unable to distinguish clearly when this element started, stopped or whether in fact it was included in a skater’s program at all.  At most domestic competitions, judges are not able to review a skater’s program with video replay to ‘search’ for this element. 

In a situation where a judge is unsure of the beginning and ending of this element and insofar as they feel uncomfortable applying a GOE for an element they cannot assess, they would then apply this new GOE: Inability to clearly demonstrate the sequence: -2 to -3.

6.0 Pairs

Please note:  Choreography restrictions in Pairs are being eliminated this season. There is no longer a deduction for too many small lifts in Pairs Short or Free programs.

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