Press Release

U.S. Figure Skating announces IJS educational initiative

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(01/12/2010) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- U.S. Figure Skating today released its "IJS Handbook: Your Guide to the International Judging System," the final phase of a multi-faceted program to help educate fans and the general public about the International Judging System (IJS). The initiative will kick off this week at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash.

Detailed information about the IJS, which was first used by U.S. Figure Skating in the 2005-06 season, is available in the U.S. Figure Skating media guide, on U.S. Figure Skating's web site (www.usfigureskating.org) and in all event programs. In addition, SKATING Magazine is running a six-article series that outlines the IJS in a comprehensible and fan-friendly way.

Features of the initiative at the 2010 U.S. Championships include 2,000 free "SkateBugs," ear pieces featuring three channels of audio, including NBC Sports, icenetwork.com and one with expert analysis of the senior-level events, that will be handed out prior to the senior pairs and ladies short programs; "You Be the Judge," a daily hands-on experience at Fan Fest that simulates what it's like to sit on the judges or technical panel; the 14-page IJS Handbook that will be handed out to ticketholders on select days as well as be made available at the U.S. Figure Skating information booth throughout the event; and two educational seminars for U.S. Figure Skating officials.

Over the last several months, U.S. Figure Skating conducted focus groups with the goal of developing an approach that would make it easier for fans and viewers to understand the IJS. The focus groups, comprised of athletes, IJS "insiders," U.S. Figure Skating committee members and figure skating fans, were asked about their familiarity with the IJS, their understanding of how the system works and their recommendations for helping figure skating fans better understand the system. This input was used to establish the initiative.

"U.S. Figure Skating is grateful to all the focus group participants for contributing their time in helping us develop a comprehensive program to educate our fans and viewers about the IJS," said U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith. "We hope these efforts will help simplify the judging system so that fans and viewers find themselves more involved and the numbers more meaningful than ever before."