The 6.0 System

The 6.0 system is still in use at some United States events as we transition to the ISU judging system.

The basic principle of the 6.0 system in the United States is a “majority” system, which is unique in sports. Each event is judged by an odd number of judges. The winner of the competition is the skater placed highest by a majority of these judges. The marks of all the judges are used in calculating the results.

The Scoring Scale

Each judge will award marks to each skater or couple, according to the requirements for that discipline.

For all singles and pairs events, as well as for the free dance, the judges award two marks. The first mark is for the technical merit of or, in the short program, the required elements. The second mark is for the presentation of the program or dance.

The required elements or technical merit mark expresses a judge's evaluation of the quality of the elements skated. For the short program, the mark reflects the quality of the required elements, and for the free skate it reflects the difficulty, variety, cleanness and speed of the elements chosen.

The presentation mark reflects a judge's assessment of the program as a whole: of its composition, originality, and use of ice, and of the skater's carriage, style, and expression of the music chosen.

[For the compulsory dances and the original dance, judges' marks reward essentially the same two aspects of technique and presentation. Compulsory dances receive marks first for technique (accuracy and placement of steps, unison) and second, for timing (of the steps to the music) and expression (of the character of the music). The original dance includes composition of the dance as a feature to be evaluated in the first or technical mark.]

Each judge will award marks ranging from 0.0 to 6.0, based upon the following scale:

0 — not skated
1 — very poor
2 — poor
3 — mediocre
4 — good
5 — very good
6 — perfect & faultless

Assigning ordinals to each skater

What exactly is an “ordinal”? Ordinals in skating are the rankings or placements that each judge assigns to each skater by means of the total of the two marks awarded. For instance, let's look at Skater A below who received a 5.9 (as a technical mark) and a 5.9 (as a presentation mark) from Judge No. 1. Add these marks together to give Skater A a total score of 11.8. Now do this for each skater in the event, to give each a “total score.” The next step is to look at all the total scores given by a particular judge (look down the column under that judge's number) and “rank” them from the highest total score to the lowest total score. You have just assigned ordinals, or placements, for a particular judge! (*Remember, if two skaters receive the same total score from the same judge, the tie is broken by the higher required elements mark in the short program and by the higher presentation mark in free skating and free dance. If both sets of marks are identical, the skaters are tied.) Let's look at an example of ordinals for three skaters after the free skate: