Officiate - Competition Judges

This page provides information on becoming a competition judge for U.S. Figure Skating.

Judges are likely the most well-known type of figure skating official. Though the days of score cards are long behind us, U.S. Figure Skating still relies on judges to adjudicate competitions and interpret rules and regulations. Currently, judges work in all skating disciplines and every competitive opportunity U.S. Figure Skating offers.

There are also two different classifications of judges: 

  1. Test Judges: who can judge test sessions
  2. Competition Judges: who can judge nonqualifying and qualifying competitions

Learn more about what it's like to be a judge.

Review the Trial Judge Kit for more information.

Are you currently a coach? U.S. Figure Skating rules don't allow coaches to serve as competition, but coaches can serve as test judges. Learn more about becoming a test judge here.

WHO can become a singles/pairs, ice dance or synchronized competition judge?

  • Anyone except active coaches who is willing and able to uphold the professional and ethical standards of U.S. Figure Skating can become a competition judge. This includes active competitors. A good official is passionate about our sport, committed to being an active judge, responsible, and open to continuous learning and growth to support U.S. Figure Skating in serving our athletes. You must be at least 18 years old and a fully compliant official before you can apply for your first appointment. You may start trial judging at age 16.
  • Trial judges are not required to have a skating background; however, athletes will have the knowledge to advance more quickly than those who do not. Trial judge tracks can be viewed HERE.

WHAT types of singles/pairs, ice dance and synchronized competition judges are there?

  • Singles/pairs: certified 6.0, nonqualifying, qualifying, sectional, and national
  • Ice dance: certified 6.0, nonqualifying, qualifying, sectional and national
  • Synchronized skating: certified 6.0, nonqualifying, sectional and national

WHEN can I become an official?

  • Skating will always be around, and U.S. Figure Skating will always need officials! You decide when you have the time and ability to prepare and fulfill the required activity for your desired appointment(s).

HOW do I get started?

  • Become a member of U.S. Figure Skating HERE
  • If you are ready to start trial judging, fill out the Interest Form and indicate your desire to become a competition judge.
  • You will need to complete SkateSafe® training and become a compliant official.

WHERE can I trial or gain the necessary experience for an appointment? The pathway to a competition judging appointment can include a variety of virtual and in-person activities:

  • eLearning courses found on the Members Only site once you are registered as a prospective official
  • Trial judges can apply to trial judge at designated trial judge competitions. Each season there are trial judge competitions in every section of the United States. Competitions available for 2024 are available HERE. Apply to trial judge one or more competitions HERE
  • Judging schools for education and promotion are usually offered in the spring. Check the Officiate page for information on any in-person or virtual schools being offered.

WHY should I become an official?

  • This is the most important question! Everyone’s “why” is a little different, but it is an honor and a privilege to serve as a U.S. Figure Skating official at any level. You get the opportunity to be involved and give back to a sport you love while building long-lasting relationships with a community of your peers who share a similar passion. Whether your role is with your local clubs or as a national official, there is a place for you as a U.S. Figure Skating official.

Interested in judging showcase and/or Theatre On Ice competitions? Click here for more information.

Reserve your spot for some of the best seats in the house! 

Ready to start? Complete the interest form to get registered.

For a printer-friend version of this information, click here.

View requirements to become a competition judge (i.e. appointment guidelines) below.

Learn more about mentors here, or access the directory here.

Your contacts for this area of interest

U.S. Figure Skating logo
Michelle Marvin
Vice Chair of Recruitment, Competition Judges