Officiate - Technical Panel Officials

This page provides information on becoming a technical panel official for U.S. Figure Skating.

Technical panel officials are required for any events using the International Judging System (IJS). There are four different types of technical panel officials certified by U.S. Figure Skating: 

  1. Technical Controller
  2. Technical Specialist
  3. Data Operator
  4. Video Replay Operator 

In competitions, technical panels consist of a technical controller, two technical specialists, a data operator and a video replay operator. During each performance, technical specialist 1 identifies each element and the level of difficulty as defined by the International Skating Union. The technical controller and technical specialist 2 support the primary technical specialist to ensure all elements are correctly identified. Final decisions on elements and levels are determined by the majority opinion of the controller and two specialists. The data operator inputs the called elements into the computer or manually records the called elements in the code recognized in the scale of values if the data input computer is not in use. The video replay operator captures video clips of all elements by tagging the beginning of each element through a touchscreen device.

WHO can become a technical panel official?

  • Anyone (including active coaches and competitors) willing and able to uphold the ethical standards of U.S. Figure Skating can become an official. To become a technical panel official, you must be willing and able to work as a team. To become a technical specialist, you must have competed in or coached a skater in IJS at novice or higher in a qualifying competition (collegiate also counts for synchronized skating). To become a technical controller, you must hold a competition judge or national technical specialist appointment first. Data operators do not have any competition or coaching background requirements. Data operator is a great role for those who do not have the background requirements to become a technical specialist or technical controller but have good computer skills and are familiar with the corresponding elements being called during a competition. (Video replay operator appointments are earned by earning a technical specialist, technical controller and/or data operator appointment.)
  • Detailed minimum requirements to test for an initial appointment and requirements to test for promotion are available here.

HOW can I become a technical panel official?

  • You must apply and attend a designated technical panel seminar for initial certification. Please visit the Technical Panel page on Members Only for more details on dates and locations.

WHEN can I become a technical panel official?

  • Technical panel seminars are typically held annually in the spring. Some promotional opportunities are held in conjunction with competitions. Please visit the Technical Panel page on Members Only for more details on dates and locations.

WHERE can I become a technical panel official?

  • Technical panel seminar locations change each year and are posted on U.S. Figure Skating’s Technical Panel page on Members Only when announced.

WHY should I become a technical panel official?

  • Great question!  Each person’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 an opportunity to contribute to a sport you love while building long-lasting relationships with a community of your peers that share a similar passion. Whether your role is with your local club or as a national official, there is a place for you as a U.S. Figure Skating official.

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

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

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Your contacts for this area of interest

U.S. Figure Skating logo
Laura Patterson
Vice Chair of Recruitment, Technical Panel Officials