Commonly Asked Figure Skating Questions  -
What does the term "front end loading" mean and is this positive or negative factor in judging a competition program?

Many skaters and coaches put the most difficult moves in the first half of the program. The theory is that the skater is fresh and more likely to perform the advanced jumps early in the program rather than later when the skater normally is experiencing fatigue.

Judges under the 6.0 judging system take notice when the jumps are clustered in the beginning and take a deduction in the presentation mark.

In the International Judging System (IJS), judges' reflect the front end loading by lowering the skater’s choreography marks.

Skaters in IJS competitions receive a 10% bonus for jumps performed after the midpoint on the program to encourage jumps being performed throughout the program. In addition, judges are encouraged to award higher program choreography and interpretation marks for the balanced distribution of elements throughout the program.

Submitted by Claude Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.

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