Commonly Asked Figure Skating Questions  -
How is a timing violation determined in a competition?  

The referee begins to time the length of the program from the first movement of the skater’s head, arm or foot, not when the music starts. Some programs have a musical note the sounds 2-3 seconds prior to the actual start of the music to insure the skater is not caught unprepared to start their program.

The referee stops timing the program when the skater ceases movement, not when the music ends. The length of the program is recorded on the referee’s official sheet.

If the program exceeds the allowable time, the referee announces this fact to the panel of judges so they may take the appropriate deduction of 0.1 in both the technical and presentation marks for every 10 second increment in 6.0 events, or in IJS events, the referee notes the deduction him/herself.

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

Send suggestions or comments to

Return to commonly asked Question and Answers

How is a timing violation determined in a test?

The three judges on a panel select someone to be the "Judge in Charge" for the test. Generally they judges rotate who will serve as the "Judge in Charge". As the "Judge in Charge" they are responsible for insuring the test stays on schedule and to handle all administrative tasks such as timing free skating programs and dance music as well as handling the polling of the judges to see if the test requires a reskated element(s) and determining what element/pattern(s) will be reskated.