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FOR-A Instant Replay System helps International skating organization revamp scoring methods

Following the figure skating judging controversy during the Winter Olympic Games earlier this year, the International Skating Union has worked with FOR-A to expand and upgrade its Instant Replay system to accommodate more judges and an all-new scoring system.

As a result of recent judging selection and scoring changes, FOR-A has expanded the number of its LDR-110 digital disc recorders in ISU's system from 12 to 16 and added new functions that allow judges to rate various elements of a skater's performance in real-time, as they occur.

Under the changes approved by the ISU Congress, computer software randomly and secretly selects seven judges from a panel of 14 (monitored by two referees) and tabulates their marks for each competitor or team in an individual event. During a performance, judges use touch-screen technology to rate each element, such as a triple jump or double axle.

The ISU's custom system, based on FOR-A's LDR-110 digital disc recorder, uses programmable AMX video touch panels. As the skaters perform their routines, a system operator marks the in and out points of the skater's required elements in his/her routine. All skating judges have their own touch panels and can then review the video segments by pressing buttons with the name of the element. The Instant Replay system also interfaces with computer scoring systems.

The ISU uses the Instant Replay system at its four major events: the World Championships, the Junior World Championships, the European Championships, and the Four Continents event.

FOR-A manufactures audio and video systems to the broadcast, postproduction and professional video markets. Its product line includes switchers, color correctors, frame synchronizers/time base correctors, virtual studio solutions, DVEs, multiviewers, and tapeless disc recorders.

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