Until a decade ago, ice skating has always been judged on the Relative Judging System (RJS) scale of 0.0 – 6.0. This has made it very difficult to compare skaters with different types or degrees of disability or challenge. Special Olympics Events often still use this system.
With the introduction of the Inclusive Skating judging system skaters’ performances can be judged more objectively as an ‘absolute’ score, with specific points awarded for specific elements and an impairment compensation can be added on to reflect the skater’s disability.
The highly detailed reference source developed by the US Medical Association which provides a whole person impairment percentage which can be applied to Inclusive Skating scores to arrive at a valid overall score for skaters with different categories and degrees of challenge, whether physical, sensory or intellectual. This source is known as The Rondinelli Scale.
Being assessed under the Rondinelli scale is optional and only necessary for when the results are run for an inclusive skating competition. The same single performance will generate several sets of results depending on rules of the competition and the type of impairment
For example a deaf/visually impaired/intellectually disabled/skater with scoliosis of the spine could have
1) Skating result – everyone would get this – including the able bodied skaters and skaters with a mental impairment or skaters who do not currently meet the minimum impairment criteria.
2) Inclusive Skating result – all impairments combined under the Rondinelli Scale. The impairment compensation is added to the skating score. (This is required for the Paralympic skaters and must follow the Code of Classification procedures)
3) Special Olympics result – where the impairment meets the classification defined by Special Olympics. Skaters who did not meet the Special O classification will be excluded from this result.
4) Deaf Result – where the impairment meets the classification defined by Deaflympics. All skaters who do not meet the definition of deafness defined by deaflympics are excluded from this result
5) Visually Impaired result – where the impairment meets the definition of the Blind Sports Associations and again all the skaters who do not meet the definitions defined by the Blind Sports Associations are excluded.
6) IS for Genes result – where the impairment meets the definition of having a genetic condition or is presumed to do so.