The impairment compensation awarded to each skater during classification is added to a skating score awarded to each skater for each performance.
The Inclusive Skating judging system judges each skater's performances objectively producing an ‘absolute’ score. Specific points are awarded for specific technical elements, assessment of the skaters overall performance skills and an impairment compensation reflecting the skater’s disability/ challenges.
In the past, ice skating was judged on the Relative Judging System (RJS) scale of 0.0 – 6.0. This made it very difficult to compare skaters with different types or degrees of disability or challenge. It's not fair to decide the winner of a competition is the one with the least disability or challenges. So, this may have contributed to the lack of development of ice skating events for those with challenges.
Classifiers use the Classification Handbook, the Code of Classification, the Rondinelli Guides and their judgment to determine the functional impact of the challenge on the skater's performance. The Rondinelli Guides are a highly detailed reference source developed by the US Medical Association that provide a whole person impairment percentage used extensively in compensation claims. Each skater is given a whole person impairment percentage to reflect the functional impact of their challenges for the specific ice skating activities they are performing. The percentage can be different for different activities.
This percentage is then assessed according to a pre-calculated average performances of the elements and performance scores of the skater. This is known as the average hypothetical. The average hypothetical score will vary depending on the level of performance, the number of elements, the factor applied to the programme performance scores and the discipline. A similar format is applied to speed skating. This score is constant and known in advance. So, each skater will know how much impairment compensation will be added for that performance. The impairment compensation is then added to the skaters actual performance at the competition.
The skater's skating is then assessed by skating judges under Inclusive Skating Technical Rules. A consensus judging system is used. The skating scores will vary depending on how well the skater's skate on the day.
The skating scores are then added to the impairment compensation to arrive at a final overall score for each skater.
This means that skaters with different challenges and different percentages of impairment can compete against each other.