Ah, more alphabet soup.
IJS, or the International Skating Union Juding System, is the mind-bogglingly complex attempt of the ISU to standardize judging, following the Salt Lake scandal.
The unassailably positive motiviation behind the system was to create transparency-- while you don't know which judge is giving which marks, you can see in numbing detail exactly what the marks are for every single second of a program. I won't get into my opinion of the system (as one friend put it "math has stolen my sport").
Here's a sample "protocol" or judging sheet:
Behind all this is nearly 300 pages of rules, supplemented by endless tweaks and changes to those rules.
What does it all mean.
Well, I'm not going to tell you. What I am going to tell you is what you should learn, on your own, depending on who you are in the skating world.
Go crazy. Learn every single nuance of the system. Know it better than the most experienced international judge. Give the top Tech Specialist a run for his money. Follow every competition on "you be the judge" (a website that allows you to judge using IJS in real time). Be sure to tweet about how wrong the judges got it.
You need a post-doc level of understanding. Unfortunately, you're going to have to relearn it every year, because they change minute details of it on a rolling basis.
Appear to know what you are talking about. Beyond that, thank your lucky stars if you have no students in competition and don't need to load down the gray matter with this stuff.
You need to know one thing: positive GOE.
Other than that, have a basic familiarity with the jump, spin, footwork and moves requirements for a program at your level and the next level up. Forget about where you've been--by the time you're a coach it will have completely changed (heck, by next year it will have completely changed). Know the terminology, and how it applies to your own programs. Know how to read a protocol (i.e. learn all the squiggles and abbreviations). But don't try to achieve a fan-level of intimacy with it. More important that you spend your time learning not to cheat that jump, than to be worrying about whether you've repeated a feature. (For instance, you should have been able to read this paragraph and know what I was talking about).
In the meantime, repeat after me: positive GOE, positive GOE, positive GOE.
Know exactly why your competitors' scores are complete bull shit if they did better than you, and how the judges totally used the system to let them win.* If your scores are better, be able to point out how you and your coach worked with the system to create a win.
Have a solid understanding of how to read a protocol. Know enough to ask the coach about any downgrades or negative GOEs. (Actually, the coach would love it if you didn 't know this stuff, or ask about it, and I agree, but I know I can't stop you, so at least know what you're talking about.) DON'T, by all that is holy, offer advice--to the coach or the skater or god forbid the judges--on how to fix things.
See Skater, redux
* this is very hard in IJS