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Section A - Official Regulations - 125 Marking of the Synchronized Skating Short and Free Skate

  1. Technical Score
    In the synchronized skating short and free skate programs, the first score is the technical score. The total of the elements’ values including the grade of execution and features and additional features (applicable in synchronized skating) will give the technical score.
    1. Scale of Value of Elements (SOV)/Base Values for Levels of Elements
      The scale of values table for synchronized skating elements will be updated and posted on the Skate Canada website and published in ISU communications (Junior and Senior). The scale of values (SOV) table contains base values of all the elements with their respective features (base values for levels of elements) and adjustments for the quality of their execution (grade of execution).
    2. Levels of Elements
      The base values of levels are measured in points and increase with increasing of the elements and features difficulty. The base values for the Levels of elements is determined by combining the difficulty groups of elements (with their additional features) and the difficulty groups of the features. There are several levels for each element. Technical specialists will determine the name and the difficulty group of every element with their additional features and the difficulty group of features included in that element. In the Novice, Intermediate and Open categories the level awarded for some elements may be limited. A more detailed description of levels awarded based on category is published annually in the Skate Canada synchronized skating technical package. The description of characteristics that give an element a certain level of difficulty is updated and published in Skate Canada and ISU (Junior and Senior only) communications.
    3. Grade of Execution (GOE)
      Every judge will mark the quality of execution of each performed element including step sequence elements depending on the positive features of the execution and errors on the seven (7) grades of execution scale: +3, +2, +1, base value, -1, -2, -3. For this, he/she evaluates the positive features of the element or step sequence that might increase the base value to a + value and then reduces the result because of errors if any of these are committed. Each plus or minus grade has its own plus or minus numerical value indicated in the scale of value (SOV) table. This value is added to the base value of the element (or deducted from it). The guidelines for the GOE determination will be updated and published in Skate Canada and ISU (Junior and Senior only) communications.
      1. Features
        The features (step sequences, free skating moves/elements, point of intersection) are divided into the groups according to their difficulty.

        The following features are included in the difficulty levels for the following elements in free skate and called by the technical specialists:

        intersection point of intersection
        moves in the field free skating moves
        movements in isolation Open & Senior free skating elements
        movements in isolation Intermediate & Junior free skating moves/elements
        no hold step sequence step sequence
        pair element free skating moves/elements
      2. Additional features
        Examples of some additional features are body movement, change of configuration, change of rotational direction, pivoting, travelling, etc.
    4. Scale of Values (SOV) of the Synchronized Skating Elements
      Scale of values chart in short and free skating is updated and published in Skate Canada and ISU (Junior and Senior only) communications.
  2. Program Component Score
    1. Definition of program components
      In addition to technical score each of the judges will evaluate the team's whole performance which is divided into five (5) program components: skating skills, transitions (linking steps,, formations and in free skating other connecting elements), performance/execution, choreography/composition, interpretation of the music.
      1. Skating skills
        Overall skating quality, edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrated by a command of the skating vocabulary (edges, steps, turns, etc), the clarity of technique and the use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.

        In evaluating the skating skills, the following must be considered:
        • Balance, rhythmic knee action and precision of foot placement
        • Flow and effortless glide
        • Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
        • Power/energy and acceleration
        • Multi directional skating
        • One foot skating
        • Balance in skating ability of individual skaters
      2. Transitions (linking steps, formations and other connecting elements)
        The varied and/or intricate footwork (steps) and formations linking all synchronized skating elements which also includes the entrances and exits of elements. The transitions can also be seamless and fast.

        In evaluating the transitions, the following must be considered:
        • Variety
        • Difficulty
        • Quality (including unison)
        • Complexity
        • Variation of speed of linking steps/formations
        • Variation of changes of directions and holds
        • Difficulty and variety of entrances/exits from elements/preparation phase
      3. Performance/Execution
        Performance is the involvement of the team (skaters) physically, emotionally, and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and choreography. Execution is the quality of movement and precision in delivery. This also includes a harmony of movements.

        In evaluating the performance/execution, the following must be considered:
        • Physical, emotional and intellectual involvement
        • Carriage and body alignment
        • Style and teams personality
        • Clarity of movements
        • Variety and contrast
        • Projection
        • Unison, synchronization and spatial awareness
        • Balance in performance within a team; relationship between skaters
      4. Choreography/composition
        An intentional, developed and/or original arrangement of all types of movements, transitions, and elements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure and phrasing.

        In evaluating the choreography/composition the following must be considered:
        • Purpose (idea, concept, and vision)
        • Proportion (equal weight of parts)
        • Unity (purposeful threading)
        • Utilization of personal and public space
        • Pattern and ice coverage
        • Phrasing and form (movements and parts structured to match the phrasing of the music)
        • Originality of purpose, movement and design
        • Shared responsibility in achieving purpose
        • Excessive facing towards one side of the rink. Choreography must be prepared so that elements will be executed facing all sides of the rink and not excessively facing only one side of the rink.
      5. Interpretation of the music
        The personal and creative translation of the music to movements on ice.

        In evaluating the interpretation of the music, the following must be considered:
        • Effortless movements in time to the music (timing)
        • Expression of the music style, character and rhythm
        • Use of finesse* to reflect the nuances of the music
        • Relationship between the skaters reflecting the character of the music.

          *Finesse is the team's refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal artistic ways of bringing subtle variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or musicians.
    2. Marking of program components
      Program components are evaluated by Judges after completion of a program on a scale from 0.25 to 10 with increments of 0.25. Points given by the judges correspond to the following degrees of the Components: one - very poor, two - poor, three - weak, four - fair, five - average, six - above average, seven - good, eight - very good, nine - superior, 10 - outstanding. Increments are used for evaluation of performances containing some features of one degree and some of the next degree.

      Guidelines for judging are published and updated in Skate Canada and ISU (Junior and Senior only) communications.
    3. Deductions, reductions in short and free skating
      Deductions and reductions for the well balanced program will be updated yearly and published in Skate Canada and ISU (Junior and Senior only) communications.
      1. Reductions for breaks, stumbles, falls and collisions in the required elements will be made by judges in the grade of execution (GOE).
      2. Further deductions for a fall in any part of the program (required elements and transitions) will be identified and confirmed by the technical panel. Deduction -1.0 for every fall of one skater and -2.0 for every fall of more than one skater; if the fall causes interruptions to the program that exceed 10 seconds, additional deduction will be applied.
        For an interpretation of paragraph 2(c)(i) and 2(c)(ii), a fall is defined as the loss of control by a skater with the result that the majority of his/her own body weight is on the ice being supported by any other part of the body other than the blades, e.g. hand(s), knee(s), back, buttock(s) or any part of the arm.
      3. Elements, which do not fulfill the requirements, will be penalized. Deductions/reductions for “not according to requirements” will be made from the total points for the respective element or from the grade of execution (GOE). Those deductions will be identified and given by the technical specialist and verified by the technical controller. The reductions will be identified and given by the judge.
      4. Deductions for the additional and illegal elements will be made from the total score by the technical specialist and verified by the technical controller. The deduction for an additional element is -1.0 and for an illegal element is -2.0.
      5. Deductions made by the referee from the total score for each violation will be as follows:
        • Costume (including use of feathers as part of the costume and headpieces) and make-up violation: -1.0
        • music violation: -1.0
        • program time violation: -1.0 for every five (5) seconds lacking or in excess
        • first glide/skating begins after ten (10) seconds of music starting: -1.0
        • holds (not according to requirements) according to Skate Canada synchronized skating technical package: -1.0 up to -2.0
        • excessive division into small groups and sub-groupings more than half of the program: -2.0
        • deduction for an interruption of a program (causes by a stumble or fall)
        • deduction -1.0 (for 11 – 20 seconds interruption)
        • deduction -2.0 (for 21 – 30 seconds interruption), and so on.
      6. Every failure in the required elements must be reflected only in the technical score according to the importance of the element failed or omitted and the gravity of the mistake itself, since there is no direct relationship between the technical score and the program component score, however, deductions for failures must be made in the program component scores if other program components are involved
      7. An element, feature and additional feature are omitted when it is not tried.
    4. Illegal elements/features/additional features/movements
      1. Open, Intermediate and Novice free skating
        • Lifts other than as defined in Skate Canada synchronized skating technical package and ISU Rule 903 (Open Only)
        • Lifts of any variety (Novice and Intermediate)
        • Additional vaults (more than two (2) vaults) (Intermediate and Open)
        • Solo jumps, jump combinations or jump sequences of any variety performed by the entire team, e.g. split jump, waltz jump, stag jump or any variations where the skaters are elevated off the ice
        • Jumps of more than one revolution
        • Throw jumps
        • Assisted jumps of more than one revolution
        • Intersections incorporating back spirals
        • Prolonged lying (longer than three seconds) or kneeling (one or both knees) on the ice at the beginning, end and/or during the program
        • Highlighting (one group lift is permitted)
        • Sub-grouping
        • Flying camel spin executed by the entire team.

          When illegal elements, features, additional features and movements are included, a deduction will be made from the total score by the technical specialist and verified by the technical controller.
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