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2014-2015 Technical Clarification # 4 Synchronized Skating

QUESTION 1:  Can a team with an uneven number of skaters execute a Pair Element (Intermediate, Open, Junior and Senior)?

ANSWER: No, this is not permitted (unless it is due to sudden injury or illness).  The team will need to incorporate one of the other options:

-Move Element or

-Synchronized Spin Element.


QUESTION 2:  How do I divide circles for weaving with less than 16 skaters?  Can it be done with an uneven number of skaters?

ANSWER: This has been allowed.  See information below on skating with less than 16 skaters.  Circles must be as even in numbers as possible, e.g. team of 13 would be divided as 6 & 7, not 8 & 5 which would be unacceptable.


In the case that an illness, injury, interruption and/or fall has occurred and the team must compete with less than 16 skaters, there will be no punishment for those elements not meeting the required shape / number of lines / number of skaters in a spoke etc., except in Senior: Group Lift Element where the number of correctly executed group lifts will be counted towards the level.

In the case that the team is comprised of less than 16 skaters prior to competing, there will be no punishment. No Hold Element (NHE) in a block configuration with four (4) lines should have the following number of skaters (in any order)

- 15 skaters: 4, 4, 4, 3

- 14 skaters: 4, 4, 3, 3

- 13 skaters: 4, 3, 3, 3

- 12 skaters: 3, 3, 3, 3

- And so on


QUESTION 3:  What is considered ‘interacting’ when it comes to the free skating moves (fm) in the Move Element?  If forwards and backwards spirals are connected in a line of 4 or perhaps skated in pairs is this considered interacting?  Or do the pairs and lines need to intersect or fly by the other pairs and lines?  Are intersections with spirals were considered illegal elements? 

ANSWER: Intersecting is not required to interact and it is still illegal to intersect in back spirals.  Interacting may or may not be attached, in pairs, circling around one another etc.   This is well described in ISU Communication 1873.


QUESTION 4:  For the Move Element how do I "interact" the free skating moves (fm) with less than 16 skaters?

ANSWER: The team must have a minimum number of skaters: 4 skaters to perform 2 different fm. This could be possible on a team of 8 as each group of 4 skaters could do a different fm and then "interact"


QUESTION 5:  Is a forward spiral considered to be different from a backward spiral?

ANSWER: Yes, they are considered different.


QUESTION 6:  Is a forward inside spiral considered different from a forward outside spiral?

ANSWER: Yes, they are considered different. 


QUESTION 7:  If skating with less than 16 skaters, will there exceptions made for the required number of skaters in the different formations allowed in the Combined Element?

ANSWER : There are no exceptions made for the Combined Element, and all minimum requirements for lines, spokes or circles must be met.


Question 8: Will the Creative Element get called even if the fm or fe is not correctly executed?

ANSWER: The Creative Element may be executed with free skating moves, free skating elements OR any creative or innovative movement.  The Creative Element will be confirmed by the Technical Panel even if the chosen movement is not correctly executed (quality shall be considered by Judges in the GOE).



QUESTION 9:  To achieve pi-Base (point of intersection, level base), can the team glide only, or are they required to execute a 180˚ so it may be considered attempted without meeting criteria for pi1?

ANSWER: A glide through the point of intersection (no attempt at rotation) will be considered a pi – no value.  A 180˚ rotation (but less than 360˚) will be considered a pi-Base.


QUESTION 10:  Can you provide clarification to the changes to the warm-up and call to start?

ANSWER:  After the previous team is off the ice, the Referee –Assistant Ice can put the next team out for the warm up period of no less than one minute, during which time the marks of the previous team are finalized and announced.  When the announcer calls the next team, the team has one minute to take their starting position. The first team to skate in the competition or after a resurface will get a minimum one minute warm-up.  The referee must ensure that each team has a minimum of one minute warm-up and one minute to the call to start.  After the one minute call to start, the music will be played.

Coaches are advised not to use the one minute (i.e. a stroking block) once the team has been called to start if the team has had more than 1 minute of warm-up.  Once the team name has been announced (called to start) the team should either move quickly to their starting position OR already be there.  The hope is to reduce the amount of time and suggest to the coaches that when the announcer begins to read the marks of the previous team that the team begins to move to their starting position.  The music will start 1 minute following the call to start (team name is announced).  


QUESTION 11:  Do we need ice sweepers?  

ANSWER: They are not necessarily needed any longer, however they can still be utilized.  If there is something on the ice, the sweeper or a skater can retrieve it. This time should not be counted in the one minute warm-up. 


QUESTION 12:  Should a Referee blow the whistle and interrupt the program in case there is blood on the ice? 

ANSWER: Yes, this should happen only if an ice resurfacing is needed.  The 3 minute rule is not in effect if the Referee requests a new ice resurfacing.


QUESTION 13:  Who can file a protest?  

ANSWER:  A competitor or a team leader accredited for the competition, or a coach that is accredited for the competition as the team leader. The protest policy is located here


QUESTION 14:  Does the referee blow the whistle only if the cause of interruption is not related to the skater?   

ANSWER: Yes, that is correct.  This is referred to in the Rule as "adverse conditions existing in the arena unrelated to the team or equipment." Examples are included below.

Scenario #1:

A skater leaves the program to fix their lace at the boards.  The Referee must take the deduction according to the chart for the time the skater is not skating the program or in the element formation. The timing stops when the skater rejoins the team or the element. The technical panel will also apply the appropriate level to the element if applicable. The judges continue to evaluate the program and elements during the interruption.

Scenario #2:

A skater or skaters fall and are injured. The skater(s) or team captain comes to the Referee and asks to leave the ice for treatment and/or repair of equipment. The Referee must ask the skater/team captain if they need the 3 minute break.  If skater/team captain says "yes" the Referee blows the whistle, instructs the music technician to stop the music, starts the timing for the 3 minute interruption, and applies the 5 point deduction. The skater may rejoin the program within their 3 minutes or substitute with an alternate. The program picks up from point of interruption. No restart of the program is allowed.  If the skater does not want the 3 minutes, the Referee applies the deduction according to the time the skater has stopped skating the program.

Scenario #3:

If during the Warm-up or Call to Start something happens to a skater such as equipment failure or injury and the team captain approaches the Referee. The Referee shall allow the team up to an additional 3 minutes to rectify the problem or replace the affected skater with an alternate. The Referee must apply the 5 point deduction.

The 3 minutes is not in effect when a skater(s) is evacuated by medical personnel. However, the 5 point deduction is still applied by the Referee. Refer to ISU Rule 965 for further information.


QUESTION 15:  How long does a hold need to be held in order to be counted by the Referee?

ANSWER :  The holds may be done either in Elements or transitions and must be shown by the whole Team for three (3) seconds or more.


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    Caroline Sullivan

    where is the PDF file for this clarification #4?

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