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2015-2016 Technical Clarification #3 - Singles and Pairs (July 30, 2015)

This clarification has either been developed by Skate Canada or received from the ISU Technical Committees and/or Sports Directorate.  Any further official clarifications provided by the ISU after the date of this communication will take precedence and will be communicated via this website.

This season’s Program Requirements documents contain additional information. Please consult this document, the ISU website’s Questions and Answers and Technical Panel Handbooks and the clarifications below. If you still require clarification, please submit a Clarification Request.



1.1  In the free program when a jump is repeated with no second jump, does the Technical Panel still call a +REP?

This is not a change from previous years, but it has caused confusion. Panels do not need to call +REP if the computer software puts this in automatically. For Junior and Senior, the +REP automatically is added to any triple or quad that is repeated as a solo jump, and not as part of a combination or sequence.  However, there is no +REP that is applied for a repeated double for Junior and Senior. For Pre-Juvenile through Novice, the +REP is added automatically to any repeated jump, which is not part of a combination or sequence. When any jump is executed a third time, either as a solo jump or in a combination or sequence, the entire element will be invalidated for all categories. 

1.2 If there are three or more executions of the same jump, which are not visible for the computer (see ISU Technical Panel Handbook, jumps p. 5), will the computer automatically delete the third execution?

No, the third execution must be manually deleted by the Technical Controller.

Technical Controllers should verify during the read-back of elements that any +REP or invalidated second repeated jumps are correctly entered into the computer.


2.1 What is the penalty for spins with a change of foot that have no basic position with at least two revolutions before or after the change of foot?

For spins in one position with a change of foot, the result will be no value for the spin in both the short and free programs. In the case of a combination spin with a change of foot, the spin can still have any value in both the short program and free programs.

2.2 If a spin contains 5 features including the successful performance of 8 revolutions resulting in that feature not being needed to achieve a Level 4, can the 8 revs feature be counted as a feature in any spin performed later in the program?

No. Skate Canada Levels of Difficulty / ISU Communication 1944 states that the feature of 8 revolutions “[…] counts only once per program (in the first spin it is successfully performed) […]”. The application of this feature does not represent a change from past practice.


3.1  There has been a change to Feature 1 for step sequences (Skate Canada Levels of Difficulty / ISU Communication 1944).  What is the nature of this change and how does it impact the structure of a step sequence and the way the level of difficulty is determined? Is there any difference for judges in determining their GOE?

The change addresses which turns and steps actually count towards Feature 1. The number of turns and steps has been reduced to only those six considered “difficult”:  twizzles, brackets, loops, counters, rockers, choctaws.  In determining the level, the technical panel considers these six turns/step as a whole and do not count the turns separately from the only step (choctaw). See Skate Canada Levels of Difficulty / ISU Communication 1944, p. 9 (singles) and p. 11(pairs), for specifications regarding how many of each step/turn need to be done for each level.  

Additional points to keep in mind are as follows:

  • There is no change to Feature 4 (“2 different combinations of 3 difficult turns executed with a clear rhythm within the sequence”) inasmuch as the combination cannot include choctaws. However a new requirement for level 4 is that the 2 combinations must be on different feet.
  • There is no requirement that the only step (choctaw) be included, except for achieving “complexity” for Level 4. In this case, the skater must include “11 difficult turns and steps […] none of the types can be included more than twice. […]”. Since there are 6 eligible turns/steps, the requirement of 11 means that at least one must be a choctaw.
  • For “complexity”, “5 types must be executed in both directions”. However the requirement for turns/steps in both directions is not specified for “minimum variety”, “simple variety” or “variety”.
  • As in previous years, all turns/steps must be clean to receive credit.
  • Pairs can now include twizzles as part of their repertoire of difficult turns/steps.
  • There must be a balance of steps and turns in their distribution through the sequence; this requirement refers to all steps and turns, not just difficult steps and turns.
  • Judges now consider “use of various steps during the sequence” among the GOE guidelines for positive features. See Skate Canada Technical Clarification #1 for a fuller explanation of this.

Because the choctaw has taken on an added importance for Step Sequences, the following section defines this step and gives examples:

Definition (Singles and Pairs - ISU Technical Panel Handbook) - A choctaw is a step from one foot to the other in which the curve of the exit edge is opposite to that of the entry edge. The change of foot is directly from outside edge to inside edge, or vice versa and from forward to backward or vice versa.”  There are 8 possible choctaws that can count towards Feature 1.  Here are some video examples











4.1 What are the specifications for the lift in the Short Programs?

Novice, Junior and Senior Pairs must do a group four hand-to-hand take-off lift. For Novice and Senior Pairs, this can be any group four hand-to-hand take-off.  For Junior Pairs, the lift must be the hand-to-hand loop take-off with both partners skating backwards, one behind the other.  The take-off must be like a loop jump. If the take-off is flat, this is acceptable for both the technical panel and judges.  If the take-off is from an inside edge or if the woman takes off of 2 feet, the judges will reflect these errors in the GOE.  If a Junior Pair executes a different Group 4 lift, it will have no value. Pre-Novice Pairs can do any lift from Groups 1, 2, 3, or 4; if they do a Group 5 lift, it will have no value.

4.2 Can the woman of a pair use her toe to assist in the take-off of the 5 Back Lift (5BLi) and 5 Reverse Lift (5RLi)?

Execution of either of these lifts with the assistance of the toe will receive a "V". Levels will not be affected and the value of the lift will be the same value as that of a 5 Toe Lift (5TLi) and its corresponding values.

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