Terms used:

Event

The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category.  There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries.  Each event is independent of the other events within the category. 

Fall

Loss of control by a skater with the result that the majority of the skater's 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.

Interruption

The time elapsed between the moment a competitor stops performing the program until the moment the competitor resumes performing the program.

Judge

An individual sixteen years of age or older who has been trained and appointed to officiate at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Referee

A referee of an event within a competition is an experienced judge who has received further training to conduct an event and monitor the performance of the panel of judges. Referees are qualified to referee or judge at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Technical Controller

An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for accurate technical panel process and authorizes, corrects, deletes and adds elements to the list of elements performed during an event. Technical controllers are qualified to act on panels at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

category

The name for each level of competition within a discipline.  Examples of categories are STAR 1, STAR 2, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Pre-Novice, etc.

qualifying events

A qualifying event is any competition or any event that qualifies skaters to the sectional championships and higher. These include, without limitation, National Summer Series, Sectional Championships, Skate Canada Challenge, Synchronized Regional Championships, Canadian Figure Skating Championships and the Canadian Synchronized Skating Championships.

This guide includes technical communications, clarifications & Q&As.

Technical Clarification Requests are to be submitted at the link here.

ISU Update - Pairs (August 30, 2017)

New Definition Update for Group 5 Lifts (2017-18 ISU Pair Technical Handbook - Page 24)

Group 5 (Lasso) Lifts: In a Lasso, or Group 5 Lift, the lady rotates around the man/in relation to the man during the lifting process between the take-off and the fully extended position. This rotation must be visible. During the lifting process one of the man’s hands must remain clearly above his shoulders. If not the group is identified as group 4 lift. The different types of Group 5 Lifts can be identified by the take-off of the lady, the relative position of the partners at the moment of take-off, and the hand grip.

The following video examples will help to clarify this further:

Does not meet the 5Li Take-Off Requirement

Meets the 5Li Take-Off Requirement

ISU Updates - Synchronized Skating (August 30, 2017)

GOE Considerations

Pair Element: New this season, the pair element is expected to enter and exit on one foot (pair pivot: the supported skater; pair spin: respective to the requirements of the level).  A new reduction has been added to the GOE adjustments chart: Pair pivot: spirals/death spiral entry/exit executed on two feet, reduce by 1 GOE.

Note:  This would have a compounded effect as the GOE bullet for quality entry/exit would not be awarded in assessing the element, before applying the reduction.

Whip intersection: Additional wording for the whip intersection reduction has been added that states no higher than -2 if there is no whip action at the axis of intersection (pi) for the fast end- two skaters on each side.

The end skaters must be accelerating while they are going through the pi, therefore if a team starts to uncurl, showing a whip action, but then stop themselves or decelerate as they approach the Pi, they must receive no higher than -2 GOE. (In the video example following, the deceleration is shown by the fact that the lines straighten into a V shape before the pi).

Whip Intersection Video Example

All Intersections:

  • The expectation is speed for all intersections. If there is a lack of speed in an intersection, the element should be in the negative GOE marks.
  • The GOE adjustment for a pi executed on one foot has be removed in light of the accident at Worlds with Les Supremes Senior. Awarding the team extra GOEs for attempting one foot turns at the pi is putting undue risk and potential injury/harm to skaters.
  • More stringent assessment is expected on the basic shape requirements for the intersections with no pi. The same shape is not required throughout (they could start in a box and end in a triangle, for example), however defined intersection basic shapes must be used.

Team not acting as a unit: A new reduction has been added that will apply to all elements.

The intent is to ensure teams are keeping in close proximity on the ice and performing as a cohesive team/unit. This reduction should be applied to:

  • Group lifts that start/end at opposite ends of the ice.
  • Creative elements that are random skaters scattered around the ice.
  • Any element that requires a judge to look from end to end to see the element in its entirety; or that the judge feels the team is skating individually and not performing together as a unit.

The importance of holds, and including a variety of holds should also be considered in this context.

Spin: Speed is not a requirement for Spins. Coaches should focus on the 5 GOE bullet points to maximize this element.  The video example following, demonstrates a potential +3 mark on the spin. This spin element clearly fulfilled all 5 bullets, and in particular, the use of phrasing and music, which could also garner the team increases in GOE for use of music, if other parts of the element aren’t as well executed.

Synchronized Spin Video Example

Creative element: The creative element is expected to have purpose, symmetry, use of music.

Program Components – Holds

PC criteria has added a reference to holds when assessing Transitions and Composition, as well as the following: Note: If there is an imbalance between attached holds and non-attached holds, it must be reflected in Program Components (Transitions, Composition…)

During the Frankfurt seminar, although no specific direction was provided around the new language, the junior free program by the Russian team (Firebird) 2017, was used as an example of going too far with individual skating throughout the entire program, and thus an imbalance in attached and non-attached holds.  This is not the direction that the technical committee would like for synchronized skating. A judge would be justified in reducing their PCs for Composition, Transitions at a minimum, for this type of program going forward.

The key message to our coaches is to ensure that they use a balance of all types of holds and shapes/formations in elements and transitions throughout.

Singles - Pre-Juvenile & Juvenile - Required Jump Types (July 10, 2017)

(Effective July 1, 2017)

The Technical Coordinating Committee has approved a change in the application of the Well Balanced Program rules for the Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile Singles events. These events require that skaters include a number of different jump types (5 for Pre-Juvenile and 6 for Juvenile). This was established based on feedback from Skate Canada coaches to ensure well-rounded development of skaters at this level. The committee has received feedback that when errors occur during Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile programs, the penalties being applied for lacking a jump type were unduly harsh.  Therefore, the following updated Well Balanced Program procedures will be in place starting July 1st, 2017.

For both Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile Singles events, if skaters have an "empty jump box or empty jump combo box" (i.e. only one combination was executed) there is no penalty applied if missing one jump type. However, if skaters are missing more than one jump type, the last repeated jump type will receive no value.

This updated procedure is more reflective of the developmental stage of skaters at this level and will avoid over-penalizing for a missing jump type caused by an error or fall.  This does not impact the Program Requirements for these levels, which will remain the same.

There are many possible scenarios that might occur with this new application of Well Balanced Program rules. Some examples of these scenarios and the outcomes are included on the following pages for reference and explanation.

Pre-Juvenile – Scenario #1

Skater falls on the 2Lz of the intended 2Lz+2Lo combo

1A

2Lz (fall) (2Lo not executed)

2Lz +REP

2F+2T

2F

In this scenario, there are only 4 jump types executed but there is an ‘empty jump combo box’ as only one combination was executed.  The empty jump combo box would be used as the missing 5th jump type and therefore no penalty would be applied.

 

Pre-Juvenile – Scenario #2

1A

1A+1Lo

2F

2F+2T

2Lo* Invalidated

In this scenario, there are only 4 jump types executed and the skater has used all of the available jump boxes and jump combos.  A penalty would be applied.  The last repeated jump type, which is the 2Lo, would be invalidated. 

 

Pre-Juvenile – Scenario #3

1A

1A+1T

2T

2S

2S*+REP Invalidated

In this scenario, there are only 3 jump types executed but there is an ‘empty jump combo box’ as only one combination was executed.  The empty jump combo box would be used as the 4th jump type; however, this means that the skater is still missing a 5th jump type.  The last repeated jump type, which is the 2S, would be invalidated.

 

Juvenile – Scenario #1

Skater falls on the 2Lz of the intended 2Lz+2Lo combo and therefore does not have a Loop type jump in the program.

1A

2Lz (fall) (2Lo not executed)

2F

2F+2T

2S

In this scenario, there are only 5 jump types executed but there is an ‘empty jump combo box’ as only one combination was executed.  The empty jump combo box would be used as the missing 6th jump type and therefore, no penalty would be applied.

 

Juvenile – Scenario #2

1A

2Lz (fall)

2F (fall)

2F*+REP Invalidated

2S

In this scenario, there are only 4 jump types executed but there are 2 ‘empty jump combo boxes’ as no combinations were executed.  One of these empty jump combo boxes would be used as the 5th jump type; however, the skater is still missing a 6th jump type.  In this scenario, the last repeated jump type, which is the 2F, would be invalidated.

 

Juvenile – Scenario #3

1A

2Lz+1T

2F+2Lo

2T

2Lz* Invalidated

In this scenario, there are only 5 jump types executed with no “empty jump box or empty jump combo box” as both combinations were executed.  Therefore, the last repeated jump type, which is the 2Lz, would be invalidated.

Synchronized Skating - Skate to Standard Pilot (May 11, 2017)

Rationale:

As a result of the 2015 Synchro Summit, held with a wide range of Synchronized skating stakeholders, the following Action Items have been initialized:

  • Move Beginner I and Beginner II to an assessed to standard format as per the STAR 1-3 events
  • Have the Elementary teams assessed to standard with a ranking as per the STAR 4 events.

Both outcomes align with the philosophies of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model at the Learn to Train stage, which is equivalent to the development stage of the indicated levels

Beginner I teams will be provided an assessment level of Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit for each of the FOUR elements skated. They will also be provided an assessed level of two program components, Skating Skills and Performance. These assessments will then be combined to provide the team with an overall assessment of Gold, Silver or Bronze. 

Beginner II teams will be provided an assessment level of Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit for each of the FIVE elements skated. They will also be provided an assessed level of two program components, Skating Skills and Performance. These assessments will then be combined to provide the team with an overall assessment of Gold, Silver or Bronze. 

Elementary teams will be assessed and ranked as they are in STAR 4 events. The teams will be assessed on FIVE elements and three program components: Skating Skills, Performance and Interpretation.

The skaters at the levels indicated above, align with the level of skaters in the CanSkate through STAR levels. This adjustment would allow for skater development to be equally aligned in all disciplines.

Sections who have piloted the Assessed to Standard protocol have received positive feedback from teams, coaches and officials.

All sections will have the opportunity to pilot this for the 2017-2018 season. We ask that feedback from the pilot events be sent to the Skating Programs Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our goal is to fully launch this event program for the 2018-2019 season.

Synchronized Skating - Changes to age requirements for 2017/2018 season (October 17, 2016)

(Effective 1 July, 2017)

Rationale

Over the past two years, the Synchronized Skating community has had the opportunity to provide feedback on how to improve the sport of Synchronized Skating. This feedback has been collected via surveys, Coaches conferences at Synchro Nationals, as well as at the Synchro Summit at the 2015 Synchro World Championships in Hamilton.

One commonality consistently heard from all sources, was the need to revise the age structure for many of the current Synchro categories. As well, there was a desire to adjust the program time for one category to allow for better quality of performances.

The age requirements for Synchronized Skating team members participating in non-qualifying events are as follows:

  • Beginner I: At least 75% of skaters must not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • BEGINNER II: Skaters must not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition AND at least 75% of skaters must not have reached the age of 10 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • ELEMENTARY: Skaters must not have reached the age of 15 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • PRE-JUVENILE: Skaters must not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • JUVENILE: Skaters must not have reached the age of 15 as of July 1st preceding the competition and at least 75% of skaters must not have reached the age of 13 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • PRE-NOVICE: Skaters must have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition but must not have reached the age of 18 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • ADULT SYS CLASS I: Skaters must have reached the age of 18 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • ADULT SYS CLASS II: Skaters must have reached the age of 18 as of July 1st preceding the competition AND at least 75% of skaters must have reached the age of 25 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • ADULT SYS CLASS III: Skaters must have reached the age of 19 as of July 1st preceding the competition and at least 75% of skaters must have reached the age of 35 as of July 1st preceding the competition.

The age requirements for Synchronized Skating team members participating in qualifying events are as follows:

  • NOVICE: Skaters must have reached the age of 10 as of July 1st preceding the competition but must not have reached the age of 15 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • INTERMEDIATE: Skaters must have reached the age of 13 as of July 1st preceding the competition but must not have reached the age of 19 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • JUNIOR: Skaters must have reached the age of 13 as of July 1st preceding the competition but must not have reached the age of 19 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • OPEN: Skaters must have reached the age of 15 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
  • SENIOR: Skaters must have reached the age of 15 as of July 1st preceding the competition.

Valid Technical Q&A's from previous seasons

Competitive Skate & STARSkate - Singles & Pairs

Question:

A skater falls on the first foot of an intended change foot flying combination spin.  She executes more than 3 revs in a flying camel spin position but then falls as she is changing feet.  The skater then stands up and continues the spin on the other foot while performing 2 revs in a sit position and 2 revs in an upright position, both in difficult variations.

The following reference can be found in the ISU Technical Panel Handbook – Singles: Spins/General/page 1: If the skater falls when entering a spin, a spin or a spinning movement is allowed immediately after this fall (for filling time purpose) with this spin/movement not being counted as an element.

As the skater did not fall while entering the spin and, instead of just including a “spinning movement”, she completed the spin itself, including difficult variations, what is the correct call? 

Should this be identified as 2 separate spins or should it be considered as 1 spin element?

Answer:

The spin should be considered as 1 element.  The spin is considered as concluded once the fall occurs, and any aspects of the spin that are included after the fall are considered as a spinning movement for filling time purpose, and not as a separate spin element.  This applies even if the skater executes spin positions in difficult variations after the fall.

The correct call for this element as described would be FCSpB.

See Video Example

 

Application of Bonus to Invalidated Elements

Question:

A Juvenile skater executes a Double Axel that results in a Bonus being applied.  This element is then invalidated during the Review process due to a Well Balanced Program error.

In this situation, does the Bonus remain, or does the Technical Controller need to instruct the DIO to remove the Bonus?

Answer:

In this situation, the Bonus will be removed.  If the skater does not receive the Base Value / GOE points for the execution of an element, they will not receive the Bonus associated with that element.

The Technical Controller will instruct the DIO to remove any Bonus associated with an element that has been invalidated.  This is the case for both the Short Program or Free program and for all levels and disciplines where an element receives a bonus.

 


STARSkate Creative Skills

Question 1: 

For the Field Move Sequence, the requirements state:

"Each position must be held for at least two seconds to be counted and there must be at least two different types of positions (i.e. spiral, spread eagle, Ina Bauer, etc.) and at least three field movements in total included in the sequence. Variations of position within the same field movement do not meet the requirements for this element."

Can you clarify the minimum expectation for this element?

Answer 1:

As a minimum, the Field Move Sequence must include three field move positions held for two seconds each. Of the minimum three different field move positions, two different types must be demonstrated such as spirals, spread eagles, Ina Bauer, etc.

A spiral, either support or unsupported, is considered one type of field move position and therefore the same.

If three different positions are not included and held for two seconds each, the Judges will reduce their GOE by -3.

Examples:

Example Field Move Sequence Content Error Result Reference
A
  1. RFO spiral (unsupported)
  2. LBO Y-spiral (supported)
  3. LFI Biellmann spiral (supported)
Only 1 type of position No Value STARSkate Technical Package, Creative Skating Skills Judging Specifications
B
  1. RFO spiral (supported) (3sec)
  2. RFI/LBI spread eagle (1sec)
  3. LFI/RBI Ina Bauer (2sec)
3 different field moves not held for 2 seconds each Judge reduces GOE by -3
C
  1. RFO spiral (unsupported) (3sec)
  2. RFI/LBI spread eagle (3sec)
  3. LBO Y-spiral (supported) (3sec)
Only two different types of field moves performed Judge reduces GOE by -3
D
  1. RFO/LBO spread eagle (2sec)
  2. RBO spiral (unsupported) (2sec)
  3. LFI/RBI Ina Bauer (2sec)
No error GOE is unrestricted

 

Question 2:

Why are the number of field move positions different between the Technical Judge (for Base Level call) and the Judge’s GOE (for reductions)?

Answer 2 :

To meet the minimum requirements for the Field Move Sequence to be identified and given a level, a minimum of two types of positions must be completed. The Technical Judge will award a Base Level. If only one type of position is performed (i.e. all spirals), no level will be awarded.

A variety of positions should be demonstrated in the Field Move Sequence. If there are only two different types of field moves performed, the Judges will reduce their GOE by -3. This is to encourage a variety of field moves to be performed by the skater.

 

Synchronized Skating

Vaults and unsustained lifts for Novice and below

Question:

Will vaults and unsustained lifts be considered as illegal or Non-permitted, if attempted by Novice teams or lower? 

"d) Illegal and non-permitted elements: The illegal and non-permitted elements are following the restrictions of Rule 992, paragraph 2 c) and paragraph 3 c). However, Novice teams are not allowed to include vaults or un-sustained lifts since those are only to be used in Junior and Senior Free Skating."

Answer:

Vaults and unsustained lifts will be considered as non-permitted.

 

Rotating Wheel/Circle - Appendix C

Question:

For Beginner I, Beginner II, Elementary and Adult III, the circle and wheel elements have been specified in Appendix C of the Skate Canada Technical Requirements document.  To obtain a Level 1 call, one of the two feature options listed must be included. However, Appendix C does NOT indicate that including other, non-listed, features, would be “non-permitted”. If an Elementary team included a change of configuration and interlocking in the circle, would this be permitted without penalty?

Answer:

Yes, this would be permitted without penalty, however, teams are encouraged to choose from the options listed for early development at this level. The call would be Circle Level 1 because they have included one of the required feature options listed. 

 

Elements called “no higher than”

Question:

In the Skate Canada Technical requirements, it indicates that elements will be called “no higher than Level ….”.  It no longer indicates that an attempt at a higher level is non-permitted. Will there be a penalty if a higher level is attempted?

Answer:

Unless it is otherwise indicated in the Skate Canada Technical Requirements, teams may attempt a higher level than specified for that element in the team’s category, without penalty. The element will be called no higher than the level specified for that category.  Example: adult II attempts intersection L2, the call will be intersection L1 (NO penalty or deduction).

 

Circle Element – Skaters Change Places/ Positions feature

Question:

For the change of places/positions feature in the circle, is it permissible to use a weave that only        changes once, for example, the outside skaters change to the inside only?

Answer:

No, this is not permitted. The ISU requirements state that weaving cannot be used as the change of places feature. Weaving only once still fits the ISU regulations definition: "All Skaters must change places at the same time. If starting on the outside Circle they must change into the center Circle."

 

Intersection - Domestic Categories

Question:

Please clarify the requirement for Domestic intersections, for example, are we able to choose the ISU ‘intersection without pi’ requirements for any domestic categories?

Answer:

For all Domestic Categories, except Junior and Senior (which follow the ISU requirements), the intersection element must follow the requirements for the 'Intersection with pi’.  The ISU ‘Intersection without pi’ requirements may not be used for Beg I, Beg II, Elementary or Adult III. 

 

Odd number of skaters on a team

For teams with an odd number of skaters, features requiring an even number of skaters will not be options to attempt.  There is flexibility in the number of features to choose from, other features should be chosen in these cases. Consult the current program requirements for additional information.

Application of Credit for Jumps Executed After the Halfway Point - Singles

In Junior and Senior singles events, for the purposes of providing a credit for even distribution of difficulties in the program, technical panels should observe the following guidelines.  These guidelines will apply to determining which jump elements have been executed in the second half of a program in either the short or free programs.

Event Short Program
Halfway Mark
Free Program
Halfway Mark
Junior Women 1:20 1:45
Junior Men 1:20 2:00
Senior Women 1:20 2:00
Senior Men 1:20 2:15

The ISU Singles Technical Committee Chair has clarified the application of the halfway point as it applies to jumps executed at the halfway point as:

"The moment in which the skater leaves the ice, and not the starting of the entry curve or the preparation. This is an exact point easy to see and easy to measure."

Therefore, when a jump element occurs very close to the halfway mark in the program as indicated by the yellow line on the DIO screen, and/or the verbal alert by the Halfway Timer, Technical Controllers are reminded of the following:

  • Jump preparation may occur prior to reaching the halfway mark (i.e. a clear preparation for the take off for a jump, stepping to the entry edge or placing the toe pick into the ice)
  • At the point the skater becomes airborne, the jump is considered to be started
  • The credit for even distribution of difficulties will be awarded if the skater becomes airborne after the halfway mark

In cases for which the Technical Panel is sure that the skater became airborne after the halfway point but the yellow line appears after the jump element on the DIO screen, the Technical Controller asks the DIO to move the yellow line to appear before the jump element. 

In cases for which the Technical Panel is sure that the skater became airborne before the halfway point but the yellow line appears before the jump element on the DIO screen, the Technical Controller asks the DIO to move the yellow line to appear after the jump element.

In the case of a three minute interruption in the first half of a program the factor 1.1 should not be applied to jumps in the second half of the program. In this situation the technical controller should instruct the DIO to move the yellow halfway line to the end of the program.

In the case of a three minute interruption after the halfway point, only jumps that were started in the second half of the program, but prior to the interruption should receive the factor 1.1. In this situation the technical controller should inform the data specialists which jumps after the interruption should not receive the factor and the data specialists will manually adjust the factor.

In both cases above the technical controller should confirm with the Referee where the interruption occurred.