# Figures: Do any coaches still teach them?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Jozet, Sep 24, 2012.

1. ### gkellyWell-Known Member

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And little markers that they put on the ice to see if the turns lined up, etc.

2. ### treespriteMember

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Back in the old days, you were allowed to put one single mark on the ice with the back of your skate blade in a test, but that was it.

I found out yesterday that there is now a figures class at my rink. I'm hoping to get a couple factors worked out, then I will be able to sign up for it.

3. ### minxNew Member

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I used to "walk out" my circles, anyone else ever do this?

4. ### treespriteMember

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What do you mean?

5. ### overedgenot your emotional support turkey

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If it's the same "walking out" that I'm thinking of, it's a way of estimating whether your circles in a figure 8 or a three-circle figure are the right size, without using a scribe or any other measuring tool.

After you skate your figure, you stand at the far end of one circle. Then you put your heel of one skate to the toe of the other skate and "walk" along the vertical axis of the figure to measure the length of a circle. For a figure 8 both circles together are supposed to be about three times your height, so if you know how long your skate blade is (and of course you know how tall you are), you should know how many "steps" should fit in when you "walk" across the circle. Then when you "walk" you can tell if your figure is too big or too small.

6. ### treespriteMember

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Ok, thanks for explaining.

7. ### FigureSpinsNew Member

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We side-stepped instead of doing heel-to-toe measuring. For me, 8 side-steps&#8776;16'

Later, I learned to estimate it using my arms when showing the axis to the judges.

If you stand on your center and hold your arms out to the side with your hands down near your chest, you can use visual perspective to "sight" the outer edge of the circle using your fingertips. It's definitely not as precise as measuring, but it works okay for Moves tests. You have to find the arm height that works for you, though. If you raise them too high, the circle is bigger, too low and it's too small.

8. ### LaceyWell-Known Member

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I was chairman of the Parents' committee at our rink during the year that Moves in the Field were created by the USFSA. We also switched that season from mothers judging Ribbon Tests to Coaches passing the USFSA Basic Skills levels. It was a tumultuous time. We had meeting upon meeting about what to do with the afternoon Figures Sessions that at the time ran for both Kids and Adults, the latter who led the decision-making process. Of course, the Adult skaters wanted Patch to continue, and the kids no longer needed Figures for competitions so they all wanted to drop them. Our club also had a huge commitment to Dance, so we combined Moves and Dance 2-3 times daily during the Junior Sessions for a half hour each, Pre, Low and High, then an hour for Free, which I think I remember could be doubled for serious skaters. In the end we decided that if kids still wanted to do figures, they could come in at 6am before school, as there just wasn't time for everything in afternoons. There might have been an additional Patch, which mostly Seniors used, at about 9am. Figures remain on some days, but disjointed. I have been interested this year to see some very high level national coaches bemoaning the lack of control that newer younger skaters have because they never did figures. And they do enter in, even in dance elements and in freestyle footwork, like Brackets, Choctaws and edges. Someone more knowledgeable than me could speak of this. I think doing Figures is a good idea and can totally see the need for all types of skaters to practice them.

9. ### manleywomanpodcast mistress

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I think they should be brought back and used for testing only, not competition.

10. ### ClariceActive Member

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Do you mean bringing back the tests in the sense that they would be required as prerequisites? Because we can still take the tests, of course. I do worry about the eventual lack of qualified judges if something isn't done.

11. ### minxNew Member

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Yes, that's it exactly. If you're six feet tall the 8 should be 24', if blades were exactly 12 inches it would be 12 foot circles. So 12 steps on each circle. So, make center snick mark, walk 12 one way, make a mark. Walk 12 the other way, make a mark. Then also do a crossways 12 on each circle. You end up with marks at 3/6/9/12 of the circle. It's a very rough way of laying a patch and was excellent for patch rotations where you got the end spot to see if you could fit or would have to overlap the person beside you.

12. ### leafygreensWell-Known Member

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Yes I agree with this also. However, I think testing them should be optional with either MIF or figures required before the freestyle test. It would be interesting to see how comparable skaters turned out with their skating skills.