With the European Championships starting next week, the ISU Championships portion of the figure skating season is now upon us. The 2010 ISU Congress changed several rules relating to the ISU Championships, so I have created this thread as a place to answer some common questions and keep those answers in an easily accessible place. Feel free to post your own questions if they are not in the FAQs and a knowledgeable FSU poster will surely answer. ____________ Q: What are ISU Championships? A: The following figure skating events for singles, pairs and ice dance are considered ISU Championships by the ISU (International Skating Union). European Championships (24- 30 January; Bern, Switzerland) Four Continents Championships (15-20 February; Taipei City, Taiwan) World Junior Championships (28 February - 6 March; Gangneung City, South Korea) World Championships (21 - 17 March; Toyko, Japan) The Grand Prix Series events and Final are considered "ISU Events" not ISU Championships. Q: How does the ISU determine how many entries each nation gets to ISU Championships? A: Every nation gets at least one entry in each discipline to all ISU Championships, as long as the competitors have met the Minimum Total Technical Score (more about this below.) The minimum total technical score is not required for entry to the Junior World Championships. 1. For the European Championships (Euros), Junior Worlds (JW) and the World Championships (Worlds), the number of entries per nation is based upon how well that nation's skater(s) finished at the same Championship in the preceding season. Nations accumulate points equal to the sum of placements of their competitors who were entered in the preceding season's Championships. Points 20 points: competitors that do not qualify for the Short Program (SP) or Short Dance (SD) 18 points: singles and dance competitors that qualify for the SP but do not qualify for the Free Skate (FS). Pairs that finish 18th or lower in the SP. 17 points: Pairs that finish 17th in the SP. 16 points: competitors who qualified for the FS but did not place higher than 16th place. X points: competitors that finished in Xth place, as long as X < 16. If the nation entered 3 competitors, than only the sum of the best-placed 2 placements are considered. When 2 skaters are considered for points, sum of 13 points or less results in 3 entries for the next year's Championships sum of 14-28 points results in 2 entries for the next year's Championships When only 1 skater competes for a nation, 2 points or less (first or second place) results in 3 entries for the next year's Championships 10 points or less (finish 3rd - 10th place) results in 2 entries for the next year's Championships 2. For the Four Continents Championship (4CC), each nation can enter up to 3 entries in each discipline, as long as the competitors have met the Minimum Total Technical Score (more about this below.) Q: How many competitors are in the Short Program? A: Europeans and Four Continents Singles: 28 entries (4+5+5, 4+5+5) Pairs: 18 entries (3+3+3, 3+3+3) Dance: 20 entries (5+5, 5+5) Junior and Senior Worlds Singles: 30 entries (5+5+5, 5+5+5) Pairs: 20 entries (3+3+4, 3+3+4) Dance: 25 entries (4+4+4, 4+4+5) These numbers are maximums, so there can be fewer entries. Q: How many competitors from the Short Program qualify for the Free Skate? A: Europeans and Four Continents Singles: 24 entries (6+6+6+6) [four skaters are cut] Pairs: 16 entries (4+4+4+4) [two pairs are cut] Dance: 20 entries (5+5+5+5) [no couples are cut] Junior and Senior Worlds Singles: 24 entries (6+6+6+6) [6 skaters are cut] Pairs: 16 entries (4+4+4+4) [4 pairs are cut] Dance: 20 entries (5+5+5+5) [5 couples are cut] These numbers are maximums, so there can be fewer entries. Q: What is the Minimum Total Technical Score? A: The MTTS is the Technical Element Score (TES portion of a competitor's score) that the skater must have reached in an ISU-recognized International Competition during the ongoing (2010-11) or immediately preceding season (2009-10). Each season the ISU will specify what the MTTS requirements are. For the 2010-11 season, the MTTS are: Men: SP (20), FS (35) Ladies: SP (15), FS (25) Pairs: SP (17), FS (30) Dance: SD (17), FD (28) Skaters must satisfy the MTTS for both the SP/D and the FS/D. Skaters can satisfy the SP/D and the FS/D at separate ISU-recognized International Competitions. Q: Why did the ISU decide to require the Minimum Total Technical Score for entry into ISU Championships? A: The reasoning that was provided was to ensure that competitors at Senior ISU Championships have the basic technical ability expected of this level. Q: Why are there Free Skating/Dance competitions before the SP? Is this an error in the schedule? A: No, it is not an error. Starting with the 2010-11 season, the ISU has re-introduced preliminary (also known as qualifying) rounds. Q: What is the preliminary round? A: In the preliminary round, competitors skate their Free Skate or Free Dance to qualify to the Short Program/Short Dance. The preliminary round occurs before the main competition Short Programs/Dance. The top ranked competitors after the preliminary round (according to the number of preliminary round entries allotted, see below) qualify to the main short program/dance competition. Q: Do scores from the preliminary round carry over to the main competition? A: No. Q: Who has to skate in the preliminary round? A: Skaters that do not have a direct entry into the Short Program/Dance. Federations with more total entries in a discipline than direct entries must have the skaters without a direct entry skate in the preliminary round. Q: What is a direct entry? A. A direct entry means a skater does not have to skate a free skate/dance in the preliminary round but directly qualifies to the short program/dance. Q: Are the host nation skaters guaranteed to skate in the SP? Host members (the federation hosting the ISU Championship) are entitled to have one competitor per discipline in the short program/dance, even if they did not qualify for it via the normal qualifying procedure (preliminary round or direct entry). The Host member's competitor does not take up one of the spots given to the preliminary round entries; instead, the competitor will be an extra entry into the SP/SD and skate first in the first SP/SD group. In pairs and ice dance, the first SP/SD group may be divided into two subgroups to accommodate the extra pair/couple. Q: Why are the first two groups in the Pairs SP or Short Dance smaller than the rest of the warm-up groups? A: Probably the host members rule (see above) allowed a pair or dance couple from the host member to be entered in the Pairs SP or Short Dance despite not having a direct entry or qualifying to the SP/SD via the preliminary round. Q: How are direct entries assigned? A: Federations are listed in the order of their best placed participant in the corresponding discipline of the preceding season's same Championships. Ex. from 2010 Euros Pairs results, the listing for 2011 Euros Pairs would be: Russia Germany Ukraine Italy France Switzerland Great Britain Estonia Poland Greece Bulgaria A federation gets as many direct entries as the number of this federation's skaters in the top 18 for Singles, top 12 for Pairs, and top 12 (Euros, 4CC) or 15 (Jr. Worlds and Worlds) for Ice Dance in the corresponding discipline of the preceding season's same Championships. Ex. from 2010 Euros Pairs results, the direct entries for 2011 Euros Pairs would be: Russia (3 in top 12) Germany (2) Ukraine (1) Italy (1) France (2) Switzerland (1) Great Britain (2) Total number of direct pairs entries for Euros 2011 = 12 In case the number of Direct Entries obtained this way is less than required, the next listed Member(s) obtain the right for Direct entry until the required number of entries is reached. Q: Does the direct entry belong to the skater that "earned" it or does it belong to their federation/nation? A: The direct entry belongs to the federation/nation. Q: How many direct entries and preliminary entries are there to the Short Program/Dance? A: Number of Short Program/Dance Entries for Europeans and Four Continents: Singles - 28 (18 direct entries, 10 from top preliminary round entries) Pairs - 18 (12 direct entries, 6 from top preliminary round entries) Dance - 20 (12 direct entries, 8 from top preliminary round entries) Number of Short Program/Dance Entries for Junior Worlds and Worlds: Singles - 30 (18 direct entries, 12 from top preliminary round entries) Pairs - 20 (12 direct entries, 8 from top preliminary round entries) Dance - 25 (15 direct entries, 10 from top preliminary round entries) Q: What happens when a nation has 2 (or 3) competition entries but only 1 (or 2) direct entry? How do they determine who gets the direct entries? A: The skater(s) ranked higher in the ISU World Standings at the time when the competition entries are made must be given preference for the direct entries. The competitor with the lower ISU World Standings ranking must be entered into the Preliminary Round. Q: Will there be an ice-make before the final group in the free skate/dance like last year? Also, is there still a break between the first group in the Free Skate/Dance and the other three groups? A: No. These (stupid) rules have been removed. Q: I don't see the compulsory dance or original dance on the schedule. Is this an error in the schedule? A: No. The Compulsory Dance and Original Dance are no more. They have been replaced with the Short Dance, which consists of doing several patterns of a specified CD and then some additional dance elements, such as footwork, twizzles, lifts, spins, etc. The style of the dance is specified (waltz, tango, etc.) but the dancers can pick their own music. The compulsory pattern used this season is from the Golden Waltz compulsory dance.