The ISU has published Communication 1724 - "Singles & Pairs Skating - Scale of Values, Guidelines for Marking Grade of Execution and Levels of Difficulty for 2012-13." I don't see a thread already - my apologies if I missed one.
Changes to the SoV:
- pending confirmation at Congress, a "basic" level has been added to every leveled element. I thought this was a good idea when it was hypothetical, but seeing the differences in base value between the LB (level B) and L1 (level 1) elements, I got a bad feeling in my stomach. When I thought about the potential consequences of LB element on tech panel reviews for Juvenile and Intermediate Pairs, my stomach sank.
Changes to the LoD, Singles:
- step sequences: the feature for a 1/3rd of a pattern on one foot is removed
- spins: difficult variations (DV) now count as many times as they are executed, except that each "type" of DV can only be considered the first time that it is executed. For example, only one attempt - and only the first attempt - at a sit spin forward variation counts; only one attempt - and only the first attempt - at a sit spin side variation counts, etc.
- all other spin features count once per program (and only for the first attempt, of course, except for 8 revolutions, which counts the first time that it is successfully performed)
- clear increase of speed and jump on the same foot within a spin are no longer considered DVs but are now listed as individual features, meaning that they can only be counted once per program
- "intermediate positions" are now named "non-basic positions"
- the ambiguous language defining an upright spin as having a straight or slightly bent skating leg "that is not otherwise a camel" has not been clarified; thanks, ISU, thanks for nothing.
Changes of LoD, Pairs:
Why do I fear that I should get something to drink before reading this?
- twist: new feature of "man's arms sideways, reaching at least shoulder level after release of the lady." I think this is a great additional feature; we've been talking about it for a few years and I'm glad that it finally made it in. Plus, I assume that the ISU will be supplying every Pair TS and Pair TC with an extra pair of eyeballs to help catch yet another feature in the twist. Score!
- lifts: DV of position can only be executed once per type of lady's position. There are three ladies' positions: side (like a star); upright (like a typical press/overhead/lasso); and platter (like a, um, platter lift: lady's entire body is flat, either pointing down at the ice or up at the ceiling). In other words, that ugly DV where the lady grabs her blade in an overhead? Now it will only count once per program. (I know some people involved in this decision wanted it gone entirely, but this is certainly better than nothing.)
- step sequences:
(1) revised feature for upper body movement (at least 1/3rd of the sequence)
(2) revised feature for crossing: "Changes of pos. (crossing at least three times while doing steps and turns) for at least 1/3 of the sequence, but not more than 1/2 of the sequence." I assume the new eyeballs that the ISU will be sending to the Pair TCs and Pair TSs will include some kind of electronic measure that will flash only when skaters cross at least 1/3rd but not more than 1/2 of a sequence. Alternatively, I assume they will be paying for therapy for all TCs forced to listen to the TSs argue whether skaters crossed for 1/2 or 51/100ths of a sequence.
- death spirals: change of pivot position is gone!
(1) oh no, features 2 and 3 only count in the low pivot position? Well, here's to another season of staring at pair boys' butts.
- solo spins: DVs must be in basic positions (no more intermediate DV); jump within a spin and clear increase of speed are now separate features
- pair spin: for the first DV bullet, two of the three DVs must be in a basic position; the third can be in a non-basic. For the second DV bullet, the additional DV must be in a basic position. Well, here's to another season of staring at pair boys' butts.
"New" lift (announced earlier this season, included as "new" in 1724: I am incredibly grateful that the ISU recognized that what we all needed in life was another Group 5 lift: 5BLi (seriously, is the ISU turning into Sesame Street? "This season is sponsored by the letter B.").
Finally, I am grateful to the ISU for giving us a logical communication number that slides right off the tongue. "But 1724 says..." is much smoother than the year of "But 16... 16... what's the communication number again? which communication? the one that you clearly haven't read because it contradicts what you're saying!"
[Note: no alcohol was consumed before or during the writing of this post. I may, however, go cry into my pillow at the thought of an entire year of I'm sure they crossed for AT LEAST 101/200th of the sequence. No way: that wasn't more than 4999/10000ths!!!!!. <- these conversations, BTW, only take place when one is cold, in dire need of a bathroom, and the dance panel is busy eating all the chocolate cake. ]