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    ISU Communication 1724: Singles and Pairs

    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. ]

  2. #2

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    Thanks for starting the discussion!

    There isn't a direct link, but here's where to find the communication for download: http://www2.isu.org/vsite/vnavsite/p...0.html?id=1060

    Any chance any of these provisions won't pass the Congress? Still, good for the skaters and coaches to know as soon as possible what to start working on and what to stop working on.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post
    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.
    Oh, yes, it will complicate the review process, as most of these refinements always do. Not sure what the base values have to do with it.

    But I do think it's valuable to distinguish one successful feature from barely meeting the definition of the spin, at the lower skill levels.

    another Group 5 lift: 5BLi (seriously, is the ISU turning into Sesame Street? "This season is sponsored by the letter B.").
    Is this one your little brother, 5ALi3?

    Enjoy the butt staring.

  3. #3

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    Thank you, 5Ali3. Your summary on the changes of rulings helps a lot!

    You can try this link to get the pdf file. But it takes some time to fetch it from the DB.

    http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=3486

    By the way, Remark 3 says the spiral sequence for ladies/pairs is merged with the choreographic sequence. They require only one sprial for ladies/pairs. Is this a new development for coming year or has been there for a while? I got confused.
    Last edited by seabm7; 05-05-2012 at 02:21 PM.

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    [QUOTE=5Ali3;3563320]

    "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.").

    QUOTE]

    So pardon my ignorance, but what does this lift actually look like?

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    I'm still looking through new new SOV/GOE/Levels document, but it appears that the "new" lift originally designated as 5LoLi (loop lasso lift) for 2011-12 is now being called the "Backward Lasso Lift (5BLi)."

    Here is the description of both the backward lasso lift and the reverse lasso lift:

    Reverse Lasso Lift
    “Both partners skate backwards. Lady's right hand is in the man's left hand and her left hand in his right hand (opposite arm hold). The lady takes off backwards from an edge or with a toe push and makes half a rotation on the ascent of the lift”.

    Backward Lasso Lift
    “Both partners skate backwards. Lady's right hand is in the man's right hand and her left hand is in his left hand (same arm hold). The lady takes off backwards from an edge or with a toe push and makes one rotation on the ascent of the lift”.
    The reverse lasso lift is considered to be the most difficult pairs lift (I believe). The reverse lasso and axel lasso both had the highest base value of all of the pairs lifts. In the 2011-12 season, the backward lasso lift (a.k.a. the loop lasso lift) had the same base value as the reverse/axel lasso (6.5 base value for a level 4).

    For 2012-13, the backward lasso lift will still have the same base value as the axel lasso (6.5 base value for a level 4) but the reverse lasso lift will now be worth 0.5 points more (7.0 base value for a level 4) than the axel/backward lasso lift.

    Volosozhar/Trankov do the backward lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=895Th1J8VkY&t=4m07s

    Evora/Ladwig did () the reverse lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smW_CMH_0AU&t=3m31s

    There are now 5 group 5 (lasso) lifts.
    1. Toe lasso (5TLi) - 6.0 base value for level 4
    2. Step in lasso (5SLi) - 6.0 base value for level 4
    3. Axel lasso (5ALi) - 6.5 base value for level 4
    4. Backward lasso (5BLi) - 6.5 base value for level 4
    5. Reverse lasso (5RLi) - 7.0 base value for level 4

    FYI, a level four group 3 (hand to hip) or group 4 (hand to hand) lift has a base value of 4.0.

    On another topic, my favorite addition to the grade of execution (GOE) table is the new deduction for "Unaesthetic position(s), -1 to -3" for singles and pairs spins. There are actually a few new GOE deductions...more to come later
    Last edited by HisWeirness; 05-06-2012 at 01:22 PM.

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    Thanks for the examples, HisWeirness.

    The changes may not be perfect, but any reduction in blade grabs is good, and the one-footed step sequence feature was second on my list of scoring elements that needed to die.

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    "Unaesthetic position(s)" - Oh, will we finally see the buttspin go away? Nobody likes the buttspin

    I'm trying to read this, but it's like stereo instructions

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    Thank you for the links!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkFeathers View Post
    "Unaesthetic position(s)" - Oh, will we finally see the buttspin go away? Nobody likes the buttspin
    I can also think of a particular female pair partner whose unstretched positions also personify this term and make me cringe. Take a guess!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkFeathers View Post
    "Unaesthetic position(s)" - Oh, will we finally see the buttspin go away? Nobody likes the buttspin
    Probably not entirely, if skaters still think it's a reliable way to raise the level.

    But it gives judges a clear justification to award negative GOE if they think it's ugly, so if the skaters start losing more in GOE than they gain in base value, they'd be wise to rethink their strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Any chance any of these provisions won't pass the Congress? Still, good for the skaters and coaches to know as soon as possible what to start working on and what to stop working on.
    I believe the only changes that depend on Congress approval are the replacement of the spiral sequence with the choreographic sequence, and the additional of the LB. The changes to the LoD and SoV are not subject to Congress approval, I believe, so skaters should feel free to start contorting themselves into as many difficult variations as possible in their spins.

    Oh, yes, it will complicate the review process, as most of these refinements always do. Not sure what the base values have to do with it.

    But I do think it's valuable to distinguish one successful feature from barely meeting the definition of the spin, at the lower skill levels.
    When I saw the SoV, with lower base values for LB elements compared to L1 elements, it made the hypothetical idea real. I'd also been thinking of LB in terms of singles, which has only four leveled elements per program; I'd forgotten that most elements in pairs are leveled - so "what the base values had to do with it" was merely that seeing the SoV made me reconceptualize my understanding of how LB would affect the actual process of tech panel work. I absolutely agree with your second point; with more time to think about it, I think LB elements will be a valuable addition to Juvenile and Intermediate Pairs - although I hope that USFSA continues to mandate that lifts at that level are either automatic L1 or no level (if the lift doesn't meet the basic requirements, such as when the boy picks up the girl and immediately puts her down without turning at all).

    Is this one your little brother, 5ALi3?
    You KNOW I'm going to be ticked if he gets that precious L4 before I do!

    Quote Originally Posted by seabm7 View Post
    By the way, Remark 3 says the spiral sequence for ladies/pairs is merged with the choreographic sequence. They require only one sprial for ladies/pairs. Is this a new development for coming year or has been there for a while? I got confused.
    This will be new this year, but it has to be approved by the ISU Congress first (in June). To predict based on past Congress decisions, I suspect this will pass, as any country that cares about this will save their "chits" for the more contentious issues (like age limits), and it will be impossible to make the speedskating countries interested. That's speculation, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by HisWeirness View Post
    The reverse lasso lift is considered to be the most difficult pairs lift (I believe).
    The current/new SoV certainly considers 5RLi to be the most difficult pairs lift. I'm not sure that I agree - without having attempting two of the three, I speculate that the takeoffs of 5ALi and 5BLi are actually more difficult than 5RLi,, but 5RLi would be trickier to balance as the man rotates - except that most teams don't rotate 5RLi in the traditional Group 5 handhold.

    I can't figure out how to explain this elegantly - and I fully admit that I may be completely wrong - but in a 5RLi, if the team did not change handhold, the girl's weight would be slightly behind the boy: you really, really, really (x10,000,000) don't want the boy on his heels during a lift - this can end in not just a fall, but a truly nightmarish fall in which the momentum of the girl's weight would increase the risk of the boy's head hitting the hit, and in which the boy would have zero chance of protecting the girl, who would also end up predisposed to have her head hit the ice - and depending on which lift, would increase the chances that there would be blade-to-body contact when they hit the ice. Bad, bad, bad. "She got behind me" is one of the get-out-jail-free explanations for putting a lift down. [BTW, "she got behind me" doesn't mean that it was the girl's fault: this usually happens either because the timing on the takeoff was off, usually because both partners were off, or in practice because the boy is tracking an obstacle (i.e., another team or skater who looks like they might end up in the path of the lift): if the boy keeps looking at the potential obstacle (i.e., keeps his head facing the same direction) while his hips and shoulders and girl (i.e., heavy object with much momentum) keep rotating - the girl's weight is quickly going to get behind his center of gravity.] However, when you change handhold, you can get the girl's weight centered directly over the boy, which is the absolute safest place to be. As difficult as the takeoffs for 5ALi and 5BLi are, they end up with the girl's weight centered directly over the boy.

    Volosozhar/Trankov do the backward lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=895Th1J8VkY&t=4m07s

    Evora/Ladwig did () the reverse lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smW_CMH_0AU&t=3m31s
    Thanks for posting these videos and for an excellent discussion of the Group 5 Lifts, HisWeirness!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkFeathers View Post
    "Unaesthetic position(s)" - Oh, will we finally see the buttspin go away? Nobody likes the buttspin
    I think it looks great when it's performed properly by somebody with good stretch and extension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post
    The current/new SoV certainly considers 5RLi to be the most difficult pairs lift. I'm not sure that I agree - without having attempting two of the three, I speculate that the takeoffs of 5ALi and 5BLi are actually more difficult than 5RLi,, but 5RLi would be trickier to balance as the man rotates - except that most teams don't rotate 5RLi in the traditional Group 5 handhold.
    I remember skaters showing all the different lifts to a friend who was preparing for technical specialist exams.

    They showed all of the lifts but then the coach had to step in to show the 5RLi because that was the one they weren't able to perform even off-ice.

    So according to them at least, it was by far the hardest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post


    I can't figure out how to explain this elegantly - and I fully admit that I may be completely wrong - but in a 5RLi, if the team did not change handhold, the girl's weight would be slightly behind the boy: you really, really, really (x10,000,000) don't want the boy on his heels during a lift - this can end in not just a fall, but a truly nightmarish fall in which the momentum of the girl's weight would increase the risk of the boy's head hitting the hit, and in which the boy would have zero chance of protecting the girl, who would also end up predisposed to have her head hit the ice - and depending on which lift, would increase the chances that there would be blade-to-body contact when they hit the ice. Bad, bad, bad. "She got behind me" is one of the get-out-jail-free explanations for putting a lift down. [BTW, "she got behind me" doesn't mean that it was the girl's fault: this usually happens either because the timing on the takeoff was off, usually because both partners were off, or in practice because the boy is tracking an obstacle (i.e., another team or skater who looks like they might end up in the path of the lift): if the boy keeps looking at the potential obstacle (i.e., keeps his head facing the same direction) while his hips and shoulders and girl (i.e., heavy object with much momentum) keep rotating - the girl's weight is quickly going to get behind his center of gravity.] However, when you change handhold, you can get the girl's weight centered directly over the boy, which is the absolute safest place to be. As difficult as the takeoffs for 5ALi and 5BLi are, they end up with the girl's weight centered directly over the boy.
    Thanks for posting these videos and for an excellent discussion of the Group 5 Lifts, HisWeirness!
    Thanks for this illuminating (and scary) paragraph. I truly do not know how the parents of pairs skaters cope. It also makes me realize how incredibly impressive E/L's lifts were technically, not just artistically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3 View Post
    This will be new this year, but it has to be approved by the ISU Congress first (in June). To predict based on past Congress decisions, I suspect this will pass, as any country that cares about this will save their "chits" for the more contentious issues (like age limits), and it will be impossible to make the speedskating countries interested. That's speculation, of course
    Thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    I think it looks great when it's performed properly by somebody with good stretch and extension.
    I agree. A particular version of butt spin performed by @J_Butt (read "Jeff Buttle") looks crispy and nice.
    Last edited by seabm7; 05-06-2012 at 02:47 AM.

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    Is there no more SpSq in pairs? is it a CH sequence now? jw.

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    Remark #3:

    Choreographic Sequences consist of any kind of movements such as steps, turns, spirals, arabesques, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, hydroblading, transitional (unlisted) jumps, spinning movements etc. A Choreographic Sequence for Ladies/Pairs must include at least one spiral (not a kick) of any length (by both partners for Pairs). The Sequence commences with the first move and is concluded with the last move of the skater. The pattern is not restricted, but the Sequence must fully utilize the ice surface. If this requirement is not fulfilled, the Sequence will have no value. The Choreographic Sequence is included in Free Skating and for Singles has to be performed after the step sequence. The Choreographic Sequence has a base value and will be evaluated by the judges in GOE only.
    Aesthetically speaking, this is great news, particularly with the Pairs men no longer having to attempt to match the womens' positions to gain levels, and for Ladies with limited flexibility who can do a single, short spiral element among the rest of the elements/contents of the choreographic sequence.

    I know Lakernik was complaining that the one-footed feature was painful to watch, but, if nothing else, it made the first half of the sequence shorter, since most skaters couldn't add endless sawing back and forth on one foot and had to maintain the momentum to gain the feature.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 05-06-2012 at 04:53 PM.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Here are the remaining major negative GOE (Grade of Execution) updates.

    Errors for which final GOE must be in the minuses (restricted)

    1. For both singles and pairs, the deduction that previously stated "starting from wrong edge in F/Lz (sign "e"), -2 to -3" now states "severe wrong edge take-off F/Lz (sign "e"), -2 to -3."
    (F = Flip, Lz = Lutz)

    The GOE deduction for unclear edge take-off (sign "e") is still -1 to -2, unrestricted. Unrestricted means that the final GOE for the element does not have to be in the minuses.

    Errors for which final GOE is not restricted (unrestricted)

    The three changes below apply to pairs only.

    1. In lifts, "slight problems in the lifting process, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.
    "Serious" problems in the lifting process already results in -3 GOE, restricted.

    2. In death spirals, "any part of the lady's body touching the ice, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.

    3. In death spirals, "use of both arms of man/lady at the exit, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.

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    So am I correct in saying that in pairs all of the lifts can no longer end in blade grabbing?

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    It sounds to me like they can grab away at the blade all they want but only the first time they attempt it will be considered for the DV rule.

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