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  1. #21

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    When I was working on my preliminary and first test in the 1970s, I did not have a scribe. The rink owner had an old-fashioned wooden one that was often available and that I used occasionally, but mostly I didn't use one. The more advanced skaters (second test and up) generally did own one.

    I have one now that was given to me by another adult skater who had acquired two in the early 90s, just before they became virtually obsolete, but I have had occasion to use it maybe twice (when our rink offered midday private lesson ice that was often empty enough for patch -- no longer offered ).

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    Only a few high-level skaters even owned scribes when I skated Figures in the 1980's, so it wasn't controversial - if you had one, you used it. (I didn't have one, but I bought one a few years ago off eBay.)
    Everyone I knew owned and used scribes in the late 70's-early 80's. None of us were anywhere near high level.

    ETA - I see gkelly didn't use them either. My mother was a coach. Maybe that had something to do with it. Either that, or they were just big in Michigan.

  3. #23
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    My experience with Patch was in New Jersey, but not at South Mountain Arena. I'm sure most of the skaters who practiced there owned scribes. Not the case at other rinks, ime.

  4. #24
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    We all used them, too, in the Portland area. I loved carrying my scribe: it made me feel very secure, gripping it like a machine gun, when I had to walk through dark, deserted mall parking lots before dawn. I figured any crazies not scared off by the wicked-looking point at the end could be easily dispatched by a good smash over the head.

    There never were any crazies, of course ;-)

  5. #25
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    You need them to get used the feeling of a perfect curve that is the proper proportions, and to make sure your two lobes are exactly the same size until you get a feel for them without looking at an indicator.

  6. #26
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    Sorry scribes weren't the only solution for sizing circles or estimating the curves. While it was probably really cool to have your own scribe, the rest of us got by just fine.

  7. #27
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    I read on wikipedia that scribes were not allowed in competition.

  8. #28
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    They never were. Not allowed for tests, either. Practice only.

  9. #29
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    I remember the judges in their fur coats and boots stomping onto the ice for tests. I don't think they used scribes to check the size/shape either - did it by eye, right?

  10. #30
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    Yup.

  11. #31

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

  12. #32
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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.

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

  14. #34
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    What do you mean?

  15. #35

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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.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  16. #36
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    Ok, thanks for explaining.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    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.
    We side-stepped instead of doing heel-to-toe measuring. For me, 8 side-steps≈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.

  18. #38

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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.

  19. #39
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    I think they should be brought back and used for testing only, not competition.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I think they should be brought back and used for testing only, not competition.
    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.

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