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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicklaszlo View Post
    The passing score for prebronze-gold moves/freeskate are the same as Prepreliminary-Juvenile. For Intermediate and higher, the passing score is higher on standard track.
    I know that. If you had read the rest of that sentence, you would see that I was referring to the expectations of the judges re skating skills, not the numerical passing score - Moves tests. On the adult track, the primary focus of 'power' moves is "continuous speed and flow", aka speed w/o the acceleration. There are also allowances for extension, to an extent. Having tested on both tracks through Pre-Juv and Silver, I assert that the overall skill expectation is a higher on the standard track. For Pre-Pre and Prelim, maybe not as much, esp on Pre-Pre, as both Pre-Pre and Pre-Bronze are considered "encouragement tests." But once you get past Prelim, there is a big difference. I did not pass Pre-Juv (and then broke my leg practicing for the retry) so have never tested Juv, but I have spoken to adults who tested the same moves on Juv and Silver/Gold and thought there was a big difference in how they were judged. YMMV.

    ETA: And in the case of some moves, the passing standard is not the same - i.e. the Pre-Juv moves on the Bronze test (passing score 2.5 instead of 2.7), the Juv moves on Silver (2.7 instead of 3.0), the Int moves on Gold (3.0 instead of 3.2).

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I'd have to disagree with this. There are good and bad coaches in ISI, just as there are good and bad coaches in USFS and Skate Canada.

    And it isn't an all or nothing choice. You can test and compete in ISI and USFS at the same time. I know some adults who prefer ISI because there are usually more events to compete in, and ISI has more age/skill categories.
    I'm not talking about the coaches, but the system. My skating stagnated for so many years because I wasn't being taught MIF. One pattern (if that) per level in ISI just doesn't cut it.

    The ISI system is also rigged to where you aren't able to compete some pretty basic moves in lower levels. There are some restrictions in USFS on maneuvers, but they aren't nearly as strict. For example in ISI, no back pivots in FS2. Seriously?

    This seemed to lead, in my experience, to a resistance from my coaches to teach me any moves outside my level (such as flying spins) or any kind of novelty spins or maneuvers that were not on my current test level. In other words, they didn't like teaching you anything from the new level until you passed every single thing in the old. My experience was with two different coaches in two different geographical areas.

    I got fed up with not learning anything new in ISI. Then, when I decided to test USFS, my skating drastically improved from doing MIF. Frankly, I was a little embarassed that after going so far with ISI, I could barely even do inside edges and 3-turns on the lower MIF tests. I had to work at it really hard but it made me so much better. My USFS coaches had no reservations at all about teaching me FS10 level spins even though I'm not doing doubles.

    I love that I can still become a Senior level skater one day with MIF, without doing all those doubles that my body may not withstand.

    Obviously if a skater is doing both systems at the same time, there is probably a benefit from the extra chances to compete. However I would not pick just ISI, as the test structure is lacking.

  3. #23

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    Fair enough, but coaches refusing to teach you things outside your ISI level again seems more like a coach problem than an ISI problem.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Fair enough, but coaches refusing to teach you things outside your ISI level again seems more like a coach problem than an ISI problem.
    Agreed. Also a good (private) coach, ISI or USFS, should always be addressing problem in the basics like crossovers, 3 turns, edges. There is also nothing stopping any coach from introducing MIF patterns or figures to their skaters, as necessary.

    But if you are discussing group lesson coaches, that's a completely different story.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Fair enough, but coaches refusing to teach you things outside your ISI level again seems more like a coach problem than an ISI problem.
    This. ISI is a good system too - just with a different focus than USFS.
    Last edited by purple skates; 03-21-2013 at 06:44 PM.

  6. #26
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    My coach said she actually prefers the way they introduce elements in ISI versus USFSA. And she's certainly had no problem moving me forward on elements I do well while still working on other things. I'm going to compete Delta in May, but I've worked on some things up to Freestyle 2. We just work on a variety of stuff then decide what I can do well enough to compete when the time comes.

    We may test USFSA or not...I'm doing this for recreation and fun. So far I am meeting my goals.

  7. #27

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    First of all, best of luck with your skating!

    I want to disagree with one statement made: the concept that USFS has adult competitions "at the absolute beginner level" is really not true except in very rare cases. There are practically no adult competitions with a "No-Test" track like there are for young people. To actually be competitive at pre-bronze, you really need a fair arsenal of jumps and spins (salchow, toe, and at least loop or flip if not both, and sit spin or other variations of spinning on one foot). I know this; I competed at pre-bronze several times with my basic sal and toe and one foot spin and basically "skated for fun and last place" as I was not competitive, but I had no other choice, that was the lowest level available. And many competitions don't even offer pre-bronze! I did a few adult competitions with a no-test track and had better results and enjoyed those much more as my skills were competitive. I had started in ISI, and sometimes I really miss those old competitions because I had much more fun with them and felt more in line and competitive with the way the levels were set.

    Over the past 4 years due to job changes and other issues, my skating became more infrequent and I didn't compete. I recently started taking ice dance lessons to improve my edging and realized I was enjoying ice dance much more and learning much more also. I knew my chances (and desire) to attain higher level jumps and spins was not there anymore (I'm 55) and I didn't want to test MITF/freestyle anymore. I look forward to potentially testing and competing solo dance or pro-ams with my coach where available. You have to figure out what is right for you and what you enjoy. That said, I wish USFS had more to offer lower level adult freestyle skaters, but competition-wise, they seem to the group that gets left out.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    Maybe that is true in your area Yazmeen. In my area every competition has no test adult or at least no test/PB combined. I have seen skaters particpate who barely have a waltz jump and use a 2 foot spin and a forward pivot as their spin.

    I've also placed well in -bronze- here with just a waltz jump, a toe loop, and a salchow, no loop. I was skating up (because my spins are stronger than PB/No test and I wanted it to be 'fair') as I hadn't yet passed my Bronze test. I've now passed my Bronze test and look forward to eventually going to Adult Nationals where I am sure to place last, because my jumps are not competitive.


    When ISI competitions are available, I find them to be very fun because they are more affordable and I can enter a larger variety of events. But I have competed USFS for quite some time, successfully, as a low level skater.

    For many skaters, competitions is about doing their best, not winning, so the competition is AVAILABLE to all skaters. You don't NEED a loop to compete, but you may need one to win. Since a no-test skater can skate up to PB, that level is available at almost all competitions that allow adults to skate, generally if it isn't- a call to the competition chair will have pre-bronze added.

  9. #29

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    Also, Basic Skills competitions offer beginner-level competitions for kids not ready for the standard no-test level, and those competitions can also offer Adult Basic Skills events.

    If you have a friend at the same level you want to compete against, let your local club or rink know which adult events you'd like them to offer in their club or rink competitions. Even if you're not a member of the club, if you can promise them two or three entries in an event that would fit in with the rest of their competition, they'd probably be happy to add it.

    But if you're an adult on your own, without a home club or rink, without nearby friends to compete against, you'll have to do some research to find out where others in your category are likely to enter. This is extra difficult if you're male.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Maybe that is true in your area Yazmeen. In my area every competition has no test adult or at least no test/PB combined. I have seen skaters particpate who barely have a waltz jump and use a 2 foot spin and a forward pivot as their spin.

    I've also placed well in -bronze- here with just a waltz jump, a toe loop, and a salchow, no loop. I was skating up (because my spins are stronger than PB/No test and I wanted it to be 'fair') as I hadn't yet passed my Bronze test. I've now passed my Bronze test and look forward to eventually going to Adult Nationals where I am sure to place last, because my jumps are not competitive.


    When ISI competitions are available, I find them to be very fun because they are more affordable and I can enter a larger variety of events. But I have competed USFS for quite some time, successfully, as a low level skater.

    For many skaters, competitions is about doing their best, not winning, so the competition is AVAILABLE to all skaters. You don't NEED a loop to compete, but you may need one to win. Since a no-test skater can skate up to PB, that level is available at almost all competitions that allow adults to skate, generally if it isn't- a call to the competition chair will have pre-bronze added.
    I live outside of Philly - for several years, we had the Halloween Classic at the Aston rinks until the competition was taken away from the club, and in the final year an attempt was made to combine it with an ice dance event meant to showcase the rink and their coaches strength in this area prior to the Olympics and the whole adult event fell apart and was cancelled. When the IceWorks Skating Club ran it, it was a wonderful competition. I took home many good memories from it, even when I didn't place as well as I would have liked. I skated at my own level, and I really felt like I was part of the event.

    My point is not medals or placements; it was the near total lack of competition events available to anyone at my skill level. Yes, I enjoy skating my best, but when my best isn't close to what everyone else if putting out there with the level offered, it isn't a lot of "fun" when this happens repeatedly. I want to enjoy skating in competition, but I like be competitive, and not having an available level where I was competitive took a lot of the enjoyment out of it. I would actually have felt more accomplished placing lower against skaters with similar skills to mine knowing that I need to work on this or that to improve, not realizing that I didn't even have a shot because their skills are so much higher level than mine and I had no choice beyond skating at this level or not skating.

    When I made the formal switch to only work on dance last month, my longtime freestyle coach and I had a meeting of the minds in parting, and we agreed that neither one of us wanted to see me continuing to struggle along stuck in place, doing my best, but not getting anywhere. I realized I enjoyed dance much more than fighting with jumps and spins, and I had a much better chance to enjoy competition (note: enjoy, not necessarily win or place) in solo dance and related events. I don't want to "skate in place," I want to enjoy skating but improve and move up as much as I can.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    I live outside of Philly - for several years, we had the Halloween Classic at the Aston rinks until the competition was taken away from the club, and in the final year an attempt was made to combine it with an ice dance event meant to showcase the rink and their coaches strength in this area prior to the Olympics and the whole adult event fell apart and was cancelled. When the IceWorks Skating Club ran it, it was a wonderful competition. I took home many good memories from it, even when I didn't place as well as I would have liked. I skated at my own level, and I really felt like I was part of the event.

    My point is not medals or placements; it was the near total lack of competition events available to anyone at my skill level. Yes, I enjoy skating my best, but when my best isn't close to what everyone else if putting out there with the level offered, it isn't a lot of "fun" when this happens repeatedly. I want to enjoy skating in competition, but I like be competitive, and not having an available level where I was competitive took a lot of the enjoyment out of it. I would actually have felt more accomplished placing lower against skaters with similar skills to mine knowing that I need to work on this or that to improve, not realizing that I didn't even have a shot because their skills are so much higher level than mine and I had no choice beyond skating at this level or not skating.
    Yeah, this was why I stopped competing. I passed the Bronze test but have no flip, lutz, or camel, so I wasn't competitive and I just got tired of finishing last. It wasn't so much the placement (b/c I could be doing the same elements as everyone else and still finishing last) but just being so far below everyone. It wasn't much of a competition. So I decided to focus on MIF. I passed Silver and then started working on Gold and also the low-level standard track tests, and then broke my leg so the 'comeback' has taken a while. Right now, I'm close to being able to test Gold MIF (hoping I stay in one piece) and after that I may start doing dance. My coach has a dance background so she could teach me at least the low-level dances. I may do a little FS, just to get my skills back, and maybe do artistic comps at some point, but I'll likely never compete FS again.

    I thought it was the IceWorks club that made the decision to combine HC with the dance event. Wasn't the story that they had a board meeting to vote on it but didn't invite/notify any of the HC committee? Or was that all engineered by the rink? I know they work closely together. Whatever the story, it's too bad the event is no more. And New Year's Invitational, which used to be a big adult comp, has gotten a lot smaller in recent years - only 1 day now instead of 2. It may be the economy, or maybe adults are less interested in competing, or just want to do Sectionals and Nationals.

  12. #32

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    I have competed both USFS and ISI. Agree with Skittl if you can find a USFS Basic Skills event, that's definitely a bonus, but given the general dearth of adults in competitive skating, it can be a drag.

    I enjoy ISI for the variety of events--footwork, spin/jump teams, surprise, a variety of showcase categories, and such (although I don't think I'll be entering ISI interp [improvise a program] anytime soon unless I can be GUARANTEED I will be given some age-appropriate, non-stupid music, NOT Justin Frickin' Bieber). No, it's not much of a challenge when you're the only one competing in your category, but I figure it gives me a chance to improve performance skills and fighting the nerves that accompany skating in front of an audience. Plus you can do fun music and goofy stuff like "surprise" events. I figure I'm close to reaching my limit on freestyle anyway--may pass my bronze FS but almost certainly never Silver FS (although I did pass Silver MITF and if I can conquer my *completely rational* fear of brackets [broken ankle] I might have a shot at passing gold MITF).
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

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    LilJen, see if an Isi event will offer an adult interp event. We had so much fun and we were guaranteed music appropriate to our age and skill, so nearly every adult signed up. I had SO much fun, my favorite event ever ( and I won).

    Isi competitions around here are rare though.

  14. #34

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    Oh, it WAS an adult event. At least, they put us two adults in our own event. Except that they grouped it together with a tween-age event. . . so they gave ALL of us the same music (I think there were 5 kids in the other group?)--one warmup for everyone. Gawd, the theme was LOVE. You'd think they could do some Beatles or something, without alienating the kids. HATED that music.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  15. #35

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    Back when I started skating as a freshman in college, adult skating meant you had to be 25 and older to compete. Eys, and I also walked uphill both ways to get to the snowed-in rink . I stuck to the standard track for testing ever since mostly because it's easier on coaches & I like the challenge. I will be testing adult moves in a few months, even though I passed intermediate a few years ago because I was off the ice with a knee injury for over a year and working on novice moves would have been a terrible idea and not at all productive. Getting there now, but it's taken a while to get muscle strength back.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    If you plan on skating for a while and want to learn solid skating skills, don't choose ISI.
    That's an absolutely ridiculous statement. Obviously you don't have adequate experience with ISI to be able to form a real opinion about it. USFSA didn't even have basic skating levels until fairly recently, and skaters are not required to pass those levels before going into freestyle testing and competitions. If anything, advanced USFSA skaters are in general less trained in basic skills than ISI freestyle skaters who absolutely must pass the basic skills levels before moving on to freestyle tests/competitions. Also, ISI freestyle levels at the upper end are more difficult than the USFSA senior level. You don't see PSA giving higher ratings to USFSA coaches over ISIA coaches.

    I was an ISI skater, was an ISI instructor in my 20's, and set up the ISI lesson program at the rink where I used to teach. If you do ISI, you will be just as able to get a PSA rating to coach kids in USFSA basic skills levels as those in ISIA basic skills levels.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by treesprite View Post
    If anything, advanced USFSA skaters are in general less trained in basic skills than ISI freestyle skaters who absolutely must pass the basic skills levels before moving on to freestyle tests/competitions.
    I would suggest you don't have adequate experience with USFSA. By "basic skating levels", I assume you are talking about the Basic Skills curriculum. Yes, it's true that the USFSA developed its group lesson program (mid 80s) after ISI did. But I believe leafygreens is talking about skating skills in the context of Moves in the Field (MIF) tests, which are required in USFSA but do not exist in ISI.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    But I believe leafygreens is talking about skating skills in the context of Moves in the Field (MIF) tests, which are required in USFSA but do not exist in ISI.
    And the standards for which are much pickier than anything required in either track of group lessons.

  19. #39

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    I would suggest, if you would like to compare the skills levels of USFS and ISI tracks, that you attend a competition that includes both and watch the comparable levels. In New England, Bay State Games includes both ISI and USFS and include adults as well, and the State Games of America in York, PA this summer will as well.

    The differences in the two programs will be apparent.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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    At least in areas where a choice exists, it seems many skaters just do both. There is no reason to limit yourself.

    Should you be really interested in working your way up tests, the ISI Freestyle 10 test is WAY harder than the USFS Senior test, should you reach the top levels. (Of course, neither is anywhere close to what elite seniors skate at...)

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