Skates details photographed during the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2022 in Courchevel

Skates details photographed during the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2022 in Courchevel (FRA) @ISU

The ISU is constantly working on developing the Skating sports and part of that process are rule changes. Rule changes reflect the growth of the sport and help to shape it in the desired way that it remains exciting, spectacular and can be judged. Figure Skating is a discipline that highlights athletic and artistic abilities more than any other sport and it is important to keep the right balance between them.

Therefore, the score consists of a Technical Element score and a Program Component score. From this season on, the Program Components have been reduced from five to three, but this does not mean that the Program Component part has lost its significance. On the contrary, reducing the Program Components to Composition, Presentation and Skating skills allows Judges to better focus on these three clear and distinct areas.

Judges Kevin Aymoz (FRA) ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Skate Canada GettyImages 1054330266

Judges watch Kevin Aymoz (FRA) perform during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Skate Canada in 2018 @ISU

  • Composition refers to how the program is designed in relation to the music.

  • Presentation evaluates the performance of the program, the expressive abilities of the Skater.

  • Skating skills evaluates the techniques of skating and movement.

The goal of this change is to achieve greater objectivity and a fairer scoring that will more accurately reflect the artistic, choreographic, skating and movement techniques of Skaters.

The contribution derived from Program Components to the overall score remains the same. To maintain this equivalence, the factors associated with each Component have been increased in a mathematically proportional way.

The ISU Congress adopted some technical changes as well. A jump sequence can now consist of two or three jumps in which the second and third jump is an Axel. The jumps executed in a sequence now receive their full value. Skaters can include single jumps as a choreographic element into their step sequences without being penalized. The Juniors will now do a choreographic sequence instead of a step sequence in the Free Skating in order to put more focus on the performance aspect.

Ice and skate details ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2022 Tallinn (EST) GettyImages 1237727767

Ice and skate details photographed during the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2022 in Tallinn (EST) @ISU

There are new features for achieving a level four, the highest degree of difficulty, for spins – for example a difficult entry and a difficult exit of a spin are two different features.

In Ice Dance, the Rhythm Dance at the senior level does not include a Pattern Dance anymore, but a Choreographic Rhythm Sequence that is evaluated as a choreographic element. In the Free Dance the “Choreographic Assisted Jump Movement” has been added to the list of choreographic elements. Junior Couples can choose from two and senior teams from three out of the now six choreo elements.

Details of skaters boots  ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final at Palavela 2019 GettyImages 1284973163

Details of skaters' boots photographed during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Palavela (ITA) @ISU

An important change is the gradual raising of the age limits for Figure Skating. The age eligibility of 15 years remains the same for the current 2022/23 season. For the 2023/24 season, only Skaters who have reached at least the age of sixteen before July 1 preceding the event are eligible for international senior-level competitions and ISU senior-level Championships. From the season 2024/25 onwards, the age limit for international senior-level competitions will be raised to seventeen years.

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