ISU Comm. 1786: Well Balanced Program Content for 2013-14

One objective behind restructuring the Special Regulations and Technical Rules at least year’s Congress was to enable the Well Balanced Program Content to be revealed in a more timely and relevant fashion (i.e., to allow more flexibility in determining WBP content by not writing it in stone two years in advance). Rules 905, paragraph 2 (p. 94) and 911, paragraph 2 (p. 103) promised to publish new WBP Content by April 1st, and the ISU has delivered. With the 2013 World Championships still over a week away, the ISU has already published Communication 1786, outlining the WBP Content for the 2013-14 season. Here’s the link with details for all ISU categories, and here’s the overview for Junior and Senior:

JUNIOR SHORT (5 Elements)

  • Block: Pivoting required in four lines. Other variations permitted and will be counted if executed correctly.
  • Intersection: Whip, with pi, required.
  • Moves Element: Spread Eagle and/or Ina Bauer required.
  • No Hold Element: Block configuration required. Step Sequence required.
  • Wheel: Travel in parallel configuration required; travel extra features permitted. Change of rotational direction required in two-spoke configuration. Other variations permitted and will be counted if executed correctly.

JUNIOR FREE (9 Elements)

  • Block
  • Circle
  • Creative Element
  • Two Intersections: Must be different.
  • Line
  • Moves in the Field OR Spin
  • No Hold Element: Block configuration required.
  • Wheel: Travel permitted but will NOT be counted.

SENIOR SHORT (5 Elements)

  • Block: Pivoting in four lines required. Other variations permitted and will be counted if executed correctly.
  • Intersection: Angled, with pi, required.
  • Moves in the Field
  • No Hold Element: Block configuration required. Step Sequence required.
  • Wheel: Travel in parallel configuration required; travel extra features permitted. Change of rotational direction required in two-spoke configuration. Other variations permitted and will be counted if executed correctly.

SENIOR FREE (10 Elements)

  • Block
  • Circle
  • Creative Element
  • Group Lift
  • Two Intersections: Must be different.
  • Line
  • Moves in the Field OR Spin
  • No Hold Element: Block configuration required.
  • Wheel: Travel permitted but will NOT be counted.

So, what’s different for next year? In the Short Program:

  • Blocks must pivot in four lines instead of three 
  • Wheel will be performed instead of Circle
  • Seniors will do an Angled Intersection instead of the Whip

And in the Free:

  • Circle Element replaces Circle Step Sequence
  • Only one Step Sequence instead of two (just NHE instead of NHE and CSS)
  • Wheel permitted to travel but the travel will not count

Paragraph 3 of both aforementioned rules notes that the detailed criteria for Elements, Features, Additional Features, and Extra Features will be published by August 15th. If that seems late, it’s because it is: the 2012-13 rules were published in June of last year. However, that shouldn’t stop teams from being able to get to work right on schedule — you can never spend enough time working on skating skills, and the better your skaters, the more easily they’ll be able to adapt to any  tweaks that are made to program or element requirements. Moreover, I suspect we’ll see more clarifications, rather than changes, given this Communication is described as replacing Appendix A in Communication 1759. Logic leads me to believe the intention is for 1759 to remain the core reference document, but perhaps simply with minor updates to come.

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