ISU 1798 Overview, Part III: Moves, Moves in the Field, Spin, Group Lift, Creative

In case you missed them:

We’re in the homestretch, friends. Just a few more elements to cover…and then obsess over for several months.


  • Basic requirements and Base — For Base to be awarded, it appears all skaters simply have to attempt a Spread Eagle and/or Ina Bauer. To achieve Levels 1-3, basic requirements that need to be fulfilled are as follows: all skaters must execute a Spread Eagle and/or Ina Bauer; changes of edge (if included) must occur at the same time (no change); an fm must be held in the correct position, on the correct edge for three seconds (no change); and fm’s with a change of edge must be in the correct position for two seconds on each edge (no change).
  • Feature — None (no change).
  • Difficulty Groups — Levels 1-3 are essentially the same as last year. One notable difference is that 1798 does not specify whether or not steps are permitted between the two fm’s when a Spread Eagle or Ina Bauer is executed in both rotational directions. I expect this will be clarified in future documents.
  • Variation(s) — None (no change).


  • Basic requirements and Base — Change: the MF consists of a sequence of two different fm’s, and up to four fm’s can be executed during each part of the sequence (I see you scratching your head, but I’ll explain). For Base to be awarded, two different fm’s must be attempted. There are no restrictions on pattern or ice coverage. No fm’s can be repeated.
  • Feature — Free skating moves (fm).
  • Variation(s) — Change: there are four variations, some new and some old. (1) One fm must be a spiral for MF1-4. (2) For MF1, teams can use fm’s from Level 1, 2, or 3, but for MF2 they can only use fm’s from Level 2 or 3, and only Level 3 fm’s may be used for MF3 and MF4. (3) Executing two different fm’s at the same time during one of the two required fm’s (or parts of the sequence, if you prefer to think of it that way) is an option for MF3 and a requirement for MF4. (4) All skaters execute a change of position (i.e., move to the other side of the skater next to them) during one fm, on one foot, is also an option for MF3 and a requirement for MF4.
  • Two fm’s or four? Fm sequence, what? — The language describing the number of required fm’s may seem a bit confusing on a first read. I’m interpreting it like this: a sequence of two different fm’s is the basic requirement for the MF Element. Each of those fm’s is considered one part of the sequence. A team can either execute a single fm, or several fm’s (up to four), for each of the two parts of the sequence. Put another way, a team can execute (fm) + (fm), or (fm+fm+fm+fm) + (fm+fm+fm+fm). If several fm’s are used, none can be repeated, and if several different fm levels are used at once, the lowest will be called.
  • At least two fm’s at the same time — A note on timing: “If using fm’s that require different lengths of time, (i.e., one that should be held three seconds and one that needs to be held six seconds), the fm’s should either start or end at approximately the same time.”
  • All skaters change position during one fm on one foot — Change: there must be at least four skaters in a line when this takes place (previously it was three). The other requirements remain the same: there must be a hold before and after the change of position; the track of the skater changing positions must cross tracks with the other skater; each skater must be on their own individual track before and after crossing the track of the skater next to them.

Free Skating Moves Feature (MF)

  • Basic requirements and Base — No change: for an fm to be called, it must be held for a minimum of three seconds in the correct position, on the correct edge, or for two seconds in each correct position and on each edge when changes of edge or position are included. Fm Base is called for an fm that is attempted but does not meet the basic requirements
  • Difficulty Groups — These are straightforward, so I’m not going to go over them here. 1798 is clear about which moves and positions belong to which levels.


  • Basic requirements and Base — This is the only element where Base has several options beyond the minimum requirements. For a Spin to get called, a minimum of three revolutions must be executed. For Base, teams have the option of (1) Pair Spin with both skaters upright; one skater on one foot; (2) Pair Spin with one skater in a camel or sit; both skaters on on one foot; or (3) Upright Spin.
  • Feature — None (no change).
  • Difficulty Groups — Nothing much to report here. 1798 clearly outlines the options for each Level. The only real change is that with the addition of Base, there are now four Difficulty Groups for the Spin Element, where there were previously three. Some Spins fall under different levels than they did last year, so read carefully.
  • Variation(s) — None (no change).


  • Basic requirements and Base — For Base to be called, the team must execute at least one Group Lift, with the lifted skater at any height, that glides or remains stationary. For Levels 1-4, the torso of the lifted skater must be above the heads of the supporting skaters during required rotations, and Group Lifts must be gliding at all times.
  • Feature — None (no change).
  • Variation(s) — Change: there are five variations this season, up from four last year. The new variation #5 applies only to Level 4, and requires the use of a Mirror Pattern (two Group Lifts rotate one direction while the other two rotate in the opposite direction). For GL1 and GL2, teams can choose different numbers of lifts combined with no variation, or one variation from #1-4. GL3 requires that four Group Lifts are executed, but the team can choose from variation #1 (vaulting up AND down from the lift), #2 (change of position of the lifted skater), or #3 (balancing lift). Variation #4 (rotating in both rotational directions) is not an option for GL3 or GL4. If variation #2 is attempted for GL3 or GL4, it must be executed during the required 360 degree rotation. For GLB-GL2, skaters not involved in the Group Lifts must execute fe’s from any level at approximately the same time as the lifts, and are not permitted to stop or stand still.
  • The requirements for each variation are outlined quite clearly in 1798, so I won’t go into further detail. The key for Group Lifts this season is to pay attention to which variations are permitted or required for the level you’re attempting.


  • Basic requirements — To be called/confirmed, all skaters must participate in the Element, and at least four skaters must present a creative/innovative movement and/or fe/fm. Any synchronized skating elements may be incorporated; movements may be done at the same time or different times; moves may be the same or different; skaters may stop or become stationary IF doing so reflects/enhances the musical structure; there are no ice coverage restrictions; and illegal/non-permitted regulations apply for each category.
  • Public Service Announcement — Now that we’re into the second season of the Creative Element, there should be lots of video resources out there to help coaches and choreographers who felt paralyzed by choice last season, and struggled to construct this element. Remember: this is your chance to show off your creative side, and highlight your skaters’ best skills. I was amazed to see many teams last season choose moves that made their skaters look weak instead of strong. Be strategic with this element. It’s about quality, creativity, and use of the music — it’s not about difficulty. Make an impact! (The good kind.)

That about does it for 1798. Stay tuned for Part IV, which will be a brief wrap-up post.

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