The 2014 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships wrapped up today in Italy, with some familiar names landing on the podium. Finland 1 (Marigold IceUnity) were gold medalists after last medaling in 2011. Canada 1 (NEXXICE) won the silver medal for the third straight year, narrowly edging out Finland 2 (Rockettes), who won bronze after not qualifying for the event last year. All three teams skated clean in both segments, and were the only teams to get all of their technical calls in the short or the free.
There’s clearly a lot to digest in ISU Communication 1798, and I hope these overviews will help you sort through all of it. We know that at least three more Appendices are to come, in addition to the Summary of Calls and any clarification documents prompted by questions people will have after reading through this first major communication of the season. So if you aren’t quite grasping something just yet, don’t sweat it. There’s plenty in 1798 I’m still wrapping my brain around!
All of the links to Parts I through III are above, in one convenient place. I’ve also included a PDF cheat sheet that briefly lists the new Variations. You might want to print this and use it as a kind of map as you work your way through the new criteria for each Element and Feature.
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.
Basic requirements — No change. For Level Base, the team must cover at least half the length of the ice (or comparable) in four lines of four (or as equal as possible if skating with fewer than 16).
Feature — Step Sequence (no change). A Step Sequence is required in the Short, meaning there will be a penalty for omitting or executing it incorrectly, which is not usually the case in the Free.
Variation(s) — Some changes, but not as major as some other Elements. The one-foot series that covers 20m or 30m is no longer, but the (1) change of axis, (2) body movements, (3) skaters/lines changing places, and (4) extra features remain. Note that the full length of the ice must be covered for Levels 2-4, while only half the length of the ice must be covered for Level Base and Level 1. All variations apply to all levels (except Base), so pay attention to the “or” and “and” requirements to ensure you include the correct number of variations for the level you are attempting. Variations may still be executed at the same time, but as was the case last season, if a body movement and extra feature are executed simultaneously, the Technical Panel will count only one, in the team’s favor for the higher level. (more…)