The ISU has released a very helpful 45-minute video presenting the key changes to the technical rules for next season. You’ll likely get the most out of the video if you’ve already read Communication 2317.
In addition, the ISU recently released next season’s Scale of Values in Communication 2322. This often overlooked document should play a critical strategic role in your choreography. Don’t underestimate its importance!
Communication 2317 details the requirements an Element, Feature, or Additional Feature must satisfy in order to get credit for a given difficulty level. The Technical Panel uses the information in this document (along with information in the Technical Handbook, which is not yet published for this season) to “call” the level of each Element in your program.
Communication 2318 explains what the judges are looking for when determining what Grade of Execution and Program Component Scores to award.
Though the Well Balanced Program requirements for the upcoming season will be the same as in 2019-20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these new Communications outline some important changes to technical requirements and judging criteria. Teams who may be considering reusing one of last season’s programs due to reduced training time should read these documents especially carefully. In many cases, the document underlines important changes and clarifications to last season’s rules.
Check the ISU website frequently for revisions and clarifications to these rules over the coming months.
Contains definitions of Elements, Features, and Additional Features, as well as rules related to the Call to Start, Interruptions, Costume Deductions, and more. Can be downloaded and printed, or purchased from the ISU website. This document is the foundation for all other Communications.
Specifies the calls and penalties for Elements, Features, and Additional Features, based on how they are executed.
For more information about how to apply each of these documents, refer to the article, “Demystifying the Judging System: Part 2, Rules.” (Note that it refers to 2018 rules.) Consult your governing body’s website for any additional rules specific to your country or region.
When the new rules for the upcoming synchronized skating season are published each year, many of us gravitate towards the technical documents. But trying out a “GOE first” mindset could be what really sets your team apart this season.
There are always many new technical details to understand, and determining which difficulty levels will be appropriate for your team is of course a crucial part of program construction. But year after year, I see many teams focus only on technical aspects, and treat GOE as an afterthought.
Teams prioritize getting their levels called, without realizing that attention to GOE can actually help improve their technical scores. Having good shape, unison, speed and flow goes a long way towards the successful execution of all Elements — and especially those like Intersections, weaving Circles, and Moves Elements where there’s little room for error when skaters are in close proximity.