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Competitive Figure Skating FAQ: Technical Elements


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Archive-name: sports/skating/ice/figure/technical
Last-modified: 21 Sep 2008

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                      COMPETITIVE FIGURE SKATING FAQ:
                      ===============================

                            TECHNICAL ELEMENTS
                            ==================

This article is part of the FAQ list for (amateur) competitive figure
skating.  This section covers technical elements of figure skating, such
as jumps and spins.

This FAQ list is posted monthly to rec.sport.skating.ice.figure.  It is
available in both plain-text and HTML/Web versions.  You can get to the
HTML version from SkateWeb at URL:

http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/

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Table of Contents

  * [1] What are the different jumps?  How did they get such funny names?
  * [2] What about spins and other moves?
  * [3] What are the required elements for the short program?
  * [4] Are there any required elements in the long program?
  * [5] What's the difference between ice dancing and pair skating?
  * [6] The scoring in ice dancing often seem totally random to me.  What
    are judges really looking for in ice dancing?
  * [7] I've heard the TV commentators talking about the skaters' speed.
    What is this all about?
  * [8]Why do men so rarely do layback spins?
  * [9][Some TV commentator] is always complaining about poor free leg
    positions in layback spins.  So what's a good position?
  * [10]What are compulsory figures?
  * [11]Can you explain the different lifts for pair skaters?
  * [12]Is a triple toe/half loop/triple salchow a jump combination or a
    jump series?
  * [13]Why do people make such a big fuss over flutzing?  Don't all
    skaters flutz?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] What are the different jumps?  How did they get such funny names?

    The thing that distinguishes the different jumps is the takeoff.
    Most right-handed skaters jump in a counterclockwise direction and
    land all the jumps on a right back outside edge.  I'll describe all
    the jumps in this sense to minimize confusion.

    These are the jumps you see in competition most often, in approximate
    order from least to most difficult:

    toe loop
        the approach is on a right back outside edge.  The skater then
        reaches back with the left foot and jabs the toe pick into the
        ice to provide assistance for the jump at takeoff.  Often done as
        the second jump of a combination, or as a solo jump after an
        inside three turn.  If the jump is approached from an outside
        three turn and step instead, it's sometimes called a "toe
        walley"; technically the toe walley is supposed to be done from
        an inside edge, but otherwise the two jumps are considered
        equivalent.  (The toe loop is the same jump that roller skaters
        call the "mapes", and that is called a "cherry flip" in some
        parts of the world.)
    salchow
        the takeoff is from a left back inside edge; the typical approach
        is from a three turn.  The right leg swings to the front with a
        scooping motion just prior to takeoff.  (But, watch out --some
        skaters incorrectly scull the right leg on the ice to assist the
        takeoff.)  The jump is named after Ulrich Salchow, who dominated
        skating in the early 1900's.
    loop
        this is also an edge jump, with takeoff from a right back outside
        edge.  Usually skaters approach this jump by skating backwards on
        two feet, with the left foot crossed in front of the right.
        Often they look like they are sitting in an invisible chair.
        Unlike the salchow, there's no swinging of the free leg into the
        jump; the skater simply springs upward in a cross-legged
        position.  (In Europe, this is also known as a Rittberger jump,
        after its inventor Werner Rittberger.)
    flip
        this is a toe-assisted jump from the left back inside edge and
        right toe pick.  Like the salchow, the usual entrance is a three
        turn, but usually from a straight-line approach instead of a
        curved one.  (This jump is sometimes called a "toe salchow" in
        Europe.)

        The flip and toe loop look much alike and even experienced
        observers sometimes have trouble distinguishing them.  Here are
        some things that may help:

          * For the flip, the skater picks with the same foot they land
            on, while with the toe loop they pick with the opposite foot.
          * For the flip, the skater picks inside the curve of the jump,
            while with the toe loop they pick outside the curve.
          * For the flip, the skater turns away from the picking foot as
            they jump, while with the toe loop the skater jumps towards
            the picking foot.

    lutz
        this is a toe-assisted jump from the left back OUTSIDE edge and
        right toe pick; this means that the approach curve has the
        opposite "direction" than the landing curve.  The most typical
        approach for this jump is a long, shallow edge diagonally across
        the rink.  Named after Alois Lutz.
    axel
        this is the only common jump with a forward takeoff, from a left
        front outside edge.  Because of this, a single jump is actually
        1.5 rotations.  Named after Axel Paulsen, who invented it.  (The
        half-rotation jump with the same takeoff and landing edges is
        called a "waltz jump".)

    You also sometimes see these jumps, usually only as single jumps:

    walley
        takeoff from a right back inside edge.  You sometimes see a
        skater do two or three of them in a row, shifting from the right
        back outside landing edge to an inside edge to begin the next
        jump.
    half loop
        this is a jump with a takeoff like the loop jump, but that is
        landed on a left back inside edge.  This is a full-revolution
        jump in spite of the name.  It's mainly used as a linking element
        with a salchow in jump combinations, or in footwork sequences.
        (This jump is also known as an "Euler".)
    one-foot axel
        this is a jump with a takeoff like an axel, but that is landed on
        a left back inside edge like the half loop.  (Roller skaters
        sometimes call this jump a "Colledge", after 1937 world champion
        Cecilia Colledge.)
    inside axel
        another forward-takeoff jump, this time from a right front inside
        edge to a normal landing on the right back outside edge.  It's
        usually approached from a backwards-to-forwards three turn on the
        right foot, and you might mistake this jump for a double loop if
        you don't watch carefully.  (Roller skaters call this one a
        "Boeckl", after 1925-28 world champion Willy Boeckl.)
    split jump
        the takeoff is the same as a flip, and the jump is landed facing
        forwards on the left toe pick and right inside edge.  If the
        skater does a full rotation and lands backwards in the usual way,
        the jump is called a "split flip".  You can also do a split jump
        from a lutz takeoff.  A split jump done from a loop takeoff is
        called a "split falling leaf".  Another variation is the "stag
        jump", with the left leg tucked up instead of extended.

    And, sometimes these terms are used to refer to jumps with problems:

    waxel
        a failed axel attempt, when the skater slips off the forward
        takeoff edge.  A "wowcow" is a similarly botched salchow.
    toe axel
        a jump that is supposed to be a double toe loop, but where the
        skater incorrectly does an axel-like forward takeoff from the toe
        pick instead of the correct backwards toe-assisted takeoff.
    flutz
        a jump that is supposed to be a lutz, but where the skater
        incorrectly changes to an inside edge just before the toe pick
        (the same edge as for a flip).  A flutz is scored as a bad lutz,
        not as a flip.   The inverse term, for a supposed flip that is
        actually a lutz, is generally agreed to be "lip".  Lips are not
        as common as flutzes.
    "cheat"
        used to describe jumps where the skater doesn't perform the full
        rotation of the jump in the air, and does a half-turn on the ice
        or a skidded or badly hooked edge instead.  It's possible to
        "cheat" both the takeoff and landing of jumps.
    Midori
        refers to a skater jumping into or over the boards around the
        edge of the rink, the canonical example being Midori Ito's jump
        into the camera pit at 1991 Worlds.
    Wanda Beazel
        refers to the skater falling on the entrance edge to a jump, the
        canonical example being from an exhibition program Debi Thomas
        used to perform where she portrayed a beginning skater named
        "Wanda Beazel".

    Finally, here is a list of all possible jumps by takeoff edge.  Note
    that "natural" rotation refers to a jump that rotates in the same
    direction (e.g., counterclockwise) as the entrance edge, while
    "counter" rotation refers to the entrance edge being in the opposite
    sense to the jump rotation.

      * BO edge, natural rotation, no toe:  loop, half loop, falling leaf
      * BO edge, counter rotation, no toe:  toeless lutz (rare)
      * BI edge, natural rotation, no toe:  salchow
      * BI edge, counter rotation, no toe:  walley
      * BO edge, natural rotation, toe: toe loop, ballet jump
      * BO edge, counter rotation, toe: lutz
      * BI edge, natural rotation, toe: flip, split, stag
      * BI edge, counter rotation, toe: toe walley
      * FO edge, natural rotation, no toe: waltz, axel, one-foot axel
      * FO edge, counter rotation, no toe: ? (nobody does this)
      * FI edge, natural rotation, no toe: inside axel
      * FI edge, counter rotation, no toe: ? (nobody does this)

    Except for the "bunny hop", a toe assist is never used on jumps with
    a forward takeoff.

[2] What about spins and other moves?

    back spin
        performed in the same rotation sense as a forward spin, but on
        the opposite foot.  Most right-handed skaters spin
        counterclockwise, doing a forward spin on the left foot and a
        back spin on the right foot.  Somewhat confusingly, a forward
        spin is usually done on a shallow backward inside edge and a back
        spin on a shallow forward outside edge.  Occasionally you will
        see skaters flipping a forward spin onto a strong forward outside
        edge or a back spin onto a strong backward inside edge, which is
        considered to add difficulty to the spin.
    scratch spin
        a fast upright spin.  So called because it is done on the forward
        part of the blade, so that the toe pick scratches the ice
        slightly.
    layback spin
        a spin with a backward or sideways lean of the torso.
    camel
        a spin in the "airplane" position, e.g. the torso and free leg in
        a horizontal position.  A flying camel is a back spin in the
        camel position entered by means of a jump with a forward takeoff,
        similar to an axel.
    grafstrom spin
        a low camel spin, skated with a bent knee.  Named after Gillis
        Grafstrom.
    hamill camel
        this is a transition from a back camel spin to a back sit spin by
        first bending the knee of the skating leg and then turning out
        the free hip to "flip over" into the sitting position.  Named
        after Dorothy Hamill.
    biellmann spin
        this is the spin where the skater arches her back and pulls her
        free leg high over her head.  Named after Denise Biellmann.
    illusion (or windmill)
        this is similar to a camel spin, but the skater bobs her torso
        and free leg up and down in phase with the spin.  It looks kind
        of like a windmill.
    harding spin
        this is a spin that looks kind of a like a cross between a camel
        and a layback.  It's usually entered from a camel spin; the
        skater twists into a face-up position and bends the free leg so
        that the foot is held near the knee of the skating leg.  Named
        after Tonya Harding, but more often associated with Josee
        Chouinard.
    death drop
        a flying spin with an axel-like takeoff where the skater achieves
        a horizontal position in the air before dropping into a back
        sitspin.  Officially, this element is known as an "open axel
        sitspin".
    butterfly
        similar to a death drop, but the jump is from a backward edge and
        toe tap.  As well as being done as a spin entrance, butterflies
        can be done by themselves just as a kind of leap or acrobatic
        move, often in a series of two or three in a row.
    spiral
        an edge skated with the free leg extended and held higher than
        hip level.  A relatively easy move, but effective when done with
        good stretch and speed.
    spread eagle
        a figure skated on two feet with the toes pointing in opposite
        directions.  It can be done either on outside or inside edges.
        Again, this is a fairly easy move -- at least for skaters with
        open hip joints -- and its effectiveness depends on being done
        with speed and a good body position (namely, without the skater's
        bottom jutting out awkwardly).
    ina bauer
        a spread eagle variant where one knee is deeply bent and the
        other leg stretched behind the body.  Typically done with an
        arched back.
    besti squat
        a spread eagle skated in a squatting position, with bent knees;
        named from its use by Natalia Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin in
        their 1988 free dance.
    shoot-the-duck
        a move in which the skater glides on one foot in a squatting
        position, with the free leg extended in front, similar to a sit
        spin position.  In some parts of the world this is known as a
        "teapot" or "pistol".
    mohawk, choctaw
        these are two-foot front-to-back or back-to-front turns.  A
        mohawk is done on from inside-to-inside or outside-to-outside
        edges, while a choctaw involves a change of edge.  Mohawks are
        commonly used in free skating as a simple turn or in step
        sequences, but choctaws are more typically used only in ice
        dancing.
    three turn
        the common one-foot turn, done on a circle with the cusp of the
        turn pointing inward.  (The tracing is like a numeral 3.) Other
        one-foot turns are brackets, rockers, and counters, and are
        mostly only used in step sequences and ice dancing.

[3] What are the required elements for the short program?

    For men:
        (a) double or triple axel
        (b) a triple or quadruple jump preceded by connecting steps
        (c) a combination of a double jump and a triple jump, two triple
        jumps, or a quadruple jump and a double or triple jump; the jumps
        from elements (a) or (b) may not be repeated here, and skaters
        may only do one quadruple jump in the program
        (d) a flying spin; the flying position must be achieved in the
        air, and the skater must do at least 8 rotations in the spinning
        position
        (e) a camel spin or sit spin with a change of foot; at least 6
        rotations on each foot
        (f) a spin combination with a change of foot and at least two
        changes of position; the spin must include camel, sit, and
        upright positions, and there must be at least 6 rotations on each
        foot
        (g), (h) two different step sequences

    For ladies:
        (a) double axel
        (b) a triple jump preceded by connecting steps
        (c) a combination of a double jump and a triple jump or two
        triple jumps, without intervening steps or turns
        (d) a flying spin; the flying position must be achieved in the
        air, and the skater must do at least 8 rotations in the spinning
        position
        (e) a layback spin; at least 8 rotations in layback position
        (f) a spin combination with a change of foot and at least two
        changes of position; the spin must include camel, sit, and
        upright positions, and there must be at least 6 rotations on each
        foot
        (g) a spiral step sequence including at least 3 spiral positions
        with at least one change of foot
        (h) another step sequence

    For pairs:
        (a) overhead lift (with a specific takeoff that changes each
        year)
        (b) double or triple twist lift
        (c) side-by-side double or triple jumps
        (d) side-by-side spin combinations, with a change of foot, at
        least one change of position, and at least 5 rotations on each
        foot
        (e) pair spin combination with a change of foot and at least one
        change in position and at least 8 rotations in all
        (f) death spiral (on a specific edge that changes each year)
        (g) a step sequence or a spiral step sequence (the specific
        requirement changes each year)
        (h) a double or triple throw jump

[4] Are there any required elements in the long program?

    Yes.  Under the Code of Points, the former guidelines for a
    "well-balanced" program have been replaced with de facto
    requirements.  What were formerly given as minimum requirements have
    been replaced with MAXIMUMS; while there are no deductions for doing
    fewer elements, skaters have to include the maximum number of each
    element type in order to achieve the highest possible score.

    Senior men:
        (a) A maximum of 8 jump elements (each solo jump, combination, or
        sequence counts as an "element"), one of which must be an Axel
        type jump, and including a maximum of 3 jump combinations or
        sequences
        (b) A maximum of 3 spins, including one spin combination, one
        flying spin, and one spin with only one position
        (c) A maximum of two step sequences.

    Senior ladies:
        (a) A maximum of 7 jump elements, one of which must be an Axel
        type jump, and including a maximum of 3 jump combinations or
        sequences
        (b) A maximum of 3 spins, including one spin combination, one
        flying spin, and one spin with only one position
        (c) A maximum of two step sequences, one of which must be a
        spiral step sequence.

    Senior pairs:
        (a) A maximum of 4 lifts, including 1 or 2 twist lifts
        (b) A maximum of 2 different throw jumps
        (c) A maximum of 1 solo jump
        (d) A maximum of 1 jump combination or sequence
        (e) A maximum of 1 solo spin combination
        (f) A maximum of 1 pair spin combination
        (g) A maximum of 1 death spiral
        (h) A maximum of 1 step sequence

    Senior dance:
        (a) A maximum of 5 different lifts
        (b) A maximum of 2 different dance spins
        (c) 2 different types of step sequences
        (d) A maximum of 2 different sets of synchronized twizzles

[5] What's the difference between ice dancing and pair skating?

    Ice dancing is derived from ballroom or folk dancing, adapted to ice.
    In practice, the difference is that ice dancers are prohibited from
    doing the athletic free-skating moves that pair skaters do (jumps,
    spins, lifts, etc) and concentrate on fancy choreography instead.
    Also, ice dancers can only separate briefly while changing positions
    or holds.

    While the compulsory dances and original dance are based on
    traditional ballroom dance rhythms, the rules for the free dance have
    been changed so that dancers are no longer restricted to using music
    suitable for ballroom or folk dancing.  However, it is still required
    that they use music that has a definite rhythm, and that they
    actually dance to the beat of the music.  This is another distinction
    between pairs and dance:  a pair team may interpret the melody or
    phrasing of the music, but dancers must interpret its rhythm.

[6] The scoring in ice dancing often seem totally random to me.  What are
judges really looking for in ice dancing?

    It's often harder for a casual spectator to evaluate ice dancing
    performances than free skating because ice dancers rarely make major
    mistakes such as falling.  However, ice dancing is probably the most
    technical of all the skating disciplines; the steps and turns dancers
    perform are not only very difficult, but they also have to be
    executed with extreme attention to neatness and precision and timing.

    Some of the criteria that the judges use are how close the man and
    woman skate together, whether they change positions and holds
    frequently, whether they skate different steps or in a face-to-face
    position instead of doing a lot of side-by-side shadow skating,
    whether they do lots of edges and turns instead of plain stroking and
    two-foot skating, whether the man's steps are as difficult as the
    woman's, how much speed they have as they move across the ice, and
    whether they skate in exact unison and in time with the music.  In
    general, what the dancers are doing with their feet is much more
    important than their upper-body motions or facial expressions, but
    the judges do look at the posture of the skaters, and the extension,
    turnout, and toe point of the free leg.

    Some spectators think that, since falls are so rare in ice dancing,
    they ought to be heavily penalized in the judging, but this is not
    the case.  Actually, falls are not considered major errors in ice
    dancing unless it really takes the skaters a long time to get up
    again.  In singles skating, a fall on an element like a jump can be
    costly because the skaters are attempting relatively few jumps in the
    program and that is where the difficulty is concentrated.  But ice
    dance programs consist entirely of footwork, and a few seconds missed
    because of a fall amounts to a very small part of a 4-minute free
    dance.

    Some spectators think that the rules for ice dancing are supposed to
    penalize theatrical-style dancing as compared to ballroom-style
    dancing.  Again, this is not the case.  During the 1980's and into
    the early 1990's, the emphasis in ice dancing was becoming so
    excessively theatrical and dancers were incorporating so many
    non-skating elements into their programs that dance events were
    becoming very hard to judge by any objective technical standards, so
    the ISU added more restrictions, including requiring dancers to use
    music suitable "for the dance floor".  More recently, apparently in
    reaction to criticisms that the sport was becoming too boring, they
    have loosened up the music rules again.  The current rules for the
    free dance allow skaters to use any music that has a definite beat.
    However, at the same time the restrictions against non-skating
    elements have been tightened up, and now dancers are required to do
    specific technical elements -- lifts, spins, and footwork sequences
    -- in their free dances.

[7] I've heard the TV commentators talking about the skaters' speed.
What is this all about?

    The commentators are referring to how fast the skaters are moving
    across the ice, not to whether they are performing fast footwork or
    rushing through their elements (which is called "quickness" instead).
    When you see skating live and in person, speed is a quality that's
    immediately obvious even to an untrained eye, but it's usually much
    less obvious when you watch the same skating on TV.

    The judges look not only for strong, powerful stroking, but also
    expect skaters to carry the speed through elements like jumps,
    footwork, and lifts, and to flow out of them cleanly.  It's
    especially impressive when the skaters can build and maintain speed
    without obvious pushing, through footwork and turns instead of plain
    stroking or crossovers.

[8] Why do men so rarely do layback spins?

    It's said that men generally have less flexibility in their backs
    than most women do.  On the other hand, even women skaters who are
    not naturally flexible still have to learn how to do a decent layback
    spin because it's a required element in the short program for them.
    Men don't have this requirement so they don't have the same
    motivation to learn this spin.  Some men are probably also
    hypersensitive about doing something that has a reputation as a
    "girl's move".  For those men who DO take the trouble to learn a
    layback spin, it's a beautiful element that adds variety to their
    programs.

[9][Some TV commentator] is always complaining about poor free leg
positions in layback spins.  So what's a good position?

    The general rule is that the free leg is supposed to be turned out at
    the hip and carried with the toe pointed, but there are a lot of
    possible variations in position -- e.g., held high in attitude
    position with a bent knee, extended out to the side with the knee
    straight, held closer to the skating leg with the knee straight, etc.
    In a good position, the free leg will continue the curve of the
    arched back through the hip and thigh, and it will look like the leg
    is being HELD with some tension, rather than simply dangling there.
    A very common fault is for the free leg to be lifted at the knee
    rather than the hip, which is the ugly position the TV commentators
    are most inclined to complain about.

    Incidentally, judges tend to be more concerned with the back position
    than the free leg position.  A skater who doesn't actually "lay back"
    in the spin won't get full credit for it, no matter how pretty the
    free leg position is.

[10]What are compulsory figures?

    Compulsory figures are variations on the figure 8, where the skater
    attempts to skate a perfectly round circle on a perfectly clean edge,
    and then do the same on the other foot.  When you start to learn
    figures, there are four of them to learn: forward and backward edges
    on both inside and outside edges.  The next step is to learn to put a
    turn at the top of each circle, which again has to be perfectly
    placed and executed on perfectly clean edges.  There are also figures
    that involve tracing a serpentine pattern on a three-lobed figure.
    Figures are skated on circles 12 to 15 feet in diameter except for
    the group of figures called loops which are skated on much smaller
    circles.  The hardest kinds of figures include things like paragraph
    double threes, where you skate two large circles with four turns all
    on one foot with one push, then take another push and retrace the
    figure on the other foot.  When you're done, the judges come out on
    the ice and peer closely at the tracing you leave behind to make sure
    that your circles are perfectly round and your turns are perfectly
    placed, and that you didn't scrape or wobble anywhere on the figure
    or commit other horrible faults like doing the turns on the wrong
    edges or making their shape too deep or too shallow or too crooked.

    Figures take an incredible amount of body control and patience to
    master.  In the "old days", skaters used to spend hours every day
    working on them.  Figure practice is called "patch" because each
    skater was assigned their own patch of ice on the rink to skate on.

    Compulsory figures used to be worth 60% of the score in figure
    skating, but after 1968 they were progressively devalued and finally
    eliminated completely from international competition after the 1990
    season.  In the US, figures competitions were held as separate events
    between 1991 and 1999, but those, too, have now been phased out as
    few skaters take the time to learn figures any more and it is hard to
    find rinks that offer patch sessions.

[11]Can you explain the different lifts for pair skaters?

    The ISU classifies overhead lifts by the way the man supports his
    partner on the way up, not by the position she assumes in the air.
    In order of increasing difficulty:

    Hand to waist
        E.g., forward platter.  The man lifts the woman with both hands
        at her waist.

    Hand to hand
        Forward or back press lift, loop lift

    Hand to hip
        Star lift

    Hand to hand lasso
        Distinguished by the woman doing a half turn on the way up, so
        that she faces in the same direction as the man with her legs
        behind his shoulders.  (In a back press lift, the woman also
        faces in the same direction as the man, but her legs remain in
        front of his shoulders.)

    Pairs add difficulty to lifts by doing them one-handed (especially
    impressive on the mount), by changing grips and positions in the
    lift, and by doing a twisting or flipping dismount.

    Rules for ISU-eligible competition now permit one lift in the free
    skate to be a "carry" lift without rotation, and another lift to
    include a "carry" in the dismount.  In all other lifts, the man must
    turn continuously, doing a maximum of 3.5 rotations.  The rules also
    require that the partners only support each other by hand-to-hand,
    hand-to-arm, or hand-to-body grips, and not by grips on the legs,
    neck, or head of their partner.

[12]Is a triple toe/half loop/triple salchow a jump combination or a jump
series?

    The half loop is considered a true jump, so this is a jump
    combination consisting of three jumps.  It is not, however, a
    triple/triple combination (which would be two triple jumps
    back-to-back).  The thing that distinguishes a jump combination from
    a jump series is that in a combination, there are no intervening
    steps or turns between the jumps; the landing edge for each jump
    forms the take-off edge for the next.

[13]Why do people make such a big fuss over flutzing?  Don't all skaters
flutz?

    A skater who flutzes (switches to the inside edge on a lutz takeoff)
    does not show an ability to control the edge and to do the jump
    correctly, and should be penalized in the marking compared to skaters
    who DO demonstrate proper control and technique.  A flutz is a form
    of a "cheat" that makes it easier for skaters to do a jump that looks
    approximately like a lutz.  It has become commonplace now for skaters
    to try to get a lutz as early as possible in their skating careers
    because it's perceived as an important competitive advantage, and as
    a result we see a lot of flutzes coming from skaters who aren't yet
    skilled enough to do a proper lutz.  Unfortunately, this bad jump
    technique can be very hard for the skaters to un-learn and fix later
    on in their careers.

    Some skaters truly ARE able to do a lutz from a completely pure
    outside edge.  Others tend to roll over onto the flat or to a slight
    inside edge after they have planted the pick, a blade length or so
    before they actually leave the ice, but this is considered to be
    acceptable technique.  The completely egregious categories of flutzes
    which the judges are supposed to penalize are those in which the
    skater switches from an outside edge to a deep inside edge several
    feet before planting the pick, making a big S-shaped tracing; and
    those in which the skater is never able to demonstrate a controlled
    outside edge at all on the entrance.  Judges have a range of
    deductions which they can apply, depending on how close to the pick
    the skater can maintain the correct edge.

    A flutz is judged as a bad lutz, not as a flip.  In the short
    program, if a skater does a flutzed triple lutz in combination, and a
    triple flip as the solo jump out of footwork, they are penalized for
    doing a bad lutz, not for repeating the flip.  Similarly, in the free
    skate, if a skater does both a flutzed triple lutz and a triple flip,
    they are not penalized for repeating a jump.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM