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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If we ran the ISU

What would you change if you ran the ISU? Here at SFT, we have been pondering this question for some time. How would we improve skating? What can be done to make the sport more enjoyable and appealing - visually, athletically and artistically? The following is a list of ideas we came up with. It is by no means definitive, and we reserve the right to make it even better as time goes on...

Music and choreography
  • No teenager will be allowed to skate to Carmen.
  • The only version of Adiós Nonino that can be used is the Dutch royal wedding one.
  • Nikolai Morozov is prohibited from choreographing due to years of insult to the eyes and ears. 
  • Bonus points will be given for skating to music that has not been used in the past (proper documentation must be provided).

It is possible to skate to something not on Morozov's CD!

  • Combinations will have specific base values, rather than being the sum of their parts.
  • Donut camel spins are banned from all men's events.
  • Upper body movement will not be part of the step sequence level requirements. Any lady doing the salute/kiss the eye move during steps will be punished with a mandatory -1 point deduction.
  • Difficult jump entries will only count toward GOE if the jump is rotated and landed cleanly.
  • Mirror patterns in steps are no longer required. In fact, they are to be discouraged.
  • Catchfoot lift positions will be banned. 
  • All step sequences must have a discernible pattern. For this purpose, "cover the whole ice like a Zamboni" is not a pattern.

Do consider a serpentine sequence!

  • At least one of the following must be invited to the gala in every senior ISU event: Nathalie Péchalat/Fabian Bourzat, Misha Ge, or Tomáš Verner.
  • Slow music in galas are forbidden.
  • Recycling old competitive programmes for galas will result in a penalty fine.

Wouldn't you rather watch this than random Adele program #729?

Costumes and styling
  • Fake tans or illusion fabric approximating such will be no longer be allowed.
  • Visible panty lines, revealing illusion mesh and fishnets will result in automatic -2 point deductions.
  • Ladies will be allowed to wear black boots and men will be allowed to wear white boots. Over the boot tights cannot be worn in competition.
  • Dance events will return to a three-segment format with both CDs and ODs reinstitated. The first OD will be the one originally planned for 2010-11: music of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
  • All kinds of audience participation will be promoted, including whistling, booing, and doing the wave. Throwing plush toys at the same time will be encouraged, though not during actual performances.
  • All winners of FSU's PSOTY award shall be required to perform shirtless for the entirety of their reign.
  • Amended, March 17: due to shenanigans at various World Championships, Canada will henceforth only be allowed to host Skate Canada and junior events. 


  1. oh, but i adore kaetlyn's version of carmen.

    the cleanly skated program would be valued more. none of this manipulation of the system to overscore a judges' favorite skater.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Anon. Kaetlyn does skate very well, but I feel that she could have done more with the music with more experience and maturity. I'm also thinking of other skaters who tackled it young versus those who did so later in their career. I'll admit that it's not among my favorite warhorses anyway - if a skater must pick something that has been done to death, Swan Lake or even the previously mentioned Adiós Nonino would be preferable to me (just please, not a tinkly version of the latter!).

      I do wish that there was a good way to reward a program that is more than the sum of its parts, and skating cleanly often ties into that. I believe most of the programs we mentioned as memorable in earlier posts were clean.