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Figure Skating Judging Guideline: 3
Step Sequences? For what?
Let's talk about step sequences.
There is a definitive reason for step sequences, or at least there has to be a reason for any element, so we hope.
But if you look at the current judging, there isn't any sensible logic behind the judging rules. It is just a randomly given, pretentious lie on the sheets.
Why do we need step sequences in competition first place?
This basic question cannot be answered under the current state of figure skating. It may be that the ISU, when it abandoned compulsories, was really traumatized, thinking that someday people would call the institution traitor to the sport.
They could have thought that inserting step sequences to competition might save their face.
Compulsories in 1985
Spiral and step sequences are supposed to evaluate skaters edge skills.
The funny part is that skaters today receive ample points for step sequences while their skating is bankrupt.
Of course, edge skills are the most critical and fundamental in figure skating. Throughout the program, all moves of skaters are tightly related to edge skills one way or another.
So step sequences is an element in which skaters are to focus on how to effectively use their edges, but it has to be done in the context of the entire program.
The point is how you perform step sequences well enough and effectively enough to incorporate the element into the content.
So the best executed step sequences is the least conspicuous one.
Basically, it's ridiculous to even expect the judges who cannot discern how bankrupt today's skaters' skating to tell the difference between good edge and bad edge.
Would they even tell the depth of edge and its level?
Figure skating comedy is everywhere. In fact, each skater's edge skill or step sequences are in full display while they are doing the programs.
You don't have to look at their step sequences; if you watched their execution of programs, you saw all the substances of their step sequences.
You may think that nothing is wrong with a specific routine of step sequences added to the competition.
But the very quality of edge skills has to be integrated into skaters' program execution. Just as edge skills alone don't stand the test of time in relation to the ideal of the sport, step sequences without integration to the program can't be valid.
A routine of step sequences by itself has no relevance to figure skating.
Yes, I am doing step sequences like this. Look how I am doing it.
No. That's not what you do step sequences. Just as you are to incorporate your elements into choreographed programs, such as jumps and sins, you need to do the same about step sequences.
The best step sequences are done without the audience ever realizing your actually doing it.
This coincides with the principle of figure skating.
Figure skating is a sport of ideals and among its ideals are oneness and integration. This extends to the principle of judging system.
People think GOE represents technical elements while PCS represents artistic elements. For the sake of convenience, you may think that way.
Anyway that's not completely wrong. Only that's for convenience.
There isn't unique technical parts in figure skating. If once there was, that's compulsories, and compulsories are a way of expression of ideals in "figures".
So now in modern figure skating, you have only free skating and free skating-modified one, short program.
And more importantly, the ideal of figure skating was upgraded to three dimensional moves. Basically what Lynn demonstrated in her moves is integration of edge skating and body skating.
What ought to be judged in your skating is neither technicality nor artistry.
It is skating that ought to be judged; there isn't any independent TES or PCS.
All points are PCS-reflective.
The bottom line is GOE and PCS are the parameters of quality, nothing more or less. Especially GOE shall not be lightly taken, because you will control quality with GOE.