Here is an interesting rule change for next year, pertaining to spiral sequences:
If all of [the positions in a spiral sequence] are executed with the assistance of the hand/arm…[the assigned level] cannot be more than 1.
I assume that the “all” means that if you do two or three different positions in a single sequence, and if one position is hand assisted but another is not, then that’s OK. Anyway, the clear intent is that the position is to be regarded as weaker if you are holding up your free leg with your hand.
Here is Nancy Kerrigan’s famous version (level 1 under the new rule).
What about a Biellmann? Is this rule intended to discourage this position (two years ago it, under different rules, it was all the rage.) Click on "Biellmann spiral."
If you need both hands to hold your leg up instead of only one, is that worse? Irina:
Should there be a deduction for this double whammy (Shizuka looks like she need two hands to get her leg off the ground).
Does the new rule devalue the “I-spiral?” as a preferred position? Sasha:
What if you start out like that and then let go? Arakawa won the Olympic gold medal with this move! (The rest of her program was great, but this was out-of-this-world.)
Which of the current crop of skaters will be most affected by this new rule?