Is there any reason why there could not be different rules for men’s skating than for women’s? In gymnastics, for instance, women do not do the high bar or rings. These strength apparatuses are just more appropriate to men’s gymnastics than to women’s.
Here are two suggestions, neither of them new, about possible rules changes that might be appropriate for ladies singles.
1. Raise the base value for triple Axels.
Pro: For ladies, a triple Axel is a truly prodigious feat. This should be acknowledged, encouraged and rewarded by the CoP.
Con: The triple Axel is already 2.2 points higher than the next lower-valued jump, the triple Lutz. We do not want one single element, however marvelous, to dominate the scoring.
Comparison to men: For men, a triple Axel is not such a big deal – many juniors have a 3A. If we raise the base value of a 3A to, say, 9.0 points, then consistency would require that we raise the value of a quad toe to 12 points or more.
But then, in order to preserve the idea of a “balanced program,” we would have to raise the values of spins and footwork, and also give more weight to program components. Competitively, nothing would change except that everyone would get a few extra points across the board.
No change necessary for men.
2. Combine the flip and the Lutz into a new jump called the “left foot take-off toe-pick assisted” jump.
The LFTOTPA (or RFTOTPA for clockwise jumpers ) could go off either the inside edge or the outside edge, skater’s preference. A clear, deep outside edge is a feature for +1 GOE.
Pro: This would eliminate all these judgment calls about “e” and “!” and whether judges must follow the tech specialist's call or score by their own real-time eyes, etc. It would also prevent (via the Zayak rules) skaters from omitting the edge jumps (loop and Salchow).
Con: This is a cop-out. If you can’t do a proper Lutz and a proper flip, go home and work on them until you can.
Comparison with men: Most men have a true flip and a true Lutz. No change necessary.