Miss Mao talks about the new rules.
Only 7 elements in the SP and 1 will be a level-scored Step Sequence rather than a "choreography" Step Sequence? Not really a fan.
What occurs to me is how exhausting this must be for the coaches, not to mention the choreographers. You have to be really great at both math and chess to strategize for your skaters these days. A grueling time will be had by all. I hope it leads to good skating this season.
A couple other things I forgot to mention:
* Although I am happy they changed the rule for change of edge spins counting as a level feature - "Clear change of edge in sit (only from backward inside to forward outside) or camel" - I think they should also have allowed this feature to still count in Layback spins. It's quite difficult to change edge in a Layback and can look interesting too. In fact, Daisuke Takahashi is the only person who I've seen attempt such a move. He did it in his Short Program last season.
* Removing the "!" mark and just using "e" for edge calls isn't a good move. The "!" was introduced for a reason and it worked well. Not sure why that needed to be changed at all.
Oh that's right, she does. Incidentally, Akiko does the change-of-edge in a rather poor "haircutter" position that shouldn't count as a level feature, so I'd still mark her Layback as L3 (the features being sideways position, 8 revolutions in one position, and the change-of-edge). I dislike how so many girls do that move and don't get the blade close enough to the head, but instead merely bend their leg a bit and grab the blade. Most of the time tech specialists give them the credit, but they shouldn't. Remember, a difficult variation is supposed to significantly alter the balance of the body core.
Haircutters are supposed to count as long as there is no more than a fist distance between the head and the blade.
Yukiko Fujisawa, a young up-and-comer from Japan, does the change of edge layback spin quite well. Actually, all her spins are ridiculously well centered and quite cool to look at :]