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Thread: Pre-Rotation Questions

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Pre-Rotation Questions

    Something struck me as I was looking frame-by-frame at Sochi videos. I hadn't looked at slow-motion videos of skaters before, so I was surprised to see how much the skater will rotate on the ice during take-off. Now, my understanding is that if a skater under-rotates on the landing by more than 1/4 rotation, it gets marked with a "<" and the skater receives less points. But what about on the take-off? It seems like for some (non-Axel) jumps, the skater is practically facing forward by the time the feet leave the ice, so it almost looks like an Axel or something. So what I'm wondering is:

    1. How much are skaters allowed to pre-rotate for each of the jumps rule-wise? Sort of like how there's a 1/4 rotation leeway on the landing.
    2. How much do skaters typically pre-rotate for each of the jumps in actual practice, on multi-turn jumps? I put this separately because it might just be that skaters do it but usually don't get called on it, even if the rules say not to do it.
    3. Is it considered "bad form" i.e. somewhat looked down on to pre-rotate? Or is it something that is usually allowed just to make sure the skater gets all the way around the rotation?
    4. Are there any special penalties for pre-rotation, such as "e" for edge violations and "<" for under-rotations? Is it a GOE penalty?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    From the ISU Technical Panel Handbook:

    Cheated take-off
    A clear forward (backward for Axel type jump) take off will be considered as a downgraded jump. The toe loop is the most commonly cheated on take-off jump.
    The Technical Panel may only watch the replay in regular speed to determine the cheat and downgrade on the take off (more often in combinations or sequences).
    Toe loops are really the only jumps we see get < or << calls for incorrect takeoffs. Note that the panel is not allowed to use slow motion to determine prerotation.

    Judges are required to give negative GOE if the element has a << symbol. (The reduction for << is -2 to -3; if there are other positive aspects of the element, the final GOE might be -1)

    Judges are also supposed to take off -1 to -2 for jumps with < calls and for "Poor take-off" but the final GOE does not need to be negative

    For triple and quadruple jumps, it's normal for the rotation to start before the skate has entirely left the ice. As long as the blade is still on a backward edge (or forward edge for axels) at takeoff, there's no penalty. But the quality would be considered.

    If the upper body prerotates more than the blade and lower body, that's just a the way some skaters do the jump. Only the blade would be scrutinized.

    There could be a reward in positive GOE for delayed rotation if the blade leaves the ice completely while still on the same size curve as the entry edge, before the tight rotation starts.

  3. #3
    Best comeback EVOR! zamboni step's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    From the ISU Technical Panel Handbook:



    Toe loops are really the only jumps we see get < or << calls for incorrect takeoffs. Note that the panel is not allowed to use slow motion to determine prerotation.

    Judges are required to give negative GOE if the element has a << symbol. (The reduction for << is -2 to -3; if there are other positive aspects of the element, the final GOE might be -1)

    Judges are also supposed to take off -1 to -2 for jumps with < calls and for "Poor take-off" but the final GOE does not need to be negative

    For triple and quadruple jumps, it's normal for the rotation to start before the skate has entirely left the ice. As long as the blade is still on a backward edge (or forward edge for axels) at takeoff, there's no penalty. But the quality would be considered.

    If the upper body prerotates more than the blade and lower body, that's just a the way some skaters do the jump. Only the blade would be scrutinized.

    There could be a reward in positive GOE for delayed rotation if the blade leaves the ice completely while still on the same size curve as the entry edge, before the tight rotation starts.
    I'd also add that it's normal for edge jumps to have skid on the takeoff, with loop and salchow both usually taking off forwards. With axel, the skid should be no more than a quarter turn though, look at Elizaveta's 2A and you'll see a perfect example of exactly how much skid gives you stability without being too much pre-rotation. A totally clean take off is far harder to control, look at Ashley Wagner's 2A, it's a little scarier to watch because it has no skid.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    For triple and quadruple jumps, it's normal for the rotation to start before the skate has entirely left the ice. As long as the blade is still on a backward edge (or forward edge for axels) at takeoff, there's no penalty. But the quality would be considered.

    If the upper body prerotates more than the blade and lower body, that's just a the way some skaters do the jump. Only the blade would be scrutinized.
    Hmm what about the toe pick? Since on some jumps the non-edge foot is on the ground after the edge foot has already left the ice. Is the angle still based on the blade then?

    Quote Originally Posted by zamboni step View Post
    I'd also add that it's normal for edge jumps to have skid on the takeoff, with loop and salchow both usually taking off forwards. With axel, the skid should be no more than a quarter turn though, look at Elizaveta's 2A and you'll see a perfect example of exactly how much skid gives you stability without being too much pre-rotation. A totally clean take off is far harder to control, look at Ashley Wagner's 2A, it's a little scarier to watch because it has no skid.
    Yeah one of the things I've noticed is that on slow-motion, a lot of skaters are actually facing forward when their blade leaves the ground in salchows. One of the things that started me thinking about this whole pre-rotation business.

  5. #5
    Rinkside
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    Coming from someone who is working on double sals and toes whith more of an overview of technique- My coach yells at me when I try to take off fully backwards for double saps and toes. You need to hit the toe and pivot or "skid" a bit first in order to perform a clean and controlled jump. According to my coach loops, toe loops, and salchows are actually ok for a bit of pre rotation. flips, and lutzes should be fully rotated (or at most ~1/4 a rotation of skid) and axels really depend on the person. I know I have issues when I pre rotate, so I have to avoid it, but other skaters have a bit of skid that I skate with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    Hmm what about the toe pick? Since on some jumps the non-edge foot is on the ground after the edge foot has already left the ice. Is the angle still based on the blade then?
    That's called a hippo muscling out a jump.

    I don't know about other edge jumps but Axel is one jump I see no pre-rotation sometimes. 2A for women and sometimes very skilled men doing 3A. And maybe some of Midori's 3A. They take off almost straight forward and start the rotation in the air, which makes it so called "delayed rotation" and it's marvelous to look at.

  7. #7
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Actually, Sal, toe, and loop should have a small "flag" toe pick mark which is where the rotation is generated. It's basically the point the take off commences rotation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Actually, Sal, toe, and loop should have a small "flag" toe pick mark which is where the rotation is generated. It's basically the point the take off commences rotation.
    No, the flag only tells you that the rotation was technically correct because it hints to you how the blade interacted with the ice. The flag is actually the drag pick contacting or leaving the ice. It scrapes the ice and it depends on the jump which it is. On a Salchow or Loop, the flag is the drag pick contacting the ice, on a Flip or Lutz, it's the drag peak leaving the ice as it's the last thing that touches the ice.. A "flag" does not generate rotation. The entrance edge does, and you pivot into the take-off to get a balanced jump with decent trajectory.

    Again: What generates rotation is the energy built up by the edge on the take-off, however in order to jump safely vertically and generate a good trajectory you cannot take-off fully backwards. In that sense, all jumps are edge jumps, all jumps are toe jumps, and all jumps take-off forwards or almost forwards (some may take-off shy of forwards (Flip/Lutz) and one takes of past forwards (Axel). Edge and Toe, Backwards, and Forwards are used mostly as guidelines for easy identification of the jump, because most people cannot see what happens on the ice at the speeds it happens with their naked eye - however when learning doubles/triples/quads this *is* something the athelete has to understand. No one teaches a Triple Flip or Lutz with a backwards take-off, at least not anyone since the 50s or so...

    Some skaters use what many coaches call a "Power Take-Off" On Flip and Lutz jumps which is about a quarter pivot on the take-off, but up to a half is permitted. Many women pivot about a half on the those take-offs, and a ton of men use a power take-off to get greater height so that their (generally) slower rotations have more time in the air.

    A nice little saying we have is "all jumps take-of forwards." Backward take-offs on jumps are largely mythical. Almost no one does it that way and those that do usually don't have consistent jumps as it's hard to control them jump entering into them that way (it's hard to "step up" into a jump if you're taking off backwards and often jumps that take off that way have to be muscled around as they are not using the edge or picking foot efficiently on the take-off).

    Axels almost always have about a 1/4" rotation on the take-off. It's where the rotational energy comes from. It's impossible to do a true edge in a straight line, and it's impossible to generate enough rotational energy for a DA or 3A from a straight/flat. Even Surya Bonaly, with her stragiht entrances, actually did her jumps off edges. The main difference between Axel techniques involves whether the skater takes off a straight edge (Gracie's "problem" with her Double Axel), skids, or jumps off the toe pick the toe-pick. Generally, all jumps take off the toe pick. Skidding is only common on Axel and Salchow entrances. Power Take-offs are only common with big flip and lutz jumpers (like Yuna Kim) and men. Toe Loops, Salchows, and Loops are almost always practically forwards on the take-off, and probably a majority of Flips and Lutzes. Axels are more sideways past forwards, but pivoting too much can cause a UR call even when the landing "looks fine).

    Regarding the Toe Loop. Toe Loops only get < with a fine landing if the skater has a toe axel. The reason why we call them Toe Axels is because the skater does basically an Axel off the toe loop take-off. Because it's an axel, their picking foot actually pivots PAST forwards (it's an axel take-off which is about a quarter past forwards) so the technical caller has to UR it. Kimmie Miessner had a Toe Axel. Watch her 3/3 at the 2006 WC and you can clearly see the take-off of her toe loop in that combination basically steps up into an axel and pivots past forwards. That warrants the UR call for toe Axeling that jump. It's basically an axel jumps, minus the edge entrance tacked onto the back of another jump.

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