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Thread: Pre-Rotation Questions

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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    I am having issues with my flip and lutz jump. I am mid-40s. I skated as a kid and adult, and did the flip & lutz without any issues. When i first came back to skating, I had this issue. it took me a few months to work through it. I don't know what I did, but I finally rotated it. But each time I got on the ice, I had to do about 10 flip jumps before they started turning. I had to make my vaulting leg the focus in my mind. I landed the flip & lutz jumps, cleanly, as late as earlier this year. Now, I don't have them. I have been trying for 3 weeks, and they are not there. I am not turning an entire revolution in the air. I am vaulting at least 3 blade lengths, but landing on a forward and doing a three turn. I'd really like to get this back, as I have a competition in three weeks. I would have never thought a full revolution would be an issue!

    Coach said that on the flip jump entrance, I am not turning on my toe pick, as indicated above. I am picking straight in, behind. I am also not drawing my skating leg back far enough. My toe pick is too far away from my skating leg. Tried it from a mohawk, which I am less accustomed to, and still no revolution. Coach wants me to turn on my toe pick and the heel on the toe pick more. But, I can't figure that one out yet. I've been trying. When the toe pick goes into the ice, I go up. It doesn't seem like I have time to turn on the toe pick, unless I slow down the jump a lot, losing the flow. Are the comments above actually saying to turn the vaulting toe pick while it's in the ice? That's super hard because i am trying to hold my head, body forward and pull my arms in to prevent a pre rotation at the point of takeoff. I tend to want to turn my body in the direction of the jump too soon. I tried pigeon toeing in the toe pick on the vault, but that didn't help as it felt unstable. My vaulting leg is now closer to my skating leg. I achieved this by trying to get my knees more in line. Now, my pick is about 9 inches to the side of my skating leg print (probably not close enough in). My skating leg takeoff now comes back closer to the toe pick print, but still about four inches in front of it. My skating leg at takeoff has a flag, going towards the jump rotation direction. Still, only a half rotation.

    When I was a kid & adult, I did flip jumps with a curvier entrance. For the flip, I did an inside edge, outside edge, three turn, hold a longer inside edge, and then toe pick in. I know to put my forward free arm across my body. Now, I will still somewhat do the edges before the three turn. But, after the three turn, I am holding that backwards position very straight. Now, my arms don't want to come into my body.

    Coach said that my lutz is closer. Still a half rotation, turning backwards by doing a three. Perhaps I am over thinking all of this.

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    It's hard to know what the problem is without seeing a video, but the most common issue on flips and lutzes seems to be that fear and self-doubt make the skater unconsciously pitch forward while reaching back and picking instead of pulling the torso back. Think of someone pulling you back by the back of your bra strap as you reach back, pick and pull yourself back and up.

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    What I mean is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmgidUuXQEY

    Most jumps take-off similar to this, including Salchow, Loop, Flip, and Lutz. There is a pivot of the take-off foot on the take off of the jump. They do not take-off backwards, which is a complete energy killer.

    Jumps take-off are preceded by edge entrances because they get their rotational energy from the edge entrance into the jump. Trying to pick in and jump up straight backwards blocks most of that energy and kills rotation.

    That may work for single jumps, but once you progress past singles to Axels + Doubles and especially Triples or Quads you cannot do that efficiently and with any level of consistency without a ton of muscling to "force rotation" in the jump - at that point jumping becomes more mechanical and less "brute force." Additionally, it's hard to create a decent trajectory in jumps if you do not jump INTO the jump - otherwise they have a tendency to go straight up and pitch backwards without any distance, which is dangerous to the athlete (since on landing the landing skate will often shoot forwards which heightens the risk of the skater falling and hitting the back of their head).

    That's why there is a saying, "All jumps take-off forwards."

    The ENTRANCE to a jump may be backwards, but the actual TAKE-OFF on practically every jump is more forwards than backwards (and in many cases completely forwards, in some cases a bit sideways/in-between - i.e. Axel, some Flip/Lutz take-offs).

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    thanks Vlaurend and Components. Had my lesson last week with coach. Her words finally got into my thick skull. My shoulders on my flip jump are pre-rotated on take-off and I am totally dropping my hip on the picking leg from the three turn all the way to the jump. Now, when I wind my shoulders up and kept my hip up, it turned so easily. Now, I got to one foot the landing. Hope I remember all of this Monday when I return to the ice. Now, I am unlearning bad habits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Components View Post
    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.
    Hmm I'm not sure if I'm fully following here. So I get that non-axel jumps won't be fully backward, and as long as the edge doesn't change direction (i.e. keeps going backwards when it leaves the ice, or is skidding) it's okay. The question then is how much is the other foot allowed to rotate. So you're saying for the toe loop, the toe foot can actually rotate up to 180 degrees from backward, i.e. be just shy of facing forward, and still be okay, without "<" nor GOE deductions? Then if the toe foot goes past forward in its rotation it'll count as a toe axel (i.e. under-rotated toe loop) and then subject to deductions?

    As a related question, is the amount of pre-rotation measured from when the skate (including toe pick) leaves the ice entirely, or just when the blade part of it has left the ice? Blades of Passion made the distinction somewhere regarding the landings I think, I don't know if this is also considered at take-off.

    If all this is correct, then, it seems like there's a lot less rotation that needs to happen in the air than what one would think and still get a full-scored jump. For a triple toe loop for example, the name implies 3 rotations in the air. But if your toe pick can actually face just shy of forward, and you can land just past sideways (i.e. less than 90 degrees from backward), then this means you only really need to do just slightly more than 2 1/4 rotations in the air. Or equivalently, a single toe loop is actually just a quarter turn in the air (or at least, can be).

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    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    If all this is correct, then, it seems like there's a lot less rotation that needs to happen in the air than what one would think and still get a full-scored jump. For a triple toe loop for example, the name implies 3 rotations in the air. But if your toe pick can actually face just shy of forward, and you can land just past sideways (i.e. less than 90 degrees from backward), then this means you only really need to do just slightly more than 2 1/4 rotations in the air. Or equivalently, a single toe loop is actually just a quarter turn in the air (or at least, can be).
    This is correct

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    Hmm I'm not sure if I'm fully following here. So I get that non-axel jumps won't be fully backward, and as long as the edge doesn't change direction (i.e. keeps going backwards when it leaves the ice, or is skidding) it's okay. The question then is how much is the other foot allowed to rotate. So you're saying for the toe loop, the toe foot can actually rotate up to 180 degrees from backward, i.e. be just shy of facing forward, and still be okay, without "<" nor GOE deductions? Then if the toe foot goes past forward in its rotation it'll count as a toe axel (i.e. under-rotated toe loop) and then subject to deductions?

    As a related question, is the amount of pre-rotation measured from when the skate (including toe pick) leaves the ice entirely, or just when the blade part of it has left the ice? Blades of Passion made the distinction somewhere regarding the landings I think, I don't know if this is also considered at take-off.

    If all this is correct, then, it seems like there's a lot less rotation that needs to happen in the air than what one would think and still get a full-scored jump. For a triple toe loop for example, the name implies 3 rotations in the air. But if your toe pick can actually face just shy of forward, and you can land just past sideways (i.e. less than 90 degrees from backward), then this means you only really need to do just slightly more than 2 1/4 rotations in the air. Or equivalently, a single toe loop is actually just a quarter turn in the air (or at least, can be).
    He made that distinction to try to make a UR jump seem rotated, when it obviously was not.

    Have to factor in the context of the information given. That was not correct and judges look at the direction of the skate on the take-off and the landing. They don't need to count rotations because that is obvious..

    If your skate pivots past forwards on the take-off, the jump is UR'd for pre-rotation (Toe Axel, for example). If the jump is more than 1/4 short on the landing, it's UR'd for insufficient rotation.

    Lots of skaters use the power take-off on their toe jumps, skid their axel entrances, etc. Pivoting less on the take-off, or jumping straight backwards into a Lutz does not mean you can land forwards or UR and then hook the jump and not get called for URing it. That's ludicrous, even laughable.

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