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Thread: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.

  1. #1
    RED DOG45
    Guest

    A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    I'm relatively new to skating, but I read some of these threads and I see that there were once "figures". What exactly are/were figures? Thanks to those in advance who can help me out.

  2. #2
    Show 42
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    Hi Red........others can elaborate, but basically, figures were predetermined patterns or tracings on the ice. Once determined, the skater had to "skate" this figure, and then repeat the tracing over the original pattern. Judges then determined how precise the repeated tracing was compared to the original...........42

  3. #3
    megsk8z
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    Figures are what put the "figure" in figure skating. Originally, figure skating consisted of tracing patterns on the ice using edges and turns such as rockers, counters, and 3 turns.
    There were a number of patterns to do, some of which were quite complicated, most consisted of 2 or 3 circles on the ice. The idea was to be able to trace, as closely as possible, a perfect circle on the ice, then retrace it two times more. Judges would actually get down on their hands and knees to check for flats (rather than edges) and clean changes of edge done at the appropriate time.
    It was tedious and exacting work, generally done at some hour of the morning when sane people were in bed (I believe my ice time for figures was something like 5am). Many, many hours of practice were required to pass these tests and you could not skate as a Senior until you had passed all 8 of these tests. Naturally, this delayed the debut of many a promising free skater until a later age than is currently considered "prime" age for skating.
    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    RED DOG45
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    Thank you very much for your help, Show 42 and megsk8z. I now understand it better...so is the tedious process the reason they eliminated figures?

  5. #5
    RealtorGal
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    <span style="color:navy;font-family:helvetica;font-size:small;">I'm suddenly feeling old because I know the answer to that question. </span>:(

  6. #6
    Grgranny
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    I think another reason they quit is that there were a number that did figures great but couldn't skate worth a hoot but ended up winning because they received such high scores on their figures.

  7. #7
    sspye
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    Meg, I had 5 am figure's practice, also!!! I was a good spinner, lousy jumper...but my figure's YEESH...they were bad. All my tracings on the Forward Inside Edge were my downfall. My Mom also complained about the $60 scribe for placing my circles. We are talking early 70's...back when I wanted to be like Peggy. LOL

    Denise

  8. #8
    heyang
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    Since figures are too boring for TV and were such a large part of the scoring, the general public didn't understand the scoring. Figures were eliminated to make skating more media friendly.

    I've never seen figures performed - except during a routine Boitano choreographed to specifically portray the beauty of figures. In a book, someone mentioned that Trixie Schuba was asked to perform an intricate figure during an exhibition tour as 'proof' of why she won her medal.

    In a sense, performing figures is one aspect that judges cannot cheat. It's all about the tracing and time is allowed for studying the result.

    Wonder if the ISU has ever regretted the decision to eliminate figures?

  9. #9
    Darkchilde11201
    Guest

    Oh. . .Hey. . .


    I'm just testing my new hard-fought-for and hard-won siggie.

    Ain't it grand? Don't be jealous, y'all.

    Thanks RGal and Rgirl.

    And just so everybody knows. . . my current goal is to get 100 posts ASAP so that I can email Paula and take possession of my new custom title. I already know what it's going to be, too.

    Man! Sometimes I'm so single-minded that I scare myself!

    Oh, yeah. I like figures. Always did. It wouldn't bother me in the least to see them reinstated.



  10. #10
    Figureskates
    Guest

    Re: Oh. . .Hey. . .


    Personally, I think the elimination of figures was not a good thing.

    For one thing it taught you patience and control., long before you went into freestyle.

    I started with figures way back when I first learned to skate and now that I am a lot older and my jumping days are coming to end, I find that figures are a fun, non tramatic form of skating...it sure is a lot easier on my joints...

  11. #11
    CartDi
    Guest

    me too


    I've read a lot of posts were people talk about figures and things, and I had an idea what they were, but I still wasn't entirely sure, so thanks to all of you for explaining it! How long ago were figures eliminated?

  12. #12
    icenut84
    Guest

    Re: A Question...Hope you can help me out here.


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I've never seen figures performed - except during a routine Boitano choreographed to specifically portray the beauty of figures.[/quote]

    In the exhibition gala at the 94 Olympics, IIRC Surya Bonaly (!) started her performance by doing a figure. She got quite a bit of applause afterwards as she continued into the main part of the programme. Maybe that was her way of giving two fingers to those who criticised her basic skating and skills.

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>How long ago were figures eliminated? [/quote]

    They were gradually reduced in importance through the years (e.g. they used to be worth something like 70%+ of the result, and this percentage was made less and less), and I believe the last time they were used in the World championships was 1990 (?) Can anyone verify that? It was around that time anyway. Also, just for your interest, apparently they used to give three gold medals, one for figures and one for free skating (the short + long programmes), and one overall (the world champion). Robin Cousins, who won 1980 Olympic gold, won the "world free skating" gold medal 3 times but was never world champion.

  13. #13
    Rboi
    Guest

    What were figures? Well.....


    ...they were hateful, evil, boring, took up too much (I felt) of my practice time and worst of all, no matter how hard I tried, my patches still ended up looking like a dog's breakfast!

    However, I do regret the demise of figures and would like to see them back, albeit not with the emphasis that they had in the "old" days when competitions could be won or lost on figures.

    I'm pretty sure figures were dropped after 90 Worlds - Midori Ito won both SP and LP, but blew her figures (as per usual) to finish 2nd overall.

  14. #14
    RealtorGal
    Guest

    Re: What were figures? Well.....


    <span style="color:maroon;font-family:helvetica;font-size:small;"> "Wonder if the ISU has ever regretted the decision to eliminate figures?" </span>

    <span style="color:navy;font-family:helvetica;font-size:small;">I doubt it. Can you imagine the excitement generated by this TV commercial: "Tonight at 8: Figure Skating Figures Competition". Ooh! The excitement! </span>:rollin:

  15. #15
    Princess Leppard 625
    Guest

    Re: What were figures? Well.....


    <span style="colorurple;font-family:georgia;font-size:small;">I believe there was also a lot of collusion among the judges on how to score the figures...ooh, what a surprise!

    Laura </span>

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