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Thread: Terms and Definitions

  1. #1
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    Terms and Definitions

    Currently looking for submissions.

    Terms with definitions.

    Abbreviations. - yet to start 01/05/07 please submit via SeaniBu PM

    This has been a conglomeration of Golden Skate members and their submissions, not a list of Golden Skate the site, but it's members of it's forum only. Meant as helpful yet not definitive to new and existing forum members.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 01-06-2007 at 12:30 AM.

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    That would be a good idea about a list of abbreviations, especially to read the ISU protocols. What is a FCCosp3 for instance? (A flying change-edge combination spin, level 3. OK, so what does THAT mean, LOL.)

    For just the basic definitions of which jump is which, etc., there are lots of web sites that have this information. However, to me, this is an area where one picture is worth a thousand words, and one video is worth a thousand pictures.

    Here are three pictures of Sasha doing a "Charlotte," for instance. (The move was named after Charlotte Oelschlegel, a very popular show skater from the early part of the twentieth century. She starred in the first skating show on Broadway in 1915 and in the first ice skating movie, Frozen Warning, in 1916 -- long before Sonja Henie (born 1912) came along.)

    (Sasha's position is not perfect in the third picture, but she looks like she is having fun.)

    For illustrated definitions of various moves, I am not too proud to admit that my favorite book is Figure Skating for Dummies by Kristi Yamaguchi and Christy Ness (her coach).
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-12-2006 at 03:23 PM.

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    About the "ignore list," yeah, I agree, that's sort of childish. I don't think anyone here actually uses that feature. For one thing, if you have your arch enemy on your ignore list, and he posts, I don't see how anyone could resist the temptation to say, well, I'll peek at this idiot's post just this time, just to see what a moron he truly is, LOL.

    Some forums also have a "reputation" feature, where you can click to give a particular post a plus or a minus "reputation point." Then members can see who has the biggest reputation. (?) We have chosen not to enable this feature at GS, LOL.

    About having a distinguished category for young members, questions of this type come up for debate in the moderators' forum every now and then. We have consistently decided not to discriminate one way or the other (for instance, we do not let posters violate the rules by saying, oh he's only 13, he doesn't know any better). Also, just on general principles it is not our business to reveal someone's age or other personal information on this public forum.

    Last edited by Mathman; 06-12-2006 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #4
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    I also like Wikipedia. Here's where I got the little snippet about Charlotte Oelschlagel.

    (Maybe her movie was filmed in 1916 and released in 1917. BTW, the language "she was the first skater to star in a motion picture makes me wonder if there were previous movies in which figure skaters appeared in supporting roles.)

    I also see from your link that the Charlie Chaplin movie is about roller skating, not ice skating. That makes more sense. Yes, Chaplin was a good roller skater. He has a famous comedy roller skating scene in Modern Times, for instance, where he pretends to skate dangerously close to a big drop off over and over.

    Last edited by Mathman; 06-12-2006 at 03:56 PM.

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    I am somewhat new to the forum. I noticed the term 'spoilers' a couple of times. What does it mean.?

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Skating competitions, especially the Grand Prix, are often not shown on (U.S.) television until a week or more after the event. A "spoiler" means a post where you reveal who won before the event has been aired.

    Some people want to see the event "unspoiled" -- that is, they don't want to know who won so they can share in the excitement when they see it on TV, just like they are seeing it live.

    So the rule is, no spoilers in the Edge, where our general skating discussions take place. If you want to talk about that event, come to the "event" folder instead. Spoilers are OK there.


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    This list is made for a general overview of skating terms, it is not a complete glossary. It is meant only to give a good start to understanding some of the terms used in forum conversation here at Golden Skate. These can be updated. Feel fee to send submissions to Seaibu and I will put them in. Please do! And use your own "wording" of the submission. Also pictures for examples maybe submitted / linked to me and I will "use the pic" as a reference to create a new picture for visual reference. No Photos may be used directly unless they are submitted by the photographer.

    For more specifics or more detailed and complete definitions, use your Browsers search engine and type,
    Define: and then the term

    Also be aware that there are variations of many of these elements listed. And some are more for fun the a definitive use.

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    Basic Terms and Definitions often used

    Skating forward or backward the body upright with the free leg stretched behind them pointing the toe. Known as a Spiral Position in Figure Skating.

    Attitude - direct association with Ballet
    When skating or spinning in an upright position he skater's free leg is slightly bent and lifted upward, out and behind at as much of an angle difference to the skating leg.

    Axel Jump
    This jump is only one of 2 that involves jumping from the forward position. A skater takes off with his forward outside edge and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot facing the opposite direction. A single Axel actually has 1 1/2 revolutions; a double Axel consists of 2 and 1/2, etc....

    Back spin
    Spinning on a back outside edge of the right skate. Shoulder and arm positions are the same even though the spin is on a different leg.

    Besti Squat
    A variation of a spread eagle the knees are bent and turned out with the thighs horizontal to the ice - a "squatting spread eagle." Possibly the origination of the slang "Frogs on Ice."

    Biellmann spin / possition
    It is performed almost exclusively by women. Skating or Spinning on one blade - the skater reaches behind them to grab on the blade of the free skate, pulling the free leg above the head.

    Blade of a Figure Skate
    There is one blade on each skate, comprised of 2 edges per blade. The edges are separated by a hollowed / concave down the center of the blade. The blade also has a slight curve from front to back much like the runners on a rocking chair although much less extreme. This curve - the Rocker - is designated in 3 sections; front, back and center.

    The wall around the Ice surface / the rink wall is often referred to as "The Boards."

    A turn made on one skate from forward to backward or backward to forward. The curve of the tracing before and after the turn is the same. The rotation of the body is against the direction of travel, causing a "cusp" to point outward from the center of the curvature.

    Broken Leg
    A sitspin where the free leg is bent and turned out to the side and the blade is almost touching the ice.

    Bunny Hop Jump
    Gliding forward on one blade, the free leg swings from back to front. When the free leg reaches the top of its swing, the skater jumps and lands on the toe pick of the free skate, then steps forward back on the original gliding blade.

    Camel spin
    A spin performed with the free leg extended behind the skater, torso is leaning forward, both leg and torso are parallel to the ice.

    Cannonball spin
    Like a sit spin where the free skate is placed on the thigh of the other leg in a squatting position and holding a tight ball shape while spinning.

    A variation on a spread eagle like a Besti Squat where the skater bends their knees deeply in the spread eagle but then leans backward. The body can become parallel to the ice.

    Catch foot
    Use for a wide verity of elements where the skater grabs the blade of the free leg and pulls it above their head - sometimes behind them or to the side.

    Charlotte or Candlestick spiral
    Skating backward on the flat of the blade, bending down touching their forehead to their skating leg while the free leg extends upward, This creates a vertical splits position.

    Step combinations where the free skate is placed next to, and not in front of the skating blade - now the placed blade receives all weight allowing the other skate to become free. "Switching skate blades side by side while skating."

    A step from one foot to the other, changing from forward to backward or backward to forward. The exit edge changes the direction of the curve that began the step, so that the completed tracing is a serpentine. For example, if you start on a right forward inside edge, you will exit on a left back outside edge. Choctaws can be done placing the new foot either in front of (open choctaw) or behind the skating foot (closed choctaw), depending on choreography.

    Series of planned movements, steps, elements or situations, much like dancing arrangements.

    Code of Points
    A scoring system which specific point values are assigned to each element performed using the GOE and PCS.

    Two elements are performed in immediate succession of each other with required connecting factors.

    Combination spin
    A skater changes blades and / or the position while maintaining a continuous spin.

    Compulsory dance
    The first of 3 programs in ice dancing competition. All teams perform the same set of steps to the same music with a required tempo. The music and elements were selected in advance and supplied to potential and applying dance teams for the competition.

    The free boot is positioned up to contact the skating leg with an open hip position with the free blade at a right angle to the skating blade.

    A turn made on one foot from forward to backward or backward to forward. The curve of the tracing before and after the turn changes, produces a serpentine pattern. The rotation of the body rotation is counter to the direction of travel, causing a "cusp" to point outward from the center of the lobes curvature.

    Combination / Combos
    Two elements are performed in succession, i.e. the second jump is done with the same edge of the blade from the first jump landed. The Spin changes elements within the same spin.

    Outfits matching a mood of music and program. Ladies can wear a skirt, body suit or pants and men must wear pants or a Body suit. Anything indicating "excessive nudity" or not directly associated with the music are a violation and in some cases will disqualify the skater from the performance.

    A skater crosses one skate over the other skating backwards or forwards and pushing off with each edge as it touches the ice in order and generate momentum.

    Death spiral
    A pairs element where (almost exclusively) the man stands acting as an anchor in a pivoting position. Holding one of their partner's hands / wrists as they spin around them. Their body descends as one of their blades skates to the furthest point from the pivot point - becoming almost flat on the ice surface. Now they spin with one partner extended low and parallel to the ice as the pivoting partner remains in a upright position spin.

    Draw/Skating Order
    The sequence and groups in which skaters will compete in competition.

    Two precisely ground edges on both sides of a grooved center / the hollow of the blade.

    Edge Jump
    As in the Axel, Salchow and loop. Taking off from the blades edge, keeping free blade from touching the ice.

    Factored Program Component Score
    A score for a segment of performance, the PCSs are multiplied by a factor and summed. Accounting for around half of a skater's total score for that segment - Total Element score accounts for the other "half."

    Falling Leaf Jump
    This jump starts with half of a turn from a loop. Starting with the rear outside edge and beginning to turn, then kicking (reaching is acceptable) the free leg up and forward at the same time as pushing off the rear outside edge to gain as much hight as possible. Both legs should be perpendicular to the ice (splits) and landing on the forward blades toepick. At this point they will push with the landed toepick onto the front inside edge of the opposite foot.

    "Skating flat" is when a skater is skating on both edges of the blade at the same time.

    Flip Jump
    Taking off from the back inside edge, and "picking" with the toepick from the free blade onto the ice "vaulting" the skater upward. Then complete the rotation(s) landing on the back outside edge of the skate that was used to "vault"/the used toepick.

    A term for a mistake during a Lutz. Changing from a back outside edge to an inside edge right before takeoff, presumably deeming the Lutz a Flip but is often overlooked in "scoring."

    Flying Camel
    A running of 3 turns in a camel position, which will carry the skater down the ice rather than remaining stationary - this is a series of turns.

    Flying Camel spin
    When the skater leaps into the spin landing in a back Camel.

    Flying spin
    Entering a spin with a jump.

    See - Step sequence

    Forward Progressive Run
    An advanced form of forward crossovers. While skating on an outside edge {which one or either?}, the free blade strikes the ice on an inside edge {which one or either?} next to the skating blade, then crosses in front of the skating boot, pushing that skating blade under and through? before leaving the ice.

    Free Blade / Boot / Leg / Skate
    The Skate Blade not in contact with the ice surface, or being used to keep the skater skating.

    Free Dance
    The third of the phases in ice dancing competition. Not as restricted, skaters select the ambiance and tempo of their music. They are allowed 4 minutes to perform a full range of their technical skills, interpretation and creativity - can very 10 seconds without deduction.

    Free skate/Long program
    Usually the second phase of competition in singles and pairs, the first phase being the short program/SP. Lasting; 4 minutes for ladies. 4 minutes, 30 seconds for men, 4 minutes, 30 seconds for senior pairs, can very 10 seconds without deduction.

    The absence of using the blade to turn, gain or slow momentum on the ice. Simply "gliding along."

    Grade of execution
    A score each judge awards for technical elements performed by the skater or skaters.

    A groove down the middle of the figure skate blade. Depth of the hollow depends on the skater's event, weight and style.

    A backward glide on an inside edge where the skating legs knee is in a deep bend with the free leg crossed underneath the skating leg Holding the free leg straight with the body leaning into the curve. The skater has to put one hand on the ice to achieve the deep edge and enough forward lean. It has the slight appearance that they are sitting.

    Illusion spin
    Spinning on one blade the free leg is raised and lowered as the skater is spinning.

    Ina Bauer
    The forward leg is bent and is in front of the torso with the other leg straight and positioned behind the skater. Most often the skater arches back with the arms.

    Leaving the surface of the ice under skaters own power and landing one the blades. Most jumps should be landed on the right back outside edge. Deductions can be assessed for landing on 2 blades and touching the ice surface with hands to regain balance.

    Jump combination
    Jumps in immediate succession using the same edge designation as the first Jump was made with.

    Jump sequence
    Jumps briefly interrupted by steps, hops, etc. but immediately following each other - "sequences" are "loosely" connected compared to a jump combination.

    Layback spin
    Required by Ladies in the SP, spinning in an upright position, dropping the head and shoulders backward and arching the back. Free leg (right) should lift up and away from the body / center of gravity. Occasionally the Gentlemen will perform them.

    A sequence of steps on one side of a continuous axis in a semi-circular shape.

    The skater's position and "carriage" on the ice is referred to as their "line."

    Long lift
    Ice dancing term used for a lift in the free dance and may perform a maximum of two in the free dance. This lift may not exceed 10 seconds of hold.

    Loop Jump
    Taking off from the back outside edge of one blade and landing on the back outside edge of the same skate. This is often called "Rittberger" in Europe.

    Drawing the shape of a loop on the ice with the skaters blade. Was important in school figures, skaters occasionally include them during slow sections of free programs.

    Basically the skater achieves a kneeling position with a bent skating leg and the free leg is turned out and extended behind, sliding the boot on the ice.

    Lutz Jump
    Using the back outside edge of the blade landing on the back outside edge of the opposite blade. Approaching backwards on a curve, tapping the toe pick on the opposite blade into the ice, rotating in the opposite direction of the entrance to the curve.

    On a toe loop entrance and from a RBO edge, taping the left toe pick into the ice and beginning to turn as they lift, the right leg swings across the left appearing to kick. This results in a crossed leg pose where both legs are straight and toes pointed and heals raised. The legs do not come together with ankles touching. Landing forward on the right toe pick and pushing into the left front outside edge. This is a 1/2 rotation jump.

    A step from one blade to the other, turning from forward to backward, or backward to forward. The entrance and exit edges will be the same, inside to inside, or outside to outside. The direction of curve begun on the entrance edge is continued on the exit edge. Basic Mohawk the arch of the boot is held at the heal of the skating boot.

    Original Dance
    The second in the three phases of an ice dancing. Every season couples are assigned a "prescribed rhythm." They then create their own variation while keeping within the requirements. It lasts 2 minutes, 30 seconds - can very 10 seconds without deduction.

    The place where the skaters receive their Medals during the ceremony.

    Program components
    Presentational and Artistic quality in a skating performance. There are 5 of these in singles and pairs skating. Skating skills, transitions, performance / execution, choreography / composition and interpretation. Components receive a score value on a 0-to-10 point scale in increments of .25 only.

    The Program Component Score
    Score of the elements artistic qualities in the performance. Examples of such in Singles and Pairs are; choreography / composition, execution /performance, interpretation, skills and transitions.

    Referee ~ Refs
    Responsibilities; The draw/order, violations/deductions, timing of the performance, the ice surface and conduct.

    Required elements
    A list of eight required skills the skaters must perform during a given routine.

    See ~ Loop Jump. Term Primarily used in Europe to define the Loop.

    Referring to the arch of the skate's blade.

    Rocker Turn
    A turn on one blade from forward to backward or backward to forward. The exit edge changes direction from the starting edge, making a serpentine tracing on the ice. The turns are from an outside edge to an outside edge or an inside edge to an inside edge {which one or any?} . The skater turns in the same direction as the entry curve.

    Roll Step
    Short or long steps on forward or backward edges curving in a opposite direction to the preceding edges. This creates a rolling impression, hence the steps name.

    See ~ Forward Progressive

    Russian Split Jump
    Facing sideways and lifting both legs off the ice the skater looks like they are sitting in the air and their legs in a wide “V” shape. Most often the hands should reach and point at the toes when in the apex of the jump. This happens with a 1/2 rotation of the body for the trailing leg will be the first to lead out of the landing.

    Salchow Jump
    Taking off from the back inside edge of one foot and landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot swinging the free leg.

    Scale of Value
    The tables listing each element's base value according to its difficulty.

    Scratch spin
    An upright spin where the free boot is crossed in front of the spinning boot. Arms are drawn in toward the body at beginning to increase the speed of the spin, then arms are lowered along the body or raised overhead. {Sometimes the free boot will start near the knee of the skating leg and be lowered toward the ankle while the arms are being pulled in.?} The entrance edge will change depending on whether it's a forward scratch or a back scratch spin.

    A pattern skated on the ice which curves back and forth in half circles and progresses down the ice.

    Shoot the Duck
    The skater extends one leg horizontally to the ice in front of them while lowering into a sitting position.

    Short Program
    The first competition in junior and senior Singles and Pairs programs. There are eight required elements in the SP, which can last up to 2 minutes, 50 seconds without violation but needs to last 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

    "Skate Gods"
    1. Normally a way of blaming bad performances and judging on a higher power.
    2. Kurt Browning gave Scott Hamilton the title of "Skate God for Life" after his return from cancer in 97.

    Split Jump
    A full 180° split position in the air. One leg extends in front of as the other leg lifts and stretches behind the body.

    Skating competitions, especially the Grand Prix, are often not shown on (U.S.) television until a week or more after the event. A "spoiler" means a post where you reveal who won before the event has been aired. Also preferably not used in tiles of threads as these are visible without reading the thread it's self.

    Sit spin
    A spin performed in a sitting position. Low to the ice, the skater spins with one leg (the spinning leg) bent and the other leg (the free leg) extended forward.

    Slip Step
    Steps skated in a straight line while the blades of both skates are flat on the ice. The skaters weight is put over one leg with a bend knee and the free skate slides forward along the ice to extend in front of the skater.

    Stag Leap
    Turning forward in the air and raising a bent left knee toward the chest and trying to get the calf muscle to touch the thigh of the same leg while keeping the torso straight. The rear leg stays straight with the toe turned out as it is lifting off the ice.

    Sour cow
    A Salchow gone bad.

    Step sequence / Footwork
    Choreographed steps executed at a point in the program to the music. Some are done in a circular pattern where as most of the time is a straight line from one end of the rink to the other.

    Stroke - Cross
    The step is started with the legs crossed above the knees so that the momentum of the skater is achieved from using the outside edge of the blade that is about to become the free skate.

    Stroke - Open
    The steps that are behind the skating foot, not going in front or behind it.

    Usually performed by Ladies, extending the free leg behind or in front of them as they glide fluidly across the ice. Not a requirement for men.

    Spiral Sequence
    Usually performed by Ladies - men have the choice to perform spirals as connecting moves, is a series of spiral positions executed while making a specific pattern in the rink. Not a requirement for men.

    Spread Eagle
    A glide on both feet, where the legs are turned out at 180 degrees. This should be at the hips opposed to at the knees or ankles.

    Usually associated with "heated conversations" but also can be meant in jest with a serious tone.

    Strides using edges to gain speed. There are various methods and patterns used for stroking, some use outside in addition to or instead of inside edges.

    Swing Counter or Swing Rocker step
    During the Rocker or Counter step, the free boot will swing closely past the skating boot before and after the turn. It is either; swung past the skating boot then held behind it and over the skating line, or it is allowed to swing forward.

    Technical Controller
    The leader in the technical panel and supports the technical specialist ensuring potential mistakes in identifying elements are corrected immediately.

    Technical elements
    Definable skills as in a jump, spin, lift or throw.

    Technical panel
    5 officials; the technical controller, the technical specialist, the assistant technical specialist, the data operator and the video replay operator. Under the new judging system at a competition they are responsible for identifying all elements and level value for a skaters program.

    Technical Specialist
    They identify the elements that a skater performs during a program.

    Extensive time preparing for a jump that disrupts the routine by lack of choreography. Waiting for them to jump...and waiting...and waiting.

    Three Turn
    Executed with one blade going from the outside edge to the inside edge or visa-versa, the exit curve continues with the same Lobe as the entry curve was, and continuing the direction of that curve.

    Throw jump
    In pairs, man (usually) throws the partner as high as possible to perform revolutions before landing backwards unassisted and facing each other.

    Toe Loop Jump
    Tapping with the toe pick of the free blade on the ice to "vault" upward and landing on the back outside edge of the opposite blade.

    Toe Step
    Stepping from one Toepick to the other without a Jump - one Toepick always in contact with the ice surface.

    Toe Walley Jump
    Jumping off the right back inside edge instead of a right back outside edge. Toe walleys are using the left outside for 3 turns and then a step onto a right back inside edge. The skaters switch blades just before the jump is made.

    The "teeth" in the front portion of the blades, unique to figure skates. What you "pick" to grab the Ice with the tip of your blade.

    Total Element Score
    The base values of the all the elements combined with their (positive or negative) grades of execution.

    Total Segment Score
    Score for a single portion of the competition by Adding the total element score/TES to the program component score/PCS and subtracting any deductions achieving the TSS.

    The mark a blade leaves on the ice while skating.

    Twist lift

    In pairs, the man (usually) throws the partner upward spinning and catches them by their torso, performing from 1 to 4 revolutions in the air.

    Ice dance teams are required to perform sequences of quick traveling turns performed on one blade side by side, but not touching. Single or Pair skaters also include them in step sequences. Dance teams and pairs often have one partner perform a twizzle. In some variations a hand hold or touching the other partner is performed.

    Waltz jump
    Start as a glide on the right back outside edge. Then stepping forward onto the left forward outside edge then kicking the right leg as they begin to lift. Arms are held out for it is a half rotation. Waltz jumps and Axels are the only jumps starting from facing forward.

    1. "I think another skater should have placed higher"
    2. "boo hoo, my fave didn't win"
    3. A criminal outrage "that we need to take to the streets" and protest.

    Originating from the German word "über" meaning superior. Often used on forums to describe a fan of someone / something that is extremely dedicated or defensive. And on occasion can be vindictive in nature to counter the comments made by others the "uber fan" does not agree with.

    Upright spin
    This involves the skater spinning in a standing position as the free boot is held next to the spinning skate boot.

    Sometimes referred to as the Martini-Glass, is spinning on one blade while the free leg is held with one hand and extended - the free arm should be held up and out at about the same angle as the free leg.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 02-15-2007 at 01:45 AM.

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