Would you identify a single quality or element without which a skater should not be considered worthy of winning a competition, in your opinion?

I'm going to list a number of different qualities that have been casually proposed in discussions or that are implied by ISU rules. Clearly there are other qualities and elements that are valued and rewarded but that don't seem to be make-or-break deciders.

If you choose more than one, how would you rank your choices?

Please feel free to add other things if I leave out an option you'd want to choose.

I'll start with singles skating; later maybe I'll make separate lists for pairs and dance.


*Continuous flow on edges

*Edge security

*Edge depth

*Difficulty and variety of steps, turns, and other blade-based skating moves (throughout the program and/or specifically in the official sequences)

*Difficulty of jump content

*Variety of jump content

*Size and speed of the jumps

*Correctness of jump technique including takeoff and landing edges, amount of rotation in the air, air position

*A single important kind of jump element

*Well-roundedness and variety of all types of skills including connecting moves as well as all categories of elements

*Carriage, extension, body alignment

*Relationship to the audience

*Relationship to the music

*Thematic coherence of the choreography

*Originality in technical content and/or choreography

*Full use of the ice surface including amount of ice covered (related to speed and edge depth) as well as choices of element placement and multidirectional skating and varied pathways

*Lack of disruptive errors

*Winning the free program

*Average level of performance over both programs

*(up to 1990 only) Ability to trace circles on clean edges with clean turns