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## Fall equivalents

One feature of the CoP is that a skater can get a big lead in the short program, which carries over to the next phase of the contest. Just how far behind the eight ball is a skater who faces, say, a ten-point deficit going into the free skate?

Here are some ways to look at it, in units of “fall equivalents.” A fall on a triple Lutz, for instance, costs about 3.1 points. This reflects a -3 GOE, factored at 70%, plus the 1-point fall deduction. (We leave out of consideration other errors on the same element, like under-rotation, and also the possible effect of a fall on Program Component Scores.)

So if you are 10 points ahead after the short program, that gives you a three fall cushion over your closest competitor. If you fall three times, losing a total of 3 times 3.1 points, you will still win, everything else being equal.

Here are some other errors that are equivalent to one fall.

* Under-rotating a quad toe. 10.3 – 7.2 = 3.1.

* Omitting altogether a planned level 4 layback or camel spin with either a flying entrance or a change of foot = 3.2 (3.0 for sit spin).

* Omitting a level 3 combination change layback or camel spin = 3.2 (3.0 for sit spin).

^ Popping a double Axel into a under-rotated single Axel with -3 GOE. 3.3 – 0.2 = 3.1.

Error equivalent to two falls