American Competition Levels

CaroLiza_fan

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I admit that I gave up trying to understand anything below international Novice level a long time ago. It is just too confusing with different systems being used in different parts of the world, and in some cases the same names being used in different ways.

However, I felt compelled to start this thread because I have been writing an update to a Fan Fest for a skater that has come up through the American system. I had it ready to post last week, but then I found a website that contains a database of local competitions in America. This has meant that I have now been stretch her competitive history table back a full decade to when she was 8 years old.

The problem is that there is one competition she was in that has left me totally flummoxed. And because of this, I have no idea as to how to record it in the results table.

So, here goes:

What is a Pre-Juvenile CM competition?

I understand the Pre-Juvenile part, i.e. it is the level directly below Juvenile level. But, what does the CM refer to?

Unfortunately, the PDF for this event only lists the finishing positions. So, I can't even use the scores to make an educated guess as to whether she was competing in an SP, an FS, or something else completely. All I know is that she finished 2nd in it.

If it helps, the skater in question also competed in the Preliminary level Free Skate at the same event. (She actually won it).

@gkelly has been brilliant at answering my previous questions about the American system. So, I hope that she or somebody else can enlighten me about this competition.

I realise that this is just a small question that I could easily have been dealt with in our trusty old "Random Questions" thread. But, I thought it might be useful for us to have a thread specifically for talking about the American system.

CaroLiza_fan
 

Clarice

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 26, 2005
I admit that I gave up trying to understand anything below international Novice level a long time ago. It is just too confusing with different systems being used in different parts of the world, and in some cases the same names being used in different ways.

However, I felt compelled to start this thread because I have been writing an update to a Fan Fest for a skater that has come up through the American system. I had it ready to post last week, but then I found a website that contains a database of local competitions in America. This has meant that I have now been stretch her competitive history table back a full decade to when she was 8 years old.

The problem is that there is one competition she was in that has left me totally flummoxed. And because of this, I have no idea as to how to record it in the results table.

So, here goes:

What is a Pre-Juvenile CM competition?

I understand the Pre-Juvenile part, i.e. it is the level directly below Juvenile level. But, what does the CM refer to?

Unfortunately, the PDF for this event only lists the finishing positions. So, I can't even use the scores to make an educated guess as to whether she was competing in an SP, an FS, or something else completely. All I know is that she finished 2nd in it.

If it helps, the skater in question also competed in the Preliminary level Free Skate at the same event. (She actually won it).

@gkelly has been brilliant at answering my previous questions about the American system. So, I hope that she or somebody else can enlighten me about this competition.

I realise that this is just a small question that I could easily have been dealt with in our trusty old "Random Questions" thread. But, I thought it might be useful for us to have a thread specifically for talking about the American system.

CaroLiza_fan
CM stands for Compulsory Moves. The skater performs a list of required elements without music. For the lower levels, it's sort of an introduction to a short program. They can have connecting steps, but there's not supposed to be a lot of extra fluff. Depending on the level, they might be limited to half ice, and there can be two events happening on the ice surface at the same time, each with its own judging panel.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
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CM stands for Compulsory Moves. The skater performs a list of required elements without music. For the lower levels, it's sort of an introduction to a short program. They can have connecting steps, but there's not supposed to be a lot of extra fluff. Depending on the level, they might be limited to half ice, and there can be two events happening on the ice surface at the same time, each with its own judging panel.

Aha! 💡

Maybe this is just my brain's way of thinking, but from what you have said, it sounds like a modern day version of Compulsory Figures, but doing elements rather than figures.

Assess where the skater is with their elements, without any distractions.

I may never have seen it, but I like the idea of it. 👍

Right, I'll put it in a separate table in the Competitive History section.

Thank you so much for the reply.

:thank:

CaroLiza_fan
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Aha! 💡

Maybe this is just my brain's way of thinking, but from what you have said, it sounds like a modern day version of Compulsory Figures, but doing elements rather than figures.
No, it's more like a short program without music, usually on half ice, as Clarice said. It's definitely about freeskating elements (although one of the elements might be a step sequence and/or a spiral or spiral sequence). The elements are linked together right after each other with connecting skating -- if there are five elements, each skater skates once, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes depending on level, doing all of their elements linked together.

If it were more like compulsory figures, they'd be doing each element separately and taking the ice five times, or three times or however many elements there were.

I have seen spin competitions structured both ways. But the connected program approach is more common. It's less confusing to keep track of who skates when, it's a more efficient use of ice time, and it gives the skater an opportunity to practice linking elements together as they will need to in programs with music.

If you're curious, you can search youtube for "compulsory moves" and "prejuvenile" (or juvenile, or preliminary, prepreliminary, or no test).

The search will probably also bring up some Moves in the Field Test videos. Those would have more in common with compulsory figures, but they never really caught on as a competitive event at nonqualifying competitions after figures were eliminated. I think the last time I saw a MITF competition event was at least 15 years ago (though it's possible some clubs still offer them in other parts of the country).
 

CaroLiza_fan

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No, it's more like a short program without music, usually on half ice, as Clarice said. It's definitely about freeskating elements (although one of the elements might be a step sequence and/or a spiral or spiral sequence). The elements are linked together right after each other with connecting skating -- if there are five elements, each skater skates once, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes depending on level, doing all of their elements linked together.

If it were more like compulsory figures, they'd be doing each element separately and taking the ice five times, or three times or however many elements there were.

I have seen spin competitions structured both ways. But the connected program approach is more common. It's less confusing to keep track of who skates when, it's a more efficient use of ice time, and it gives the skater an opportunity to practice linking elements together as they will need to in programs with music.

If you're curious, you can search youtube for "compulsory moves" and "prejuvenile" (or juvenile, or preliminary, prepreliminary, or no test).

The search will probably also bring up some Moves in the Field Test videos. Those would have more in common with compulsory figures, but they never really caught on as a competitive event at nonqualifying competitions after figures were eliminated. I think the last time I saw a MITF competition event was at least 15 years ago (though it's possible some clubs still offer them in other parts of the country).

Thank you so much for the correction and explanation. And thank you for the nudge to go onto YouTube. I just watched some videos, and I see what you mean.

You were right in thinking that I was imagining it being a skater just doing individual elements when asked. But, I see now that this is a proper mini-programme. It was so surreal seeing a programme done without music. Mind you, I did like the way that it meant that you could hear the noise of the blades.

On the other hand, there was applause from the audience at times, and I would imagine that this could easily distract the skater. At least when there is music, any background noise almost becomes part of the music.

One of the Compulsory Moves videos I watched was of an adult skater, and she had uploaded the video herself. She looked to be concentrating very hard during that video, and I was curious to see if this was a side-effect of having no music. So, I clicked through to her YouTube channel, to check if there were any videos of her skating to music. And there was. And sure enough, she looked more relaxed while she was skating to music.

Incidentally, while there, I also found a video of a Moves In The Field test she did about a year and a half ago. So, they do still happen (well, they do in Colorado, anyway!) Again, she looked to be concentrating very hard. And, I have to be honest, I found it an effort to sit through. The Compulsory Moves was more enjoyable to watch. But, of course, I realise that this doesn't matter, as the purpose of these things is to assess the skater.

All in all, although the Compulsory Moves is not what I imagined, I liked it. And I can see how it is an effective way to assess a skater that is coming up through the ranks.

Thank you for your detailed response. Your explanations of things like this are always so knowledgable and informative, and I am sure I'm not the only one that is so grateful that you take the time to write them and share them with us! :bow: :bow: :bow:

:thank:

CaroLiza_fan
 
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anonymoose_au

Making sequined tie and vest combos cool
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Interestingly, Russia seems to have something like this too for the Novices. I remember seeing Sofia Titova doing an elements program, but it looked like it was just jumps rather than spins. I can't find it right now...

It was intriguing though!
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Interestingly, Russia seems to have something like this too for the Novices. I remember seeing Sofia Titova doing an elements program, but it looked like it was just jumps rather than spins. I can't find it right now...

It was intriguing though!

That's right. I remember doing Fan Fest updates for some Russian skaters a few years ago, and coming across the Elements segment then. But, the difference was that it was an additional segment alongside the SP and the FS. So, I had to add extra columns in the tables (in between the "Level" column and the "SP Position" column).

It was a nightmare! That was the reason that I started shrinking the font size in the tables. Because on vBulletin, if there was an Elements segment and you kept the default font size, the Total Position and Total Score columns ended up beyond the viewable area, and you had to scroll right to see them. And it is not a good thing when you can't see the final results at the same time as the name and date of the event!

That was why I was worrying when I saw this "CM" appear. Because it is more difficult to decrease the font size in tables on XenForo (you have to do each cell one at a time), I am aiming to keep the tables in the Fan Fests at the default font size. Fortunately in this case, I have been able to just split the table between the 2012–13 and 2011–12 Seasons, and changed the header row for the earlier table to have "CM" columns instead of "SP" columns.

CaroLiza_fan
 
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gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Incidentally, while there, I also found a video of a Moves In The Field test she did about a year and a half ago. So, they do still happen (well, they do in Colorado, anyway!) Again, she looked to be concentrating very hard. And, I have to be honest, I found it an effort to sit through. The Compulsory Moves was more enjoyable to watch. But, of course, I realise that this doesn't matter, as the purpose of these things is to assess the skater.
Oh, Moves in the Field tests still happen and are required for skaters to move up to higher competitive levels in all disciplines. For example, they are prerequisites to the freeskating tests.

However, it is very rare for local clubs to offer Moves in the Field competition events at nonqualifying competitions.

When figures still existed, they were part of competition as well as being part of the test structure.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Oh, Moves in the Field tests still happen and are required for skaters to move up to higher competitive levels in all disciplines. For example, they are prerequisites to the freeskating tests.

However, it is very rare for local clubs to offer Moves in the Field competition events at nonqualifying competitions.

When figures still existed, they were part of competition as well as being part of the test structure.

Ah, so there is a difference. I was thinking of them in terms of tests.

To be honest, I cannot imagine a MITF competition being terribly enjoyable to watch. So, I can understand why having them included in competitions is no longer the norm.

I remember when I was younger being bored watching the Compulsory Dance, as you were hearing and seeing the same thing over and over again. Now that I am a bit older and a bit wiser, I can see the benefits of it. And since I started watching Ice Dance at Novice level, I actually like the way they have approached it by having Pattern Dances that can be skated to a wider variety of music. And I would be all for the compulsory dance to return to the higher levels if it used this format. But, I know that the TV broadcasters would not like it. They want competitions to be shorter nowadays, not longer.

But, this is getting off topic.

I can see how the MITF is important for helping a skater to advance in their skating. And Compulsory Figures, although they are now firmly a thing of the past. (More's the pity. Having read some of the comments of people on here who are old enough to remember Compulsory Figures and know how they lead to improved technique, I firmly believe they should be brought back). But, I wouldn't want either to become a regular part of competitions again. Just keep them to tests.

Thank you for the further information.

CaroLiza_fan
 
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