We now get into the technical rules of single and pair skating.
266. A jump sequence with a half loop linking two other jumps is now considered a three-jump combination. The half loop receives points equal to the value of a loop jump.
Thoughts: I'm taking it that jumps with the half loop will no longer get the 0.8 factor, but rather a 1.1 factor for being in combination. I always wondered why skaters doing a half loop to link jumps got it called a sequence even though the rhythm had to be kept constant throughout, but much simpler linking steps and longer pauses also resulted in the same calling. I like this change.
268.1.a. The short programs for singles skating, in both senior and junior, drop from eight elements to seven.
268.2. The senior mens short program drops one of the footwork sequences and now two different-type quadruple jumps may be performed (one in combination and the other out of steps). The senior ladies short program drops the spiral sequence. The ladies may also now do a double OR triple when satisfying the Axel requirement. The 2010/2011 junior short programs pull from "Group C" and also follow the seniors in dropping one of the footwork sequences. No quadruples allowed yet. The junior ladies also follow the seniors and there is no longer a spiral sequence requirement. Requirements for the juniors throughout the 2014/2015 season are also listed here.
Thoughts: I just answered a Formspring about this, and I'm glad to see that the spiral sequence has been dropped. Many skaters found a simple way to get a level 4 sequence and then all of a sudden 80% of them were doing the exact same thing. Boring! Sure, it shows flexibility and depth of edges, but you can show that throughout other linking moves and transitions into jumps, etc. I always liked the men doing two footwork sequences because many of the top men really went all out with them, but I suppose they had to balance it somehow. More time to sell the program-- that works for me.
269.d/e. Any type of flying spin is permitted with landing position different than in the spin in one position. For the men, they may either choose a camel or sit position to be executed during the spin with only one change of foot, and it must be a different position from the landing of the flying spin. If the men do the same position in both spins, then the later spin will not be counted, but included as a "box" for the element.
Thoughts: This wording is confusing, but I'm interpreting it as if a man is going to do a flying sit spin, then the change foot spin with one position now MUST be a camel spin. Many of the men were only doing sit positions for both the flying and change foot spins last year, so that will be a real push to get them to do both. I might be confusing what is actually meant, though.
270.2. A Double Axel cannot be included more than two times in a single's free program. In the mens free program, the second step sequence will always be awarded a fixed Base Value and evaluated by the judges in Grade of Execution only. Example, the sequence will be worth 4.0 points for every skater, no matter what the level, and the Grade of Execution will reflect the differences in difficulty and quality between skaters. In the ladies free skate, the spiral sequence will follow the same pattern as the mens second step sequence. Now, though, they may either do two spirals for at least three seconds each, or one spiral for at least six seconds.
Thoughts: I like that the double Axel is only allowed to be done two times now. It has a base value closer to that of the triple jumps than it does the rest of the double jumps. You can only repeat two triples, so why not do the same with the double Axel? As far as the mens second footwork sequence and ladies spiral sequences all starting out at the same value-- it's basically like saying if you can do the element with any level of competency, then all of the scores are going to be pretty similar. It was always like that with the spirals in the past, anyways.
272.1.a. The pairs short programs at both the senior and junior levels now also drop from eight required elements to seven.
272.2. The senior short program now follows a pattern on a three year cycle. Removed in 2010/2011 is the pair spin combination with one one change of foot and at least one change of position. The spiral sequences are now completely removed and the pairs teams will be doing step sequences to the pattern of their choosing each year. The junior short program follows exactly in line with the senior short program, but also keeps the specific requirements with certain elements (double twist lift, throw jump must be a double or triple toe loop, solo jump must be double loop or double Axel).
274.2. The senior pairs free skate now must include a death spiral that is different from that of the one performed in the short program, and a spiral sequence is now a requirement. The junior pairs free skate also now includes a mandatory spiral sequence.
274.4. Jump combinations in the pairs free skate now may consist of two or three jumps, just as in the singles disciplines. The spiral sequence must have two positions held at least three seconds each, and there will be a fixed base value for the element, just as in the ladies free skate.
275. The base values of jump combinations will be added together and multiplied by a factor of 1.1, and then the Grade of Execution is applied. This is true of both singles skating and pairs skating.
Thoughts: Already mentioned this in one of my earlier posts, but again I really like it. What I don't see is whether the same thing will happen in the ladies and mens short programs, where a jump combination is one of the seven requirements.
Again, more later... almost done!