Oh goodie, time to analyze all of the ISU rule changes from the recent Congress. Read it for yourself here, or check out my cliff notes slash easier to comprehend writing below.
1.a) The half loop is now considered as a part of a three-jump combination and will receive the starting value of a single loop. Only one three-jump combination is allowed per program.
b) The final "wind-up" at the end of a one position spin or flying spin does not count as another position, as long as it has no additional feature such as a change of edge or varied position. This means that when a skater does a flying camel, for example, the final two or three rotations that are done in an upright position of sorts have no effect on the rest of the spin and won't be counted for anything. If there is an additional feature during this upright position, the spin would no longer be called a spin in one position or a flying spin. The flying spin is a required element of the singles short programs.
2.a) All short programs in senior and junior singles events now consist of 7 elements, as 1 element has been dropped from each program.
b) In senior and junior mens short programs, one step sequence has been dropped leaving one total. It can still be done in a straight line, circular, or serpentine sequence.
c) In senior and junior ladies short programs, there is no longer a spiral sequence requirement. Spirals in short programs now count towards the transitions component mark.
d) Senior ladies may now attempt a triple Axel as their Axel requirement in the short program. Previously, a triple Axel was only allowed to be attempted as part of the jump combination requirement (ex. triple Axel/double toe loop).
e) Senior men may now attempt two quadruple jumps in the short program: one as part of the jump combination requirement and one as the solo jump. Previously, only one quadruple jump was allowed to be attempted. Skaters must have two different types of quadruples (ex. toe loop and Salchow) if they wish to try this.
f) For senior men, the landing of the flying spin and the change-foot one-position spin in the short program must be different. Therefore, if a skater is doing a flying camel spin, they must do a sit/change/sit spin. If they are doing a flying sit spin, they must do a camel/change/camel spin. This rule is extremely interesting, as most male skaters last year opted to do both a flying sit spin and a sit/change/sit spin. Back to work on the spins!
3.a) The double Axel can only be included 2 times in a senior or junior singles skaters' free skate. The previous rule allowed for 3.
b) For senior men, the second step sequence (in the order it is performed in the free skate) will have a fixed base value (2.0) and the judges will only score it on GOE. It, again, can be in any of the straight line, circular, or serpentine patterns.
c) For senior ladies, each spiral sequence will have a fixed base value (2.0) and the judges will only score it on GOE. There must be at least 2 positions held for at least 3 seconds each, or one long spiral held for a minimum of 6 seconds. If this requirement is not met, the value of the spiral will be 0.
4.a) The short program for pairs in both senior and junior levels now consists of 7 elements, as 1 element has been dropped from the program.
b) The solo spin combination (side-by-side spins) and pairs spin will alternate as the required element each season. The solo spin combination will be the requirement for 2010/2011.
c) The step sequence is now a required element in the short program each season. This used to rotate with the spiral sequence each season.
5.a) The jump combination requirement in senior and junior pairs free skates now may consist of 2 or 3 jumps. Prior, pairs were only able to do 2-jump combinations.
b) For senior pairs, the death spiral performed in the free skate must be different than the one performed in the short program. This is an interesting change much like the senior men having to complete different positions in their spins. I like it.
c) Same as with the senior ladies, both junior and senior pairs will now have a spiral sequence requirement in the free skate each season. Each sequence will have the same fixed base value (2.0), and the judges will only score it on GOE. Both partners must complete either 2 spiral positions held at least 3 seconds each, or both must complete 1 spiral held at least 6 seconds. If this requirement is not met, the value of the spiral will be 0.
6) If there is an illegal movement during the execution of any element, the deduction for an illegal movement will apply and the element will receive Level 1 if the requirements for at least Level 1 are fulfilled. Otherwise the element will have no level and receive no points.
Changes in Special Regulations
2. There is no longer a 2.0 deduction for skaters having to use a "fresh start", due to equipment failure or any other temporary pause. The judges are instructed to keep in mind that a "fresh start" may negatively influence components scores, though. The may definitely needs to be stressed here, as a break in the skaters program isn't always necessarily at the fault of the skater. If they can get right back into the character after the break, then there shouldn't have to be a negative influence in the scores.
3. All about deductions
a) For costume, prop, or music violations, the referee and judges panel will decide as a group whether to take the 1.0 deduction for each. A majority is required, and in the case of a 50/50 split, no deduction will be taken.
b) For falls and illegal elements, the technical panel (controller, specialist, assistant specialist) will decide whether to take the deductions. A deduction will be applied when at least 2 of the 3 agree.
5. Entries to ISU Championships
For senior competitors in mens, ladies, and pairs skating to be able to compete at any of the ISU majors (Worlds, Europeans, Four Continents), a minimum total elements score must be met in both the short program and free skate at a recognized ISU international competition:
Men: Short Program: 20.0; Free Skate: 35.0
Ladies: Short Program: 15.0; Free Skate: 25.0
Pairs: Short Program: 17.0; Free Skate: 30.0
The World Junior Championships will not have restrictions on minimum scores.