Commonly Asked Figure Skating Questions  -
What is the difference between a skater falling while performing a required jump, spin, or step sequence and during a transition?

Under test conditions a fall on a non-required element may not automatically result in a below minimum score on the test. Much depends on how quickly a skater is able to recover and how well they skate after the fall.

Falls while performing a required jump, spin, or spiral/step sequence are major errors. Judges can request a reskate of up to two required elements. Three or more errors result in an automatic retry.

In a competition, a fall on a jump or required element in the short program results  in a -3 reduction in GOE and stipulates an overall negative GOE. If the skater falls while spinning, the spin ends at that point.  The skater may fill in the time with a simple upright spinning movement, but any attempt to continue the original spin is considered a new spin and can cause problems with the balanced program requirements for spin types.  

In a free skate under the 6.0 system, the jump or spin, if it happened at the beginning, was not executed and does not count toward the technical base mark.  The fall would, however, impact the presentation mark.  In IJS, a fall automatically results in a 1 point deduction no matter what the skater was attempting, and additionally can be reflected in a lower performance/execution score.

Submitted by Ruth Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.

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