Ice Skating Workshops

Hosted by

San Diego Figure Skating Communications

School Figures

The Beginnings of Ice Skating
        The humans first learned ice skating is unknown on its time and process, though archaeologists believe the activity was widespread. The convenience and efficiency of ice skating to cross large, icy areas is shown in archaeological evidence by the finding of primitive animal bone ice skates in places such as Russia, Scandinavia, Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland.

       Compulsory figures or school figures were formerly an aspect of the sport of figure skating, from which the sport derives its name. Carving specific patterns or patterns was the original focus of the sport.  They were initially skated outdoors on natural ice surfaces.

Source - The History of Figure Skating by Diana Star Helmer and Thomas S. Owens

The evolution of Figures

    The structure of the figure tests gradually evolved to form a systematic progression of skills performed equally well on the left and right foot.  Mastering the skills of performing the basic figures allowed the introduction of new skills and modifications of old skills with new features. For example, learning to put a perfectly placed and executed turn at the top of each circle with the turn on the long axis and performed without changes or flats. Performing a circle with a double set of three turns on one foot increased the skills required.

     A serpentine pattern (three-lobed figure) required the skater to change edge on one foot. Single and double three turns were added to the serpentine. Besides threes, loops, bracket, rocker and counter turns were incorporated onto serpentines and also performed as paragraph figures as the skaters progressed through the test structure.

     The most difficult figures include the paragraph figures that were skated on two circles with on one foot with one push, then taking another push while tracing the pattern (tracing) on the ice performed in the initial foot. Each pattern was performed  three times on each foot prior to exiting through the center of the figure.

     Informational topics and lesson plans to host on-ice figure workshops have been received with great enthusiasm. The goal is to assist skaters in acquiring the skills to perform the new MITF elements, but have not had any exposure to skating school figures.

Recommended Reading:

Compulsory figures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Compulsory figures or school figures were formerly an aspect of the sport of figure skating, from which the sport derives its name.

History of Skating Elements « SkatingDomo   History of Skating Elements and video of any of the elements listed.  Check out the “Technical Merit” page). SCHOOL FIGURES




The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:   

School Figures - Table of Contents
Skating of School Figures
Figure Workshop Lesson Plans
School Figure Diagrams
School Figure Centers
PDF  USFS Figure Rules and Regulations
          Basic Rules for Figures
          Standards for School Figures
          Judging School Figures

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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