Actions from the 1998 ISU Congress


With the start of the new skating season, the rules changes made at the 47th ISU congress finally kick in.    Two hundred delegates from 51 countries met in Stockholm in June of this year to consider over 650 proposals.  We begin with a summary of the major changes made that impact the new competition season.

1.  A new results placing system (one-by-one; aka OBO) will be put into use beginning with the 1998/99 season.

2.  An instant replay system will be made available to the judges and referee for the short programs and compulsory dances at ISU championship events.  This system will be used at the following competitions:  World Championships, European Championships, World Junior Championships, Four Continents Championships, Grand Prix Final.

3.  The ISU doping rules were amended to bring them into line with other international sports federations.

4.  The qualifying system for entries into ISU championship events was amended; i.e., the point system that is used to determine the number of entries each country is allowed in ISU championship events.  In determining the point totals and number of entries allowed, additional credit will now be given to countries with competitors in the top ten at the previous year's championships, and allowances will be made for injured competitors or equipment failure (e.g., the situations involving Urmanov at the 1997 World Championships, and Eltosva & Bushkov at the 1998 European Championships.)

5.  The upper age limit for male partners in junior pairs and ice dance was increased from 19 to 21.  All other age rules in figure skating remained unchanged.

6.  The ISU will begin using the the three letter country abbreviations used by the IOC.

The proposal to require the skaters to perform two different free programs at the World and Continental (European and Four Continents) Championships did not pass.


Seniors and Pairs

Beginning with the 1999 ISU championship competitions (Worlds, Europeans, Four Continents, World Juniors) the qualifying rounds will be a part of the championships and their results will count towards the final placement.  The top 30 skaters in the qualifying round will go on to the short program as before.  The top 24 after the short program will go on to the final round of free skating.  The start order for the short program will be drawn based on the results of the qualifying round.  The factor for the qualifying round will be 0.4, for the short program 0.6, and the long program 1.0.   Thus, the qualifying round will count 20%, the short program 30% and the final free skate 50%.  Under these new rules only the top two skaters after the short program have a chance of winning the event unassisted, as opposed to the top 3 in the former weighting.  In addition, the free skate in its two performances will now count 70% towards the skater's final placements as opposed to 2/3 in the former weighting.

The short program for senior men will now allow a quadruple jump in the solo jump requirement.

A throw jump has been added to the senior pairs short program requirements.


Ice Dance

The tie breaking mark in the compulsory dances will now be the first mark (for technique).

The proposed change of the compulsory dances into a single combination dance (made of two compulsory dances skated together) will be introduced on a trial basis in the senior Grand Prix events in the 1999/2000 season.  The proposal to incorporate this change into ISU championship events will be reviewed at the 2000 ISU Congress.

Beginning in 1999/2000 the original dance will become a rhythm dance, in which three specific rhythms from a more general group of rhythms will combined in the dance.   The first rhythm dance will combination of Latin rhythms.

Beginning in the 1998/99 season, specific deductions for falls or interruptions in the original dance and free dance will be put into use.

Beginning in the 1998/99 season, specific elements, including lifts, pirouettes, twizzles and step sequences will be required in the free dance, and there will be required deductions for omissions or failures of the required elements.

A draw for a new panel of judges will be held for all three stages of ice dance competition (compulsory dances, original dance, free dance).


Synchronized Skating

The discipline of skating formerly known as Precision Skating was renamed Synchronized Skating.

Championship teams must comprise 20 skaters, senior international teams 16-20 skaters and junior teams 12-20 skaters.

Teams may continue to include both men and women without limitations on the balance of genders on a team.


ISU Council

The ISU council elected in Stockholm consists of the following (elections are held every 4 years):

President: Ottavio Cinquanta (Italy)
1st Vice President
(Speed Skating)
Gerhard Zimmermann (Germany)
2nd Vice President:
(Figure Skating)
Katsuichiro Hisanaga (Japan)
(Figure Skating)
Joyce Hisey (Canada)
Claire Ferguson (United States)
Didjer Galhaguet (France)
Tjassa Andree-Prosenc (Slovenia)
(Speed Skating)
German Panov (Russia)
Myong-Hi Chang (Republic of Korea)
Jan Dijkema (Netherlands)
John Hall (Great Britain)


ISU Technical Committees

Technical committees positions were elected as follows:

Figure Skating:

Sally Stapleford (Great Britain)
Alexander Lakernik (Russia)
Walburga Grimm (Germany)
Britta Lindgren (Sweden)
Ron Pfenning (United States)
Ice Dance:

Alexandr Gorshkov (Russia)
Ann Shaw (Canada)
Courtney Jones OBE (Great Britain)
Ludmila Mikhailovskaya (Ukraine)
Olga Gilardini (Italy)
Synchronized Skating:

Marie Lundmark (Finland)
Patricia French (United States)
Ulrich Linder (Switzerland)
Leon Lurje (Sweden)
Monique Georgelin (France)
Speed Skating:

Tron Espeli (Norway)
Boris Stenin (Russia)
Roland Mailard (Switzerland)
Eugene Sandvig (United States)
Ard Schenk (Netherlands)
Short Track Speed Skating:

Wlliam L. Markland (United States)
Giyorgy Martos (Hungary)
Stoycho Stoychev (Bulgaria)
Hiroshi Shirakawa (Japan)
Reiner Osdtheim (Netherlands)
Appeals Commission:

Maria Bialous-Zuchowicz (Poland)
Egbert Schmid (Austria)
Robert Howard (Canada)
Ilkka Rahnasto (Finland)
Donald McKnight (Australia)

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