The Ladies short program consists of the following eight required elements. The elements may be skated in any order to music of the skater's choice. Vocal music (i.e., music with lyrics) is not permitted.
No options available on this element.
This must be a double or a triple jump immediately preceded by footwork. The footwork must consist of more than one step or movement and the jump must immediately follow the last step of the footwork without a long hesitant glide. For most of the top ladies this will be a triple flip. The conservative approach is to make it a triple toe loop.
This must be a double jump with a triple jump or a triple jump with a triple jump. There must be no step or change of edge between the two jumps. For the top ladies this is invariably a triple Lutz with a double toe loop or a triple Lutz with a double loop. Only a handful of ladies have triple-triple combinations, but the consequences of falling in the short program are so severe most ladies will not risk a triple-triple in the short program.
A minimum of eight rotations in the landing position are required. Most ladies will execute a traditional flying camel or a flying sit spin. A few of the top ladies execute a deathdrop, or a butterfly into a sit spin
A minimum of eight rotations in position are required. The spin can be a layback spin or a sideways leaning spin.
Must have only one change of foot and at least two changes of position. A minimum of six rotations on each foot is required. In other words, the skater can only change foot once, but can change position as often as desired. In addition, the spin must include an example of each of the three basic spin positions (upright, sit and camel). A common example of this is the following spin: camel - sit - layback - cof - camel - sit. The good spinners will include more difficult and intricate positions and twist themselves up to the greatest extent they can. The top ladies also include Biellmann positions and forward-split or side split-positions.
Spiral Step Sequence
The pattern must be serpentine, circular or oval, or a combination of the two. The sequence must include at least one change of foot, and three spiral positions (meaning three different edges). To count as one of the required positions, the free leg must be held higher than the hip either to the rear (the traditional position) or forward. The pattern must utilize the full ice surface. Most commonly you will see a serpentine pattern, although a few ladies execute a circular/oval pattern instead.
The pattern must be straight line, circular/oval, or serpentine. The straight line pattern must go end-to-end or corner-to-corner (diagonal). The pattern cannot be a mix of the three choices; for example, patterns consisting of half a circle followed by a straight section, or a straight line sequence with a dog-leg at the end would receive deductions. The pattern must utilize the full ice surface. Typically the ladies execute either a straight line sequence or a circular sequence, especially if the spiral sequence is a serpentine. The sequence should include steps and movements that turn both clockwise and counterclockwise. This is not a requirement, but a step sequence with movements in only one direction (of rotation) indicates a weakness in the skills of the skater.
Return to title page
Copyright 2002 by George S. Rossano