The men's 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.
This must be a double Axel or a triple Axel. If the man can do a quad combination, this will usually be a triple Axel. If the man does a triple Axel in the combination jump, or as the solo jump, then this must be a double Axel.
This must be a triple or a quadruple 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. If the man has a quad combination and uses the triple Axel for the Axel jump, then this will typically be a triple Lutz or a triple flip.
This must be a double jump with a triple or quadruple jump, or a triple jump with a triple or quadruple jump. There must be no step or change of edge between the two jumps. This element is the big gun for the men's short program and most of the top men are attempting a quadruple jump with a double or triple jump, typically a quad toe loop with a triple toe loop or double toe loop, or a quad Salchow with a triple toe loop or double toe loop. If the man does not have a quad combination then the next level of difficulty down is a triple Axel with triple toe loop or triple Lutz with triple toe loop, and below that a triple with double..
A minimum of eight rotations in the landing position are required. Most men will execute a traditional flying camel, a deathrop, or a butterfly/Arabian into a sit spin. A traditional flying spin would be considered a very simple move for this element.
Change Foot Spin
A minimum of six rotations in position are required on each foot. The spin can be either a camel - cof - camel or a sit -cof -sit. Be on the alert for skaters who do most of their spins in either the sit or camel position because they cannot spin well in both positions.
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). Because the men tend not to use the layback or side leaning positions, the upright position is frequently a reverse upright, forward-split, corkscrew, cross-foot, or fast upright (blur) position. The Biellmann and donut positions are used by only a few of the men as one of their camel positions, so one usually will see the traditional camel position from the men. For the sit position many of the men are now using the contorted positions first embraced by the ladies.
Step Sequence 1
Two step sequences of a different nature (pattern) are required. The patterns 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. 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.
Step Sequence 2
The second step sequence must have a different pattern from the first. Both step sequences can be traditional step sequences consisting primarily of steps and turns, or one may be the traditional type and the other a MITF (Moves in the Field) type. In a MITF step sequence the skater will choose to add spirals, spread eagles and other edge-type movements to the combination of steps and turns. Occasionally, a skater who can really skate will include a long section skating turns on only one foot for one of the two sequences.
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Copyright 2002 by George S. Rossano