I have my local (home) competition coming up at the end of the month. In normal situations, I would have registered for my test level, which is Gold Ladies free skate. However, I am skating up one level for this competition.
Our competition allows skaters to compete at one level higher than their current test level, which I am taking full advantage of. The reasoning isn’t to get experience skating at a higher and more competitive level. I’m also not trying to skate for test protocol so that I can pass my Intermediate free skate. So why am I skating at Masters Intermediate/Novice instead of Gold?
The reason is so that I can get my ISU program ready and in front of judges.
The rules for the ISU event in Nashville are slightly different than the ones for US Figure Skating. In the ISU event, skaters have the option of selecting what skating level they want to compete in. It’s not mandated by test level, which is what happens in the US. Also, the technical requirements are slightly different as well.
As an example, I opted to challenge myself and will be skating in the Gold Women event for the ISU competition. Most of my competitors will likely have double jumps and the US-based skaters will probably be at the Masters Intermediate/Novice level. I’ve found that most US-based skaters will “skate down” a level. When they do that, they have to create a new program because the time allotted for programs is different. My US program is 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The ISU one is 2 minutes and 40 seconds plus or minus 10 seconds. So that means I have up to 2 minutes and 50 seconds to execute my program. Also, at Gold Women (for the ISU requirements), I have to execute a leveled Step Sequence. In the US, all that is required is a Choreographic Sequence.
Because my ISU program is longer and includes a leveled step sequence, I wanted to skate up so that I could skate this program in a competition and get judges’ feedback. I will purposely leave out 1 element from the program (Masters Intermediate allows up to 10 elements, but I will only execute 9 since I am only allowed 9 in the ISU competition).
So yes, this is all super confusing, but there is a reasoning to the madness. TL;DR: I am skating up so that I can skate my longer, more complicated ISU level program in a US-setting.
Send good vibes and lots of ibuprofen!