Skating Fridays

The Decision – and IJS spins

Last week I asked you for advice on what I should do in terms of my strategy for skating competitions. A few people said to go ahead and test my Adult Gold Freestyle, while others recommended that I stay at Silver and gain some experience there.

I’ve decided to stay at Silver for now and “skate up” to Gold for local competitions to see how I feel and to see whether my Gold program scores will be competitive at the regional and national levels. One thing I have to consider is that the judging system for Gold is different – it is within the IJS system (what Olympians and top-level skaters are judged on), so there are lots of things I need to keep in mind when choreographing my program.  For example, I can have a maximum of 3 spins of a different character. But since this is IJS, I can try and achieve “features” in my spins in order to gain additional points.

Features for spins include (this is not the full list):

  • Backward entrance (from a forward inside three turn)
  • Clear change of edge (backward inside to forward outside) for the sit, camel, layback or Biellman positions
  • All three basic positions (upright, sit, camel) on both feet
  • Spin in both directions on either a sit or camel spin
  • At least 8 revolutions in a single position
  • Change from layback to side/reverse layback spin
  • Layback spin to Biellman

Let’s be honest here. There is no way the Bielmman position is happening, not even in my dreams. I have tried spinning both ways, but spinning “the other way” (counterclockwise) isn’t quite stable enough or up-to-par for a competition. Realistically, there are two features that I might be able to attempt:

  • Backward entrance (I can try a back camel and maybe transition to a back sit spin)
  • At least 8 revolutions in a single position (I’d do my sit or cannonball)

Hmmm. Clearly, there is still a lot to think about. If you are just as confused as I am, here is a handy chart with spin values that might be helpful.Coach B told me not to worry too much about obtaining features quite yet and to focus on executing easier spins (what she considers Level 1 or Level 2) and obtain a positive GOE (grade of execution). She said it’s not worth attempting a Level 3 spin and risk executing it poorly.

Thank goodness for coaches who are well-versed in IJS. This stuff is making my head hurt.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are two attempts at my 8-revolution cannonball spin. One I botched, and one that I barely hit with the 8 revolution requirement. Coach B said that I would get bonus points for this spin if I executed it correctly since it is considered a “featured” position with 8 revolutions. Double credit – whoo hoo!

Failed attempt (I spun in the middle of my blade and then fell onto my heel):

Barely successful attempt (I was super dizzy afterwards):

Happy Friday, and until next week!


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