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Focus Points Judging
USFS MITF Tests

Concerns Judges Focus On When Evaluating MITF Tests
       The focus points are no longer are characterized as having a primary or secondary importance. The PSA MITF booklet and the USFS Rulebook (TR 22.08) requires judges to consider all of the following focus points in assigning marks for MITF tests:
  • Accuracy - the correct start, steps and adherence to the general pattern.   TR 22.08 A. - The steps must be skated in general accordance with the diagrams and descriptions. Subject to a general conformity with the basic requirements, the skater is permitted complete freedom with respect to arm and free leg positions.
  • Edge quality - initiated through proper body alignment over the skating foot, creating a stable arc that travels uninterrupted until a required transition takes place. Depth of edge refers to the acuteness of the arc and is created by the lean of the body and the angle of the blade when it takes the ice. Good edge quality results in a confident, sure and controlled movement.  TR 22.08 B. - Moves-in- the-Field must be skated with good edges, control, flow, extension, carriage and rhythm.
A. An even speed and flow should be maintained throughout.
B. Maximum utilization of the ice surface is desirable. Ice coverage must not be obtained by
     the use of flat or shallow edges.
  • Turn quality/Execution – the proper skill and technique of how the turn should be performed. The correct entry and exit edges are to be adequate and maintained throughout the turn for its identification.  TR 22.08 C.
  • Extension - the general carriage should be erect, characterized by an extended body line. The angle of the head follows naturally from the line of the back; the arms should be naturally extended with the shoulders down and back. The skater's hands should follow the line of the movement being executed. The final extended position should be executed in a controlled manner and should achieve the maximum length of all body lines. TR 22.08 D.
  • Quickness - quickness refers to foot speed. It is precise, rapid and crisp execution of turns, changes of edge and transitions. Quickness does not refer to the overall pace at which the move is skated, although in some moves the foot speed will result in a brisk and continuous cadence. Refinements to acknowledge include quick movement that is quiet, fluid and continuous without disturbing the proper and erect carriage of the upper body or interrupting the established rhythm. TR 22.08 E.
  • Power - the creation and maintenance of speed and flow without visible effort. It is developed by a continuous rise and fall of the skating knee together with the pressure of the edge of the blade against the ice. TR 22.08 F - The skater should demonstrate bilateral ability to exert equal pressure against the surface of the ice on both right and left foot, forward and backward, and in the clockwise and counterclockwise direction.
End products of power are:
(1) velocity, speed or pace (Continuous Flow);
(2) flow across the ice; and
(3) acceleration.
  • Continuous Flow – Part of the Power Focus refers to the skater's ability to maintain a consistent and undisturbed running edge across the ice. Flow does not necessarily relate to the speed at which the skater is traveling as it is sometimes best recognized as the skater starts to slow.
  • TR 22.08 G.
  • Posture/Carriage  – also referred to as Core Body - the proper alignment of the hips, back, arms and shoulders and head over the skate. Unless the move requires a variation, typically, the skater's back should be straight, with the spine and head perpendicular to the surface of the ice. The arms should be extended out from the shoulders and level and relaxed. The free leg should be in a straight line and slightly turned out from the free hip to the free toe. TR 22.08 H. Within the limits of the following rules, complete freedom is permitted to the skater.
  • Core Body TR 22.03 An effortless, flowing and graceful execution should be achieved.
      A. The head should be carried in an upright position, relaxed and held naturally;
      B. The upper body should be upright, but not stiff;
      C. The arms should be held gracefully;
      D. The free leg should be extended, with the toe pointed.
  • Bilateral Movement - the ability to execute movements on both sides of the body, clockwise and counterclockwise, forward and backward. TR 22.08 I.
A skaters performance. in USFS tests,  is judged against a set of standards for each level of tests
      Tests are judged on a subjective but absolute scale from 0.0 to 6.0 with increasing scores required to pass higher levels.  Judges determine if the performance meets a minimum standard, or passing average mark, for each component of a Moves in the Field test, or for the technical and presentation aspects of a free skate test. 

      The passing mark of each element on the test can be compared to a "C" mark in an academic course in school. This is also the minimum mark schools accept for students to participate in sports and extra curricular activities. This indicates the student has acquired 70% of the information presented. Or another way of expressing the it would be that the student did not acquire 30% of the material that will be used in the next grade. Sooner or later the information not acquired will prevent comprehending new material in courses based on information in which the student lacks the necessary foundation to learn new concepts.

      Not all elements of a skating test need to be at or above the minimum passing mark. However, in the opinion of the majority of a pabel of three judges, the overall total for the test must reach or exceed the passing minimum total for the test. This allows elements to vary in quality, average out to a passing mark.

      This does not mean that the skater should not continue to work on correcting the deficiencies on the test while working on learning the elements on the next test level.

       For example, a Juvenile tests have a passing average of 3.0.  The Juvenile Moves test has four elements for a total passing mark of 12.0.  The free skate must total at least 6.0.  The entry level test in each discipline is marked Pass/Retry.  In all cases, judges can ask for a limited number of elements to be reskated if they think it could change a failing test into a passing one.  They can also include comments on what was done well or poorly and areas for continued improvement on passing elements or tests.

 
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs: 

USFS Test Judging Topics
PDF  IJS Handbook
PDF  Judges Singles & Pairs Training Manual
Focus Points Judging USFS MITF Tests
New  Evaluation of Jumps
PDF  Chart of Changes to MITF  9/2/2010 PDF  2011 USFS Tests Book 8/27/10
PDF  A need for Test Program Element Sheet
PDF  USFS Compulsory Figures Rules
PDF  Focus Points: Evaluate Tests
Roles of Skating Judges and Coaches
Discussion of MITF Topics
New & Revised MITF Elements
Critiquing Skating Performances
MITF Critique Sheets
Requirements to Pass MITF
MITF Judging Criteria
Basic Skating Judging Protocols
Basic Skating Competitive Judging
Basic Skating Worksheets
Test and Elite Standards
Focus of Free Skating Test Judging
Interpreting 6.0 Score Sheets
School Figures

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