Pairs Free Skating

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List of Pairs Lifts

Pair Lifts

         Pairs lifts are organized into groups based on the hold positions of the partners at the beginning of the lifting motion. Lifts are typically named after the lady’s solo jump takeoff and the hold
position of the partners. The groups are arranged in ascending order of difficulty, however,

        Groups 3 and 4 are of the same difficulty.
        In any Group one hand hold may increase the difficulty of the lift.
Group 1
Armpit hold

• Lutz Lift
• Flip Lift
• Axel Lift
The man places one hand under one arm in the armpit of the
lady. The lady may place her hand on the man’s shoulder. The man holds the lady’s other hand with one hand to assume the hold. The man may also support the lady with both his hands placed under both her armpits. The lady is lifted from a Lutz, flip, loop, Axel or toe jump takeoff. During the lift the lady may assume a simple split or cross split position, and she may release the hand on the shoulder or release both hands when supported under both armpits.

Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.
Group 2
Waist hold

• Waist Lift
• Twist Lift
The waist loop lift begins with both partners skating
backward. The man places both hands on the lady’s waist and she places both hands on his wrists. The lady must take off in a loop jump position on one foot, but the lady’s position in the air is free. Full extension of the man’s lifting arms is not mandatory unless specified. Both partners should exit the lift on one foot. In the twist lift, the man places both hands on the lady’s waist and she places both hands on his wrists. As the man lifts, the lady executes a flip/Lutz toe pick takeoff (twist lifts may also begin from an Axel or toe loop takeoff by the lady, but are less common). At the top of the lift, the lady completes a twist, rotating freely in air. While the lady is rotating, the man turns a half turn to catch the lady at the waist for an assisted landing. The lady’s rotation may be preceded by a split and may include multiple revolutions.

Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.
Group 3

• Cartwheel
• Star/toe
loop hip lift
• Platter/swan
lift/table top
Both partners begin the star and cartwheel lifts skating
backward. The man places one hand on the lady’s hip and
holds the lady’s opposite hand with his free hand. The lady’s
other hand is on the man’s shoulder. The lady picks as in a toe loop jump and the man turns together with the lady. The lady may assume a stag, split or closed leg position. Unlike the star lift, a cartwheel lift consists of only a half rotation by both partners. Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.

The platter lift begins with both partners facing each other. The man places his hands on the lady’s hips, and the lady may place her hands on the man’s wrists or shoulders. The lady must take off on one foot, and her full extension position
should be arched or parallel to the ice.

Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.
Group 4 Hand-to-hand
position Press lift

• Press lift
• Loop
In the starting position the partners may face each other (press
lift) or follow each other (loop press). Both hands of the man
and lady are clasped. The lady must take off on one foot, but
the lady’s position in the air is free. There is no rotation on the part of the lady prior to the support position in hand-to-hand press type lifts.

Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.
Group 5
position Lasso lift

• Lasso/Axel
(edge) lift
• Step up
• Toe
• Reverse
The difference between hand-to-hand press lifts and hand-to-hand lasso type lifts is that in the press lifts there is no rotation of the lady on her way to the top, while in the lasso lifts the lady does rotate on the way up.

There are four different entries into lasso type lifts: toe entry, step entry, Axel edge entry and reverse entry. Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.

The toe entry, the step entry and the reverse lasso backward
edge entry require a half rotation turn by the lady on takeoff.
The Axel or "true" lasso lift requires a full revolution by the
lady on the takeoff.

Both partners should exit the lift on one foot.

Clarification of “carries” in pairs free skating

Carry lift (senior and junior only):
• A carry lift consists of the simple carrying of a partner without rotation of the carried partner. Only onehalf rotation by the man is allowed on the takeoff and/or exit of the carry.

• All holds in the carry lift are unrestricted.

• The carrying of one partner by the other on the back, shoulders or knees is allowed in the carry lift.

• The carry lift shall not be counted in the number of overhead lifts, nor does it count in the technical mark. It is assessed by the judges as a transition and receives no technical points.

• A carry lift does not need to be fully extended although most carries do have full extension.

• Carry lifts are unrestricted in number for the senior and junior pairs free skate program.

• Teams below the junior level are not allowed to perform carry lifts.

Carries in a lift (senior and junior only):
• “Carries in a lift” are lift elements which contain a carry. The lift must have a legal hold and must rotate according to the rules (the lady must rotate two times the man must rotate at least 1 revolution continuously, but not more than 3-1/2 revolutions in total).

• One of the maximum allowed three lifts in the junior or senior free skate may, at the option of the skaters, contain a carry, but no more than one.

• A carry in a lift may happen before the man rotates, in the middle of his rotations or at the end of the lift.

• While the carry in the lift may occur at any point in the lift, to receive consideration for enhanced difficulty, the carry portion of the lift should occur once the lift has reached full extension.
Lifts &Twists:

1. Lifts: See glossary for pair lift group descriptions. The lift’s group is determined by the hold at the moment the lady passes the man’s shoulder.

    In Groups 3-5 full extension of the lifting arm(s) is mandatory. A minimum of 2 revolutions of the lady, minimum of 1 revolution and a maximum of 3 1/2 revolutions of the man.

    Partners may give each other assistance only through hand-to-hand, hand-to-arm, hand-to-body and hand-to-upper part of leg (above the knee) grips.

    A change of hold means going from one of these groups to another or from one hand to another in one hand hold. Changes of hold during the lift are permitted. If, however, the man changes hold for less than one revolution it is not considered as a “change of hold.”

    One hand holds and/or one hand landings count as level features only when the man uses one hand and the lady uses either one hand or no hands. Lady’s positions are classified as follows:
  • Upright (lady’s upper body vertical)
  • Star (lady’s position sideways with upper body parallel to the ice)
  • Platter (lady’s position flat, facing up or down with the upper body parallel to the ice).
    A change of position means going from one of these positions to another (one full revolution in each position). If a change of hold and a change of lady’s position are executed at the same time, only one level feature will be awarded.

    The conclusion of the lift is when the man’s arm(s) begin to bend after full extension and consequently the lady begins to descend.

    Level features (except related to take-off or landing) are counted from the moment the man’s arms are fully extended until the conclusion of the lift. 3 1/2 allowed revolutions of the man are
counted from the moment the lady leaves the ice until the conclusion of the lift.

2. Twist lifts: The number of revolutions of the lady rotating freely in the air is one, two or three. The lady must be caught in the air at the waist by the man prior to landing and be assisted to a smooth landing on the ice on a backward outside edge on one foot.

    The man also exits from the lift on one foot. In the twist lift, a split position by the lady in the air prior to rotating is not mandatory. The twist lift takeoff may be a flip or Lutz.

A strong background in free skating, especially multi-revolution jumps is highly recommended for anyone wishing to skate competitive in qualifying pair events.


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:

PDF Judges Singles & Pairs Training Manual
         Figure Skating Pair Events
         Strategies for Pair Tests
PDF Single/Pair Elements Levels of Difficulty
PDF Pairs Free Skating
         Pair Test Requirements
         Pairs Competition Requirements
         Pair Test Level    
Pairs Events
         Pair Death Spirals
         Pair Lifts
         Pair Throws
         Pair Step Sequences

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