New MITF Elements

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*Comments by Coaches & Judges

Introduction

by: Robert Ouellette, Kevin Rosenstein, Wayne Hundley, and Dawn Eyerly, February 1, 2010

       New and revised MITF have the same general criteria listed in TR 22.03, 22.04, and 22.05 regardless of the listed focus. The degree to which these criteria are met will vary and will depend on the test level. This document is designed to initiate discussion of standards for MITF elements. Specific requirements as listed in the Test book prevail. Bullet points for each element listed in the PSA MITF Manual are generally accepted as goals for tests.
 
       The original four focus points were power, edge quality, extension, and quickness. Subsequently continuous flow was added for Adult MITF tests and now this focus is a criteria for many of the new and revised MITF.  Continuous flow describes 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 travels and it is sometimes best recognized as the skater starts to slow.

       Turn Execution is a new focus. Turn execution is the proper skill and technique of how the turn is performed. The correct entry and exit edges should be adequate for its identification.

       It should be noted that the number of elements with power as a focus has decreased.

       The standards for these new elements of MITF tests will be effective September 2, 2010.  It is important to avoid a low initial standard based on the idea that the elements are new, are considered difficult, or that the coaches don’t yet know how to teach loops and twizzles.

       If a low expectation is our initial mind set then that level of skating is exactly what will result and it will be difficult to change over time the performance level for a passing average standard. Expect performances commensurate with the test level which is consistent with the other elements of the test and the skaters will rise to the standard. In addition, the coaches will then teach to that standard. The PSA has had numerous seminars over the country to help coaches learn how to teach these new elements.

       The new MITF elements should meet the same standard as for the other elements at each level. As in other elements of MITF, bilateral ability is the goal for elements with twizzles and loops. Of course, this quality is seen in varying degrees on three turns, brackets, rockers, and counters. Judgment of sufficiency of bilateral ability should be similar for the new MITF.

       Substantially lower quality in one “direction” than for the direction involving rotation based on the dominant hand should not be given a passing average mark. Equality of ability in both directions should be reflected in an above average mark.

       Some elements require starting from a stationary position. Introductory steps are allowed for other elements. No more than 7 introductory steps are ever allowed. Note that the introduction to the Junior straight line sequence is only two strokes. A penalty of 0.1 points is mandatory for an excess number of introductory steps on every element where it occurs.

       Elements for all new MITF should be done in general accordance with the diagrams. The diagrams are guidelines but they present a layout that is most likely to result in a successful completion of the element.
Pre-Preliminary Test

       This test has no changes. The Pre-Preliminary test is still an “encouragement test” and the passing percentage nationally is about 95%. Generally there is a range of skills demonstrated. However, some skaters have not had enough quality instruction by coaches who “put out” skaters before they are prepared for their test.

       If these below-quality tests are passed, the test sheets should have substantial and detailed comments that indicate the skills that will need to be improved to continue in the test structure. Otherwise, the same quality issues will occur in subsequent tests.

Pattern 1 has crossovers as its basis. You should see crossovers in a least the dominant direction with an extended push off from the skating edge. You should not see “stepovers” or a wide step forward with the toe of the new skating foot pointed out of the developing arc.

       There should be an attempt to gain some power on the second stroke of each crossover as indicated by some push under off an edge. Otherwise, the skater is essentially pushing off only one foot. The second stroke should be more than just a toe push.

       Judges should assess how prepared the skater is for the expected higher quality crossovers of the
Preliminary Test. Note: that the pattern requires crossovers around both ends of the rink. If only one end is completed then the correct steps have not been done which is a serious error. A reskate is required to pass the test.

Pattern 2 introduces edges on a small half circle. Skaters are required to hold an edge for a longer time over a much larger circle and significant body control is needed for the circle eight of the Preliminary Test. Skaters who do not understand the concept of an edge, the required rotation of the body and arms over the arc, and who demonstrate little control of the free leg are going to have a difficult time preparing for the next test.

       All edges must start from a standing position. Thus a forward stroke followed by a turn to enter the back edges is incorrect and is grounds for a reskate or a retry.

Pattern 4 can be done at any site on the ice that the skater selects. The Judge in Charge should not require a specific point on the ice. The skater can mark the center or select a location with painted marks or any random mark on the surface of the ice. Most skaters start from a standing position, but there is no rule against introductory strokes.

       As an “encouragement test”, the standards for this test should not change with the introduction of new and revised elements but the above considerations place the elements of this test in perspective of what eventually the skater must learn to do correctly. Passing some tests without comments will not help to further the skills of the skater. Tests without any demonstrations of the above should not pass.

       The rules for serious errors apply to the Pre-Preliminary test. Only one element can be reskated for a serious error such as a touchdown or fall. Touchdowns in two different elements such as on pattern 2 as well as on pattern 4 requires that the test be marked retry.

       However, multiple touchdowns within a single pattern can be reskated - in part or in whole depending on the element. For example the back inside edges can be reskated no matter how many touchdowns occurred in that element.
 
      The comments below have been listed side by side
            to facilitate comparison for each test level.


New MITF & Revised Test Standards/
Expectations & Common Errors


Written by: Dorothi Cassini, Janet Champion, Byron Darden, Brandon Forsyth, Christine Fowler-Binder, Doug Haw, Wayne Hundley, Kelley Morris-Adair, Chip Rossbach, Carol Rossignol, Kris Shakarjian, Becky Stump, Cynthia Van Valkenburg ~ May 18, 2009
New and Revised
Moves in the Field Test Standards



 

Written by: Robert Ouellette, Kevin Rosenstein,
Wayne Hundley, and Dawn Eyerly

Version 2 : February 1, 2010
Preliminary Test

Forward and Backward Crossovers:
Focus - Power
This new move combines the forward & backward crossovers into one move.
Focus – Edge quality /Continuous Flow

Forward Outside /Inside Eight
Test Standards/ Expectations
• No introductory steps,
• Round circles, similar in size
• Body control during position changes
• Sense of organization in technical repetition
• Proper use of blade during push off
• Forward pushes perpendicular to long axis

Common Errors
• Toe pushing
• Wide stepping pushes
• Not stepping on axis
• Lack of awareness of short and long axis (concept of a center)
• Unequal circle size
• Sub curves

Alternating Backward Crossovers to Backward Outside Edges
• The new move eliminates the second side of the pattern

Preliminary Test

Forward and Backward Crossovers
Focus - Power
This new move combines the forward & backward crossovers into one move. This element uses no new criteria. The quality of the transition from front to back is not a primary issue on this test but a well controlled Mohawk at the center should be noted.

Given the combination of forward and backward crossovers there will be less time to write comments on this element for both forward directions as well as for backward directions.

The quality of forward crossovers should have improved from the Pre-Preliminary Test. If comments are not made on the test sheet about the stepovers that are done rather than crossovers, then skaters will not develop correct skating skills in the forward direction.

Forward Outside /Inside Eight
Focus – Edge quality /Continuous Flow
For judges who have judged figure tests in the past, this element should not be evaluated by those test standards. Flats cannot be seen; there is no multiple repeat of tracings to form a print; the center will not be as well defined.

The continuous flow focus will be demonstrated by edges implied only from the lean of the skater. Body control throughout is expected - the rotation and control of arms and free leg should be noted as a strength. At this level, toe pushes should not be used to start the element. The transition from outside to inside did not occur in figure tests. This a feature is not an important aspect of this element.

However the control of the body (minimal lunge) with weight transfer between feet is a positive feature for a skater with developing abilities. Expect reasonably shaped circles approximately two-three times the height of the skater.

On ice with many marks from multiple tests it may be difficult to determine the center both on the part of the judge and the skater. There is no specific limit to how close the skater must return to center but a square about three times the length of a skate blade may be reasonable. Mark up a test with good centers. Take into account the focus of the test, which is edge quality and continuous flow to balance your remarks about the center.

Skaters might not have sufficient flow to return to center. After stopping on the circle, toe pushes to return to center are touch downs and the element should not pass without a reskate. In such cases the loss of edge and wobbles on the circle will be evident as well. Note that if the skater comes to a stop and strokes at that point before the center or does a wide step to reach center, the issue is one of quality that can be reflected in the mark but does not necessarily require a reskate.

Alternating Backward Crossovers to Backward Outside Edges
This move only eliminates the second side of the original pattern. The same criteria is used as in the past.
Pre-Juvenile Test

Forward & Backward Perimeter Power Crossover Stroking
Forward Focus – Power /Extension
Backward Focus – Power / Edge Quality
• The new move combines the forward & backward perimeter crossovers

Backward Outside/Inside Eight:
Focus – Edge Quality
Test Standards/Expectations
• No introductory steps
• Round circles, similar in size
• Sense of organization in technical repetition
• Proper use of blade during push off
• Backward step downs perpendicular to long axis

Common Errors
• Wide stepping pushes
• Not stepping on axis
• Lack of awareness of short and long axis (concept of a center)
• Unequal circle size
• Sub curves
• Lack of control
• Two footing after push off

Five Step Mohawk Sequence
• The new moves eliminates the second side of the pattern



Pre-Juvenile Test

Forward & Backward Perimeter Power Crossover Stroking
Forward Focus – Power /Extension
Backward Focus – Power / Edge Quality
The new move combines the forward & backward perimeter crossovers.

In addition to the stated focuses, general adherence to the pattern is still important. A smooth transition around a curved end pattern can only be established if the lobes are set up properly down the side of the ice.

There is a set up point near the top of the hockey circle that is ideal and allows for the development of the end pattern. Going past this point results in the skater pulling up short and then going around the end on a straight line. Proper placement is shown in the PSA videos for the original elements.

The first end pattern should have an even cadence except for a two count LFO open stroke before the mohawk. One or two backward crossover follow by a set up the second side of the element. The second end run should be completed to the long axis barrier. Not finishing the 3-5 crossovers around the end run is a serious error.

Backward Outside/Inside Eight
Focus – Edge Quality
This basic element may be very difficult for the skater, especially if the skater has not mastered a correct strong thrusting technique on the back edges of the pre-preliminary test.

The circle size might be smaller than for the forward eight. However, the skater should be able to control shoulder rotation by using arms and free leg to avoid an uncontrolled curl back to center. The test standard is round circles of similar size – not of an identical size as was required in figure tests.

Long two foot transitions at the center must be avoided. Note that the transition from back outside to back inside onto the same circle did not occur in figure tests . A variety of techniques might be developed by coaches to develop the transition. After that point we should still expect circles.

In the figure era, skaters could skate circles, maintain flow, and return to a reasonable center. They formed a “print” of repeated tracings, the tracings had to have minimal flats, and the center had to be well defined. There should be no reason why the skaters cannot be expected to skate reasonably shaped circles about two to three times the
skaters height.

As in the case of the forward eight, the many marks on the ice from multiple tests may make it difficult to determine the center both on the part of the judge and the skater. There is no specific limit to how close the skater must return to center but a square three times the length of a skate blade may be reasonable. The center may not be as well defined for back circles as for forward circles.

Five Step Mohawk Sequence
This MITF only eliminates the second side of the pattern. The same criteria are used as in the past.
Juvenile Test

Forward Power Circles –
moved from Intermediate test

Backward Power Circles
– moved from Intermediate test

Eight Step Mohawk:
Focus-Power & Quickness
• The new move combines both directions into a figure 8 pattern with two sequences on each circle
Juvenile Test

Forward Power Circles (moved from Intermediate Test)
Backward Power Circles (moved from Intermediate Test)

The focus is still power for these two elements. The element must show progressively increasing foot speed and gradual accel- eration. An increase in the circumference of the developing circles is expected. There may be a difference in Juvenile power compared to Intermediate power but it may not be significant.

A reskate can be done for the entire element
or for one direction of the circle.

Eight Step Mohawk
Focus-Power & Quickness
The new move combines both directions into a figure 8 pattern with two sequences (each eight steps) on each circle. The focus is still power for this element as well as quickness. The expectation is still that every stroke has the same “count” of “one” and as a result there is a constant cadence in both circles. Two beats occur at the transition step.

Note that this element must be planned much better than for the original pattern. Three sequences of steps were formerly required and there was no defined point to complete and exit the element.

Now two sequences are required per circle and the skater must be near the center to start skating in the opposite direction. Thus the second set of strokes on the first circle should occur at or slightly before the long axis The edge of the 2-beat stroke at the transition is not defined.

The second circle might be larger due to the momentum gained, but ideally both circle should be of similar size. Credit should be given for a good pattern with a good transition between circles of similar size.
Intermediate Test

Spiral Sequence
Focus – Extension / Edge Quality
Test Standards/Expectations
• Edge control and flow in accordance with pattern
• Free leg must be hip level or higher during spirals
• Awareness of extension of all body lines
• Full ice coverage
Common Errors
• Loss of control on transitions
• Lack of control after Mohawk into BI spiral
• Poor extension
• Flats or forced edges
• Lack of sustained, extended position

Inside / Outside Twizzles:
Focus – Turn Execution / Continuous Flow
Test Standards/ Expectations
• Definition of a twizzle: A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations, which is quickly rotated with a continuous (uninterrupted) action.

The weight remains on the skating foot with the free leg in any position during the turn, and then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step.

A series of checked three- turns is not acceptable, as this does not constitute a continuous action. If the traveling action stops during the execution, the twizzle becomes a solo spin.
• Static skating leg/knee (either bent or straight) during twizzle
• Skated with continuous flow
• Strong core and body alignment

Common Errors
• Loss of upper body control
• Over rotation, lack of check on exit of twizzle
• Lack of flow
• Wide stepping/two stepping transitions
• Toe pushing on cross stroke
• Double 3 turn action
• Scraped or skidded turns
• One rotational direction stronger than the other
Intermediate Test

Spiral Sequence
Focus – Extension / Edge Quality
The focus is the same as for the spiral sequence of the former Novice MITF test. However, the pattern is a little different and the foot/edge components are different.

General conformity with the published pattern will help establish the proper edges on strong curves in the correct direction.

Note that the position of the start, the mohawk, and the transition from a BO spiral to a FI spiral are all depicted on the long axis. Significant deviations from this pattern will cause problems in skating this element.

Introductory steps are optional, but the maximum allowed is still seven. Flow through the spiral should be the result of good edges, not speed gained at the start from too many
strokes/steps. A reskate can be requested for the entire element or for one of the two directions.

Inside / Outside Twizzles
Focus – Turn Execution / Continuous Flow
As a new turn in the test structure, there could be wide differences in quality seen on tests.

However, an adherence to the requirement of a continuous action is strongly recommended so that the skaters rise to the standard as these new moves are introduced.

Giving passing marks to actions that are not twizzles (i.e. three turns) will not advance the skating skill of the skater or the sport overall. A single mark is given for skating four times across the ice on the short axis. Thus, comments must reflect the quality of not only right and left foot but outside and inside twizzles.

Although not listed as a focus, bilateral ability is desirable and accomplished skaters should be marked accordingly. Judgement of bilateral ability should be similar to those for turns in other MITF elements.

Substantially lower quality in one “direction” than for the direction involving rotation based on the dominant hand should not be given a passing average mark. Equality of ability in both directions should be reflected in an above average mark.

Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or any part of the element.

Philosophically it might be argued by some skaters and coaches that twizzles are not really that important in free skating. However, the MITF tests are important for several disciplines - dance and synchronized skating. Furthermore, twizzles can be used in step sequences and as transitions in a free skating program.

Twizzles are now considered as important to the
development of skaters as any other turns.
Novice Test

Inside 3 Turns / Rocker Choctaws:
Focus – Power / Quickness
Test Standards / Expectations
• Maintain or increase power throughout
• Correct carriage and good posture
• Both clockwise & counter clockwise of equal quality
• Neat footwork, quick turns
• Full ice coverage

Common Errors
• Toe pushing on 3 turns
• Scratchy 3 turns
• Breaking at waist
• Inconsistent rhythm
• Lack of foot speed, noisy, sloppy free legs on Rocker Choctaw sequence
• Unequal bilateral movement

Forward Outside / Inside loops:
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow

• Definition of loop: Tear dropped shaped turn formed within a circle, on the same edge throughout
• The loop should be placed at the top of the lobe
• Demonstrate bilateral symmetry
• Demonstrate controlled rhythmic action; knee, upper body & free leg
• Maintain continuous flow throughout
Common Errors
• Sub curves in/out of loops
• Lack of control
• Misshaped loops
• Inability to maintain flow
• Toe pushing
• Two footing
• Arms should take on the shape of the loop circle

Back Outside / Inside Twizzles:
Focus – Turn Execution / Continuous Flow

Test Standards/Expectations
• Definition of a twizzle: A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations, which is quickly rotated with a continuous (uninterrupted) action. The weight remains on the skating foot with the free leg in any position during the turn, and then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step.

A series of checked three-turns is not acceptable, as this does not constitute a continuous action. If the traveling action stops during the execution, the twizzle becomes a solo spin.
• Effortless execution of twizzles
• Maintain continuous flow throughout
• Consistent and stable free leg positions
• Full ice coverage
• Controlled, balanced transitions
• Maintain upper body control
• Demonstrate controlled extension on exit of twizzle
• Maintain axis and lobe size

Common Errors
• Double 3 turn action
• Outside twizzles: Twizzle not initiated on back outside edge
• Incomplete ice coverage
• Lack of control
• Shallow lobes
• Inability to maintain flow
• Loss of rhythm
Novice Test

Inside 3 Turns / Rocker Choctaws
Focus – Power / Quickness
General conformity with the published pattern will help the skater develop power off each turn. The transition to different feet as well as the transition from the inside 3-turns to the rocker/ choctaws are shown on a common axis.

This pattern can be established only with good controlled turn technique on all turns in both directions. Watch for rockers that are three turns and choctaws that do not occur with an outside exit edge. Note that closed choctaws are required. This element might be skated in about 25-30 seconds.

Thus, it is important for judges to recognize the quality or errors in each of the four half circles. Comments on test sheets must be specific. A reskate may be done for the entire element or for just the inside three turns or the rocker choctaws. However, it may be difficult for the skater to start at the point where the rocker choctaws occur and the skater may elect to do the entire element.

Note that the steps at the axis of the change for the inside three turns arcs, at the transition to the rocker choctaws, and at the change for the rocker choctaw arcs are defined.

Alternative steps do not conform to the prescribed pattern and constitute a serious error and the element must be reskated for the test to pass.

Forward Outside / Inside loops
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow
Although figure test quality loops are not expected, the general adherence to the shape of a loop coupled with continuous flow throughout the loop is expected.

This flow used to be called “loop action” which reflects the control of the body coupled with the tracing on the ice. The loops may be somewhat easier than figure test loops because a complete circle with a controlled return to center is not involved. This element involves only half circles.

The loops might not point on an axis perpendicular to the center due to unequal control entering and exiting the loop but this fact may not be easily seen from the side of the rink. However, the loop can still be accomplished. A well placed loop on axis should be recognized and marked accordingly as a nice refinement.

Significant errors in loops include ringlets (very small circles) as well as large balloon shapes in which the width of the loop is virtually the same as the length.

A more serious error occurs when a pointed loop is skated. This is the result of stopping loop action near the top of the loop rather than a continuous flowing motion. If the action stops on top of the loop and then the skater pulls around in a separate motion, a loop has not been skated.

Doing loops on the right and left foot requires a different rotational direction and thus there can be differences in the quality of the loops on each foot. Demonstration of bilateral ability is an issue for the judge to decide.

This element is different than other turns in the MITF test structure
but the expectation level should not be significantly different. Substantially lower quality in one “direction” than for the direction involving rotation based on the dominant hand should not be given a passing average mark. Equality of ability in both directions should be reflected in an above average mark.

On these forward loops, the introductory step is a swing roll and the diagram shows a quarter circle. Some judges may feel that it should be exactly a quarter circle. However, others are willing to accept a half circle. We probably should not get caught up with this issue.

It is just important that the skater does one edge into the beginning of the move.

Note that the free skate blades do not have a figure grind and the depth to which the blades cut into the ice may be considered a problem. However, at some schools, the demonstrators who had passed loops in the figure test structure could still do them!

Back Outside / Inside Twizzles
Focus – Turn Execution / Continuous Flow
The concept of a twizzle is not new at this point except for those skaters in the transition to the new MITF who passed the original Intermediate MITF. Forward twizzles were introduced in the Intermediate Test and skaters may have been practicing backward twizzles for foot work sequences.

The backward twizzles have two revolutions as compared to one and a half revolutions in the Intermediate Test. Note that a “two foot push” with a change edge is used to assist the outside twizzle action. The inside twizzles are set up by an inside edge followed by an inside Mohawk. Both of these features are part of the proper presentation of the element and are not optional. Not properly performing all steps in the diagram is a serious error requiring a reskate in order to pass the test.

The start of the twizzle element shows a half circle. As in the case of loops, the exact size of this circle is not a critical issue. An adherence to the requirement of a continuous action is strongly recommended so that the skaters rise to the standard. Giving passing marks to actions that are not twizzles will not advance the skating skill of the skater.

Novice skaters should master this turn and use it in other disciplines - that is why it has been introduced into the test structure. One mark is given for skating for both the backward outside and inside twizzles.

As indicated elsewhere, substantially lower quality in one “direction” than for the direction involving rotation based on the dominant hand should not be given a passing average mark. Equality of ability in both directions should be reflected in an above average mark.

Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or either the outside or inside twizzles.
Junior Test

Back Outside / Inside Loops:
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow

Test Standards/Expectations
• Definition of loop: Tear dropped shaped turn formed within a circle, on the same edge throughout
• The loop should be placed at the top of the lobe
• Demonstrate bilateral symmetry
• Demonstrate controlled rhythmic action; knee, upper body & free leg
• Maintain continuous flow throughout
• Maintain continuous axis
• All lobes are of similar size

Common Errors
• Skating move with too much speed
• Sub curves in/out of loops
• Lack of control
• Misshaped loops
• Inability to maintain flow
• Scratchy
• Diagonal step down at axis
• Change of edge not on continuous axis
• Loss of control on “transition push” after loop
• Inability to execute ankle, knee & hip flexion

Straight Line Step:
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow

Test Standards / Expectations
• Accomplished execution of all turns
• Control of upper body through toe steps & transitions
• Maintain consistent axis
• Mature maintenance of speed through rhythmic movement
• Strong use of knee and ankle
• Demonstration of an accomplished and undisturbed upper body

Common Errors
• Counters and rockers skated as three turns
• Unclear twizzle (looks like double 3)
• Inability to maintain rhythmic knee action
• Loss of flow
• Scraped turns
• Inability to maintain axis
• Incorrect turn placement
Junior Test

Forward and Backward Outside Rockers
Focus – Edge Quality / Power
This element has an important change. The two strokes after the forward rockers are now cross strokes. The former pattern had a cross in front, then feet together and a push to the back outside rocker. This is no longer acceptable.

The change of feet after all rockers is now a cross stroke. Note that the descriptors currently shown for the left foot turns has a mixture of XB and XS but all should be XS.

Back Outside / Inside Loops
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow
Although figure test quality loops are not expected, the general adherence to the shape of a loop coupled with the continuous flow throughout the loop is expected. In addition, there should be an even continuous flow on the strokes between the loop circles.

Note that inside/inside strokes are required on the backward outside loops. The size of these half circles should be comparable to the size to the loop circles.

Cross strokes are required on the backward inside loops. Wide stepovers with lunges in which the body is not over the skate should not be tolerated nor should toe pushing. The half circles should be of comparable size to the loop circles and the change edge should be easily accomplished.

Properly done, both the backward outside and inside loops should be an integrated motion for the entire length of the rink. The loops should look like loops even at a distance. There must be a continuous flowing motion. If the action stops on top of the loop and then the skater pulls around in a separate motion, a loop has not been skated.

As already emphasized, doing loops on the right and left foot requires a different rotational direction and thus there can be differences in the quality of the loops on each foot. Demonstration of bilateral ability is an issue for the judge to decide. However, while the element is different than other turns in the MITF test structure, the expectation level should not be significantly different.

In addition, this is a Junior level test and the expected perform- ance should reflect that level! Substantially lower quality in one “direction” than for the direction involving rotation based on the dominant hand is a more serious concern and elements skated with such difference should not be given a passing average mark.

Equality of ability in both directions should be reflected in an above average mark.

Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or either the backward outside or inside loops.

Straight Line Step
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow
Before dissecting and commenting on the component turns of this element, consider whether it shows Junior quality skating. Are the edges and continuous flow a pleasure to watch or are there parts where the skater struggles to maintain the unity of the element?

There is a general axis that should be maintained without significant distortions. Without regular judging activity, the test pattern diagram should be reviewed prior to a test session.

Comments on the quality of specific turns should be identified. It is not acceptable to say “poor turns.” By contrast, “flow is not continuous” may be acceptable.

This move can be started on either foot and that foot should be noted on the test sheet to identify any problems that occur within the element. In addition this record will prevent a repeat of the foot just skated.

The first two strokes of the element as shown are introductory steps. No other steps are allowed. The diagram shows these steps skated straight down the rink which is fine. Skaters may take these intro- ductory steps more parallel to the short barrier so that they have more ice for the actual pattern. This is acceptable.

A skater with speed and deep edges and turns will make the pattern wider than shown which is a positive feature to be reflected in the mark for the element.

Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or for a start on the right or left foot.
Senior Test

Spirals Sequence
Focus – Extension & Edge Quality
• The new move changes the last lobe of the original pattern.

Following the triple three turn, a forward inside edge is skated, followed by an extended inside three turn. A forward cross- over is then skated into a forward outside spiral.

Test Standards/Expectations
• Mastery of edge control in accordance with pattern
• Sustained free leg position clearly above hip level
• Refined presentation, effortless flow with deep edges throughout

Common Errors
• Inability to maintain flow & extension throughout
• Incorrect pattern – incomplete ice coverage
• Spirals not sustained on clear, sure edges

Serpentine Step Sequence:
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow
Test Standards/Expectations
• Mastery of each singular element
• Clean execution of all turns
• Clean execution of all twizzles & choctaws
• Maintain serpentine pattern
• Refined performance & and strong body positions
• Lobes throughout skated on deep edges on tight lobes
• Full ice coverage
• Effortless execution & presentation

Common errors
• Inability to maintain flow and edge quality throughout
• Difficulty executing continuously flowing open & closed Mohawks
• Loss of upper body control
• Incorrect edges on turns and steps
• Twizzles becoming double 3 turns
• Inability to skate both directions of equal quality
Senior Test

Spiral Sequence
Focus – Extension & Edge Quality
This element is very similar to the original spiral sequence. However, there are no quick open mohawks. There is a FI edge after the continuous 3-turns rather than a FO edge that occurred before the quick open mohawks. The extension and edge quality must be at the Senior level.

General conformity with the published pattern will help establish the proper edges on strong curves in the correct direction Full ice coverage not only over the length of the rink but the width as well are ideals that should be achieved at this level. Strong perform- ance of this element provides the training for spiral sequences in free skate programs.

Introductory steps are optional, but the maximum allowed is still seven. Flow through the spiral should be the result of good edges, not speed gained at the start from too many strokes/steps. Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or for a start on the right or left foot.

Serpentine Step Sequence
Focus – Edge Quality / Continuous Flow

This element consists of two sequences covering the full ice surface, not only the length but the width as well. Some of the components resemble the previous Quick Step Sequence but the addition of twizzles and loops makes this element a true final exam for a Senior Skater.

Properly performed, the continuous flow should make this element enjoyable to watch. All of the turns should be of high quality. In the final analysis, this is the final element in the final MITF test and may result in a Gold medal – the highest recognition in this facet of the sport.

As in the case of other step sequences, without regular judging activity, the test pattern diagram should be studied prior to judging a Senior MITF test. Tests should not pass with incorrect steps that are not recognized by the judges.

Comments on the quality of specific turns should be identified as to whether there are problems in counters, rockers, etc., and where and on what foot. It is not acceptable to say “poor turns.” By contrast, “flow is not continuous” may be acceptable.

This move can be started in either direction and that direction should be noted on the test sheet to identify any problems within the element. In addition this record will prevent a repeat of the direction just skated.

Based on the rules, a reskate can be required for the entire element or for a start on the right or left foot.
*Information Source - materials from USFS MITF Judges Seminar at 2010 Governing Council.

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 New  Evaluation of Jumps
PDF  Chart of Changes to MITF  9/2/2010
USFS & PSA MITF Comments
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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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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