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Figure Skating - The Ins And Outs Of The Sport

Figure skating is a technically demanding and graceful sport. A pleasure to watch as the skaters glide over the surface of ice.

But do you really understand what it is all about?

What makes one jump tougher to do than another?

How do the Judges award the scores?

With the popularity of figure skating growing, especially during the Olympic games we thought we should help you to understand what it is all about.

Here is an amazing fact. Figure skaters will beat every hockey player in a flat out race. They even beat them skating backwards.

If you ever attend a professional hockey game and sit near the ice you will find the above statement hard to believe. But it's true. Figure skating is fast.

The reason for this is the hockey player is trained to use his power to accelerate in a quick burst of speed and to dart from side to side instantly. The figure skater is trained to glide with longer strides with less of the quick turns. They train to jump.

Figure skaters got their name from the compulsory figures they had to do in competition prior to 1990 when it was finally dropped. The skaters were required to perform figures tracing a pattern on the ice such as a figure eight. Not only that but they had to do it on the inside or the outside of the blade.

Once completed the judges would literally get down on the ice to check the tracing to see how close they came to perfection. Since figure skating is not an exact science, everything must be considered.

Points were awarded or lost if the figure went too far or there were additional tracings caused by wobbling or putting the other foot down. Skaters and audiences were no doubt extremely happy to hear they were eliminated.

The School figures competition was a part of the figure skating because the judges were able to better judge the technical perfection than the current methods do.

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