SHOWDOWN ON THE ICE.Byline: - Rich Hammond Rich Hammond
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More than 160 athletes from across the country are competing in the eight-day U.S. Figure Skating U.S. Figure Skating (USFS), officially called the United States Figure Skating Association or USFSA, is the national sport governing body for figure skating in the United States. Championships. Staples Center This article
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The competition is divided into championship, junior and novice categories for each gender, and each skater must complete a short program and a long program. The categories somewhat mirror minor-league baseball, as newcomers tend to start out at novice and work their way up to the higher levels as they gain more experience.
Skaters are judged both on their required elements (technical merit) and the presentation of their program. A skater must not only execute all the requirements, but also put on a good show for the judges at the same time. Choice of music, and the preparation of a program suited for that choice, is particularly important.
The short program lasts two minutes, 40 seconds, and counts for one-third of the total score, while the long program lasts a maximum of four minutes, 30 seconds and counts for two-thirds of the total score.
There are strict requirements for each program. In the short program, the men must complete seven requirements (jumps, spins and step sequences) while the women must complete eight requirements.
In the long program, there are no strict requirements as to particular jumps a skater must complete, and skaters are judged on the difficulty of the performance.
The types of jumps are known as axel, toe loop toe loop
A jump in figure skating in which the skater, moving backwards, takes off from the back outer edge of one skate, makes a full spin in the air, and lands on the back outer edge of the same skate. , flip, lutz, loop and salchow sal·chow
A move in figure skating in which the skater jumps from one skate, completes a full rotation, and lands on the other skate.
[After Ulrich Salchow (1877-1949), Swedish figure skater.] , and the skaters can receive a maximum of 6.0 points per program from the judges. See the diagram below for more information.
While in the air, skaters spin up to four times, land on one foot and glide backward to continue their program. A stumble or fall results in a deduction.
Failure to properly execute a requirement results in a point deduction from 0.1 to 0.5 points per judge, depending on the seriousness of the violation. Complete omission of a requirement is a more serious violation than a failed attempt at the required move.
The presentation marks make the judging very subjective at times. Judges watching the same program often come away with different impressions.
Besides the more popular singles competition, skaters also participate in pairs and ice dancing ice dancing, ice-skating competition in which couples are required to perform dance routines to music. The sport gained popularity in the 1930s and the first world championships were held in 1950. , with one man and one woman on the ice. Pairs must work in unison on jumps and lifts, while ice dancing is derived from ballroom dancing.
The top three finishers in each championship category are all but guaranteed spots on the U.S. Winter Olympic team, unless they are under 15 years old or a committee decides to instead select an injured skater. That is unlikely to happen this year.
drawing, 4 boxes
(color) The five-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan Michelle Wing Kwan (關穎珊) (born 7 July 1980) is an American figure skater and media celebrity who has won nine U.S. championships, five world championships, and two Olympic medals. looks to defend her title yet again.
Jon Gerung, Gregg Miller/Staff Artists
(1) SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
(2) GUIDE TO FIGURE SKATING figure skating
Sport in which ice skaters, singly or in pairs, perform various jumps, spins, and footwork. The figure skate blade has a special serrated toe pick, or toe rake, at the front. JUMPS
(4) THE RINK
Sources: Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
Associated Press (AP)
Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world. ; Knight Ridder Tribune; ``Sports: the Complete Visual Reference'' by Francois Fortin