Scorum's first Figure Skating Primer Guide. This is Part One in a multi-part series. Today we look at The Basics: Components, Skating Moves, and Terminology

~~Welcome to Part One~~

I’m excited to have you here for Part One, in a multi-part series, where we will cover the many elements of figure skating in some detail. Whether you’re a new fan or a long time follower of the sport, I hope you will continue to join me along the way.

As someone who follows sports like soccer and basketball, you may find it strange I also follow figure skating and other Olympic games. I’ve always had fascination for more obscure niche sports. Figure skating stands out to me in its contrast to more aggressive sports. It’s figure skating’s delicacy, art and attention to fine detail that makes it so unique to me. But within figure skating's delicacy is great athleticism and strength. Figure skating has it all: thrills, spills, perfection and crashes. The sport has its stars, its villains and all the narrative you could want. And I hope this Scorum series helps you learn more about the incredibly interesting sport of figure skating.

Figure Skating Components

Disciplines: are the individual events skaters compete within. They include: singles, pairs, and ice dance. The rules for these, and the individual performance restrictions, vary from discipline to discipline.

Photo Source: Me

Skates: are made up of two main parts--the boot and the blade. The boot is the shoe portion that fits the foot. The blade, differing from a hockey blade, includes two edges and a toe pick (large jagged teeth at the top of the blade).

Edges: there are two edges to the blade, outside and inside. The edges determine how the skater will jump during edge jumps and how the skater will land for all jumps, as well as how spin move will be executed.

Photo Source: Wiki

Figure Skating Moves

Aljona Savchenko & Bruno Massot (CAN) | Photo Source

Elements and moves: are the components of figure skating that are judged and awarded points. They include: jumps, spins, lifts, steps and turns.

Jumps: are when the skater launches (jumps) his/herself off the ice. Primarily there are two types of jumps: edge jumps and pick jumps. Edge jumps are when the skater jumps off one foot using only the edge of the blade to lift off the ice. Pick jumps, also called toe jumps, are when the skater uses the toe pick of his/her free leg to launch off the ice.

Spins: are an important element to figure skating. There are three basic spins: upright, sit, and camel. Upright Spins involve the skater standing up and down while spinning. Sitting Spins involve bending the knees into a sitting position while spinning. Camel Spins involve the skater using his/her free foot to add variety to the spin by contorting it into multiple positions.

Lifts: are elements to pair skating, and they include when the male skater lifts the female into the air while spinning and or throwing her.

Steps and turns: are another part of pair skating. They involve choreographed movement sequences that involve the pair turning, stepping, spinning and changing edges. They are a major component of the ice dance discipline.

Common Figure Skating Terminology

Adam Rippon (USA) in Front of Judges | Photo Source

Grade of execution (GOE): each skating move has a base point value when executed. Added to that value, is the GOE, which is how well the figure skater performed a particular move. That score is then added onto the base score, giving the figure skater the final points for a move. Example: Double Lutz is worth 1.9 points. Skater earns a GOE of 2.3 points. Total score for move: 4.2 points

Free Skate: is a figure skating competition that does not include required elements, so the skater may choose his/her own music and move sequences. It is often seen as being more personable and artistic.

Interpretation: within figure skating means how the individual skater creatively translates the music and elements into his/her program. It’s how they express his/herself through the sport within the aspects given to the skater.

Quad: a skating jump that involves that skater spinning four times.

Twizzle: a twisting or spinning movement done on one skate.


Okay class, we will stop here for today. Your homework, provided by on Youtube, is to enjoy watching: Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (GER) win Gold Medal at PyeongChang 2018