The importance of spins
written by Tim Grafton January 2008, updated August 2010
The IJS is designed for international level skaters, so it does not reward jumps very well at the lower levels (ie preliminary and elementary levels), for example a single axel has a base value of 1.1 (used to be 0.8), which makes sense at the international level because a single axel at that level would be a mistake (i.e., popped jump). A spiral sequence has a base value of 1.8, an ordinary upright change of foot spin with 3 rotations on each foot is worth 1.7.
To illustrate this point lets look at an example of an elementary level skaters program and add up the points for the jumps, spins and spiral sequence.
So in this example even though the skater landed a single axel the total points for the jumps did not match the total points for the spins even though the spins were only level 1. Also a quick look at the judges scores for recent elementary level divisions shows that most axel jumps are not award the full base value of 1.1 because they usually receive a minus GOE, in other words at this level they are not strong and often are not landed well or have cut backs (not fully rotated). In many cases they only receive about the same value as a single Lutz jump. So the moral is that in major competitions it is often not worth including an axel in a low level division unless the skater can land it strongly and consistently.
Now let's look at how that point spread would look if the skater received higher levels for some spins and the spiral sequence.
So now the spins are worth 6.2 and the jumps only 4.8.
Knowing this, how can we optimise coaching for lower level skaters to maximise competition point scores?, click here.
For more on spins click here.