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Single skating

Single skating

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Single skating is a discipline of figure skating
Figure skating
Figure skating is an Olympic sport in which individuals, pairs, or groups perform spins, jumps, footwork and other intricate and challenging moves on ice skates. Figure skaters compete at various levels from beginner up to the Olympic level , and at local, national, and international competitions...

, wherein a single person skates alone. Men's singles and ladies' singles are both Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 disciplines and are both governed by the International Skating Union
International Skating Union
The International Skating Union is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands in 1892, making it one of the oldest international...

. The other Olympic figure skating events are pair skating
Pair skating
Pair skating is a figure skating discipline. International Skating Union regulations describe pair teams as consisting of "one lady and one man." The sport is distinguished from ice dancing and single skating by elements unique to pair skating, including overhead lifts, twist lifts, death spirals,...

 and ice dancing
Ice dancing
Ice dancing is a form of figure skating which draws from the world of ballroom dancing. It was first competed at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, but did not become a Winter Olympic Games medal sport until 1976....

. Single skaters perform jumps, spins
Figure skating spins
Spins are an element in figure skating where the skater rotates, centered on a single point on the ice, while holding one or more body positions. The skater rotates on the part of the blade just behind the toe pick, with the weight on the ball of the foot...

, footwork, spirals, and other moves in the field
Moves in the field
Moves in the Field is a name given to elements of figure skating that emphasize basic skating skills and edge control. In the context of a competitive program, moves in the field include spirals, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, hydroblading, and similar extended edge moves.In the United States, moves...

 as part of their competition programs.

Competitions



Single skating competitions consist of a short program and free skating
Free skating
The free skating competition of figure skating, sometimes called the "free skate" or "long program", is usually the second of two phases in major figure skating competitions in single skating and pair skating. It is the longer of the two programs, the other one being the Short Program...

 (often called the "long program"), usually performed within a day or two of each other. At some large competitions, including the World Figure Skating Championships
World Figure Skating Championships
The World Figure Skating Championships is an annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union in which elite figure skaters compete for the title of World Champion...

 and European Figure Skating Championships
European Figure Skating Championships
The European Figure Skating Championships is an annual figure skating competition in which figure skaters compete for the title of European Champion...

, there is a cut after the short program and a skater must perform well enough in the short program to advance to the free skating portion of the competition. Skaters are separated into warm-up groups, and generally there is a draw to decide the skating order. For the long program, the warm-up groups are organized according to a skater's placement after the short program, making skating in the "final group" (or the top six skaters after the short program) a goal of many competitors.

Short program


Short programs at the senior and junior levels are two minutes and fifty seconds long. Skaters are penalized if they skate over that time limit.

Skaters must perform certain required elements as part of the program. These elements have varied over the years. The short program is the more exacting of the programs because all the required elements must be completed.

Free skating


International Skating Union
International Skating Union
The International Skating Union is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands in 1892, making it one of the oldest international...

 (ISU) regulations state:
Free skating
Free skating
The free skating competition of figure skating, sometimes called the "free skate" or "long program", is usually the second of two phases in major figure skating competitions in single skating and pair skating. It is the longer of the two programs, the other one being the Short Program...

 consists of a well balanced program of free skating elements, such as jumps, spins, steps and other linking movements executed with a minimum of two footed skating in harmony with music of the competitor's choice, except that music with lyrics is not permitted.


The free skating
Free skating
The free skating competition of figure skating, sometimes called the "free skate" or "long program", is usually the second of two phases in major figure skating competitions in single skating and pair skating. It is the longer of the two programs, the other one being the Short Program...

 programs are 4 minutes for men, 4 minutes for ladies. Skaters are allowed a time margin of +/- 10 seconds, and are penalized for going outside that range.

Judging


Figure skaters competing in an ISU-sanctioned event are judged under the ISU Judging System
ISU Judging System
The ISU Judging System , is the scoring system on the event and on the level of competition. At the senior international level, single and pairs short programs contain eight technical elements. The actual eight elements are detailed for single skaters in ISU rule 310...

.

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