Synchronized skating, a large and fast-growing discipline, consists of 8-20 athletes skating on ice at one time moving as one flowing unit at high speeds. A sportsperson ( British and American English) or athlete (principally American English is any person who participates regularly in a Sport. Ice skating is Traveling on Ice with skates, narrow (and sometimes parabolic) blade-like devices moulded into special Boots A study This discipline of figure skating was originally called precision skating in North America because of the emphasis on maintaining precise formations and timing of the group. Figure skating is an athletic Sport in which individuals pairs or groups perform spins, jumps, footwork and other intricate and challenging
For a synchronized team to flow in unison, individual skaters must be competent at a variety of skating skills, including speed, footwork and ice presence. The team performs a program set to music, with required formations including circles, lines, blocks, wheels, and intersections. Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. The teams are required to perform difficult step sequences involving a number of complicated turns such as twizzles, counters and rockers and simpler turns like choctaws. A twizzle is a multirotational one-foot turn in Figure skating. A choctaw turn is a turn in Figure skating that involves both a change of foot and a change of edge and lobe In Junior and Senior divisions, teams are required to perform two different routines; a short program and a free skating program. is the title of a series of unrelated short Manga collections by Mitsuru Adachi. The Free Skating of Figure skating, sometimes called the "free skate" or "long program" is usually the second of two phases in major Figure skating Generally, the short program is more technical in nature, where the free skating has a longer time limit giving more opportunity to showcase expression, emotion and interpretation. Teams in the senior division are also permitted to perform lifts in the free skating involving 2 or more people that can be extended overhead to full arm height in a variety of positions.
A synchronized routine may consist of straight line sequences, wheels, circle step sequences, or also moves in isolation. Moves in isolation are when one or more skaters separates from the rest of the group and performs freestyle type moves. This may mean three skaters separating and doing for example, a sit spin, while the rest of the group do something such as a circle step sequence. The three skaters will then join the group again and carry on the routine. Junior and Senior programs also include moves in the fields where the whole team does moves such as spirals, spread eagles or ina bauers connected.
There are international synchronized skating competitions at the novice, junior, and senior levels (with senior being the most elite). The International Skating Union held the first official World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000 in Minneapolis, MN, USA, in which the strongest senior teams from across the globe gather to determine which is the world's best. The International Skating Union (ISU is the international governing body for competitive Ice skating disciplines including Figure skating, Synchronized The World Synchronized Skating Championships is an annual event organized by the International Skating Union and attracts the most elite Synchronized skating teams Although in 1996 the first "World Challenge Cup" was held in Boston, MA, USA, it was unofficially the first competition to crown the world champion of synchronized skating (Team Surprise of Sweden). The top junior teams from around the world compete against one another in the World Challenge Cup for Juniors, held in a different location every year. Recently the top novice teams in the world have had an opportunity to compete against one another with the Leon Lurje Trophy which was held for the first time in the 2006-2007 season.
In the United States and Canada, there are several other recognized age and skill levels which are Beginner, Pre-Juvenile, Preliminary, Open Juvenile, Open Junior, Open Collegiate, and Open Adult in the non-qualifying devisions, or the devisions that cannot go to nationals, and Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, Senior, Collegiate, Adult, and Masters in the qualifying levels. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page These are the divisions for USFS, or United States Figure Skating.
ISI (Ice Skating Institute) is another division that focuses on a more recreational form of competition. Teams can compete in the Tot, Youth, Jr. Youth, Teen, or Adult divisions as either synchro or formation teams, formation being the easier of the two since skaters are not allowed to pick up their feet while going backwards.
While most skaters participating in "synchro" are female, the rules allow mixed-gender teams.
The first synchronized skating team was formed by Dr. Richard Porter, who became known as the 'father of synchronized skating'. The 'Hockettes' skated out of Ann Arbor, Michigan and entertained spectators during the intermissions of the University of Michigan Men’s Hockey Team. Ann Arbor is a city in the US state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. In the early days, precision skating (as it was then called) resembled a drill team routine, or a precision dance company such as The Rockettes. A drill team is a marching unit that performs military style maneuvers in Parades at Air shows football half-time shows and other public venues The Rockettes are a well-known precision dance company out of the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City.
During the 1970’s, the interest for this new sport spawned tremendous growth and development. As each season passed, more and more teams were developing more creative and innovative routines incorporating stronger basic skating skills, new maneuvers and more sophisticated transitions with greater speed, style and agility. Due to the enormous interest in the sport in North America, the first official international competition was held between Canadian and American teams in Michigan in March of 1976. With the internationalization of the sport, it has evolved rapidly, with increasing emphasis on speed and skating skills, and "highlight" elements such as jumps, spins, and lifts that originally were not permitted in competition.
At the senior level, the best teams in the world as of the 2008 World Championships are Rockettes of Finland, Team Surprise of Sweden, Nexxice of Canada and Marigold Ice Unity of Finland. NEXXICE is a Synchronized skating team from Canada. They are the 2007 and 2008 Canadian national champions. Marigold IceUnity is a Synchronized skating team from Finland. Other top teams include , Miami University Synchronized Skating Team of the United States , Les Supremes of Canada and the United States' Haydenettes. The Miami University Synchronized Skating Team is a senior-level Synchronized skating team from the United States. The Haydenettes are an American senior-level Synchronized skating team
Although not currently an Olympic sport, fans and participants of this fast-growing discipline have begun to strive for recognition by the rest of the skating and athletic world. The Olympic sports comprise all the Sports contested in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. In 2007 synchronized skating took one step closer to Olympic contention when it was selected to be part of the Universiade or World University Games as a demonstration sport. The Olympic Games is an international Multi-sport event established for both summer and winter games The Universiade is an International Multi-sport event, organized for University athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU The Universiade is an International Multi-sport event, organized for University athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU Countries from around the world competed in Torino, Italy with Sweden, Finland, and Russia coming out on top. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest
Synchronized skating has been covered by Skating magazine since the sport's inception, is a varsity sport at several colleges such as Miami University (and many more are developing club-level collegiate teams without varsity status), and has already been reviewed for Olympic eligibility. Miami University (colloquially and incorrectly referred to as Miami of Ohio for clarification purposes is a Coeducational Public university founded in 1809 Miami University has been a trailblazer in collegiate synchronized skating, fielding the first completely funded varsity synchronized skating program in the United States, as well as their coach Vicki Korn working towards gaining "synchro" NCAA status in the United States. The National Collegiate Athletic Association ( NCAA, often pronounced "N-C-Double-A" is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions conferences organizations
Synchronized skating competitions, like those in other disciplines of figure skating, are now judged using the ISU Judging System that was introduced in 2004. The ISU Judging System (also called Code of Points (CoP or the New Judging System (NJS) is the scoring system currently used to judge the Figure skating Each element is assigned a difficulty level, and that level of difficulty corresponds to a base value. Judges assign a grade of execution from -3 to +3, with 0 being the base value. Each grade of execution, or GOE, corresponds to a point value. For each element, the highest and lowest point values are dropped, and the rest are averaged. The sum of all the scores of the elements comprises the Technical Elements score.
A series of five categories comprises the Program Components score. Each judge gives a score for each category. The scores for each category are calculated in the same manner as the Technical Elements score.
The Technical Elements and Program Components scores are then added to form the total segment score. The team with the highest total segment wins the competition. For junior and senior teams with two programs, the scores of both programs are added together, with the highest score being the winner of the competition.
In the event of a tie, the team with the highest free program score will win the competition.
The highest score ever recorded at a synchronized skating event was won by Team Surprise of Sweden at the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships in London, Ontario, with a total segment score of 222. The World Synchronized Skating Championships is an annual event organized by the International Skating Union and attracts the most elite Synchronized skating teams 24 points.