Newsflash – USARS 2012 Skating Rules Posted

Not that this will be of much interest to anyone who actually reads this blog, but the rulebook for the new skating season has been posted by USARS.  They have also posted an update to the Figure and Dance Requirements.

A few changes:
(1) Previously, the precision and show teams chosen for worlds happened at the previous year’s national championships (ie, the 2011 world teams competed at the 2010 nationals), but this past year there were insufficient number of teams, so starting in 2012 the world team will be chosen at that year’s nationals.  I think this is a good thing, as it is easier to keep a team together for the four months between regionals and nationals, as opposed to maintaining a team for 16 months as was previously required.
(2) Addition of the Juvenile C figure and circle loop events, to be skated at regionals only.  This event is intended to be an entry-level event for young new skaters.
(3) Skaters placing in the combined figure events at nationals (but not in the individual figure or loop events) do not have to move to the next higher division.  Personally I don’t think this is a good rule, but I am not in charge of such things…
(4) Primary level skaters who place (1-2-3) at the national championships must move to Juvenile A when they age out of the Primary division.
(5) The JrWC solo dance event will be split into males/females this season.  This is how the WC level is skated, so it seems fair to do it at the junior level as well.
(6) The B/C level freestyle requirements have been changed to read “combination/change spin.”  I believe this clarifies which spins are allowed in these lower divisions where the difficulty of the content is restricted.
(7) The Tango Delanco has been added to the list of JWC/WC dances.
(8) The sections detailing the CIPA deductions and requirements have been updated.  Essentially the point deduction for falls has been reduced, and the jump requirements in the JWC/WC events has been changed to be in line with the CIPA rules.
(9) A more detailed description of the footwork sequences required in free skating events.
(10) The flighting of dance event finals will be in reverse order that skaters skated in the eliminations.  This is a good rule, as previously skaters were flighted according to placement, which tended to keep the results rather stagnant.
(11) For dance events in which the repetitions are counted, a five point penalty will be given to teams that “interfere” with the team that started first.  The scoring of the interrupted team will not be affected, and they will be judged until they have completed the correct number of repetitions.  Hopefully this will yield some sort of consistency in how to deal with the problems during scoring.
(12) Warm-up regulations for circle loop events have been added.
(13)  For figure events (excepting the JWC/WC) there will NOT be a rotation of skaters if there are fewer than 5 in the event.  This is a good rule, as doing rotations with fewer than this number just slows down the event.  For 6-8 skaters they will use the “drop one” rule (ie, the second skater starts the second figure, etc.).  For 9 or more they will divide the event into groups based upon the number of figures to be skated and proceed that way.
A side note:  In rule AR8.02a a season is defined as Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, but in rule AR11.05.01 it is defined as Sept. 1 – Aug. 31.  Although this might not seem like such a big deal, it has led to something of a fiasco at the last two local meets, so it would be nice if the national office could come up with a definition and stick to it.
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