Figure-skating competitions are held on a rink about 60 metres long and 30 metres wide. The rink has gently curved corners and is bounded by a fence about 1.2 metres high.
Discussion on Figure-skatings
Figure skates have a unique blade that allows competitors to carry out the difficult moves essential in figure skating. The blade is 3 millimetres thick and about 30 centimetres long. The blade has an inside and an outside rim. Skaters glide on one edge at a time. The base of the blade is, to some extent, curved inward. This curve permits only a little part of the blade to tap the ice at one time, enabling a skater to manoeuvre more easily. The face of the blade has a number of teeth called toe picks or toe rakes. Skaters use the toe picks to crunch into the ice when performing certain jumps and spins. The boots of figure skates have a high top.
Figure-skaters wear attires that are comfortable and eye-catching and that allow freedom of movement. Women in general wear a simple dress or leotard with a short skirt and tights. The men usually wear close-fitting, high-waisted trousers with a matching shirt.
Figure-skaters may take part in four categories of competitions
Men and women compete separately in singles skating, but they follow similar rules. In individual competitions a single skater performs requisite essentials and is judged on how modestly and creatively the motions are executed.
In pair skating and ice dancing, teams consisting of a man and a woman try to win against one another. Pair skating consists of two skaters performing together. In ice dancing partners carry out the artistic motions of dance on skates.
Precision skating involves groups of 12 to about 24 skaters each that compete as teams. The teams try to carry out as a single unit rather than as soloists.
Figure-skaters compete at various levels, depending on their expertise and talent. Skaters must get ahead of proficiency tests to move forward to an advanced level. The highest is the senior level.
Judges score all events on a magnitude of 0 to 6 marks, with 6 being the highest score. They carry the skaters' scores to one decimal place, as in a score of 3.7 marks.