Figure skating will never be the same. The International Skating Union (ISU) has approved a rule change to limit the repetitions of quad jumps in free skates.
This decision, along with other technical rule changes, was taken at the ISU Congress in Seville.
The Federation is hoping this will achieve a better balance between the artistic and athletic sides of the sport and increase the skater’s variety during routines.
“I was at the World Championships in Milan. I appreciate the decision making in Seville very much”, said Jan Dijkema, who was re-elected as ISU president for another four-year term.
However, another controversial proposal on raising the minimum age for senior level competitions from 15 to 17 was booted from the agenda.
Who Will it Favour?
The imposed regulation on quad jumps in free skates will come into effect at the 2019 World Championships in Saitama, Japan.
Proposal 261 was voted on as part of a package with other technical suggestions. It allotted a single vote in favour or against every change. It stated:
“Of all triple and quad jumps, only two can be executed twice. Of the two possibilities for a repetition, a maximum of one quad jump can be repeated.”
The new rule polarises opinion in the skating world.
Who will this change most likely affect?
It could benefit skaters who have only one quad in their programme. They can still repeat the quad.
Nathan Chen is in a less comfortable position. The American completed six quads on his way to become world champion in March. The newly imposed limitations could hurt him whereas his great rival, two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, would not have to change his layout.
No Age Limit
The proposal to increase the number of pairs qualifying for the free skate at World Championships was approved as well. In the future there will be 20 pairs competing in the free skate instead of 16.
Certain moves in pairs skating and ice dance competitions which were previously banned, have also been legalised.
But what happened to the controversial proposal on changing the minimum age for senior level competitions?
According to ISU rules a four-fifth majority is needed to keep a proposal on the agenda.
There were only 63 votes for retaining it on the agenda, 39 against and 16 abstentions.
The age limit topic is likely to be revisited in the near future. It is expected to come before the 2020 ISU Congress as a regular agenda item.
“There was an urgent proposal that was not accepted. I would like to have a debate in this respect. This is not an easy item”, said Dijkema.
Dutch officials had asked the ISU to raise the minimum eligibility age.