What is Synchronized Skating?

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Anyone and everyone knows what figure skating is….but not everyone knows what synchronized skating is, so I’m going to try and explain it. In a way its similar to synchronized swimming….but on ice instead of in the water.

Instead of skating by your self or with a partner, imagine skating with 12-16, or 20-24 girls or guys. And the system is similar to that of the singles/pairs skating. There is competitive strand….which goes to worlds, and then there is non-competitive route..which only goes to Nationals.

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Haydenetts, 2008 US Synchronized Skating National Champions

The competitive strand, has 20 girls that skate at competitions, and allows for 4 alternate skaters, in-case one gets hurt or sick or something. The team, trains together, has a regular competitive season, just like the singles and pairs skaters. They practice and compete a short and a long program, with around 2:30 minutes for the short, and around 4:30 minutes for the long. The scoring system is exactly the same, but what they are marked on is different. In the competitive strand they are allowed to do some jumps, bust just a select few. They do footwork throughout the whole program, while attached in various ways to each other, different arm and hand holds, and they perform maneuvers like a circle, a line, wheels (pin wheel, four pin wheel, parallel wheel….), a block, an open block, lifts, moves in the field….and so forth. It is very interesting to watch, because even though these teams are doing the similar things, they all have a different take on them…..so no two are the same.

Here is the Haydenetts short program from this year….they are currently the US Synchronized Figure Skating Champions.

In the other strand of the synchronized skating, is the non-competitive. They only differ slightly by the number of skaters, 16 allowed to compete, the moves that they are allowed to perform, no lifts or jumps, and then they only compete one program instead of two, and the music lengths vary according to the level of the skaters.

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