Mastering the ice: The figure skating moves quiz

Olivia Seitz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a casual observer of the athletes on the ice, or do you know your skating terminology through and through? Test your knowledge of figure skating moves with this quiz!

Which of the following is a layback?

In a layback, the skater spins in place while leaning backward. The free leg is raised behind the skater and the toe should be turned out.

Which of the following is not a proper jump?

"Flutz" is skater slang for a lutz with an improper take-off. A skater who does a "flutz" instead of a "lutz" is taking off on the inside edge instead of the outside edge.

What is the correct takeoff for a loop jump, assuming the skater is right-handed?

A loop is executed entirely on the right foot from takeoff to landing. Skaters jump using the right outside edge, spin counter-clockwise in the air, and land on the right outside edge again.

Which of the following is a camel?

The camel is a basic spin in which skaters form a horizontal line with their torso and free leg. Most people think the name comes from when it is performed incorrectly and the skater's bottom is highest, creating a "camel hump."

What is it called when skaters pull their leg to their head during a camel spin?

This difficult variation on a camel spin is called a donut, so named from the shape the skater's body makes.

Which of the following jumps is always required in a senior ladies' short program?

While all four of those jumps often see the light of day at televised competitions, the double or triple axel is the only one consistently required for a short program. Other jumps are required as well, but more options are available. For example, the ladies must perform some combination of a double and a triple jump, or two triples, with no steps or turns in between.

Which event requires twizzles?

For ice dancers, twizzles are a required move. A twizzle is when skaters complete rapid turns on one foot while moving forward or backward; dancers typically perform these in unison.

What is it called when a skater squats on one leg while moving forward, with the other leg extended straight out in front?

A skater performing a "shoot the duck" assumes a position that reminded someone of duck hunting, given the name. It's a move popular with young skaters who are still learning basic skills.

What is a throw jump?

In pairs skating, the male is required to throw the female into the air to complete a certain number of rotations and land on her own. There are many different types of throw jumps.

Which of the following is unlike the others?

The axel is the only jump in skating for which the skater takes off in the forward direction. All other jumps involve skating backward before takeoff.

How many rotations in the air are there for a correctly executed single axel?

Since the axel has a forward takeoff, skaters must complete half a rotation and then rotate one more time in order to land successfully.

What is a grade of execution?

Each judge gives the skater a "grade of execution." It lies between +3 and -3 from the base value of a program element and reflects how well the skater performed the element (such as a jump or a spin).

Which of the following would be appropriate in a footwork sequence?

Choctaws and brackets are both types of figure skating footwork. A footwork sequence can be artistically punctuated with a short stop part of the way through the sequence.

What is a haircutter?

In a "haircutter," a skater grabs the free foot during a layback and pulls it up to their head. It's so named since the sharp blade of the skate is so close it could practically cut their hair!

How does one perform a spread eagle?

A spread eagle is so named because of the (supposed) similarity in appearance to an eagle in flight. Spread eagles can be performed in either direction, and are usually done on the outside edge.

What is a jump combination?

In a combination, skaters perform another jump immediately after landing the first, from the same skate edge. A common example would be a double lutz-double toe (without letting the free foot touch the ground until takeoff).

How many rotations in the air does it take to complete a triple loop?

For any triple jump (except the axel), a full three rotations is required. If a skater lands a jump that has only a quarter of a rotation left, it's counted as a "cheat" and still earns some points.

Which skaters perform lifts?

Ice dancers and pairs both perform lifts, in which (typically) the male hoists the female into the air. Some synchronized skaters (large teams of skaters) also do lifts.

What is it called when a skater swings her free leg into the air, rapidly switches her center of gravity to the free foot, and then plunges into a back sit spin?

While all of those moves are real, this particular move is called a death drop. It's one of several "flying spins," so named for their high-flying entrances.

What are swizzles?

Swizzles are taught to beginning skaters before they learn more powerful ways of moving across the ice. They are not seen in higher level competition.

What shape does a skater's body make while performing a Biellmann?

In the Biellmann, the skater twists her back and leg into a teardrop position while spinning. The most common way to do this is from a layback.

What is a death spiral?

In the death spiral, the man pivots in place while the female stretches her body close to the ice and glides around him like the arm of a clock. It's a precarious position!

When is a backflip allowed in competitive skating?

A backflip is an illegal move, meaning that any skater who performs it during competition will be penalized. The circumstances surrounding the original ban were controversial, and some skaters still want the ban removed.

What kind of move would fall under the domain of a program component score?

In the new judging system, the component score governs basic skating skills, transitions, performance, program composition and musical interpretation.

What jump do skaters learn to prepare for learning an axel?

The waltz jump is a simple half-rotation jump. The skater takes off going forward and lands going backward. Once a skater masters the waltz jump, adding another rotation turns the jump into an axel.

What type of move is a walley?

A walley is technically a jump, but is not frequently seen in competition because it requires clockwise rotation.

What is a spiral?

There are many kinds of spirals; in fact, many programs feature a spiral sequence - several different spirals done consecutively across the ice.

During what type of move can a skater do the splits?

Skaters can do a "split jump," pull their leg into a split while spinning, or execute a vertical split while performing a spiral.

When is it permitted in competition for a skater to touch the ice with a hand?

Generally, touching the ice with one's hands will result in a deduction in competitive figure skating. However, an exception was allowed for ice dancers performing to hip hop in their short dance for the 2016-2017 season.

How many jumps are senior ladies allowed to complete in a program?

Senior ladies are allowed to complete seven total jumps during the long program. Jumps executed as part of a combination are not included in the count.

What are Moves in the Field?

Singles skaters are required to pass tests in Moves in the Field before taking the desired freestyle test to advance in level. It tests things like edges, turns and overall skating quality.

Which of the following is the correct entry for a lutz, assuming the skater is right-handed?

Skaters perform the lutz jump by gliding backward on the left foot/outside edge, then vaulting themselves into the air with their right toe-pick.

What is the name of the position in which skaters set their feet parallel to each other, with the forward leg bent, and glide sideways?

It's named after the inventor of the move, Ina Bauer. Many skaters perform a layback version, in which they bend backward while gliding.

What is the highest-rotation jump completed in competition, as of 2017?

As of 2017, no skaters have landed a quintuple jump even in practice, as far as we know. Many experts agree that a quintuple jump is physically impossible.Skaters have landed a quad loop in competition, which is especially difficult because the jump height relies entirely on the skater's unsupported right leg.

What is the most basic single-foot spin in figure skating?

In a scratch spin, the skater spins on one leg and draws all free limbs in toward the center to gain speed. It's one of the first spins skaters learn!

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