57th Ordinary ISU Congress Highlights

by Anne Calder

Below are highlights from the  57th Ordinary ISU Congress, which was held from June 4-8 in Seville, Spain.  


The Congress immediately put forward a motion to remove two Urgent Proposals from the Agenda:

  • No. 5 would increase the age for International Senior Competitions and Championships and the Olympic Winter Games from fifteen (15) to seventeen (17).
  • No. 6 would not allow persons who serve as a president of an ISU Member to act as a Judge, Referee, Technical Controller, Technical Specialist, Data and Replay Operator at ISU Championships, the ISU GPF, ISU Figure Skating World Team Trophy and Olympic Winter Games during the same competitive season.

Urgent Proposals 5/6 did not get the required 4/5 majority, so they were removed from the Agenda.


The following individuals were elected to the ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee:

  • Halina Gordon-Poltorak, Chair (Poland)
  • Shawn Rettstatt (United States of America)
  • Hilary Selby (Great Britain)
  • György Elek (Hungary)
  • Mauricio Margaglio, Appointed Coach (Italy)


  • The Technical Rules were voted and accepted as a package. The Short Dance is now called the “Rhythm Dance”.   Reason: The name more accurately reflects the style of the program.
  • Men are allowed to wear tights.  Reason: It is not appropriate to single out the word tights. Many men’s trousers are tight fitting for safety reasons.
  • The Midline Step Sequence can now be skated along the Short Axis. Group D: Combination Step Sequences consisting of a One Foot Step Sequence and a Step Sequence of Group A, B or C or any combination thereof.  Reason: To allow for greater flexibility in the selection of elements and patterns.
  • Projection is added to Performance in Program Components. Reason: Projection is a separate criterion.
  • A Program Component score “10” should be distinguished from the “9” scores. Reason: Nines (9-9.75) are excellent, but Ten (10) is special and outstanding.
  • Each judge will mark on an eleven (11) Grade of Execution (GOE) scale – (+5, +4, +3, +2, +1, Base Value, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5). Combination Lifts, Combination Step Sequences and Combination Turns are evaluated as one unit. Reason: Clarification of previously accepted and proposed new Steps.
  • Changes have been made to the Illegal Lift Movement/Pose. Reason: To give couples a chance for more variety in the Lifts. See #275 page 106 for details.
  • In both Short/Rhythm Dance and Free Dance, after the clock is started with the first movement, the couple must not remain in one place for more than ten (10) seconds at the beginning and/or the end of the program. Reason: Point of clarification.
  • In both Short/Rhythm Dance and Free Dance, Kneeling or sliding on two knees, or sitting on the ice is not allowed, and the Technical Panel will consider it a Fall – unless otherwise announced in an ISU Communication. Reason: Allows flexibility by IDTC. 


  • After the completion of the last step of the Pattern Dance, the couple must reach its final pose within 20 seconds. If this time is not exceeded, a deduction shall apply. Reason: To clarify the timing from completion of the last step of the Pattern Dance to the ending movement/pose.
  • Pattern Dance Elements Lifts, Spins, Twizzles and Step Sequences are all now (except Choreographic Elements) evaluated with five (5) Levels of difficulty. Reason: the Basic Level was added to Pattern Dance Elements, Lifts, Spins, and Twizzles (in addition to Step Sequences).
  • Pattern Dance(s) Warm ups – A total of three (3) minutes -Thirty (30) seconds without music; followed by two minutes and thirty seconds (2:30) of the 6th (last tune of the ISU Ice Dance music; A maximum of six (6) couples Free Dance Warm ups (All Novice categories) – Three (3) minutes; a maximum of five (5) couples. Reason: To adjust warm up times for Pattern and Novice categories 
  • New Pattern Dances are the Tea Time Foxtrot, Maple Leaf March and Rhumba D’Amour.


Rule 108 Paragraph 3 c) (Novice age requirements) is amended as follows:

c) In International Novice Competitions a Novice is a Skater who has met the following requirements before July 1st preceding the competition:

    1. Basic Novice – has not reached the age of thirteen (13)
    2. Intermediate Novice has not reached the age of fifteen (15)
    3. Advanced Novice – has reached the age of ten (10) and not reached the age of seventeen (17) for boys.

Reason: To continue to develop more opportunities for all levels of skaters to participate at a competition.

Updates of novice requirements effective July 1, 2018 will be published in a subsequent ISU Communication.