Definition of Synchronized Skating:
Synchronized skating consists of a group of about twelve to twenty figure skaters skating on the ice at one time. They work together as one unit. A synchronized skating team performs a program set to music.
Synchronized Skating Was Once Called Precision Skating:
Synchronized skating was called precision skating at one time. The original emphasis was for the group of skaters to keep tight formations and to march to precise rhythms. Precision teams looked a bit like drill teams or marching bands. Synchronized skating of today requires much more complicated skating than the original precision skating teams. In 1998 the name was officially changed to "Synchronized Skating."
Synchronized Skating Programs:
Synchronized skating programs are performed to music. The skaters do formations which include circles, lines, blocks, wheels, and intersections.
Footwork, Lifts, Jumps, Spins, Spirals, Positions, and Holds:
Complicated footwork and steps, lifts, jumps, and spins are included in synchronized skating programs. The teams skate together using various holds which include basic shoulder holds, hooking elbows, hand holds, basket weave holds, and not holding at all. They do moves like spirals, lunges, shoot the ducks, pivots, and pass throughs all at once.
Male and Female Participants:
Most skaters in synchronized figure skating teams tend to be female, but men also participate in synhchronized skating.
Not Yet An Olympic Sport:
Synchronized figure skating is not yet an Olympic sport, but there is a World Synchronized Skating Championship. The first World Synchronized Skating Championship took place in 2000. Most countries hold national synchronized skating events.
Varsity Sport at Some Universities:
Synchronized skating is becoming a varsity sport at some colleges and universities. Students who "make" certain varsity synchronized skating teams are sometimes eligible for university scholarships.
Short and Long Programs:
Junior and Senior level synchronized skating teams perform two programs. They do a short program that includes certain required elements and also a long free program that gives teams a chance to show creativity and expression.
Requires Excellent Skating Ability:
Synchronized skating requires the skaters to be excellent figure skaters. Skaters must pass moves in the field tests to be eligible to compete with a synchronized skating team.
All Ages Participate:
There are synchronized skating teams of all ages and levels. There are adult teams and teams made of very young children. Synchronized skating is a growing part of figure skating that encourages teamwork, friendship, and improving at figure skating skills.