Pair skaters and single figure skaters, at the higher levels, and also at non-qualifying events, perform both a short and long program at figure skating competitions. The long program, or freeskate, is not only longer in length than the short program, but will include more figure skating elements.
A long program should be designed and choreographed to show off a skater's skill and grace, and also, a skater's jumps and spins. Senior level men competitors skate for four and a half minutes, and senior ladies skate for four minutes.
Judges expect balanced long programs to show off the technical and the artistic talents of a skater. The difficulty of the jumps, spins, connecting moves, steps, and footwork are judged. In addition, the choice of music and how the music is interpreted, are important factors in judging both the short program and the freeskate.
"The Free Skate"
"the long program"
"the free skate"
2008 US Men's Figure Skating Champion, Evan Lysacek, won the Free Skate at the United States National Figure Skating Championships in 2008. Lysacek and Johnny Weir tied after the short program and long program scores were totaled, but since Lysacek won the long, the tie was broken based on his win, and he won the 2008 US men's figure skating title.
Since the free skate or long program is longer than the short program, most figure skaters don't enjoy doing complete run-throughs of their long programs. It takes much practice and endurance to complete a four minute or four and a half minute freeskating program.