The Math in Figure Skating

Alexis Dillon l. Introduction This paper will be discussing the involvement of math in figure skating. There are three parts of skating that will be discussed in the essay; Jumps and moves in the field. Jumps require a lot of power, strength and knee bend in order for the Jump to be successful. I will be looking at the appropriate angle of knee bend a skater needs to successfully land a Jump. Moves in the field are series of test that include certain turns and moves that are tested in front of Judges.
Moves in the field require grace, knee bend, speed and strength. This essay will discuss the correct angle of the knee bend required to correctly complete specific turns, including counters, rockers and brackets and to successfully remain on the correct edge. I have been skating for nine years. I have done many types of skating, like freestyle, moves in the field and synchronized skating. I’m currently a competitive synchronize skater and working on my novice moves. Both these parts of figure skating require speed, grace, edge quality and strength.
Many things can affect how well a skater can preform and the quality of the skating. Knee bend is one of the many crucial parts of quality skating. II. What Is Skating? Figure skating is defined as a “competitive on ice sport in prescribed fgures and/or choreographed free skating. ” Figure skating includes many different types and levels. Ill. Basic Skills To start, many skaters complete basic skills classes, which, in short, teach the basic components of skating, needed to be successful. Children under the age of six usually begin a beginner class called “snowplow’.

This level consists of very basic skills including things like learning how to stand up and fall down. After the skater has completed these levels, or is above the age of six, moves on to the levels “Basic Skill” There are eight levels in this section, where each level increases in difficulty. The basic skills provide the fundamentals of skating. These levels will also provide more challenging skills including, edges, turns, and crossovers that are necessary for successful skating. Once the skater has successful passed these levels, the skater may move on to “freestyle”.
There are six levels in this section. These levels teach the skater basic Jumps and spins. ‘V. Freestyle Freestyle skating consists of Jumps, spins and footwork sequences choreographed in a program using the skater’s style. Some Jumps include axel, the loop Jump, lutz and salchow. These Jumps can be preformed as singles (, doubles, triples, and even quadruples. The axel is one of the hardest Jumps to master, whether it’s a single, double, or a quad The axel requires knee bend, power and speed Competitions are based on levels. There are eight levels in freestyle.
Each level gets harder and the harder Jumps require programs with required moves, Jumps and spins. These test are preformed in front of Judges. These test are important for a fgure skater because in determines what level the skater competes at. These tests ake practice and skill. V. Moves in the field Like the freestyle tests, there are eight tests the gradually increase in difficulty. The tests are as follows; pre-preliminary, preliminary, pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, intermediate, novice, Junior and senior. Each test consist of certain step sequences, turns, and moves that require knee bend, grace, and speed.
Example of a very simple pattern on the preliminary exam: This pattern consist of a very simple inside three-turn in which you start on an inside edge and turn onto your outside edge. Example of a two very challenging patterns on the Junior exam: Figure 2 Figure 3 This pattern requires a lot good edge quality, grace and knee bend. This turns, also known as a rocker, requires you to stay on the same edge before and after a turn. To determine the correct amount of knee bend, twenty forward inside rockers were done and photographed.
Each turn was analyzed to determine whether or not the turn was on the correct edge or not. The photos were separated into two groups, turn with a perfect edge and turn with imperfect edge. The angle of the knee was measured for each photo and then averaged. The average angle for a turn with perfect edge quality was 1090 (refer to fgure 3 for what the edge is supposed to look ike). The average angle for a turn with imperfect edge quality was about 1230. Below are the pictures of a person doing the turn and what the turn looked like on the ice. RFI Rocker. How does math relate to this turn?
Although, the differences between the two angles may have seemed small, it made a huge difference. IVe been working on these types turns for about a year, and from experience, I know there are some many things that need to be perfect in order for the turn to be on the correct edge and successtul. One ot the most important and influential part of the turn is the amount of knee bend the skater has. So, how does the angle of the knee make the turn have good or bad edge quality? When you bend your knee, you are doing what’s called, “pressing your edge”. This means you are on the correct edge because of your knee bend.
So, how much knee bend is enough? Is there a certain angle needed to perfect the turns? The answer is yes. This experiment has shown that a very large angle and a very low angle will disrupt the turn. VI’. What is an axel? Axel is one of the most difficult Jumps. The axel takes off from the forward outside edge and is landed on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. A single axel is 1. 5 revolutions. Axel is one of the many Jumps that skaters practice and attempt to master. Like most other Jumps, the axel can be increased in difficulty by adding more rotations to the Jump. VIII.
What things affect the success of an axel? Many experienced skaters would say the most important things to master when learning how to land an axel successfully is power, speed, and height. How can you master all of these things? Through knee bend. Knee bend provides many things for a successful axel. When you bend you’re knee while you skate, you “pressing on your edge” letting your skates skate with the ice rather than on top of the ice and merely liding.. No matter how fast your feet move, you will not gain speed if are “stepping” rather then bending your knees and actually skating.
Knee bend also provides grace when preforming an axel. The more you “get down in your knees” or bend your knees, the more graceful and elegant you appear. This will help those who compete. Finally, right before the Jump takes off, knee bend provides height and the power of the Jump itself. But, how much knee bend is enough knee bend? Skaters, like me and those who think analytically, would love to know how much knee bend will lead to a successful Jump. ‘X. Figuring out how much knee bend is enough knee bend Like what was done for the rockers, a similar experiment was done for the axel.
To determine the correct amount of knee bend before the Jump, twenty axels were done and recorded and photographed. Each Jump was analyzed to determine whether or not the turn was a successful Jump or not. The photos were separated into two groups, turn with a perfect edge and turn with imperfect edge. The angle of the knee was measured for each photo and then averaged. The average angle for a Jump with good height and a quality Jump was 1070. The average angle for a turn with imperfect dge quality was about 1280. These results are very similar to the rockers.
The Jumps that were considered unsuccessful landed with a fall or it was over or under rotated. This is most likely because the skater either had too much or too little power. X’. How does math relate to this Jump? Even though the differences between the two angles may have seemed small, it made a huge difference. From experience I know that an axel can up to about a year to perfect. Like the rocker, I know there are some many things that need to be perfect in order for the turn to be successful. One of the most important and influential part f the turn is the amount of knee bend the skater has.

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