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General Notes - MIF Tests (2003 Rulebook)

Moves in the Field is a discipline in skating that emphasizes basic skating techniques. The Moves-in-the-Field (MIF) test structure has tests at each level (PrePreliminary - Senior), each of which is composed of several independent elements or "moves". Each element is skated and marked individually during an MIF test. MIF elements concentrate on common skating skills like stroking, edgework, and turns. Typically, each MIF element is skated according to a prescribed "pattern" which is diagrammed in the Rulebook.

It is required that the MIF test for a given level be taken and passed before the corresponding Freestyle or Pairs test may be taken (TR 26.01, TR 33.01, TR 33.02). It is not required that MIF tests be taken prior to testing equivalent levels in dance (TR 41.01), however MIF tests are part of the eligibility requirement for those desiring to compete in dance events at Qualifying Competitions (CR 8.09, and CR 8.20). Note that adult dance competitors are not required to pass Moves in the Field tests (TR 41.01)

It is desired that all required elements be completed without serious error .

The skater may be allowed to "reskate" only 1 element of the test, when the judges determine that doing so might help the skater to pass the test. For more information on this, see Errors and Reskates.

In the absence of serious errors, the judge will evaluate the program, assessing the impact of any quality deductions or technical inadequacies and analyzing the skater's presentation. Note that the accomplishment of all required elements does not necessarily guarantee passing the test. The judge must determine if the program, when viewed as a whole, is strong enough to meet the standards for a passing test at that particular level.

How the Moves-in-the-Field Test will be Conducted

Moves tests are usually performed in front of a panel of 3 judges (Note that in some cases, PrePreliminary and Preliminary tests may be judged by a single judge).

When the judges are ready, an announcer will call out the candidate's name and test level. The skater(s) should approach the judges to await instructions. For most tests, each skater will get exclusive use of the ice during her or his test. In some cases (i.e. when time is short, and enough judges are available), two skaters will skate at the same time, with each one watched by a different panel of judges. If this is the case, they usually will start at diagonally opposite corners of the rink, and follow each other around.

Usually, the judges will instruct the skaters to go directly to the starting point for the "next" element, whenever they finish an element. The skater should then await a nod, wave, or similar sign from the judge-in-charge before actually starting to skate the next element. It is always permissible to approach the judges and ask what the next element is, if you should happen to forget...

Note that in the Rulebook, section TR 21.05 requires that the elements must be skated in the proper order. The judge-in-charge may ask you to stop and restart on the proper element, if you should happen to start in the wrong order. You are allowed to do this one time without penalty. If more than once, the judges are supposed to deduct 0.1 from the mark they would otherwise have given (TR 21.07)

When all elements of the test are completed, the skater should stay on the ice until dismissed by the judges. On occasion, the judges will ask the skater to repeat an element which may have been performed less than adequately during the program.

When the skater is finished, the judges will complete the marking of their papers, which will be compiled and turned over to the Pro when all skaters in the group have finished.

For all tests except Pre-Preliminary, you will receive a numeric marking. The mark will be a sum of the markings for each individual element, and will be compared against a number called the “passing total”, which is printed on the test sheet. The "Passing Total" is the number which your totalled test marks must meet or exceed in order for you to "pass" the test. Each component may be individually higher or lower than the "passing average" so long as the total meets the required "passing total".

In the event of a final marking of "Retry", the skater must wait for a minimum of 28 days before retaking the test.

Some hints about skating the Moves

During a Moves in the Field test, judges expect that the elements will be skated with good edges, control, flow, extension, carriage, and rhythm. (SSR 2.13)

Skaters should strive for an effortless, flowing and graceful execution of the elements. The skater's upper body should be upright, with arms held gracefully. The freeleg should extend with toe pointed during stroking. (SSR 2.11)

Moves should be started from a standing, stationary position, with a maximum of 7 introductory steps, unless otherwise specified in the test description (for instance, Intermediate Power Circles) (TR 21.06).

The patterns shown in the diagrams represent the desired “shape” of the element. Judges will care that your turns are placed in the proper place on the lobes, etc. This shows that you are able to control your edge and hold it in a stable manner when required to do so. Many of the elements allow a varied number of turns or lobes, but if so, you should skate within the range specified. (SSR 2.12)

The most important thing to remember in skating the elements is that those characteristics noted as focus items must be demonstrated in order to get a good mark on the element. Skating beautifully shaped, perfectly edged 3-turns on the Preliminary "Forward Power 3 -Turns" will probably get you a better mark than if they're warped and scratchy, but if they're not done with good power they still won't pass...

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