SEVILLE, Spain — The International Skating Union has passed a series of technical reforms for figure skating, among them limiting the number of high-scoring quad jumps in individual free skates.
The quad jump came under intense scrutiny during the Pyeongchang Olympics, where men’s skaters who packed the most into their program finished atop the medal standings. Even skaters who did not land them cleanly were often awarded more points than those who did not try them.
The ISU believes the change will increase the variety shown during a skating routine.
During its biennial congress that concluded Friday, the ISU also established independent panels to evaluate scores for "national biases" at major competitions; modified the Olympic selection process; renamed the short dance to "rhythm dance" in ice dancing; and tweaked the grade of execution from plus- or minus-3 to plus- or minus-5, creating a greater range of scores.
In pairs skating, the sport’s governing body announced that it would increase the number of pairs that qualify for the free program at the world championships from 16 to 20.
The ISU also passed a series of proposals in the event synchronized skating is added to the Olympic program. Officials hope to have the discipline included for the 2022 Beijing Games.
A proposal to increase figure skating’s minimum age from 15 years old to 17 at major events was taken off the agenda earlier this week because it didn’t have sufficient support. Fifteen-year-old Alina Zagitova of Russia became the second-youngest Olympic gold medallist in February.
The next congress will be held in June 2020 in Phuket, Thailand.