Press Release

Decisions made at 52nd ISU Ordinary Congress

Ice dancing is hit hardest by new rules

Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko's original dance in 1995 was the basis for the new compulsory dance, the "Finnstep," that was ratified last week.
Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko's original dance in 1995 was the basis for the new compulsory dance, the "Finnstep," that was ratified last week. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(06/20/2008) - The 52nd International Skating Union (ISU) Ordinary Congress concluded on Friday in Monaco. Five days earlier, over 200 delegates from over 70 members from all five continents had been welcomed to Monaco by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco.

ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta officially opened the first session on Monday, June 16, and spoke enthusiastically on the future of skating. He congratulated the young Federation Monegasque de Patinage, who after becoming a full figure skating member in 2005 have shown great dedication, and he thanked them for the successful organization of the Congress.

President Cinquanta said on Friday that the participation of so many members from such a wide geographical area positively highlights the extent of interest in the ISU sport disciplines and reflects favorably on the future of ice skating.

General News

The Congress decided to change the rules on the size of trademarks on clothing and technical equipment to facilitate sponsor support for competitive athletes. In the Speed Skating branch, a motion to allow an additional advertising marking on the upper body was also passed.

Single and Pair Skating and Ice Dance

The Congress ratified the introduction of a new compulsory dance called the "Finnstep"; the dance was created by former European ice dancing champions Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko of Finland and their coach Martin Skotnicky and is based on Rahkamo and Kokko's original dance from 1995, the year they won the European title.

The ISU Congress passed a resolution accepting the principle that the ice dance discipline will be composed of two parts commencing in the 2010-2011 competitive calendar. The Congress also adopted guidelines for the implementation, which foresees testing and analysis of a new dance format for the first segment of the Ice Dance event.

The Congress decided to reduce the required elements in the free program to allow increased innovation.

Synchronized Skating

In Synchronized Skating, the Congress also decided to remove some elements from the free skating program so that the coaches would have more leeway to work in innovative choreography. A number of other rule changes were brought in, essentially, to reflect current practice and align the rules with the other disciplines in the figure skating branch.

For further information including the full Congress agenda, please see www.isu.org.