Toe loop jump

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Figure skating element
Element name:Toe loop jump
Scoring abbreviation:T
Element type:Jump
Take-off edge:Back outside
Landing edge:Back outside
Inventor:Bruce Mapes

The toe loop jump is the simplest jump in the sport of figure skating. It was invented in the 1920s by American professional figure skater Bruce Mapes. The toe loop is accomplished with a forward approach on the inside edge of the blade; the skater then switches to a backward-facing position before its takeoff, which is accomplished from the skater's right back outside edge and left toepick. The jump is exited from the back outside edge of the same foot. It is often added to more difficult jumps during combinations, and is the most common second jump performed in combinations. It is also the most commonly attempted jump.

History[edit]

The toe loop jump is the simplest of the six jumps in the sport of figure skating.[1] It was invented in the 1920s by American professional figure skater Bruce Mapes, who might have also invented the flip jump.[2]:p. 13 In competitions, the base value of a single toe loop is 0.40; the base value of a double toe loop is 1.30; the base value of a triple toe loop is 4.20; and the base value of a quadruple toe loop is 9.50.[3]

Firsts[edit]

Jump Abbr. Name Nation Competition References
Triple toe loop 3T Thomas Litz  United States 1964 World Championships [2]:p. 14
Quadruple toe loop (men's) 4T Kurt Browning  Canada 1988 World Figure Skating Championships [4][note 1]
Quadruple toe loop (women's) 4T Alexandra Trusova  Russia 2018 World Junior Figure Skating Championships [2]:p. 14[6]
Quadruple toe loop-double toe loop combination 4T+2T Elvis Stojko  Canada 1991 World Figure Skating Championships [2]:p. 14
Quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination 4T+3T Elvis Stojko  Canada 1991 World Figure Skating Championships [2]:p. 14
Quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop-double loop combination 4T+3T+2Lo Evgeni Plushenko  Russia 1999 NHK Trophy [2]:p. 14
Quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop-triple loop combination 4T+3T+3Lo Evgeni Plushenko  Russia 2002 Cup of Russia [2]:p. 14
Quadruple lutz-triple toe loop combination 4Lz+3T Boyang Jin  China 2015 Cup of China [2]:p. 14

Technique[edit]

Joannie Rochette from Canada performing the toe loop jump

The toe loop is considered the simplest jump because not only do skaters use their toe-picks to execute it, their hips are already facing the direction in which they will rotate.[7] The toe loop is the easier jump to add multiple rotations to because the toe-assisted takeoff adds power to the jump and because a skater can turn his or her body towards the assisting foot at takeoff, which slightly reduces the rotation needed in the air.[8]:p. 287 It is often added to more difficult jumps during combinations, and is the most common second jump performed in combinations.[9] It is also the most commonly attempted jump,[7] as well as "the most commonly cheated on take off jump",[10] or a jump in which the first rotation starts on the ice rather than in the air.[8]:p. 287 Adding a toe loop to combination jumps does not increase the difficulty of skaters' short or free skating programs.[11]:p. 112

Figure skating researcher Deborah King and her colleagues break down the toe loop into four key events and three phases. The key events are: the toe-pick, or the moment the skater places his or her toepick into the ice; the take-off, or the last contact the skater makes with the ice; the jump's maximum height; and the landing, or the moment the skater returns to the ice. The three phases are: the approach, which begins when the skater initiates the three turn entering into the jump and ends when he or she initiates the toe-pick; propulsion, which begins at the toe-pick and ends at take-off; and flight, which begins at take-off and ends at landing.[11]:p. 113

A skater initiates the toe loop with a forward approach on the inside edge of the blade,[1] then switches to a backward-facing position before its takeoff, which is accomplished from the skater's right back outside edge and left toepick. The jump is exited from the back outside edge of the same foot. The skater approaches the right back outside edge of his or her skate from the landing of a previous jump when done in combination, from the right back outside edge from a right forward inside-to-right back outside three turn, or from a left forward outside-left back inside three turn followed by a change of foot. After completing the three turn, skaters reach the free leg behind them and slightly outside the direction they are traveling, much like a pole-vaulter. Then they place the left toepick in the ice with the opposite foot they will use to make the landing, and jump while pulling the right leg back and around the left and reaching forward and around with the right arm and shoulder, thus achieving the rotation. They draw their arms into the body for the desired number of rotations.[12][8]:p. 288 They should face forward, with their free leg approximately parallel to their take-off foot and with their arms as close to their body as possible, which results in keeping their arms and legs close to their bodies and remain in tight rotating positions at the moment of take-off, helping them attain faster rotational velocities in the air.[11]:p. 121

King and her colleagues, when they studied quadruple toe loop jumps at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, counted 71 attempted quadruple toe loop jumps or quadruple toe-loop combination jumps. Of those, there were 33 quadruple toe loops performed not in combination with other jumps, 13 of which were landed cleanly, without a fall, without the skater touching a hand down on the ice, or without stepping out of the landing onto the other foot.[11]:p. 111 They also found that "the most significant aspect"[11]:p. 120 for completing toe loop jumps was the ability to increase rotational velocity while in the air. They discovered that skaters do not have to skate faster into quadruple jumps. Most skaters "actually tended to skate slower into their quads as compared to their triples",[11]:p. 120 although the differences in the speed in which they approached triples and quadruples were small. King conjectured that slowing their approach into the jumps were due to skaters' "confidence and a feeling of control and timing for the jump",[11]:p. 120 rather than any difference in how they executed them. Vertical take-off velocity, however, was higher for both quadruple and triple toe loops, resulting in "higher jumps and more time in the air to complete the extra revolution for the quadruple toe-loop".[11]:p. 120 King also found that skaters who performed quadruple toe loops began to rotate their shoulders earlier than in triples, so that by the time they completed their toe-pick, their hips and shoulders were more aligned about their longitudinal axes. As a result, their hips and shoulders turned more uniformly during the propulsion phase of the jump.[11]:p. 121

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Jozef Sabovcik of Czechoslovakia landed a quadruple toe loop at the 1986 European Championships, which was recognized at the event but then ruled invalid three weeks later due to a touchdown with his free foot.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Park, Alice (22 February 2018). "How to Tell the Difference Between the 6 Figure Skating Jumps You'll See at the Olympics". Time Magazine. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "ISU Figure Skating Media Guide 2018/19". International Skating Union. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Communication No. 2168: Single & Pair Skating". Lausanne, Switzerland: International Skating Union. 23 May 2018. p. 2. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4. ^ "A Quadruple Jump on Ice". The New York Times. Associated Press. 26 March 1988. p. 1001057. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  5. ^ "The quad: Skating's evolution is for more revolution". CBS SportsLine. Associated Press. 2 December 1999. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Trusova (RUS) makes history with two quads in golden performance". International Skating Union. 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  7. ^ a b Sarkar, Pritha; Fallon, Clare (28 March 2017). "Figure skating - Breakdown of quadruple jumps, highest scores and judging". Reuters. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Kestnbaum, Ellyn (2003). Culture on Ice: Figure Skating and Cultural Meaning. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0819566411.
  9. ^ "Identifying Jumps" (PDF). U.S. Figure Skating. p. 2. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  10. ^ "ISU Judging System Technical Panel Handbook: Singles Skating 2018/2019" (PDF). U.S. Figure Skating. 19 July 2018. p. 20. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i King, Deborah; Smith, Sarah; Higginson, Brian; Muncasy, Barry; Scheirman, Gary (2004). "Characteristics of Triple and Quadruple Toe-Loops Performed during The Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics" (PDF). Sports Biomechanics. 3 (1). Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  12. ^ Abad-Santos, Alexander (5 February 2014). "A GIF Guide to Figure Skaters' Jumps at the Olympics". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2 January 2019.