Competitive figure skating disciplines include singles, pairs and ice dancing. Singles and pairs competitions feature two routines: the short program and the long program. Ice dancing competitions feature three routines. Each routine must include a certain number of technical elements, which are used as a basis of judging. Routines are judged by a panel of 12 judges, who award points for the successful completion of each element. These elements are skating skills, transitions, performance/execution, choreography and interpretation. Points are then added together to form a cumulative score. The skater or skaters with the highest score at the end of competition is the winner.
Figure skating is a sport in which individuals, couples or groups perform spins, jumps, footwork and other choreography on ice. Competitors are judged based on the technical aspects of their routines. Figure skating is the competitive sport of jumping, spinning and turning on ice. It began in mid-19th century England, and was modernized by American skater Jackson Haines. Now a major winter sport, figure skating has a number of competitive disciplines. Routines are judged by a panel of judges based on a number of technical elements. The competitor with the highest cumulative score at the end of competition is the winner.
Figure skating as it is known today, began in mid-19th century England. The style was stiff and formal until American skater Jackson Haines introduced a new free and expressive style. This style became popular in Europe, but was embraced in the United States until several years later. In 1892 the International Skating Union was established as governing body for the sport. The first world championships were held in 1896. In 1908 pairs skating was introduced and the sport was featured in the Olympic games. Throughout the 20th century figure skating continued to grow in popularity. Today it remains an immensely popular winter sport, attracting huge amounts of television viewers during Olympic competition.