How to read and interpret element codes

There are three different types of elements within a program: jumps, spins, and sequences. The following will be an explanation of the more frequently seen codes, especially the ones seen in these report cards.

The codes for the sequences are pretty straight forward.

  • Step Sequence: StSq
  • Spiral Sequence: SpSq
  • Choreographic Sequence: ChSq

Skaters only perform one of these sequences in their program, depending on their level and depending on the year. For the Gold Women category you’re looking at, skaters can chose any sequence while in some categories, one specific sequence is required. After the code, you will see a B or a number. This indicates the level. B stands for base or basic and is also seen in spins. Simply put, the better the element, the higher the level.

Here are the codes for the single jumps.

  • Axel: 1A
  • Toe Loop: 1T
  • Salchow: 1S
  • Loop: 1Lo
  • Flip: 1F
  • Lutz: 1Lz

When skaters perform jumps of more than one rotation, the number in front is changed accordingly. When skaters perform combination jumps, there is a + added in between the jumps and a + C at the end to specify a combination rather than a sequence which would be indicated by + S. See element #1 on page 4 for a sequence. Also on page 4, take a look at element #4 and try to determine what the jump was. Refer to “How do you read a report card?” for help.

Kathleen performed a double flip that was downgraded in combination with a single loop.

Another interesting element is element #7 on page 6. Emily performed a double flip that was downgraded. Because she already performed a double flip and neither were in combination, the second double flip receives +REP. It can be assumed, based on the information provided, that she probably fell on her second double flip. It was downgraded, there was no second jump when there should have been and the GOEs are all negative 3.

Here are the codes for the basic spin positions:

  • Upright spin: USp
  • Sit Spin: SSp
  • Camel Spin: Csp
  • Layback Spin: LSp
  • Combination Spin: CoSp

When the spin has a flying entry, you simply add an F to the beginning. When the spin has a change of foot, you add C to the beginning. When it has both, the F goes before the C. The numbers and letters after the main codes refer to how many positions and what level the spin received. For example, look at element #5 on page 2. Jessica performed a flying change combination spin with 3 positions and assessed at a level 3. Look at element #6 on page 5. Carly performed a flying sit spin assessed at a level 2. Look at element #10 on page 6. Emily performed a flying sit spin assessed at a basic level. There is also a (V) next to the element. This means that Emily had a flying entry but when she landed, she did not get into a basic sit position within the first two revolutions of the spin. She does attain a basic sit position eventually and holds it for at least two revolutions. That is how she achieved the level B.

Look at element #3 on page 7. Emma performed a flying sit spin but there is no level at the end. This is because she did not meet the necessary requirements to achieve a basic level. Most likely, she did not reach a basic sit position for two revolutions. This element receives no points. Receiving no level on an element is commonly referred to as not getting “the call”.

It is entirely possible to see a code like 3T + 1F + 2S + S but very unlikely. That jump would be a triple toe loop, single flip, double salchow sequence. You will probably never ever see that specific code again but it is valid and someone could perform it if they wanted to. You could also see a code like FCLsp4 but very unlikely. That would be a flying change layback spin assessed at a level 4. You will probably never ever see that specific code again either but it is valid and someone could perform it if they wanted to. For a list of all codes, common and uncommon, see ISU Communication 2000.