Figure skating

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Figure skating , also known as roller skating , is a sport similar to figure skating , but which is practiced on roller skates . The athletes skillfully present jumps, pirouettes and step sequences in competitions.

Roller art skating is divided into 8 different disciplines: freestyle skating, compulsory skating , pair skating , solo dance, roller dance (couple dance), show, formation run and inline artistic.


At a time when figure skating could only take place in winter, roller figure skating was the training substitute for ice skaters during the summer months. This is also the reason why roller skating has so far been overshadowed by figure skating in its popularity . Today roller skating is an independent sport. Since 1954 there have been annual world championships in roller art skating. Due to the cancellation of the competitions for one year, the 54th World Artistic Skating Championship in Freiburg came about in 2009. In countries like Argentina, Brazil and Italy, roller skating has been very popular for several years. At the moment, figure skating is still one of the sports that are played at the World Games . However, the International Artistic Skating and Inline Association (World Skate) has been trying for several years to include articulating skating in the circle of Olympic sports .


Roller skate for figure roller skating

Artistic roller skaters wear roller skates , which consist of a shoe, a frame, 4 rollers and a stopper. Due to the different disciplines, their individual requirements and the different floors of the halls, the market offers a multitude of customization options. The best known brands are Risport, Edea and Roll-Line.

  • The shoe, also called boot , can be selected from a range of models, which are based on the performance level of the athlete. There are also boots specially tailored to the needs of each discipline. The manufacturers divide their range of boots into freestyle (freestyle running), dance (solo dance, couple dance), figure (compulsory running) and show (show running, formation running). In order to find the ideal shoe, manufacturers offer configuration assistants for individual design via the Internet. The boots are priced between 70 and 600 euros. Nowadays the boots are often adapted to the foot with a thermal adjustment in order to allow better support.
  • The frame is screwed to the boot and is also available in different versions and differs in freestyle frames, compulsory frames and dance frames. Professional freestyle frames are characterized by ideal foot-shoe frame power transmission, which enable more optimal centering of pirouettes and make jumping easier. Duty and dance frames enable more precise edge guidance and are characterized by high maneuverability. The aim of such a frame is to improve the runner's accuracy while providing stability and control. Another important difference to a freestyle frame is the lack of a stopper or the use of very small stoppers.
  • The roles are selected for the respective discipline with and their different requirements, the feelings of the runners and the hall floor or the outside lane. The roles in the different hardnesses are important for the slip resistance. The indication of the degree of hardness depends on the manufacturer and model and is not a standard size. It is also possible to combine different roles to create the best possible conditions. Larger roles are used for compulsory running than for free skating.
  • The stoppers are also available in different designs. The freestyle stoppers, which are selected depending on the level of performance and differ in elasticity, abrasion and grip, are suitable for either single, double or triple jumps. There are also small dance stoppers.

In addition to roller skates, the basic equipment includes training clothing and clothing for competition.

  • Training clothing can be chosen by the runner himself. It is only important that it is tight so that the figures can be executed. Most runners wear for specially manufactured for roller skates tights, usually with 70  to which are pulled over the shoe. A training skirt with freely selectable outer clothing or a training dress is worn over it. There are now some runners who prefer to wear tight sports pants when training. Male runners wear tight-fitting pants with freely selectable outerwear. Some athletes also wear protective clothing during exercise. However, this is controversial, as protection is no longer permitted in important competition situations.
  • Clothing for the competition : The selected dress / costume is relatively freely selectable by the runner. Many clothes are specially designed. The dresses are accordingly individual and adaptable.
    • Freestyle dresses cannot be longer than the knee, but are usually very short. They are based on the music. In addition, a strict bun is usually worn, which is enhanced by French or Dutch braiding. The entire hair must be tied tightly together, however, no hair should fall on the face in order not to hinder the runner during jumps or pirouettes.
    • The clothes of the solo dance are usually much more creative and unusual, as the overall impression of the runner is in the foreground. The skirt is usually longer or creatively designed, the clothes are often heavily decorated, for example with Swarovski stones. In the compulsory dances, in which two types of music such as polka or tango are danced, appropriate dresses are also selected. For polka dances, for example, dresses that look like dirndls are often chosen. Many runners also change clothes between the 2 dances. You have a free choice in the dance freestyle. The hair can also be worn half-open, only the face must remain free.
    • Men are forced to wear trousers due to the dress code, mostly the male costumes are designed more simply or in pair skating / couple dancing based on the color of the dress of the dance partner.
    • In the show or formation, the clothes are very creatively designed, similar to the dance. However, extreme decorations, large headdresses and objects that must be held in the hand are prohibited.

The musical accompaniment for competitions and championships is taken from the official music of the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) or the European umbrella organization Confédération Européenne de Roller Skating (CERS). The choice of music in the short freestyle and freestyle is incumbent on the runner, whereby vocal music is allowed from the age group A pupil, in Inline-Artistic and in the performance classes junior class and cup. In other categories, the referee can make a deduction in the B grade. The choreographies are subject to the regulations of the German Roller Sport and Inline Association (DRIV).


Double world champion Frank Albiez

Figure skating is divided into several disciplines . In the case of competitions, the organizers apply regulations that stipulate the running elements to be performed for the respective disciplines. The runners are divided into different age groups. These are: pupil C, pupil B, pupil A, youth, juniors, seniors or also called master class. This classification corresponds to international standards.

Compulsory running

In the compulsory skating, which has been abolished in figure skating, figures are presented on 6 m circles or 2 m loops. The geometric figures allow various combinations of arches. Depending on the level of difficulty, the runners run forwards or backwards on different edges (outwards or inwards) a figure (for example turns such as threesomes, double threes or counter threes, turn or counter turn) in continuous repetition. The elements are run on the circles / loops. Compulsory running requires not only physical fitness and good body control, but also a strong focus on the figure. Accordingly, compulsory running is often seen as a “condition” for freestyle skating, as it trains basic skills such as edge skating, upright posture and body awareness.

In the competitions, four or three random compulsory forms are selected in advance and are not communicated to the runners until the day of the competition. First, all participating runners run the first arch one after the other until the same thing happens with the second arch. Depending on the number of participants in the compulsory competitions, these can vary between 45 minutes and 6 hours. This extremely long duration places the athletes before pronounced psychological stress.

Free skating

As in ice skating, the roller art skaters perform free-style elements. These are jumps, pirouettes and step sequences.

The athletes mainly show Toeloop , Salchow , Flip , Rittberger , Lutz and Axel as jumps . As with figure skating, pirouettes can also be found in a horizontal, sitting and standing position. However, there are also other pirouettes, more artistic than ice skating. These American pirouettes , named after their origins in the USA, include, for example, inverted (you also rotate by 180 ° horizontally, so you turn with your back to the ground in a horizontal position), hoe (you rotate on the hook rollers, i.e. the two back rollers Rollers) or Broken Ankle (you only rotate on the two inner rollers). Furthermore, detailed step material, the step sequences, is required as a connecting element between the elements.

In the competitions, all runners in a category are initially divided into groups of five. These five runners then all have 5 minutes of warm-up time at the same time, during which they can prepare for their choreography (the so-called freestyle) without music. After the run-in period has elapsed, all participants are asked by the track and the first runner presents his freestyle. In all disciplines, a short freestyle and a long freestyle are presented by each runner. These differ mainly in their duration (the short freestyle, depending on the age group, between 2 min. And 2.45 min. --- the long freestyle, depending on the age group, between 2.30 min. And 5 min.), But is especially great in the short freestyle strongly prescribed which elements must or may be shown. The results of the Short Freestyle and Long Freestyle will be summarized for the final decision.

Pair skating

In pairs, a man (boy) and a woman (girl) start together. As with freestyle skating, a short and a long freestyle are presented, in which freestyle elements can also be found. However, these are presented side by side and as synchronized as possible . Then there are the so-called pair running elements. These are throw jumps, pair skating pirouettes and, above all, lifts. The special thing about running in pairs is the high degree of freedom of your own running. For example, couples can perform their own lifts at competitions without prior registration or assessment of the elements. This ensures a great variety in the pair race. For example, one of the latest commonly used lifts is the Venerucci rise, invented by 11-time world champion in pair skating, Patrick Venerucci, in 2001.

The advantage of roller skates, in contrast to ice skates, comes into play above all in the lifts. The rollers make it possible to keep your own momentum for longer or to pick up speed again during a lift. This makes longer and more spectacular combinations possible than in figure skating. Another big difference to figure skating is the fact that most lifts in roller figure skating are only possible through a fast rotation of the pair skater around its own axis.

Roll dancing

A gentleman and a lady run steps to the rhythm of the music. Here is not the melody, such as B. in freestyle skating, but emphasizes the beat of the music. Lifts are only permitted under certain conditions, and jumping elements are also prohibited. Dance pirouettes are also only permitted to a limited extent.

Solo dancing

Similar to roll dancing, but everyone runs for himself here. The solo dancing competition is not distinguished by gender. In solo dancing you have to do both compulsory dances and (depending on age) an OSP or a dance freestyle, which must include 2 jumps and 2 pirouettes. The compulsory dances are set at the beginning of the season and vary depending on the age group. At the beginning of the season, the theme of the OSP is also determined (e.g. samba, polka ...).

The solo dance groups are divided according to age: Student C; Student B; Student A; Youth; Juniors; Master class! There is also a popular sport category in solo dancing: beginners.


The focus here is on the spectacle effect of entertainment. Show runners run alone (solo), in pairs (duo), as a quartet (classic group of four) or in groups (six or more runners). Individual elements of the freestyle are only conditionally permitted.

Formation running

Formation runners emphasize the technical difficulty of the convergence of many roller art skaters. Different formations, ie circles, blocks, mills or wheels and other geometric shapes are run as precisely as possible.

Inline Artistic

The use of so-called inline artistic skates is new in the field of art skating . They are similar to the inline skates , but only have three wheels and the stopper like the roller skates at the front. This property enables freestyle skating as in ordinary art skating. There is no compulsory run.

Performance class

The performance class depends on the age and the performance level of the runner, which must be proven in a performance test. The change between competitive and popular sport as well as the individual performance classes is possible at any time within the framework of the respective regulations.

Overview of the performance classes in competitive and popular sports
competitive sport Popular sport
Performance class Master class CUP women

from 11 years


Age group from 20 years
Performance test PT Mkl

KT Jun

Performance class Juniors
Age group 18-19 years
Performance test PT Jun

KT Youth

Performance class youth
Age group 16-17 years
Performance test PT Jug


Performance class Student A
Age group 14-15 years
Performance test PT A


Performance class Student B Junior class
Age group 12-13 years from 11 years
Performance test PT B


Performance class Pupil C Skater
Age group 10-11 years from 11 years
Performance test PT C


Performance class Pupil D Figure runner
Age group 8–9 years 9-12 years
Performance test PT KL


Fig -KL
Performance class Free runner Free runner
Age group up to 8 years 9-11 years
Performance test Free-Fig Free-Fig
Performance class Beginner Beginner
Age group 7–9 years 8-10 years
Performance test Max. Free Max. Free
Performance class Minis ---
Age group 5-7 years
Performance test ---

Performance test

Freestyle test

  • Freestyle test juniors (KT Jun)
    • Step free to music (track image and music freely selectable) with elements such as threesomes, counter threesomes, turn, Mohawk, Choktaw but also flying pose, Ina Bauer, Hackenmond, Butterfly etc. allowed. The step freestyle is given A and B marks. (Duration: 1:30 min)
    • 2 jump combinations with at least one double jump
    • Doppellutz / Thoren / Doppelflip
    • Doppellutz combination consisting of at least 3 and at most 4 jumps, either with a double knight or a triple jump of your choice
    • Women: heel pirouette vorw. or reverse + inverted (at least 3 + 3 turns)
    • Men: alternating heel pirouette va + ra (at least 3 + 4 or 4 + 3 turns)
    • Heel pirouette vorw. + Broken Ankle + Inverted (at least 3 turns each) or heel pirouette forwards. + Broken Ankle + Heel pirouette backwards (at least 3 turns each)
  • Freestyle test youth (KT youth)
    • Circular step sequence with stop steps, in figure eight 2
    • Short-cut sequence as in season: circular, longitudinal or serpentine
    • Double benefit
    • Doppelrittberger
    • Double flip + double toe loop
    • Broken Ankle (at least 3 turns) or Inverted (at least 2 turns)
    • Heel pirouette va + heel pirouette ra (at least 2 + 3 U. or 3 + 2 U.)
  • Freestyle test A (KT A)
    • Diagonal step sequence: counter three steps, right and left
    • Spiral step sequence with at least 3 different positions
    • Double flip 4 combination with double salchow
    • Axel / Rittberger / double loop
    • Interchangeable balance (at least 3 + 3 revolutions)
    • Heel pirouette va (at least 2 turns) or heel pirouette ra (at least 2 turns)
  • Freestyle test B (KT B)
    • Diagonal step sequence: Lunge K / double threes right, left and right
    • Circular step sequence: three-step Rittberger step in figure eight
    • Double salchow
    • Double loop
    • 5 Rittberger
    • centrifuged balance right (at least 2 turns)
    • centrifuged scale ra (at least 3 turns)
    • centrifuged scales va (at least 3 revolutions)
  • Freestyle test C (KT C)
    • Circular step sequence: Mohawk steps ve in 8-form
    • Long-step sequence: three va with backwards serpentine arch left and right
    • Rittberger
    • Lutz
    • Axel
    • Flip / Thoren / Salchow
    • centrifuged scales va (2 revolutions)
    • centrifuged scale ra (2 turns)
  • Freestyle athlete (KT KL)
    • Running steps and translating forward to the right and left
    • Reverse translation, in figure eight with 1/4 circle each exit
    • spread triple jump
    • Toe loop
    • Salchow
    • Flip
    • Stand pirouette right (at least 3 turns)
    • Seat pirouette right (at least 3 turns)

Compulsory test

Overview of the compulsory tests for the individual performance classes
Performance class Compulsory test
Master class


Counter triple paragraph ra

Loop Paragraph Rra

Noose Paragraph Lra


(PT Jun)

Double triple paragraph ra

Counter-three-paragraph above

Loop Paragraph above


(PT Jug)

Double triple paragraph above

Noose Rre

Snake bow noose ra

Student A

(PT A)

Counter three va

Turn mainly

Turn ve

Counter turn ve

Student B

(PT B)

Counter three ve

Counter turn va

Snake bow noose va

Noose Rre

Pupil C

(PT C)

Snake arch double threesome Rva

Serpentine double threesome Lva

Loop rva

Loop rve



Bow eight rva

Bow eight rve

Bow-eight rra

Bow eight rre

Dance test

Overview of the dances to be completed in pair and solo dance
class Couple dance Solo dance
Dance test gold



Viennese waltz

Iceland Tango

Paso Doble


Viennese waltz

Iceland Tango

Italian Foxtrot

Great silver test


Italian Foxtrot

Harris Tango


Starlight Waltz

Flirtation Waltz

Harris Tango


Fourteen Step Plus

Small silver test


Association Waltz

Rocker Fox Trot 1

Flirtation Waltz


Terenzi Waltz

Rocker Fox Trot

Imperial Tango


Great bronze test


European waltz

Keats Foxtrot

Fourteen step

Imperial Tango

European waltz

Keats Foxtrot

Association Waltz

Kent Tango

Small bronze test


Little waltz

Swing fox trot

Tudor Waltz

Denver Shuffle

Siesta Tango

Little waltz

Swing fox trot

Tudor Waltz

Denver Shuffle

Siesta Tango

Assessment in competitions

Compulsory running

The figure is rated on a scale from 0 (not run) to 10 (perfect). Here, 1/10 steps are used for further subdivision.

Freestyle skating, pair skating, dancing, formation skating, show

The evaluation is based on two grades, the A grade for the technical difficulty of the program, the B grade for the execution and the artistic design of the program. The grade ranges from 0 (not taken) to 10 points (perfect). There is a scaling in 1/10 steps.

Spread in the world

Every year there are European and national championships in roller skating and roller dancing as well as other disciplines. The most successful nation in these championships nowadays is Italy. It is not uncommon for Italy to win all disciplines. However, Germany has won the world championship or vice world championship title several times since 2002, especially in the women's duty. In 2009 Germany also won the world championship title in formation.

At the 1999 World Championships in Australia, where the discipline of formation running was on the program for the first time, the German teams dominated. The Lower Saxony “Dream Team” achieved the world championship title every year from 1999 to 2002 and in 2002 received the Silver Laurel Leaf. The Hessian formation “Skate Attack” from Ober-Ramstadt was also successful. From 2002 to 2007 she won the European championship title every year and the world championship title in 2004 and 2005, as well as a few German and southern German championship titles, but said goodbye after the 2007 World Cup in Australia with the runner-up world title and only runs at shows and galas. Since the 2003 World Cup in Buenos Aires, the formations from Argentina and Italy in particular have continued to develop and, just like the German teams, now achieve top positions in international competitions.

What is noticeable among the Italians is the dominance in freestyle skating, through triple jump combinations and artistic pirouettes, in compulsory running through a figure drawn as if with a pen with beautiful edges and almost perfect postures. Furthermore, Italian runners impress with their elegance paired with an almost inimitable dynamic and zest for life in expression. The specialization of the Italians is also striking, runners often only start in one discipline, compulsory or freestyle. However, Spanish runners have been able to bring home medals from international competitions more and more often in recent years. The great weakness of the Spaniards, however, is compulsory running, which means that they almost only promote free-style runners and allow them to take part in European and World Championships. There are already schools in France that specialize in figure skating. The lessons are adapted to the training on them. The students of the boarding schools have to run in almost all disciplines, which means that there is no specialization in a certain area of ​​roller art in France.

In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Germany was the most successful figure skating nation. In 1955, Helene Kienzle , a roller skater, was even voted Sportswoman of the Year. Today the starters of the German Roll and Inline Association e. V. mostly medals in the compulsory runners or in a combination - compulsory and freestyle results are added together here. Lately (since the beginning of 2000) there have been several world championships in both the junior and senior classes, especially in the women's duty.

German medal winners from the last time (since the beginning of 2000) are Frank Albiez, for years among the men at the top, Daniel Müller Nathalie Heinz , Patricia Schmitz (née Stolzenberg), Constance Hossfeld, the Clad siblings, Monika Lis , Markus Lell, Christian von Känel, Sarah Bergmann, Nina Zöllner, Christiane Reich, Hannes Muschol, the Woyciechowski siblings as well as German formations such as the Dream Team. The current German national trainers in roller art skating are Renate Heinz for compulsory skating and Luca Lallai for freestyle skating. The most successful figure skating clubs in Germany include: The Freiburger Turnerschaft v. 1844, the REV Heilbronn , the Hanauer REC, ERC Bremerhaven and the RSV Einbeck .

Other successful nations are Argentina, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Chinese Taipei, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland and others.

World championships


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Artistic roller skating and inline skating are not Olympic / James A. Pollard wants to change that on
  2. Competition rules . (PDF) In: DRIV competition rules. German Roller Sports and Inline Association, April 14, 2017, pp. 53–54 , accessed on March 20, 2018 .
  3. Competition rules . (PDF) In: DRIV competition rules. German Roller Sports and Inline Association, April 14, 2017, p. 53 , accessed on March 20, 2018 .
  4. Artistic roller skating - World Championships (venues) on