United States Figure Skating Test Track vs. Well Balanced
Test Track vs. Well Balanced Program
What is the difference?
First- I want to explain what is the same. The Well Balanced event has always been around; it just has a new name. Before the Test Track event was created, figure skaters had one option: to enter a freestyle event. If your figure skater was Preliminary level, typically she would enter the Preliminary Freestyle event. I say typically, because it’s possible to enter a skater in a higher level than his or her current test level.
Adding an alternative track for restricted competition encourages skaters, offers them opportunities for success in a competitive atmosphere while they continue to progress through the USFS tests. Competitions that offer Test Track allow more opportunities to keep skaters motivated along the way and keep them excited about their abilities. USFS created this event in hopes of retaining skaters who may be discouraged by the high level of technical elements at all levels.
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The Test Track Event is a newer event and can be offered at all non-qualifying competitions. Test Track was created to better align a skater’s USFS test level with competition structure. If your skater has passed or can do everything in the USFS Preliminary Freestyle Test, then she should have no problem competing in the Preliminary Test Track Freestyle event. Test Track events restrict elements such as the Axel. (I think this can be better explained with a chart, see below.)
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On the flip side, if your figure skater has passed or can do everything in the USFS Preliminary Freestyle, she might not be ready to compete in a Preliminary Well Balanced program. Why? Axles and Doubles are allowed in Preliminary Well Balanced, but not Preliminary Test Track. Test level determines what level to compete in, not the other way around. If a skater has passed Preliminary Freestyle she, could compete in either Preliminary Test Track or Preliminary Well Balanced, but not both at the same competition.
|Preliminary USFS Freestyle Test Requirements||Basic Skills Competition Preliminary Test Track Freestyle Program||Basic Skills Competition Preliminary Well Balanced Program|
|Jumps: 1 . Waltz jump 2. Salchow 3. Toe loop 4. Loop 5. Flip 6. One jump combination consiting of the jumps listed above (not turn of change of foot between jumps)||Jumps: Jumps with not more than one rotation (no Axels). Jump combinations and sequences are allowed. Maximum 5 jump elements||Jumps: A well-balanced program consisting of: Jumps: maximum of 5 jump elements, one of which must be an axel/waltz jump-type jump . Must have passed no highter than U.S. Figure Skating|
|Spins: 1. One (1) foot back spin (minimum three  revolutions) 2. Sit Spin (minimun three revolustions)||Spins:Two spins of a different nature, comination spins allowed. (Min 3 revolutions each, no flying spins)||Spins: maximum of 2 spins of a different nature|
|Step Sequence||Step Sequence||Step Sequence|
|Connecting moves and steps should be demonstrated throughout theprogram||Steps: Connecting moves and steps should be demonstrated throughout the program||Steps: one step sequence utilizing ½ the ice surface|
|Preliminary free skate. Time: 1:30 +/-10||Preliminary free skate. Time: 1:30 +/-10|
This is a pretty general overview. If you have more specific questions please ask!
Have you or your skater competed in either the Test Track or Well Balanced events? Do you prefer one over the other?
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