In 1984, more than 24 million people in Great Britain watched ice dance pair Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean earn unanimous 6.0s for presentation, the only perfect score in Olympic skating history, which was ranked the 8th greatest sporting moment in a UK poll. [58] They may wear opaque flesh-colored leggings or tights under dresses and skirts, which may extend to cover their skates.

Note: The IJS previously used a GOE scale of –3 to +3[47] but this was changed for the 2018–19 season and is in the early stages of being tested in competitions. [136] Television also played a role in removing the restrictive amateur status rules that once governed the sport. Olympic-sized rinks make the differences in skill between skaters more apparent but they are not available for all events. Edge jumps use no toe assist, and include (in order of score value): Again, these descriptions assume a counter-clockwise direction of rotation, landing backwards on the outside edge of the right foot. The start order for the initial phase (short program or compulsory dance) of the competition has traditionally been determined by random draw, but at some competitions is now the reverse order of seeding or qualification placement. Competitions in synchronized skating follow a somewhat modified procedure. In addition, pairs and ice dancers skating as a unit have right of way over those skating separately as changing course is more difficult for a couple. The only quad not to have been accomplished by a skater in competition is the quadruple Axel, which involves four and a half rotations. The coach holds the other end of the cable and lifts the skater by pulling the cable/rope.

At synchronized skating competitions, the judges' stand is positioned high above the ice for better visibility of the formations, and there is a second referee at ice level responsible for dealing with accidents and safety issues. [65] However, American pair skater Natasha Kuchiki was allowed to compete at the 1990 World Championships when she was two years too young and American single skater Tara Lipinski, who was 13 at the time the 1996 rules were introduced, was grandfathered into remaining eligible for future events, along with other skaters who had already competed at the World Championships. The inside edge of the blade is on the side closest to the skater, the outside edge is on the side farthest from the skater, and a flat refers to skating on both edges at the same time, which is discouraged. Skating was formerly judged for "technical merit" (in the free skate), "required elements" (in the short program), and "presentation" (in both programs). Spins that are entered through a jump are calling flying spins; these include the flying camel, flying sit spin, death drop, and butterfly spin.

The Tonya Harding scandal in 1994 increased interest in figure skating. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union rose to become a dominant force in the sport, especially in the disciplines of pair skating and ice dance. There are very few "qualifying" competitions, although some districts hold Gold Competitions for that season's first-place winners. Long lifts may last up to ten seconds in competition on the senior level. Figure skating - Figure skating - Professional ice skating: Most professional competitions are invitation-only events.

Skaters may also raise their score by having a difficult entry such as in spiral or spread eagle position, a difficult exit, or other features such as stopping the rotation, turning a carry lift into rotational one, or reversing rotation (i.e. Skaters risk a deduction if a piece of their costume falls onto the ice surface.

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