I am practicing for the Adult Pre-Bronze MITF test next month and would like to know the thoughts of the judges and coaches here on the number of crossovers at the end of the rink during perimeter stroking. The test book diagram shows 4 crossovers, my coach says 4 crossovers, but the test book states: "The skater will perform four to eight straight strokes depending on the length of the ice and the strength of the skater, with crossovers
around the ends, using the full ice surface and for one full lap of the rink (in both directions)."
It doesn't specify the number of crossovers like it does with the number of strokes. In watching many other (passing) PB MITF test videos online, and even the USFSA video here http://www.usfsa.org/Shell.asp?sid=35082
, I see a lot of people doing only 3 crossovers and not 4.
I'm finding that the 4th crossover makes me start to turn towards the center of the ice right when I am ready to start stroking. In other words, 3 crossovers enable me to use all of the ice around the curve but the 4th makes me turn too far away from the wall when, at that point, I really need to go straight with stroking. I'm finding that I have to make the 4th crossover really small which looks terrible and stiff. Maybe I have enough power in the 3 crossovers that I don't need the 4th.
What are your recommendations for the number of crossovers at the end? Would you ding a skater for doing 3, if she has enough power and extension to do it, rather than 4?
FWIW, I'm on an Olympic size rink and will be for testing.