Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/184

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
168
168
SKEAT, W. W.

The following times and distances have also been recorded in America :

Distance.


h. m. s.


Name.


ioo yds .


9f


J. S. Johnson


4 m. . . .


35k


H. P. Mosher


i m. ...


2 36


J. Neilson


2 m. ...


5 42?


0. Rudd


5 m. ...


14 24


0. Rudd


10 m.


31 "l-


J. S. Johnson


50 m. . . .


3 15 59f


J. F. Donoghue


ioo m. .


7 11 381


J. F. Donoghue


See contemporary records in the Field, Outing, and other sporting journals, as well as the annual almanacs; A Bibliography of Skating, by F. W. Foster (London, 1898); Skating, in the Badminton Library (1892) ; Skating, in the Oval Series (1897) ; " Skating," article in the Encyclopaedia of Sport (1899); Skating, in the Isthmian Library (1901); Skating, by W. T. Richardson (New York, 1903).

Figure Skating. — This variety of skating, as subjected to definite rules, is quite modern, having originated in the 19th century, though the cutting of figures on the ice was regarded as an accomplishment by skaters long before.

Although the " Edinburgh Skating Club," founded in 1642, is the oldest skating organization in Great Britain, the " Skating Club" of London, formed in 1830, is the most important, and for many years practically controlled figure skating. Many other important figure skating clubs now exist in Great Britain, for entrance into which a certain standard of proficiency is demanded. Figure skating championships are now held in many countries under the auspices of the national associations, the world's championship meeting being held by the International Skating Union. In England great impetus has been given to figure skating by the multiplication of clubs (e.g. Wimbledon, founded 1870, Thames Valley, Crystal Palace, &c.) in addition to the original " Skating Club" and those in Switzerland already mentioned; and from the construction of numerous artificial rink's, such as at Niagara and Prince's Club in London, as well as by the encouragement afforded by the National Skating Associa- tion, which offers 1st, 2nd and 3rd class badges (and a special or " Diamond" badge for figure skating) for figure tests as well as for speed; in 1893 the Association founded a " London Skating Council," while in 1898 and in 1902 it held the figure skating championship of the world in London. In America comparatively little interest is shown in this branch of the sport.

In the British style of figure skating, which is not recognized by the International Skating Union, the body is held as nearly as possible upright, the employed leg is kept straight, the un- employed leg carried behind, the arms hang loosely at the sides, and the head is turned in the direction of progress. In the so- called Anglo-Swiss style, affected by British skaters trained at Davos and St Moritz, the upright, almost rigid position is insisted on, even the unemployed leg being held straight. Much more latitude is allowed by the Continental school, though no definite rules of form have been laid down. The knee of the employed leg is slightly bent, and the unemployed leg is in constant action, being used to balance the body during the execution of the figures. The Continental is less difficult in execution than the British style, but its movements are less graceful. There are, of course, local modifications, the strictest exponents of the English school being the Davos and St Moritz skaters, while the Continental varies from the complete abandon of the French to the more restrained style of the Germans; Canadians cultivate also grape-vines and other two-footed figures. The essential features are, however, identical. Thus Englishmen consider of secondary importance loops, cross-cuts, continuous and hand-in-hand skating, though such figures are included in the 1st class test of the N.S.A., and devote themselves mainly to " combined figures." Combined figures have been defined as " symmetrical execution of a figure by one or more pairs of skaters." Originally known as the " skating club figures," they have been gradually developed, and in 1891 delegates from the principal clubs established a regular terminology. The ideal number of skaters for a combined figure is four, though sixes and eights are seen, one being chosen " caller" of the movement to be skated. Various sets of " calls'" are arranged at the discretion of different clubs, and consist ordinarily of " turns " and " changes." The N.S.A. offer a challenge shield for an annual competition in combined figure skating. There has, however, been a marked tendency towards unification of style, through Englishmen adopting Continental methods, rendered almost a necessity by the circumscribed area of artificial rinks. In 1901 the Figure Skating Club was established for this purpose, and its members attained such success that an English lady, Mrs Syers, gained the second place in the world's championship competition in 1902, and with her husband won the International Pair Skating in that year, and again in 1904; and in 1906 she won the ladies' amateur championship of the world, established in that year.

The World's Figure Skating Championship was won in 1896 by Fuchs, Austria; 1897, G. Hiigel, Austria; 1898, H. Grenander, Sweden; 1899 and 1900, G. Hiigel, Austria; 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, U. Salchow, Sweden. The competition consists of two parts, (a) compulsory figures, (b) free skating, the latter affording scope for the performance of dance steps and brilliant individual figures, such as the " sitting pirouette," and the " star," consist- ing of four crosses (forward rocker, back loop, back counter), invented by Herr Engelmann and splendidly rendered by Herr Salchow.

The skates used for the English and Continental styles are shorter than those used for speed-skating, and differ in radius, though both are of the same type, i.e. a blade fastened to the boot by sole-plates, the " Mount Charles " pattern being the one generally adopted by Englishmen. The English radius is 7 ft., or now more usually 6 ft. ; the foreign, 5I or even 5 ft., and the result is seen in the larger curves skated on the former, and the greater pace obtained owing to de- creased friction; at the same time, the difficulty of making a turn is greater. The English skate has generally right-angled edges and blade of same thickness throughout, except in the " Dowler " variety, which is thicker towards the extremities. The foreign skate is some- times thicker in the middle than at the ends.

See Skating, in the Badminton Library (1892) ; Skating, in the Oval Series (1897) ; A System of Figure-Skating, by T. Maxwell Witham (5th ed., 1897); On the Outside Edge, by G. H. Fowler (1897); Combined Figure-Skating, by George Wood (1899); "Skat- ing," in the Encyclopaedia of Sport (1899); Handbook of Figure- Skating, by G. H. Brown (Springfield, Mass., 1900) ; Lessons in Skating, by G. A. Meagher (1900) ; Figure-Skating, by M. S. Monier- Williams, in the Isthmian Library (1901); How to become a Skater, by G. D. Phillips, in Spalding's Athletic Library, New York. See also Roller-Skating.


SKEAT, WALTER WILLIAM (1835– ), English philologist, was born in London on the 21st of November 1835, and educated at King's College, Highgate Grammar School, and Christ's College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow in July 1860. In 1878 he was elected Ellington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge. He completed Mitchell Kemble's edition of the Anglo-Saxon Gospels, and did much other work both in Anglo-Saxon and in Gothic, but is perhaps most generally known for his labours in Middle English, and for his standard editions of Chaucer and Piers Plowman (see Langland) As he himself generously declared, he was at first mainly guided in the study of Chaucer by Henry Bradshaw, with whom he was to have participated in the edition of Chaucer planned in 1870 by the University of Oxford, having declined in Bradshaw's favour an offer of the editorship made to himself. Bradshaw's perseverance was not equal to his genius, and the scheme came to nothing for the time, but was eventually resumed and carried into effect by Skeat in an edition of six volumes (1894), a supplementary volume of Chaucerian Pieces being published in 1897. He also issued an edition of Chaucer in one volume for general readers, and a separate edition of his Treatise on the Astrolabe, with a learned commentary. His edition of Piers Plowman in three parallel texts was published in 1886; and, besides the Treatise on the Astrolabe, he edited numerous books for the Early English Text Society, including the Bruce of John Barbour, the romances of Havelock the Dane and William of Palerne, and Ælfric's Lives of the Saints (4 vols.). For the Scottish Text Society he edited The Kingis Quair, usually ascribed to James I. of Scotland, and he published an edition (2 vols., 1871) of Chatterton, with an investigation of the sources