The figures are missing from the European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The International Skating Union phased out compulsory figures last year. The European event, which started in 1892, will rely on free skating to decide the winners.

The school figures, as they were known, were variations of the figure eight traced on the ice.

But the emphasis on free skating, with its jumps, spins and spectator appeal, finally took over. The competition is now divided among the original program and the long free program.

The short original program counts for one-third of the mark with required jumps and spins. The longer routine, counting for the remaining two-thirds, gives the skaters more freedom in choosing their program.

The women will start competition today with Evelyn Grossmann of Germany defending her title against French world junior champion Surya Bonaly.

Grossman developed under the East German system but finished third in the unified German championships. Her coach, Jutta Mueller, used to train former champion Katarina Witt.

The championships will continue through Sunday amid concerns about food and energy shortages. Bulgaria has had fuel problems, but organizers say competitors will not suffer. Two heavy generators are boosting electricity around the rinks. Fuel for the transportation of the skaters between the rink and the hotel also will be supplied.