serious figure skaters train each year with the goal of
participating in a competition.
What Are Competitions?
A competition is test of
skill or ability where a winner is selected from among a number
of contestants. Much time and preparation
goes into preparing for figure skating competitions. Your first introduction
to the world of competition will be basic skills events. These
competitions can be local or can include skaters from one or
more states. Once your child advances out of the basic skills
level the skater will be eligible for non-qualifying and
qualifying competitions. Non-qualifying means that
skaters participating do not advance to
another level. Qualifying competitions are those where if
a skater places in the top four they will advance to another
These levels of
competition are regionals, sectionals, nationals and world.
for a regional non-qualifying or qualifying event is an
accomplishment in itself since there are very difficult figure
skating tests that must be passed before a figure skater is
What Are The Divisions
For Regional And Sectionals?
The United States is divided
into three sections, Pacific Coast, Midwestern and Eastern. Each
of these sections is divided into three regions, making it a
total of nine regions in the United States.
skaters in the juvenile/intermediate/novice/junior/senior levels
compete in these nine (9) regional championships across the
United States earning spots
to the U.S. Junior Championships (juvenile/intermediate), or to
the second leg of qualifying, the three (3) sectional
(Eastern/Midwestern/Pacific Coast) championships (novice/junior/senior).
Regionals And Sectional
A skater that is training for regionals, is preparing to compete in a competition
that will usually include several states. Regional competitions
are the first in a series of qualifying competitions, sanctioned
by U.S. Figure skating, which
usually takes place in October.
Most events at regionals are “qualifying” events. This means
that if a skater places in the top four at a regional qualifying
event, he or she qualifies to compete in sectional competitions.
Sectionals are usually held in November. If he or she places in
the top four in a sectional qualifying event, the skater
advances to nationals which take place in January. Regionals and Sectionals are very inexpensive so it is
worthwhile. Winning or placing in any qualifying competition is
quite an accomplishment!
Regional competitions also hold some non-qualifying events. These
events give lower level skaters an experience at participating
at a regional. They are called "non-qualifying" because winning
one doesn't make you eligible to skate in another competition.
Skaters participating in non-qualifying events do not advance to
sectionals or nationals You will find, at these events, children
experiencing their first competition and high-level athletes
trying out a new program.
Click here for current
U. S. Figure Skating Regional Map
"Nationals" is considered the
most prestigious event of the U.S. competitive figure skating
season. Nationals is the competition that helps determine which
skaters representing the United States will compete in the World
Figure Skating Championships. Those who place in the top in
championship events at U.S. Nationals usually qualify for the
World Figure Skating Championships which are held in March or
April. During an Olympic year, the Olympic Figure
Skating Team is chosen from those who place in the United States
National Figure Skating Championships. There are some elite,
eligible skaters that are exempt from qualifying for Nationals
each year, they compete in a series of events with the best
skaters in the world. This series of competitions is called the
Grand Prix, and it consists of six events held in North America,
Europe, and Asia.
Every skating season ends
with the World Championships and this event is hosted by a
different country each year. "Worlds" is the only event
where all the top skaters from every country meet and it is
therefore seen as the worlds top competition of the year.
The World Figure Skating Championships is the most prestigious
of all figure skating competitions. The only event that is
considered more important is the Olympic figure skating event.
Finally, there are the top figure skating competitions in the
world: the Winter Olympics. These events are held once
every four years, and it is every skaters dream to win an
Olympic gold medal.
How Often Should Your Child
Remember that preparing for
competitions is very time consuming and you will want your child
to be very successful so choose your competitions accordingly.
It is important to discuss with your coach which non-qualifying
competitions your child should enter to give them the experience
needed to compete in regionals. The same routine can be used for
several competitions and realize that your child will become a
better skater in the process of doing a program to music.