SRFSC Member Information

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As a member of the Santa Rosa Figure Skating Club, you will be able to participate in many kinds of skating competitions. Competitions sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Association are held throughout the year in rinks across the country, with events in freestyle, moves in the field, pairs, ice dancing, synchronized team skating, showcase, and artistic. Skaters may elect to participate in any or in all types of events. The Ice Skating Institute of America (ISI) also holds competitions for members of their organization. Please note that ISI group instruction (which designates skating levels differently than the USFSA) is not provided at Snoopy's Home Ice. (The ISI is explained further below.)

There is something for everyone in ice skating competition. Competitions are not only a lot of fun, but they also build character. Through skating and competing comes the development of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline, and self-reliance. Skaters learn that winning is great; but more importantly, participation and striving to do your best are the true rewards in competition and in life. Performing can be exciting and glorious as dedication and discipline are rewarded. Friends are made, confidence is built, and life lessons are learned. Competitors have many opportunities to improve how they deal with success and disappointments. Stress management, performing under pressure, and emotional control are enhanced, too. Learning the importance of being a good sport and respecting fair play can also be a result.

It's important to keep your SRFSC membership up to date, because in order to enter any USFSA-sanctioned competition, you must be a member of the USFSA in good standing and have the permission of your home club. Every competition entry form must be signed by a Club officer to confirm that you are a member in good standing. (Competition applications can be obtained from the skating professionals [coaches] at the ice arena.) There are also age and test qualifications for some events. Discuss these requirements with your professional, or consult the competition entry form and USFSA Rulebook.

Competitions with freestyle and pair events are most familiar to the general public, because these types of skating are featured prominently on TV during U.S. National Championships, World Championships, and the Winter Olympics. Freestyle skating consists of jumps, spins, and footwork, as well as other athletic and artistic movements skated to music. Pairs, in which two skaters work together, adds elements such as lifts, assisted jumps, and skating in unison. The freestyle and pair levels (adults excepted, see below) are as follows:

Basic Skills Pre-Juvenile Novice
Pre-Preliminary Juvenile & Open Juvenile Junior
Preliminary Intermediate Senior or Championship

A new skater normally starts competing at the Basic Skills or Pre-Preliminary level and progresses through subsequent levels by mastering new elements and passing skating tests. Skaters can participate in events called non-qualifying competitions, as well as qualifying competitions that ultimately lead to the National Championships. The SRFSC may reimburse some fees to skaters competing in qualifying competitions. (A Club officer can refer you to detailed information regarding reimbursement.) For current detailed information on competition qualifications and age restrictions for the levels of skating, please refer to section CR of the USFSA Rulebook.

The age restrictions are as follows:

Senior, Junior, and Novice: no age restriction
Intermediate: open to skaters who have not reached the age of 18
Juvenile:  open to skaters who have not reached the age of 13
Open Juvenile:  open to skaters who are age 13-16

Adult events are offered at the Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels in freestyle, artistic, pairs, and dance. The adult categories are broken down by age as follows:

Class I: 25-35 years
Class II:  36-45 years
Class III:  46-55 years
Class IV:  56 and over

Age groups may be combined, as warranted by the number of participants in a given event. 
There are numerous Adult Only competitions throughout the year, and many general competitions include adult events. The adult qualifying competition involves three Sectional Championships that qualify skaters to compete in the Adult Nationals held every spring. There are also non-qualifying events offered at Adult Nationals. For current information, please see the USFSA Rulebook.

Moves in the field events are offered in some non-qualifying competitions. The levels are the same as freestyle and pairs. Please check individual entry forms for these events.

Ice dance levels range from Preliminary through International. Skaters start at the beginning (Preliminary) level and take tests to move up to higher levels. Ice dancing is included in all qualifying competitions. There are also non-qualifying competitions throughout the year that offer ice dance events, as well as competitions that are exclusively for ice dancing. In addition to events for dancing couples, some competitions offer events for single dance skaters and shadow-dancing pairs, as well as some group events. The compulsory dances that must be tested for each level are listed below. Patterns for these dances are provided in the USFSA Rulebook.

Preliminary:    Dutch Waltz   Pre Bronze: Swing Dance
    Canasta Tango      Cha Cha  
    Rhythm Blues     Fiesta Tango
Bronze:   Hickory Hoedown   Pre Silver: Fourteenstep
    Willow Waltz     European Waltz
    Ten-Fox     Foxtrot
Silver:   American Waltz   Pre Gold: Killian
    Tango      Blues
    Rocker Foxtrot     Paso Doble
          Starlight Waltz
Gold:   Viennese Waltz      
    Westminster Waltz      
    Argentine Tango      
International:   Austrian Waltz       
    Cha Cha Congelado       
    Golden Waltz      
    Midnight Blues       
    Ravensburger Waltz      
    Silver Samba      
    Tango Romantica       
    Yankee Polka      

Synchronized team skating competitions are also categorized as either qualifying or non-qualifying. Synchronized team skating is a fast-paced, high-speed sport that requires intricate footwork, as well as the reliance on all members of the team to produce, in unison, a cohesive, beautifully orchestrated, yet complex program. Non-qualifying synchronized team skating competitions may be held at any time of the year. For qualifying competitions, teams first compete at one of three Sectional Championships that are generally held in late January or early February of each year. The top four teams at each Sectional then qualify to compete in the Synchronized Team Skating National Championships held in late March. Similar to the other types of skating, there are several levels in synchronized skating that are based on age and skating ability. The top two Senior teams at Nationals advance to the World Synchronized Team Skating Championships.

Showcase competitions originated on the West Coast. Our Club hosts one of the largest showcase competitions, the Redwood Empire Crystalline Classic, which is held each spring. Showcase competitions have levels similar to freestyle and pair events, as well as categories for a variety of program styles, including dramatic, light entertainment, group, similar pairs, interpretive, and comedy. Skaters are judged on artistic style, choreography, costume, and originality, and music with lyrics is allowed. Technical skill is not a factor in the judging of showcase competitions, so a skater does not need to be a triple jumper to do well in showcase. Props are allowed, and costumes can be much more fun and flashy than in technical freestyle and pair competitions. Every skater can be a star under spotlights during a showcase competition. Most non-showcase competitions with freestyle, pair, dance, and adult events also offer artistic events. Although artistic events have some restrictions on costumes and props and do not use spotlights, they do provide skaters with another opportunity to perform their showcase programs in competition.

The International Skating Institute is a skating association that offers testing, shows, and competitions for recreational skaters. In order to participate in ISI events, skaters are required to join the ISI. As with showcase competitions, entertainment is the most important element of an ISI competition. ISI hosts its own National and World Championships each year; however, skaters are not required to qualify for these competitions. In contrast, the United States Figure Skating Association is recognized as the official governing body for figure skating by the United States Olympic Committee. Therefore, only USFSA members are selected to represent the United States at the Olympics and other international competitions. Santa Rosa Figure Skating Club members are automatically members of the USFSA.

If you are confused or wish to question the judges regarding competition results, the correct procedure is to talk to your pro immediately after the results are posted. The pro should then ask the referee or competition chair if he or she could meet with one of the judges from the skater's panel. A meeting will be arranged so that the coach and judge can discuss any questions you might have.

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updated 10/20/2003