Programs Designed to
Retain Figure Skaters

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications
High School Team
Figure Skating Programs

   Figure skating is a very popular sport in the USA.  Each year there are a relatively few skaters who qualify in the regional competitions so they may skate in the sectional championships. A high school skating club can be a desirable way to keep these skaters actively involved and motivated throughout the fall and winter.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Why spend the time and energy to start a high school skating club?
   There is a large number of high school and middle school students who enjoy skating from the beginner to senior level throughout the USA. The number of skating rinks and figure skating clubs has increased substantially for the past two decades.

   When the ideal of high school figure skating activities is explained, the members of these clubs support the idea of skating as a school activity in addition open competitions and qualifying regional figure skating competitions.  The problem is  there is no one, at the top level of the club, who is willing to "champion" the idea and do the initial ground work to organize club members to take action.

   A common complaint voiced by people who run all volunteer organizations is that it is difficult to attract people to volunteer. It may be because the volunteers being sought are not involved in the planning, but only in doing the work that is necessary for others to take the credit if the project is successful. When it isn't, then blame the lack of volunteers.

   It would take relatively little effort if many people lend a hand, but it is hard work to find, train, and organize the coordination of volunteers. With little or no recognition for these efforts volunteer efforts, it is hard to acquire and retain a pool of club members who provide the drive and energy to support an activity unless they child is directly involved. Even then, some adults seem content to have other parents accept the responsibility to perform the jobs associated with their son or daughter being able to test and compete.

What exactly is a school skating club?
   A school skating club can consist of a group students, from middle schools that feed into a large high school or a group of smaller high schools, who are interested in figure skating and wish to skate as a team to represent their school in an annual state competition.

    The club can be made up of skaters from beginner through senior level. This type of school club competition is unique in that members can range from the beginner level to the highest proficiency and be representing their school on the same team.

    This also allows skaters who are unable to participate in other after school sports due to their level of commitment to skating to participate on a team that is representing their school.

    A skating club is a fun, friendly why for figure skaters to represent their school and develop friendships outside of school in a safe and supervised activity.

Does the USFS supports this concept?
    The United States Figure Skating (USFS) is the governing body of the figure skating in the United States. The USFS fully supports this concept. All high school figure skating clubs must register their team annually with the USFS.

Is there an example of a High School Team Championship?
   There are a significant number of high school and collegiate teams in Ohio. The Shaker Figure Skating Club has hosted the Ohio High School Team Championship since 2006. The following schools have participated in the Ohio High School Team Championship:

High School Teams -
  • Shaker Heights HS
  • Solon HS
  • Orange HS
  • Mentor HS
  • Kenston HS
  • Laurel School
  • Hathaway Brown
  • Hawken School
  • Gilmour Academy
  • Padua Franciscan HS
  • Wooster HS
  • Twinsburg HS
  • Stow Munroe Falls HS
  • Strongsville HS
  • Garfield Heights HS
  • Lake Catholic HS
  • Notre Dame Cathedral Latin
  • Kent Roosevelt HS
  • Riverside HS

Collegiate teams -
  • Ohio University
  • Miami University
  • Kent State University

2011 Ohio High School Team Figure Skating Championship Announcement

2009 – 2010 Michigan High School Figure Skating Competition Series Dates and Locations

     The Michigan High School Skating Series was introduced in 1999. It has continued to grow every year, the Michigan High School Skating series offers great opportunities for skaters to participate in team sports and to be part of their school’s athletic program. Starting with 10 teams and a single competition in 1999, the 2010 series has 50 teams and 16 competitions.

Are there other high school skating clubs?
     Currently the following states have active high school skating clubs:
          • Michigan
          • Indiana,
          • Connecticut
          • Massachusetts
          • Rhode Island,
          • Vermont
          • New Jersey
          • Colorado.
List of School Affiliated Figure Skating Clubs by State

Who is eligible to join a high school skating club?
    Any student interested in figure skating could join the club. Each school will have guidelines for academic, discipline and attendance that students must follow to be members of clubs. In order to participate in a High School Championship, school club members must also be members of USFS in order to have insurance coverage for the competition.

    A student could be a member of the club and choose not to participate in the competition, however,  this scenario is unlikely due to the fact that the competition is the main focus to form a club team.

Will the club have a charter, team meetings, and an advisor?
    Schools typically require clubs to have charters and a faculty advisor for formulation. The number of team meetings will be dependent on the group's by-laws.

    Each team must have an advisor (who signs the application sent to the USFS). The advisor should be chosen based on their interest in figure skating. The advisor should also plan to attend  all competitions.

   Teams will plan their team wardrobe,  selecting team members for the spin and maneuver teams,  making signs for the competition(s). and any fundraising that might be needed for the team to travel to the competitions, including the state championship.

What functions will the skating club perform and what will they accomplish at their school?
    The club will promote figure skating within the school community. In general they will promote school spirit by representing their school at the annual high school competition.

    One part of the competition is a “spirit award”. This award is given by the skating professionals present based on the school’s spirit shown through signs, fans cheering for their team, team colors/clothing. Team members who are not competing at the event may assist the organizing club with score running, music running and monitoring duties.

What are the skating club membership requirements?
    Every school will have requirements for club membership. The skating club will have to comply with those requirements.

   Any club member who intends to participate in the annual competition must also be a member of USFS. If they are currently a member of an affiliated USFS figure skating club, they will already be a member of USFS. If they are not a current member of a figure skating club, they will have to join USFS.

   The student should speak to the advisor about how to go about joining USFS. There may
also be some fees incurred with practicing at a local rink, coaches fees and any team uniform (jacket, shirt).

What paperwork is required from the school district?
    Your school district will require the club organizers to complete paperwork similar to other clubs forming at your school in order to receive recognition. Each school is different, so you will need to investigate this with your activities advisor.

   Once the club is formed at the school, you must submit the Application for School Affiliated Club Membership form to the USFS along with a $30 fee. The fee should be paid by all participating members of the skating club.

   There is no other form needed from the school for the club to participate in local and annual championship competition. This championship will be run similar to other skating competitions where the entrance fees will be born by the individual skaters.

    Travel to the competition site will also be arranged by the skaters and will not involve school property or equipment such as school buses.

What is a High School Team Championship and how will students participate?
In order for the clubs to have a purpose and goal, a high school team championship competition will need to be hosted. A local Figure Skating Club or an Interclub Association or Council can host the event.

    This competition is sanctioned by the USFS. The competition is held outside of school hours and transportation to the event is the responsibility of the skaters and parents.

How is the competition judged?
    The competition is judges by USFS sanctioned judges who donate their time and expertise year round to the sport of figure skating. This competition is judged using the 6.0 system.

    The competition includes the following events:
  • free skating
  • compulsory moves
  • short program events
  • showcase events
  • two team events
  • a team production number
   The team events consist of 2 to 4 members from the school. The team events include spin and maneuver team.

   The showcase events can be judged by USFS official judges or by“guest” judges who are not sanctioned judges of USFS who have a relationship and knowledge of figure skating that qualify them to judge this portion of the competition.

    Skaters placing first through fourth place in the showcase events will be eligible to compete at Showcase Nationals.

What are the competition awards?
     The championship is run in a similar manner to other USFS sanctioned competitions. Each event will be judged individually and medals are awarded for First through Sixth place. The school represented by the skater will receive the following points for their placement:

1st place – 6 points
2nd place – 5 points
3rd place – 4 points
4th place – 3 points
5th place – 2 points
sixth place – 1 point

    Schools will receive plaques for overall point totals for the free skating events; compulsory moves and short program; showcase; maneuver teams; and spin teams. There are overall team point total award trophies for first, second and third place. The judges also award a trophy for Team Spirit. The medals are for the skaters to keep personally. The plaques and trophies are to be presented to their school for the school’s trophy case.

Is there a fee for skaters to skate in the championship?
   Yes, there will be fee required of all skaters. Each skater may participate in a maximum of three events for their school team. The production group number is a separate event and can be a 4th event for those skaters entering three other events. The team may hold fundraisers in order to off-set the entry fee expense. This is up to each school to determine.

Can a skater’s private coach attend and coach at the championship?
    There is no admission fee for spectators. Private coaches are encouraged to attend ; however, only other skaters and the team advisor are permitted to “put out” skaters at the competition.

    Private coaches who attend may “coach” their students in between events, but they are not permitted to stand by the boards during the competition. This is another way to reduce the skaters’ expense for the competition.

Are there individuals to contact to get more information?
    The USFS club that is hosting of a sanctioned figure skating competition publishes a competition announcement that list the registrar, Chief Referee, and Chief Accountant. Any of these individuals should be able to assist in answering questions you might have.

affiliated club members are an important part of promoting and growing the sport
of figure skating in the U.S.

Starting a High School Figure Skating Club   PowerPoint Presention

Recommended Reading:

Table of Contents - Basic Skills Bridge Program Handbook

Skating Programs, Seminars, and Workshops

Team Ice Skating Sports


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

High School Skating Clubs
USFS High School Skating Clubs & Teams
Skating Actively During School
Ice Skating During High School
High School Team Skating Programs
High School Figure Skating Programs
High School Club Policies & Participation
PDF  Member Application School Affiliated Club
PDF  How to Start a High School Program

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