Skating Standards

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Test & Elite Skating Standards
 
Test Track 
    The Test Track Program designed to allow skaters participate in a full academic preparation program for college admission. Test track skaters take the same USFS tests to qualify to enter qualifying competitions; however, they compete against other skaters who are enrolled in school full-time.

    Many skaters do carry a full load of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and attempt to balance late night studying and early morning skating session in cold rink rinks. Sleep deprivation is common and requires the skater to adhere to a very strict schedule. Also required is a very dedicated parent who gets the skater up and provides the transportation to to the rink and school.

     Some people seem to have disdain in their voice when talking about anyone who does not want to become an elite athlete.  The primary reason to participate in a sport is because of the comradeship of other athletes and the fun they derive from participation - not the winning.

     Individuals who lack the obsessive/compulsive drive, that it takes to reach the elite stasis, have a broader view of what they want to accomplish in life. They participate in physical exercise, sports, and recreational activities and in the process they acquire the habits of maintaining a healthy life style. The benefits they derive includes:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased cardiovascular endurance and speed
  • Improved muscular coordination patterns
  • Preventing injuries
  • Positive self image, satisfaction and overall wellness
  • Control weight
  • Body sculpting
      Recreational sports activities include cycling, softball, golf, tennis, volleyball, ice and ballroom dancing, etc.  Recreational enthusiasts should not be confused with "weekend jocks", and especially those who combine the consumption of alcohol with playing a sport.

Elite Track
    The Elite Track option is for skaters who wish to participate in the process of selecting skaters at regional, sectional, and nationals which ultimately results in the selection of skaters who represent the United States in international figure skating championships such the World Figure Skating Championships and the Winter Olympic USFS Figure Skating team.

    Many elite skaters pursue alternative education programs in order to have enough time to participate in a very full training program on the ice plus additional training sessions off-ice that consists of:
  • ballet, jazz, modern dance, etc. classes
  • strengthening, flexibility, warm up and cool down exercises
  • choreography sessions
   Elite Track skaters usually do not receive subsidies until they are noticed at the junior and senior events. Ultimately the goal is to be selected to compete in International Competitions. The need to seek employment to fund their skating expenses sometimes conflicts with educational and skating goals.

   There are educational scholarships that are open to both Test and Elite Track skaters.

Recommended Reading:

Surprising Facts About World Class Athletes

References:

World Recreational Team Championships Ice Skating Institute Recreational Ice Skating · The ISI Handbook ... Worlds, because it gives everyone a chance to skate against great competitors.

Serious Recreational Skaters - Figure Skating - About.com If you do not feel you can commit to being a serious competitive skater, it may be easier to commit to the lifestyle of a “serious recreational skater.”

Welcome to U.S. Figure Skating
The USFSA is the national governing body of the sport of figure skating in the United States and has a membership of over 140,000.

Ice Skating Instruction for a Serious Competitive Skater It is rare for a skater to just jump immediately into competitive skating. Usually a child starts taking group lessons and progresses to passing badges and entering local skating competitions, Basic Skills events, and recreational ice skating.
 
Resources:

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:

USFS Test Judging Topics
PDF  IJS Handbook
PDF  Judges Singles & Pairs Training Manual New  Evaluation of Jumps
PDF  Chart of Changes to MITF  9/2/2010 PDF  2011 USFS Tests Book 8/27/10
PDF  A need for Test Program Element Sheet
PDF  USFS Compulsory Figures Rules
PDF  Focus Points: Evaluate Tests
Roles of Skating Judges and Coaches
Discussion of MITF Topics
New & Revised MITF Elements
Critiquing Skating Performances
Requirements to Pass MITF
MITF Judging Criteria
Critique Sheets
Basic Skating Judging Protocols
Basic Skills Judging Competitions
Worksheets & References for Judges
Test and Elite Standards
A Positive Environment for Adult Skaters
Focus of Free Skating Test Judging
Interpreting 6.0 Score Sheets
School Figures
  

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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