First competition: What do I need to know?

When your skater’s coach thinks your skater is ready to compete, he/she will come to you first to see if you are interested. Competition entry fees range from approximately $60 to $100. Other costs include a competition dress (also available for rent through the club), transportation, food, coach fees, and possibly overnight accommodations. Your skater’s first competition will likely be “Futures” held no more than about 2 hours away and sometimes as close as our own rink so overnight accommodations are usually unnecessary. Your coach will provide you with a registration form or direct you to an online registration form to sign up your skater.

On the day of the competition, you should arrive at the arena an hour before your skater is scheduled to skate. Competitions can sometimes run up to 20 minutes ahead of schedule but no longer. When you arrive, parents and any other spectators will have to pay admission for $3-$5. While it is pricey to attend the competition in the first place, all proceeds go back to the clubs and skaters. Next, your skater will have to register at the registration table. The volunteers there will give skaters a competitor ribbon to identify them as well as their dressing room number. Sometimes competitions will provide little prize bags for each skater. The next table is the music registration. Ensure that your coach gives you or your skater their main CD, unless they are in Star 1, in which case this table can be skipped. The next step is to find your coach. He/she will likely be in the lobby somewhere or in the dressing room with another skater. If you don’t see your coach, wait in the lobby and they will come find you. Parents are not allowed in the dressing rooms so your coach will accompany your skater. It is sometimes a good idea to have your child dressed, including hair and make-up, before you arrive at the competition. You can tie your child’s skates in the lobby if necessary. After that, the parent’s job is over and you should find your seats in the stands.

Skaters are divided into groups called “flights”. Each flight has a number assigned to it, usually 3 digits, starting with flight 101. You should memorize your child’s flight number ahead of time. There are usually 6-8 skaters in a flight and they all take the ice to warm up for 3-4 minutes. Then, each skater, in a set order, will take the ice and perform their solo or elements if in Star 1. Afterwards, you can meet your skater and coach in the lobby. Within about half an hour, results will be posted (if the category is ranked) or evaluations will be presented. For categories that are not ranked (Star 1-3), each skater will get to go up on the podium and receive their evaluation, certificate, and sometimes a ribbon. The evaluation level (Merit, Bronze, Silver or Gold) will not be announced. For Star 4 and up, evaluations will be handed out to all skaters and the skaters that ranked first, second, and third will be called up to the podium.

At this level of skating, competitions are meant to be fun and should not be taken too seriously. It is all about the experience and as long as your child enjoys themselves, that is all that matters.