Star 1-5 is part of the new Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) Program. It is designed to help skaters reach their goals and potential by taking more necessary steps towards their growth as a skater. There are 6 parts to LTAD: Learn to Skate, Learn to Train, Learn to Compete, Train to Compete, Compete to Win/Live to win, and Active for Life. Star 1-5 is part of Learn to Train and Learn to Compete. In Star 1-4, assessments of Merit, Bronze, Silver, or Gold are awarded. Star 5 is judged with CPC and essentially replaces the old Junior Bronze StarSkate category.
In Star 1, skaters do not skate a routine. They perform individual elements along with a creative routine and will only receive an evaluation. They are not yet competing against the other skaters in their groups or flights. Each element is given an assessment of Merit, Bronze, Silver, or Gold. For the creative routine, skaters are expected to listen to a 30 second piece of music once then skate to that piece of music. The idea is for skaters to understand that you have to listen to music in order to skate to the music. This portion is marked by only one check mark – Did the skater move? If the skater made any attempt to move his/her body, the creative routine is marked as “Complete”. Any movement and any element is permitted but the coach should not give the skater any direction as to what to do when the music comes on. It should be all made up by the skater in the moment.
In Star 2, skaters skate a program consisting of a set list of elements that usually changes slightly from year to year. In the 2015-16 season, skaters had to perform a Turn Sequence consisting of 3 turns and cross cuts. This element is unique to Star 2. Elements are assessed at Merit, Bronze, Silver, or Gold. The skater must have a certain number of elements at one level or higher to receive that level as an overall assessment. Skaters are still not competing against each other.
In Star 3, the elements are slightly more advanced than Star 2 but they are still only given an assessment, not a ranking. The biggest difference between Star 2 and 3 is that Axels are permitted but not required.
In Star 4, the assessments (Merit, Bronze, Silver, and Gold) are assigned a point value in order to determine a score along with an overall assessment. The score is only used to produce rankings; the skaters only get to see the assessment of each element and their overall assessment. The elements performed in Star 4 are identical to Star 3, the only difference is that the skaters are now competing against each other. In Star 4 only, rotated axels (axels not assessed as downgraded), earn the skater a bonus of 3 points per axel with a maximum of two axels in the program. It does not matter if the skater falls on the jump, he/she will receive the bonus as long as it is rotated.
For more information on Star 1-5, click here.