Welcome To The World of Figure Skating Competitions!
Competitions are great fun for skaters and a great experience too. It is an opportunity for them to show all the great skills they have learned and meet other skaters from other clubs at their level.
What To Wear-Your coach will probably have some suggestions. When in doubt, the rule of thumb for competition wear is Keep it Simple! There are however some rules. Ladies must wear a skirt or unitard. Men must wear full length trousers; no tights are permitted and the clothing must not be sleeveless. The use of skin tone fabric should not be excessive and tasteful in placement. Failure to comply with these regulations will results in a deduction of the skater’s presentation mark.Here are a few other guidelines or suggestions to think about when choosing competition attire.
- Consider the music your child is skating to.
- Consider your child’s colouring and what looks good on the ice. Stronger colours are always a safe bet.
- Remember that they have to jump and spin in this outfit. While puffy sleeves and multi-layered skirts can look pretty, consider the weight.
- Outfits that drip with beads and rhinestones and sequins usually overpower the skater. Sometimes a simple piece of sparkly braid around the neck, or cuffs, for example, is all they need. Just enough to make it special. Whatever you choose, just ensure that everything is securely sewn (not glued) on so that it doesn’t fall on the ice.
- Have your skater try out the dress or outfit on a practice session prior to the competition to ensure that everything looks and works the way it should.
Tights or Leggings-While some skaters like to only wear a pair or two of nylons, most choose to wear tights or leggings. Make sure that they are in good condition, and remember that if you are wearing the type that doesn’t cover the entire boot, your laces and boots should be clean and polished.
Hair & Make-Up-However the hair is done, it must be well secured to ensure it won’t fall out half way through the program. While pulling only half the hair back may look great with the dress, the back (if long) still tends to flop about and look messy while they skate. Buns, French Braids and even a neat and tidy pony tail are always a good bet. Don’t overpower young skaters with make-up. A bit of colour is all they need and don’t push the issue if they don’t want it.Here is a list of things to make sure that you have with you when you leave home. Skates, extra laces, skate guards, extra tape or CD of their program music, tights or leggings, warm up jacket or skating sweater, skipping rope for warm-up, hairspray, bobby pins, make-up.Flash photography is not permitted during performances but there is a place (with a photographer) where you can take or purchase pictures.Ensure that you are at the arena at least one hour prior to the scheduled start of your event. Sometimes competitions run ahead of the scheduled time and it is your responsibility to ensure that you are there on time.When you get to the arena you need to register your skater and submit your music to the registration desk. A volunteer will then provide your skater with a competition ribbon (if available) and any other goodies if they have them. They can also help give you an idea of whether the competition is running on schedule.Locate the starting order for your group. Skaters in a group may be divided into flights. There is a separate warm-up for each flight of skaters. Determine which flight your skater is in so that you can tell your coach and prepare your warm-up accordingly.
Locate your Coach-Your coach may be with other skaters that are competing before you. But, be assured they know you are coming and will be there to help you. You can help them out by taking time to start warming up and stretching.
Do a Proper Warm-up-Find a warm place to get your muscles moving and stretched out. Your coach will also help to ensure that you are warm and ready to go. They will also tell you when you should get your skates on and take you down to the dressing rooms.
Check in with the Starter or Ice Captain-They are the person(s) who stands by the side of the ice making sure that the right skaters go on the ice at the right time. Periodically they will go down to the dressing room area to see that the next group of skaters are in attendance.When it is your turn to skate your program, go out and have a great time! Enjoy the moment and give it your best effort. Don’t forget to smile. A curtsy or bow at the end to the spectators and judges is always a great way to finish your program.After your group has skated, the results will be posted on the results board usually the same place you found your starting order. Be sure to congratulate your fellow competitors on their efforts. Check out when your fellow club competitors are competing and cheer them on.Before you leave the arena, remember to pick up your music from the registration desk!
* Support to Parents-Often parents seem more nervous than the skaters! This is a natural reaction. All parents want their child to skate well. The fear of not knowing how the performance will go can often be nerve wracking. Caroline Shireff, parent of two national and international level competitive skaters gives excellent advice: Keep your game face the same in good times or in bad. Don’t jump three feet off the ground and hug everyone in sight when your child wins. Likewise, don’t dissolve into tears and berate the judges when they place in the bottom half of the flight. Your child needs to know that their place in your heart doesn’t depend on a place on the podium. No matter what the result, they need your unconditional love and support more than anything.
* Excerpted from the Skate Canada Publication Figure Skating: What Every Parent Needs to Know.