Tips for First Time Hosts of an ISI Competition
by Katy Hayden
ISI competitions are fun events. If you’re considering hosting your first ISI competition, use the following tips and time-line as your guide.
Step 1: Pick a date. Clear it with your ice arena and competition director. Check for conflicts – other competitions or events that would interfere with your date.
Step 2: Pick a theme. Holidays are good for decorations: Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, etc. If it’s going to be an annual event, it helps people remember your date. For example, your event might always be the weekend before Valentines Day.
Step 3: Plan your event calendar.
• Select title (1st Annual …), date and events.
• Clear date with District Representative.
• Announce event.
• Meet with coaches and parents to build enthusiasm for event.
• Design artwork/logo for publications, etc.
• Put together packet of information on event (see below for what to include).
• Send packet to ISI for endorsement.
• Buy and learn to use The Edge computer program.
• Choose medals and other awards.
• Call vendors or pick up business cards of potential exhibitors at other competitions: t-shirts, engravers, skating apparel, video, photographer, etc.
• Set fee per table per day for exhibitors.
The packets you put together on your event should include the following: applications (team and individual); entry fees; a tentative schedule or event order information; rules and information on eligibility, music, etc.; directions to your ice arena; list of hotels and phone numbers.
• Set up committees: Registration, Announcing/Music, Hospitality, Accounting, Decoration, Runners, Ice Monitors.
• Get mailing list of District rinks and skating directors.
• Decide on program book. See The Edge Competition Management Software.
• Decide locations of hospitality room, awards stand, registration table and judges stand.
• Decide what locker rooms you will use.
• Decide which gates skaters will use to get on and off the ice.
• Order medals and awards now or wait for more accurate numbers; check turnaround time and allow extra time.
• Order goody bag items.
The more helpers you include in your event the easier your job will be. Get everyone involved. Young skaters can be runners; older skaters can be ice monitors. Parents can do awards, hospitality, announcing and registration.
2 Months or earlier
• Send out packets of information on your event to all district rinks.
• Cut off date for registration should be one month before the competition date.
After your successful competition, thank your volunteers (you’ll want their help again). Review and record your successes and areas that could be improved; this will be your guide for planning your second annual ISI competition.
* Katy Hayden is the skating director at Winterland Skating School in Hingham, MA, ISI District 1 Representative and an experienced competition director.