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How to Organize Your Rink Team for ISI Competitions

EDGE – MAY/JUNE 2005

By Randy Winship

The following steps will make it easy for you to organize your rink team before your next major ISI competition.

  • Organize your rink staff coaches and plan your competitive calendar throughout the skating year. Decide which coach will lead the team to which competition. Provide a detailed list of responsibilities for your team coach.
  • Get the competition information out to everyone. This can be done with a large poster at the rink and also with flyers to distribute to all skating students and public session skaters.
  • Recruit skaters for your team. There is a place for EVERYONE (including parents) to participate in ISI competitions!
  • The largest group in an ISI competition event is nine entries. That means, with a little practice, everyone has a good chance to get first through fifth place. Most competitions also give participation medals (sixth place) for all skaters in every event. This is a great confidence builder! Don’t concentrate on the medal placement, but on a positive performance experience.
  • Become very familiar with the testing and event requirements so you can easily explain details to skaters and/or parents.
  • The skater’s current test level will determine the range of events she/he is eligible to join. You’ll find this information on each event’s entry forms.
  • Once you know the correct test level, the appropriate tests must be taken. Tests are only required for the following events/levels:

Pre-Alpha - Delta Freestyle 1-10

Couple 1-10 Pair 1-10

Dance 1-10 Figure 1-10

Special Skater 1-10

  • Be sure to allow enough time to complete and register the required tests before the entry/testing deadline for the competition event.
  • Once the test level is determined, the coach/skater/parents should decide which events are going to be entered. To save time, you may want to help the parents fill out the entry form (or actually complete it yourself) and then just have the parents sign it and pay the fees.
  • To help save skater expense and coach training time, your rink coaches can work together to offer special group training classes in stroking, footwork, Couple 1-3, Pair 1-3, Dance/Solo Dance 1-2, interpretive and even figures.
  • Group and team event entries include: family spotlight, production, synchronized teams, pattern team, Kaleidoskate, team compulsories and freestyle synchro teams.
  • Before you go crazy with costume ideas, have a brainstorming session with what might already be available to you. For example, can you use some ice show group costumes for a team compulsory number? Can a family spotlight from last year be made into a couples spotlight? Can partners in couples/pairs/dance use the same basic costume for all three events? Can production or Kaleidoskate entries be built around themes, props and costumes from a previous ice show production?
  • If you have several rink coaches participating in the same competition, you can put one coach in charge of each different group number entry. Have each coach organize the team/group and fill out the entry form.
  • Compile the following “packet” to send to the competition director prior to the entry deadline:
    • Individual entry forms
    • Group and team entry forms
    • Payment summary for entries
    • List of judges attending event
    • Any additional information as requested
  • Keep a copy of everything you send to the competition director! This is important to verify in case of mistakes in age groups or levels in the competition schedule.
  • Verify/check/update the skater’s ISI memberships and test registrations.