Sherry Karnosky, Pro-Liason and CCSA Coach has written several articles covering some frequently asked questions about the world of figure skating.  We form the basis upon which we are developing the clubs educational resources.

Your are interested in figure skating, I am sure you have many questions. How do I  start? When am I ready? What equipment is needed? Who teaches? How much will it cost?  When I started Basic Skills 30 years ago, I had the same questions you probably have right now. Lucky for me, I found a great teacher and followed her advice. So, here are my answers and suggestions.

Some time ago I wrote “Figure Skating 101” for the CCSA Newsletter and website to speak to parents and skaters about some of the basics of figure skating. I spoke about ice time, teaching professionals, lessons, equipment, and the support and encouragement skaters needed to progress in this sport. Since I wrote that, I’d promised to continue offering advice to newcomers and returnees alike, answering questions and addressing concerns.

Every year, the club invites a dance partner and three USFS-certified judges who judge all tests in Moves and Freestyle, and Dance. This enables nearly all area skaters to test if they are ready to.  But what exactly is testing? Does every skater test? Why is one’s testing level important? Who does the judging? What is the standard needed to pass? What happens if a skater receives a result of “Retry” instead of a result of “Pass”? Do skaters receive recognition for passing tests?

With the school year almost gone, skating season ended two months ago, what can skaters do with skating during the summer?  An excellent question! Read on for suggestions!  The more experienced skaters and their parents started making plans in March/April for skating summer schools in Eagle River, Wisconsin (June) Minocqua, Wisconsin in July, and Michigan Tech in August.

January 2011 ice time is here! This seems a good time to talk about the activities events, and competitions CCSA skaters may choose to take part in throughout each year.  CCSA’s season begins each September on Registration night. Skaters choose skating times (called packages) and arrange private lessons with USFS registered coaches. Parents volunteer for committees (Ice Show, Turkey Trot) or activities like Ice Monitoring. Scheduled ice times usually start the following Sunday.

All this activity means every CCSA session becomes more crowded as skaters and their respective Teaching Pros work very hard to prepare. It is absolutely necessary that all skaters and Teaching Pros on each session cooperate to ensure every skater's safety and ability to adequately prepare to test, compete, and learn. So, who has the right of way?

Concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can have long term mental and physical impacts. It is important that all those involved in skating are aware of the risk and able to recognize symptoms of concussion.

Talk to any skater or parent about skating, and, eventually, they’ll want to discuss judging. So, from the perspective of a former judge, current test coach, and skater who tested for 25 years, I’ve gathered some “scoop” for parents and skaters about the judging of skating tests.