Monday, April 15, 2013

My Trip To Adult Nationals (as a spectator)

Just got back from 4 nights in Scottsdale, Arizona where the 2013 Adult Figure Skating Championships were held.  There were a total of 488 competitors over 4 days of competition.
Singles, Pairs, Dance, Dramatic and Light Entertainment categories.

I hope to attend next year as a skater in both the Technical Free Skate and the Dramitic Free Skate Bronze level.  It's going to take a lot of hard work.

After many hours of watching previous years on Ice Network, I was not surprised by the diversity of age and talent.  Primarily I went to witness, first hand, how the logistics, competitiveness, support and camraderie among skaters (especially my age) was.   I was very pleasantly surprised.  I was so interested in watching the skating I didn't take any photos of the venue or the crowds.

Personally I had 2 skating friends competing.  Hank Landis (Adult Silver Mens IV Free Skate) and Sheila Geisler (Adult Bronze Ladies V Free Skate) - both representing Spokane and the Lilac City Figure Skating Club.  They both did us proud.  Hank (Ralph) Landis placed 3rd out of 5 gentlemen in his category and level.  Sheila Geisler placed 2nd out of 7 ladies in her category and level.

Adults are grouped into 2 categories.

1. By skating ability
  a. Bronze
  b. Silver
  c. Gold
...... after that you must incorporate yourself into the "standard track"
 d. Intermediate
 e. Novice
 f. Junior
 g. Senior  (Michele Kwan, et al)
...... those who skate at the Adult Gold, Intermediate or higher at Adult Nationals may qualify to compete in the Championships round at Nationals by placing 1st-4th at Sectionals (Pacific - Mid West - Eastern) in March of the same year.

Skaters of any age do not need to "qualify" to skate at Adult Nationals except for Championships.  You only need to have passed the Free Skate Test of the level you are competing in prior to a specified date before registration to compete.

Have I lost you?

Secondly, Adults are broken into age groups for a somewhat fairer playing field.
Group   I: 21-30 years
Group  II: 31-40 years
Group III: 41-50 years
Group IV: 51-60 years
Group  V: 61 and older

There is a little more to the rules, but I will stop here.

I am currently skating as Adult Bronze Ladies IV (there, I gave my age away).
Before I can skate at next years nationals I have to pass my Bronze Free Skate Test.
I have already taken my Bronze Moves In The Field Test and I am currently practicing my Silver Moves In The Field.  Moves are much easier to accomplish than the free skate.

Ok, enough blather.  Here's a few shots of my friends in Scottsdale:

Here's Sheila in her sassy program.
(That beautiful dress was made by Hank!)

Sheila is rightfully proud to wear that medal

Forget the audience.  How about all these judges staring at you, critiquing your every move?

Beautiful line on a Spiral

And the crowd goes WILD.
Sheila is on the bench cheering Hank on (bottom left)
My friend Penny is on the bench as well (bottom right)


  1. Wish I could have gone. I was able to compete- but didn't have the funds to fly there!

    Just a small correction "must qualify to compete at Nationals by placing 1st-4th at Sectionals" - this is just for the championship events. There are also open events for these levels, they are less prestigous to win, but if you couldn't get to sectionals or didn't qualify- you can still go and compete at nationals.

    There is also a championship (must qualify through sectionals) event for Gold.

    The championship events are not divided by age.

    If there are enough skaters, the open events are, but sometimes they are combined (senior ladies 1-2-3 was combined, for example). Some of the championship skaters will also compete in the open event.

  2. Thanks Jessica, I knew I would get some of that information tangled. I can't remember where you live. Hope to see you next year in Hyannis, Mass.

  3. I'm in Iowa- I probably won't make it to Mass either. I'll pick up and train again when there is another midwest nats (probably 3-4 years). Flying anywhere from here is $500-$600, and with hotels and entries, it's just too much. Nats was in Chicago the year before I passed my bronze test. That was a major bummer to miss! (I missed a minneapolis too, but I wasn't ready yet for that one.)

  4. I'm so jealous you got to go, Diane! Hopefully we'll both get to compete in Massachusetts next year!

  5. I'm so happy you were able to attend, I've done 5 Canadian Adult Nats and they are always the highlight of my skating year. We have so much fun off and on the ice. One day you will go to Oberstdorf the big adult international competition! Hint Hint! Put this on your bucket list :) I went last year and hope to go back in 2015 if all goes well!


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