The U.S. Figure Skating Qualifying Structure is in place for athletes who want to compete at U.S. Championship events in singles, pairs, ice dance, synchronized, collegiate and adults. Singles, pairs and ice dance athletes who are juvenile, intermediate or novice compete to earn a spot on the National High Performance Development Team. Synchronized Skating and Adult Skating also have their own qualifying structures for those aiming to compete at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships and U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. The U.S. Collegiate Championships is a stand-alone event.
More detailed rules and resources can be found in Members Only.
Athletes competing in singles, pairs and ice dance enter the qualifying structure for the chance to earn a spot at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Athletes in the singles, pairs and ice dance curriculum enter the qualifying structure by either participating in the National Qualifying Series (NQS), held June–September, or entering their respective regional or sectional challenge in October.
National Qualifying Series
The National Qualifying Series is a series of official U.S. Figure Skating-approved nonqualifying competitions hosted individually by member clubs nationwide where athletes earn official scores toward a sectional and national rank. Only the athlete or team’s highest Total Score (TS) counts toward the sectional and national ranking located on the Event Management System.
The competitions are held between June and September and serve juvenile–senior-level competitors in singles, pairs and ice dance. The top six singles athletes earn a bye to the Sectional Singles Final, and the top three pairs and ice dance teams nationwide earn a bye to the U.S. Pairs and U.S. Ice Dance Finals.
A list of approved National Qualifying Series competitions can be found here.
The NQS Skater Application will open via EMS, April 15 through June 1, 2020.
U.S. Qualifying Season
The Qualifying Season begins in October with the Regional Singles Challenges for singles skaters and Sectional Pairs and Ice Dance Challenges for pairs skaters and ice dancers. From there, athletes qualify for the Sectional Singles Final and U.S. Pairs and Ice Dance Finals, hoping to earn a spot to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships or the National High Performance Development Team.
Please use the competition search here to find qualifying competitions.
How to Participate
To register for the singles, pairs and ice dance qualifying season, log in to the Members Only site and access the Event Management System. Skaters must register for both the National Qualifying Series (April 15-June 1) and the U.S. Qualifying Season (July 15-September 1) separately prior to the deadlines. Per the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook, there are no late registrations under any circumstances.
Synchronized skating teams from the juvenile level and up can enter the qualifying season for a chance to compete at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
Learn more about synchronized skating
The U.S. synchronized skating qualifying season begins in January with three Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, held in the Eastern, Midwestern and Pacific Coast sections. Open to teams at the pre-preliminary level and above, the top performing juvenile through senior, collegiate, adult and masters levels qualify for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
The 2020 Synchronized Skating Qualifying Season competition dates and locations are as follows:
- 2020 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships — Albany, New York (Jan. 15-19, 2020)
- 2020 Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships — Wichita, Kansas (Jan. 15-19, 2020)
- 2020 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships — Providence, Rhode Island (Feb. 26-29, 2020)
How to Participate
Synchronized skating teams register for the qualifying season via the Event Management System Aug. 15–Oct. 1. Per the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook, no late registrations are accepted under any circumstances. Teams must register with a roster that meets at least the minimum requirements for their team’s level.
The U.S. Figure Skating Adult Skating Program offers adults at the championship adult levels the chance to qualify for the U.S. Figure Skating Adult Championships.
The adult sectional championships are held in March in the Eastern, Midwestern and Pacific Coast sections. The top four skaters from each level advance to compete in their corresponding event at the U.S. Adult Championships, held in April.
A nonqualifying competition is held in conjunction with each adult sectional championship. Skaters who want to enter the nonqualifying portion of the adult sectional championships register directly with the Local Organizing Committee. Some adult sectional nonqualifying competitions include young adult events for those 18-20 years of age. Check the announcements for details.
Nonqualifying events are also held annually at the U.S. Adult Championships. These nonqualifying events do not require qualification from the sectional championships. Events and levels offered include:
- Free skate (men’s and ladies): masters junior-senior, masters intermediate-novice, adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
- Dramatic entertainment: masters, adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
- Light entertainment: masters, adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
- Pairs: masters, centennial, adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
- Dance: masters open, adult gold, adult pre-gold, adult silver, adult pre-silver, adult bronze, adult pre-bronze and adult centennial
- Solo Pattern Dance: adult gold, adult pre-gold, adult silver, adult pre-silver and adult bronze
- Solo Free Dance: adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
Free skate, dramatic entertainment, and light entertainment events are further divided by age. Current age classes for these events are as follows:
- Class I: 21-35 years
- Class II: 36-45 years
- Class III: 46-55 years
- Class IV: 56-65 years
- Class V: 66 and older
Solo Pattern and Solo Free Dance events are further divided by age. Current age classes for these events are as follows:
- Class I/II: 21-45 years
- Class III/IV/V: 46 and older
The qualifying competitions are as follows:
- 2020 Eastern Adult Sectional Championships, March 6-8, 2020, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
- 2020 Midwestern Adult Sectional Championships, March 6-8, 2020, Springfield, Illinois
- 2020 Pacific Coast Adult Sectional Championships, March 6-8, 2020, San Francisco
- 2020 U.S. Adult Championships, April 14-18, 2020, Newark, Delaware
- 2021 Eastern Adult Sectional Championships, March 5-7, 2021, Coral Springs, Florida
- 2021 Midwestern Adult Sectional Championships, March 12-14, 2021, Fort Wayne, Indiana
- 2021 Pacific Coast Adult Sectional Championships, March 5-7, 2021, Las Vegas
- 2021 U.S. Adult Championships, April 14-17, 2021, Rochester, Michigan
How to Participate
To register for the adult qualifying season, log in to the Members Only site and access the Event Management System. Skaters must register between Dec. 15-Feb. 1.
The U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships are a stand-alone qualifying event. Skaters who are enrolled as a full-time student in the fall semester of the competition year may compete. Skaters at the junior-senior levels are eligible to earn scholarships based on placement.
How to Participate
- May 15: Registration opens for the U.S. Collegiate Championships
- June 15: Deadline for registration and collegiate verification form
- Late July/early August: U.S. Collegiate Championships
Use the form below to ask a question about a qualifying competition!