The traditional U.S. Figure Skating Qualifying Structure is in place for athletes who want to compete at the United States Figure Skating Championships® 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.
2022-23 Qualifying Season Structure
Approved for the 2022-23 season: the National Qualifying Season will combine the stand-alone October qualifying competitions, Regional (singles) and Sectional (pairs and ice dance) Challenges, into series competitions from mid-July to early October allowing athletes to advance to the Sectional Singles, U.S. Pairs and U.S. Ice Dance Finals in November 2022 and culminating with the 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships and National Development Camp in January 2023 (San Jose, California). See below for a visual of this qualifying pipeline.
- Approved National Qualifying Series Competitions
- Update (as of 7/25) - scores from the international pairs and ice dance events at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships, Cranberry Cup and John Nicks Pairs Challenge WILL count for NQS standings if the teams have completed the Series Application prior to the start of the competition.
- National Qualifying Series Athlete Handbook
- Information Call Recording (June 13, 2022)
Note: the EMS Series Application (i.e. qualifying registration) will open on July 1, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET. Registration will be conducted in tiers with the early bird application open July 1 – July 15 ($35), standard from July 16 – September 1 ($70) and late from September 2 – September 20 ($105). The application will close on the respective deadlines at 11:59 p.m. ET and re-open the following day at 12:00 p.m. ET. During this time, the Series Status will be listed as “Registration Closed”.
In order for the scores from an approved NQS competition to count for a Series Standing and advancement opportunities, this application must be paid prior to the first day of your preferred competition. There are no exceptions for this policy!
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 2023 Synchronized Skating Qualifying Season competition dates and locations are as follows:
- 2023 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships — Norwood, Massachusetts (Jan. 18 - 22, 2023)
- 2023 Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships — Rockford, Illinois (Jan. 25 - 29, 2023)
- 2023 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships — Peoria, Illinois (March 1 - 4, 2023)
How to Participate
- Aug. 15: Registration opens via EMS under the Qualifying Competitions tab
- Oct. 1: Registration closes, no late entries are accepted
- Dec. 1: Dead line for roster changes/additions in EMS
- 2-weeks prior to competition: Deadline for roster substitution requests
NOTE: teams must register by the Oct. 1 deadline 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. Adult Figure Skating 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
- Emotional Performance: masters, adult gold, adult silver and adult bronze
- Lyrical Pop/Character/Comedic: 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 upcoming qualifying competitions are as follows:
- 2023 Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals, Henderson, Nevada, March 3-5
- 2023 Eastern Adult Sectionals, Kissimmee, Florida, March 10-12
- 2023 Midwestern Adult Sectionals, Fort Wayne, Indiana, March 10-12
- 2023 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships presented by Prevagen, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 12-15
How to Participate
- Dec. 15: Registration opens via EMS under the Qualifying Competitions tab
- Feb. 1: Registration closes, no late registrations are accepted
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
Use the form below to ask a question about a qualifying competition!