S.T.A.R.S. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is S.T.A.R.S.?
A: S.T.A.R.S. (Standardized Testing of Athleticism to Recognize Skaters) is a U.S. Figure Skating program designed to standardize testing of the athletic abilities that support development of on ice skills. The goals of S.T.A.R.S. are to promote the athletic development of our athletes and keep them safe and injury resistant by training their bodies ahead of the on-ice skills curve.
Q: What areas of fitness are measured during the S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: There are three primary areas measured: 1) Agility/Balance/Coordination, 2) Strength/Power, and 3) Flexibility.
Q: Who conducts the S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: All S.T.A.R.S. Combines are overseen by a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) C.S.C.S. trainer. They will be assisted by other C.S.C.S. Trainers as well as Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers and other qualified trainers to carry out the testing. To learn more about the C.S.C.S. credential click here.
Q: What is involved in the S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: All S.T.A.R.S participants will complete a series of 15 off-ice assessments in the above categories and 7 anthropometry measurements (body measurements).
Q: What is the purpose of S.T.A.R.S.?
A: The objectives of S.T.A.R.S. are to promote and enhance athleticism and athletic ability in all figure skaters through assessment, recognition, and opportunity. Additionally, off-ice training can help reduce the rate of injury in all skating disciplines and competitive levels. The feedback received from the S.T.A.R.S. test endeavors to assist coaches and parents in developing and guiding a skater's athletic development.
Q: Why should my skater participate in a S.T.A.R.S. Combine?
A: S.T.A.R.S. is fun! It is also motivating, challenging and personally rewarding! This is a great program to identify areas of improvement in your athleticism with the goal being to improve skills relevant to your on-ice performance and to keep you healthy and injury free by training your body's athletic abilities ahead of your skills on the ice.
Q: What ages can participate in the S.T.A.R.S. Combines?
A: Ages 6 and up. The skater must be 6 years at the time of the S.T.A.R.S. combine. Adult skaters are encouraged and welcome to participate in the Adult S.T.A.R.S. combine(s)!
Q: What skating levels can participate in the S.T.A.R.S. Combines?
A: At minimum, all participants must have passed their pre-preliminary moves in the field. Basic skills skaters are not eligible to participate. This is a great way to encourage your athlete to develop!
Q: How can I register/sign-up for a S.T.A.R.S. Combine?
A: The 2016 S.T.A.R.S. Combine registration will open on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016. Registration is limited! The cost is $49 per skater which includes the assessment and a 2016 S.T.A.R.S. T-Shirt. The 2016 S.T.A.R.S. combine will include a seminar titled “Taking S.T.A.R.S. to the Ice” which is an optional educational session open to all participants and their parents and coaches. To register for a Combine click here. Following the link will provide you with a list of the 2016 S.T.A.R.S. sites, dates, locations and appropriate registration forms.
Q: When will I receive the time and schedule for my skaters S.T.A.R.S test?
A: The schedule and assessment times will be emailed out after the registration deadline. Approx. 10 days prior to the combine.
Q: Can non-U.S. athletes participate in a S.T.A.R.S. Combine?
A: Any athlete may participate regardless of citizenship as long as the athlete is a member of U.S. Figure Skating (and meets the age and skating level requirements).
Q: I am an Adult skater and I do not see any Adult Combine(s) on the 2015 schedule. Can I register for any S.T.A.R.S. Combine?
A: The S.T.A.R.S. Program is currently working on restructuring the evaluation protocol to better serve the athletes. The new format and evaluation will be ready to launch for the 2017 season.
Q: I forgot to register for the S.T.A.R.S. Combine. Do you take late registrations and/or walk-ups?
A: Late registrations and walk-ups are accepted on a space-available basis. There is a strong chance registration will completely fill prior to the Combine. Please note that walk-up participants are not guaranteed a specific assessment time and/or a S.T.A.R.S. T-shirt.
Q: How long does the S.T.A.R.S. testing take?
A: Participants are scheduled for a 1.5 hour window and asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to the assigned time. For example if you are scheduled for 10:00am, plan to be at S.T.A.R.S. from 9:45am-11:30am. At busy times, testing may take longer.
Q: How can a skater prepare for the S.T.A.R.S. Combine?
A: Skaters are encouraged to review the S.T.A.R.S Program Exercise Guide. This guide is meant to be a starting point for athletes, coaches and trainers to work on the athletic attributes important to on-ice skills development and, of course, to improve your S.T.A.R.S. testing performance in key areas: agility, power, coordination, strength, power and flexibility.
Q: What must the participants bring and wear to their S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: S.T.A.R.S. participants must wear athletic clothes and sneakers. It is also recommended that participants bring a water bottle or sports beverage of their choice.
Q: Can parents accompany his/her skater(s) through the S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: Parents are permitted in the staging area only. No one other than authorized assessors are permitted into the testing area. S.T.A.R.S. assessors and volunteers will escort the participants between each of the tests.
Q: Can a coach accompany their students through the S.T.A.R.S. tests?
A: U.S. Figure Skating invites coaches to observe testing to learn about how the tests are conducted. Coaches wishing to observe testing must contact the S.T.A.R.S. administrator in advance to set up a time to observe (most likely they would want to view their own students). In the interest of fairness are not allowed to communicate with or "coach" their students through the S.T.A.R.S. tests. If a coach is particularly interested in learning more about the assessment please contact us in advance to arrange a walk-through.
Q: What is the policy on photography and video at the S.T.A.R.S. Combines?
A: Out of fairness to all participants, photography and video is prohibited at any point during the S.T.A.R.S. Combines. Anyone observed using recording equipment will be asked to leave the area. Only the designated on-site S.T.A.R.S. photographer is allowed to take pictures and videos.
Q: Does this program help me find a trainer in my area?
A: U.S. Figure Skating does not recommend or otherwise endorse any trainer or certification in particular, and recognizes that there are great trainers who come from diverse experiences and educational backgrounds. However, when you are looking for a trainer for your athlete, you may want to consider one who is specifically oriented towards sports performance - that is, strength and conditioning practices designed for improving on-ice performance and execution - versus physical fitness in general. The S.T.A.R.S. program was developed with the cooperation of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the assessors for the S.T.A.R.S. program all hold Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification. Those interested in finding an NSCA trainer in their home area can consult http://www.nsca-lift.org/ trainers as a starting point.
Q: I am a local trainer and would like to get involved in the S.T.A.R.S. program. How can I help out?
A: In complying with U.S. Figure Skating's cooperation with the National Strength and Condition Association (NSCA), all S.T.A.R.S. Combine anchors must hold the NSCA C.S.C.S. credential. However, local trainers and those working with developmental skaters are welcome to assist with the S.T.A.R.S. testing.
Q: When will the participants receive the S.T.A.R.S. results?
A: Participants will receive a copy of the Raw Scores on the day of their test. At the end of the entire S.T.A.R.S. Combine season (late August/early September) the S.T.A.R.S. Reports will be available using the online system Ex3 - Athlete Performance Assessment System. Participants will be notified via email when the reports are accessible.
Q: What is the difference between the Raw Scores versus the S.T.A.R.S Report?
A: The Raw Scores are the basic measurements and times the participant achieved in each test. The S.T.A.R.S. Athlete Report lists your scores based on your performance in the S.T.A.R.S. Combine tests. It also contains calculations relevant to your potential (for example, splits/flexibility) and additional calculations of how you compared to other participants in the S.T.A.R.S. Combine within the same testing season.