Contacts
Senior Director, Special Projects
Kelly Vogtner
P:719.228.3455

Director, Events
Mia Corsini
P:719.228.3435

Qualifying Competitive Pipeline


Beginning with the 2019-20 competitive season, there will be a new competitive pipeline for singles, pairs and dance athletes focused on the vision: Identify. Develop. Promote.

The pipeline features the following:

  • NEW! National Qualifying Series
  • New names for qualifying competitions
  • Additional athletes qualifying for the sectional singles challenge
  • Earlier timeline for pairs and dance teams and another opportunity for national competition
  • National High-Performance Development Team Camp for juvenile, intermediate and novice athletes

National Qualifying Series

The National Qualifying Series (NQS) is a series of official U.S. Figure Skating approved competitions hosted individually by member clubs nationwide that are held in a standard format and in which athletes earn official scores towards a sectional and national rank. The competitions are held between June 1 – September 15 and serve juvenile – senior competitors in singles, dance and pairs.

Key highlights:

  • Athletes must enter the NQS directly with U.S. Figure Skating by May 28, 2019
  • Athletes enter any official competitions they choose
  • Only the athlete or team’s highest Total Score (TS) counts
  • The top six ranking singles athletes in each section earn a bye to the Sectional Singles Final
  • The top three ranking dance or pairs teams nationwide earn a bye the U.S. Pairs or U.S. Dance Final
  • Athletes receive an official ‘national ranking’ and a certificate and pin to recognize their achievement.

2019-20 National Qualifying Series Competitions
All U.S. Figure Skating member clubs that typically host non-qualifying competitions during the summer months were invited to apply for their competition to be selected.  Host competitions must meet the requirements outlined here.

Below is the list of competitions approved for NQS the 2019-20 season, by discipline.  Note:  Competitions are group by section, however, athletes may compete in any events they choose.

NQS Singles Competitions
NQS Pairs Competitions
NQS Dance Competitions

Information for Athletes
Athletes enter the overall NQS by logging onto U.S. Figure Skating’s Event Management System.  The deadline to register is May 28, 2019.  From there, athletes enter any of the above competitions they choose separately, by the entry deadline posted by the competition host.  All NQS events are entered through EMS, as well.

All NQS events will be conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures outlined in their respective Athlete Handbooks:

Athlete Handbook Singles
Athlete Handbook Pairs
Athlete Handbook Dance

Click here for a presentation that explains the NQS for singles athletes.
Click here for a presentation that explains the NQS for dance athletes.
Click here for a presentation that explains the NQS for pairs athletes.

Note: Officials Athlete Handbooks for each discipline will be posted here no later than March 1.

Qualifying Competition Pipeline

Singles
National Qualifying Series (June – September)
Regional Singles Challenge (October)
Sectional Singles Final (November)
U.S. Figure Skating Championships (January)
National High Performance Develop. Team (January)

Pairs and Dance
National Qualifying Series (June – September)
Sectional Pairs / Dance Challenge (October)
U.S. Pairs / Dance Final (November)
U.S. Figure Skating Championships (January)
National High Performance Development Team (Jan.)

Click here for detailed advancement for singles.
Click here for detailed advancement for pairs.
Click here for detailed advancement for dance.

National High Performance Development Team and Camp

The National High Performance Development Team and Camp (NHPDT) is a new program run by the U.S. Figure Skating High Performance Department, that debuts in January 2020. In lieu of the top performing juvenile, intermediate and novice athletes competing at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, they will instead qualify for the National High Performance Development Team, which will commence with a training camp immediately following the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Athletes will attend with a parent and coach and participate in a three-day educational training program to accelerate their exposure to High Performance Programs and Team USA. The program will include competitive group training on-ice, sports science, mental training and access to specialty coaches and international officials they wouldn’t otherwise have. Athletes also have the opportunity to be selected for advanced novice and junior international competitions and other high performance programs and competitions.

Click here for detailed information on the National High Performance Development Team. 

Other Changes to the Competitive Pipeline

In novice ladies and novice men, the top two finishers at each Sectional Singles Final will be invited to compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships – in the junior ladies or junior men’s event. This brings the total number of qualifiers for the junior singles events to 18 each. See the detailed advancement for singles document for details.

In senior ladies, senior men, senior pairs and senior dance, all competitors that qualify for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships through their placement at a Sectional Singles Final, the U.S. Pairs Final or the U.S. Dance Final, must also have met a minimum Technical Elements Score (TES) during the season to compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Scores may be earned at any of the following competitions: Any official NQS event, a Regional or Sectional Challenge, a Sectional or U.S. Final, or any international competition. Competitors not earning the minimum TES will be not be permitted to enter the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The qualifying competitive pipeline explained on this page was approved by the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council, for implementation beginning with the NQS, June 1, 2019. To read the entire Request For Action approved by the Governing Council, including detailed rationale, click here.