Handbook current as of 2011
BBFSC encourages the instruction, practice, and advancement of the members in
compulsory figures, free skating, pair skating, dancing, and all types of figure
skating; encourages and cultivates a spirit of fraternal feeling among ice skaters;
sponsors, produces, or cooperates in the productions of amateur ice carnivals and
shows; and generally performs such other acts as may be necessary, advisable,
proper or incidental in the realization of the objects and purposes of this
organization; and carries out the general policies of the United States Figure
Skating Association.

Anyone who has an interest in advancing their skills in the area of ice skating and
wants more individualized instruction can become a member of the club. The
club arranges for practice ice times through the Grand Forks Park District and
connects students with experienced skating coaches. The club is also the vehicle
through which competitions and testing is conveyed.  All BBFSC members must
also be members of the United States Figure Skating Association.  BBFSC must be
listed as the primary club for all members.

Synchronized skating involves skaters that practice and perform together while
synchronizing their movements.
A line usually consists of 12 to 20 skaters, who are grouped according to age and
Tryouts are normally held in the summer or early fall of each year.
BBFSC meets the second Monday of each month. Time and location is subject to
change. If there is going to be a change in venue, it normally will be announced
at the previous meeting. It should appear on the website. In the event it is a last-
minute change, a club-wide email will be sent out announcing the different
location and it will be posted on the website.

Parents are always welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings. New
member parents are a refreshing addition. It is always good to have new faces and
new ideas in addition to the present parents. This is a parent-ran organization and
this is our parent meeting as a club. Always try to attend and get involved.

Our website www.borderblades.org is an excellent source for club information,
current events, competition announcements, ice schedules, etc.  If you have any
information you would like to go on our website, please e-mail our website

As we've said, this is a parent-ran organization and we are always looking for help
for different projects and events. So please don't hesitate to volunteer. The best
part of volunteering is that you get to meet a lot of great parents and enjoy
yourself while helping out the club. It is a win-win situation.

When skaters attend skating competitions and miss school, it will be marked as an
absence. The reason is skating is not a sanctioned sport in the state of North
Dakota or a club sport funded by the school system. The sport must be on the
official school calendar before it is an excused absence. So please understand, if
you are out of school for a competition, it will be marked as an absence.

The Grand Forks Public School system does acknowledge figuring skating as a
sport, which allows skaters to letter at both of our high schools once they have met
the requirements for lettering. Most schools in North Dakota that have a skating
club in their city do acknowledge figure skating as a lettering sport. That is not the
case all over the United States. So our skaters are fortunate to be acknowledged
by their schools for all their hard work.

Because our skaters are eligible to letter in our high schools, our club enforces the
ND High School Athletic Association policy on alcohol, drug, theft, etc. BBFSC
also follows the school rules on academic eligibility. These rules are listed in
the front of the skater's high school planner.

Our high schools also allow a page in their yearbooks for figure skating, which
gives our older skaters deserved recognition. A page is compiled for each high
school and submitted to each yearbook staff. A Red River HS skater parent and a
Central HS skater parent usually collects photos and makes sure the page is

Figure skating is a sport with many dimensions. Its many disciplines include:
Singles Freestyle, Pairs Freestyle, Dance, Precision, Figures and Moves-in-the-
Field. Skaters normally begin to skate in a group lesson environment, such as the
USFSA's Learn-to-Skate program, often called Basic Skills. Basic Skills classes are
taught at most rinks on a regular basis and are a very cost-effective way to learn
the basics of skating, whether your interest is in competitive figure skating,
recreational skating or hockey. When skaters have learned the basic elements of
skating in this group environment, many will join a skating club and begin to
further develop those skills by working with a private coach. To join some clubs,
skaters must have passed through, or have demonstrated capability in all of the
skills through the
Basic 6 or Basic 8 level of the Basic Skills program

Club skaters typically practice anywhere from one to as many as 12-15 hours per
week, depending on their level of interest, competitiveness and budget. Many
skaters choose to compete. They compete within groups of other skaters with
similar ability levels.
These abilities are proven by the passage of official USFSA tests, taken in front of
USFSA appointed judges at designated test ses-
sions. The tests establish several levels of skating in each discipline. When you
watch skating on TV, you are watching skaters
who have passed all the way to the top of the test structure and it  is called the
Senior level. There are many levels below Senior
and most club skaters are somewhere on that ladder, moving upwards.
Competitive skating levels are not determined by age,
although often in competitions, age will be used as a secondary factor to group
smaller flights of skaters within a single test level.

This is the discipline in figure skating that most spectators are familiar with. In
Freestyle skating, or Singles Freestyle skating,
a competitive skater performs a program that lasts anywhere from 1 to 4.5 minutes.
It is composed of elements such as jumps and
spins and is usually skated to music. In freestyle competition, both long and short
programs are skated. The short program at
each level has a very specific list of elements, which must be performed. The
skater is marked on his/her performance of those
elements. Specific deductions are taken for missing or failed elements and for
added or repeated elements. The long program
has no list of required elements. Only a general set of guidelines for what should
or should not be included. Skaters are marked
on both the quality of elements performed and the difficulty and content of the
program. Contrary to popular belief, there are no
required deductions for falls in a long program. However, the skater is given no
credit for having executed or tried the maneu-
ver which caused the fall. In Singles Freeskating, there are eight test levels
defined. With the exception of the very first one, each
test is a program skated to music, with very specific required elements. Similar to
the short program for competitions. In the
very first or pre-preliminary freestyle test, the skater is asked to perform jumps and
spins as separate elements. The singles
freestyle test levels are: Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile,
Intermediate, Novice, Junior and Senior.

Pairs skating is similar in many respects to singles freeskating, except that two
skaters perform together. This adds all sorts of
opportunities for new moves, such as lifts, throws and pair spins and jumps. Pairs
skating has both long and short programs. The test structure includes: Preliminary,
Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior and Senior.

Ice dancing is the discipline within skating that most emphasizes the beauty of the
sport, rather than the athleticism. Dance
emphasizes the techniques of edge work, flow and motion of two skaters together
in rhythmic interpretations of music. Ice dancing
has two main focus areas: compulsory dances and free dances.

In compulsory dances, skaters are given a very specific pattern to follow. This
pattern is shown in the form of a drawing, which
specifies the skater's moves right down to which foot is doing what particular step
during every single beat of the music.
Dancers are marked on their ability to skate the required pattern with demonstrated
musical feeling.

In free dances, skaters get to make up their own programs within specified
guidelines. These programs must demonstrate basic
dance elements and steps in a musical, but not theatrical way. No jumps or spins
are allowed. Dancers are required to stay
close together throughout the course of the dance program.

The test structure for dance includes tests in compulsory dances, as well as, free
dances. This includes the following levels:
Preliminary, Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Pre-Silver, Silver, Pre-Gold, Gold, Junior,
International and Senior International. Dance is
one of the skating disciplines where age is no barrier. Many adults and senior
adults, nationwide, enjoy this discipline for
both its athletic value and its social aspects.

Moves-in-the-Field, or moves, is a technical discipline designed to help skaters
improve their execution of the basic moves of
skating. Edge work, turns, stroking, body control and extension are emphasized
and are mostly done with power as a primary
focus. The Moves-in-the-Field discipline is primarily a test discipline, although
some competitions are running moves
events. Moves-in-the-Field has test levels matching each singles freestyle level. It
is required that all skaters testing freestyle must
pass the equivalent moves test prior to taking the corresponding test in the
freestyle or pairs disciplines.

Figures is another of the technical disciplines, which is primarily emphasizing
body control and edges/turns. Figures are the famous
figure 8s for which the sport is named. There are dozens of different ways to
modify the basic figure 8 for testing purposes.
Each variant emphasizes a certain skill. All require great concentration and
stamina to perform. Figures are still tested and com-
peted, although this discipline is dropping in popularity.

Synchronized team skating (once know as precision skating) is a team event. The
teams can consist of 8 to as many as 24 skaters,
depending on what level and how many skaters are available in your club to skate
on a synchro line. They skate to complicated
routines. Large teams may execute patterns of incredible complexity and beauty.
The teamwork and timing required makes this a challenging sport. Precision
skating is another discipline where age is not a significant barrier and adults,
nationwide, enjoy the sport.

Private, or individual skating, is the next the step for a skater after they have
completed their Basic Badge 5 or 6 and have an interest in continuing to develop
their skating ability. This can be for a number of reasons: competing, testing or
simply personal development. At competitions, the skaters skate against other
skaters of the same level of ability and age range. In testing, the skater learns
certain aspects of skating that they perform before a judge or judges. It is a big
accomplishment when a skater passes his/her tests. It also means they get to move
up a level in competition.

There are 3 areas of individual skating for testing. They are: Moves-in-the-Field,
Freestyle and Dance.

Moves-in-the-Field, or moves, is the textbook portion of the skater's ability. This is
where the skater learns the various steps, edges and techniques that are used in
the other forms of skating.

Freestyle skating is the demonstration of the various moves that are performed in
sequence to the music. Freestyle skating also involves various jumps as part of the
routine. For competitions, coaches develop a routine to music for the skater.

Dance is set routines or dance steps that are performed to music, as well. Set
means that you or your coach do not choreograph the routine. It already exists.

If you talk to any of our private skaters, you will find that they work hard, but also
enjoy their time on the ice. Friendships are developed that last through the years.
The hard work doesn't always seem so hard, when you are having fun at a sport
that you enjoy. We have seen many skaters self-esteem increase, because of the
accomplishments he/she has achieved on their own.

Private skating is different from Park Board skating in that you buy ice time and
you hire a coach. BBFSC skaters buy a lump sum of ice time from the Grand Forks
Park District for the season. Ice time is set for certain times of the week, November
thru March. The ice times are consistent from week to week. On occasion, things
may change due to holidays or other events scheduled at the arena. For the most
part our ice time remains the same. During this ice time, you will also be hiring a
coach to teach a lesson. You can also use this time to practice on your own. A
coach should always be present, even if it is not your coach and you are not
taking a lesson. In the
event, there is not a coach there (rarely does this happen), a parent will need to
stay and observe. This is a safety precaution. In the event an accident may
happen, there is an adult at hand to take over. So parents should never just drop a
skater off at the arena, if their skater does not have a lesson scheduled, without
checking to make sure a coach is on the ice.

Coaches' fees are listed in this handbook. A beginning private skater might take
two 15-minute lessons a week when starting out. During your lessons, your coach
will teach edges, jumps, control and many other aspects of skating. If the skater
wants to compete, the coach will also teach them a freestyle program or whatever
it is they need to compete.
When joining a BBFSC, we know that hiring a private coach can be a confusing
step. Listed on the next page are some
guidelines on what should be expected from the coach, from the parent and from
the skater. Also included is a fee guideline
on what our club feels are fair prices for coaches to be charging for private lessons.

Participate in club activities to encourage your skaters
Be at test sessions with your students
Be at competitions with your students
Communicate with skaters and parents on progress and or problems
- Send monthly bills (or more frequent, if wanted)
- Talk to skater about their goals for the upcoming season
- Know when your skater has lessons and be sure she/he  shows up on time
- Call the coach if your skater will not make a lesson  (minimum 24 hours notice)
- Talk to coach about competitions and test sessions for  the season
- Find out how much the coach expects the skater to  practice
- Pay bills promptly (net 10 days or sooner)
- Talk to coach about how much practice time is required  for the level the skater
is at
- Know when your lessons are
- Be at the rink 15 minutes before the lesson time and on  the ice 5 minutes before
the lesson
- Talk to coach about your goals for the upcoming season

Below is the code of conduct that all coaches sign at the beginning of each
skating year.


1. I will arrive in a timely manner to scheduled lessons.
2. I will explain coaching fees, lesson times, competition fees, and testing fees to
the parents before I begin coaching   their children.
3. If I must miss a scheduled lesson, I must notify the parents. If possible, before
the lesson starts. I will notify parents    after a missed lesson and explain why I was
not there.
4. I will keep parents informed of student s progress and when appropriate meet
one-on-one with skater and parent to
set individual goals.
5. I will keep parents informed of competitions, test sessions and any dates
necessary to the sport of skating.
6. I will make sure the music box is turned off and locked before leaving the ice
7. I will make sure the jump belt is put away after use.
8. I will not use tobacco/profanity around students.
9. I will not abuse, threaten or tease any skater. I will not talk negatively about any
10. I will have skates on at all times during lessons, unless there is a medical
reason why I can't.
11. I will dress and behave in a professional manner at all times.
12. I will enforce the rules of the rink as well as the rules set forth in the skater’s
Code of Conduct. I will make sure that
students are skating and not hanging out in the locker rooms and fooling around. I
will also make sure all skaters are
moving on the ice.
13. If I have a problem with a skater’s behavior, I will meet with the skater and their
parents to attempt to resolve the
issue. I will rely on the other coaches for advice. If the issue cannot be resolved, I
will bring it to the board.
14. I will coach only my students and under no circumstances will I coach or give
instruction to another student without
their primary coach s full knowledge.
15. I acknowledge that any act of soliciting, and/or perception of soliciting will
not be tolerated under any circumstances.
16. I will encourage harmony, goodwill and ethical behavior among the skaters,
parents, pros and rink personnel.
17. As a staff pro, I will participate and support BBFSC activities.
18. I will comply with the USFSA stated coaches registration and continuing
education requirements. I will comply on a yearly basis and turn in proof of
completion to the Vice President for verification on June 15 of every year.
19. It is my responsibility to confirm approval/completion through USFS and CER
and will work diligently to make sure my credentials are on the appropriate lists
provided by USFS.
20. As a coach, I may skate on the ice for free, but skaters have the right of way at
all times.

The USFSA defines testing as a system of tests which allow a skater to progress
through a sequence of logical steps in his or
her competitive development. The tests also establish a bench-marking structure
for competitive purposes. All USFSA sanc-
tioned competitions group skaters according to levels of tests passed. This allows
skaters of similar abilities to compete
against each other. There are two types of testing defined by the USFSA Learn-to-
Skate tests and judged tests.

Within the Learn-to-Skate (Basic Skills) program, testing is used to advance skaters
from level to level. This testing is usually per-
formed in front of the skater's instructors and is very informal. Passage through the
Learn-to-Skate program is not required for
competitive skaters. Some competitions that offer beginner-level events do use
Learn-to-Skate levels to help group competitors.

A much more formal test structure is designed for skaters who have advanced past
the basics. These tests are judged by
USFSA appointed judges at formal test sessions. The results are forwarded to the
USFSA, which keeps official records of
each skater's test accomplishments. In each skating discipline, many levels of
achievement are defined. Note that a skater's
age does not figure into his or her skating level - only the demonstration of his/her
proficiency through the passing of
tests (Note that for competitive purposes, there are some age limits placed upon
skaters at certain levels.)

It is necessary for all skaters to take and pass the Moves-in-the-Field (MIF) test
associated with a particular level before taking
the Freestyle or Pairs test at that level. It is not possible for a skater to opt out of
the Moves-in-the-Field tests. Moves-in-
the-Field is a technical discipline designed to improve skater's abilities in areas
such as stroking, turns, edge work, etc.

Test sessions are held on a regular basis by most USFSA affiliated clubs. A test
session is usually a very official event at
which many skaters will test. All tests are judged by a panel of USFSA appointed
judges. They can not be related to the skater
or the skater's coach. All results from a test session are sent by the host club's test
chairperson to the USFSA headquarters.
USFSA registers the skater's accomplishments and publishes a notice of that
accomplishment in Skating magazine.
Skaters who are ready to test, fill out a registration form and give it to their club's
test chairperson or to another area club,
if their own club is not holding a test session. There is usually a fee associated
with the taking of tests. This covers ice time,
administrative expenses/paperwork and the judges' travel expenses. Judges are not
paid for their work. Many have to
travel great distances to get to a test session. They do receive reimbursement for
the costs of their travels. BBFSC and
Northern Lights Figure Skating Club, East Grand Forks, usually run their test
sessions the same weekend to share the costs of bringing judges in from great
distances. This makes testing more affordable for skaters in each club.

Generally, the test chairperson will post a schedule of the skater's test times a few
days before the test day. Skaters should be at the rink and ready to skate at their
appointed time. It is good to be there earlier than stated, just in case the test
session is running ahead of time. It is not uncommon for that to happen. Your
coach may be present at a test session, but should not disrupt the flow of the test.

Usually, a test session is an all-day event. You will probably be scheduled in a
grouping with several other skaters taking the same or similar tests. Your group will
be scheduled for a warm-up time, followed immediately by the skating of the tests
within that group. Usually, you will be the only one on the ice during your actual
test. For some tests, such as moves-in-the- field and pre-preliminary freestyle, you
may share the ice with others.

There will be judges there to evaluate your performance. Usually, there are three
judges for all tests. For some lower level tests, it is acceptable for a single high-
level judge to judge the test. This is sometimes done when ice-time is limited.
The judges are usually off the ice, in a hockey box or similar area. Most often,
they have clipboards with your test papers on them. Usually, there will be one
judge called the judge-in-charge. If your test requires instruction, this is the judge
that will be talking to you.

When it is time for your test, the judges or announcers will inform you of your
opportunity. If it is a freestyle, pairs program or a dance test, you should skate to
your starting position and wait for your music to start. If it is a moves tests or a pre-
preliminary or adult pre-bronze freestyle test, you should go to the judges for
instruction on how they want you to conduct the test.

When you have finished your test, you should stay on the ice until the judges
dismiss you. You should approach the judges, but not too close. Sometimes, they
will need to discuss aspects of your test privately. The judges might ask you to re-
skate an element or two from the test. If this is done, it is because that element
was not quite right and the judges want to give you another chance to try it.
Usually, they will tell you what it was about the element that they would like to see
improved. If you are asked to re-skate an element, you will be given the
opportunity to warm-it-up before you do it for real, if you choose to do so. If you do
want to warm-it-up, you need to tell the judges
that before you begin your warm-up.

After you are dismissed, you will need to wait for your results. Usually, the judges
will complete a group of skaters before handing in their paperwork. Eventually,
you will get copies of your test papers to review. These will have the judge's
comments on your performance. At the bottom, it will indicate your pass or retry
status. With a 3-judge panel, you must receive a passing mark from at least two
judges in order to pass the test.  Usually, you are allowed to keep your test papers.
You and your coach should use them as a tool for developing your instructional
plans. If you should fail to pass a test, you are required to wait a minimum of 28
days before retrying the test.

A test is a rather formal occasion, but is not a competition. There is no audience
to impress. You do not need to wear your fanciest dress or clothing. You should
dress neatly though – no sweats! A nice practice dress is more than adequate for
any test. If you need it, a sweater or light gloves are fine.

Judges are not bad people. They don't bite. Judges are often skaters themselves,
past skaters or parents of skaters. They have your best interests at heart and really
want you to pass They will not, however, pass a test for which the skater is not
adequately prepared. Don't be afraid of them and don't let them make you feel
nervous. Just skate your best and show them what you can do.

Sometimes at your test, you will see more than the normal three judges. If this is
the case, one or more of them may be a trial judge. A trial judge is like an
apprentice judge. This person is learning how to become a judge. It takes a long
time and a lot of tests to do so. The trial judge's marks do not count on your tests.
They only serve to establish a performance record for the trial judge. If there is a
trial judge on your test, you may notice that the real judges may take some time to
explain the fine points of your test to that person. Be patient. This person may
someday be a real judge at one of your test sessions or competitions, so it is to
your advantage that they know what they are doing.

No question about it, your first competition will be one of the most exciting, most
confusing and most stomach-churning days you will ever experience in skating!
Just remember, you're doing this for fun. Go out there, show off a little and enjoy
the experience. Do your best job, but always remember to keep an even
perspective on the day. Parents, remember how much courage it takes your skater
to get out
there, all alone, on that huge sheet of ice in front of an audience. Make sure your
child knows about that fluttery feeling of pride you feel in your chest when you see
them out there.

An important thing to remember when you compete, is to skate against yourself -
not the other skaters. It's great to win or to earn a medal. We all want to strive for
that as a goal. But if that is your only goal, you're bound to come away
disappointed often. It's important to remember that you can control how well you
skate, but you have no control over who you are competing against. At any given
competition, you might face competitors who are more advanced, equally
advanced or less experienced than yourself. Your final position will be greatly
affected by the level of that field. You could skate exactly the same performance
in 2 different competitions and end up in first place one day and last place the
next. It all depends on the abilities of the other skaters. Strive instead to always
better your last performance. Every time you go out on that competition ice, try to
do just a little bit better than you did the last time.
If you do that, the medals will take care of themselves. If you can come off the ice
feeling good about your performance and knowing that you've done your best job,
then you should be happy.

Most likely, your coach will know about the competitions in your area and will
advise you as to which ones you should enter. Your coach knows your abilities and
knows the general range of abilities expected at the various competitions held in
your area. If you're searching, one of the best places to look is Skating magazine,
which is sent to all USFSA members. Skating lists coming competitions in the
Calendar of Events, which appears monthly. Your coach or club may get the
competition announcement packet in the mail about 2-3 months before the
competition. If not, you should call the host club and ask for one. Usually, entry
deadlines are about 6-8 weeks before the competition, so don't hesitate to get an
application and send it in.

Application forms are usually included in the announcement packet. This packet
will list all events, the eligibility requirements and the required elements for
programs. You may enter more than one event if you wish, and in general,
additional events are cheaper than the first event. In our area, local competitions
usually cost around $60 to $80 for the first event and $20 for additional events.
There will be an
entry deadline listed in the packet. Make sure you get your form in on time!
Usually the form will require a signature by a club officer and your coach to attest
to your eligibility. Don't wait until the last minute to get this signature. Sometimes
people are out of town or do not show up at the rink on that one day you left to try
to find them. you to get dressed. The club will provide a locker room for
you to change in. You can usually leave your clothes and skating bags in that
room while competing. Your coach's signature is also to attest to your readiness.
With help from your coach, decide which events you will enter, fill in the form, get
the necessary signatures, make a copy (never mail anything without keeping a
copy), write a check and mail it. Often, clubs will suggest that you include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope (SASE), which they may use to return your event

Usually, you will get a mailing from the host club about 10-14 days before the
competition. This mailing will list your event day and times and will provide a
map to the rink, parking instructions and other necessary information. In general, it
won't help to call earlier than that, since they can't make up a firm schedule until
they have all the entries and go through a huge scheduling effort to make it all
work. They'll mail it as soon as they know it's a solid schedule.

There is a good chance you might miss school. Most competitions run over a
weekend, but because of the number of entries that most get, they may have to
start before Saturday. Sometimes Friday and, once in a while, Thursday. Most
competitions, in this area, may schedule practice ice on Thursday evening with
the competition beginning on Friday morning. In general, they start with
the lowest level skaters on the earliest days and save the weekend for the high
level skaters and the final rounds. So if this is an early competition for you, the
chances are pretty good you'll miss a little bit of school. In our school system, it is
not considered an excused absence, so you will be marked absent for that day.

You will compete against other skaters of approximately similar experience. You
may or may not be competing against skaters of similar age. The basic separation
is by test level. This means you will be competing against other skaters who have
tested no further than you have. Many competitions allow skaters to skate up one
level (skate in a level that is one test more difficult than they have actually
passed), but no competition will let skaters skate in a level below where they have
passed. Of course, even within a test level,
you will find people of widely varying experience and ability. Generally, you will
skate in a group of no more than 8 to 12 skaters. If there are substantially more
than 12 people entered in a single event, they will break up the group into
separate flights. These flights will then be considered completely separate events.
Usually, if this is done, the flights are grouped according to the skaters' ages.

The club mailing, that has your schedule on it, will tell you what they expect of
entrants. In general, you should expect to check in at least one hour before your
scheduled event time. When you get to the rink, they will usually have a check-in
table near the doors. You need to go to that table and say your name and event. If
there is an event number associated with your event, you should be prepared to
tell them that also. They will find your name on their list and log you in. If your
event requires music, you should give them your tape or CD at this time. They will
probably have program booklets available at this table for a nominal charge.
You'll probably want one for your scrapbook. Once you're checked in, you can
watch other events until it's time for you to get dressed. The club will provide a
locker room

Your host club or your coach may tell you their own special expectations.
However, the general rule is that you should be fully dressed and ready to check in
when the flight before yours takes the ice. Usually, there will be an ice monitor
standing somewhere near the skaters' entry door (usually with a clipboard in their
hand). You should find the ice monitor at this time and tell them who you are and
that you are present and ready. Don't go too far away, but don't hover too close
and bother others. The ice monitor will tell you
when it's time for your flight's warm-up. Generally, you should say your “good-byes”
to your parents up in the bleachers, then report to the ice monitor along with your
coach. The coach can usually stay with you up to and during your event. Your
parents should not.

The warm-up is a short opportunity (usually about 3-4 minutes) for you to get out
on the ice and warm up your muscles before you compete. Your coach may have
a few specific things for you to work on during this time. In general, you should use
it to stroke around and loosen your muscles and do a couple jumps to get a feel
for the ice quality. Try to familiarize yourself with the size and look
of the rink, so you aren't surprised during the competition, if the rink is smaller or
larger than your rink at home. Visualize where you will start, and where key
elements of your program will occur. You should not run through your entire
program, but you might want to try out a few of it's key elements. The judges will
not be judging your activities during this period, although some will watch to help
get a general feel for the “level” of skating that they will see in the group.
Generally, they will sound a horn or make an announcement when you have 1
minute left in the warm-up. They will tell you to leave the ice when its over. Don't
go too far, and try to keep your muscles warm and loose. If you choose to watch
the other competitors, you may do so.

Usually this will be posted on a convenient wall somewhere around the concourse
of the rink. When you first arrive at the rink, you can ask the people at the
registration desk where the skating orders are posted. You will find a sheet for each
of your events that will list all the competitors in the order in which they will skate.
It will probably NOT be the same order printed in the program booklet.

Sometimes when your flight is large, it will be divided into 2 or 3 sub-groups. Each
of these sub-groups gets to warm up separately. For instance, if you are in a flight
of 12 skaters, it might be broken up into 2 groups of 6. The first 6 would warm up at
the time listed on the ice schedule, then they would skate their programs. Then
the next 6 would warm up and then skate their programs. All are judged as if they
were one group. It ensures that the final skaters don't get too cooled down waiting
for their turn to skate. It is gener-
ally done when the flight size is greater than 9 and only at levels of about
intermediate or higher, when the programs start to get long.

When it's your turn to skate, the ice monitor will give you instructions to go on the
ice. Skate out to wherever you will strike your initial pose and indicate your
readiness to the judges and the music person. If this is a competition with music,
then they will start it as soon as they know that both you and the judges are ready.
If your program is not done to music, you should wait until they announce
something like skater, you may begin. Take a deep breath, relax and skate your
best. If you are in a half-ice competition and someone else is skating on the other
half, it would be courteous to wait until they are finished before you skate off the

Usually, it will take about a half-hour or so for results to be posted. You will
generally find them posted in the same place where the skating orders are. The
result sheets show your final position, and show the ordinal (position) marking that
each of the judges gave you. Usually, you can purchase copies of the results
sheets for about $.25 from the host club.

Different clubs do this differently, but usually if you are in the top 3 or 4 positions
you will receive a medal of some sort. Some competitions have award
ceremonies scheduled periodically during the competition to award these
medals, but not very often. They usually take official pictures right after medals
are awarded. If you have earned a medal, you should check to see when the
award ceremony is, and whether or not pictures will be taken. If pictures are taken,
you will probably be expected to be in your skating outfit and skates. You will have
the option to purchase pictures, if you like. At many competitions, those skaters
who placed below the medal positions will be eligible to receive a ribbon. Check
at the registration table to find out where you go to get a ribbon.

Don't forget to pick up your music tapes or CDs!!!

Most clubs expect you to bring your music on a standard audio cassette tape or
CD. The competition announcement will give you specific instructions. Usually,
you should bring 2 copies of your music. Give one to the registration desk when
you arrive and give the other to your coach or someone else close to the ice for
emergencies. Your tape or CD should be well labeled with your name and your
event. Your music should be the first and only song on the tape or CD. It should be
rewound, if it is a tape. If you can find the real short 5- or 10-minute cassettes, use
those. They generally have a thicker tape which works better in the cold, damp
environment of the ice rink. If at all possible, make a brand new copy of your
music for the competition. Do not use the same tape or CD that you have played
over and over again during practice sessions. They do wear out and can become
damaged. You'd like to have the best possible sound for your competition. If you
do make a new tape or CD, make sure you listen to it at least once to make sure it
recorded properly.

Skating is basically an individual sport. Activities during most practice sessions are
pretty unstructured. It is important to know that some basic rules must be observed
for safety and to ensure that everyone can make effective use of their ice time.

Be on time for your lessons. At least 15 minutes before your lesson and on the ice
5 minutes before your lessons starts.

In our rink, the skater who is on program and who's music is playing has the right of
way at all times. Other skaters are expected to give that skater free maneuvering
room. Second in priority are those skaters who are currently in lessons with their
coach. Always yield to these skaters. Take turns playing your skating music.

When you are practicing elements like camel spins and back spirals be especially
aware of the danger your exposed blade poses to other skaters. Recognize that
once you've started the element, it will be hard for you to see those around you.
Take a good look at your expected space before you start the element. Abort it if it
looks like you could cause a problem.

As you skate more, you'll get to the point where you'll recognize that a practice
session has a certain rhythm to it. People tend to do pretty expectable or
predictable things. You can usually guess where somebody else is going, based
on what they're doing when you see them. For example: The normal approaches
to each jump or spin are pretty recognizable. If you're a wrong way skater
(clockwise jumper) be aware that other skaters will probably guess wrong about
your intentions. If you have clockwise jumpers in your rink, try to recognize them
and adjust our expectations accordingly. Try not to skate or behave in a way that
would surprise other skaters. If you're standing near the
boards, don't enter the flow of skaters without checking first to make sure it I clear
to enter.
NOTE: Spins should be done in the center of the ice and jumps on either end.

Refrain from standing around and visiting on the ice. This wastes expensive ice
and presents and additional hazard to other skaters to avoid.

Dress appropriately for figure skating. Shorts, leggings, skirts, dresses and black
dresses for synchro skaters.

Be responsible for your own music, clothing and equipment.

After an ice cleaning, do not enter on to the ice until the zamboni has left the ice
and the gates are closed.

At the beginning of each skating season, skaters are asked to sign the code of
conduct as stated below.

1. BBFSC will be enforcing the North Dakota High School Activities Association
(NDHSAA) policy on alcohol, drug, theft, etc. BBFSC will also be following the
school rules on academic eligibility. These rules are listed in the front of your
school planner. The full NDHSAA policy can be found at www.ndhsaa.com. Click
on Publications and from there on to Constitution and By-Laws.
2. Courtesy - Show respect toward all coaches and fellow skaters.
3. Be on time for lessons. Skaters should arrive at least 15 minutes before their
lessons begins. They should be on the ice at least 5 minutes before their lesson
4. First Priority On Program skaters - skaters, whose music is playing, have the right
of way at all times. This includes skaters that are in dance lessons. Second Priority
In Lesson skaters - skaters who are currently in lessons with their coaches. Do not
talk to your coaches if they are in a lesson with another skater.
5. Safety first with your skate blades - be aware of other skaters when spinning and
6. Be predictable when practicing - try not to skate in a way that may surprise
other skaters. Be aware of who is on the ice.
7. Spins should be done in the center of the ice and jumps on either end of the
8. Don't stand around. No game playing during private ice...no tag, blob, etc.
9. Dress appropriately for figure skating.
10. Be responsible for your own music, clothing, and equipment.
11. After an ice cleaning, do not enter the ice until the Zamboni doors are closed.
12. Behave at competitions. Sit during programs. This includes other teams as
well as your own. During testing, please  sit quietly so skaters can concentrate. No
horse-play or running around when attending competitions. Remember, you  are
representing BBFSC.
13. Be supportive of all skaters. Respect other coaches and parents, not only from
our club, but from other clubs as well.
14. If a skater violates any NDHSAA rules, they will not be allowed to skate a solo
at the end of the year ice show.

1. A student must demonstrate varsity level ability as compared to other North
Dakota athletes and demonstrate this  ability in competitive situations.
2. Show leadership, hard work and good sportsmanship in all levels of skating.
3. Letters are awarded according to the requirements below, based on the point
4. Skaters are required to submit, to the club president, their signed lettering
requirements summary by April 1st. (Form on website) The club will keep an
events journal to verify the skaters lettering requirements summary sheet. It is the
responsibility of the skater to obtain the coach's signature.
5. All skaters must follow all the guidelines for eligibility according to school
regulations. Such as grades, NDHSAA drug free policy, attendance, etc.
6. This lettering criteria is between the skater and his/her coach(es), It will be the
responsibility of the skater to make sure he/she obtains enough points during the
lettering year to be eligible for a letter.

Testing/lettering year is from April 1st to March 31st.
Must have passed pre-juvenile freestyle, pre-juvenile moves or 2nd figure test or
bronze dance test category.
Skater must take at least one 15 minute lesson per week.
The first year anyone is eligible to letter is 7th grade.
You must have earned 10 points in the testing year to letter. You may pick from
the following list for your points.
A skater must not be in violation of any training rules set forth by BBFSC, NDHSAA
and Grand Forks Public Schools.
Any violation of the policy regarding alcohol, drug, theft, etc. will result in the
lose of ability to letter for that year.

Moves test passed – 2 per test
Freestyle test passed – 2 per test
Individual dance test passed – 2 per test
Skating performance in front of audience – 1 per performance (Example:
exhibitions, ice show, hockey games, etc.)
Competition – 2 per performance
BBFSC function – 1 per function (Example: Potato Bowl parade, banquet, spring
party, etc.) Fund raising events are not eligible functions.
Attendance of 3 stroking sessions per year – 1 per skating year
1. Two unexcused absences from practices will be cause for dismissal from the
team. After the first unexcused absence you will be   given a written warning, after
the second time you will be dismissed from the team. Excused: Illness, church
functions, skating competitions, and mandatory school functions where credit is
received (band, chorus, programs, etc.). Unexcused: Birthday parties, studying,
other sports practices/games/extra –curricular activities (dance, basketball,
gymnastics, cheerleading, etc.).  Medical related absences will be approved on a
case by case basis by the coach.  Any other absence must be approved by the
*Family vacations must be approved by the head coach prior to the start of the
season in order to be excused.
**It is unavoidable for some practices to be rescheduled due to ice conflicts.  If
practice is rescheduled and the skater has a conflict with the date, the coach
must be given a 1 week notice for the absence to be excused.

2. Two excused absences will count as one unexcused absence. Therefore, 4
excused absences will be cause for dismissal from the team.

3. Missing the practice ice for a competition or scheduled performance or missing
the last two practices before a competition due to an excused or unexcused
absence will result in an alternate skating.

4. Skaters are required to be at all performances or competitions.  Missing a
competition, due to an unexcused absence, will result in an alternate skating (or
skating short if no alternate) the following competition.  Missing a competition or
scheduled performance without prior arrangements from the coach will be cause
for dismissal from the team.

5. Parents must notify the head coach of any absences prior to the start of the
practice by phone call or written notification.  If a parent fails to do this, it will be
counted as an unexcused absence.

6. You are required to be at the arena and ready for practice on time.  2 late
arrivals will be counted as one unexcused absence.

7. Skaters will not leave the ice unless dismissed by the coach. If you fail to get
permission, you will not be allowed back on the ice, which means you will have
an unexcused absence.

8. Dress code: Black long sleeved skating dress and skating tights.

9. If a skater criticizes or raises their voice at the coach or other members of the
team, that skater will be asked by the coach to leave the ice.  This will be
considered an unexcused absence and the skater will not be allowed back on the
ice until they and their parent meet with the coach.  It is the coach’s discretion if
further disciplinary action is required..

10. If the skater’s attitude is frequently disruptive to the team, there will be two
warnings to the skater and parent.  If the behavior does not improve, it will be
cause for dismissal from the team.

11.BBFSC will be enforcing the North Dakota High School Athletic Association
policy on alcohol, drug, theft, etc.  BBFSC will also be following the school rules
on academic eligibility.  These rules are listed in the front of your school planner
and can also be found at www.ndhsaa.com.

12. Required Private Lessons:   Beginner 1, 2, 3, Preliminary, and Pre-Juvenile
line skaters must take a 15 minutes weekly moves-in-the-field lesson with a Border
Blades approved coach throughout the course of the season.  Open Juvenile,
Juvenile, and Open Junior lines must take a weekly 30 minute lesson (15 minutes
of moves-in-the-field) with a Border Blades approved coach throughout the course
of the season.  The skater is responsible to have a Border Blades coach sign a
lesson sheet.  Skaters failing to meet the lesson requirement will be ineligible for a
varsity letter.

13. Required Individual Practice:  Beginner 1, 2, and Preliminary line skaters must
practice an additional 15 minutes per week throughout the course of the season.  
Beginner 3, Pre-Juvenile, Open Juvenile, Juvenile, and Open Junior lines must
practice an additional 30 minutes per week throughout the course of the season.  
The skater is responsible to have a Border Blades coach sign a practice sheet.  
Skaters failing to meet the individual practice requirement will be ineligible for a
varsity letter.

14. Skaters must turn in a copy of their birth certificates before the competitive
season starts, unless one is already on file. This is a USFSA rule.

15. If you are dismissed from the team for any violation of any conduct and
eligibility violations, any and all expenses relating to this team for the remainder
of the season are still your parent’s responsibility.

1.        Testing/lettering year is from April 1st to March 31st.
2.        A student must demonstrate varsity level ability as compared to other North
Dakota athletes and demonstrate this ability in             competitive situations.
3.        Show leadership, hard work and good sportsmanship in all levels of skating.
4.        Letters are awarded according to the requirements below and will also be
under the discretion of the coach.
5.        Skaters are required to submit, to the synchro manager, their signed
lettering requirements summary by April 1st.   

(form on website).  It is the responsibility of the skater to obtain the coach's

1.        The skater must have passed the Pre-Juvenile Moves-in-the-Field test.
2.        The skater must be part of the highest level synchronized skating line that
BBFSC has available. (This includes alternates.)
3.        The first year anyone is eligible to letter is 7th grade.
4.        You must attend every practice set by the coaches. The coaches will use
their discretion in determining what is an excused or unexcused absence and if it
affects your lettering status.
5.        Skater must attend scheduled competitions.
6.        Skater must perform with the line in public appearances.
7.        The skater must meet the eligibility requirements that Grand Forks Public
Schools have set in academics and citizenship in all classes during the course of
the season.
8.        A skater must not be in violation of any training rules set forth by the coach,
BBFSC, North Dakota High School Activities Association and Grand Forks Public
Schools. Any violation of the policy regarding alcohol, drug, theft, etc. will result
in the loss of ability to letter for that year as well as any leadership roles. For
example...a skater will lose a captains or co-captain position for the remainder of
the season.

All lettering requirements are under the discretion of the coaches.

1.        Line parent attends monthly board meetings. If there are co-line parents, at
least one should attend.
2.        Keep practice dresses in their possession during the season (will be
reimbursed for storage and cleaning).  Keep competition dresses in their
possession during the season, if requested by the coach.
3.        Communicate concerns or questions from parents of line members to the
4.        Discuss dress choices with the coach early in the season and assist with
5.        Assist coach and/or team as required at exhibitions or competitions. For
example: hair, make-up, etc.
6.        Attends all BBFSC team activities, if possible.
7.        Teach new skaters and parents how to do hair and make-up for
8.        Review the synchronized skating portion of the handbook at a team
9.        Promote fun team activities at competitions and other special events,
including all lines.
10.        Assist coaches with ordering tights and warm-ups for the team.
11.        Talk to coach about setting up monthly team meetings to keep
communication open.
12.        Collect a copy of each skater's birth certificate for competitions. If the
coach already has a copy, no need to do this.
13.        Most of all, have fun and be positive.



Make sure there is balance in your skater's life. Allow time for school and personal
growth. Very few skaters make skating their life career. Don't put so much focus on
your child's skating that you forget they'll have to function in a normal world when
they grow up. School is important. Social development is important. Being a kid is

Help your child to set his/her goals in skating. Help them be realistic about these
goals, but also to make them challenging enough to make the sport fulfilling.
Make sure the goals are your skater's goals and not yours. Help to achieve these
goals by setting targets, plotting progress, etc. Be willing to reevaluate when

Learn enough about skating to recognize the elements. Know enough to know
when something is done well, and when it is done less well. Recognize progress.
Be interested and listen when your skater talks about progress or problems.

Pay your bills on time. Get your skater to the rink on time. When you can't be
there, make sure to tell the coach in advance. Let the coach participate in goal-
setting discussions, if possible. If not, ensure that the coach understands
yourskater's goals. Listen to your coach's advice and instructions, to help ensure
that your skater follows the instructions when
practicing or doing off-ice activities.

Don't use the rink as a babysitter. When you can, stay and watch your skater
practice or take lessons. They need to know you're interested. Often skaters, whose
parents never watch them practice, feel very self-conscious or pressured when
their parents finally do show up to watch. If competitions are the only time you
watch your skater, you may be hurting them more than helping them.

Remember that every skater is someone's child and that they ALL deserve to be
treated fairly and with respect. Be willing to recognize other skaters graciously.
When someone else is skating in a competition, do not be noisy or disruptive and
do not move about. Stay seated when there is a skater on the ice performing.

Remember, your skater is still maturing. Offer praise when appropriate, but be
realistic with that praise. Recognize progress towards goals, but be willing to
acknowledge when more work is needed without making that a bad thing. Never
destructively criticize your skater, especially in front of others. Resist the urge to
compare your child against another. Everyone learns at different rates.

Pay your bills on time and keep your skater in good financial standing with the
club. Volunteers are the heart and soul of BBFSC. Since this is a parent-run
organization, we need all the help we can get. You will be responsible to
volunteer at least once a year or you will be assessed a fee of $100 non-volunteer
fee.  Be willing to work on committees or serve on the Board of Directors, if
needed. The more you volunteer, the stronger our club becomes. Fundraising
activities that you participate in (events where your skater receives financial
credit) does not fulfill your volunteer responsibilities.

BBFSC will periodically offer fundraising opportunities for all registered members,
to assist with financial responsibilities.  All fundraising activities must be approved
by the Board of Directors.  Proceeds must be turned into the treasurer along with a
list of individual skater credits.  The skater’s account will be credited with a
fundraising credit, which may be used to offset any fees billed through the Club.  
Credits can be carried over year to year.  Credits cannot be refunded for cash.  In
the event a skater does not renew their membership and their account still carries
a fundraising credit, the credit will be removed and allocated at the discretion of
the Board of Directors

At the beginning of each skating season, parents are asked to sign a code of
conduct as stated below.

1. Parents will make sure the skater is on time for private lessons, synchronized
practices and/or performances.

2. Parents will notify the coach or insure that the skater notifies the coach, if the
skater cannot attend a private
skating lesson, synchronized practice or performance as outlined in the skaters
rule book.

3. Do not speak to your skater’s coach if they are in a lesson with another skater. If
you need to contact them,
do so at another time.

4. If your skater complains to you about another, talk to the coach and ask for
clarification of the problem. If the

5. Parents will encourage harmony, goodwill and ethical behavior among the
skaters, parents, pros and rink
personnel. No offensive language or behavior will be tolerated at the rink by
BBFSC members. Do not talk
about anyone negatively! If someone is talking about another skater, coach or
parent in a negative way, don’t
join in. If you feel comfortable saying, "I signed a code of conduct and won't
listen to this." Great! If not,
simply move away from that parent.

6. Parents will read and be aware of their responsibilities as explained in the
skating hand book.

7. If you have a problem with the coach, a 24 hour cooling off period is
suggested. Meet with that coach to
discuss the issue. If you still have an issue, take it to the board. Again, do not take
your complaints to other
parents or the skaters. The board needs to be involved at this point. A good
working relationship between
coach, skater and parent is a must!

8. Parents will participate and support BBFSC activities. Volunteering for events is

9. Parents will attend board meetings to maintain clear communication for our
parent-ran club and for our skaters.

10. If a coaching change is desired, exhibit mutual respect by discussing desired
change with current coach and
desired coach.

11. Issues or complaints, must be presented to the board or a board member in
written form.

12. The use of bulk e-mail is to be approved by the president, vice-president or
another board designee. Other
e-mail is for critical notification of club announcements, reminders, and
schedules only. Abuse of this form of
communication will be considered a violation of the code of conduct and will be
reviewed by the elected board.

13. If your skater is dismissed from the team for any violation of BBFSC rules, all
expenses are the continued
responsibility of that skater's parent for the remainder of the season.

If any club member or coach has a complaint about any other club member,
existing policy, or coach and it cannot
be resolved through direct communication, it must be put into written form and
submitted to the elected board members
only. At this point, any parties involved in the conflict will be asked to meet with
the board at separate times.  The
board will investigate the complaint and notify the parties involved the outcome
of that investigation.
Violations of this code of conduct will be subject to a review by the elected board
members and will be handled
in the following manner.

A written warning will be issued to the offender requesting the behavior to stop. A
copy of this
warning will be filed with board documents.

The offender/ offender's skater(s) will be suspended from all BBFSC activities and
ice time,  including synchro competitions, for a period of one week. The start and
stop date of this  suspension will be determined by the board in a timely manner.
No refund of any moneys paid  by the offender/offender’s skater(s)will be issued for
expenses incurred during time of suspension.

The offender/offender’s skater(s)will be dismissed from the club. No refund of any
moneys paid by offender/offender’s skater(s) will be issued.

Each year the BBFSC is invited to participate in the Grand Forks Park Board's Ice
Show. The club is given a generous amount of spots in the show. They are for
group numbers, solos and synchronized skating teams.

How to qualify for a solo is the most asked question when it comes to the ice show.
The first criteria for a solo skater is that they must have passed the Pre-Juvenile
Freestyle test or higher by January 1, 2011. The solo spots are designated to
showcase advanced skaters and give young skaters something to aspire to. That's
why it is based on skill rather than age. Age may be a factor in some situations
where there are more qualified skaters than spots. If you have performed a solo
before or not, may also be a factor.

If a solo is something you would like to achieve in your years with Border Blades,
be sure to sit down with your coach at the beginning of every skating a season and
establish goals that will get you to that point.

Read below for more details on the ice show:

Five solo spots:
– Solos must have passed Pre-Juvenile Freestyle test or higher by January 1, 2011.
– Border Blades will select who the soloists are based on highest test levels. The
decision the BBFSC Ice Show Committee makes will be final.
– One of the solo numbers may be used for a Senior Only group number.
– Soloists must submit their name and biography information to the ice show
coordinators in writing by March 1, 2011.

Three group numbers:
– The level of groups will be determined by BBFSC.
– Groups must submit group participant names and a team bio to the ice show
coordinators in writing by March 1, 2011 to insure their names in the program.

Synchronized skating groups:
– Each synchronized skating team will be allowed to perform their competition
– Teams must submit team participant names and a team bio to the ice show
coordinators in writing by March 1, 2011 to insure their names in the program.

Limited practice ice is available to Border Blades for the ice show. All coaching
is the responsibility of the soloists or for BBFSC to arrange and pay for.

The number of spots available is subject to change by the Grand Forks Park

Please Note:
2011-2012 season

1.     Skating Plus skaters can only skate in 1 (one) freestyle number (It is the
individual’s choice as to which number they are skating in – Club or Skating Plus).
This does not include Synchro.

2.     Must be at all performances – dress rehearsal, Saturday and Sunday shows

3.     One (1) required freestyle lessons per week for solos, specialty groups, and
senior number. A total of 15 lessons are required for the season from September
19 through February 15. Verification will be sought from the individual coaches.

4.     Border Blades hires and pays for group numbers only

5.     Solos, specialty group, and senior number are to be paid by parents of those
in the group divided evenly

6.     Move solo freestyle requirement level up to Juvenile for next season (2012-

7.     Point system based on competing and testing to be implemented for solos
and specialty groups for next season (2012-2013)

2012-2013 season recommendations

1.     Freestyle level for solos is Juvenile or higher

2.     One (1) required freestyle lessons per week for solos, specialty groups, and
senior number. A total of 20 lessons are required for the season from September
19 through February 15. Verification will be sought from the individual coaches.

3.     Point system based on competing and testing to be implemented for solos
and specialty groups

4.     Border Blades hires and pays for group numbers only

5.     Skating Plus skaters can only skate in 1 (one) freestyle number (It is the
individual’s choice as to which number they are skating in). This does not include

6.     Must be at all performances – Dress rehearsal, Saturday and Sunday shows

7.     Border Blades hires and pays for group numbers only

8.     Solos, specialty group, and senior number are to be paid by parents of those
in the group divided evenly
PO Box 14105
Grand Forks, ND 58208