The figure skating competition season begins in the fall with regional competitions which usually take place in October.
Regional competitions are the first in a series of qualifying competitions. Skaters that place in the top four in regional events advance to sectional competitions.
Those who place in the top in Championship events at U.S. Nationals usually qualify for the World Figure Skating Championships which are held in March.
During an Olympic year, the Olympic Figure Skating Team is chosen from those who place in the United States National Figure Skating Championships in Championship events. Olympics is always held before Worlds and is considered part of the figure skating competition season.
Regional competitions also hold non-qualifying events. These events give lower level skaters an experience at participating at a regional, but skaters participating in non-qualifyiing events do not advance to sectionals or nationals.
To qualify for a regional non-qualifying or qualifying event is an accomplishment in itself since there are very difficult figure skating tests that must be passed before a figure skater is eligible.
A separate Adult Nationals is held for adult competitors in April of each year.
Most serious figure skaters train each year with the goal of participating at a qualifying competition at a certain level. Much preparation is involved to get ready for regionals.
- How to Qualify for Regionals - An article written for U.S.Figure Skating by Jo Ann Schneider Farris