The United States National Figure Skating Championships is a yearly figure skating competition. The competition is called "Nationals" by the ice skating community. "Nationals" is considered the most prestigious event of the U.S. competitive figure skating season.
Sometimes the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships is called "Big Nationals" because lower level Juvenile and Intermediate skaters who qualify, compete at a separate event held earlier in the competition season called "Junior Nationals."
Skaters participating in Junior Nationals must be under the age of eighteen. Juvenile competitors must be under sixteen and Intermediate competitors must be under eighteen. Competitors must also pass certain US figure skating tests before being eligible to compete.
"Big Nationals" holds Novice, Junior, and Senior level events. "Junior Nationals" holds Intermediate and Juvenile level events.
US Junior Championships
Originally, Junior Nationals was called the Junior Olympics. The first event was held in the mid-1990s.
What is sometimes confusing is that Junior level figure skating events are held at "Big Nationals," not Junior Nationals.
Competitors that qualify for Junior Nationals must first compete in qualifying events on the regional level for singles and at the sectional level for pairs and ice dancing.
To qualify for Junior Nationals in singles, skaters must place in the top four at regionals. To qualify for Junior nationals in ice dance or pairs, competitors must place in the top eight at a sectional event.