Terms used:

Act

The Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act S.C. 2009, c.23 including the regulations made pursuant to the Act, and any statute or regulations that may be substituted, as amended from time to time.

Base Level Technical Officials

An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for accurate technical panel process and for authorizing, correcting, deleting and adding elements to the list of elements performed during an event. The BLTO assists with the identification of elements in competition. The BLTO also assists with the identification of falls and illegal elements where appropriate to the level. The BLTO is qualified to act on a panel at or below a specified level of competition in singles only and can only be assigned to events where elements can be called no higher than base level.

Category

The name for each level of competition within a discipline.  Examples of categories are STAR 1, STAR 2, Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Pre-Novice, etc.

Club

A not-for-profit organization that is operating for the general purpose of providing Skate Canada skating programs and is managed by a volunteer board of directors.

Data Specialists

An individual sixteen years of age or older who has been trained and appointed to calculate the results of sanctioned figure skating competitions.

Element

A component that is part of a synchronized skating short program and free skating program.  Elements are divided into groups of difficulty.

Event

The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category.  There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries.  Each event is independent of the other events within the category. 

Events

The name given to a group of skaters entered in a category.  There may be one event per category or several events per category depending on the number of total entries.  Each event is independent of the other events within the category. 

Judge

An individual sixteen years of age or older who has been trained and appointed to officiate at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Judges

An individual sixteen years of age or older who has been trained and appointed to officiate at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Member

Each entity that meets the requirements of any of the three Member classes as defined in Article 3 hereof [of the bylaws].

 

Program Component

Referee

A referee of an event within a competition is an experienced judge who has received further training to conduct an event and monitor the performance of the panel of judges. Referees are qualified to referee or judge at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Section

As defined in Section 8.1 hereof [of the bylaws].

Spin

In singles and pairs, a spin must have at least three revolutions to be considered a spin. The minimum number of revolutions in a position is two without interruption.  If this requirement is not fulfilled, the position is not counted. The change of foot in any spin must be preceded and followed by a spin position with at least three (3) revolutions. If one foot is lacking three revolutions in a basic position, the spin will receive less value. If the skater(s) falls when entering a spin, a spin or a spinning movement is allowed immediately after this fall (for filling time purpose) with this spin/movement not being counted as an element.

Spins

In singles and pairs, a spin must have at least three revolutions to be considered a spin. The minimum number of revolutions in a position is two without interruption.  If this requirement is not fulfilled, the position is not counted. The change of foot in any spin must be preceded and followed by a spin position with at least three (3) revolutions. If one foot is lacking three revolutions in a basic position, the spin will receive less value. If the skater(s) falls when entering a spin, a spin or a spinning movement is allowed immediately after this fall (for filling time purpose) with this spin/movement not being counted as an element.

Spiral

A gliding position executed on one foot with free leg extended (including knee and foot) above hip level.

Spirals

A gliding position executed on one foot with free leg extended (including knee and foot) above hip level.

Technical Controllers

An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for accurate technical panel process and authorizes, corrects, deletes and adds elements to the list of elements performed during an event. Technical controllers are qualified to act on panels at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Technical Specialists

An individual sixteen years of age or older who identifies elements and levels of difficulty of elements in competition. The technical specialist also identifies falls and illegal elements. Technical specialists are qualified to act on panels at or below a specified level of competition in one or more of singles, pairs, ice dance or synchronized skating.

Turns

A rotational movement in which the skater moves from forward to backward or backward to forward using one foot and on an edge and axis (e.g. Three-turn, Bracket). In a two-foot turn the rotational movement from forward to backward or backward to forward is from one foot to the other foot (e.g. Mohawk, Choctaw).

Welcome to STAR 1-4!

The STAR 1-4 program is an exciting part of the Skate Canada competition system that introduces young figure skaters to competitions. The philosophy of the STAR system is based on the principles within Skate Canada’s Guide to Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD). This guide provides the optimal framework for how young skaters should experience their first competitions.

Planning STAR Events

Sections may choose to offer all STAR events, or a selection of STAR events based on the size of the competition and anticipated number of entries.

STAR Category Assessment Format Format Rationale
STAR 1 Assessed to standard Element event Introduction to a figure skating event. Focus is on individual performance.
STAR 2 Assessed to standard Program event Introduction to skating a program in a figure skating event.
STAR 3 Assessed to standard Program event Skating a program with increased difficulty. Same technical content as STAR 4.
STAR 4 Ranked Program competition Same technical content as STAR 3. Introduction to competing a program in a competition setting and being ranked. Elements are assessed to standard and converted to a rating.

Planning Considerations for Local Organizing Committees

Running STAR 1 Events

STAR 1 is a group element event for entry-level figure skaters. The purpose of STAR 1 is to introduce skaters to performing elements in a non-competitive and fun environment. At the conclusion of each STAR 1 event, skaters are given a report card and ribbon corresponding to their overall assessment rating. Creating an atmosphere which is relaxed and encourages participation is of paramount importance.

During the STAR 1 event, each group of skaters takes to the ice with their coaches to warm up elements in the designated warm-up area. After the warm-up is complete, coaches lead skaters to the assessment area where skaters take turns performing a stroking exercise, 3 jumps, 2 spins, spirals and a creative expression exercise. As soon as the first group completes the assessment of spins, the next group may enter the ice to commence their warm-up.

STAR 1 may be conducted as a single panel format, or a double panel format depending on ice-time availability.

Single Panel

Single Panel

Double Panel

Double Panel

Procedures for STAR 1 Events

Arena Set Up

One or two rows of cones along the ice may be used to designate the warm-up and assessment areas. If the judges’ stand is not at ice level (i.e., situated in the players’ box) the judges (3) will be at the boards rink side. All assessments are initially written on paper so no computer equipment or power is required rink side.

Ice Captain

As each group being assessed completes their spin elements, the ice captain will invite the next group of skaters and their coaches to begin warming up in the designated area.

On-Ice Assistant

This is an optional position for STAR 1 events. The On-Ice Assistant’s role is to keep groups moving and organized on the ice and to ensure they are moved from the warm-up area to the assessment area in a timely fashion. The On-Ice Assistant must wear skates. This is a good role for experienced Program Assistant’s or Coaches who may not have skaters involved in the competition.

Name Tags

We recommend each skater wear a name tag. Sticky tags to be worn on a warm-up jacket are preferred. Tags attached by neck strings or lanyards are not permitted.

Announcing and Music

Music for the 30-second creative routine is provided by the Section. A different selection of music should be played for each group, rotating through all the selections. Depending on the number of groups some music selections may need to be repeated. The music is played for the skaters twice: once to listen to and then again to perform. Soft background music is to be played during warm-ups and element assessments.

The procedure for announcing skaters in STAR 1 is as follows:

1.  To Start (Group 1)
“We invite the following skaters to take to the ice to warm up for the STAR 1 event: (read names). For this event, skaters will perform a stroking exercise, three jumps, two spins, a spiral exercise, and a creative routine.”

2.  When Group 1 (and subsequent groups) move to the assessment area:
"We will now begin our assessment for Group __ skaters: (read names).”

3.  When Group 2 (and subsequent groups) enters the ice for warm-up (while previous group assesses spins):
“We now invite Group __ skaters to take to the ice for their warm-up (read names).”

Procedures for STAR 2 and STAR 3 Events

Event Format

STAR 2 and STAR 3 introduce skaters to performing elements in a program. It is very similar to higher level events where there is a timed warm-up for each group of skaters followed by performances of individual programs. Judges assess each program as per regular competition-like set-up and procedure. At the conclusion of the STAR events, each skater is presented with a report card and a ribbon or rosette corresponding to their overall assessment.

Head Sets

A headset must be provided for each member of the panel of judges (the Referee plus two judges). If available, an additional headset should be set up on the panel for training purposes.

Timers

Timers are not required for STAR 2 or STAR 3 events.

Procedures for STAR 4 Events

Event Format

STAR 4 marks the entry point into competitive skating where skaters are scored and ranked.  Medals (or ribbons – at the discretion of each Section) are awarded to the top 3 finishers.  All STAR 4 competitors will receive a report card listing assessments for each element and program component as well as their overall ranking. Programs should be timed as per all other free skating categories.

STAR 1-3 Ribbons and Presentations

The STAR system is designed to introduce skaters to performing and eventually competing.  Ensuring that STAR 1-3 is conducted in a fun, relaxed and non-competitive environment is essential.  The presentation of report cards and ribbons is a very important part of the process for skaters and parents and this can greatly affect their overall experience.  Overall assessment ratings may NOT be posted in the venue or online via social media (i.e. Club website or Facebook page).

STAR Ribbons

There are separate ribbons for each level of STAR 1-3 and for each of the assessment levels of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit. It is recommended that a simple ribbon design be used for STAR 1, a more elaborate design for STAR 2 and even a rosette be given for STAR 3 to reflect the advanced achievement of skaters at each level. Medals (if used) should only be reserved for STAR 4 and higher events where skaters are ranked.

Estimating Ribbons

While numbers vary between areas, a rough estimate of ribbon distribution at each level is as follows. Note that averages will change over a season as skaters improve in each category.

Level Gold Silver Bronze Merit
STAR 1 15% 40% 35% 10%
STAR 2 10% 40% 40% 10%
STAR 3 10% 50% 35% 5%

Report Cards

An individual report card is produced for each skater in STAR 1-3.  This report card shows their individual rating on each element and the overall assessment rating.

Please note: The ribbon and report card are to be presented at the same time. 

STAR 1-3 Presentation Procedure

1.  Announce the name of the group that will be receiving presentations.
Explain that each skater will be called forward and presented with their ribbon and report card and parents may take a picture of their skater.

Tip: Parents should be provided the first opportunity to photograph their skater before a professional photographer.

2.  Call up each skater to the podium or presentation area according to the starting order for their group.
Present each skater with their report card and ribbon once they are on top of the podium or middle of presentation area. Do NOT announce the overall rating.

Tip: If an assistant is available, have them check with skaters on the pronunciation of their name prior to presentations. They can also help the skater onto the podium for their presentation.

When each skater is made to feel special, they and their families leave the event with good memories regardless of their performance. Choosing the right person(s) to perform the presentation ceremonies and create this positive atmosphere should not be overlooked. While teens and other skaters are valuable volunteers at an event, ribbon and medal ceremonies should only be performed by adults.

STAR 1-3 Ribbon Design

Skate Canada highly recommends that Sections follow the ribbon colour as indicated below. This will allow for consistency throughout all events across Sections and across the country.

Gold = Blue
Silver = Red
Bronze = Yellow
Merit = Green

Planning Considerations for Technical Representatives

Scheduling STAR 1 Events

Grouping Skaters

1.  Sort skaters by age and place into an equal number of groups with no more than 6 skaters per group.
Six skaters is the maximum number per group for on-ice management and the result calculation software. Girls and boys may be grouped together if numbers warrant this. If girls and boys are grouped together, ensure events are titled appropriately in the schedule (i.e. groups should not be called STAR 1 Girls Group 1 if boys are part of this group). If there are a sufficient number of boys, they may be grouped together regardless of age (i.e. 2 or more boys).

2.  Review and alter groupings to keep some skaters with the same coach together.
Because coaches will be on the ice with the skaters, it can be helpful for a coach to have some of their skaters together. Regrouping should NOT result in having all the skaters from the same club together. A reason for regrouping would be Groups 1 and 2 contain skaters of all the same age. A coach has one skater in Group 1 and one skater in Group 2. Place those 2 skaters in the same group.

Event Timing

1.  Group 1: 25 minutes for 6 skaters.
This includes a 3-4 minute warm up.

2.  Groups 2+: 20 minutes.
Groups 2+ will start warming up when the group before finishes assessing spins. Warm-up times are approximate and not meant to be exact.

Scheduling STAR 2 Events

Grouping Skaters

Sort skaters by age and divide into groups.  It is recommended that skaters are assigned to a maximum of 12 skaters per group (flight), however, 8 is optimal as only one warm-up group is required. Although skaters are not competing against each other, groups should not be so large that skaters lose the sense of who is in their group. Girls and boys may be grouped together if numbers warrant this. If girls and boys are grouped together, ensure events are titled appropriately in the schedule (i.e. groups should not be called STAR 2 Girls Group 1 if boys are part of this group). If there are a sufficient number of boys, they may be grouped together regardless of age. Boys events should be held so long as there are at least 2 boys entered in a STAR event.

Event Timing

STAR 2 consists of a maximum 2:00 minute program. Warm-ups are to be 3:00 minutes in duration. A review time of 1:00 to 1:30 minutes per skater should be included to allow the judging panel time to review elements and verify well balanced program criteria have been met.

OPTION: If two panels of judges are available, panels may alternate with one panel assessing skaters with an odd starting number (i.e., #1, #3, #5 etc.) and the second panel assessing skaters with an even starting number (i.e. #2, #4, #6 etc.). Double panels should only be used when there is a limited amount of ice time available and a high number of entries. There should be an adequate number of officials available in order to proceed with double panels.

Timing Guide for STAR 2

Note the timing guide below is for panels that are assigned using experienced officials or panels of new officials in assessing STAR.

STAR 2 Events Experienced Officials New Officials
# of Skaters # of Warm-ups Single Panel
Total Time
Double Panel
Total Time
Single Panel
Total Time
Double Panel
Total Time
2 1 10 min 10 min 15 min 10 min
3 1 15 min 10 min 20 min 10 min
4 1 20 min 15 min 20 min 15 min
5 1 20 min 15 min 25 min 15 min
6 1 25 min 20 min 30 min 20 min
7 1 30 min 20 min 35 min 20 min
8 1 30 min 25 min 35 min 25 min
9 2 40 min 30 min 45 min 30 miin
10 2 40 min 30 min 50 min 30 min
11 2 45 min 35 min 50 min 35 min
12 2 45 min 35 min 55 min 35 min

Scheduling STAR 3 and 4 Events

Grouping skaters – STAR 3

Sort skaters by age and divide into groups.  It is recommended that skaters are assigned to a maximum of 12 skaters per group (flight), however, 8 is optimal as only one warm-up group is required. Although skaters are not competing against each other, groups should not be so large that skaters lose the sense of who is in their group. Girls and boys may be grouped together if numbers warrant this. If girls and boys are grouped together, ensure events are titled appropriately in the schedule (i.e. groups should not be called STAR 3 Girls Group 1 if boys are part of this group). If there are a sufficient number of boys, they may be grouped together regardless of age. Boys’ events should be held so long as there are at least 2 boys entered in a STAR event. Groups should be kept small, no larger than 12 skaters.

Grouping skaters – STAR 4

1.  Sort skaters by age.
Boys and girls must compete separately in STAR 4 events. There are three age categories for STAR 4 events: U10, U13, and 13&O. If there are not enough skaters to form a separate age category for one of these groups, age categories may be combined if necessary. For example, if there are not enough entries to form a group in the Under 10 (U10) category, they may be combined with the skaters in the U13 category.

2.  Divide age categories into groups (if necessary).
Depending on the number of entries in each of the three age categories, skaters can be further divided into groups within these age categories. It is recommend that skaters are assigned to a maximum of 12 skaters per group (flight) with 8 skaters per group being the optimal number so only one warm-up group is required.

Event Timing

STAR 3 and STAR 4 consist of a 2:00 minute (+/- 10 seconds) program. Warm-ups are 4:00 minutes in duration.

OPTION: For STAR 3 ONLY, if two panels of judges are available, panels may alternate with one panel assessing skaters with an odd starting number (i.e., #1, #3, #5 etc.) and the second panel assessing skaters with an even starting number (i.e. #2, #4, #6 etc.). Double panels should only be used when there is a limited amount of ice time available and a high number of entries. There should be an adequate number of officials available in order to proceed with double panels.

Timing Guide for STAR 3 and 4

Note the timing guide below is for panels that are assigned using experienced officials or panels of new officials in assessing STAR.

STAR 3 & 4 EVENTS EXPERIENCED OFFICIALS NEW OFFICIALS
# of Skaters # of Warm-ups Single Panel
Total Time
Double Panel
Total Time*
Single Panel
Total Time
Double Panel
Total Time*
2 1 15 min 10 min 15 min 10 min
3 1 15 min 15 min 20 min 15 min
4 1 20 min 15 min 20 min 15 min
5 1 25 min 20 min 25 min 20 min
6 1 25 min 20 min 30 min 20 min
7 1 30 min 20 min 35 min 20 min
8 1 30 min 25 min 40 min 25 min
9 2 40 min 30 miin 45 min 30 min
10 2 45 min 35 min 50 min 35 min
11 2 45 min 35 min 55 min 35 min
12 2 50 min 35 min 60 min 35 min

*NOTE: Double panel can only be used in STAR 3.

Staffing STAR 1-4 Events

Active Skate Canada Judges, Technical Officials, or Coaches who have completed the STAR 1-4 Officials training may officiate in STAR 1-4 events.  Technical Officials include Technical Specialists, Technical Controllers or Base Level Technical Officials.

Roles Requirement Staffing Considerations
Referee Ensures event runs smoothly. Addresses any on-ice issues that arise during eventReferee also acts as judge 1, 2 or 3. Try to assign an experienced STAR judge.
Judge 1 Able to confidently apply standards and call out element assessments as skater is performing. Not all STAR judges will want to act as judge 1.
Judge 2 Must record element codes correctly. Leads discussion of review of assessments as necessary. Submits marking sheet to data specialists. Ensure the person assigned is able to record accurately.
Judge 3 Records elements and assessments for back-up purposes. Participates in review process. Excellent position for new STAR judge. May be a good role for someone who does not want to take a leadership role on panel.

Note: The Referee does not have to be judge 1. It is also advisable not to rotate judges between positions after each event. It is a good idea to keep the composition of the panels the same for several events so panels can develop a better understanding of each role.