2019-20 USFS changes qualifying pipeline

twirlingblades

Medalist
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
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.


Read here: https://www.usfigureskating.org/story?id=84035
 
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twirlingblades

Medalist
Joined
Apr 2, 2016
US Figure Skating changes qualifying pipeline

It seems that they are eliminating Juvenile, intermediate and novice levels from nationals- the top finishers at each sectionals will instead go to a high performance camp.

For singles only: The top 2 finishers at the Novice level in both womens and mens at each sectionals (6 men and 6 women total) will be able to compete at US nationals in the Junior level.
 

musicfan80

Medalist
Joined
May 20, 2015
I really hope that Gracie Gold considers signing up and doing some of these summer competitions - if she wants to compete at 2020 Nationals.
 

skatenewbie

Medalist
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
I really hope that Gracie Gold considers signing up and doing some of these summer competitions - if she wants to compete at 2020 Nationals.
i think she'll try to get SA host pick by doing summer comp and then hopefully sent to challenger, well if that didnt work then she need to do the qualifying though
 

musicfan80

Medalist
Joined
May 20, 2015
i think she'll try to get SA host pick by doing summer comp and then hopefully sent to challenger, well if that didnt work then she need to do the qualifying though

Does Gracie have to be selected to go to a competition like the Philly Summer International? I’m assuming USFS won’t put her on the International Selection Pool until she gets a certain score at an ISU competition. Does Philly Summer count?
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Does Gracie have to be selected to go to a competition like the Philly Summer International? I’m assuming USFS won’t put her on the International Selection Pool until she gets a certain score at an ISU competition. Does Philly Summer count?

Philadelphia International is one of the four (or five) of the summer comps that "count".

I believe that USFS needs to approve, but I don't know the ins and outs of that. I know the last one I attended, Dice Murakami skated in the club portion of the comp because the Japanese fed would not approve his entry into the "real" one. So I know more about how the Japanese fed works than the US:laugh:
 

VegMom

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
When I first hear about this new program I thought it was great. The promise of a more flexible schedule, less traveling, and the option to skip Regionals all sound great. Also, the camp idea seems more practical and useful in developing athletes. I still think it's a great idea and I think over time it will prove to be more useful for identifying and developing top skaters.

I just read the article in Skating magazine about this and looked over the qualifying series schedule. There's a sentence in the article where it says "The NQS is a series of US Figure Skating-approved nonqualifying competitions hosted individually by clubs around the country where an athlete's highest total score counts toward sectional and national rank, and the opportunity to earn a bye through the first qualifying competition." I had to read that sentence multiple times to understand what it meant. They can qualify at nonqualifying events... it's confusing. They could have chosen other terminology.

I'm glad, though, that if we want to compete at the national level in the future, we an qualify in a way that is more flexible for our schedule, budget, and preferences.
 

chuckm

Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
The EVENT is nonqualifying---simply competing in an event doesn't qualify the skater for anything. It's the score that a skater achieves at a nonqualifying event that can qualify the skater for a Regionals bye.
 

tothepointe

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
i think she'll try to get SA host pick by doing summer comp and then hopefully sent to challenger, well if that didnt work then she need to do the qualifying though

I would assume that she could choose a summer comp or two that would meet both criteria. In that sense this new system seems very efficient for the skaters.
 

tothepointe

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
The EVENT is nonqualifying---simply competing in an event doesn't qualify the skater for anything. It's the score that a skater achieves at a nonqualifying event that can qualify the skater for a Regionals bye.

Yes, this. I think its a way to basically say it doesn't matter if you win the event or not but you need to have the scores. Which in theory eliminates problems with strong/weak fields in certain regions. It also encourages a certain level of competitiveness to try and bump each other's scores.
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Philadelphia International is one of the four (or five) of the summer comps that "count".

There are more than four or five. The link in the post by @twirlingblades above includes links to PDFs listing the summer competitions that will count for this series for singles, pairs, and ice dance.

For singles, there are 13 competitions in the Eastern section, 20 in the Midwestern section, and 19 in the Pacific Coasts section.

I haven't compared all of the pairs events, I think the lists constitute a subset of the singles competition lists, with approximately 9 in each section.

For Dance, there are a total of 8, 4 in Eastern and 2 in each of the other two sections.

This is a brand new series that didn't exist last year. It applies to skaters who are trying to qualify for US sectional and national competitions at juvenile through senior level.

There are many nonqualifying competitions, small, medium, and large, hosted by local clubs all year round. Spring and summer are the busiest times. What this program does is designate scores from some of the summer nonqualifying competitions to count toward giving byes through regionals (or the new October sectional events for pairs and dance) to the top scorers.

Unlike most nonqualifying competitions, these events are now required to use only officials with regional or higher judging appointments and for levels that include both short and long programs they must be combined events.


I believe that USFS needs to approve, but I don't know the ins and outs of that. I know the last one I attended, Dice Murakami skated in the club portion of the comp because the Japanese fed would not approve his entry into the "real" one. So I know more about how the Japanese fed works than the US:laugh:

This is something else entirely, which has nothing to do with qualifying for US Nationals.

Would it have been a summer competition that included both an international competition and nonqualifying competition at the same venue in the same week?

Also in recent years USFS has used some of the larger nonqualifying competitions as monitoring events for skaters who have been assigned or are hoping to be assigned to the International Selections Pool. But that would also not be relevant to skaters representing other countries and now it would be independent of the National Qualifying Series. However, some of these large summer competitions will be used for both purposes, which in a few cases at higher levels might affect a few of the same US skaters.

Some of the same summer competitions might include portions used for both.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
^^^
Thank you for the info, @gkelly:thank:

As for the 2017 Philly International, the comp formerly known as Liberty, it had two portions for seniors, one club and one that “counted” (I’m sorry I don’t know enough to explain it any better). The “main event” was amazing, it had international skaters (Donovan Carrillo :luv17: , Yaroslav Paniot, June H. Lee, Harrison from Hong Kong [forget his last name:eek::] ) as well as Max Aaron, Tim Dolensky, Alex Krasnozhon, Andrew Torgashev, Alex Johnson, Camden Pulkinen. Pretty amazing lineup for a free summer comp:agree:

My TL; DR story about Dice Murakami at that comp: The only reason I know about Dice M. is that Frank Carroll was sitting behind me. As in I had to move my bag for him to sit down behind me. Someone asked him why Dice was in the club comp (where Scott Dyer, Daniel K. and Oleg who’s last name I forget competed) instead of the main event, and he said that approval had been requested from the Japanese Fed, but no. So I heard it straight from Frank, the only time in my life I’ve ever heard news like that right from the source :laugh:

It will be interesting to see who shows up this year. I know it won’t be Frank or Dice;)
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Caveat: At least three different things are being discussed in the thread, I believe. (Although the topic in the thread title is only the new USFS pipeline. [ETA: I wish that things were not getting conflated, but the reality is that they are. This post is my first in the thread, so the second and third topics listed below were not introduced by me.])

(1) What "counts" toward qualifying for U.S. sectionals and nationals via the new USFS pipeline.

(2) What "counts" toward USFS criteria for inclusion on the ISP list. (I'm no expert, but is a minimum score necessary? With scores from only a small handful of competitions "counting"?)

(3) What "counts" toward USFS selection of Team USA skaters for Skate America and Challengers. (What "counts" beyond inclusion on the ISP list.)​

BTW, I will repeat that for at least some skaters, monitoring at the 2018 USFS High Performance (ISP) Camp apparently made a difference in international assignments.


As to the question of whether Team USA skaters need an assignment from USFS to compete at Philadelphia Summer International, I believe the answer is Yes.
Or at least it was needed in 2017, when the parent of a Team USA competitor there told me so.
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Caveat: At least three different things are being discussed in the thread, I believe. (Although the topic in the thread title is only the new USFS pipeline.)
(1) What "counts" toward qualifying for U.S. sectionals and nationals via the new USFS pipeline.

(2) What "counts" toward USFS criteria for inclusion on the ISP list. (I'm no expert, but is a minimum score necessary? With scores from only a small handful of competitions "counting"?)

(3) What "counts" toward USFS selection for Skate America and Challengers. (What "counts" beyond inclusion on the ISP list.)​


There has also been out-of-competition monitoring by US national judges on private ice time for ISP skaters who may or may not also be entered in the nonqualifying competition or the international competition.


As to the question of whether Team USA skaters need an assignment from USFS to compete at Philadelphia Summer International, I believe the answer is Yes.

Yes.

And the Philadelphia Summer International is none of the above. It's an minor international competition held at the same time and place as the Philadelphia Summer Championships (formerly known as Liberty), but with separate international judges.

A lot of different things happening in Aston that week.

Most of the other National Qualifying Series competitions will not have an international competition going on at the same time and place.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
… And the Philadelphia Summer International is none of the above. It's an minor international competition held at the same time and place as the Philadelphia Summer Championships (formerly known as Liberty), but with separate international judges. ...

I never said that Philadelphia Summer International was part of the new qualifying pipeline.

And I am well aware of the difference btwn Philadelphia Summer Championships (Liberty) and Philadelphia Summer International.

I merely was trying to point out that the thread unfortunately is getting muddled -- with some people wanting to talk in this thread about things OTHER than the new qualifying pipeline.
 

concorde

Medalist
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Going back to the original pipeline topic.

Some competitions "count" for ice dance but not for freestyle - the Chesapeake Open is an example of this. My guess is the reverse is also true but have not che ked.

From what I heard, most club were not too eager to participate. Part of the issue was USFS was still developing the rules during the same period when clubs had to decide when to commit. If a competition committee member asked USFS a specific question, the response the received changed by the day.

It will be interesting to see how this year goes. My guess is next year, we will see a change in number of competitions. If this run smoothly in this trail year, then I expect more will join. But if not, oh well.

I have used the Event Management system before and it is a nightmare. All pipeline competitions have to use that software. If I were an event planner, that alone would be a big hurdle for me.
 

SimplyAFan

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
So if I’m understanding the pdf on the USFSA website, regionals are still happening but you can get a bye through the NQS. 18 skaters (singles) compete at sectionals (vs 12 plus byes previously). Top 4 there still go to nationals/development camp.

I hope this makes it more affordable for some skaters and will result less in one bad skate completely derailing a skaters entire season.
 

VegMom

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
I hope this makes it more affordable for some skaters and will result less in one bad skate completely derailing a skaters entire season.

Prior to this change, we had one shot locally and anything else required a long drive or flight. Now we have more options that are only 4-5 hours drive away. We will still only have the one local option and will have to pay hotel for other attempts, but at least now we have more choices and can go compete at places that are more familiar and cost less in travel.
 

Hevari

Drivers start your engines!
On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
For me that's not a good idea to elliminate juvenile, intermediate and novice Nationals. Hope that USFS will not do that.

All other sounds great
 
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