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2012 Photo of the Year by Andrea Chempinski




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COLUMNS 4 6 8 10 14 18 35 40 42


Over the Edge | Jimmie Santee President’s Message | Angie Riviello-Steffano



Ratings | Kris Shakarjian IJS | Libby Scanlan

20 22 28

9 Ratings Exams Passed


36 Excellence On Ice 44 New Members 45 Notices


2012 ~ No 4 #ISSN-574770

PSA History: Bob O’Connell

2012 Coaches Hall of Fame:

Christa Fassi & Janet Champion | by Kent McDill


46 PSA Calendar of Events Jimmie Santee | Editor Carol Rossignol | Contributing Editor Lee Green | Advertising Amanda Taylor | Art Director Ann Miksch | Editorial Assistant Elizabeth Peschges | Editorial Assistant


| by Elizabeth Peschges

Legal Ease | David Shulman


PSA EDI Award Winners | by Liz Leamy

Best Competition Practices | 2012 Panel Rink Safety | Jimmie Santee

2012 PSA Conference Recap | by Liz Leamy

Sport Science | Heidi Thibert Education | Carol Rossignol

U.S. Figure Skating Rule Changes | May 2012

75 Most Memorable Moments: #75 – First Meeting of the PSGA


75 Most Memorable Moments: #74 – First PSGA Convention


Over the Edge

PSA OFFICERS President First Vice President Second Vice President Third Vice President Treasurer Past President



Transitions in skating are defined as the varied and/or intricate footwork, positions, movements and holds that link all the elements. In singles, pairs and synchronized skating, this also includes the entrances and exits of all technical elements… transitions are extremely important, but the IJS is not what comes to mind when I think of the word. This past April, NFL star Junior Seau took his life. To say this was a shock to his family and friends, but also to the world of football, is an understatement. More importantly, many questioned not only why, but wondered if it was somehow related to the sport he loved and no longer played. In an article published on May 11, 2012 in USA Today, author Jarrett Bell says a “chorus of former and current players” called for mandatory counseling for athletes transitioning to life away from the game. Interestingly, while I was researching material for the CER course “2 GRO-W Champions”, the idea of transitioning athletes from our sport came up. While interviewing Dr. Clark Power from the University of Notre Dame, I brought up skaters struggling with ending their “‘You’re just careers. This is something I went through personally. After an amateur career that lasted sixteen mourning your years and a professional career that lasted another career. You need eleven, I struggled with becoming a coach. I was struggling with the fact that I once was the star to go though the of a multi-million dollar show and now I was process of mourning.’ just one of thousands of coaches. If it weren’t That short sentence for a spontaneous conversation outside a rink on Cape Cod with Dr. Caroline Silby, a notable made all the difference sports psychologist and former figure skater, I in the world. I needed to might have continued to be lost. As I explained my funk to her, she smiled and said, “You’re just understand that I would mourning your career. You need to go though get through this and the process of mourning.” That short sentence made all the difference in the world. I needed my life could and would to understand that I would get through this and still have meaning.” my life could and would still have meaning. Dr. Power’s response to my story was, “This would be an area where we could be really supportive as coaches and talk about it, maybe talk about our own experience transitioning from performing and competing to coaching, and what that was like for us, and try to help the athlete. Maybe this is a time when we can get athletes to think about giving back to the sport through coaching.” Exactly! Experts and former players referenced in the USA Today article say, “It’s typical for the adrenaline rush that can come from the NFL spotlight to be replaced by depression.” I agree and I believe it is an issue for many athletes. Two figure skating examples that come to mind are Oksana Baiul and Nicole Bobek. Both struggled with addiction following their retirement. Kellen




Doug Ladret Todd Sand Dorothi Cassini Brandon Forsyth Denise Williamson Rebecca Stump Alex Chang Paul Wylie Jackie Brenner Kris Shakarjian Glyn Jones Brittany Bottoms




Angela Riviello-Steffano Scott Brown Christine Fowler-Binder Dorothi Cassini Carol Murphy Kelley Morris Adair

Members at Large

ISI Rep to PSA U.S. Figure Skating Rep to PSA Executive Director Legal Counsel

COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN Awards Coaches Hall of Fame Education Seminars State Workshops Apprentice, Intern Area Representatives Hockey Accreditation PS Magazine Sport Science Endorsements Executive Executive Nominating Finance Fundraising ISU/ IJS Ethics and Legal Nominating Professional Standards PSA Rep to ISI Ranking Review Ratings Special Olympics U.S. Figure Skating Coaches

PSA AREA REPRESENTATIVES Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Area 5 Area 6 Area 7 Area 8 Area 9 Area 10 Area 11 Area 12 Area 13 Area 14 Area 15 Area 16 Area 17

Jimmie Santee David Shulman

Denise Williamson Kelley Morris Adair Christine Fowler-Binder Thomas Amon Dorothi Cassini Rebecca Stump Gloria Leous Paul Paprocki Bob Mock Heidi Thibert Jamie Santee Angela Riviello-Steffano Kelley Morris Adair Carol Murphy Patrick O’Neil David Santee David Shulman Kelley Morris Adair Lynn Benson Gerry Lane Brandon Forsyth Kris Shakarjian Eleanor Fraser-Taylor Alex Chang

Amy Hanson-Kuleszka Anne Marie Filosa Lee Cabell Stacie Kuglin Gloria Leous Mary Lin Kent Johnson Patrick O'Neil Jennifer Cashen Thomas Amon Dan Mancera Andrea Kunz-Williamson Tracey Seliga-O’Brien Leslie Deason Michele Miranda Phaler Karen Howland Jones Nancy Garcia

THE PROFESSIONAL SKATER Magazine Mission: To bring to our readers the best information from the most knowledgeable sources. To select and generate the information free from the influence of bias. And to provide needed information quickly, accurately and efficiently. The views expressed in THE PROFESSIONAL SKATER Magazine and products are not necessarily those of the Professional Skaters Association. The Professional Skater, a newsletter of the Professional Skaters Association, Inc., is published bimonthly, six times a year, as the official publication of the PSA, 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN 55902. 507.281.5122, Fax 507.281.5491, Email: © 2004 by Professional Skaters Association, all rights reserved. Subscription price is $19.95 per year, Canadian $29.00 and foreign $45.00/year, U.S. Funds. ISSN-574770. Second-class Postage Paid at Rochester, MN 55901 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER send address changes to The Professional Skater, 3006 Allegro Park SW, Rochester, MN 55902. Printed in the USA.

NOTICE of ELECTION RESULTS Winslow, a Hall of Fame tight end and director of athletics and student wellness at Central State University in Ohio, has developed a web-based career counseling program. In the same USA Today article Winslow says, “You leave the game, and all of a sudden it’s, ‘What’s next?’ The interaction needs to start way before a person is retired. If you wait until you’re retired, you’re behind.” The loss of one’s perceived identity can be devastating to someone who has no support. It is a coach’s duty to help a skater bow out of the sport of figure skating gracefully, with joy and dignity. Quoted from “2 GRO-W Champions”, “It is probably one of the most difficult times in a skater’s life. They have lived their life as ‘Susie-the skater’ and need to learn how to let go and become ‘Susie-who skates.’ It is part of the process and it is a coach’s responsibility to help them through this difficult process.”

The PSA is pleased to announce the results of the 2012 Board of Governors election. In all, 511 ballots were received of 4350 possible ballots, a return of about 12%.


Eastern Section Governor Denise Williamson Mid-Western Section Governor Brandon Forsyth Their terms will expire at the conclusion of the Annual May Board meeting in 2015.

Take note...

KEEP UP WITH THE PSA... Professional Skaters Association(PSA) @ProfSk8rsAssoc New PSA e-newsletter


619.232.2424 or 619.572.9984

Jonathan Geen Attorney at Law Partner, Borton Petrini, LLP Over 20 years of legal experience National Judge in Singles / Pairs Former Skater Coaching Agreements Rink / Coach Agreements Dispute Resolution / Grievance Counseling

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Professional Skaters Association Family Membership T

he year is 2012 and the PSA is evolving and making changes that recognize the current time that we live in. On May 20, 2012 the Professional Skaters Association Board of Governors had the first conversation on the Board floor in regards to what justifies a “Family Membership”. The discussion was added to the agenda by the Executive Committee after Executive Director, Jimmie Santee, brought up the topic. The Executive Board truly felt that this was a topic that had to be opened up for discussion as it impacts our members. I truly thought that this would be a lengthy discussion that would need to be re-visited at the fall board meeting. To my delight, the discussion was short and unanimous. The PSA felt that it was important for the organization to be proactive in response to the current times. We, as a Board, felt that changing the definition of “Family Membership” was the right thing to do and it was the right time. The Board gave a direction to the PSA Legal Counsel, Mr. David Shulman, to write the definition during lunch and when the meeting resumed we would re-visit the discussion. Mr. Shulman did just that and the definition was read as a motion and in a groundbreaking vote, the definition was accepted and passed by the entire Board of Governors.



The previous Family Membership definition: “Family membership shall be available to Full or Patron members of good moral character who are “family” in the traditional sense (husband-wife, parent-child). Also requires that the family resides at one address.” The new Family Membership will be in effect beginning July 1, 2012 when our new membership year begins and the new definition is as follows: “Persons residing at the same physical address, or if apart, never the less, have consented to be bound as a family unit by the laws of the state which is the chosen residence as that residence appears on the filed federal tax return selected as the chosen residence the intent herein is to provide the broadest possible definition of family for purpose of membership in the PSA.” So, in simple terms, the Professional Skaters Association now recognizes same-sex partnerships/marriages as the couple has chosen to be bound as a family unit. Thank you.


Time to renew!

Remember to complete your CER exams, renew PSA membership, and purchase liability insurance. Visit to get started. 6


Charles Fetter received the PSA Honorary Member and Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 PSA Conference in Boston, MA. This is the highest recognition bestowed by the Association to a member who has given of themselves in time, effort, and dedicated service for many years to accomplish the goals of the PSA. Congratulations!

Over d 5000 sol ! e worldwid

Created by David Lipetz, Off-Ice Specialist and Physical Therapist


Successful Ratings in Boston W

90% Passing Average!

hat a great conference we had in Boston! I want to thank all of our examiners and trial examiners for giving of their time and expertise during exams and examiner training. A total of 46 examiners went through annual training and ten new trial examiners were trained. This year there was specific training for monitors in which 29 monitors were trained. Another new initiative was training for Group examiners due to the new exams and format, and 20 examiners did this training at conference. We had a total of 107 exams with a passing average of 90%. Congratulations to our seven new Master Rated coaches: Carey Tinkelenberg MG Thomas Hickey MPD Heather Piepenburg MPD Joanie Glick MPD Amanda Farkas MFS Alexander Murashko MFS Patti Itzin MM

Big thanks to the Ratings Committee for all your hard work updating the exams and Study guides over the past year: Dance – Dorothi Cassini Free Dance – Kelley Morris Adair Figures – Carol Rossignol Group – Marcia Williams Moves – Brandon Forsyth Free Skating – Denise Williamson Synchronized Skating – Holly Teets/Becky Stump Pair – Doug Ladret Choreography – Colleen Mickey We look forward to seeing you next year in Chicago to celebrate 75 years of PSA!

Coaches who attended the PSA Membership meeting at Conference were recognized for their newly acquired Master Rating. Left to Right: Tom Hickey, Patti Itzin, Carey Tinkelenberg, Lisa Graham, Jimmie Santee, Heather Pipenburg, Joanie Glick, and Alexander Murashko.



Recently Passed

RATING EXAMS Congratulations to the following coaches who passed the Basic Accreditation (BA) and ELCC: BA Amy Alt Kathleen Bowling Christine Burke Rachel Doane Karissa Fitzgerald Mary Gerebi Chrisha Gossard Dmytri Ilin

Boston, MA | May 22-23, 2012 Jeffrey LaBrake Elise Larsson Jenni Meno-Sand Sabina Miller Kim Quitter Ferelith Senjem Jessica Swartz Katie Wegrzyn

ELCC Jenessa Adams Arous Ajaryan Laura Bates Klaranda Behrens Tina Borsay Carla Bressler Alisa Brizzi Sharon Carz Gina Denatale Amanda Dresie Kelly Everett Teresa Foy Kay Gentges Elisa George Jennifer Renee Hutchins April Jardine Cassandra Johnson Janelle Klenzing Nicholas Kraft Tiffany Lehmann Keauna Mclaughlin

Congratulations to the following coaches who successfully completed the requirements for a Rating Certificate:

Noelle Munoz Tiffany Nahm Cierra Nelson Michelle Noyes Shotaro Omori Mary Overell Lisa Parisi Reen Patterson Sarah Pitzel Alexis Pulliam Kayla Redd Sahmaro Rockhold Megan Roth Erin Russell Angel Sarkisova Charmin Savoy Christina Sheehan Miki D. Stevens Junichi Takemura Jerry Wheeler Jessica Zhang


William Abel RM Lisa Anderson RFS, RM Josselyn Baumgartner RFS, CM Katie Bowling RS Dawn E. Bozzo RM Sharon Brusie RM, CM Jonathan Cassar RC J. Philip Chang RFS, RM Will Chitwood RFS, RM Mandy Curtin RS Kevin M. Curtis RFS, CFS Danielle David CFS, CM Kandis Eckloff RM Lexie Fernandez CC Anne Marie Filosa RS Karissa Fitzgerald RFS Outi Francis RFS, RM Kelly Garrity RM, RG Chrisha Gossard RFS Karen H. Hawes RPD, CPD Rebecca Hatch-Purnell CFS,RS Jonathan Hayward RP, CD Rebecca Healey RM, RG Erika Hoffman RS, CS Chea Hutton-Chitwood RFS, RM Patti Itzin RG Josene Jennings RFS Johanna Kenny RG, CG Christopher Kinser SM Peter Kongkasem RFS, CFS Deborah Lalone RFS

Meghan Lamarre CM, SPD Melanie Lambert RC Jamie L. Lane CFS, RC Elizabeth Leamy RM Meredith Longoria RM Mary Ellen Lunn RM Gregory Maddalone SD Debra Martin RS Valeria Masarsky RFS Debbie D. Minahan RM, CM Samantha Mohr RFS Denise Moore SC Sarah Neal CFS FRED Palascak RFS, RP Melissa Parker-Vriner RFS Elizabeth Peschges RM, RG Brenda Peterson CFS Mandy Pirich RG Nancy Pluta SC Carmen Riggs CG Jeanne Selker RM Caroline Shafer RM Pongtawan Suriyotai RFS Cynthia Tang RFS, CG Janet Thomson RG Carey Tinkelenberg CM Carrie Wall RP, CP Emily Weirich RPD, CPD Jason Wong CFS

The PSA would like to recognize the commitment longtime coaches have made to the growth of PSA and the skating industry in general. We salute these fine coaches for their continued support.

Golden — 50 years Hans Gerschwiler Wanda Mae Guntert Charles Rossbach Sr.

Ruby — 40 years Linda Burgess Bacon Martha Bodnar Candice Brown-Burek Mandy Callaghan Richard Callaghan Dorothy M. Cunningham

Melissa M Driscoll Bona Beckstrom Fenzl Vicki Helgenberg Barry J. Kamber Betty Lewis Mark Militano Christy Ness Beth Randall Teri Sjoholm Rickman Kathy Coyle Romano Sharon Patterson Wagner Kathy West Woodward

Emerald — 30-39 years Jill Robbins Aybar Katie W. Baxter Craig Bodoh Pamela Bossar-Warren Kenneth Congemi Elizabeth Dymoke C. Kathleen Reilly Gates Michael Leeke Margot Lecour Marino Jackie Booth Miles Lesli Nachbauer

Lisa Illsley Navarro Cristen Childs Nowka Glenn Patterson Carol Rossignol Kathleen Schmelz-Gazich Joann Schneider-Farris Judy Schwomeyer Sladky Susy Surman Paul Tassone Vickie Tassone Alicia Walter Jeannine Weinschrod PS MAGAZINE



ISU Communication #1724

Technical Updates for the 2012-2013 Season I


SU Communication #1724 has been posted and contains new feature information and requirements for the 2012-2013 competition season. It is important to note that these changes may be slightly amended at the ISU Congress held in June, and the Frankfurt Seminar held in late July (after this article’s deadline). Any changes will be posted on the US Figure Skating website (www.USFigureskating. org) at the conclusion of each of these meetings. The implementation of 1724 will go into effect in competition in the United States beginning July 1, 2012. There are now five levels of elements created to award scale of value credit to skaters who achieve at least one feature. They are:

Skating and for Singles has to be performed after the step sequence. The Choreographic Sequence has a base value and will be evaluated by the judges in GOE only.

Level B (Basic Level) – in case of no features, Level 1 – in case of one feature Level 2 – in case of two features Level 3 – in case of three features Level 4 – in case of four or more features Skaters receive credit for even distribution of jump elements in the Short Program of single skating. In the Short Program of Single Skating the base values (but not the GOE’s) for all jump elements started in the second half of the program will be multiplied by a special factor 1.1 in order to give credit for even distribution of difficulties in the program. Each factored base value for all jump elements performed in the second half of the Short Program will be rounded to two decimal places. The second half commences in the middle of the maximum time which means one minute, 25 seconds. The Choreographed Steps and Choreographed Spirals are replaced with the Choreographic Sequence which must be executed after the Step Sequence. The Choreographic Sequence consists of any kind of movements such as steps, turns, spirals, arabesques, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, hydroblading, transitional (unlisted) jumps, spinning movements etc. A Choreographic Sequence for Ladies/Pairs must include at least one spiral (not a kick) of any length (by both partners for Pairs). The Sequence commences with the first move and is concluded with the last move of the skater. The pattern is not restricted, but must fully utilize the ice surface. If this requirement is not fulfilled, the Sequence will have no value. The Choreographic Sequence is included in Free

Feature 1.) Simple variety (Level 2), variety (Level 3), complexity (Level 4) of turns and steps throughout (compulsory) Feature 1 Details – Types of turns (executed on one foot): three turns, twizzles, brackets, loops, counters, rockers. Types of steps (executed on one foot whenever possible): toe steps, chasses, mohawks, choctaws, curves with change of edge, cross-rolls, running steps. Simple variety must include at least seven turns & four steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice. Variety must include at least nine turns and four steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice. Complexity must include at least five different types of turns and three different types of steps all executed at least once in both directions.


Levels of Difficulty: Singles Step Sequences PATTERN With current requirements in place allowing retrogression throughout the pattern, step sequences no longer have any discernible shape and will no longer be identified by Straight Line, Circular, or Serpentine but simply as ‘Step Sequence’. The step sequence must fully utilize the ice surface. Turns and steps must be balanced in their distribution throughout the sequence.

Feature 2.) Rotations (turns, steps) in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the pattern in total for each rotational direction Feature 3.) Use of upper body movements for at least 1/3 of the pattern in total. Upper body movement means the visible use for a combined total of at least 1/3 of the pattern of the head and/or arms and/or torso that have an effect on the balance of the main body core. Feature 4) At least half a pattern on one foot only is NO LONGER A FEATURE. Feature 4) Two different combinations of three difficult turns (rockers, counters, brackets, twizzles, loops) quickly executed within the sequence. Difficult turns are rockers, counters, brackets, twizzles, loops. In the combinations:

11 Categories of Difficult Spin Variations Sit Positions

Camel Positions

Upright Positions

Non-Basic Position

SF- Sit Forward Free leg forward

CF-Camel forward Belly button facing forward

UF- Upright Forward Torso leaning forward

SS-Sit Sideways Free leg sideways

CS-Camel Sideways Belly button facing sideways

US- Upright Straight Torso facing straight ahead or sideways

NB – a difficult variation in a position which is not a basic sit, camel or upright spin

CU-Camel Upward Belly button facing upward

UB-Upright Beillmann

SB- Sit Behind Free leg behind

• Three turns are not allowed (not difficult turns) • Changes of edges are not allowed (listed as steps) • A jump/hop is not allowed (not a turn) • Changes of feet are not allowed • At least one turn in the combination must be of a different type than the others. • The exit edge of a turn is the entry edge of the next turn. • Combinations must be executed quickly. Two combinations of difficult turns are considered to be the same if they consist of the same turns done in the same order and on the same edges. SPINS Basic Spin Positions • Camel – free leg backwards with the knee higher than the hip level • Sit – the upper part of the skating leg at least parallel to the ice • Upright – any position with skating leg extended or slightly bent which is not a camel position— Layback, Biellmann and similar variations are still considered upright spins New Definition of Layback and Sideways Leaning Spin • Layback Spin: an upright spin in which head and shoulders are leaning backward and the back arched. The position of the free leg is optional. • Sideways Leaning Spin: an upright spin in which head and shoulders are leaning sideways and the body is arched. The position of the free leg is optional. Non-Basic Position: all other positions formerly called intermediate positions Levels of Difficulty: Spins Feature 1. Difficult variations (*count as many times as performed with limitations specified below) *Any category of difficult spin variation in a basic position counts only once per program (first time it is attempted). A difficult variation in a non-basic position counts once per program in the spin combination only (first time it is attempted) • 11 different categories of DVs available to choose from

In spin combination only

UL-Upright Layback

• Each category counts one time per program, the first time it is attempted • Skater may include up to 4 DVs in a spin (not more than two on each foot) • A Non-Basic DV counts only in a combination spin Feature 2.) Change of foot executed by jump This feature requires significant strength and skill, and must be executed from sit or camel position directly into any basic position. Feature 3.) Jump within a spin without changing foot This is no longer considered a difficult variation, and must be done from a basic position into the same or another basic position Feature 4.) Difficult variation of flying entrance/Landing on the same foot as take‐off or changing foot on landing in a Flying Sit Spin This feature can be achieved only if the basic position is reached within the first two revolutions after the landing. In Free Skating normal flying camel entry does not block a possibility of counting a difficult flying entry as a Level feature. Feature 5.) Backward entry. Requires two continuous revolutions on an outside edge. Feature 6.) Clear change of edge in sit (only from backward inside to forward outside), camel, Layback and Biellmann position. This requires at least two full revs on one edge followed by at least two full revs on another edge in the same basic position. Feature 7.) All three basic positions on both feet Feature 8.) Both directions immediately following each other in sit or camel spin A minimum of three revolutions in each direction (clockwise/counterclockwise) is required. No stop between the changes of direction is permitted. Feature 9.) Clear increase speed in camel, sit, layback or Biellmann This is no longer considered a difficult variation, and must be achieved after the basic position has been established for two revolutions. continued on page 19



U.S. Figure Skating Rule Changes | May 2012 PERHAPS THE BIGGEST NEWS coming out of the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council meeting in Myrtle Beach, Calif., was what didn’t pass rather than what did pass. Exhibit D, a bylaw proposal that would have reduced the frequency with which U.S. Figure Skating made bylaw and rule changes and published the rulebook, was defeated, meaning U.S. Figure Skating will continue to do these things on an annual basis. Of the rule changes that were approved, here is a summary of those that will have the greatest effect on coaches.

Adult Skating • Changed the adult gold free skate test requirements to

allow the choice of an Axel, double Salchow or double toe loop (previous requirement had been for an Axel, with no other choices)

• Changed the adult silver free skate test spin

requirements by removing the requirement for a layback, attitude or sit spin

• Changed the adult bronze free skate test spin

requirements by removing the requirement for a onefoot upright spin

• Reduced the maximum number of jump combinations

from three to two and the maximum number of spins from three to two in the adult bronze well-balanced free skate

• Implemented a jump maximum of four jump elements

and reduced the maximum number of spins from three to two in the adult pre-bronze well-balanced free skate. Also reduced the maximum number of jump combinations from three to two and made a few other changes to the jump requirements.

• Reduced the maximum number of lifts from two to one

in the adult bronze pairs well-balanced free skate

• Changed the lift and additional element requirements

for the championship adult pairs, adult masters pairs and adult gold pairs well-balanced free skates

• Amended the test qualifications for adult singles events

from adult bronze through championships masters junior-senior



• Added adult pre-silver solo dance and adult pre-gold solo

dance to the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships and amended the test requirements of all adult solo dance events to incorporate these new levels

Competitions • Adjusted the rules for returning U.S. citizens and

non-U.S. citizens wishing to compete in qualifying competitions. The most significant change was a clarification that skaters cannot compete in U.S. Figure Skating qualifying competitions and the qualifying competitions of another federation or represent another federation in an ISU event in the same competition season.

• Changed the draw procedures for the senior short

program/dance (ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance) at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships so that skaters receiving an automatic invitation per rule 2517 will skate within the last two warm-up groups of the short program/dance. The skate order for those skaters within the last two warm-up groups will still be determined by random draw.

• Changed the draw procedures for the senior pairs free

skate and senior free dance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships so the top two finishers in the senior pairs short program and the top three finishers in the senior free dance will be the last to skate in their respective free skate/dance segment. The skate order of these top teams relative to each other will still be determined by random draw.

Ice Dancing • Changed the solo free dance test prerequisites so that

one can now qualify to test a higher free dance by having passed the appropriate pattern dance (partnered or solo), free dance (partnered or solo) OR moves-inthe-field test. Previously a skater had to have passed the appropriate free dance AND either the appropriate pattern dance or the appropriate moves-in-the-field test.

• Changed the twizzle series requirements for the junior

and senior solo free dance tests

• Approved new features for the juvenile and intermediate

“As always, we caution coaches from

pairs levels. The features will be announced by U.S. Figure Skating via a Technical Notification by the end of May.

using word-of-mouth, chat rooms or


other unofficial information found via

• Amended the jump sequence requirements in the pre-

the Internet to educate themselves on rule changes. Coaches should

utilize the Combined Report of Action with their 2011 U.S. Figure Skating rulebook and tests book until the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating rulebook and tests book become available.”

• Approved allowing couples to choose their own music

for all pattern dances competed at the sectional championships and/or U.S. Championships for the juvenile, intermediate and novice levels

• Approved the use of key points for pattern dances at the

intermediate level to begin this 2012-13 season. Also approved the use of key points for pattern dances at the juvenile level to begin next season (2013-14).

• The Dance Committee will now issue specific information

including, but not limited to, music length restrictions for the juvenile, intermediate and novice pattern dances to be competed at the sectional championships and/or the U.S. Championships. That information will be available in a Technical Notification and on the Ice Dancing page of the U.S. Figure Skating website ( New_Judging.asp?id=356) by the end of May.


juvenile, preliminary, pre-preliminary and no-test wellbalanced free skates to restrict jump sequences to three listed jumps

• Amended the step sequence requirements for the

senior men’s free skate test to more closely match the step sequence requirements in the senior men’s wellbalanced free skate

Combined Report of Action To get the full details of all of these changes and others, please see the 2011-12 Combined Report of Action, available on the U.S. Figure Skating website at http://www. The Combined Report of Action is the ONLY OFFICIAL report of U.S. Figure Skating bylaw and rule changes and contains all changes that were made by the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors and the Governing Council this past season. As always, we caution coaches from using word-ofmouth, chat rooms or other unofficial information found via the Internet to educate themselves on rule changes. Coaches should utilize the Combined Report of Action with their 2011 U.S. Figure Skating rulebook and tests book until the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating rulebook and tests book become available. U.S. Figure Skating hopes to have printed copies of the 2012 rulebook and tests book available by September and updated electronic versions posted on the U.S. Figure Skating website by the end of July.

ISU Congress Please note that the ISU is hosting its biannual Congress June 8-17, and U.S. Figure Skating is anticipating that the ISU will make rule changes that we will have to adopt very quickly. These will mostly affect the junior and senior levels, but some changes may also affect levels below junior. Coaches should keep a close eye on the Technical Info section of the U.S. Figure Skating website (http://www. in June and July to make sure they always have the most up-to-date information.

• Amended the lift requirements for the juvenile pairs

well-balanced free skate

• Approved the addition of an intermediate pairs short

program to go into effect next season (2013-14)

• Amended the lift and twist lift requirements for the

intermediate pairs well-balanced free skate to allow more options for teams

• Amended the lift, throw jump and solo jump

requirements for the novice pairs short program




Biomechanical Principles and Considerations Excerpted from the PSA’s “Coach’s Guide to Sport Science and Medicine, 3rd Edition by Charlene Boudreau


iomechanics is the study of movement through body physics and human anatomy. An understanding of biomechanics helps coaches and conditioning specialists break down, describe and discuss the spectrum of physical skills, from simple gliding or walking to complex lifts or plyometric routines, and explain why certain techniques work well while others do not. Regular routine review of biomechanics principles and associated terminology is absolutely necessary in order to effectively apply those principles to on-ice and off-ice training and discuss them with colleagues, support teams and skaters. The application of fundamental and advanced biomechanics principles to training figure skaters minimizes “trial and error” teaching and fosters the development of effective teaching strategies and training programs that are specific to the unique needs of individual skaters and teams. Principles of Movement All body movements can be described using a combination of standard terms that reference the type of muscle action that creates the movement, the direction the body part moves relative to its joints, and the “plane” in which the movement occurs. Types of Muscle Actions: Concentric and Eccentric Contraction Body movements are created by combinations of muscle contractions. A concentric muscle contraction occurs when a muscle shortens as it contracts or “fires,” whereas an eccentric muscle contraction occurs when a muscle lengthens as it contracts or “fires.” While concentric contractions often initiate motion, eccentric contractions often control or stop motion. For example, concentric contractions of the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh initiate the upward motion of a jump take-off. However, on landings, eccentric quadriceps contractions that start as soon as the landing toe-pick touches the ice help slow down and eventually stop the downward motion, thereby preventing the skater’s knee from bending all the way and preventing the rest of the skater’s body from falling all the way down to the ice. Similarly, going into and maintaining a spiral position



requires eccentric contractions of the hamstrings on the skating leg side to control the lowering and stabilization of the upper torso. Eventually, concentric contraction of the hamstrings on the skating leg side initiates the repositioning of the torso to the upright position. Interestingly, eccentric contractions eccentrically tend to produce more force than concentric contractions, which explains why athletes become sore after workouts that focus on “motion-stopping” skills (as opposed to “motionstarting” skills). Directions of Joint Motion A: Flexion and Extension Since the ends of a muscle are attached to bones and neighboring bones often make up a joint, a single muscle often “crosses” a joint, and so the muscle’s contraction pattern causes the bones to move which creates motion within the joint. Flexion is the joint motion that occurs when a joint “bends.” You can visualize joint flexion by visualizing the bones on either side of a joint coming toward each other such that they approach parallel and/or by visualizing the angle inside the joint becoming smaller. Flexion is usually the result of the muscles on the inner or front side of a joint contracting. Extension is the joint motion that occurs when a joint “straightens.” You can visualize joint extension by visualizing the bones on either side of a joint moving away from each other such that they begin to create a straight or continuous line and/or by visualizing the angle inside the joint becoming larger. Extension is usually the result of the muscles on the outer or back side of a joint contracting. When someone says “Flex your bicep,” you respond by showing your muscle. When the biceps “flex” or contract, it forces the elbow to bend, which is called flexion of the elbow joint. A traditional spiral involves hip flexion on the skating leg side, hip extension on the free leg side, knee extension on both sides, elbow extension on both sides, and ankle extension on the free leg side. Muscles themselves do not undergo flexion or extension; The terms apply only to joint motions. While all joints in the body can go through flexion and extension, these terms are most often used in figure skating in describing the degree of bend in the elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, spine and hips.

Dr. Kat Arbour Receives Pieter Kollen Sport Science Award

Directions of Joint Motion B: Abduction and Adduction In the bigger picture of the body, multi-joint appendages have additional movement patterns beyond flexion and extension. Often called “A-B-duction,” abduction is the joint motion that occurs when the arms and legs are moved upward away from the sides of the skater, or away from the axis of the body. Often called “A-D-duction,” adduction is the joint motion that occurs when the arms and legs are moved down from outward or outside positions back to their original positions, or towards the axis of the body. In basic forward stroking, the act of lifting the hands up and away from the outer thigh so that the arms are extended out to the sides is an example of shoulder ABduction. When a skater is finished demonstrating basic forward stroking, the act of lowering the hands from the extended outside position down and toward the outer thigh is an example of shoulder ADduction. The terms abduction and adduction are most often used in figure skating in describing motion within or movement about the shoulder and hip joints.

Dr. Kat Arbour PhD, MS, MPT, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, and owner/ operator of Ice Dynamics. Arbour won both the 2006 “Doc” Counsilman Award for innovative sports science awarded by the US Olympic Committee and the PSA’s Sport Science award. She authored the Ice Dynamics training manual, and Strength Conditioning and Injury Prevention Guide. Arbour passed senior tests in Figures, Freestyle and Dance and holds PSA senior ratings in moves and freestyle. She is a past chair of the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Medicine Committee and works with the Team USA training camps. She contributes frequently to SKATING and Professional Skater magazines. Pieter Kollen Sport Science Award: Recognition given to a figure skating coach who utilizes scientific techniques and/or equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods and/or is involved in research, publication and education in the areas of sport science and medicine as it relates to figure skating and coaching. Past Recipients: 2004 Mitch Moyer 2005 Kathy Casey 2006 Kat Arbour 2007 Debbie Pitsos 2008 Christy Krall

2009 Heidi Thibert 2010 Heidi Thibert 2011 Christy Krall 2012 Kat Arbour

Planes of Movement: Frontal, Sagittal, and Transverse Planes At its highest level, body movement is described in terms of the “plane” in which it occurs. Planes divide the body into front and back, left and right, or top and bottom, and each plane has an axis running perpendicular (i.e. at 90o) to it about which broad bodily movement occurs. For example, the frontal plane is an abstract wall that splits the body into front and back halves and the axis that runs perpendicular to it (i.e. front-to-back) is called the anterior-posterior axis. Shoulder abduction occurs in the frontal plane because the arms move around the anterior-posterior axis. The sagittal plane is an abstract wall that splits the body into left and right halves and the axis that runs perpendicular to it (i.e. side-to-side) is the medial-lateral axis. Hip flexion is an example of movement in the sagittal plane because the movement of the arms around the medial-lateral axis. The transverse plane is an abstract wall that splits the body into top and bottom halves and the axis which runs perpendicular to it (i.e. top-to-bottom) is called the longitudinal axis. Spins and jumps are described as occuring in this plane because the movement of the body is about/around the longitudinal axis.

Center of Mass The center of mass is an exact position within or around our physical body representing the balance point of our entire body mass. Because body parts themselves carry various amounts of our body weight, this center of mass or balance point changes continuously as we move our body around. When a skater stands up straight with his arms at his sides, his center of mass is generally located between his hips. Due to typically gender differences body shape and therefore body weight distributions, the center of mass location in men is slightly higher in the body than in women. It is also important to note that when pairs and dance partners are in close physical contact with one another, especially in “vertically stacked” positions, they become a single unit from a physics perspective, thereby establishing a new center of mass for the entire “structure.” Center of mass location is most often identified by body coordinates (ex. 2 cm above the umbilicus on the inside of the body frame, or 5 cm above the pelvis on the outside of the body frame).

Effects of Movement Different combinations of muscle actions, joint motions and movement planes create different body movement effects, which ultimately affect the execution of on-ice and off-ice elements and skills. The fundamental measures of these effects (distance, time) must be put into context by incorporating the characteristics of the skater.

Force Force is a push or pull on an object, which then causes an acceleration or deceleration. This effect is based on the principle of physics that states that every action has an opposite and equal reaction. For example, when a skater is standing still and then pushes her blade against the ice



behind her, that push creates a force that accelerates her forward. Likewise, when that same skater is standing still and then pushes her blade against the ice in front of her, that push creates a force that accelerates her backward. All forces can be measured, but it is not always completely practical to do so. Force measurements are most often reported in Newtons or kilogram meters per second squared (kgm/s2). Torque Torque is the turning or rotational effect of a force that is applied “off-center” from the object’s rotational axis and therefore causes the object to start or stop rotating. For example, to spin a ball you push against the outside of the ball (i.e. using an off-center force). Pushing through the center of the ball will only cause the ball to roll forward. A skater uses torque during the entrance to a spin by pushing against the ice while creating the entry edge. This push against the ice creates a torque (off the center of gravity and spinning axis) and helps initiate the rotation for the spin. A skater also uses torque to stop rotating during the ‘check out’ of a jump. Increasing torque can be accomplished by increasing the off-center force and/ or increasing the distance from the axis of rotation that the force is applied. Torque measurements are most often reported in Newton-meters (Nm) or foot-pounds (ftlb). Velocity Velocity in its simplest definition is the speed at which a skater or team is traveling. It is a simple function of the distance covered in a specified timeframe. However, velocity is also a function of direction, and at any given time, a skater can be traveling in more than one direction at a time. For example, during a jump, a skater travels up, over and around, all in one motion. Therefore, the velocity of this element should be described in terms of its horizontal, vertical and rotational components. Horizontal velocity is the speed at which a skater (or team) is moving across the ice. Horizontal velocity is a simple function of the horizontal distance covered relative to the time taken to cover it. Therefore, horizontal velocity can be measured both on the ice, as in gliding, stroking and landing, as well as in the air, as in jumping. Vertical velocity is the speed at which a skater (or team) is moving upward (or downward). Similar to horizontal velocity, vertical velocity is a simple function of the vertical distance covered relative to the time taken to cover it. The measurement of vertical velocity therefore applies primarily to elements in which there is “lift off ” from the ice, floor or other surface. Rotational velocity is the speed at which a skater (or team) is spinning or rotating. It is a measure of how fast a skater is spinning or rotating in a jump or throw. While horizontal and vertical velocity are most often reposed in meters per second (m/s), the distance in rotational velocity is usually measured in rotations, so rotational velocity is most often reported in rotations per second (rps) or rotations per minute (rpm).



Moment of Inertia Moment of inertia is a skater’s resistance to rotation which must be overcome in order to rotate about an axis. Moment of inertia is determined by mass in general AND the location of mass relative to the axis of rotation. More mass and/or more mass further away from the axis means more resistance that must be overcome in order to rotate. A skater can lower his moment of inertia by moving his arms and free leg towards the body, thereby increasing rotational velocity. A team can lower their moment of inertia by staying closer together (horizontally) during an “in-contact” element. A skater’s moment of inertia may increase as he/she experiences biological maturation, during which time the shoulders and/or hips may broaden, thereby increasing the distance of mass from the rotational axis. Moment of inertia is typically reported in kilograms-meters squared (kgm2). Momentum Momentum quantifies the amount of positive motion the skater is carrying. Like velocity, momentum is also a function of direction. Therefore, momentum must also be described in terms of its directional components. Linear momentum quantifies the amount of linear (or straight ahead) motion of a skater. Mathematically, linear momentum is equal to a skater’s mass multiplied by her linear velocity (either horizontal or vertical). Rotational momentum, on the other hand, quantifies the amount of rotational motion that a skater possesses about her axis of rotation. Rotational momentum is created during the entrance to a spin or during a jump preparation and take-off. It combines both how fast a skater is rotating and the current body position. Mathematically, rotational momentum is equal to the skater’s rotational velocity multiplied by her moment of inertia. On the ice, rotational momentum is created when the forces the skater applies to the ice with her blade create a torque. Once in the air, however, there is no surface for the skater to push against, so she will maintain the same amount of rotational momentum that she has when she leaves the ice at take-off. Rotational momentum represents a skater’s potential to rotate fast, but it is intangible and cannot be seen, felt, or heard by a skater or coach. However, since it determines the rotation speed that a skater will be able to attain in a jump or spin when the arms and legs are brought into a tight position, its conservation is of utmost importance in elements involving jumping and spinning. Projectile Motion The concept of projectile motion states that an object that leaves a surface with both horizontal and vertical velocity will follow a parabolic or symmetrical arc-shaped pattern in the air. This means that the up and down parts of the flight path of a skater’s jump or throw will be symmetrical. The greater the height of the trajectory, the longer the air time associated with the parabola.

Host a WORKSHOP Think it would be great to attend a workshop in your area? Why not host one yourself ? Here’s what you need to know… Running a State Workshop is a great way to not only educate the coaches in your area, but also to attain PSA educational credits without needing to travel or lose lesson time. WHO CAN HOST A STATE WORKSHOP? • Any PSA member is eligible to host a State Workshop. It is not necessary to be a rated professional or a skating director. You may also choose a co-host to assist you in your preparations.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? • Invite speakers/presenters who would be willing to donate their time, talent and expertise. • PSA can approve up to $100 for expenses for speakers per workshop (travel, lodging, etc.). • Send your workshop application and agenda to PSA 90 days prior to proposed date. • PSA office will send you everything needed once your application is received. • PSA will create your flyer for you once you have decided what your topics will be and you are closer to your workshop date.

BENEFITS • You can tailor your workshop according to the needs of your area and the expertise you have available in close proximity. • Economical way to attain your PSA credits without as much travel/hotel. • May run 3-6 hours in duration. • Attending coaches can receive 4-6 educational credits. • Can choose specific topics that would be most meaningful to your area coaches (Group, Free Skate, Moves, Equipment, Ethics, Ratings, Synchro, Technical Specialist, Nutritionist, etc.).

• PSA will also provide email addresses of PSA members in your area. • No ice time is required or needed (not covered for reimbursement from PSA). • If you feel ice time would be beneficial, contact your rink manager or local club to see if they would be willing to donate ice time toward coaches’ continuing education.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION • Can be held in any month excluding May, September, and October. It may be beneficial to coordinate with a competition date when coaches will already be in the area. • You can advertise on club websites, with flyers at the rink, and send emails to other skating directors in your area to invite their coaching staff.

CONTACT Barb Yackel at the PSA office (507) 281-5122 or Dorothi Cassini (513) 668-1063 for help or additional information.


“What counts, as we grow through life is the understanding of one important piece of wisdom. Simply put, the more we learn, the more there is left to learn. It is not what we know today that counts, it is what we must learn tomorrow that ultimately counts. What we know today is a given. What we can learn from others, regardless of where and when they lived, really matters. Listening to others provides an invaluable pathway, when we walk the walk and let others talk.” — Alexander Pope

Learning From Pigeons by Michael Josephson


uring an experiment, pigeons were put in cages with one green and one red button. In one cage, if the birds pecked the green button they would get food every time. In the other, the green button yielded food erratically and the pigeons had to persist to get enough food. In both cases, pecking the red button did nothing. Both sets of birds thrived, learning what they had to do to survive and to ignore the red button that yielded no food. But when the birds that were used to getting a reward every time were put in the cage that fed them only occasionally, they failed to adapt; they hit their heads against the cage and pecked wildly at everything in sight. There are two worthwhile lessons from this study. First, the pigeons quickly learned from experience to avoid the red button because it was unproductive. There are lots of people who would lead smoother and happier lives if they just stopped pushing red buttons that never give them what they want. Second, even birds that have it too easy get spoiled and develop an entitlement mentality that prevents them from adapting to situations where they can solve their problems if they just work harder. Some people are like that too. They don’t deal well with new circumstances, especially those that require persistence. Part of being responsible is learning from experience to appreciate the benefits of tenacity and the wisdom of avoiding useless, harmful and self-defeating patterns of behavior.” I think we can relate this lesson to our skaters as well. If everything comes too easy, they do not learn perseverance and that you have to work hard to achieve results. Sometimes I think that if they “fail” a test along the way that this is a good life lesson. Life, we know, is not always smooth flowing and we get little “hic cups” along the way that make us strive harder to reach our goals. It was very rare that anyone passed all their figure tests without having



failed one along the way. I know, as I failed my second figure test and I failed my Harris Tango (Silver) many times before I passed, but I persevered and went on to achieve my gold figure, free skating and dance medals.

IJS continued from page 11

Feature 10.) At least eight revolutions without changes in position/variation, foot or edge (camel, layback, difficult variation of any basic position or for combinations only non-basic position). The non-basic position in the combo spin must be in a difficult variation. Additional Features for the Layback Spin Feature 11.) One clear change of position backwards‐ sideways or reverse, at least three revolutions in each position (counts also if the layback is a part of any other spin). Feature 12.) Biellmann position after Layback spin (SP – Junior & Senior: after eight revolutions in layback spin); (SPNovice: after six revs; Intermediate: after five revs) The Biellmann position happens when the skater’s free leg is pulled from behind to a position higher than and towards the top of the head, close to the spinning axis of the skater. Features 2 through 9, 11, and 12 count only once per program (first time it is attempted). Feature 10 counts only once per program (first time is successfully performed). In any spin with change of foot the maximum number of features on one foot is two. *For Spin Combinations with change of foot all three basic positions are mandatory for Levels 2-4 in both Short Program and Free Skating. *For spins with change of foot at least one basic position on each foot is mandatory for Levels 2-4 in Free Skating. In case this is not fulfilled in Short Program the spin will have no Level and consequently no value.

(*see USAid Document on USFS website: Technical Information for specific Juv, Int, and Novice rules) Emphasis on Creativity and Variety In summary the changes set forth in ISU Communication 1724 were created to encourage skaters to develop more creative and varied elements in their programs. Removing the one foot section in the Step Sequence, which was seldom aesthetically pleasing to watch, will improve the quality of steps and turns. In the Grade of Execution mark, judges are now allowed to deduct -1 to -3 for an ‘Unaesthetic Position’. For example, most will agree that some ‘unaesthetic’ Upright Forward (A-Frame) difficult variations have been on display in recent years. As noted above, the difficult variation rules have been simplified and streamlined and intended to motivate skaters and coaches to include more variety in spins. A skater has the option of performing up to 4 within a given spin as long as they are from different categories.. To achieve Feature 4 (difficult flying entry) a skater no longer has to place a regular flying camel entry AFTER the difficult fly entry to be awarded feature credit. The Choreographic Sequence which replaces the Choreographed Steps and Spirals is designed to foster creativity and variety in programs by utilizing beautiful skating movements seemingly absent from the sport and sorely missed. As the IJS continues to evolve, it is anticipated that these changes for the new season will result in the above analysis. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding!


Entry Level Coaching Course

Check calend our ar f future or locati ons & dates

If you have been The Entry Level Coaching Course is designed for all coaching professionals, whether brand new to the business or seasoned veterans. coaching for seven With eight hours of intensive instruction, you will graduate with an introductory strategy to successfully navigate the world of coaching. Explore these topics: • educational theory applied to skating • skill breakdowns • how skaters develop • skating equipment basics • the education of parents • the what & why of coaching ethics • basic business practices to grow your small business ... and more! Upon completion receive: • An ELCC certificate • A pass to move directly to your first oral rating! After RSS

years or less, this course is for you!

Contact Barb Yackel at the PSA office:

$60 for members $75 for non-members (includes one year PSA membership)



2012 PSA Conference & Trade Show

PSA Conference a cut above the rest Coaches reflect golden spirit of American figure skating The 2012 Professional Skaters Conference in Boston was in many ways, an ode to the golden spirit of American figure skating and revolved around inspiring, guiding and revitalizing coaches so they continue to elevate the superior standard that has come to define the sport both here in the U.S. and around the world. This event, reputed to be the biggest and only educational coaches forum of its kind to exist in the sport, was held May 24th through the 26th at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and The Skating Club of Boston, and was an immense success on every front. Nearly 580 coaches traveled from all over



By Liz Leamy

the U.S. and world, including Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Central and South America and Asia to be on hand at this event. “We were very happy with the turnout,” said Carol Rossignol, PSA Accreditation and Education Director. “Our mission is to educate and provide the best resources possible to help coaches develop skaters and build the sport.” The fact that this event was held in such a famous domestic figure skating domain, regarded to be the American capital of the sport and recently named as the site for the 2014 U.S. National Championships, was certainly much of the reason this confer-

LEFT: The Imperial Ballroom at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. BELOW: Todd Sand presents Pairs Spins on-ice at The Skating Club of Boston, while Saga Krantz and Kaisa Nieminen demonstrate their Basic Skating & Edge Classes in Synchro.

ence was also such a huge hit. “I think Boston is wonderful,” said Jimmie Santee, PSA Executive Director. “The hotel itself is beautiful and there is just so much figure skating history in regard to The Skating Club of Boston.” Throughout the weekend, coaches appeared energetic, upbeat and convivial, and grateful for the crux of information they acquired in order to advance their work. “I don’t know how anyone could teach without the [PSA] conference, it puts things into perspective,” said Lauren Hunt, skating school director at the World Ice Arena in Flushing, New York. “The more I learn, the more I realize I have to learn.” Coaches who traveled from faraway countries to be here also said this was a worthwhile and fruitful venture. “I love coming here because I learn so

FAR LEFT: Coaches take to the ice for an on-ice session. ABOVE: Paul Wylie works with demonstrators during his Lutz & Axel session. LEFT: Dr. Jim Richards addresses the crowd during his Landing Impact Studies at The Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

much and see so many people, it’s such an energetic and positive atmosphere,” said Chrisha Gossard, a former U.S. contender from Delaware who has been living and coaching in Bangkok, Thailand for the last several years. This conference has a famously unique dynamic since it is geared entirely around schooling the sport’s coaches, who represent perhaps the most influential and profound faction among the figure skating community. “It is so important to do what we’re doing,” said Santee. “We’re doing this for the skaters and to help make the industry of a high quality and professional image.” The conference also serves as a think tank of sorts for much of American figure skating since it is where coaches collectively convene on a formal basis to learn to cultivate better, stronger athletes from the grassroots levels right through the elite competitive rungs. “It is so important to come here,” said Christy Krall, who coached Patrick Chan, the five-time Canadian titlist, through two World Championship titles in 2011 and 2012. “If it weren’t for the PSA I wouldn’t be half the coach I am.” In its typical fashion, the conference drew many prominent coaches including Frank Carroll, the famed U.S. Olympic and World coach who taught Evan Lysacek, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist and Michelle Kwan, the nine-time U.S. titlist and five-time World champion; John Nicks, the 2012 PSA Coach

of the Year award recipient and Olympic and World coach; and Kathy Casey, the U.S. Figure Skating Director of Performance Enhancement and Tracking for Elite Athletes, among many others. For this elite contingent, the conference is a mandatory part of their annual work itinerary. “I’ve never missed a PSA Conference,” said Kathy Casey, who is also a consultant based out of the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “I believe in working very hard and I encourage everyone to learn and work with coaches who are better than you.” There were also numerous American officials and figureheads on hand, including Patricia St. Peter, U.S. Figure Skating president, Joe Inman, International Skating Union singles and pairs judge (and the 2012 PSA Jimmy Disbrow Distinguished Official Award recipient), Mitch Moyer, U.S. Figure Skating Senior Director of High Athlete Performance and Dr. Tenley Albright, 1956 Olympic champion and U.S. and World Figure Skating Hall of Fame member, who made an appearance at The Skating Club of Boston. According to Rossignol, The Skating Club of Boston was a big attraction for many of the coaches who came to this conference due to its history and the fact that this famous structure, built in 1938, is slated to be demolished and replaced in late 2013 with a modern, state-of-the-art three-surface venue that will be located down the road on nearby Lincoln Street. (The Skating Club of Boston

Thank you to our sponsors:

• Riedell/Eclipse Blades • Jackson Ultima

acquired the property through a land swap with Harvard University.) “I think a lot of the coaches have a history with The Skating Club of Boston and wanted to come here one last time,” said Rossignol. Without a doubt, coaches seemed delighted to learn more about their profession at this illustrious American figure skating destination. “The Skating Club of Boston has so much history, it’s an amazing rink and it has been great to have had the conference here,” said Jason Wong, a former U.S. contender and coach at The Skating Club of Boston. “Everyone has been learning from one another and working together and from that, I think we can make really strong skaters.”


Congratulations to Jill Jonkowski, Shanley Pascal, and Victoria Greco (not pictured) on winning free attendance to next year’s PSA conference in Chicago!

• ORDA (Lake Placid) • Disney On Ice • Esix/American Specialty



ual n n A ner

Din rds


PSA EDI Awards Celebrate Leaders In Sport | By Liz Leamy

UPPER: PSA coach Robert Mauti kicked off the

awards portion of the night with a rousing rendition of ‘Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green. LOWER: Emcee Paul Wylie welcomes attendees to the ‘Eve of the Revolution.’



The 2012 annual Professional Skaters Association EDI Awards ceremony featured all the glitz, glamour and excitement of a major industry celebration and was by all accounts, an affair to remember. This sold-out event, titled ‘Eve of the Revolution,’ was held in the majestic Imperial Ballroom at the Boston Park Plaza and drew nearly 170 attendees who were on hand to celebrate the achievements of the sport’s most prominent magic makers, including a host of notable U.S. coaches, choreographers, officials, educators and photographers and former Olympic and World champions. The dinner was successfully chaired by PSA Board member, Denise Williamson. “This was a really special event, people came dressed to the nines and the room was just beautiful,” said Jimmie Santee, Executive Director of the PSA. “The winners were all so humble.” The emcees for the ceremony, Paul Wylie, the 1992 U.S. Olympic silver medalist and Emily Hughes, a two-time U.S. medalist and 2006 Olympic team member, were top-rate and kept the night moving along with their witty and energetic repartee. “It has been such an honor to have hosted this event with Emily,” said Wylie. “The night was just great, everyone was incredible.” The following are the 2012 EDI Award winners:

PSA Coach of the Year John Nicks | Aliso Viejo, CA John Nicks, the iconic Olympic and World coach based in Southern California, was selected as the 2012 EDI Coach of the Year Award winner for his outstanding work with Ashley Wagner, the 2012 U.S. ladies champion. Known to be one of the most iconic teachers of the sport, Nicks appeared honored at the prospect of being selected for this award, which is presented to a coach who has made a significant impact on an athlete’s performance and who has distinguished themselves through years of successful teaching culminating in a special career achievement over the past year. In his acceptance speech, Nicks, a former British World champion pair skater, displayed his usual wit, candor and wisdom and said the award finally gave him an opportunity to thank those people who had helped him over the years, something he said he had not done in the past. “I would like to thank all the skaters I’ve had a chance to work with, including Ashley,” he said. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here.” Nicks, known for his intensive training expertise, helped Wagner shift into high gear last season by refining her jumps and preparing her accordingly for the U.S. Nationals and World

The Education and DedicaChampionships, where she placed fourth. tion International (EDI) Although the two have gotten along quite Awards are named after the well, Nicks said they still face some of the late World and Olympic challenges of daily coexistence. “Ashley listens to half of what I say,” he coach, Edi Scholdan, who said. “She’s very critical and said my hairstyle died in the 1961 world team doesn’t hack it and my clothes are too old plane crash. Scholdan was fashioned.” the first president of the Nicks also said Wagner referred to him as PSA and inspiration for the her Yoda, a profound and telling statement awards, which recognize exsince this character was the prolific Jedi masceptional achievement in the ter who helped Luke Skywalker defeat the sport of figure skating. evil Galactic empire in the blockbuster “Star Wars” film series. Along with Wagner, Nicks thanked many of his former students, including Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, the five-time U.S. pairs titlists and Aldridge and Dan1979 U.S. World champions, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, iel Eaton. the three-time U.S. pairs champions, Tiffany Chin, the 1985 He also created U.S. champion and two-time World bronze medalist and ‘the the free skate for challenging’ Miss Sasha Cohen, the 2006 U.S. champion and Daisuke Takahashi, the 2012 Japanese 2006 Olympic silver medalist. “Trainers of horse racing can never be successful unless World silver medalthey have horses and it’s the same for coaches with skaters,” ist, this past season and choreographed said Nicks. and free Nicks also thanked standout colleagues who had helped short skate programs for him over the years, including the late Frank Zamboni, who Evgeni Plushenko, hired him at his rink in California back in the 1960s and ‘taught him all about the ice business,’ Peter Martell, the Ex- the Russian 2006 ecutive Director of the Ice Skating Institute; Jimmie Santee, Olympic gold medExecutive Director of the PSA; Carole Shulman, former PSA alist, last spring. Executive Director who helped him pass his [ratings] tests; In spite of all this recent and David Raith, the Executive Director of U.S. Figure Skat- success, Camerlengo seems to have been anything but affecting, who he said has ‘good ideas.’ In spite of his years of success, things haven’t always ex- ed and appeared to be grateactly been great, according to Nicks. Several years prior to ful, humble and surprised at working with Wagner, he said he had gone through a bit of a the prospect of being selected for this citation. down period. “I had gotten up too late, had my coffee and then had a “I would like to thank evlesson with a student who didn’t have very much talent,” he erybody for welcoming me to said. “Her mother asked me to call during the day and give this country,” he said, noting that it was Audrey Weisiger, her updates on her daughter’s progress.” Clearly, things seem to have changed a great deal since the esteemed Virginia-based Olympic and World team that time. In wrapping up, Nicks stressed the importance of hard coach who encouraged him work and said the most important thing is to always strive to to come here. “Thank you so much for everything you’ve be better. “I want to keep telling young coaches you better just keep done to believe in me.” Camerlengo, who placed trying harder,” he said. fifth at the 1992 Olympics with his partner, Stefania Calegari, Paul McGrath Choreographer and has been doing choreof the Year Award ography since 1993, seems Pasquale Camerlengo | Waterford, MI Camerlengo, a former Italian ice dance champion who works to possess the qualities to continue having ongoing artisin Detroit, Michigan, was selected as the recipient for the tic success. A member of Audrey Weisiger’s ‘Grassroots to Champions’ coaching team, he has come to be known for do2012 Paul McGrath Award for Choreographer of the Year. Reputed to be one of the most profound artistic stars in ing programs that are smart and innovative and also showthe sport today, Camerlengo, who lives in the Detroit area case the International Judging System requirements in a with his wife Anjelika Krylova, the two-time Russian world manner that is appealing to both the officials and audience. ice dance champion, did the programs for 2012 U.S. world “Everything should be done to match the needs of the team members Alissa Czisny, the two-time U.S. champi- skater,” said Camerlengo, who has been working as a choreon, 2012 U.S. silver medalist and 2007 U.S. bronze medal- ographer since 1993. “Programs are demanding and skaters ist, Adam Rippon, the 2012 U.S. silver medalist, Madison need the quality of the technical elements, so they shouldn’t Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, the 2012 U.S. bronze med- be too affected by the choreography.” alists and 2012 world junior bronze medalists, Alexandra Camerlengo said the most important aspect of creating a

TOP: PSA Coach of the Year recipient John Nicks accepts his award. BOTTOM: Pasquale Camerlengo poses with his EDI award for Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year.



program is to know the skater. “You should know their personality and technical skills so you can come up with something strong with visual impact for the audience and judges.” At the same time, it is also important in putting together programs to perceive choreography as art, rather than just an athletic endeavor. “Good art is a chord, an emotion, something that touches the people,” he said. “We have to know what we’re going to say and do.”

TOP: Janet Champion accepts the F. Ritter Shumway Award . MIDDLE: Hosts Emily Hughes and Paul Wylie keep the crowd entertained. BOTTOM: Joe Inman accepts the Jimmy Disbrow Distinguished Official Award.



Developmental Coach of the Year Award Tammy Gambill | Redlands, CA Gambill, the accomplished Californiabased coach who has dedicated herself to cultivating top-tier competitors at the national and world level for the past several decades, was awarded the 2012 PSA Developmental Coach of the Year Award. Reputed to be one of the hardestworking coaches in U.S. skating, Gambill has produced many top-tier competitive skaters over the years, including Richard Dornbush, the 2011 U.S. silver medalist and 2010-2011 International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix titlist. In her acceptance speech, Gambill appeared to have been clearly moved over the prospect of having been selected for this award. “It is such an honor,” she said. “I just have such a passion for the sport and have surrounded myself with a great team.” Gambill, who is based at the Icetown Riverside Arena in Riverside, California, said coaching is an endeavor because the standard in figure skating is always evolving and growing. “You always have to make sure you’re out there learning and growing,” she said. “You are always being pushed by your peers and otherwise.” This approach has been effective for Gambill, who has for years helped skaters achieve success, qualify and medal through the elite international rung. In addition to Dornbrush (who she describes as a hard worker and wonderful young man), Gambill has worked with Dennis Phan, the 2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final champion, Sandra Rucker, the 2005 U.S. junior titlist and Austin Kanallakan, the 2005 U.S. novice gold medalist. Popular among her peers, Gambill is known to be one of the nicest coaches in the business as well as an important team player who appreciates the efforts of the skaters, parents, coaches and organizations, including the PSA. “I owe so much to the PSA, because it is such a great tool to keep on learning,” she

said. “It helps to hear something said in a different way and every time I come here [to the conference], I always get excited and rejuvenated.” F. Ritter Shumway Award Janet Champion | Colorado Springs, CO Janet Champion, the Colorado Springs-based coach known for her superior spin expertise, was selected as the 2012 F. Ritter Shumway Award winner for her dedication and contribution to the sport. Champion, a PSA Honorary Member and PSA Master Rated coach in moves, free skating, figures and group instruction, was presented the award by Kathy Casey, coaching consultant and U.S. Figure Skating Director of Performance Enhancement and Tracking for the Elite Athletes and also her best friend. In her acceptance speech, Champion appeared quite astonished over being chosen for this honor. “I don’t know what to say,” she said. “Thank you so much.” Jimmy Disbrow Distinguished Official Award Joseph Inman | Alexandria, VA Joseph Inman, the esteemed U.S. International Skating Union singles and pairs judge, was named as this year’s Jimmy Disbrow Distinguished Official Award recipient. Recognized for his dedication, reliability and integrity to figure skating, Inman is a professor of the Inman Piano studio in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Well-liked among much of the skating community, Inman always appears to be full of energy and is known for his humility, heart and high level of commitment to the sport. “Thank you so much, I really appreciate this honor,” he said. “I know [most of] you run when you see me coming because [you know] I’m going to talk about phrasing.” Sonja Henie Award

Christy Krall | Colorado Springs, CO Christy Krall, the enigmatic Colorado Springs-based coach who helped Patrick Chan of Canada, her former pupil, clinch two World titles in 2011 and 2012, was given this year’s Sonja Henie Award, which is presented to a female professional skater or coach who has brought recognition to the sport in a positive and favor-

able manner. Krall, a U.S. Olympic team member and three-time U.S. medalist and PSA Honorary Member, catapulted to the pinnacle of national and international coaching due to her vast expertise and understanding of Dartfish computer technology, which she used to help Chan acquire a rock-solid triple Axel, quad Sow and quad toe, elements that helped him become a two-time world champion. “I’m delighted to have been given this award,” said Krall in an interview at the Skating Club of Boston. “If it weren’t for the PSA, I wouldn’t be half the coach I’ve been for 30 years.” Krall, who has virtually helped pioneer high-end technological teaching in the sport, noted the importance of understanding the various key aspects of effective jumping.

“The ability to be calculated and measured significantly changes the athlete’s development,” she said. “They trust that development.” Gustave Lussi Award Ryan Bradley | Colorado Springs, CO Ryan Bradley, the enigmatic 2011 U.S. champion, was presented with the 2012 Gustave Lussi Award for being a standout male professional skater who has brought attention to figure skating in a positive and favorable manner. Known as one of the sport’s most exuberant showmen, Bradley retired from competitive skating several months after placing 13th at the 2011 World Championships last year. Last winter, he performed in a ten-city tour with Smuckers Stars on Ice and made an appearance on the Disson ‘Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice’ show. This past spring, he joined the Royal Caribbean’s “Liberty of the Seas” cruise ship as a performer, something he has really been enjoying. Due to this commitment, however, Bradley, 28, was unable to take off time in order to attend the awards ceremony. “I consider it a great honor to receive this award,” he said in a videotaped message on the ship. “Thank you very much, now I have to get back to my freight.” Betty Berens Award Sandy Lamb | Morgantown, IN Sandy Lamb, the Master Rated PSA coach who is a major fixture among the PSA community, was selected as the recipient for the 2012 Betty Behrens Award, which is given to a teacher who has overcome physical or emotional adversity and who has continued in dedication and perseverence to serve the profession with dignity and fortitude. Several weeks prior to the ceremony, Kelley Morris Adair, former PSA president, presented the award to Lamb in her home with her entire family present. Lamb, who has dealt with some major medical issues over the past year, expressed tremendous gratitude at being given the award and also thanked the PSA for all their support. “It has been a long year and you have all helped me so much,” she said. “This is only the second conference I’ve missed since 1979 and I’m working hard so I can be at the conference in Chicago next year.” Joe Serafine Volunteer of the Year Award Heidi Thibert | Fort Collins, CO Heidi Thibert, the PSA E-Curriculum coordinator and architect of the Coaches Educational Requirement exams, was this year’s Joe Serafine Volunteer of the Year Award winner due to her outstanding service for the PSA. Thibert, a PSA Master Rated coach, has been paramount in helping professionals to navigate e-education and CERrelated information and has put in countless hours to ensure members are fully accommodated in this area. In spite of all her hard work, Thibert still seemed surprised to have won this award. “This is an award that honors a volunteer, but I’m a volunteer that’s really honored,” she said.

Pieter Kollen Sport Science Coaching Award Kat Arbour | Philadelphia, PA Kat Arbour, chair of the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Medicine Committee, was named winner of the 2012 Pieter Kollen Sport Science Coaching Award, which is given to a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and/or equipment as an integral part of their coaching methods and are involved in research, publication and education in sport science and medicine as they relate to the sport. Arbour, a senior-rated PSA coach, was selected for having given her time, energy and experience to help skaters reach their full potential from a scientific standpoint so they avoid injury and increase their strength. “I just hope my work can help move the sport forward,” she said.

TOP: Tammy Gambill,

Christa Fassi, & Janet Champion pose with their EDI Awards.

MIDDLE: John Nicks and Frank Carroll take the stage to present an EDI. RIGHT: Joe Serafine Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Heidi Thibert poses with her bronze EDI.

Photo of the Year Award Andrea Chempinski | Ilia Kulik Photo

Fritz Dietl Award for Arena Excellence Extreme Ice Center | Indian Trail, NC



Robert Ogilvie, pictured with son Nigel, was inducted into the PSA Hall of Fame: Early Influences category

Early Influences Hall of Fame. Colledge passed away back in 2008 and was the 1937 World Champion, 1936 Olympic silver medalist and six-time British titlist. Known as a technical innovator, she was the first female to execute a double jump in competition (a double Salchow at the 1936 Europeans) and helped invent the camel and layback spins. According to top U.S. officials, Colledge possessed the characteristics of a first-rate coach and used her time, technique and choreography expertise to help elevate the domestic standard of the sport to great heights. Benjamin Wright, former president of U.S. Figure Skating and The Skating Club of Boston, accepted this award on behalf of Colledge and explained how her work and character were exemplary. “I never saw a program that she created that did not suit the capabilities of our skaters,” said Wright.

Hall of Fame Early Influences Category Eugene Turner* Eugene Turner, a two-time U.S. champion and longtime esteemed coach at The Skating Club of Boston who passed away January 2010, was honored as a new member of the PSA Hall of Fame Early Influences category. An American figure skating pioneer, Turner as a coach was punctual, patient and encouraging. As a skater, he was known for his fantastic technique and skated with beautiful, deep edges and tremendous ease of movement across the ice. “He was a pioneer who was articulate,” said Dr. Tenley Albright, the 1956 Olympic champion. “Each step was as important as each jump.” Turner’s daughter, Lisa accepted the award on her behalf of her family and expressed deep gratitude to the PSA for the honor. She is one of Turner’s seven grown children. “My father coached for about 50 years and loved every minute of it,” she said. “I coached for about 15 years and gained his people sense which I think is important because you have to know what kind of personalities you’re dealing with.”

MIDDLE: Cecilia Colledge with coach Jacques


BOTTOM: Christa Fassi accepts her award for induction into the PSA Hall of Fame.



Cecilia Colledge* Cecilia Colledge, the late British Olympic and World medalist who coached at The Skating Club of Boston from 1952 until her retirement in 1977, was also inducted into a PSA

Robert Ogilvie Robert Ogilvie, a longtime judge for the National Skating Association of Great Britain and former coach, was recognized with a Hall of Fame Early Influence distinction at this awards ceremony. This distinguished 96-year old native Englishman is regarded as one of the most prominent intellectual professors of the sport. Over the years, he has authored two popular how-to books, including ‘Competitive Figure Skating: A Parent’s Guide’ and ‘Basic Ice Skating Skills,’ both of which are still in publication. As alert and witty as ever, Ogilvie had the full attention of the room during his acceptance speech for this award, for which he expressed much gratitude. “I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to the PSA, thank you very much indeed,” he said. Referring to himself as a time capsule who is ‘above ground,’ Ogilvie said that he had started skating back in 1923 in London where he practiced alongside such legends as Sonja Henie, the three-time Norwegian Olympic champion, Cecilia Colledge, the British World champion and Olympic silver medalist and Maribel Vinson Owen, the nine-time U.S. champion and Olympic bronze medalist. In recalling those times, Ogilvie said in a tongue-in-cheek manner how Henie would ask him to ‘get out of her way,’ and also how Vinson-Owen and Colledge wound up becoming very good friends, particularly the latter. “I’d like to thank her in spirit,” he said. “She was a wonderful person, always cheerful and helpful and was right on the heels of Sonja.” Hall of Fame Janet Champion | Colorado Springs, CO Janet Champion, the triple-Master-Rated PSA coach known for her top-rate spin technique, was inducted into this year’s PSA Hall of Fame. Reputed to be one of the kindest, keenest and most committed coaches in the figure skating community, Champion exhibited graciousness and gratitude when accepting her award. According to Champion, success in skating is manifested through hard work, determination and confidence. “You can do anything you want to learn if you put your mind to it,” she said. Christa Fassi | San Marcos, CA Christa Fassi, the renowned California-based coach who, in * Deceased

conjunction with her late husband, the iconic Carlo Fassi, helped cultivate some of the most celebrated Olympic, World and U.S. champions of the late 20th century, was cited with a PSA Hall of Fame honor here at this event. Fassi, who was a major force behind her late husband’s success, (he coached Peggy Fleming, the 1968 Olympic champion, Dorothy Hamill, the 1976 Olympic titlist, John Curry, the British gold medalist in 1976 and Jill Trenary, the 1990 World champion, among others), appeared to be elated over being selected for this distinction. “I would like to thank the PSA from the bottom of my heart for this honor,” she said. “I really love the sport of figure skating and I’m really proud to be part of this whole community.” Fassi was given the award by Frank Carroll, the esteemed U.S. World and Olympic coach and fellow PSA Hall of Fame member, who said what a pleasure it was to welcome her into the Hall of Fame. Carroll explained how Fassi always stayed in the background but played a key role in her late husband’s remarkable career. He also described her as someone of good character, wonderful integrity and a very likeable personality. In her acceptance speech, Fassi said the most important thing for coaches to remember is to always believe in the athletes. “It is very important to install dream in these wonderful athletes,” she said. “That way we can help them along to achieve their dream.”

RIGHT: Andrea Chempinski’s photo won the

Photo of the Year Award and is featured on the cover of this issue.

BELOW: Coaches Melissa Vriner, Paul Wylie,

Danielle Logano, Denise Williamson, and Jenny Gwyn from the Extreme Ice Center celebrate their EDI bronze for the Fritze Dietl Award for Arena Excellence.

Find more photos at


2012 Nationwide Seminars


Host Name





Tim Covington

Skylands Ice World

Stockholm, NJ



Aren Nielsen

Atlanta Ice Forum

Atlanta, GA



Jerod Swallow

Detroit Skating Club

Detriot, MI



Beth Nilsson

Eden Prairie Community Center

Eden Prairie, MN



Heather Aseltine

Northbrook Sport Center

Northbrook, IL



Gerry Lane

South Suburban Ice Arena

Denver, CO



Patti Brinkley

Olympicview Arena

Seattle, WA



Darin Mathewson

Pickwick Garden

Burbank, CA


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PSA HISTORY: Bob O’Connell Mr. Bob O’Connell, the oldest living president of the PSA and an Honorary member, served as PSA president from 1956-1959. O’Connell is now 84 years old and still active and in good health. Although he has not been on the ice in many years, he enjoys playing golf about three times a week. During his coaching career, O’Connell moved around a lot. He recalls, “There were very few year-round facilities. You had to move around the country to find skaters and ice.” Just a few of the places O’Connell taught include Rochester, MN, Milwaukee, WI, Philadelphia, PA, Chicago, IL, and Burlington, CA, and his favorite place to go for competition was Colorado Springs. During the time of his presidency, the PSA was known as the PSGA (Professional Skaters Guild of America). The PSA was inactive from 1942-1946 during World War II. Although Bob was the president nearly 10 years after the war,



PSA was still working to build membership and recognition in the skating world. O’Connell recalls that the cost of a PSA membership during his presidency was around $25. O’Connell remembers that it was a new age after the war and there was an increase in the number of coaches and skaters. “Society was changing, and skating kept up. Coaches wanted change and certification,” O’Connell states. He notes that some coaches did not want to have certification and fought the movement, but people in the skating world wanted to know “who was who and why they were who.” Under O’Connell’s direction as president, the PSA had many conversations about certification and accreditation, and although the motion never passed, O’Connell remained patient. His groundwork on the conversation of certification allowed his successor, Wally Sahlin, to implement a certification process for coaches, which became the

By: Elizabeth Peschges

forerunner to the current ratings system. One of O’Connell’s most notable achievements during his presidency was the creation of an official logo. “Unauthorized PSGA pins, emblems, and logos popped up all over the country. An official logo was needed,” he states. O’Connell asked Gene Kemmer, an artist in Milwaukee, WI, to create the logo, and the first PSA logo was officially approved. Even though O’Connell is not currently coaching, he has many fond memories of his years as a coach. Special moments for him are when his past pupils ask him to work with their students. He states, “This is interesting. They are still using the same techniques I taught them.” What a reward for a man as remarkable as Bob O’Connell! He has left his mark in both coaching and the history of PSA, and for that, we tip our hats to you, Mr. O’Connell.

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By Kent McDill

Christa Fassi

FFassi coached together in Colorado Springs.

or a short period of time, Janet Champion and Christa

They are together again now in the 2012 class for the Professional Skaters Association Hall of Fame. The two coaches traveled different lines in their skating lives, meeting along the way at the Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs before separating again. But they shared the stage in Boston in May for their induction into the PSA Hall of Fame at the 2012 PSA Conference. The PSA Hall of Fame nominating committee is made up of all living Hall of Fame members and past PSA presidents. Candidates must be approved by 60 percent of the committee members for induction. “I was so surprised,’’ said Champion, who is already a Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the PSA. I never expected to win any kind of award or accolade of any kind. I’m thrilled.” “I am truly honored,’’ Fassi said. “I appreciate the fact other coaches voted for me.” Champion coached in San Diego for almost 20 years before moving to Colorado Springs, where she remains a coach today. Fassi is still coaching in California, while also spending time with her nine grandchildren. There are no designed paths to Hall of Fame status. The stories of Champion and Fassi prove that.



Janet Champion Janet Champion Born a “champion’’ because of her name, Janet Champion became a winner of sorts at an early age and it affected her life tremendously from thereafter. At the age of eight, she won the Grand Prize at the California Exchange Club Talent contest for an acrobatics performance, beating out 3,000 other acts. She won a savings bond for her victory, and in the eyes of the skating world, that made her a professional, even though she did not win the cash for skating.

Photo courtesy the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame

1957 Ice Follies.

Janet speaks at the 2011 PSA International Conference in Dallas, TX. RIGHT: Janet pictured in a promotional photo from the 1957 Ice Follies. ABOVE:

Thus, Champion’s competitive skating career was over. She had actually competed only once as an ice skater, finishing 24th out of 25 contestants prior to becoming a “professional.” Champion was from San Diego, but her local rink closed down and she had to skate in Pasadena when her parents could get her up there. She was capable of great physical ability on the ice, doing back handsprings and somersaults. Her talents were seen by a scout from the Ice Follies, a traveling ice skating show, and at the age of nine she was offered a professional skating contract. “My parents sat me down and said if I wanted to do this, it was actually a job, and I had to perform as directed, I couldn’t just one day say ‘I don’t want to do the show’’ that night,’’ Champion said. “But I thought ‘I’m going to travel all over, skate in this show, wear fancy costumes, perform under the lights for thousands of people, what could be more fun?’ My nine-year-old mind was asking ‘Why are they going to pay me for having so much fun?’” So from the age of nine and for most of the next 10 years, Champion was a key figure in the Shipstad and Johnson Ice Follies, showing off her incredible athletic ability on the ice and capturing the hearts of thousands of viewers as an adorable child skater. She trained with former Olympic ice skating coach Edi Scholden at the Broadmoor during those years. “I had the most wonderful childhood you can imagine, for

Photo courtesy the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame

a kid who loves to skate and loves to travel,’’ Champion said. But at the age of 18, she was ready to begin the next chapter of her life, saying that the Ice Follies “would not let me grow up.” Her new life sent her back to San Diego, where she was attending beauty school and skating in her spare time at a small ice rink at a nearby shopping mall. She received many requests from parents of other skaters to coach, and it seemed like a good way to make some money doing what she was already doing anyway. “I finally relented, and the rest is history,’’ Champion said with a laugh. Starting as a coach in 1968, Champion worked with young skaters on the very basics of figure skating rules and moves, concentrating much of her teachings on figures, which was a required compulsory move for all skating competitions. Eventually, those figures became known as “moves in the field,’’ and Champion designed the Moves in the Field test structure for U.S. Figure Skating. As a representative of the San Diego Figure Skating Club, Champion produced its first national medal winner when Cindy Moyers won third place in the 1975 United States National Junior Ladies event. Champion also coached two more National Junior Medal winners in Jenny Newman and Joyce Newell. Her first World Junior champion was Eric Larson. While in San Diego, Champion also worked with John Curry, who was an Olympic champion in 1976, and national champions Linda Fratianne, Rosalyn Sumners and



Tiffany Chin. Chin and Champion maintained a relationship through her National Junior and World Junior titles. In 1987, after almost 20 years as a coach in San Diego, Champion received an invitation from former Italian men’s coach Carlo Fassi to be his assistant at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs. There she worked with Fassi and his coaching wife Christa, and they worked with national figure skating stars like Scott Davis, Nicole Bobek and Jill Trenary. Champion also served as the Broadmoor Skating Club Show Director. Today, Champion remains a coach at the Colorado Springs World Arena. Champion admits her coaching life was altered by the fact that she never skated competitively. “I often wondered what my career might have been like if had been a competitive skater,’’ she said. “But I had a blast and I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything.” “I want to thank the PSA so much for allowing me to be able to learn what I needed to learn,’’ she said. “I appreciate the PSA so much for venues to learn and exchange knowledge. I am so thankful to all the coaches I studied with at PSA conferences and seminars. I don’t think I would be where I am today without the ability to acquire that knowledge.” Champion is not one to concern herself with her legacy. As a coach, she said her greatest joy came from working with young students, seeing them land their first Axel. “It’s the most exciting thing to be a part of,’’ Champion said. “I think I would like to be remembered as being a very good influence on the lives of children,’’ she said. “ I want my students to have happy memories of their childhood. I think you can do that and still be a great skater. It doesn’t have to be hell. It can be fun and hard work at the same time. You have to love what you are doing; you can’t be great at doing something unless you love doing it.” Champion was married to Dr. Louis Schlom for more than 30 years, and they had two daughters, Katrina and Kristen.

Janet on the cover of a 1957 Ice Follies program

Photo courtesy the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame



Photo courtesy the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame

Christa Fassi with her husband and coaching partner, Carlo.

Christa Fassi As a child, Christa von Kuczkowski was a roller skater until the age of 11, when she took up ice skating. There was no ice rink in her hometown of Frankfurt, Germany, so she ended up traveling to Vienna, Austria, where she lived with friends for three years while skating. At the age of 16, she met famed Italian coach Carlo Fassi and began working with him, and with him she won the Italian Ladies Championship in 1961 in Milan. At the age of 18, Christa married her coach, and together they had three children – Riccardo, Monika and Lorenzo. But when Lorenzo was just one year old, Christa decided to get out of the house and began working with Carlo as a coach. “He was always good at figures, so he did those, and I did a lot of the choreography,’’ Fassi said. “It was nice because we were always together, and we got along great. It was a rewarding relationship. We had hardly any fighting or arguing over skating. I kind of knew my place and he knew his.” In 1961, following the plane crash that killed many of the American coaches who were traveling with the U.S. Figure Skating team, the Fassis moved with their children from Italy to Colorado Springs. The Fassis coached there through most of the 1980s, returned to Italy for a short while in 1990, then came back to the states and set up shop in California.

Christa was initially coached by Carlo and with his help, won the Italian Ladies Championship in 1961.

Photo courtesy the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame

Together, the Fassis worked with World and Olympic champions John Curry, Robin Cousins, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill and Jill Trenary. They also worked with Scott Hamilton and Paul Wylie when they were young. At the time of Carlo Fassi’s death in 1997 at the World Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne, they were working with Nicole Bobek, who stayed with Christa Fassi for a year after the passing of Carlo. Upon Carlo’s passing, Christa had a choice to make about her life. “Now I was by myself,’’ she said. “I still had to do my job. It took me a while to get used to it, but you get used to it. Life goes on, skating goes on, skaters want

their coaches.” Through five decades of coaching, Christa Fassi said she has seen many changes, both good and bad. “The worst is that it is much more competitive than it ever was,’’ she said. “That is because there is a lot of money involved. Everybody always sees the big dollar signs, and parents are much more into the skating than they were before.” On the positive side, however, Fassi said there is much more cooperation between coaches today. “Coaches get along better than they used to,’’ she said. “They work together. In the old days, coaching protected their own skaters, like they were property, and you wouldn’t share. Now most coaches share with other coaches, because the responsibilities are so big, one coach can’t do everything. That has absolute opened things up and I find that wonderful. I have nothing but friends in the coaching world.” Fassi still coaches in California, and maintains a humble attitude about her work. “I am as active as ever,’’ she said. “I am very busy. It’s kind of rewarding that I still have all these pupils. Sometimes I don’t understand it.”



Most Memorable Moments #75

The Birth of the American Skaters Guild

SKATING Magazine | December 1938

Celebrating 75 Memorable Moments in PSA History

An Association of Professional Figure Skaters

As the PSA embarks on its 75th year, we would like to take the time to celebrate and reflect on some of the most defining events in our history. We have started a countdown of our 75 most memorable moments, and will be releasing them throughout the year, leading up to our top 10 moments which will be revealed at the 75th Anniversary Conference in Chicago, May 2013. The memorable moments will be highlighted in PS Magazine, In the Loop, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, and will eventually be compiled on our website with more detailed information on each memorable moment. There will be contests and prizes to go along with some of the memorable moments, so keep your eyes peeled! Let the countdown begin…

Willy Boeckl, President

On August 10, 1938, at Lake Placid a meeting of thirteen prominent Canadian and United States figure skating instructors was held for the purpose of forming an association of professional figure skaters residing in these two countries. The objects of the association, among others, include the mutual protection of the instructors and of the clubs employing them, the establishment of friendly cooperation with the clubs and the United States Figure Skating Association, the formulation of methods of ascertaining the competency of figure skating instructors by giving them tests, based not merely on the standard of the instructor’s own skating but on their actual teaching ability, and the awarding to instructors of competency certificates. It was the strong feeling of those present at the meeting that some very definite action should be taken to put an end to the practice of professional show promoters in inducing amateurs to turn professional for the purpose of skating in haphazard skating shows which failed and left them stranded as professionals without experience in teaching and with no opening for professional exhibition work in an already overcrowded field. While the organization of this association has not been fully completed, financial contributions were made by those present for this purpose, yearly dues of $5.00 were tentatively approved with some moderate initiation fee, and the following temporary officers were appointed: President, Willy Boeckl; First VicePresident Willie Frick; Second Vice-President, Walter Arian; as well as a membership committee; mid-western, far-western, and Canadian representatives; and a representative to contact professionals employed in organized shows. The next general meeting is to be held at Lake Placid at the time of the mid-summer skating operetta in 1939. All professional skaters, both teachers and exhibition skaters, are urged to communicate with the temporary officers, to join the association, to send in suggestions or complaints, and to attend the next meeting, at which time the formal organization will be completed. **** In behalf of the United States Figure Skating Association the undersigned wishes all success to the proposed association of professional figure skaters. Our own Association has always endeavored to cooperate with the professionals in helping them solve their problems, which are closely related to our own, and in enabling them to contact clubs desiring professionals. If our own Association had not created interest in figure skating, there would be no demand for instructors. Neither would the professional shows have been possible without the efforts of this Association and of its instructors in creating good amateur skaters who later became professionals. The writer is heartily in sympathy with the instructors in their opposition to the tactics of promoters in professionalizing amateurs by means of flattering promises which in the majority of cases have not been fulfilled. There are plenty



of good professionals available for shows, and these should be employed. The writer also feels that instructors’ competency certificates will help simplify the employment problem and should also have some bearing on instructors’ rates for lessons. In spite of rumors to the contrary, we must remember that the law of supply and demand controls both wages and employment for instructors and exhibitors as well as others and that this law cannot be artificially changed. While the professionals’ association cannot make new jobs, it can see that such jobs as are open are satisfactorily and competently filled and raise the present standard of teaching by tests and the dissemination of proper information, and the amateurs will profit accordingly. – Joseph K. Savage, President, U.S.F.S.A. Reprinted with the permission of U.S. Figure Skating

Best Competition Practices Earlier this spring, the PSA conducted a survey on competition strategies and practices. The results were presented at the annual PSA Conference in Boston, May 24 to 26, 2012 and discussed among a panel of experts including Sarah Hughes, Paul Wylie, Todd Sand, and Kaisa Nieminen. A total of 410 coaches completed the survey with a majority of close to 70% who had been coaching for at least 11 years. Over the next year we will be sharing the results of this survey.




As you are preparing for your athlete’s season, which of the following off-ice training options will your skaters take part in? Check all that apply.


Tapering Dartfish

Do you charge for off-ice lessons? Most respondents charge an hourly fee equal to their on-ice lesson fee

Pilates Cardio Strength Training Ballet/dance Off-ice jumping techniques— with or without equipment


0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%



Most Memorable Moments #74

The First PSGA Convention, Tan Tar-A, Missouri

Tan Tar-A, Missouri, September 7-10, 1967, was the site of the first PSGA convention. The co-chairmen for the event were David Lowery and Pieter Kollen. It was felt that the convention was needed because of poor attendance, poor facilities and impossible scheduling a meeting at the U.S. Championships. The convention proved to be a real “think tank” with many projects being assigned to the attendees. This was the second attempt to produce a Guild conference. In April of 1963, plans for a convention prior to the ISIA annual meeting at the Bismarck Hotel in Chicago, Illinois were scrapped due to low interest. According to Norma Sahlin who wrote in a letter to David Lowery, the chief reason was, “…the time of the year when everyone likes to take a vacation no matter what they were doing.” Though attendance at the convention was fewer than anticipated (13 attendees), the main objective had been accomplished—the first national convention. A program of policies and purposes of the Guild were organized including the expansion of Guild directions which included the Ratings System. Unfortunately, because of the low attendance the policies and purposes of the Guild did not pass. Due to the resignation of Wally and Norma Sahlin, (president and secretary) a phone vote of non-attending directors, gave Peter Dunfield and David Lowery the positions of acting Vice Presidents. It was also decided that a new secretary would be hired. Later, Mr. Dunfield would become the Guild President.

An ad for the very first PSGA convention ran in the May 1967 issue of SKATING.







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2011-2012 Membership Year 36





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What Would Frank Carroll Do? In a career spanning 50-plus years, Frank Carroll has masterfully coached many of the biggest names in figure skating, including World Champions and Olympic medalists Linda Fratianne, Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek. An accomplished skater himself, Carroll was coached by the famous Maribel Vinson Owen. He was the first figure skating coach to hold the honor of Olympic Coach of the Year in 1997 and he was inducted into the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1996 and 2007, respectively. Here, he shares some insight into an overall coaching philosophy that almost all figure skating coaches have wondered at some time: “What Would Frank Carroll Do?” You have coached three skaters to gold medals at the World Championships. Linda Fratianne won during the era of school figures, Michelle Kwan won her titles after figures had been done away with and Evan Lysacek won under the IJS system. How do you approach coaching differently now with the current judging system?

What is your main goal for your skaters? For any coach it should be to get them to be as good as they can be. Not everyone is going to have the opportunity to teach an Evan Lysacek or a Michelle Kwan or a Linda Fratianne or a Tiffany Chin. But each skater has their own abilities and talents and the goal should always be to bring those out to their fullest. Speaking of Evan Lysacek, how did it feel to have a skater win an Olympic gold medal? It’s funny. I had Michelle Kwan and Timothy Goebel at Olympics Games – both beautiful, beautiful skaters – and in 1998 Michelle was the favorite to win. But it didn’t happen and I began to think, you know, my life has been so full and I have been blessed with teaching so many wonderful kids. I just got very philosophical about it and figured, what is going to be is going to be. Now, when Evan won, of course, I went through the roof, but what shocked me was how many people wanted it for me as much as for him. When I got back, it was just crazy the messages from so many people from my past, carrying on and crying and all so happy for me. It was amazing that people had these feelings for me. Any tips on fostering successful coach-parentskater relationships?

Well, now you’re talking about my weakest area. I will definitely say that I feel it is important to treat skating Any coach in the present day who doesn’t want to like a business. It’s not something to be done emotionally become a dinosaur has to stay on top of everything. We or in your free time. It requires so much more than that. all have things we’d like to change about the IJS, but You need to be on the ball, to be on time, to be smart there’s no point in complaining. I thought school figures and to know what you’re doing. You must have time for were a great tool. It was a wonderful aspect of figure the parents and arrange time when it’s needed, but I skating and it absolutely taught body control. Maribel don’t go to dinner with my skater’s parents or chat on the used to say, “Frank, if they ever get rid of figures, it’s phone with them every night. There’s something to be going to be acrobats on ice.” And, if you think about it, said for familiarity breeding contempt. I set the ground the pulling your foot to your head in spins and all these rules up front and I expect respect. But coaches have all crazy contortions, they do seem acrobatic. What she said different approaches and, in the end, everyone has to do over 50 years ago came true. what’s right for them and their situation.


What is the thing you value most as a skating coach?

What words of wisdom do you impart to your skaters on the warm-up at competitions?

There are actually two things. One is for them and one is for me. For them, it is the hope that I can make a difference in their life, to help show them to accept responsibility for what they do and what they get and not to blame anyone else for their failures. Learning that what you put into something is exactly what you get out of it is a tremendous lesson. For me, it is that I get great satisfaction in the learning process. Whether I am teaching an adult or a beginner to do something new, it is just as gratifying as teaching an Olympic medalist.

To be a great coach, you must be intuitive. Most skaters can’t handle too much information – point your toe, pull in, listen to this, watch that – but some can handle more input than others. Some respond well to getting in their face and telling them one or two specific things. Some need to go into a zone and have quiet and space. You as a coach need to be intuitive to know what they need so they can do their best.


By Terri Milner Tarquini

At Nationals, Worlds, the Olympics, you would hold Michelle Kwan’s hands, look her right in the eyes and say something right before her name was called. Would you be willing to share what you would say? I’ll tell you exactly what I said to both Michelle and Evan before their performances at their Olympics. Now, mind you, I was talking to two skaters who were fabulously trained and were fabulously ready. I told them, “You do this routine every single day perfectly over and over. You are ready to do it. Now go do it.” It was that simple. Being able to affirm someone of their ability because they truly are ready is a wonderful thing. What’s your favorite skating move to watch when it’s performed really well? (Sighs) Spread eagles when the skater leans with their full body on a beautiful curve. That’s absolutely gorgeous. Also, I was watching YouTube of Tenley Albright winning senior ladies at Nationals the other night and she did these mazurkas that just stayed in the air and absolutely floated. We’ve lost so much of that. If there was one thing you could change about the sport, what would it be? I was actually thinking of that just today while I was at the gym. I hear a lot about me being the “71-year-old Frank Carroll.” (Laughs) 71-year-old Frank Carroll this, and 71-year-old Frank Carroll that. Well, Evan wants to compete again and if he goes back to the Olympics, I’ll be 75 years old. And here we have all of these brilliant, knowledgeable judges who cannot judge at ISU competitions past the age of 70. It makes me wonder if I’m still capable of having an Olympian at 75, although I know I am. Am I too senile? I know I’m not. But what happens to all that incredible judging knowledge? It’s ludicrous. They’ve been doing this for decades; they know what they’re doing. You have had a coaching career that has been over 50 years long. Can you describe your journey? When I was very young, I thought I knew it all. I was a very good free skater, but then I found out I couldn’t teach everyone how to jump. I could stand on my head and spit nickels and they weren’t going to get in the air. Mostly my journey has been this: I learned I had a lot to learn. So, even now, I love going to PSA conferences, I love picking other people’s brains. I never want to stop learning. The process of teaching all these years has been one great big wonderful learning experience.

in Worcester, Massachusetts. But the rink opened and I started skating. I liked how skating combined dance and athleticism. I also did a lot of drama in school and I think I could have done something in acting, but I also think my interest in dance and drama have certainly helped me as a competitive skater and while I was in the Ice Follies and then as a skating coach. It’s not just all about landing triples or quads; it’s also interpreting music and being able to bring out emotion.

mind and a caring personality. What do you think is most important for coaches to impart to their skaters? Treating others fairly, having respect, not talking about other skaters, being objective about themselves and their own skating, not being complainers, to be kind and considerate. What are your plans for the immediate future?

Do you have an overall coaching philosophy or a mission statement?

I’m in Palm Springs now. It’s not L.A. where there are tons of skaters. I work 6:30-1:30 which is much less than I did when I was living in L.A. and I’ve cut back Yes I do! “To thine own self be true.” You cannot be of on speaking engagements so I am working much less any use to anyone if you are not happy with your life and I am absolutely loving it. I have no intention of and happy doing the work. And you need time away. retiring but this almost feels like retirement to me. I I needed to be able to end my day and shut skating am very happy, I keep young and I stay active. I love off to be able to function and go to work the next day skating and I love the kids. There are so many times enthused. I had to have space to get away and refresh myself. I believe we have to feed ourselves emotionally. that I come home from work and say, “What a lovely day! I had a great day today!” God has been so good to Part of that for me also is going to the gym, which I FELD ENTERTAINMENT me. If I had to go back over my entire life, I wouldn’t With Michelle Kwan have always done and will always do. I can’t do those change one thing. When I say that, people sometimes long hours Description: in skates if I’m not in shape. We also need AU0403806 er: ask me about the plane crash (Sabena Flight 548 that physically. demand discipline Recr.what Ad) to feed ourselvesAd x 5” of ent City: CORPORATE Size:We 4.875” If you hadn’t been(2004 a figureSkater skating coach, crashed in 1961 killing the entire U.S. Figure Skating our skaters and we need to be disciplined as well. That 5”ENTERTAINMENT Section: would you have done? discipline we expect out of them needs to start with us. team en route to the World Championships, including Date(s): My father wanted me to be a lawyer. I have the gift Carroll’s coach, Vinson Owen). Yes, I think about it Who or what inspires you as a coach today? of gab and I can talk my way out of anything, it’s that nearly every day and I wish it was something that Irish thing. But that wasn’t really for me. I was really Maribel Vinson Owen is the single most hadn’t happened, but it wasn’t something I could interested in dance. I think I would have liked to be a inspirational person of my entire life. She was control. But as far as just me, I wouldn’t change one dancer, but I did not have that opportunity growing up an amazing combination of discipline, a brilliant thing. It’s been a wonderful, blessed life.


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For Safety’s Sake by Kevin McCormack CAO, CADCR


n last month’s ISI Edge Magazine, Jimmie Santee skaters and coaches can observe. In a positive way, try enlightened us with an excellent article about courtesy, to bring these issues to management’s attention. Often respect and safety on freestyle sessions. One of the most they are not aware of every issue on the ice. At the end important points in the article addressed how coaches of the session, how about offering to patch some holes? and skaters can work together to create a safe, fun and If every skater on a session patched two or three holes respectful environment on the ice. Everyone at an arena with some snow the ice would be in better condition for can take safety and respect to another level by working the next group. I always say, “try to leave things better with arena management to help create a better ice arena than you found them” and there is no better example at for all skaters. an ice arena than this. Most ice arenas are very busy places and most good A third important safety factor during freestyle is facilities have safety as a primary focus. Safety at the open doors. All doors with perhaps the exception of the arena is everyone’s responsibility. Skaters can work main entrance door for the skaters should remain closed with and help ice arena owners and managers have safer during freestyle. Hockey player bench doors and penalty arenas by focusing on a few specific details. Working box doors are a hazard and skaters can very easily injure together starts with good communicathemselves when doors are left open tion. Skating coaches and skaters should “Skaters and coaches unnecessarily. Skaters and coaches can contact their arena manager or skating also watch out for issues with the boards director and suggest a meeting. A small should never go on and glass in the arena. Are there any group with a few skaters and coaches sharp edges that someone could get cut and perhaps the club president will the ice without skates on? Is the plastic from the dasher board be much less intimidating to an arena sticking out? Are advertising signs on. At many arenas peeling or cracking? Most facilities are owner or manager. Emphasize in the discussion that you want to help make a so big that an operator cannot always more positive experience for ownership, I see coaches on the see every detail. The sooner they know skaters, and coaches and that you are a dangerous situation, the sooner ice with no skates. about not there to criticize. Ask questions to it can be addressed. Please do not bring find out what is important to manageany food or beverages to the ice with This should rarely ment regarding safety at the arena. This the exception of water. Besides being a article will attempt to offer a few basic sanitary issue, spilled beverages on the happen.” guidelines that every skater and coach ice and on the floor can be an eyesore can do to improve safety. Understand that every arena and a tripping hazard to skaters. is different and a consultation with management is Skaters and coaches should never go on the ice without necessary to find out the rules of each arena. skates on. At many arenas I see coaches on the ice with First, no skater should ever proceed on to the ice until no skates. This should rarely happen. Skaters should the ice resurfacer doors are closed. At the end of the never skate on a freestyle session without supervision session, as soon as the resurfacer doors open, all skaters by a coach either. Early morning sessions and daytime must leave the ice without attempting that last jump or sessions can be very empty. If a skater or a coach falls last program run through. In addition, the ice quality and injures themselves, there may be no one there to will be much better if you wait that extra minute or two help. As Mr. Santee said last month, coaches must teach after the ice resurfacer doors are closed to allow the ice their skaters the “rules of the road” on freestyle sessions to set up and freeze. Second, at the beginning of the to make each skater aware of other skaters and any situasession during warm ups and throughout the session, tion that might arise on a freestyle session. skaters and coaches can look for unsafe conditions on Finally, when speaking with the directors of your arena, the ice. Holes from jumps, thin spots on the ice, and ask good questions to make sure a safe skating environareas that might stay wet all the time are all areas that ment is important to them. In addition to discussing



the previous points, ask what kind of an ice resurfacer they have? How often is it tuned up? Who maintains it? There have been a few news stories and incidents of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide poisoning at arenas across the country in the last few years. Many of these incidents were not related to the ice resurfacer, but in fact due to the heating and ventilation units in the ice arena and also to buses that were parked outside the arena. The vast majority of ice arenas test for gases that are the byproduct of internally combusted engines and have excellent ventilation systems; unfortunately, a few do not. Ask the management of the arena what gases they test for? Do they keep a log of tests? Do they have a ventilation system that automatically comes on when gas levels get dangerously high? Have they ever had an evacuation incident? These are all good questions to ask the operators of your arena. Safety at the arena is everyone’s obligation. If you see something, say something. An informed arena manager and owner is a better one and they should appreciate that you brought something to his/her attention to help make the arena better and safer. By working together as a team we will achieve more, make our skaters safe and have an environment where everyone benefits. Kevin McCormack is the Vice President of Arena Operations for the Danbury Arena in Danbury, Connecticut and Floyd Hall Arena in Little Falls, NJ. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Ice Arena Institute of Management and is an at-large member of the Executive committee of the Ice Skating Institute. He is the Vice President of MIRMA. He can be reached at

LOOOOPS – With Champion Cords!

Sheila Thelen Champion Cords – Alignment PRESIDENT – Champion Cords EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR –

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“Okay - here is a use for your wonderful Champion Cords: loops! A lot of kids seem to lose a sense of their arms and free leg during the loops (especially the arms I find). Both Laura and Evan said that the Champion Cords gave them more awareness of where their free limbs were in space. I’ve attached a few photos and a video clip. Both skaters tend to collapse their arms during the teardrop, and the Cords helped them with this. In the last part of the video, Laura tries BO loops without the Cords - her arms start to collapse so I tell her to pretend the Cords are still there, and she is able to keep her arms in place more successfully. Good! Laura just passed Novice Moves, and Evan is working on Novice Moves. They are “test skaters” who used to free skate but now take field moves and ice dance lessons. Your invention is great :-)“ Jaya Kanal, PSA Rated Coach IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE VIDEO – EMAIL SHEILA! THANK-YOU JAYA for using Champion Cords on your skaters! Send your photos and success stories to me at: Champion Cords can be purchased online at the PSA Store ( »»CHAMPION CORDS ARE ENDORSED BY THE PSA


NOW YOU SEE IT…NOW YOU DON’T…the general law of expungement E

xpunging a criminal record means the record is completely destroyed. It’s as if the crime never happened. Generally, all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a person’s apprehension, arrest, detention, trial, or adjudication on a criminal offense can be expunged. However, each court has rules about what can and cannot be expunged. Why expungement? To answer that question you need to know what can happen if a criminal record is generated and what impact that record has on an individual and his/ her family. Things happen, and on occasion youthful silliness can result in a criminal history and record impacting individuals and families far beyond what might have been fair punishment. The public record even for minor charges can result in sanctions far beyond what is “fair”. Such public records can make it impossible to obtain a job, get into public housing, or to qualify and obtain all sorts of public assistance programs. Such records can exclude persons for decades long after criminal penalties have been satisfied. What can and cannot be expunged? Why would a denial to expunge be ordered by the court? Each state sets its own standards. Some factors which may contribute to a denial include: • Time period required by law has not been met. This time period often does not begin until all confinement and probation has been completed and fines are paid. • Additional convictions exists • A previous expungement exits • Pending arrest(s) • Conviction of a sexual offense • Registered sex offender • Court records indicate that the case is still open



In addition, in most states: • Arrests and convictions on serious felonies usually can’t be expunged or sealed • Expungement may only be available for first-time or non-violent felonies • Fingerprints, photographs, and DNA evidence may be expunged In many jurisdictions and with some limited exceptions, after your records are expunged, you may truthfully say that you were never arrested, charged, or accused of a crime. In the eyes of the law, the entire incident never happened. In most respects, expungement restores you to the status you occupied before being arrested or charged. This issue is something that could impact coaches… you should be aware that the federal government does not have to honor the expungement, nor does an expungement of a conviction necessarily relieve a person from having to disclose it in an application for public office or on some professional license applications.

“...the federal government does not have to honor the expungement, nor does an expungement of a conviction necessarily relieve a person from having to disclose it in an application for public office or on some professional license applications.”

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in the early years. One such rule was in Headland, Alabama that stated: “Men were prohibited from turning and looking at a woman that way while ice skating.” On the first offense, he got a warning. But if he did it again, his punishment was that he had to wear horse blinders for 24 hours.

former U.S. Water Ski Team Coach

Are you ready for a breakthrough in coaching that will set you apart from every coach who is still using command and control tactics? Today’s athletes and their parents are increasingly hesitant to give coaches respect and loyalty before it is earned. For this reason, coaches must offer more than sport knowledge. Transform your coaching effectiveness by learning to use positive coaching techniques, having principle-centered motives, and improving selfbelief in young athletes for their life journey, not just their athletic journey. The following webinars will help you master the right-brain skills that earn this kind of credibility.

QUOTE The most important thing about skating is that it teaches you to do the things you should do before you do the things you want to do.” Barbara Ann Scott



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4. “Three Silver-Bullet Coaching Techniques”

How to Increase Athletic Performance & Player Loyalty • • Watch a recorded replay of this webinar! Available in the PSA online store.

**Presenter at 2012 PSA International Conference and Tradeshow. David Benzel is a speaker, author, and expert in the principles of influence and coaching. His ten years as a commentator for ESPN and fifteen years as a professional water ski coach provide him with vivid insights about the challenges of sport.

Congratulations to U.S. Figure Skating’s Senior Director, Athlete Development Kelly (Hodge) Vogtner and her husband, Mark Vogtner, on the birth of their son, Michael Kenneth Vogtner on April 7th in Colorado Springs, CO.

Honor Roll Corrections Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectionals Pre-juvenile Shining Blades

3 Brian Thayer

If your name is missing from the Honor Roll, please notify us and we would be pleased to publish your name in the next issue. Please specify the competition, event, your skater’s name and placement. If we have inadvertently missed anyone we apologize for the omission.






JUNE Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

June 9-10 Area 9 Lutheran Health Sports Center, 3869 Ice Way, Ft. Wayne, IN 46805 2012 National Pairs Camp 10:00am to 7:00pm & 9:00am to 4:00pm Nancy Ruedebusch 260-797-3507 or or Alena Lunin 260-387-6614 ext. 108 May 15, 2012

Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

June 17 Area 6 Mt. Vernon Rec Center, 2017 Belleview Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22307 Virginia State Workshop 8:30am to 4:00pm Shirley Hughes 301-529-6493 cell or June 4, 2012

J U LY Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

July 7 Area 6 Pond Ice Arena, 101 John F. Campbell Dr, Newark, DE 19711 International Dance Test Judging Seminar 9:30am to 3:30pm Suzy Semanick-Schurman 302-530-8150 or or Anne White June 23, 2012

Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadlines:

July 25 Area 6 University of Delaware, Newark, DE Zone 1: Oral Rating site at Elite Synchro Coaches College PSA Office at or 507-281-5122 Oral Rating Exams: May 29, 2012

AUGUST Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

August 13-14 Area 9 Cleveland Skating Club, Cleveland, OH Rating Zone 2: Oral Rating Site PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at Oral Rating Exams June 11, 2012

Date: August 15-16 Area 9 Location: Cleveland Skating Club, Cleveland, OH Event: PACE/OH Contact: PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at Deadline: July 16, 2012 Date: Location: Event: Contact:

August 18 Area 13 Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87505 New Mexico State Workshop 2:00 to 6:30pm Mandy Edwards 505-463-6438

SEPTEMBER Date: Location: Event: Contact:


September 8 Area 14 Olympicview Arena, Seattle, WA PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Patti Brinkley PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at


Date: Location: Event: Contact:

September 9 Area 3 Skylands Ice World, Stockholm, NJ PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Tim Covington PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at

Date: Location: Event: Contact:

September 9 Area 13 South Suburban, Denver, CO PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Gerry Lane PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at

Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

September 15 Area 11 The Skatium, Skokie, IL Rating Zone 4: Oral Rating Site PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Oral Rating Exams July 16, 2012

Date: Location: Event: Contact: Deadline:

September 16 Area 11 The Skatium, Skokie, IL Entry Level Coaching Course (ELCC) 8:00am to 5:00pm PSA Office at 507-281-5122 or Register online at August 27, 2012

Date: Location: Event: Contact:

September 22 Area 9 Detroit Skating Club, Detroit, MI PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Jerod Swallow PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at

Date: Location: Event: Contact:

September 30 Area 10 Eden Prairie Community Center, Eden Prairie, MN PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Beth Nilsson PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at

Date: Location: Event: Contact:

September 30 Area 11 Northbrook Sport Center, Northbrook, IL PSA Nationwide Seminar 8:00am to 5:00pm Host: Heather Aseltine PSA Office 507-281-5122 or Register online at

Register online at

Please vis www.ska it tep for the co mpl Calendar ete of Events


5 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year. MK. You’ve earned them.

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July/August PS Magazine  

This issue of PS Magazine relays the U.S. Figure Skating Rule Changes from May 2012, includes a recap of the 2012 PSA Conference in Boston,...