Athlete Centered Skating

A quick note on competitions

At Athlete Centered Skating we view competition as an important developmental tool.  As much as we love to see our skaters take home medals and have competitive success, we first and foremost emphasize the more important aspects of competition.  Competition offers skaters a great opportunity to set goals, plan for deadlines, train for an event, and get important feedback from judges about their progress.  We then guide skaters on how to use that feedback to inform their training plans moving forward. We promote mastery oriented (also called task oriented) goals first, which emphasize personal improvements (over ego-involved goals which emphasize competitive placements and beating others).  Research shows that athletes driven by mastery goals work harder, persist longer, and remain more positive in their training.

Please look over the following information about the events we participate in each year.  If you have any questions about them, please ask us and look out for future blogs discussing in more detail the purpose of competition, and the role it plays in your skater’s development.  You will notice the majority of competitions take place in the summer months. Competitive skaters generally need 5-7 weeks minimum to prepare their programs for a competition (recreational skaters should have 3-4 weeks) so this makes planning vacations tricky.  Look for more competition blogs to cover these topics in greater detail.

Skating Club of Boston Basic Skills Competition

First weekend of February

This one-day event is a great introduction to competition. Hosted at the historic Skating Club of Boston, the purpose of the competition is to promote a fun, introductory competitive experience for the beginner skater. It is worth noting that through the help of many volunteers and the leadership of SCOB staff coach Linda Blount this event is consistently one of the most organized events of the year.  The basic skills competition offers a wide variety of levels and events to suit any beginning skater’s needs.

Colonial Open (NQS event)

June (1st week)

Colonial Open is an early International Judging System (IJS) event hosted by Colonial Figure Skating Club in Acton/Boxborough Massachusetts.  This is an ideal event for Preliminary-and-up skaters and usually acts as the first competition for skaters who are planning on competing at regionals that year. It is now an NQS event.

Colonial Open often offers critiques from judges following each event. Getting a critique from judges and technical specialists early in the season allows skaters and coaches to develop a plan for the rest of year.  At Athlete Centered Skating we emphasize learning how to take feedback and apply it to your training plan in a positive way.

Located less than an hour from the Skating Club, this is a highly recommended event to kick off the season. We also suggest checking out “Oscars” for a delicious Burrito next door to the rink when you are all done competing!

Lake Placid Championships (NQS event)

June (last week)

This is now a qualifying series competition and we support this as a major event.

Ocean State Open

Last weekend July

Ocean State competition is hosted by Smithfield Figure Skating club and is held in a one rink Facility. Practice ice is more limited and typically in the early morning.  Last year all events were held on the same day, meaning that intermediate and up competed the short and long programs on the same day. This is a great low-key option for the regional level skater looking to get extra competition experience.

Cranberry Open (NQS event)

August (1st or 2nd week)

Cranberry open is one of the most well attended events in New England and the Eastern Section.  A 3-4 day event, it is Hosted by Yarmouth Figure Skating Club at the HYCC in Hyannis, MA.

This is a must attend event for regionally competitive skaters – especially given that it is now a qualifying series competition as of 2019.  Valuable critiques are offered by top level judges and technical specialists.  We strongly recommend this event for skaters to receive feedback in preparation for regionals.  Located right in Cape Cod this is a wonderful travel competition to enjoy some summer fun once the events are over!  We do strongly recommend skaters stay out of pools and the sun in the days leading up to their event and save the fun for after.

Providence Open

Sep (1st week)

We recommend Providence Open for the skater who needs to gain experience competing and would benefit from doing an event in between Cranberry Open and Boston Open.  Some skaters benefit from having that large training time between events to hone skills and develop new ones. Other skaters need to develop the skill of competing (look out for future blogs on the purpose of competing). If you are looking for a little extra competition experience before regionals, Providence Open is a good. This is an easy drive from Boston and a great event!  As of 2019, the Providence Open is a qualifying series competition!

Boston Open

September  (3rd week)

Hosted by the Skating Club of Boston, the Boston Open is usually the last competition we recommend before regionals for skaters competing in qualifying events.  Boston Open offers critiques following events and is an ideal way to work out final details before the qualifying season begins.

New England Regional Championships

Second Week of October

New England regional is the first of 3 qualifying competitions. Skaters must be Juvenile or above to compete in Regionals.

For most skaters, this is the peak of their season. For some skaters, this is an opportunity to qualify for sectionals.  In order to earn a spot at sectionals a skater must place top 4 within their respective level. For some levels that contain many skaters like Juvenile girls, skaters must compete in a qualifying round and get placed into a second round of competition before having the chance to qualify for sectionals.  The location for this event changes every year but will always be hosted by a club that is within the New England region. Skaters competing at regionals are very committed and typically train multiple hours per day at least five days a week.

Eastern Sectional Championship


Skaters who place top 4 at Regionals, or in rare cases receive a bye, compete at sectionals. This competition is a qualifier to get to Nationals.  Skaters must place top 4 at sectionals to earn one of 12 spots to Nationals. The location of this competition varies year by year but must always be hosted by a club in the Eastern section.

US National Championship


For the lucky few skaters who qualify out of sectionals, Nationals is the peak of the season.  Skaters compete for a national medal in their respective divisions, and in the Senior division for a spot on the world team.  This event is a week-long and always a very exciting event. Locations for this event vary, but it is always held in a full-size arena.  To compete at this event is a goal many skaters work very hard to achieve one day. Even at this level skaters must be encouraged to focus on personal goals, learning, and gaining experience for the future. Although skaters are clearly competing for a top placement, that cannot be achieved without first achieving your own personal goals.