All it Takes is a Pair of Skates!
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SKATE CANADA PROGRAMS: SYNCHROSKATE
Synchronized skating, or “synchro” is a specialized discipline of skating involving groups of eight or more skaters performing various group formations and maneuvers. The objective is for the team to perform as one unit executing circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections in unison to the music, while demonstrating quality edges, power and flow. Skate Canada’s SynchroSkate program includes a number of Synchronized Skating categories which accommodate skaters at any age and skill level.
Synchronized skating has grown in popularity around the world and Canada is considered a world-leader in this discipline. In 2000 the first ever World Synchronized Skating Championships were hosted in the United States. Canada’s black ice captured a silver medal at the inaugural event. In 2003, Skate Canada was proud to host the World Synchronized Skating Championships in Ottawa, Ontario. Then in 2009, Nexxice brought home Canada’s first gold medal in the discipline of Synchronized Skating from the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
In Canada there is one event stream of Synchronized Skating and teams may register for the season in the following levels:
As part of the process of aligning the synchronized skating discipline with Skate Canada’s new LTD all categories and ages have undergone a review. Based on the review and recommendations from the Technical Coordinating Committee, Program Development Committee and the Sport Committees’ Synchro Working Group, the following are the categories and age requirements for the 2022-2023 season:
Age & Assessment Requirements
STAR 3 Elements
No Age Requirements All skaters must have successfully completed STAR 1 Skills (2023-2024 Implementation)
STAR 4 Program
No Age Requirements. May group by age if numbers warrant as follows: At least 75% of skaters must not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition. (U12) AND At least 75% of skaters must have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition. (12+)
All skaters must have successfully completed STAR 1 Skills (2023-2024 Implementation)
Juvenile (STAR 6)
Skaters must not have reached the age of 15 and at least 75% of the skaters must not have reached the age of 13 before July 1 preceding the competition
Pre-Novice (STAR 8)
Skaters must not have reached the age of 18 before July 1 preceding the competition
Skaters must not have reached the age of 19 before July 1 preceding the competition
Skaters must have reached the age of 15 before July 1 preceding the competition
Skaters must not have reached the age of 16 before July 1 preceding the competition
Must meet ISU Junior age criteria (skaters must have reached the age of 13 but must not have reached the age of 19 before July 1 preceding the competition).
Skaters must have reached at least the age of 15 as of July 1 preceding the competition
Skaters must have reached the age of 18 before July 1 preceding the competition.
Skaters must have reached the age of 18 before July 1 preceding the competition and at least 75% of the skaters must have reached the age of 25 before July 1 preceding the competition
Skaters must have reached the age of 18 before July 1 preceding the competition and at least 75% of the skaters must have reached the age of 35 before July 1 preceding the competition
Additional Information on Changes:
STAR 3 & 4
STAR 3 and 4 Synchronized Skating categories are being introduced for the 2022-2023 season. These categories replace Beginner and Elementary. They were developed based on the STAR synchronized skating assessment structure launched in 2020. Together with the assessments these categories aim to support the entry to the Learn to Train stage of development in the Skate Canada Long Term Development (LTD) Framework by focusing on synchronized skating fundamentals.
STAR 3 is an elements event that is assessed to standard for teams of 6 to 12 skaters. STAR 4 is a program that is assessed to standard with ranking for teams of 8 to 16 skaters. Both categories do not have age restrictions, however clubs may choose to group skaters of similar age together if they have more than one team. In STAR 4, if numbers warrant the Section may choose to divide the event into two age groupings:
U12: At least 75% of skaters must not have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
Over 12: At least 75% of skaters must have reached the age of 12 as of July 1st preceding the competition.
Starting in the 2023-2024 season, to compete in either STAR 3 or STAR 4 synchronized skating all skaters must have completed their STAR 1 Skills assessment. This requirement has been added to ensure a focus on individual fundamental skating skills prior to starting elements in hold. This aligns with other disciplines that have an assessment entry requirement.
Skaters at the STAR 1-5 level must be introduced to all disciplines.
The Pre-Juvenile Synchronized Skating category has been removed. It was determined that STAR 4 develops the same program requirements. Skaters at this stage should be focusing on the development of foundational skating skills in conjunction with an introduction to synchronized skating elements. This aligns with changes in other disciplines, including the removal of the Pre-Juvenile Pairs category and the Pre-Juvenile Free Dance.
Naming of Categories
As part of the alignment of synchronized skating to the LTD, several categories will start to include their respective STAR level in brackets
These categories and ages will be updated in the Skate Canada Rules for the start of the new season (July 1st). Program Requirements are currently under review and will be communicated as soon as they are approved.
REGIONAL SYNCHRONIZED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Regional Synchronized Skating Championships are held annually in five regions across the country. Each Region is made up of Sections specific to their geographical location. The Mountain Region includes British Columbia/Yukon and Alberta/NWT/Nunavut Sections. The PrairieRegion consists of the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Sections. The Ontario Region is made up of the Northern Ontario, Western Ontario, Central Ontario and Eastern Ontario Sections. The Quebec Region is comprised of the Quebec Section and the Atlantic Region includes the New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador Sections. There is no qualification process to enter the Regional Synchronized Skating events, however, a qualification round may be held if the number of entries warrants it. Regional events are held in late January to early February of each year.
The Regional events provide a developmental and competitive experience for synchronized skating teams at all levels. The final result in each Region shall determine the teams eligible to enter the equivalent National qualifying competition at the Novice, Intermediate, Open, Junior and Senior levels.
Each Region is eligible to enter one team into each category at the Championship event. For every 15,000 registered associate members in the Sections included in the Region, an additional team may be entered into each category at the Championship event. The number of sustaining members shall be determined by the membership year September 1 to August 31 of the year preceding the qualifying event. Also, teams placing in the top five at the Synchronized National event will grant their Region an additional entry (or entries) into the respective Canadian qualifying round the following year.
SKATE CANADA SYNCHRONIZED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Teams at the Novice, Intermediate, Open, Junior and Senior levels compete annually at the Skate Canada Synchronized Skating Championships. National Champions for this discipline of skater are declared at these Championships for all levels involved.
It is at these Championships that Senior teams are selected to represent Canada at the World Synchronized Skating Championships and various other international events. Also, following this national event, the Synchronized Skating National Team is selected.
The Junior teams for World Challenge Cup are selected earlier in the season at Winterfest, hosted by the Central Ontario Section. Also, following this event, the Junior National team is selected.
ADULT SYNCHRONIZED SKATING
Skate Canada’s SynchroSkate program offers adult skaters the opportunity to participate in the discipline as well. With three adult categories, skaters of all skill levels and experience may join a team and compete at various club, interclub, invitational and regional competitions.
Since the discipline of Synchronized Skating is included in the Skate Canada Adult Figure Skating Championships, adult teams also have the opportunity to compete at the national level at this invitational event.