The Board of Directors welcomes new and returning skaters and parents to the Martha’s Vineyard Figure Skating Club (MVFSC). The figure skating club was created in the mid-1980s by a group of parents that volunteered their time, energy and love for figure skating. This handbook is to help guide and answer questions as they arise.
Members of the MVFSC are striving for individual and common goals including: mastering basic skills, sportsmanship, individual expression, personal challenge and team spirit.
This participation, cooperation, self-expression and personal challenge will be both individual and combined within a group of ones skating peers. You will see that our skaters will develop skills physically, mentally and emotionally that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
For more information please contact our skating professionals, a representative of the Board of Directors or a member of the MVFSC.
Annual membership in the MVFSC also includes membership to US Figure Skating and one subscription to “Skating Magazine” per family. The MVFSC has a fee, which is printed on the application form each year. Members are welcome to join at any time, but must be enrolled by either November 1st in order to participate Holiday Exhibition or January 1st for the annual show.
This year you will have contracted days. Ice will be semi-monitored, but please use the honor system for your contracted days and time allotted.
Ice is payable in quarterly payments: registration, November 11th, January 13th and March 17th. Other payment plans may be worked out directly with the MVFSC Treasurer.
Are contacted and paid directly to your professional. The cost of instruction and any other details should be worked out between the professional, the skater and the parents. Individual lessons can be very important to the skater’s progress. Instruction is necessary for any skater whom wishes to compete in competition or pass any of the US Figure Skating tests.
Communication is a key part of your skater’s success and enjoyment. It is the responsibility of the skater and parents to be in contact with the professionals to voice any concerns or expectations.
Skating clothes should be warm, comfortable and allow for flexibility of movement. Gloves, mittens and a hat are suggested. Thin socks or tights are also recommended as they allow for proper fit of the skates. The use of layering, under-amour, turtlenecks, t-shirts, multiple pairs of tights, legwarmers, sweatshirts etc…. gives the most warmth.
Look for a skate that gives support to the heel and ankle. A leather skate is preferred, however, there are other skates on the market that serves the needs of the beginner quite well. Once the skater has progressed beyond the beginner stage, you will find that a better quality of boot will be a great advantage. Your instructor will be able to give advice as to what skate would be most appropriate for the skater’s level and various places to purchase them.
Proper fit is the key. The skate should fit snuggly with a thin sock. Skates generally, fit one size smaller than your shoe size, but this can vary and a reason to get a professional fit at a skate shop. Talk to you professional, other parents and/or skaters for recommendation.
Care for skates
When skates blades are properly sharpened, there are three edges running along the length of the blade- the outside edge, inside edge and the flat. It is important to maintain these edges in order to be able to skate. ALWAYS WEAR THE HARD GUARDS WHEN OFF THE ICE!!
After skating, remove the hard guards and dry the blades and bottom of skates thoroughly. You may purchase terri-cloth blade covers to protect the blades in storage. NEVER leave hard guards on dried blades because moisture trapped in the guards will cause rust. Always allow your skates to air dry by taking them out of your bag when not using them.
Hat, Kleenex, leg warmers, tights, sweatshirt, skate towel (for drying blades), extra mittens/gloves, blade covers (hard and soft), bunga pads, music, Band-Aids, hairbrush and hair elastics are all things found in a typically skate bag.
Exhibitions, Shows & Costume Fees
Exhibitions offer an opportunity for skaters to skate one routine of their choice. Members who wish to participate should discuss their plans with their professional. Exhibition fees are nominal and cover the cost of ice.
An ice show is a directed performance. Members who wish to participate will be assigned skating parts including solos, features, featurettes and group routines. Criteria for solos, features and featurettes will be established and posted annually by the Board of Directors. Participation in the annual show constitutes a major time commitment for on and off rehearsals, etc… Parents are encouraged to participate in obtaining ads, ticket sales, helping back stage, etc…
Show fees are assessed at registration. Show fees pay a small portion of the extra ice needed for rehearsals, costumes, guest skater and the show. Fundraising pays for the remaining balance.
The MVFSC encourages respect, consideration and cooperation.
Please be aware of…
What is happening around you at all times. There may be as many as 20 skaters on the ice at one time at all different levels.
When a skater’s music is playing, they have the right of way. Please use good judgment and courtesy.
A skater in a lesson has the second right of way.
Ice time should be used to learn and master the art of figure skating. Boisterous and disruptive behavior is forbidden.
When the Zamboni door opens, you must leave the ice. The last one off the ice must close the entrance door.
Hazing: includes any conduct that is intimidating, humiliating offensive or physically harmful that is typically an activity that serves as a condition for joining a group of being socially accepted by a group’s members. Hazing will not be tolerated. For additional information, please read the US Figure Skating Safe Sport Handbook.
Bulletin Board & Website
It is imperative that members check the bulletin board for information, especially changes. As a member of the MVFSC you are entitled to use the bulletin board for skating related matters. The club’s website is www.mvfsc.org and is updated frequently with the latest on fundraisers, show information, etc… The arena’s website is www.mvarena.com and can be checked for schedule changes as well.
The MVFSC is a non-profit organization. The membership fees and ice payments do not come close to meeting the expenses. As a member of the MVFSC, you are encouraged to participate in the fundraising activities throughout the year. Please say “yes” when you receive that phone call or email. If everyone pitches in and helps, it lightens the load and it can be a lot of fun!!! If you have ideas for future money making endeavors please let one of the Board of Directors know.
The official tests of US Figure Skating may be taken by all figure skaters that are currently registered with the US Figure Skating and are otherwise eligible under their rules. It is suggested you read the chapter on “test rules” in the US Figure Skating handbook. It also details the moves necessary to pass each of the tests. This can be located at www.usfigureskating.org, under technical info/rulebook.
You should speak to your professional if you are interested in testing or learning more about it. You will need to discuss with your professional if you want to test or if you are ready to test. You will receive an application from your professional and will discuss with you what you need to do. You need to pay attention to the deadline date on the entry form. Your test level has a direct bearing on what level you will be competing in if you decide to enter competitions.
When you take part in a test session, it is customary for the host club to ask all testers to contribute to the supply of food for the judges. There is also a fee assessed by the host club (and US Figure Skating) for testing, which can vary and are detailed on the application.
During the test, you should feel free to ask the judge(s) if you are unsure of something they have asked you to do. You may also ask them questions after your test and they will review your marks with you. Testing is a formal way of measuring your skating progress and you will receive a certificate of recognition for each test you pass. Your club and name are also listed in “Skating “ (several months) magazine after you have passed your test. Emblem pins may be purchased on the US Figure Skating’s website by the test chair of MVFSC.
Skaters from the club may compete in US Figure Skating sanctioned competitions and represent the MVFSC, provided they are members of good standing (current US Figure Skating membership and all debts to the club are paid). There are many different kinds of competitions: basic skills, inter-club, test track, IJS, opens, regionals, sectionals and nationals. Each competition has its own set of requirements so it is very important to carefully read the informational sheets that come with the entry forms.
Speak to your professional if you have any questions or wish to compete in a particular competition. Discuss what event you want to enter as soon as possible with your professional. They may need to get new music, make choreograph changes or may even advise that you don’t enter certain competitions or events. Not all skaters like to compete and this should be discuss between the professional, parent and skater.
Each application form is slightly different so read them carefully. They contain much information. Entry fees are charged by the host club and are paid for by the skater. Pay particular attention to the deadline date. It is suggested that you get applications in the mail (or some are by email now) at the first available date, so you won’t have to pay a late fee.
Competition dresses will depend on what event(s) you are entering. Compulsory moves and Moves in the Field attire generally will be the plainest. Freestyle dresses can be simple or ornate. The skater’s level, music, type of competition and budget restraints all need to be considered. Your professional will be able to guide you in this. Skating dresses take time to get; so don’t wait for the last minute to ask about them. Costumes are only judged in Showcase events and your professional will have more input on this costume than other types. Don’t overlook the little things: hair accessories, earrings (should be small and not overpowering), clean, polished skates, warm-up sweater or club jacket, are all nice touches. All parts of your dress/costume must be secure- no loose feathers or sequins.
You will usually receive your skating time(s) about two weeks prior to the competition via email or looking on the host’s website. Allow extra travel time for getting lost, poor weather, car problems and/or heavy traffic. You should speak to your professional or other club members as to what to expect at competitions. The US Figure Skating rulebook is a good source of competition information as is “Skating Magazine”. However, no two competitions are the same and each one is a unique learning experience. Be friendly and enjoy the experience.
A special note to parents: About an hour before your skate is to compete leave your skater with their professional. Join the general audience, maintain your composure and be ready to greet your skater with a smile and a hug after their performance.