Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can I purchase a Team USA warm-up?
A: Only Team USA skaters, coaches and officials who are selected by the U.S. Figure Skating International Committee, U.S. Figure Skating International Management Subcommittee and/or the International Skating Union (ISU) to represent the United States at ISU events, including spring internationals, Junior Grand Prix, Senior Grand Prix, Senior B internationals and ISU championships, are eligible to receive or purchase the official Team USA warm up. For non-official warm ups and U.S. Figure Skating apparel, visit the U.S. Figure Skating Online Store.

Q: I want to compete internationally, but I'm not a member of Team USA. What should I do?
A: Any member is welcome to participate in a nonqualifying competition outside of North America provided he or she adheres to the following policy:
  • Skaters and coaches who are not part of Team USA or the Developmental International Team are not representatives of the United States and must represent their home club
  • Skaters cannot compete in any event, even representing their home club, that is on the ISU calendar (www.isu.org)
  • Skaters cannot compete in any event in Europe, even representing their home club, that is being used as a Team USA or Developmental International Team event (international assignments and results, developmental international assignments)
  • Skaters are allowed to compete in any nonqualifying competitions in Canada or Mexico regardless of whether the competitions are being used as Developmental International events, but skaters who are not part of the Developmental International Team will have to do so representing their home club
  • Skaters and coaches should notify the chair of the International Committee of their intent to compete in a nonqualifying foreign competition before making arrangements to ensure that the event is not being utilized as a Developmental International or Team USA event, and to allow U.S. Figure Skating to track all U.S. Figure Skating members who compete in a foreign country
  • Coaches who have skaters participating in a nonqualifying foreign competition may not use the competition toward increasing their PSA ranking and are not allowed to call themselves "international" or "World coach"
  • Skaters and coaches who choose to participate in nonqualifying foreign competitions do so knowing that:
    • The event will be treated as any other nonqualifying competition
    • They will be 100 percent responsible for all arrangements, expenses and requirements associated with the competition, including meeting deadlines, finding hotel rooms, etc.
    • U.S. Figure Skating will not be able to provide assistance or support for skaters attending nonqualifying foreign competitions (financial or otherwise)
    • Skaters attending nonqualifying foreign competitions will not be eligible to purchase or receive a Team USA warm up, team pin or Developmental International jacket
    • Skaters attending nonqualifying foreign competitions may not use the phrase "Team USA" on any apparel or publications
Q: If I am a coach, can I still compete as an eligible skater?
A: Yes, under ER 1.02C of the U.S. Figure Skating Rulebook, "a paid instructor in skating and related activities ... may participate [as an eligible skater] with all the privileges under the provision of these Eligibility Rules."

Q: Can I coach a synchronized skating team and also skate as a member of that team?
A: Yes, a synchronized coach is treated as any other coach in figure skating; thus, coaching a synchronized skating team does not threaten your eligibility.

Q. Can a sponsor receive a tax benefit from supporting an athlete(s)?
A. It depends on whether this is a business or a personal sponsor. If the sponsor is a private person wanting to assist the athlete with his or her expenses, the answer is no. If the sponsor is a business wanting to sponsor the athlete, the answer is yes. Tell the potential sponsor to talk to its accountants to find out the best way for it to handle the sponsorship. One option for a business to get tax benefits from a sponsorship is to use the athlete as an advertisement, since advertising can be a tax write-off for a business. Examples of how to do this are having the athlete carry a duffel bag with the business logo on it, or the athlete can wear a warm-up suit with the logo on it. These are just ideas; the best suggestion is to have the business check with its accountants regarding the specific laws and regulations.

Q. Can the sponsor donate to the Memorial Fund and earmark it for a specific athlete to receive the tax benefits from the Memorial Fund's nonprofit status?
A. No, you cannot donate to a nonprofit organization and earmark it for a specific person. The business can donate to the Memorial Fund, but the money will be put into a general account and distributed to many U.S. Figure Skating athletes. The same applies when donating to a club with nonprofit status; you can donate to the club but not to a specific athlete. The money will go into the club's general account and be allocated according to the requests of the club's Board of Directors.

Q. How does the athlete accept the sponsor's money?
A. The athlete may have a "skating account" that the sponsor can write checks to, or it can simply make the check payable to the athlete. This is a decision for the athlete and sponsor.

Q. After a sponsor has been found, when should an athlete worry about retaining his/her eligibility?
A. If the sponsor asks the athlete to participate in an event that is not sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, the athlete can still accept the sponsorship but must first complete a form called the Eligible Skater's Compensation Agreement (ESCA). Once this is completed, submitted and approved by the executive director, the athlete's eligibility will be protected. The chart below can help determine when an