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  1. #21

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    Skating never has enough volunteers and the clubs always appreciate those who do offer their services. Just ask.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  2. #22
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    Sometimes the club organizers are so organized that they don't "need" new volunteers for anything more than a runner, or they might be so disorganized that the "it's easier to do it myself" mentality sets in and they don't coordinate/use volunteers well.

    Don't take "no thanks" as a rejection, especially if you're offering to help at the last minute. Starting out with helping to break down and put away after an event is the single most welcome volunteer job. The organizers have been there since the start of the event and they're tired, perhaps even cranky. Many people will volunteer to setup, but they want to leave after their kid skates.

    A good way to get your foot in the door is to take care of hospitality clean up, put away the awards stands, break down any temporary structures to be stored, clear out the locker rooms, and take down the results/signs before the competition starts. I used to bring my own dishpan and dishwashing supplies to our old club's competitions and clean out the crockpots and serving dishes in the rink's slop sink. Dirty work, but someone's gotta do it, right?

    Organizing the volunteer list is a chore in itself, one that is often left until the last minute because no one wants to hear "No, sorry." If you are organized, have a tough skin and a winning personality, that's a perfect volunteer position.


    For major events, I don't think the LOC takes a chance on unknown volunteers by giving them the tasks that involve dealing with skaters, parents, coaches, judges or the media. Unless they know the person is level-headed and even-tempered, they wouldn't throw a new volunteer into a visible role. Without an audition/prior experience, they wouldn't assign them as announcers. There are other, less-visible, roles they would assign.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 07-19-2010 at 03:18 PM.

  3. #23

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    I do several "skating jobs", one is paid, the others are not:

    *Videography: I work for one of the videographers at local USFSA and ISI competitions, doing sound and editing chores. This the one that is paid, by the hour, including setup, teardown, etc. Long days and weekends..but the money helps pay for my skater (Senior skaters are expensive!!!)

    *Music Coordinator: I have a Music appointment with USFSA, so I perform this duty at several competitions each year, including regionals, sectionals, and have "interned" at one Nationals

    *Announcer: I also have an Announcer appointment with USFSA..same as above.

    *Club Board of Directors: I have been on our skating club's board for 10 years, helping guide our programs, etc. I also served a term as President.

    *Competition Chair: I have organized many competitions, from JGP to local club one-day. This one is lot's of work and of course is volunteer...lots of late nights and lunch hours doing work months before the competition

    *Test Chair: I did this for nearly 10 years, it's probably the most rewarding because I have watched some skaters (National, World and Olympic competitors today) who tested as early as 6 years old...it's really something to know that you have watched this kid since they started...pretty cool stuff.

    *All around competition volunteer: What ever needs to get done, run copies, take money, guard the door, run judges sheets, help clean up hospitality, what ever needs to be done.

    An earlier post is correct, you don't do these jobs for the money, because there isn't any...you do it to help a good sport, watch the kids, meet some great folks (the other volunteers are just as crazy as you are) and make some good friends.
    Happy Skating!

    Crzesk8dad

  4. #24
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    I created my own job with the podcasts I do. I saw a void that needed to be filled and filled it. I don't get paid for it (yet, anyway) but I love it and get to talk with my heros every month.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by crzesk8dad View Post
    I do several "skating jobs", one is paid, the others are not:

    *Videography: I work for one of the videographers at local USFSA and ISI competitions, doing sound and editing chores. This the one that is paid, by the hour, including setup, teardown, etc. Long days and weekends..but the money helps pay for my skater (Senior skaters are expensive!!!)
    Just to be clear, when you work for the videographer, you're being paid BY the Videographer, not by the competition organizers.

    Way back in the Dark Ages, when Campbell's Soup sponsored USFSA, I got drafted for a gig handing out little cups of tomato soup during Skate America. That was fun, although I got pretty sick of the smell of tomato soup by the end of the deal. I got "paid" with a bunch of coupons and the left-over cans that didn't get opened. I was pretty happy with that, since I didn't expect anything. Then I found out later that Campbell's had actually hired a person to do the job, who hadn't shown up. So they got off cheap by replacing a paid person with a volunteer.
    Last edited by zaphyre14; 07-19-2010 at 08:07 PM.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Yes, that's what we do at our club's competitions also.

    At the international level they [members of the technical panel] may get paid, though.
    I have a strong suspicion that this is correct. Some years ago I stumbled upon something in an ISU document about modest end-of-season payments to judges. Perhaps $1000 or $2000 for those who had judged at two ISU championships, or something along those lines. I don't remember whether this was before or after IJS was introduced, though.

    I can't find any documentation on the ISU web site concerning payments from the ISU to officials such as members of the technical panel. There is a reference to "Circular Letter No. 542"--or maybe it was "Technical Circular No. 542"--with respect to payments for judges and other officials in one of the Communications I skimmed through, but I couldn't find that document online.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    Just to be clear, when you work for the videographer, you're being paid BY the Videographer, not by the competition organizers.
    You are correct, Sir or Madam! However, with no skating, there would be no job! I believe the thread was "Figure skating related jobs", was it not?
    Happy Skating!

    Crzesk8dad

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by crzesk8dad View Post
    You are correct, Sir or Madam! However, with no skating, there would be no job! I believe the thread was "Figure skating related jobs", was it not?
    No need to get snippy. Of course it's a job related to figure skating. I just wanted to be sure that everyone knew where the money was coming from, since there seems to be some misconception about competition job payments. No insult was intended.

    (Although actually, the videographers I know are not skating-only; they do multiple sports, weddings, theatrical productions, etc. So technically for them, without skating, they would still have jobs.)
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Skating never has enough volunteers and the clubs always appreciate those who do offer their services. Just ask.
    Well.....

    SOME CLUBS

    A club near where I used to live pretty much told me that "if you aren't a parent and part of our inner circle you aren't welcome" (They had screwed up thier finances and I volunteered to redo the books. They said NO so I wound up doing it anyway with the poor mother who took the job and had not a clue what she was doing. There was no "theft" just "bookeeping in a box" From what the parents I knew told me that was the way the "inner circle" wanted it. Only thier "friends" could help! Plus that allowed them to play the "poor little me" syndrome to everyone when they talked about "how hard we work and no one will help us" LOL!)

    However, I am in Davenport Iowa today on business and while looking for a park to go run in I found a posting for a figure skating coach if anyone is looking

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    Well.....
    However, I am in Davenport Iowa today on business and while looking for a park to go run in I found a posting for a figure skating coach if anyone is looking
    I know about that! If anybody really IS interested, you should probably PM me.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    A club near where I used to live pretty much told me that "if you aren't a parent and part of our inner circle you aren't welcome" (They had screwed up thier finances and I volunteered to redo the books. They said NO so I wound up doing it anyway with the poor mother who took the job and had not a clue what she was doing. There was no "theft" just "bookeeping in a box" From what the parents I knew told me that was the way the "inner circle" wanted it. Only thier "friends" could help! Plus that allowed them to play the "poor little me" syndrome to everyone when they talked about "how hard we work and no one will help us" LOL!)
    That attitude is unfortunate. However, as Isk8NYC noted, if a club doesn't know you, they're not going to give you a sensitive role right off the bat. I could see even the most open-to-volunteers club being hesitant to let someone they don't know handle their financial records.

    Most clubs are very open to volunteers but you need to start out slowly - and that's true regardless of whether you skate (or have kids who skate) or not. And if you think about it, that's the case with any org - you're not going to be the chair of something your first day, lol. My club's VP (and test chair) has never skated and does not have kids who skate. Her involvement with the club predates mine, but I suspect she got involved via music coordinating/announcing, which is a certification done through the USFSA (just like becoming a judge). She does the music (and some announcing) for our annual comp, and at some point got on the board - she is extremely dedicated has the respect of everyone and no one cares if she's ever skated.

    If you are interested in being involved with comps, you may want to consider becoming a music coordinator or accountant. The training and certification process is similar to that of judges, although I believe it takes less time to reach the nat'l level, depending on how much time you are willing to put into it. Even if you don't think you can reach that point, there is plenty of need and activity at the local and regional levels.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    That attitude is unfortunate. However, as Isk8NYC noted, if a club doesn't know you, they're not going to give you a sensitive role right off the bat. I could see even the most open-to-volunteers club being hesitant to let someone they don't know handle their financial records.

    Most clubs are very open to volunteers but you need to start out slowly - and that's true regardless of whether you skate (or have kids who skate) or not. And if you think about it, that's the case with any org - you're not going to be the chair of something your first day, lol. My club's VP (and test chair) has never skated and does not have kids who skate. Her involvement with the club predates mine, but I suspect she got involved via music coordinating/announcing, which is a certification done through the USFSA (just like becoming a judge). She does the music (and some announcing) for our annual comp, and at some point got on the board - she is extremely dedicated has the respect of everyone and no one cares if she's ever skated.

    If you are interested in being involved with comps, you may want to consider becoming a music coordinator or accountant. The training and certification process is similar to that of judges, although I believe it takes less time to reach the nat'l level, depending on how much time you are willing to put into it. Even if you don't think you can reach that point, there is plenty of need and activity at the local and regional levels.

    Let me point out that this club would not let "strangers" do ANYTHING LOL! Seriously, they told a woman who was taking lessons with me that "we can't allow people we don't know to take up tickets for our 'show" (No money was involved, I guess they figured she would let in hordes of "freeloaders" LOL!) And I didn't ASK to do thier finanicals, some of the parents came to me because I am an accountant and I said "I would be glad to try to construct a finanical statement for you". I will be honest the "response" made me very curious and so when I helped my friend I looked for signs of "theft" etc.. didn't see any or any real concerns besides sloppy records.

    There has been signficant turnover there from what I understand and I will never ever place the locations (and some of you who know where I used to live, it's not there. It was well before Nationals in Nashville )

    Honestly, with my other committments while I enjoy skating it's not a top priority for volunteering.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    No need to get snippy. Of course it's a job related to figure skating. I just wanted to be sure that everyone knew where the money was coming from, since there seems to be some misconception about competition job payments. No insult was intended.

    (Although actually, the videographers I know are not skating-only; they do multiple sports, weddings, theatrical productions, etc. So technically for them, without skating, they would still have jobs.)
    I appreciate your clarification and while I was a bit put off, I truly appreciate it. I stand corrected!

    BTW-the videographer that I work with only does Figure Skating..between ISI, USFSA comps, Spring shows, Christmas shows, we work 43 of 52 weekends per year! I don't personally work all of them, but can have as many as I would like..he has several people on the crew and we work on-call, as able. I probably do around 20-25 of them.
    Happy Skating!

    Crzesk8dad

  14. #34
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    Back to paying the tech panel....my friend easily could have easily been wrong. I inquired about becoming a judge and she said to me: "Don't become a judge! Become a technical specialist, they get paid!" This looks to be disputed, and I really don't think anyone will know for sure unless they ask a technical panel member directly.

  15. #35

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    No, USFS rules spell out clearly who gets what. Tech panel members are officials and don't get paid any differently from the judges, accountants, announcers, ice techs and music officials. Any club treasurer who's written the checks can tell you that.

    They all get reimbursed for travel expenses. Period. In spite as some of the tech people would like think, they're not any different from the rest of the officials.

    And unless you have extensive skating/coaching background, becoming a tech specialist isn't any faster than becoming a judge or an accountant. And, from what I've seen, it's way more stressful.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    And unless you have extensive skating/coaching background, becoming a tech specialist isn't any faster than becoming a judge or an accountant. And, from what I've seen, it's way more stressful.
    Actually, unless the rules have recently changed, you can't become a tech specialist unless you competed at the nat'l level in Novice or above, or coached a skater at Nats at those levels. I don't think you need to have been a skater to do data/video on a tech panel, though.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    Actually, unless the rules have recently changed, you can't become a tech specialist unless you competed at the nat'l level in Novice or above, or coached a skater at Nats at those levels.
    That's necessary for a national tech specialist appointment . . . unless you got promoted from lower level tech specialist appointments or were already a national judge.

    http://www.usfigureskating.org/Shell...=284&sid=30912
    http://www.usfigureskating.org/Conte...ee%20Rules.pdf
    (See TCPR 3.00 and following)

    For the lower levels, you have to have competed or coached or judged at novice/regional level or higher.

    In other words, you can't just walk in off the street, or even from successful intermediate-level competition, and become a non-qual technical specialist and work your way up from there.

    I don't think you need to have been a skater to do data/video on a tech panel, though.
    It's not specified, but you do have to have "the highest" or "a high degree of" technical expertise in the relevant discipline. Computer knowledge is also necessary for an appointment.

    See TPCR 3.04 I: You can just walk in off the street (more or less) and get assigned to run the video replay for a nonqualifying competition with brief training. It definitely helps to be able to recognize standard and not-so-standard approaches to elements so you don't miss the beginning of the element, or in the case of a jump possibly the whole thing, so that's where the high degree of technical knowledge comes in.

  18. #38

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    Oh, OK, thanks for clarifying. I knew there was some sort of skating/coaching requirement.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    See TPCR 3.04 I: You can just walk in off the street (more or less) and get assigned to run the video replay for a nonqualifying competition with brief training. .
    I'd like to see someone "off the street" walk in and try it! Video operator is one of the most popular jobs on the panel. Officials beg, plead and whine for the opportunity to get their butts in that chair now. If some disaster managed to befall the panel to make hunting up a new data operator on the fly, I imagine that the off-duty judges and accountants would be tripping each other to fill the position, not to mention the trial judges, prospective accountants and tech-specialists-in-training.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  20. #40

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    Oh, of course.

    A stranger literally wandering in off the street would not be given that assignment; I was using the term figuratively. What I mean is that if someone who does not have the skating or coaching credentials to get a tech specialist appointment and is not close to getting a competition judging appointment can be asked to run video replay if not enough people with credentials are available and if they have enough knowledge.

    Lots of officials who already have other appointments also get video appointments. And if it's necessary to find someone else for that position who doesn't already have some kind of appointment, the first people asked will be those who are present and who are working toward appointments. But in theory it could go to an experienced but not novice-competitive skater or coach as long as they have no conflicts of interest, or a parent or other non-skating club member who is known to be sufficiently knowledgeable.


    Anyway, in more general terms I'm wondering what the original poster's interest was in starting this thread.

    Looking for ways that low-level skaters or nonskaters can make a living attending high-level skating competitions? Better have some other relevant skill, at a high level if you want to get paid for it in relation to elite events.

    Looking for ways to get involved with local and/or elite skating and willing to volunteer?
    Lots of ways, but some require years of training and others won't get you any reimbursement for travel etc.

    Just curious about what kind of skating-related jobs might be available beyond the obvious like coaching?

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