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  1. #1
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    Skating federations comparison

    I am curious about the differences in size, structure, and jurisdiction of skating federations in different countries.

    For example, roughly how many employees does the federation employ? To what extent does it depend on / benefit from volunteers? How active is the federation in organizing domestic competitions or hosting international events? Press releases on competition results, updates on elite skaters? How involved is it in growing the next generation of skaters? Responsibilities of national headquarter and member clubs (if applicable)? And since it's FSU and trash can, politicking? ;D

    Overviews of skating federations are extremely appreciated!!
    Last edited by jjane45; 12-23-2012 at 04:16 AM.

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    Australia basically depends on a volunteer workforce for everything. If you didn't have the volunteers the sport as a formal structure wouldn't exist.

    The structure starts with Ice Skating Australia at the top, then each state has an association that runs the sport in that state. Below that are the clubs which are rink based and run competitions and other events. The states will run their own state championships which are the selection events for Nationals. Nationals is run by a local organising committee (which is really the state association where the event is held).

    I would suggest that ISA's main focus is the development of skating streams. They did develop the Aussie Skate program which is the beginner program for skating in Australia. However the clubs are then the ones who do the day to day running of the program.

    In my state of Victoria (you can check out website www.iceskatingvictoria.org.au) we do have a state squad which are for our higher level skaters who plan on competing at Nationals. The details for it are on the website.

    I would also suggest going to the ISA website at www.isa.org.au.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    To add to Aussie Willy's post, I would just like to add that while most states have clubs, a small state like the ACT doesn't, just has the state association which runs everything.

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    Thanks Aussie Willy and misskarne! If I understand it correctly, local events completely depend on volunteers in the US as well. What about the elite competitors and nationals? Is there dedicated official / staff who handles the paperwork, GP, worlds selection etc?

    I started this thread because I was posting updates on Chinese Nationals which just happened this past Thursday - Friday. There were complaints on lack of press releases and media coverage. At the moment there is no official source of complete competition results at all, only fan reports and photos of the scoring sheets likely from judges. I found it a bit shocking and wanted to know more about other federations

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    Thanks Aussie Willy and misskarne! If I understand it correctly, local events completely depend on volunteers in the US as well. What about the elite competitors and nationals? Is there dedicated official / staff who handles the paperwork, GP, worlds selection etc?

    I started this thread because I was posting updates on Chinese Nationals which just happened this past Thursday - Friday. There were complaints on lack of press releases and media coverage. At the moment there is no official source of complete competition results at all, only fan reports and photos of the scoring sheets likely from judges. I found it a bit shocking and wanted to know more about other federations
    Australia is totally dependent on volunteers. Anyone who does anything for the sport, even nationally, does it on top of their own jobs. If I got paid of the hours I worked on skating stuff (administration, judging, etc) I would be a very rich woman.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    If I understand it correctly, local events completely depend on volunteers in the US as well. What about the elite competitors and nationals? Is there dedicated official / staff who handles the paperwork, GP, worlds selection etc?
    US Figure Skating headquarters staff
    These people are paid to run the day-to-day business of a large membership organization. Some of them have a skating background and some don't but are hired for the skills needed to perform the management and clerical office jobs needed to keep the organization running. That includes a lot of what you refer to as paperwork (although much is done electronically and paperless these days).

    US Figure Skating governing structure
    These people all volunteer their time to make and implement decisions that affect the areas they are responsible for. A lot of day-to-day paperwork also goes through some of these committees.

    The International Committee is responsible for assigning skaters to international competitions.

    The committee members other than the committee chairs are only listed in the directory, which is available online only through the Members Only section -- there are over 60 pages of names and addresses. Some individuals are members of more than one committee. So that's hundreds of volunteers involved in running all these committees, not even counting all the volunteer officials (judges, technical panel, accountants, announcers, etc.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Australia is totally dependent on volunteers. Anyone who does anything for the sport, even nationally, does it on top of their own jobs. If I got paid of the hours I worked on skating stuff (administration, judging, etc) I would be a very rich woman.
    I think so too.
    jjane, volunteers form the backbone of many non-profit/charitable organisations in Australia. Many do it out of passion for the sport/cause or other personal reasons. The smaller the organisation, the less likely they are able to afford salaried staff.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Maybe it's my expectations about non-governmental governing bodies in general. I just do not expect them to be completely run by volunteers. Now I am curious what is going on in Canada? Japan? UK? Uzbekistan?

    Thanks gkelly, that answered much of my questions about USFS. It's a bigger organization than I imagined!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    Thanks gkelly, that answered much of my questions about USFS. It's a bigger organization than I imagined!
    This page gives you an overview of the size of the organization.

    Only a tiny percentage are junior- and senior-level competitors.
    The numbers include Basic Skills members, many of whom will never progress beyond beginning group lessons. All the tests and competition streams require a lot of rules and decisions and record-keeping as well as on-the-ground volunteer hours.

    Still, there are a lot of levels and a lot of ways to participate in figure skating in between beginner and elite levels.

    Regarding my previous post, I should also mention that probably most committee members are also officials and/or coaches. But some are adult skaters and/or parents, or former skaters who are also busy with non-skating careers.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The numbers include Basic Skills members, many of whom will never progress beyond beginning group lessons. All the tests and competition streams require a lot of rules and decisions and record-keeping as well as on-the-ground volunteer hours.

    Still, there are a lot of levels and a lot of ways to participate in figure skating in between beginner and elite levels.
    Glad you said this. Whilst most skating fans seem to focus on the elite, there is a whole grass roots which is at the bottom of the pyramid. The national associations need to make sure those people are catered for because at the end of the day they are the sport's bread and butter.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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