Competitive Figure Skating FAQ:

This article is part of the FAQ list for (amateur) competitive figure skating. This section contains references to other sources of information about the sport.

Table of Contents

[1] Are there any good books about figure skating?

A recommended book about the technical aspects of figure skating is John Misha Petkevich's "Figure Skating: Championship Techniques" (ISBN 0-452-26209-7), published by Sports Illustrated and available in many bookstores. It's a trade-sized paperback, and features photos of Brian Boitano.

"Artistry on Ice", by Nancy Kerrigan with Mary Spencer (ISBN 0-7360-3697-0), is also a useful how-to book. It's slightly less technical in its approach than the Petkevich book but includes more material on pair skating, off-ice training, and competition preparation. "Figure Skating for Dummies", by Kristi Yamaguchi and Christy Ness with Jody Meacham (, ISBN 0-7645-5084-5), focuses more on competitive skating than on the details of technique. It covers much the same ground as this FAQ. One caveat: do not confuse the "cheat sheet" for scoring with the actual rules used by judges. For that, you'll need a current copy of the official rulebook.

The complete ISU regulations (governing international competitions in figure skating) are available for download in PDF format from the ISU web site at They also sell printed copies and other materials such as judging handbooks and instructional videos.

The US Figure Skating rulebook includes complete competition and eligibility rules, diagrams of compulsory figures and dances, and a directory of participating clubs. It's updated yearly, in the fall. The rulebook is now available online in PDF format from the US Figure Skating web site at Beverly Smith's book "Figure Skating: A Celebration" (McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 0-7710-2819-9) is an excellent source of information about the history of the sport. It's a large hardcover book, featuring many photographs of famous skaters. There's now a trade paperback edition available.

The "Skater's Edge Sourcebook" is also a useful reference. It's primarily a directory of skating rinks, equipment manufacturers and dealers, skating associations, etc. but also contains addresses for fan mail/agents, lists of medalists from past competitions, and information about books and videos. Now in an updated third (2003) edition. The cost is $35 plus shipping; order from:

Skater's Edge Sourcebook, Box 500, Kensington MD 20895

One book you should definitely avoid is called "The Encyclopedia of Figure Skating". It's full of errors and is not a reliable source of information.

[2] What about magazines?

Here is a list of the more popular periodicals which deal with skating. (Disclaimer: this isn't intended as a commercial endorsement of any of these publications. Also, you might want to double-check the subscription rates, since they may have changed since this information was collected.)

A more complete list of skating publications, including foreign-language publications and fan newsletters, is available on the web at

20 First Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80906-3697
10 issues/year
$25/US, $35/Canada, $45/other countries

Official magazine of the United States Figure Skating Association. Profiles of skaters, competition and tour reports, articles about participant skating at all levels. Focus on US eligible skaters. The feature articles and competition reports are often shallow, simplistic, and excessively "politically correct", but it's useful as a source of USFSA information and for archival competition results. Most photos are tiny.

7040 N. Mona Lisa Road
Tuscson, AZ 85741
Phone: 602-575-1747
Fax: 602-575-1484
6 issues/year

This magazine is available on newsstands as well as by subscription. Magazine with news, interviews, competition reports; coverage of both professional and eligible skaters. Feature interviews and competition reports are in-depth and detailed. Many full-page color photographs. Recommended.

Mavador Media
PO Box 595
Boston, MA 02117
6 issues/year US: $22.97, Canada: $32(USD), international: $45(USD)

As of May, 2004, IFS magazine is under new ownership as a result of a legal dispute involving its parent company.

This magazine is available on newsstands as well as by subscription. Includes a mix of news and profiles, plus coverage of the business aspects of the sport. More European skating news than other North American publications.

39 Bld de la Marne
F-76000 Rouen
5 issues/year
$30/US, $38(Canadian)/Canada

Published in French w/ English translations. The writing and/or translations leave a lot to be desired. Initially made its reputation for having fabulous photography, but reports are that it has gone downhill. Also notorious for pro-French editorial bias.

208 Mohawk Rd.
Ancaster, ON, L9G 2W9
4 issues/year
$28.75/US, $32.20(Canadian)/Canada

Canadian/international focus; skater profiles, competition and show reports.

SKATER'S EDGE, AMERICAN SKATING WORLD and TRACINGS are no longer being published.

[3] Are there any other figure skating resources on the net?

The best place to start is the SkateWeb page at This web site includes an archive of skating pictures, the hypertext version of this FAQ list, a collection of reviews, articles, cartoons and humor, and an extensive collection of links to official skater web sites and fan pages, skating webzines, the official web sites of various skating federations and clubs, competition and tour web sites, skating-related businesses, and archival competition results and other reference material.

The Skatefans mailing list is for spectator-oriented discussion of figure skating. For subscription information, visit Note that this is a fairly busy mailing list, and if you can't handle getting a hundred or more messages per day in your mailbox you may want to subscribe only in digest mode, or read the messages from the web archive instead.

You can also find links to quite a few specialized mailing lists at SkateWeb, such as those devoted to discussion of particular skaters, and to participant skating.

For more background and reference material on figure skating, check out the main entry for figure skating on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can contribute to. It can be reached at

[4] Where can I find skating videos online?

The Figure Skating Videos message board has an active community of users who share skating videos using external file-sharing servers. Videos of current events usually show up here within 24 hours of the time they are broadcast. Many people have also contributed videos of historic interest from their tape collections. You can access this board at
US Figure Skating has made videos of current-season qualifying events available on "The Ice Network".
CCTV-5, the Chinese sports channel, carries live and/or same-day coverage of many international skating events, and can be viewed over the Internet with PPLive, free peer-to-peer software which again runs on Windows only. It can be downloaded at
CN8, a cable channel provided by Comcast which covers a number of East-coast skating events each year, offers live webcasts of their programming at their web site,
You can find many skating videos using the search feature at YouTube:
A general resource for locating streaming webcasts of television broadcasts from around the world is at
In particular, in the past RAI Sport (from Italy) has carried live or same-day coverage of major competitions such as the World Championships and Olympic Games.

For information about possible webcasts of other skating events, check the appropriate competition websites. You can also usually find information about how to connect to webcasts of current events on most of the major skating mailing lists and message boards where current events are discussed.

[5] Who wrote this FAQ list?

My name is Sandra Loosemore. I've followed the sport for many years, although I've never been more than a recreational skater myself. In "real life" I have a PhD in computer science, and I work as a software engineer. I also have some professional experience as a technical writer.

Some of the information in the FAQ is taken from the ISU and USFSA rulebooks. I also incorporated suggestions from Helena Robinson, Fred Chapman, Ann Schmidt, Mary Kolencik, Stephen Kawalko, Louis Epstein, and many others. Janet Pooley sent me the list of European champions, and Fiona McQuarrie supplied the list of Canadian champions. The list of World Junior champions was sent to me by Jay Miller of "Skating" magazine. The information about magazines was provided by Deborah Reed-Margetan, with updates from Barry Mittan. George Robbins, Trudi Marrapodi, and others contributed to the netiquette section. Ellyn Kestnbaum and Janet Swan Hill provided information about judging.

[6] Can I redistribute this FAQ list?

Yes, provided that you do not charge money for it, and that you acknowledge the source and authorship.

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