U.S. National Qualifying Series

History: Beginning with the 2019-20 season, U.S. Figure Skating debuted a national qualifying competitive pipeline for ice dance (as well as singles and pairs). While junior and senior teams qualify and compete at the annual U.S. National Championships, athletes at the juvenile, intermediate and novice level will follow a much different path that culminates in a U.S. Ice Dance Final (November) and for top finishers, a National HIgh-Performance Development Team Camp (January).  The pipeline focuses on their vision: Identify. Develop. Promote. 

What is the National Qualifying Series (NQS)?

The National Qualifying Series (NQS) is a series of official U.S. Figure Skating approved competitions hosted individually by member clubs nationwide that are held in a standard format and in which athletes earn a score. They will earn a placement in the individual competition they enter, an overall national ranking in their level and a regional and sectional ranking. The competitions are held between June 1 – September 24 and serve juvenile – senior competitors in singles, dance and pairs.

Key highlights:

  • Athletes must enter the NQS directly with U.S. Figure Skating.
  • Due to limited competitive opportunities, ice dance athletes are not limited and can register for as many official competitions as they choose.
  • Only the athlete or team’s highest Total Score (TS) counts.
  • The top six ranking singles athletes in each section earn a bye to the Sectional Singles Final.
  • The top three ranking dance or pairs teams nationwide earn a bye the U.S. Pairs or U.S. Dance Final.
  • Athletes receive an official ‘national ranking’ and a certificate and pin to recognize their achievement.
  • To maximize qualifying season readiness, athletes are encouraged to utilize non-NQS competitions to explore new material, try new elements and gain valuable feedback.

How Do I Register for the NQS?

Athletes enter the overall NQS by logging onto U.S. Figure Skating’s Event Management System.  The deadline to register is May 28, 2019.  From there, athletes enter any of the above competitions they choose separately, by the entry deadline posted by the competition host.  All NQS events are entered through EMS, as well.

A current membership for the 2023-24 season is required to complete the EMS Series Application (membership must be fully processed with home club AND U.S. Figure Skating) and participate in approved NQS Competitions.

All NQS events will be conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures outlined in the NQS Participant Handbook.