Getting Involved with Sports Science and Medicine


Here are some ways you can get involved with U.S. Figure Skating Sports Sciences and Medicine:

1) National Network
2) Sports Sciences and Medicine Committee (SSMC)
3) Medical staff volunteers
4) Team USA Network (international event travel)
5) S.T.A.R.S. assessors

Below you can find information about applying to participate in these programs. Please review the information and criteria below, keeping in mind that because of high demand in some areas, meeting the criteria for participation will not automatically guarantee acceptance.

Joining U.S. Figure Skating: If you are a sports sciences/medicine professional and need to become a U.S. Figure Skating member, you may choose to join through a local skating club or as an individual member. Please contact Member Services at 719.635.5200 for more information.


National Provider Network (aka "National Network")

What it is: An online searchable database that will be a self-service referral network for parents, athletes and coaches who are members of U.S. Figure Skating. The National Network will allow these individuals to quickly and easily find skating-experienced health care and sports sciences professionals in their geographic area. Requests are common from coaches and parents looking for someone to work with or treat their skaters, and many National Network participants are recommended by coaches, skaters or other Network participants. Joining the National Network is the first step in becoming part of the Team USA Network (see below).

How to get involved: Review the criteria for participation (PDF) and fill out the online application. Participants must be members of U.S. Figure Skating in good standing.


Sports Sciences and Medicine Committee (SSMC)

What it is: The Sports Sciences and Medicine Committee is a volunteer organization within U.S. Figure Skating comprised of professionals--physicians, exercise physiologists, biomechanists, athletic trainers, other off-ice conditioning specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, video analysts, sports psychologists and other specialties--involved in furthering the sport through the communication of sports science and medicine information and through novel research. The SSMC meets annually as a part of the PSA conference (next conference: May 2014 in Palm Springs, Calif.). Visit www.skatepsa.com/Conference-P.htm for more information). SSMC members also contribute regularly to the Sports Sciences and Medicine blog (sportsciences.usfigureskating.org) and may be selected for publication in SKATING and PS magazines. Please note: You do not have to meet specific criteria to participate in the SSMC or to participate in the blog.

How to get involved: Complete the National Network application. (You should do this even if you are not a practitioner, as we collect the same information.) Complete the application and return it via email to Peter Zapalo. You must also be a member in good standing of U.S. Figure Skating.

Medical staff volunteer for U.S. Figure Skating competitions/events (physicians and PTs)

What it is: The corps of volunteer physicians and physical therapists who provide on-site medical care varies because of budgetary and liability issues related to insurance (which are different from state to state). In general, local event medical staffing falls under the discretion of the local organizing committee (LOC).

How to get involved: Medical staff volunteers must first become members of the National Provider Network; this is the primary way the event LOC will contact you for events in your area. Volunteers must also be members in good standing of U.S. Figure Skating. If you know of a U.S. Figure Skating event in your local area, you may contact Bob Dunlop at 719.635.5200 to volunteer your services. Please keep in mind that many events are staffed under sponsorship or contract agreements, and that medical volunteers may not be needed. Similarly, if you are an event LOC looking for medical sponsorship or to hire medical staffing, you may contact Mr. Dunlop and/or consult the National Network for local providers.


Team USA Network - International Travel Medical Staff (physicians and PTs)

What it is: U.S. Figure Skating selects medical volunteers (licensed physicians and physical therapists) to provide health care services to athletes, coaches and officials who travel on behalf of U.S. Figure Skating to international competitions. It is also from this pool of volunteers that referrals for USOC-sponsored competitions, including the Olympic Winter Games and World University Games, are made. Team USA Network volunteers demonstrate a strong clinical background in sports medicine and the ability to deal with injuries and illnesses in high-stress team situations while adhering to the restrictions of anti-doping criteria. They are comfortable working in a 24/7 team environment, traveling internationally, being at an ice rink for long hours and supporting the needs of athletes of all ages and levels of international experience. Team USA Network volunteers view the health and well-being of Team USA as their top priority.

How to get involved: To be nominated for event travel, apply here. Applications for promotion to the Team USA Network are reviewed for eligibility using a number of criteria, including board certification in the field of current practice, additional fellowship training and board certification in Sports Medicine for physicians as well as ongoing experience working with figure skaters and other athletes. Applications remain active for as long as an individual participates in the travel pool. Once applications are on file, it is the responsibility of the Team USA member to update any pertinent personal information by contacting U.S. Figure Skating Sports Sciences and Medicine.


S.T.A.R.S. Certified Assessor (trainers)

What it is: S.T.A.R.S. is an athlete testing system designed to track athlete development from pre-preliminary to elite levels and provide feedback to the skater-athlete to help him or her train ahead of the skills curve. Please visit www.STARScombine.org for details.

How to get involved: Become NSCA C.S.C.S. certified (visit www.nsca-cc.org for more information) and then complete a S.T.A.R.S. certification workshop. Please visit www.STARScombine.org for locations of upcoming workshops.