Synchronized skating is a popular discipline both within U.S. Figure Skating and around the world. U.S. Figure Skating held the first U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in 1984 and also hosted the first World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000. There are approximately 525 synchronized teams registered with U.S. Figure Skating, and nearly 5,000 athletes participate annually in the synchronized skating sectional championships.
Synchronized skating is a team sport in which 8-20 skaters perform a program together. It uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and dance and is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. As with the other disciplines, all teams perform a free skate with required well-balanced program elements. In addition, teams at the junior and senior level perform a short program consisting of required elements.
Elements in synchronized skating include blocks, circles, wheels, lines, intersections, moves in the field, moves in isolation, no-hold step sequences, spins and pairs moves. The variety and difficulty of elements require that each team member is a highly skilled individual skater. The typical senior-level athlete has passed a senior or gold test in at least two disciplines.