A total of 150 programs judged at the Tri-States virtual event


The Hockettes (USA) won the gold title in the Junior Short Program. (Credits: Hockettes - 2021)

The Tri-State Synchronized Skating Classic took place virtually last weekend due to COVID-19 travel and rink restrictions. 196 synchro teams participated and exhibited their skills through a full program and/or "Best of Elements" event.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, the Tri-State Synchronized Skating Classic was virtual this year. During two days, 196 teams representing eight countries (USA, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic) participated in the event.

"It was wonderful to have so many teams be able to participate in this event. We saw such great improvement in many of the teams that have been participating in virtual events in the U.S. since Porter Classic back in December," said Karen Wolanchuk, Chief Referee of the event hosted in the United States.

A total of 188 elements were judged, and 150 programs were presented through videos. With more than 25 different categories, the streaming schedule was also really tight.

The team scores were not published, only sent to the coaches directly. Like other virtual competitions, the event was not sanctioned because there is no mechanism in place for virtual events as of yet, explained Karen Wolanchuk. She hopes that next year there will be "as it has been very successful in all the disciplines".

"We wanted to provide a final opportunity for teams to show off what they had been working on all season and to celebrate their accomplishments together," added Elise Hutchinson and Erin Donovan Thomas, co-chairs of the event.

"I cannot thank the organizers from the Ann Arbor FSC enough for all the many hours of work they put into organizing two virtual events this season," said Karen Wolanchuk.

Because these virtual events have been so successful, the organizers have decided to have "an element feedback virtual session prior to the start of fall competitions so teams and coaches can get some feedback on their elements prior to competitions," concluded Karen Wolanchuk, who is also an ISU Judge, Referee and Technical Controller and has been an ISU Sys Technical Committee Member (2006-2016).

This will offer a new opportunity at the start of the season to synchro teams... here and elsewhere.

More info about the Tri-State Synchronized Skating Classic on the official website