Ethics Guidlines for Synchronized Skating

This document has been created as a supplement to the code of ethics. As it is a supplement, it is not intended to replace the code of ethics already in place but rather provide guidelines for our professional behavior.  Below are listed just a few of the many scenarios that occur. This document does not cover all possible issues. These guidelines are meant to be just those… guidelines. 

Issue-Recruitment vs. Solicitation

When you advertise for open spots on a team, you are RECRUITING. Targeting a skater already established on a team and suggesting they change to another team is SOLICITATION. Do not “recruit” using a third party such as a parent or skater.

The best way to show the difference is to give some examples:

    • (Recruiting) If a synchronized skating coach is asked for information from a parent or skater, the coach may give them information including the team manager’s contact information. The coach may give out this information even if the skater is currently on a team or taking private lessons.
    •  (Solicitation) A coach or team manager should not approach (target) a skater, in any way including social media, who is a member of another team or taking private lessons
    •  (Recruiting) A coach can approach other coaches (singles, dance, pairs, etc.) to ask if they have students who would be interested in your Synchronized Skating team
    • (Solicitation) Sending recruiting material directly to a skater on another team is ‘targeting’ a skater
    • (Recruitment) A coach may directly approach a skater as long as the skater is not currently on a team or taking private lessons (such as a retired skater or a group lesson skater). This must be checked out before you talk with the skater!
    • (Recruitment) A coach or team manager may contact a parent/skater if the coach of the other team invites such action
    • (Recruitment) Distribution of recruiting brochures is OK but MUST be in compliance with the board of directors of the club and/or rink management policies
    • Some more ‘allowable’ recruitment ideas:
      • Post flyers
      • Host a “skate with us - open house”
      • Write articles about the team in the club newsletter
      • Set up info booths at local competitions and shows. (Need permission from club and/or rink/management.)
      • Advertise in newspapers; show programs, competition programs and web sites.

Obligations of Coaches:
Here are some of the most common scenarios that arise.

  • When a skater from another club is accepted on a team, the new coach is responsible to make sure that the new organization receives a letter stating that the skater is in good standing with the former team - basically, that they have fulfilled their financial obligation. A sample financial release form can be downloaded from the U.S. FIGURE SKATING website. The U.S. Figure Skating has a rule, #3254, stating a skater must pay their team bill prior to joining another team.
  • The new coach must not allow the skater to start training on the new team before a letter is received stating the skater is in good standing with their previous team.  (Please note: this is a professional courtesy, not a legal position. The courts will not uphold a financial discrepancy unless taken to a small claims court.)
  • During tryout season, SOME SKATERS SHOP AROUND. When a coach accepts a skater on the team, even if they pay a non-refundable deposit to hold their spot, the skater may join another team and give up their deposit if they choose to do so.
  • A skater is considered to be a member of a team once training commences. If the skater quits the team after training starts, the skater is responsible for any fees incurred as defined by the teams’ agreement.



When you take on a new skater-never criticize the former coach’s technique or teaching methods

Don’t resent the new coach if your skater decides to join another team

Do not criticize other coaches or teams to skaters or their parents

  • For documents which address professional responsibilities, go into the Professional Skaters Association website ( click Professional Standards, look at: PSA Code of Ethics, Ethics, Tenants of Professionalism
  • If a synchro coach is asked to give private lessons to a skater on their team, who is presently taking private lessons with another coach, the synchro coach must contact the private lesson coach to make sure they are aware of the situation and insure that the lesson content is synchro related
  • Synchronized skating coaches need to create a good relationship with singles, pairs and dance coaches. These coaches should not feel ‘threatened’ by the sport of synchronized skating. Synchronized skating coaches emphasize and encourage their team members to continue training in singles, moves and dance. If there is a synchronized skating organization in their club, it should help their business!
Last update: February 1, 2011