ISU Senior Competition Age Limit, World Championship Information & Requirements for the Current ’22-’23 Season

Written By: Riedell | November 11, 2022

For those who don’t yet know, the International Skating Union (ISU) Congress has gone ahead with a motion to raise the senior figure skating age limit in competitions. The change will occur gradually over the next few seasons. The 2022-2023 season will remain at age 15 but next season’s minimum will be 16 and then 17 for the 2024-2025 season. 

ISU’s measure to implement the change gradually is for the sake of current junior competitors, limiting the potential unfairness in age overlaps or gaps. Several sources cite the reason for the limit change as an under-age skater’s positive banned substance test. 

The skater was 15 at the time of the positive test, which was taken in late 2021. The substance in question was a performance-enhancing heart medication. Per Reuters, questions were raised in response as to whether an increase in the age limit would protect minors. Change proposals in ISU rules require a two-thirds majority to pass. In the case of the new age minimum, the votes were 100 to 16.

What Are the Current Age Group Minimums for Figure Skating? 

Competition classes for skaters start at Basic Novice and end at Senior, with age ranges appropriate for each group. Thresholds for these groups include:

  • Senior: 15 years old (17 years old starting from the 2024-25 season)
  • Junior: 13 years old and less than 19 years old (21 for male pair/dance skaters)
  • Advanced Novice: 10 years old and less than 15 years old (17 for male pair/dance skaters)
  • Intermediate Novice: 15 years old maximum
  • Basic Novice: 13 years old maximum

Where & When Will the 2023 World Figure Skating Championships Be Held?

This year, the World Figure Skating Championships will be held in Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena. With a population of 1.3 million, Saitama is part of the Greater Tokyo Area and is home to several universities, professional sports venues, and a wide range of cultural attractions. 

The championships in Saitama will start on Monday, March 20th and they will end on Sunday, March 26th. Countries participating include Japan, Belgium, the United States, France, Italy, Canada, and more. NBC will broadcast the event. You can find the schedule here.

What Are the International Competitions for Juniors? 

Throughout the yearlong figure skating season (July 1 to June 30), various junior competitions take place. Typical competitions run on a four-year cycle. The competitions include: 

  • Winter Youth Olympics
  • Junior Grand Prix Series
  • Junior World Championships

Among these, the most recent being the Junior World Championship, which took place in April 2022. 

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