National Ice Skating Association
|National Ice Skating Association
|Affiliation||International Skating Union|
|Headquarters||National Ice Centre, Nottingham.|
The National Ice Skating Association is a British organisation that is responsible for the development of ice skating careers. It is known as the biggest ice-skating company in the UK.
On Saturday 1 February 1879 a number of prominent men of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire met in the Guildhall, Cambridge, to set up the National Skating Association with the aim of regulating the sport of fen skating. A Cambridge journalist, James Drake Digby, had thought that the Fen speed skaters were worthy of national recognition and he was also concerned that betting was leading to malpractice. He thought that skating needed a national organisation to control it, like the Jockey Club. The founding committee included several landowners, a vicar, a fellow of Trinity College, a magistrate, two Members of Parliament, the mayor of Cambridge, the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, the president of Cambridge University Skating Club, and Neville Goodman, a fellow of Peterhouse College.
The newly-formed National Skating Association held their first one-and-a-half-mile British professional championship at Thorney in December 1879. There was a field of 32, including former champions Turkey Smart and Tom Watkinson. Fish Smart beat Knocker Carter in the final. His reward was a badge, a sash and a cash prize, given as an annual salary in instalments in order to encourage the champion to "keep himself temperate". The NSA also established an amateur championship, which was held for the first time at Welsh Harp, London, in January 1880, and won by Frederick Norman, a farmer’s son from Willingham. The professionals were labourers who skated for cash prizes; the amateurs were gentlemen who skated for trophies.
In 1892 the NSA aided in the foundation of the International Skating Union (ISU). The NSA hosted the first international ice skating competition in Britain in Birmingham in 1899 and has hosted all events in the UK since in various locations.
In 1894 the National Skating Association decided to move their headquarters from Cambridge to London, from where they concentrated on figure skaters and rinkmen. Their new base, the National Skating Palace, is now better known as the London Palladium.
Until 1990, when an independent society was formed, the NSA was also the UK's governing body of roller skating. As a consequence of the segmentation, the NSA became the NISA (National Ice Skating Association), the headquarters of which are now based at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.
Complying to the purpose of the organisation, the NISA levels are used by instructors to grade learners of ice skating in the UK. There are various levels of student grades, as well as instructor grades.
Skate UK 
These levels are generally taught in group classes, and are assessed by the instructors of these classes. The levels are as follows:
- Level 1 Sit and stand on the ice, Moving forward (basic skating), Two-foot glide and dip, Stepping around on the spot
- Level 2 Moving backward, ½ snowplough or full snowplough stop, Forward skating, Two-foot glide on a curve
- Level 3 Forward one-foot glide (straight line), Two-foot jump skating forward, Forward & backward sculling, One-foot glide on a curve–inside edge (l & r)
- Level 4 One-foot glide on a curve–outside edge (l & r), Backward skating and a two-foot glide, Skating forward and turning to backward (vice-versa), Continuous forward chassés around a circle
- Level 5 Forward crossovers in both directions, Backward snowplough stop, Backward one-foot glide, Two-foot spin (one revolution)
- Level 6 Continuous backward chassés around circle, Forward two-foot slalom, Forward outside 3-turn, Backward skating–stepping forward in both directions
- Level 7 Backward crossovers in both directions, Forward inside three-turn, Continuous forward outside curves, Continuous forward inside curves
- Level 8 Forward inside mohawk (l & r) two backward crossovers followed by sustained backward outside curve for a count of 3, Two-foot change on edge on a large curve, Forward drag
- Level 9 Forward beginner cross-rolls, Bunny hop, Backward edges (both feet & both edges), Two backward crossovers followed by sustained backward inside curve for a count of 3
- Level 10 Forward crossovers in a figure eight pattern, Backward crossovers in a figure eight pattern, Two-glide in a spiralling curve, Simple step sequence
Skate UK Star Levels (formerly known as Passport) 
These levels may be attempted once the SkateUK levels have been passed. Skate UK Star levels may be taken in any or all of singles skating (free), ice dancing, speed skating or synchronized team skating, although you must complete a level in a given discipline before moving onto the next level in that discipline. These levels as also assessed by the instructor, but will be expected to be of a higher standard than the same moves in the SkateUK system. The levels are as follows:
Singles Skating 
- Forward spiral on either foot with flow
- Bunny hop into a forward drag
- Two-foot spin (min 3 revs)
- Three jump (Waltz jump)
- Backward spiral on either foot
- One foot spin (min 2 revs)
- Teapot on either foot (forwards or backwards)
- Single salchow jump
- Backward outside one-foot spin (min 1 revolution)
- One foot spin (with correct entry and exit, min 4 revs)
- Single toe-loop jump
- Combination of skating movements, turns, jumps and spins in a short routine with or without music (max 1:30)
Ice Dancing 
- Forward open chasses / crossed (closed) chasses continuously on a circle (min 3) (L&R)
- LFO closed mohawk, cross in front onto a LBI. Step forward to RFI (x3) (L&R)
- Forward progressive runs (CW & CCW)
- Two consecutive LFO 3-turns followed by LFO sustained outside edge with free leg extended for a count of 3 (L&R)
- Forward progressive runs in a figure of eight (in Killian hold with a partner/coach optional)
- Backward open chasses (x3 on each foot) in a serpentine sequence
- Backward progressive runs in a figure of eight
- A 7 step dance sequence as follows: RFI open mohawk, RBO run, RBO cross in front LBI, Step forwards RFI, Repeat twice
- Forward run, Forward slip chasse (x3) (in figure of eight)
- Backward open chasses in a serpentine sequence (x3 on each foot) waltz hold with partner/coach optional
- Solo Novice Foxtrot with music. Correct pattern and 60% in time
- A 9 step dance sequence: LFO progressive run, LFO closed chasse, LFO progressive run, LFO open mohawk, LBI
Synchronized Team Skating 
- Forward line skated half the length of the rink in shoulder hold using alternating left & right progressive runs.
- Forward two spoke Pin Wheel, in shoulder hold, using open chassé steps for a minimum of three revolutions
- Forward circle of at least three revolutions in handhold facing inwards
- Forward Intersections with three pass-throughs using at least half the length of the rink and open chassé steps.
- Back line skated half the length of the rink in shoulder hold using a combination of chassés and progressive runs.
- Two spoke Pin Wheel, half the group skate forwards and half backwards, for a minimum of three revolutions, using back chassés and in shoulder hold.
- Backward circle of at least three revolutions using back chassés and or crossovers, shoulder hold and facing inwards.
- Forward Open Block with front line in shoulder hold and back line also in shoulder hold but additionally the end skater placing their free hand on the shoulder of the skater directly in front. The group to skate forward progressive runs alternating left and right.
- Forward Line in shoulder hold turning to back line into elbow hold. Steps may be a combination of chassés, progressive runs and back crossovers. This movement to be performed using the full length of the rink.
- Backwards two spoke Pin Wheel of at least three revolutions using back chassés and/or crossovers, and elbow to elbow hold.
- Forward Closed Block in shoulder hold and using chassé and progressive runs. Skaters must use two axes and the full length and width of the rink.
- Backward Intersections with three pass-throughs using at least half the length of the rink and a combination of back chassés and crossovers
Speed Skating 
- Gliding on the bends - Gliding around the full bend in basic skating position with skates running parallel
- Basic Cornering - Demonstrate some evidence of crossovers in bends
- In Basic position Slalom - complete two footed slalom course between ten blocks approx 1 metre apart, keeping both blades on ice
- Straights, leg push - In a basic skating position full length of straight glide on left foot, continuous push with right foot. Ensure transfer of body weight and well balance, then on other leg
- Weight Transfer - Demonstrate the weight transfer, changing from right leg to left leg, this is to be done keeping both feet on the ice. Weight transfer must be smooth and rhythmical. Body stays in basic skating position. Nose, knee and toe of gliding leg must be in a straight line.
- Start - Hold start position, Skate parallel and 45° to the start line, feet shoulder width apart, Knees bent at 90°, leading arm in front and bent at elbow, trailing arm loosely extended and behind body, weight on back leg, head up and looking forward. Do a running start up to the first block.
- Straights roll the edge - Extend right leg, glide on left, demonstrate transfer of body weight, (nose, knee, toe in line). Then on the other leg
- Corner Push - Glide on left skate: push with right foot around full length of bend, demonstrate good leg extension
- Right foot Slalom - Glide on right between slalom course between ten blocks approx 1 metre apart, in the basic skating position. Then same on left
- Glide in straight line - Glide on right foot in basic position left leg off the ice, full straight in a straight line. Then on the left
- Crossover on Bends - Demonstrate good boy position, left hip over left skate, full left leg push and extension, smooth and rhythmical
- Start Procedure - fully understanding of starting procedure; go through half lap starting line to finish line
- Glide on right leg full corner - left leg held inside, not pointing out
- Glide on left leg full corner - right leg held outside but not pointing out
- Basic Position Arm Swing on Corners - Demonstrate relaxed arm swing whilst skating in the basic position, swing arm in a forwards and backwards direction, do not swing arms any higher than shoulder, arms must not be stiff but smooth and rhythmical
- Pivot on Apex Block Right Leg - Skate around corner, pivot around apex block, don't put hand on ice, keep legs at 90°, looking inside the track and keep shoulders square
- Relay Change;
- Receiving - Match the other skater's speed; time the change not too early or late. Pushing - Demonstrate a good push, strong, straight and not pulling back the other skater.
- Time Trial - Skate a bronze Medal Test Time in 333m
- Time Trial - Skate a bronze Medal Test Time in 500m
Judged Levels 
These levels go from 1 to 10 and are assessed by at least one NISA qualified judge. Skaters must show proof that they have completed the Skate UK programme before being allowed to apply for the judged levels. Each test costs at least £19 to enter (2013 prices) - rising as the level of the test rises. There are different tests at each level as follows - skaters may do whichever ones they wish. Skaters do not need to complete all of these tests before moving up to the next level, but cannot skip levels in any given area (i.e. must do Level 1 field moves before doing level 2 field moves, but Level 1 Elements is not required to do Level 2 field moves).
- Field Moves - assessing control of edges
- Elements - these are elements of free skating such as jumps, spins and step sequences which are done in isolation
- Free Skating - using the elements in a continuous routine or program of a given length, set to music. Music for free skating must not have vocals.
- Compulsory Dances - there are 2 dances at each level. Dances may be tested solo or with a partner, although if both partners are taking the test either two judges are required or the partners will need to repeat each dance so that one is being assessed on the first time and one the second.
- Variations (up to Level 2) - this is done as part of the pattern of one of the compulsory dances followed by a specific number of bars of a dance to the same music which is invented by the skater (more usually their coach) followed by the end of the compulsory pattern. 2 full repeats must be skated.
- Original Dance (Level 3 and above) - a full routine to a given type of music with no compulsory dance sequence at the beginning.
- Free Dance - similar to the Free Skating this is a program of a given length, to music (which may include vocals), including certain required dance elements.
Field Moves 
- Level 1: Forward Outside edges down one side of the rink, between 4 and 8 semicircles required; Forward Inside edges, between 4 and 8 semicircles required; Forward Crossovers in both directions, done as a figure of 8; Backwards crossovers in both directions done as a figure of 8; backward crossovers into landing position in both directions; spirals in a straight line down one side of the rink, half the length on each foot, repeat on other side of rink.
- Level 2: Back Outside edges down one side of the rink, between 4 and 8 semicircles required; Back Inside edges, between 4 and 8 semicircles required; Forwards and backwards crossrolls; Mohawk sequence - push LFO, RFI mohawk to LBI, step wide R crossover, step to forward and repeat on other foot. Repeat down the rink; Outside 3 turns in figure of 8; Inside 3 turns in figure of 8.
- Level 3: Forward edge changes on 1 foot; Alternating 3 turns (LFO RBI for half the rink, RFO LBI for second half, then second side LFI RBO then RFI LBO), ; Forward stroking with extended positions; Spirals on curves (LFO toe push LFI push RFI toe push RFO then to other side of rink RFI RFO LFO LFI).
- Level 4: Perimeter 3 turns; Mohawk step sequence; Back outside 3 turns - forward inside mohawks in a circle; Backward stroking with extended positions
- Level 5: Perimeter BO and BI double threes; Perimeter back changes of edge (BO/BI and BI/BO); One foot slaloms (forwards and backwards on each foot - half a side of rink on each foot - one side forwards one side backwards); Alternating choctaws (BO 3, FI choctaw, cross cut, cross roll BO three, then repeat)
- Level 6: Perimeter FI and FO double threes; FI rockers and BI double rockers; FO and FI brackets; Russian stroking (clockwise and anti clockwise) (NB they look for quick changes and steep lobes for this exercise at this level)
- Level 7: BO change of edge to BI double threes, BI change of edge to BO double threes; BI rocker/choctaw on a circle;BO and BI quick three turns (intro to twizzles) - basically a double twizzle or double double three; BI brackets (FI 3 cross in front, BI bracket)
- Level 8: (skater selects 4 out of 6) Perimeter Skating - Forward Counters,Perimeter Skating - Backward Counters, Barrel Roll and Toe Steps, Perimeter Skating - Quick 3 turns and Choctaws, Kilian Choctaws, Counter Twizzles and Back Outside Twizzles
- Level 9: (skater selects 4 out of 6) Fast circular Mohawks and Slip Step, Perimeter Skating - Forward Rockers, Perimeter Skating - 1 foot power rockers, inside double threes and twizzle, backward outside twizzles, closed choctaws
- Level 10: (skater selects 4 out of 6) Perimeter Skating - Backward Rockers, Perimeter backward loops and quick bracket three turn, Ina Bauer exercise, quick hip twists, double twizzles (both feet, both edges), swing rockers
- Level 1: Perimeter skating; Toe Loop; Three jump or salchow; Upright spin 3 revs; Step sequence; Forward spiral; Backward spiral on a curve
- Level 2: Perimeter skating; 3 jump; salchow or toe loop; upright spin (5 revs); sit spin (3 revs); backspin from a 3 turn entry (1-2 revs); step sequence
- Level 3: Figure 8 crossovers; loop; flip; combination jump with a toe loop as the second jump; camel spin (3 revs); backspin (3 revs); step sequence - with forward and backward 3 turns
- Level 4: lutz; axel; jump combination with loop as the second jump; camel-sit spin combination (2 revs in each position); change foot upright spin (4 revs on each foot); circular step sequence with mohawks and 3 turns; a sequence with at least 2 of these in: Spread eagle, Ina bauer, spiral, drag, pivot
- Level 5: Perimeter power crossover stroking; Axel with flow; Double Salchow; Jump combination, one of which must be a Lutz or Flip; Flying Camel spin (2-3 revolutions); Sit-Change Sit spin (minimum of 4 revolutions on each foot); Spin with one change of position and one change of foot (minimum of 3 revolutions on each foot)
- Level 6: Double Toe Loop; Jump combination consisting of Axel, Double Toe Loop; Jump sequence consisting of 2 single jumps; Camel-Change Camel spin (minimum 3 revolutions on each foot); Layback spin (minimum 5 revolutions) or Crossfoot spin (min 4 revolutions); Incorporate 3 of the following into a simple figure of eight pattern sequence - forward spiral, backward spiral, pivot, Ina Bauer, spreadeagle, drag; Serpentine step sequence (half the size of the rink)
- Level 7: Double salchow, double toe, jump combination double+single, flying camel to back sit spin (4 revs per position), spin combo with one change of foot and one of position (5 revs per foot), jump sequence of 3 jumps including 1 double, straight line step sequence using full ice
- Level 8: Double loop, axel with speed and flow, jump combinations with double toe as second jump, jump sequence to include at least 2 double jumps, flying camel spin (6 revs), sit-sit or camel-camel (6 revs per foot), serpentine step sequence
- Level 9: Double flip, jump combination 2 doubles NOT including double loop, jump combination 2 doubles with double loop as second, flying sit spin (5 revs), spin combo with 1 change of foot and 2 changes of position (6 revs per foot), layback or sideways spin (8 revs) or 2 foot cross foot spin (6 revs), sequence of spirals using full ice.
- Level 10: Double lutz, jump combo of 2 doubles (one must be double flip or double lutz), jump sequence to involve 2 double jumps, death drop or flying change sit spin (6 revs), spin combo with one change of foot and 2 changes of position showing 3 different positions (6 revs per foot), spiral step sequence using full ice, free choice step sequence using full ice.
Free Program 
- Level 1: 1 min 30 second programme to include 2 different jumps, 1 spin, spiral (forward or backward), step sequence (10 metres)
- Level 2: 1 min 30 second programme with 2 different jumps, a combination, 2 different spins, a step sequence (2/3 length of rink)
- Level 3: 1 min 30 seconds with 2 different jumps one of which must be a flip, one jump combination, 2 different spins (from camel, sit, upright), step sequence (full length of rink)
- Level 4: 2 mins with 2 different jumps one of which must be an axel, a jump combination with a flip or a lutz, 1 spin combination (which must include one change of position - 2 revs per position), 1 additional spin (min 4 revs), circular step sequence and a moves (i.e. spirals bauers) sequence
- Level 5: 2 mins including axel with flow, 2 different jumps including one double, one jump combo including a flip/lutz, at least 2 different spins one with change of foot and one with change of position (3 revs per foot/position), and a spiral or Moves in the Field sequence (covering half the ice surface).
- Level 6: 2 min 30 seconds, as for L5 but both jumps must be doubles and spiral sequence must use full ice.
- Level 7: 3 mins including axel with flow, 2 different double jumps, one jump combo including a double, jump sequence including one double, at least 2 different spins including a spin combo and a flying spin (4 revs per foot/position), spiral sequence covering full ice.
- Level 8: 3 mins (ladies) 3 mins 30 (men) including axel with speed and flow, 3 different double jumps, one jump combo including 2 doubles, at least 3 different spins including a spin combo and a flying spin (4 revs per foot/position), step sequence covering full ice.
- Level 9: 3 mins 30 (ladies) 4 mins (men) including 4 different double jumps, one jump combo including 2 doubles, one flying spin (5 revs), 2 different spins including a spin combo (6 revs per foot), spiral sequence covering full ice.
- Level 10: 4 mins (ladies) 4 mins 30 (men) including 5 different double jumps, one jump combo including 2 doubles, one flying spin (5 revs), 2 different spins including a spin combo (6 revs per foot), spiral sequence covering full ice, step sequence covering full ice
Compulsory Dance 
It is not always clear which of the official tunes are needed for each dance, so these are shown in brackets where different to the dance name. Coaches will have copies of the official tunes which must be used for tests. Step patterns for many of the dances may be found Ice-Dance.com or CoffeeSkate
- Level 1: Novice Foxtrot (Foxtrot), Rhythm Blues (Blues)
- Level 2: Canasta Tango (Tango), Dutch Waltz (Waltz)
- Level 3: Golden Skaters Waltz (Westminster Waltz), Riverside Rhumba
- Level 4: Fiesta Tango (Tango), Swing Dance (Rocker Foxtrot)
- Level 5: 14 Step, Willow Waltz (Waltz)
- Level 6: European Waltz (Waltz), Foxtrot
- Level 7: American Waltz, 22 Step
- Level 8A: Rocker Foxtrot, Blues
- Level 8B: Tango, Silver Samba (Samba)
- Level 9A: Kilian, Starlight Waltz
- Level 9B: Paso Doble, Argentine Tango
- Level 10A: Viennese Waltz, Quickstep
- Level 10B: Westminster Waltz, Rhumba
- Level Gold Bar 1: Austrian Waltz, Cha Cha Congelado (must be skated as a couple)
- Level Gold Bar 2: Ravensburger Waltz, Yankee Polka (must be skated as a couple)
- Level Gold Star: Golden Waltz, Tango Romantica, Midnight Blues (must be skated as a couple)
- Level 1: Rhythm Blues
- Level 2: Canasta Tango
Original Dance 
- Level 3: 1 min 30 including a midline or diagonal step sequence. Couples may have one lift
- Level 4: as for L3 plus 1 twizzle (1 rotation minimum).
- Level 5: as for L4, plus twizzles in both directions (1 rotation minimum), up to 2 spins now allowed.
- Level 6: as for L5, twizzles must be one set of twizzles (1 rotation minimum clockwise and anticlockwise) up to one step between
- Level 7: 2 min including a midline or circular or diagonal step sequence,one set of twizzles (2 rotation minimum clockwise and anticlockwise) up to one step between, one but no more than 2 spins (3 revs). Couples may have one lift
- Level 8: as for L7
- Level 9: 2 mins 30 requirements as for L8
- Level 10: as for L9 (2 lifts allowed)
- Level Gold Bar 1: 2 min 30 program of senior championship standard
- Level Gold Bar 2: 2 min 30 program of senior championship standard
- Level Gold Star: 2 min 30 program of senior championship standard
- Level 1: 1 min 30 including a midline or diagonal step sequence. Couples may have one lift
- Level 2: as for L1
- Level 3: as for L2, step sequence must be full length plus spin (3 revs), one twizzle (1 rotation).
- Level 4: as for L3 may have 2 spins, plus twizzle (1 clockwise, 1 anticlockwise, 1 rotation minimum).
- Level 5: as for L4
- Level 6: as for L5, twizzles must be one set of twizzles clockwise and anticlockwise (2 rotation on each foot) up to three steps between.
- Level 7: 2 min as for L6
- Level 8: 2 min as for L7 couples may have 2 lifts, Step seq can also be serpentine.
- Level 9: 3 mins as for L8
- Level 10:3 mins as for L9
- Level Gold Bar 1: 4 min program of senior championship standard
- Level Gold Bar 2: 4 min program of senior championship standard
- Level Gold Star: 4 min program of senior championship standard
A calendar of events that the NISA will host and organise can be found here. The ISU Junior Grand Prix of ice skating will be held in Britain, by the NISA, from the 15th to the 19th of October 2008.
- DL Bird 1979 Our Skating Heritage. London.
- This is what appears on the Record of Achievement given to ice skaters.