"Athletes are sensitive human
beings with lives beyond sport;
they are not simply a commodity."

The Coaches' Report

Parents' Survey Results


This informal online survey, conducted between January 3-28, 2000, consisted of 20 questions for parents of figure skaters of all levels and from any country. Parents were asked to respond to questions concerning a variety of issues including expenses; communication with coaches, other parents and skating organizations; and abuse reporting procedures.

The following are responses made by all 233 parents who participated in the survey.

General Information (Questions 1-5)

1. How many of your children take, or have taken, skating lessons?

 One 155
 Two  60
 Three or more 16

 

2. How many years have your children been involved in figure skating?

 Less than two  32
 Between two and five  65
 Between five and ten  80
 Between ten and fifteen  45
Between fifteen and twenty
 More than twenty 1

 

3. How old is your skater (or skaters)? (multiple answers possible)

 5 years old or under  19
 6 - 9 years old  64
 10 - 13 years old  67
 14 - 17 years old  78
 18 - 21 years old  23
 Over 21 years old  3

 

4. In what ways are your children involved in skating currently?

 Learn-to-skate lessons 53 (23%)  CFSA testing/competing, below novice level 34 (15%)
 Recreational skating only 9 (4%)  CFSA testing/competing, novice level or above 22 (9%)
 ISI testing or competing 49 (21%)  Testing or competing outside the U.S. or Canada 12 (5%)
 USFSA testing/competing, below novice level 100 (43%)  Professional skating (tours, competitions) 3 (1%)
 USFSA testing/competing, novice level or above  53 (23%)  Coaching or teaching 24 (10%)

 

5. Are you yourself a member of any major skating organizations?

 USFSA  103 (44%)  PSA  3 (1%)
 CFSA  33 (14%)  Other  15 (6%)
 ISI  27 (12%)    



Expenses (Questions 6-7, 9)

6. How much did your children's skating expenses cost during the year 1999?

Percentages for all 233 respondents are given in red. Percentages for 147 respondents who identified their children as testing or competing in the USFSA system are given in blue.

 Less than $1,000 10% (4%)  More than $10,000 - up to $50,000 27% (35%)
 More than $1,000 - up to $5,000 31% (27%)  More than $50,000 6% (7%)
 More than $5,000 - up to $10,000 25% (27%)  

 

7. What percentage of your children's skating expenses for the year 1999 were paid for through sponsors, donations, scholarships, grants, awards and prizes, and/or your skating federation?

 Zero  180 (77%)  More than 50%, up to 75%  3 (1%)
 10% or less  32 (14%)  More than 75%  1
 More than 10%, up to 25%  9 (4%)  100%  0
 More than 25%, up to 50%  6 (3%)  (No answer)  2

 

9. Over the past three years, how often have you consulted with the following people for information or advice regarding skating expenses (lessons, equipment, costumes, music, travel, sponsorship)?

 My skater(s) Frequently: 47% Occasionally:25%  Rarely: 8%  Never: 18%
 My spouse Frequently: 53% Occasionally:25%  Rarely: 7%  Never: 11%
My skater's coach(es) Frequently: 42%  Occasionally:35%  Rarely: 15%  Never: 5%
Other parents at my rink Frequently: 20%  Occasionally:37%   Rarely: 20%  Never: 20%
Other skating parents not at my rink Frequently: 3%  Occasionally:28%  Rarely: 31%  Never: 33%
Rink or pro shop staff Frequently: 8% Occasionally:25% Rarely: 22%  Never: 40%
My skater's club (board members, newsletter, website) Frequently: 12% Occasionally:27%  Rarely: 24%  Never: 35%
My skater's federation (seminars, newsletter, website) Frequently: 5% Occasionally:23%  Rarely: 26%  Never: 42%
Books or magazines Frequently: 11% Occasionally:37%  Rarely: 24%  Never: 25%
Other online sources (forums, mailing lists, miscellaneous websites) Frequently: 20%  Occasionally:30% Rarely: 23% Never: 24%



Communication with skating community (Questions 8, 10, 12-13, 19)

8. How would you rate your level of communication with the following
people or organizations?

 Your skater(s) Very good: 79% Satisfactory: 17% Less than satisfactory: 1%   Poor: 0
Your skater's coach(es) Very good: 53% Satisfactory:36%  Less than satisfactory: 6% Poor: 3%
Most other parents at your rink Very good: 23%  Satisfactory:57%  Less than satisfactory:13%  Poor: 4% 
Your rink's staff Very good: 21%  Satisfactory: 42% Less than satisfactory:21%  Poor: 9% 
Your skating club's board members * Very good: 27%  Satisfactory:38%  Less than satisfactory:22%  Poor: 12% 
Your skating federation * Very good: 16%  Satisfactory:48%  Less than satisfactory:28%  Poor: 8% 

* Does not include respondents who chose "Not applicable"

 

10. Over the past 3 years, how often have you consulted with the following people for information or advice regarding what's expected of your skater in competition (skills, music, costumes, appearance, procedures, etc)?

Does not include respondents who chose "Not applicable"

 My skater(s) Frequently: 68% Occasionally:23%  Rarely: 4%  Never: 5%
 My spouse Frequently: 27% Occasionally:25%  Rarely: 24%  Never: 24%
My skater's coach(es) Frequently: 77%  Occasionally:21%  Rarely: 1%  Never: 1%
Other parents at my rink Frequently: 23%  Occasionally:49%   Rarely: 28%  Never: 0
Other skating parents not at my rink Frequently: 4%  Occasionally:23%  Rarely: 31%  Never: 42%
Official rule book Frequently: 33% Occasionally:31% Rarely: 16%  Never: 20%
 My own consultations with judges or officials Frequently: 7% Occasionally:22%  Rarely: 25%  Never: 46%
My skater's club (board members, newsletter, website) Frequently: 8% Occasionally:27%  Rarely: 26%  Never: 39%
My skater's federation (seminars, newsletter, website) Frequently: 8% Occasionally:27%  Rarely: 28% Never: 37%
Books or magazines Frequently: 14% Occasionally:36%  Rarely: 27%  Never: 23%
Other online sources (forums, mailing lists, miscellaneous websites) Frequently: 17%  Occasionally:34% Rarely: 23% Never: 26%

 

12. Have you ever conferred with your skater's coach about what kind of physical contact or language they expect to use with your child in the course of lessons?

 Yes, at my request 36 (15%)
 Yes, at their request 24 (10%)
 No 168 (72%)
 (no answer) 4

 

13. Would you welcome a parent-coach advisory group at your rink or club? Why or why not?

 Yes 82 (35%)
 No 30 (13%)
 Not sure 95 (41%)
Our rink or club already has one 21 (9%)
(no answer)  

 

19. Do you receive any of the following publications?

FOCUS for Parents (USFSA parents' newsletter) 23 (10%)
SKATING Magazine 145 (62%) 
Recreational Ice Skating (ISI magazine) 56 (24%) 
Newsletters or periodic mailings from your skater's club 136 (58%)
Newsletters or periodic mailings from your skater's rink 54 (23%) 
Skater's Edge magazine  35 (15%) 
Other skating magazines such as Blades on Ice, American Skating World, Tracings, International Figure Skating etc. 99 (42%) 



Abuse and grievance-related issues (Questions 11, 14-18)

11. Have you ever received any official information from any sporting organizations (via printed materials, workshops or seminars) about physical or sexual abuse or harassment?

 Yes 35 (15%)
 No 195 (84%)
 (no answer)

 

14. Have you ever been informed of any formal procedures for reporting abusive behavior by coaches or employees at your rink?

 Yes 39 (17%)
 No 187 (80%) 
(no answer) 7

 

15. If you observed abusive behavior by a coach or rink employee (or received a complaint from your child or another parent about abusive behavior), is there currently a specific person in a management/supervisor position at your rink or club to whom you would feel comfortable reporting this?

Yes 134 (58%) 
No 58 (25%) 
Not sure 34 (15%)
(no answer) 7

 

16. Have you ever attempted to report (to rink management) physical or sexual abuse or harassment by a coach or employee at your facility? Were you satisfied at how your complaint was handled?

Yes, and was
satisfied at how it was handled 
7 (3%)
Yes, but was not satisfied at how it was handled 20 (9%)
No, I have not had to
report anything
200 (86%)
(no answer)

 

17. Are you satisfied that the complaint procedure at your rink is responsible and fair to parents and skaters?

Yes 77
No 21 
What complaint procedure? 117
(no answer)  18

 

18. Have you ever considered filing a formal complaint or grievance with your skater's local club or federation (USFSA, CFSA, etc) over a coach's or a fellow member's conduct? If you ended up not filing a complaint, what was the reason why?

Yes 35
No 190 
(no answer) 8 



Question 20: "Is there anything that you now wish you had been able to get information about more easily when you and your child were new to skating?" (click to see responses)

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