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European Figure Skating Championships

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Title: European Figure Skating Championships  
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European Figure Skating Championships

The 2010 medalists in the ladies' event
The 2012 medalists in the men's event

The European Figure Skating Championships ("Europeans") is an annual figure skating competition in which figure skaters compete for the title of European champion. The event is sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU), and is the oldest of the four annual figure skating competitions designated "ISU Championships" (the others are the World, Four Continents, and World Junior Championships). Medals are awarded in the disciplines of men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. The competition is generally held in January.

History

The men's singles European championship first took place in Hamburg in 1891, while the ladies' singles and pair skating European championships started in Vienna in 1930. The ice dancing championship was held for the first time in Bolzano in 1954.

The skating association of Germany and Austria, joined in one club "Deutscher und Österrreichischer Eislaufverband," organised the first European Championships in figure skating as well as in speed skating in Hamburg, German Empire in 1891 even before the International Skating Union (ISU) was found. The ISU decided in 1892 to continue to hold European Championships in figure skating each year. In 1895 it was decided to hold World Championships instead of Europeans. Therefore, the Europeans were discontinued until 1898.

Until 1948, skaters representing any ISU member could enter the European Championships. After Canadian Barbara Ann Scott and American Dick Button won the singles titles that year, whilst the best Europeans Eva Pawlik of Austria and Hans Gerschwiler of Switzerland were awarded the European silver medals, entries were restricted to skaters representing European countries. At the time, the North American Figure Skating Championships existed as a North Americans-only senior-level competition. This competition was contested for the last time in 1971. The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships was established by the ISU in 1999 as the equivalent competition for skaters from non-European countries.

Qualifying

Skaters qualify for the European Championships by belonging to a European member nation of the ISU. Each country is allowed one entry in every discipline by default. The most entries a country can have in a single discipline is three. Countries earn a second or third entry for the following year's competition by earning points through skater placement. The points are equal to the sum of the placements of the country's skaters (top two if they have three). Entries do not carry over and so countries must continue to earn their second or third spot every year. If a country only has one skater/team, that skater/team must place in the top ten to earn a second entry and in the top two to earn three entries to next year's championships. If a country has two skaters/teams, the combined placement of those teams must be 13 or less to qualify three entries, and 28 or less to keep their two entries. If they do not do so, they only have one entry for the following year. There are exceptions if a skater is forced to withdraw in the middle of the competition due to a medical emergency or equipment problems.

Each nation's governing body determines their own selection criteria. Some countries rely on the results of their national championships while others have more varied criteria (such as international results,

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