Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington, has been selected as the host venue for the 2016 Team Challenge Cup, set for April 22-24, 2016. Team Challenge Cup is an ISU-sanctioned three-day event that will feature 42 of the top figure skaters in the world competing in a continental team competition consisting of Team North America vs. Team Europe vs. Team Asia.
Each Team will consist of three ladies, three men, two pairs teams and two ice dance teams. ISU World Standings as of Jan. 1, 2016 will be used to determine the first invitees to the 2016 Team Challenge Cup. The top two singles skaters (ladies and men) and top two pairs and ice dance teams from each continent (and from different countries) will be invited to compete. The final singles athletes will be invited based on a fan vote. Teams will compete for more than $500,000 in prize money.
A Legend of the Sport will captain each team. The Team Captain will not compete in the event, but will be involved in nominating skaters for the fan vote and determining team strategy.
American Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Olympic champion, and Great Britain’s Christopher Dean, the 1984 Olympic ice dance champion with partner Jayne Torvill, will captain Team North America and Team Europe, respectively. Team Asia’s captain will be announced at a later date.
“I am extremely honored to be selected as captain of Team North America,” Yamaguchi said. “As a competitor I never had the opportunity to compete in a team competition like the Team Challenge Cup and I am excited to experience the camaraderie that I witnessed during the team event of the Sochi Olympics with some of the most talented young skaters in the world.”
Team Challenge Cup will feature two days of competition. Friday’s Singles Short Program will feature the ladies and men performing short programs for the distinction of Singles Short Program champion (team and individual). Saturday’s Singles and Team Free Skate segments will feature an aggregate scoring format to determine the 2016 Team Challenge Cup champion.
Team Challenge Cup Schedule (tentative)
Friday, April 22 (evening): During the Singles Short Program, each singles athletes will perform his/her short program. The Team earning the most combined points (based on placement) will be crowned the Singles Short Program champion. Results from this segment will not carry over to Saturday’s competition.
Saturday, April 23 (afternoon): The Team Free Skate will feature pairs and ice dance teams competing in an aggregate scoring format. Two pairs and ice dance teams from each Team will perform their free skates/dances, with the highest IJS scores in each discipline being added together for a total team score that will carry into the evening’s Singles Free Skate.
Saturday, April 23 (evening): The Singles Free Skate will feature ladies and men competing in an aggregate scoring format. The singles athletes from each team will perform their free skates, with the two highest IJS scores in each discipline being added to the Team Free Skate score carrying over. The team with the highest aggregate IJS score will be crowned the 2016 Team Challenge Cup champion.
Sunday, April 24 (afternoon): Exhibition