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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 4 annual figure skating competitions designated "ISU Championships" (the others are the World Figure Skating Championships, the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, and theWorld Junior Figure Skating Championships).
Skaters compete in the categories of men's singles, ladies singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. The competition is generally held in January.
In 2010, they will be held in Tallinn, Estonia from 18 January to 24 January. In 2011, they will be held in Bern, Switzerland. In 2012, they will be held inSheffield, UK from 23 January to 29 January.
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 dancingchampionship 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 inspeed 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. 1895 it was decided to hold World Championships instead of Europeans. Therefore the Europeans were discontinued until 1898.
Up 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, 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.
Skaters qualify for the European Championships by belonging to a European Member nation of the ISU. Each country gets 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 3 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.
Which skaters from each country attend the European Championships is at the national governing body's discretion. Some countries rely on the results of their national championships while others have more varied critea. Selections vary by country.
Skaters must be older than fifteen as of July 1 the previous year to compete. The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships is the corresponding competition for skaters from non-European countries.
Multiple spots for the 2010 European Championships
The following countries have earned more than one entry to the 2010 European Figure Skating Championships based on performance at the 2009 European Figure Skating Championships.