Assume Positive Intentions
If you go through the day under the premise that people basically aren't jerks, you'll be a lot happier.
Granted, people cheat. People especially cheat to get their darlings the gold ring.
Just ask Honey Boo Boo.
Here's a question from a reader:
I was wondering whether a skater who had taken her pre pre Free Skate test in January could compete at a lower level after her test results are posted by USFS. She took the test in January, and the competition was in March. She is competing at the next competition at no test again, against my daughter's friend. Should I report her?Well, no.
Don't report her.
First of all, don't get involved in someone else's fight. Second of all, assume positive intentions.
In a situation like this, you can contact the club that is running the competition and ask for a clarification of the rules. Note I don't say- "tell them someone is cheating and here is why." Just ask what the rules are. In the case above, it may be that the application and the test just crossed in the mail, it may be that the club had to combine events or age groups because of under-enrollment. What is NOT happening is cheating, because it simply doesn't happen in this way, plus cheating at all at USFS competitions is vanishingly rare, especially at the non-qualifying level. The more common "cheat" is for coaches to sandbag their kids--not allow them to test so that they can compete and win at the no test levels. If this skater is testing, then she is doing it right.
Don't forget that clubs are run by volunteers. Mistakes happen, rule misapplication happens, and kids win (and lose) competitions for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with their actual test level.
The worst thing you can do is worry about who is winning non-quals. They don't count. Their purpose is to give kids experience at competing, and apparent unfairness of this sort is exactly the kind of situation that strengthens them for when they go to the "show."
The only thing a parent should be worrying about at competitions (and this includes the show!) is whether the kid got enough rest, enough food, enough lead time at the site, and has all her/his stuff in their skating bag.
That's enough to worry about.