Masters Category 1

Posted: February 24, 2013 by jeklcox in Racing Information
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What is Masters Category 1?

Young speedskaters have many levels of achievement to set their sights on, from Junior and Senior Category 1 through National Team membership and World Cup teams, all the way to the Olympics.  Masters skaters typically start the sport, or return to the sport, late enough in life that these goals are not feasible for them.   Masters Category 1, or MAT 1, was developed by a group of masters speedskaters as a way to give skaters over 30 a level of achievement to aspire to, as well as recognition for their status as elite skaters in their age group.  MAT 1 is a time standard that is based on the International Masters Speedskating Committee records for men and women in 5 year age groups from 30 on up.

How do I achieve MAT 1 status?

MAT 1 is earned by masters skaters who skate a metric race in a time 108% or less of the International Masters Speedskating Committee record (informally known as “masters world records”) for that distance in the skater’s age and gender group.  The race must be skated at an event with an official protocol (a protocol is a detailed list of results of the meet, including lap times, and signed by the meet’s chief referee).  Typically, any regular Time Trial or official meet at ovals such as Roseville, Salt Lake City, the Pettit, or Calgary will qualify, as will a Masters sanctioned event anywhere in the world.  Times are based on the previous year’s records, and the time standard does not change if the record is lowered during the current skating season.  A list of current IMSSC records can be found here

What does achieving MAT 1 mean?

Achieving MAT 1 means that you are one of the fastest skaters in the world in your age group.  MAT 1 skaters are considered the honorary US Masters National Team.  In addition to the warm glow you’ll get from knowing that you are fast, you will also receive, free or at greatly reduced cost, a national-team-quality US Speedskating skinsuit, with USA and Masters logos, every year that you qualify for MAT 1.  Skaters are only allowed to wear skinsuits with USA/team logos if they have earned them (in other words, if you buy one off eBay you must remove the USA logos).  So you not only get a top-quality skinsuit, you get the right to wear a USA suit in meets.

How many skaters qualify for MAT 1 each year?

In the two years that MAT 1 has been in place, there have been approximately 15 men and 5 women who qualify each year.  However, there is no limit to the number of people who can qualify.

I have achieved MAT 1. How do I make sure that I’m on the list of MAT 1 skaters?

At the end of every long track season, a couple of dedicated masters skaters will sort through Speedskating to find all the masters skaters who have qualified for MAT 1.  To make their job easier, anyone in the Minnesota area who qualifies for MAT 1 can email me at  Just tell me your name, age group, distance, time, and where and when the event was skated.  I will pass along the information to the MAT 1 gurus.  Once the list has been finalized, the MAT 1 gurus will be in touch with you to discuss the skinsuits.

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