ISU Congress

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by drfj, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Lanna

    Lanna Well-Known Member

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    What the hell is the point of the World Championships if not to be a championship for skaters all over the world, where the best skater in every country gets a shot to compete? If you want all the barriers to compete that you can think of, fine, that's the GP, go knock yourselves out with your exclusive competitions that approach irelevance when your field of six gets winnowed down to four because of injuries and withdrawls. Yeah, some countries have deep fields and it sucks that their 4th skater is zomg so much better than all those skaters from other countries, but you know what, I can see the 4th best Russian skater at RUS nationals. Worlds aren't one or two or three countries' national championships. It's the world friggin championships. It should be open. There should be a big field. That's the whole bloody point!

    :mitchell:
  2. PinkFeathers

    PinkFeathers Active Member

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    Wait. Where did the rumor about Canada dumping Worlds come from? I was planning to attend, and this is not good news :(
  3. Oz_sk8ting_mum

    Oz_sk8ting_mum New Member

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    That should be in Australia's case "skaters had to pay their own way, their coaches way and split the expenses for the team leader"

    Here's an idea to save some cost's you don't get to send 3 competitors for each competiton you only send the best from each country. How can you call it "worlds" if all members are not able to participate in some way ??:shuffle: (I already know that your not going to like that suggestion) But smaller federations REALLY struggle and get no funding, our skaters pay their own way to attend.

    I'm curious what it cost the participants from some of the powerhouse countries to attend?
  4. Oz_sk8ting_mum

    Oz_sk8ting_mum New Member

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    :respec::respec::cheer2::cheer2::40beers:
    I'm with you!!!
  5. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    The point of a world championship is to send and crown the best skaters in the world. You complain that some skaters from countries are left out but some skaters who are really good get left out too because they are limited as to how many they can send, so if the best in the world aren't there, it's still not a true World Championship.

    If you can see all the skaters at their respective nationals, why have Worlds at all? I hate to see good skaters get left out (esp if they can get in the top 10) because a skater who can't even get a total score higher that most free skates got to go instead.
  6. bek

    bek Guest

    Hey skating doesn't have to only be in Japan.. It can go to Russia too. Alternating between Russia and Japan. (with Korea thrown in if they can ever find a replacement for Kim)
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    For championships, though, the hosts get to have a skater in the SP/SD, even if the skater didn't make it through the prelims. I don't know if the expenses through the SP/SD are covered if the host provision is used, but it makes little sense for smaller fed hosts to care about prelims. Maybe non-host Feds, but why do they think theam same carrying costs won't be applied to the SP/SD? What am I missing?
  8. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever watched a competition with 50 lousy competitors? It's a painful sight and dead tiring. I'd rather see 20 best in the world even if all of them are from Japan/Canada/USA/Russia then have skaters from Israel, India, Iceland, Ireland and other I....
    Add to that the fact that most of those not deep fielded countries are represented by useless american skaters who hold just about any passport. Seriously, go though the 4CC ladies competitors - 80% of them were born and train in the USA, just can make it through the local rink competition. Is that what you'd like to see during the worlds?
    Stephanie and (deleted member) like this.
  9. can'tsk8

    can'tsk8 New Member

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    I agree World Championships is exactly that, it is not an exclusive event for the worlds greatest skaters, if that is the case Nationality is not important it should just be invited skaters. World Championships whether you like it or not is for the Whole World not exclusive regions! The stronger skating Nations have more spots already so I think that assists with making sure plenty of top skaters are present. Developing Nations should be embraced and encouraged by the stonger Nations to participate, after all this is Amateur INTERNATIONAL sport! I think the senior GP circuit is exclusive enough as it is an invitational series, this allow a select few to compete on the senior A circuit and attend the GPF perhaps this series is elitist enough.

    I do also agree there is a problem with many developing countries being represented by US skaters with multiple passports, not sure what the solution to that is, as most skaters that are born and raised in developing Nations tend to train as much as possible in US.
  10. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    Where is the evidence that the TV networks liked having to schedule two finals on a Saturday instead of one, when so many other sports are competing for these slots? It seems like an extra difficulty!


    They would also have used two days of ice time for practice if they had skated only in the short program, without the preliminaries. Those who didn't get past the SP could pay their own expenses too.

    With the preliminaries, the skaters who ended up qualifying actually used more ice time and stayed longer in their hotels. And the judges had to stay longer as well.


    I don't get how this would be more expensive either.
    Anyway, as for Canada dumping the pre-Olympic Worlds because of a bit of extra expense - they may have threatened to do it, but I'll believe it when see it! :lol:
  11. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    Why are you complaining? Those of us who go rollerskating through whole sections of the event and hardly spend two hours per week in the rink should not comment on the format. ;)
    TAHbKA and (deleted member) like this.
  12. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    TAHbKA, whatever about skaters from Israel and India, the skater from Ireland is actually from Ireland. Iceland don't send skaters to Euros or Worlds for some reason. :p

    I can only speak from my own country's perspective, but the Irish federation is honestly making efforts to develop skating as a sport here. But with no government funding, it is a real struggle. The fact that one of our skaters made it to the top 30 of Worlds this year is a huge success.

    The sport is already heavily weighted in favour of the bigger nations. Europeans, 4CC and Worlds are all the majority of nations have in terms of their athletes competing on a global stage and getting local media exposure for the sport. If you take the right of all nations to field competitors at World, you will be left with USA/Canada/Japan/Russia/China/France and it will severely stunt the sport in all the other countries.

    Think about Spain or Korea - who would have thought we would have top competitors from either of these nations ten years ago? It's because skaters in those countries had Worlds at the very least to aim for that there was motivation for them and their federations to develop.

    And nobody is forcing you to sit through 50 lousy skaters you know. Just show up for the ones you're interested in. ;)
  13. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I would like to see a qualifying system whereby (for example) the top 12 skaters at Worlds automatically qualify THEMSELVES for next year's worlds / Olympics, and 12 to 18 skaters qualify THEMSELVES via achieving a minimum score, or medalling at the GPs, making GPF, placing top 5 at Euros / 4CCs or a certain seasons best ranking etc. And then there can be 6 to 10 host picks for each GP / GPF / Euro / 4CC / Worlds hosting nation. Then you have 40 skaters going into the short program every year at Worlds, with a good level of skating based on the season's performance, some advantage for hosting nations of major skating events, and no advantage for skaters just because they have a super talented teammate (i.e. Marchei's fate will be in her own hands instead of resting on which Kostner shows up, and both Helgesson sisters can qualify to Worlds on their own etc). :cheer:
  14. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    There were never preliminaries in TEB :p
    The complaint is about Nebelhorn trophy and expecting the Euros/Worlds to turn into the same type of torture (don't get me wrong, am enough of a masochist to watch all 50 ladies even then. Will go on complaining though :lol:)

    Fair enough. Ireland and Iceland aside, the 4CC competitors (ladies event) biographies made the competition sound :scream::scream::scream:

    Doctor, I'm a masochist! :drama:
  15. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    The thing is that it's your patriotism talking rather than a pure figure skating fanatism which is cosmopolitan. Had Peters represented any other country you would snark endlessly about a skater making it to the Euros without bothering landing a single tripple jump. You would also not be aware of her hard training condition and you wouldn't appreciate all the hard work she and the Irish federation had done. It's all great, but when you have 30 such competitors in one competition and you don't care about 29 of them, it doesn't leave too much room for the excitement.
  16. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    There is an element of patriotism, but I tend to snark more about costume, choreography and music choices rather than jumps in any case. ;)

    Although I have to say it's rather impressive that she has qualified 3 out of 4 times from the preliminary rounds at championships. She must be doing something right. :D

    While I'm not in favour of countries "importing" skaters, I do believe that every member of the ISU should be able to send a representative to championships when they meet the requirements and I can't remember ever questioning a skater's right to compete at Worlds.
  17. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    Reading the rules and following them. Her programmes, imho, are a textbook how the programme should be constructed to get the maximum possible points.

    I don't remember you questioning it either. We arent' talking about their right to skate at worlds, but whether we should be tortured by seeing that :p
  18. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    Aha, but we all have the choice about whether to look or not. ISU is not North Korea. Yet. ;)
  19. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    I'm lost, too, but at least we won't be lost alone.

    :confused:
  20. gingercat

    gingercat Active Member

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    One thing that we all need to remember is that every sport needs to have some sort of financial support. Every sport is supported by the lower levels so that the higher levels can compete on the world stage. If you take away all the money put into figure skating from every county other than: US, Russia, Japan, China, Canada Who would be paying for the sport. Would the suppliers of equipment (blades, boots, tights, Zamboni...) be able to stay in business without all the other "little, less qualified nations". The old saying of do not bite the hand that feeds you come to mind. Don't forget the importance of every person in Figure Skating, right down to the learn to skater that just now steps on the ice, they too are helping to keep your sport alive.
    Poggi and (deleted member) like this.
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    When I watch the struggles smaller federations have getting athletes into Olympics (outside of skating, really) I think that World's should remain a system where ALL countries can send an athlete, to have a chance. I don't care if it is prelims or no-prelims, but they should be able to go.

    Without these chances the program will NEVER develop.
  22. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    I think it's an even sadder statement that changes like this are rushed through without thinking things through. At the very least it should have passed with the condition that it start at a later date. You shouldn't change the rules in the middle of a game and that's what they did (apparently). Skate Canada chose their location and made all their plans with certain expectations, sold tickets to the events, and have now been told (after all that planning and preparation) here are some new rules that will raise your expenses and change your scheduling so deal with it. It's a piss off.
  23. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    I also don't disagree with any of this. I just don't think it's fair to Skate Canada (or whoever would have had the Worlds directly following this vote) to have this dumped on them in the middle of their preparations.
  24. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Oh, absolutely.


    There need to be competitions for skaters who are not among the top 10 or 20 in the world, enjoyable for almost all audiences to watch by virtue of their skill level and the competitive interest in fighting it out for top placements.

    No skater gets to that level without being weaker earlier in their career. And no federation gets to the level of having skaters that good without establishing a competitive field at lower levels and nurturing the talented ones to aim higher.

    Depending on the emphases of rules, judging standards, and priorities of the individual skaters, some of the lesser skilled skaters will be painful to watch and others will be quite enjoyable (e.g., if they mostly stick to skills they're comfortable with, if they have some outstanding skills in one area even if they're deficient in others, if they add some personality and interesting choreography to their performances).

    Let's say that the final round freeskate at the World Championships (24 skaters) is for 24of the best skaters in the world that year. There's no way of finding out who are the very best 24 skaters in the world without getting many more skaters than that in the same place at the same time to battle it out against each other. And once you get much more than that, the quality of the event will suffer, even if all the skaters are excellent -- the fairness will suffer from judging fatigue, and the entertainment value will suffer from audience fatigue.

    So there need to be ways to cut the field to a reasonable number for the final round. That number has been determined to be 24 singles skaters -- 4 groups of 6 per warmup.

    The stakeholders are
    1) the ISU itself, which wants to develop skating as a competitive sport throughout the world, determine the best skater as its world champion, and provide a sports product they can sell to broadcasters and live spectators -- probably in that order of priority

    2) the individual federations, some of which have well-developed programs with many strong skaters, some that sometimes have one or two potential medal contenders and a number of average senior-level skaters, and others that are still developing their programs toward an average senior standard

    3) the skaters who are at or close to medalworthy standard (maybe at least 24 of these across the world, but most of them concentrated in a few strong federations), skaters who are at a solid average senior standard (or better but inconsistent), skaters who are average on a good day and weaker on bad days, and skaters who are still aiming to reach that average standard

    4) whichever country is hosting Worlds that year and needs to attract local audiences, serious fans who travel from abroad, and broadcasters from around the world

    5) audiences -- some who only care about seeing the very best in the world and their own compatriots, others who like to see a broader range of ability to understand what makes the best skaters best and to appreciate favorite skaters with favorite kinds of skills or performance quality

    How can we take several hundred skaters around the world who can meet basic senior level standards and determine which ones qualify for that final round this year?

    Well, there are several ways to do it, and the ISU has tried or proposed most of them over the years. Meanwhile, the number of federations participating has continued to increase.

    There's no way everyone is going to be satisfied with the process or the results no matter which approach is chosen.

    Preliminary round long programs or everyone skate the short? They keep changing their minds about this because different groups have different interests. But they need to foresee effects of each change and ploan them in advance.

    It's always going to be the federations' interests and concerns about hosting costs and packaging the event to attract the most TV income from the most sources that will prevail.

    We can each think of our own theoretical ideal format for a figure skating world championships. We'll surely disagree with each other. But I bet my ideal would not be financially feasible, and someone else's ideal would prevent the majority of federations from participating, etc., so for practical reasons we won't expect to ever see them become reality.
  25. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    That's true. It should have been enacted for 2014 or something.
  26. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    If the Russians can put together Worlds on one month's notice, I am sure a well-run organization like Skate Canada will be able to adjust for this change with nine months to go. They just had four rounds of qualifying and at least a couple of days of skating and practice time shaved off the event, which should make things easier.

    I think it's great that more skaters will have a chance to compete at Worlds in the pre-Olympic year, and hopefully there will be some pleasant surprises.
  27. bek

    bek Guest

    They did such an amazing job that time.:swoon:
  28. RUKen

    RUKen Guest

    Another point of view is that the point of the World Championships is to determine (at the end of the season, rather than the middle) the best-performing skater from anywhere in the world, regardless of how many other competitors are affiliated with the same federation.

    We have seen that the third-place skater from a National Championships may become the champion (for example, Sarah Hughes in the 2002 Olympics, and I believe there are examples from the ISU Worlds), so it is not a big leap to imagine that a fourth-place skater from a strong country could win the Worlds in March or April.

    I would argue that the purpose of the World Championships should be to rank the top 24 or 36 or 48 skaters in the world in each discipline, not just to crown a champion. This is clearly not accomplished when each federation is limited to 1, 2, or 3 entries depending on the previous year's results. The top ten or so may be accurately ranked, but beyond that many of the skaters who should be ranked in the teens and twenties are not permitted to compete. (Currently, with the dominance of Japan, even the top ten may not be accurate in men's and ladies'.)

    One final point--although I live in a large country with a relatively successful skating program, it is not my goal to be able to chant my own country's name and wave the national flag ten or more times in each discipline as each of the skaters compete. In fact, I never do this at a skating event (or any other event). I sit quietly and root for all of the skaters who are competing to do their best, and applaud each of them when they are finished. I have attended events such as the Nebelhorn Trophy and Junior Worlds which do not include the best in the world and enjoyed watching the skaters from around the world compete. My preference for a World Championships that would include all of the world's best, regardless of country, is because I LOVE THE SPORT OF FIGURE SKATING AND WOULD LIKE TO WATCH ONE COMPETITION AT THE END OF EACH SEASON WITH ALL OF THE BEST IN THE SPORT. I do not expect such a competition to be held in my lifetime, but that is my preference.
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  29. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    Well if Canada don't want it, I'm sure Australia could put on a kickass Worlds! :p




    ....eh, who am I kidding. The ISU would never do something like that. :(
  30. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    In what way would this have changed their choice of location?

    As for the tickets, surely Skate Canada is aware that the format of the championships is often reviewed during the Congress and this is not the first time the format has been changed. Therefore if they have chosen to sell the tickets before the Congress, this is a risk they have knowingly taken. The championships are more than nine months away. What was the great hurry?

    OT: Tickets for skating competitions in Canada and the US are sold so much earlier than anywhere else in the world. I always wonder if the fans don't protest. The difficulty of knowing one's schedule more than a year in advance aside, we don't usually pay so much in advance for any goods or services!
  31. Rock2

    Rock2 New Member

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    In Canada, we only :soapbox: in Quebec. (and we're good at it!)

    The rest of us are fairly...I dunno... :shuffle:

    So I wouldn't expect much.
  32. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    The Russians did a great job. :cheer:

    Not a fan of the Eddie the Eagles of the skating world, and I hope that the ISU increases the minimum score requirement in singles skating, which would solve a good deal of the problem.

    We have a World Cup in soccer, and require countries to go through qualification rounds which do not seem to have diminished the interest in soccer.

    Australia has the capacity to support figure skating; they just don't have the interest yet. In swimming, they have the interest -- and look at the amazing results. Did Korea have huge interest in figure skating pre Yu Na? And yet she managed to become a world class skater training right at home, with local coaches. And now skating is hugely popular in Korea.

    I can see how prior to the advent of the internet that getting to international competitions was a big deal for skaters since the coverage was otherwise spotty. These days, there is no reason a coach can't watch an infinite number of videos of all sorts of competitive skating programs.

    I'd rather the ISU fund developmentals and coaching seminars that might actually improve skating rather than excursions to Worlds for skaters who lack the credentials.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  33. sap5

    sap5 Well-Known Member

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    Are tickets to skating events often bought by corporations? I know large corporations/businesses in the US buy blocks of tickets for major sporting events far in advance as part of their yearly budgeting. Those businesses don't care about scheduling when they buy. Maybe that's why SC wanted to start selling early?
  34. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    If I remember correctly, the sale of tickets for Euros 2011 was held off until after congress in 2010 precisely because of this.
  35. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to start a thread in the Trash Can for hypothetical discussion of this goal. Please join me there!
  36. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm fine with some sort of minimum score requirement, so long as it can be achieved in senior Bs and not just in GPs/ISU Championships. However, I do think that there is no substitute for actual participation by lower ranked skaters - this is their chance to skate alongside the best and learn from them, and more than one skater has said how helpful that is. The Chinese pairs program is an often-used example, but there are other examples. For instance, in more recent years, I think the opportunity to skate at major events has been very important in the development of several of the Spanish skaters - and that's a local program, not American imports. This is something that needs to be encouraged in other countries, too.

    So, toward that end, I think a minimum score for Worlds is fine, but it shouldn't be too high. And perhaps participation in Junior Worlds and the continental ISU Championships should not have such a requirement, or maybe could require a lower minimum.
  37. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    I saw most of Worlds this year live in person and I can't think of one skater who deserves an Eddie the Eagle comparison. :rolleyes:

    It's a completely different sport! The World Cup takes places once every four years and the qualifiers happen over the course of 14 months. That's before I mention that the barriers to entry in soccer/football are very low which is what makes it a popular and easy to play sport.

    And without the experience of skaters who you labelled "Eddie the Eagles" there would be no Yu-na Kim. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Think of how Chinese pairs have advanced since finishing dead last at Worlds 30 years ago.

    It still is a big deal for skaters to compete at Worlds. And what does a coach watching skating videos have to do with anything? The skaters who go to Worlds gain a lot of valuable experience that can't be learned through just training. And if you think otherwise you really are an idiot.

    Skaters have to meet a minimum score, so all the skaters who competed at Worlds had the credentials. As for the ISU funding their excursions - if only! :lol:
  38. allezfred

    allezfred Prick Admin Staff Member

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    There is no minimum score requirement for Junior Worlds. :)
  39. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't remember if there was or not - but I figured if people want minimums in other major events, they might make the same case for JW. Anyway, thanks for the clarification!
  40. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that many of the junior competitors are brand new to international competition; their only opportunity to earn a score before Jr. Worlds might be that season's JGP.

    A 13-year-old from a geographically isolated country, and that country's federation, might have to make a choice between funding a trip to a JGP and funding a trip to Junior Worlds.

    And what if the skater was injured during the fall but recovered and skating well in the winter? Or not yet on the federation's radar at the time JGP assignments were made and blew away the junior field at that country's nationals or other selection competition? The latter can happen in large wealthy federations as well.

    For senior competitors, the previous season's scores can contribute, even if earned in junior competition.