ISU Congress

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

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    That's true. It should have been enacted for 2014 or something.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. bek

    bek Guest

    They did such an amazing job that time.:swoon:
     
  8. 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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  9. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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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. :(
     
  10. 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!
     
  11. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
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  13. 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?
     
  14. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature 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.
     
  15. 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!
     
  16. 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.
     
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature 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:
     
  18. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    There is no minimum score requirement for Junior Worlds. :)
     
  19. 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!
     
  20. 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.
     
  21. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  22. pani

    pani Well-Known Member

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    Any official information about 2013 WCh?
     
  23. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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    #australiaforworlds2013

    Well c'mon. What better place for the pre-Olympic Worlds than somewhere politikly neutral? :p
     
  24. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Sit through all of 4CC ladies and I think you might see it differently.
     
  25. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    I read the alledged reasoning would be financial, not their ability to run and schedule an event. Canada isn´t Russia where the government financially supported that event. I can't picture this government doing anything to help.

    I don't know any more than you but maybe if they knew the size of the bill they would be getting they would have come to the conclusion that it was better to hold it in a different city with a larger seating capacity. Or not made a bid. These are just possibilities would seem pretty common sense to me.

    "Nine months away" is also not a "great hurry" for a competition of this level. Fans protest? If you can´t commit to an event a year in advance then there is an easy solution, don't. Those that can will purchase their tickets and those that can´t will wait until closer to the date to do so. If they are sold out well that' s unfortunate but that's business.

    I was just offering a possible reasoning for the rumour. Debating any further is pointless at this point so I will finish with saying having been part of the organizing committee for an international event it´s more than a little hiccup when things like this happen. The rumoured reaction could also just be an annoyed/angry response to the consequences of this vote.

    I don't know the current rules for funding by the ISU but smaller federations did get funding based on the amount of ISU sanctioned events they attend. So with this new rule, they benefit financially (or they did in the past) but loose the bill they had before for their skater if they did not make it past the qualifying rounds. These smaller federations will never have the cost of hosting a worlds because they typically don't have the facilities. I FULLY SUPPORT the inclusion of the athletes because it does help develop the sport within each country. Just maybe not the financial arrangements.
     
  26. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    It should only be painful for the judges. Everyone else has the freedom to leave and since the best skaters typically skate near the end it should be easy to schedule in your dinner break.
     
  27. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's Four Continents. We do expect the bottom standards at the continental championships to be lower than at Worlds. In particular, since 4Cs is still small enough that it can be developmental for newer federations, they're all allowed to send 3 entries to 4Cs, but they can only send one, generally their top skater, to Worlds.

    They all still have to have met the minimum scores to be at 4Cs. But they won't all get to Worlds.

    Right. The championships are more for the skaters (and federations) than for the spectators. Skating is still primarily an amateur sport.

    Hopefully judges enjoy analyzing less-than-world-medal-level skating so it isn't especially painful. They certainly have to do it often enough.

    However, if the short program draws aren't seeded then it's harder to schedule around the top skaters. And sometimes skaters having a breakout late in the season, that fans want to see, don't have the rankings yet to get seeded into the later groups.
     
  28. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I watched all the ladies (and men) and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the lower level ones. They all tried very hard, and many had great presentation and interesting programs. Because they are only trying to do their best, no hopes of the podium where every tenth counts, they don't pander to code of points quite so much.


    Because of the altitude some of the top skaters were just as fatigued. As gkelly pointed out- most of those skaters won't get to go to World's anyway. Most feds only send 1.
     
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  29. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, and there was a warning on the website about the schedule being subject to change pending decisions of the ISU Congress.
     
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Even if tickets are sold well ahead of time, which is quite nice for cash flow, there should always be the warning that the schedule might change. If the prelim rule goes into effect in 2013, it's not as if the face value of all of the individual tickets for London minus prelims is less than the price of the full event ticket. And it's not as if they sold the tickets and changed the week of the event.