Pre-Preliminary vs. Pre-Bronze

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by janetgriselle, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. janetgriselle

    janetgriselle New Member

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    Hi, I'm 19 and I've been skating for about 3 years on and off (I took a break my freshman year of college, something I really regret). When I was in Utah, I started preparing to take my Pre-Preliminary test, but since moving to Kentucky I've had to find a new coach. My new coach is telling me that I shouldn't take Pre-Preliminary, I should take the Pre-Bronze test instead. She said that I won't be held to the same standard as those who have been skating since they were five, and that it's probably easier for me.

    I don't generally like to pass up challenges, so I don't really know how I feel about backing down on taking Pre-Preliminary just because Pre-Bronze may be easier. Also, I saw that adult tests only go up to Gold, which is the equivalent to Juvenile. I'm hoping to go farther than that.

    What does everyone think about this situation? For those who have taken Pre-Bronze or have chosen the adult skating track, why did you choose it? Do you think I should just go for the Pre-Bronze? I thought it was age based, but I know people way older than me in Utah taking their Juvenile and above tests.
     
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    If you intend to test freestyle as an adult and to compete as an adult, it might be more efficient for you to take the adult moves tests as well. But you won't be able to take them until you're 21, so if you want to test before then you'll need to start with the standard track.

    Keep in mind that the adult tests combine moves from different levels, so pre-bronze is between pre-pre and preliminary, bronze is between preliminary and pre-juvenile, etc. Gold is between juvenile and intermediate. If that's as far as you're going to go, you could get there in a total of four tests instead of five to get to standard intermediate. But if you think think you'll go further, you'd need to test intermediate anyway before moving on to novice, so you might as well stick with the standard track as long as you can.

    Not only will the passing standard be higher for the moves on the standard track vs. the adult track at the lower levels, but the adult track skips some moves that might prove useful skills to have mastered before you get to the intermediate and higher tests . . . which are going to be more challenging starting with the changes in September. There will be adult passing marks for those higher tests, but it would still be useful for learning the skills to have worked on all the skills at the lower levels.

    Both pre-preliminary and adult pre-bronze tests are easy to pass, as long as you can actually do all the moves. They're considered "encouragement" tests. Pre-preliminary is a little easier because it has fewer moves, and some adults find the three turn pattern on the pre-bronze test to be challenging technically even though it doesn't require a lot of power or the turnout needed for the preliminary alternating threes.

    Adults with little flexibility, especially middle-aged and older men, may find it hard to do the spirals for the pre-preliminary test (the adult test saves that move until silver level), but I'm guessing that's not going to be a problem for you.

    I'd recommend that you go ahead and pass the pre-preliminary MITF test as soon as you're ready, and then start working on the preliminary moves and on freestyle skills if that interests you. When you turn 21, you can decide if you want to continue testing standard track or switch over to the adult track, at whatever point you've reached by that time.

    If you do switch, one direction or the other, you'll probably end up having to test a couple of moves on two different tests.
     
  3. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Actually, you can now cross over to the adult track pretty easily with standard track testing. A few years ago, the rules were changed so that adults can compete using standard track tests. So, for example, an adult can compete Pre-Bronze with either Pre-Bronze or Pre-Preliminary FS. For Bronze, you need either Bronze FS or Preliminary FS, and so on. If you want to switch tracks for testing, there is a chart that summarizes this in the rulebook. I believe Prelim MIF corresponds to Pre-Bronze MIF/FS - so if you want to take Pre-Bronze FS (and/or Bronze MIF), you need to pass Prelim MIF. If you pass Pre-Juv MIF, you can take Bronze FS and then start Adult MIF testing at Silver. Juv MIF corresponds to Silver MIF; Int MIF corresponds to Gold MIF.

    With either track, you need to pass 5 tests before Novice level - either Pre-Pre through Int or Adult Pre-Bronze through Gold, then standard track Int. If you want to go further than Adult Gold, it's no problem - just move to the standard track at Int.

    But you can't pass from the Adult track to the corresponding level on the standard track - in other words, if you pass Adult Silver, you can't take Juv FS or Int MIF next, you'd have to go back to the standard track and start at the beginning....or just take Adult Gold and move to Int.

    For the OP, I would recommend taking Pre-Pre now - it'll be 2 years until you can test adult track and by then, you could be a couple more levels along. Since you're young, you'll probably master jumps and spins pretty quickly, and would probably want to compete higher than Pre-Bronze.

    ETA: Link to crossover rules: http://www.usfigureskating.org/Content/Tests Book without diagrams.pdf (info is on p. 5 and 14, but these charts were developed before the rules were changed to allow standard track tests to be used to compete adult track - so you can cross over from standard to adult if you want, but it's not required to compete at the adult levels)

    One more thing: if you do reach the level where you can pass the Int FS test and beyond, you can still compete in adult comps - you would compete at Masters level (for those over age 21 who have passed Int FS or higher).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
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  4. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    I chose the adult track because i don't want to compete against children. Plus with adult, you get your medals sooner ;) You don't have to stop testing once you pass adult Gold. You can then switch back over to the standard track and continue with Intermediate. I plan on continuing up to senior MIF, on the standard track, but staying in the Adult levels for freeskating. You are young enough, though, that it probably wouldn't be that hard for you to pass the standard tests. There's nothing that says you have to take adult tests if you are an adult. If you like challenging yourself, then go ahead and test the standard track. There are benefits though to both the standard and adult tracks. You just have to decide what your goals are.
     
  5. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    You can take the standard-track tests and enter the adult competitions, though.
     
  6. janetgriselle

    janetgriselle New Member

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    Thank you so much for the advice everyone. I'm going to talk it over with my coach. I do want to compete, but one of my fears about competing Pre-Preliminary was that I'd be with all kids, and I thought that in Pre-Bronze, I'd be competing against people much older than me, but obviously that is not the case :)

    The reason she told me that I should test in Pre-Bronze is because she feels like in standard track tests I'll get compared to the kids that have been skating since they were five and I'll be held to the same standard. She thinks that because of my age, I may not be more comfortable with adult track. I just don't want to feel like I'm selling myself short by going for the adult track instead of the standard track.
     
  7. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    In Pre-Bronze, you'll be competing against other adult skaters that are 21 and over. For larger adult comps, levels usually subdivide by age classes as long as there are enough to make a critical mass in each group, and sometimes 2 or 3 age classes will be combined - when you turn 21, you'll be in class I (21-30), so if you compete at a comp that divides up by age, you'll be competing with skaters around your age.

    Until you turn 21, though, your only option in USFSA comp is to compete Pre-Prelim - typically comps divide Pre-Juv and lower into groups by age, so you may be with teenagers, not 6-year-olds, but there's no guarantee.

    Why don't you just focus on improving your skills and testing for the next couple of years, and then when you turn 21, see where you are?

    Yes, in standard track tests, you will be held to that passing standard. But since you're 19, I'm guessing you won't have a problem. :) Give it a shot and see how it goes. You can always cross over to the adult track by following the rules I linked to above.

    As gkelly and I noted earlier, you are free to test standard track and compete adult track. So you can challenge yourself with standard track testing but can compete with adults your age.

    If you don't mind my asking, how are your freestyle skills? Do you have most of your single jumps? How about spins? Coaches who have never coached an adult skater are usually unaware that in adult comp, the comp standard is much closer to the test requirements than in standard track. For example, in Pre-Prelim FS, kids can do flying spins and up to an axel, and most don't test up until they have those elements. In Pre-Bronze FS, usually the hardest jump you see is a loop (flip is hardest jump allowed, and flying spins aer not allowed until Silver) and usually only sit and upright spins (not many camels).

    If you really want to compete, I recommend going to watch an adult comp - Buckeye Open in Cincinnati in October would be a good option for you. You'll get a feel for the different levels and what you need to be competitive, as well as the overall atmosphere at adult comps.
     
  8. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    The plain fact is that you CANNOT test Adult levels until you turn 21. So if you don't want to wait two years, then you MUST test Standard Pre-Pre.

    And you have to take the Moves test before the free skate.
     
  9. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    You also won't be able to compete pre-bronze (except for a very few comps that offer a "young adult" event for those 18-21) until you're 21. (Do come to Buckeye in November--it's a great deal of fun!! And there are skaters of ALL ability levels, from beginners on up.)

    Have you considered doing ISI competitions? The testing is much more casual at this level, and I've never had to compete against someone who was not around my own age.
     
  10. janetgriselle

    janetgriselle New Member

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    My rink in New York was an ISI rink, and I took most of my beginner classes in the ISI levels, but for some reason there aren't any ISI competitions or rinks around me in Kentucky. I'll look into Buckeye, it's not too far away from me.

    @Debbie S- Right now I have my waltz jump, salchow, toe loop, 1/2 flip & 1/2 lutz. I'm working on a loop, and as for my spins, I'm working on a sit spin but I can do a scratch spin. I didn't know that people wait until they have all their single jumps to start testing.
     
  11. janetgriselle

    janetgriselle New Member

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    Got it. I thought that was the case, but for some reason my coach here thinks it's ok to test Pre-Bronze in August. The one I had in Utah prepared me to take the Pre-Preliminary test (I just moved to Kentucky about two months ago)
     
  12. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    I was going to mention this. Buckeye (Cincinnati OH) and DBNAI (Wyandotte MI) are two all adult competitions that offer YA events. Also, I have seen standard comps (Ann Arbor Springtime, for example) that have YA events.
     
  13. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to kids waiting to test Pre-Prelim until they have an axel, to meet competition standard (if they plan to compete). As I said, in adult competition, competition standard is fairly close to the test standard. You sound about the right level now to compete in Pre-Bronze....but of course, you can't until you are 21 (unless YA is offered). At Bronze, most skaters have jumps through lutz (axel not allowed) and can do all 3 basic spins - camel, sit, upright. You can pass Bronze with a loop as your hardest jump (like me ;)), but you may not be competitive.

    Like I said earlier, just focus on building your skills and testing for the next 2 years, and see where you are. Definitely go watch adult comps to see the kind of skating that is competitive at each level.

    One more thing: it sounds like your coach is not very familiar with rules for adult skating. Is there another coach at your rink that has more experience coaching adults that you could work with on a supplemental basis? If not, definitely get a USFSA rulebook (and check the adult skating section of their website (under Programs)) to familiarize yourself with what is expected/required.
     
  14. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Are the jump requirements/limits the same as Adult levels? I remember (when the min age was 25) that YA levels were geared more to standard track comp rules - i.e. doubles in YA Silver.
     
  15. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    Yes, they are the same as adults - at least at DBNAI. Not sure about Springtime, but I would expect that they were geared towards the adult tests, since Springtime also offers test track events. IIRC, I skated against a masters YA at Port Huron once, but the organizers asked me first if I was ok with it. (I was.) She had higher jumps than I did at Gold (obviously).
     
  16. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Kids usually are much, much further progressed along than what's actually required on their freeskate tests, for some reason. I guess that's what's competitive and all--I know a pre-juv girl who has all her DOUBLES, and the juv FS test requires only up to an axel. Adults usually are much closer to the test requirements and typically not much further along than that, although there are exceptions.
     
  17. Morgail

    Morgail New Member

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    Where are you in KY? I skate in Louisville. There are some ISI comps around here. The one at Miami U of Ohio is in February, and there's one in Knoxville in the spring. I think there may be one in Nashville, too, but I could be wrong on that.

    I went to the Buckeye competition last fall and had a great time. :)
     
  18. skaternum

    skaternum Grooving!

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    No offense intended, but it sounds like you have a coach who knows NOTHING about adult skating (test structure, competitions, etc.). One of the things you're paying a skating professional for is expertise and guidance on such matters. Your coach needs to do a better job understanding adult skating if he intends to teach an adult -- and more to the point, recommend that his student choose that track! If my coach couldn't be bothered to read a rule book and figure it out, I'd be looking for a new coach.
     
  19. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    I don't know about that. When I started taking lessons with my coach, he had never had an adult skater. Both of us did research to find out what we need to do, and actually I did more than he did because, well, because that's the way I work. :p
     
  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, the question is whether you're going to your coach mainly for technical instruction or if you also need the coach to be your guide through the rules and regulations, as well as off-ice training, performance psychology, etc. Not every coach will excel in all those areas. So pay them for what they can provide, but if you know you need something else they can't provide you, then you need to get it somewhere else. If it's just information, you can do the research on your own. But make sure the coach also knows what he or she doesn't know and listens to you or to other experts who do have the right information.
     
  21. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    Once again, excellent advice from Gkelly. I have to tell my coach what the adult rules are (and sometimes the standard track IJS rules, which keep changing every year), but I would be a fool to think that meant anything about his expertise in correcting my skating technique! Those of us who are "book smart" tend to be rule junkies who have more in common with technical specialists and judges. Coaches, on the other hand, are usually former elite skaters who would be better classified as "athletes." To some of them, poring over rules is like reading through a 30-page legal document.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  22. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    It may be boring and difficult but learning the rules is part of the job, IMO.

    And it doesn't take any great skill to know what's on a test. A coach who sends a junior level skater into a competition with the wrong elements in the short program because she couldn't be bothered to get a new rulebook or who is asking the test chair what the elements are on Juvenile Moves the day before a test session isn't earning her paycheck.

    If a coach expects to be paid for teaching adults then the coach should take the time to look up the rules specific to adults, especially before advising the student to go the adult route.
     
  23. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    My coach has learned most of what she knows about adult skating from me.

    If I expected my coach to do all the legwork, I'm not sure I'd have a coach. I want her to coach me because she is an excellent coach and has great expertise in MITF and low level freestyle elements. But she knows nothing about the adult system.

    She can use a computer to look up the rulebook as well as I can- but the little things about the system that you just pick up through experience, are things I have picked up from others on message boards. She doesn't have time to go through all the posts to learn those sorts of things, and I don't expect her to.

    Unless a coach is advertising themselves as an adult-track expert, I think most adults expect they'll have to do some of their own legwork. Most coaches know the standard track system, and learn the adult system by taking an adult through it.
     
  24. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree then. I expect my coach to know more about the sport than I do because that's what I'm paying her for. I can look up things for myself and there are things I've learned through experience, but when it comes to rules and test requirements, that's her job to find out what they and to teach me correctly. Just as I'd expect the coach of a low-test kid skater to know the difference between Juvenile and Open Juvenile events, I expect a coach of an adult skater to know the minimum age for adult tests. Or if the coach didn't know, I'd expect her to go look it up.

    Too much incorrect information gets passed out because coaches don't know - or can't be bothered to find out - the details.
     
  25. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    I agree that all coaches SHOULD stay on top of all of the rules, but I have also learned that other people in the world rarely do what I think they should do, no matter how hard I try to change them. ;)