Rachael Flatt out for rest of the 2012-2013 season

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Capella, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    But there aren't any injury byes. For anyone.

    Maybe there should be in general but in the Flatt situation in particular she isn't going to have enough recovery time to get to Nationals even if there were injury byes. So having them wouldn't help her.
     
  2. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Currently there're no byes for competing at 1gp or senior Bs unless it conflicts with sectionals (someone corrects me if I'm wrong). So Dolensky, Messing, Carriere, Max Aaron have to compete at sectionals. And Carriere was 6th at nationals last year and got a decent placmeent and score at his senior international. Had they all gotten byes, that would have meant more skaters would qualify through sectionals, and that means probably 1 more group at nationals.

    Actually, a few of the US JGP girls (and a couple of jgp men) are skaters who could have had 1 gp this season or done "sr internationals". ANd the jgp medalists like Wang and Hicks are trying harder elements. Yet they don't get byes through sectionals to nationals because their compettions didn't conflict with sectionals, not because they are not worthy.

    There're not enough incentives for promising skaters to move up to do senior internationals unless you're assured of 2 gps before the season starts. So now US has girls who could have ended up with 1 gp but chosen to do jgp again for strategic reasons. Had the rules re: byes changed, that would have changed the ball game, and those girls who did jgp could have chosen to do seniors and might have ended with Flatt's spot at Skate America or a spot at Cup of China.
    In other words, the rule change may mean more girls doing seniors, and that in turn changes whether Flatt got her spot, which is the premise of the discussion.

    Who's blaming skaters for their injuries? If you allow them to compete while not completely healthy, someone will bitch about USFSA being not concerned about skaters' welfare. If you don't allow them to complete, someone else will say you're so mean.

    Date cutoffs are date cutoffs. And neither Czisny or Flatt complained. I think the competitors with no internationals are the majority of the competitors qualifying to US nationals, and the rules should be built around them, not around the chosen few. Skaters with no international assignments don't get byes for injuries through regionals or sectionals. Skaters with injuries don't skip nationals to go to worlds.
    For consistent and fair policies, it's fair for the policy to apply across all competitions, and not have some exceptions to get to US nationals
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  3. maureenfarone

    maureenfarone Well-Known Member

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    Jlai I don't understand and remember the rules anywhere near as well as you and Sylvia do, but I am wondering about this comment you made: Currently there're no byes for competing at 1gp or senior Bs unless it conflicts with sectionals (someone corrects me if I'm wrong

    I thought Johnny Weir received a bye through regionals due to his Finlandia assignment. Maybe he got his bye because he is a returning skater?
     
  4. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

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    I find this pretty entertaining.

    I saw how she skated at SA. Now she's off the ice for injury. But if she had a bye she'd be competitive at Nationals? LOL! REALLY? She could recover from that injury and be in the top three? Sorry I don't see that.


    (Weir did get his bye due to scheduling which of course was arranged that way by USFS. So they do control the "bye" process LOL! Skaters they want to get to Nationals (see Weir) can have events that allow them not to have to do the "lessor" competitions)
     
  5. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    This year, it was my understanding that a bye through Regionals, approved by the Chair of USFS' Competitions Committee, was given to the singles skaters with 2 Grand Prix assignments that didn't already have a bye (Dornbush, Weir, Gold). It just so happened that the dates of Finlandia Trophy also conflicted with the Regionals of Dornbush, Weir, and Nagasu (that's how she received a bye through Regionals and her 1 Cup of China GP assignment gives her a bye through Sectionals). Flatt received a bye through her Regionals because it was held the same week as Skate America but Sectionals is 3 weeks later so no bye to Nationals (ditto for A. Cannuscio/McManus in Senior Dance whose only GP was Skate America).

    Rostelecom Cup this week gives Dornbush, Weir and Gold a bye to Nationals because the dates overlap with Sectionals.

    ETA link to this relevant thread with my updated post today: US Skaters with Byes to Nationals 2013
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  6. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Thx,Sylvia. I meant to say byes to nationals through sectionals which waswhat Flatt would have needed, but omitted it while typing lol :eek:
    Thx, again for clarifying
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  7. maureenfarone

    maureenfarone Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for clarifying Sylvia. Rachael also was added to Graz which gave her the bye through sectionals. Since she can't compete at Graz (or Mids) because she is injured, she also can't compete at Nationals. I really think Rachael has a long term injury in her leg and she needs to get medical treatment and rest. Competing and skating are great and I do believe she enjoys them, but walking without pain is also important!

    JMO - I believe she did the right thing. If she wishes to compete next year, that is her decision.
     
  8. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone seems to think she did the right thing.

    There appears to be a minority who think "well she should race back, like she has time and time again, so she can go to Nationals" Maybe that's why it's a chronic condition? And we want to blame USFS for "forcing" her to skip Nationals which might be good for her health? Hmmm...
     
  9. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

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    So as I understand it Rachel, even if she recovers, cannot go to nationals this year? What about next year, will she get any GP assignments and does she have to do regionals, etc to qualify for 2014 nationals?

    It is fine and all for Rachel to skate for personal enjoyment, but even if she "earned" her spot for Skate Amercia, I still think it was just a waste as a hosts pick. There is no way she can be competitive internationally. The spot could have gone to Mirai, who, if motivated and got her head together, could be very competitive in a weak international field. Or it could have gone to a promising unheard of skater. There is no other sport that hands out intl assignments to athletes that are at the end of their career and that are not training seriously over other athletes who have better chances. Rachel may be a nice girl and all, but there is just not the spots for her to take away from the other girls to get experience. Rachel showed she (or her coach, maybe you cannot put it all on Rachel) acted in a selfish and unsportsmanlike manner when she did not withdraw from Worlds and let Mirai go and possibly, however unlikely, try to get the 3rd spot. IMO, Rachel should have done what was good for her sport and given someone else a chance at SA if she was injured.
     
  10. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    If Mirai wanted the SA spot, all she had to do was beat Rachel at Nationals.
     
  11. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Mirai skated in the GP this year. There's no need to cry foul on her behalf.
     
  12. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Good point. By having some Int'l competitors at Sectionals, it limits the number of skaters that advance to Natls, which keeps Natls at a smaller size. Still, I don't see what would be so costly about potentially having one more men's warmup group at Natls this yr... The total number of competitors wouldn't increase from the usual, since the pairs field will be smaller than it usually is.

    Even if we can't give byes to Natls to every Sr Intl competitor, I still think we should at least have byes for every skater with 2 GPs and medical byes available for intl skaters who can prove an injury. I know anyone can claim injury, but I would want to give skaters the benefit of the doubt here...This is a sport, real injuries do happen.


    Skaters who are currently competing can't complain about much. They really don't have a voice. Judging by Czisny's performance at Sectionals that year, I have a feeling she found it highly inconvenient to prep for Sectionals smack in the middle of two big intl competitions. Not only is it inconvenient, it's not very safe for a skater at that level to have 3 competitions scheduled in 3 different countries within 4 weeks.


    I understand your viewpoint- you believe in making rules based on the majority. My issue is that the majority of skaters are not doing the same type of competition/travel schedule that the intl competitors are expected to do. Rules that may work for the majority do not necessarily work for the intl skaters who make up the bulk of the productivity in US Figure Skating. This isnt really a "chosen few" as much as it is a group of skaters who have earned their position by outperforming the other skaters. I don't believe it's unfair or wrong to have rules that pertain only to skaters on that level, especially when it would improve athlete safety.

    These Intl skaters need to pace themselves differently and take care of their bodies differently. It isn't wise for them to show up at Sectionals in the middle of their GPs in other countries (Czisny). It isn't wise for them to show up at Sectionals and skate injured to maintain a Natls bye just because they were too injured to fulfill their intl obligations (what Flatt would have had to do). More should be done to encourage skaters to properly pace themselves throughout the grueling intl season, where skaters may have up to 4 or 5 competitions in all different countries squeezed into a relatively short time frame (ie. 2 GPs, GPF, Nationals, 4CC). I don't believe that allowing medical byes for Sr Intl skaters would be unfair to "the majority". If having a chance at a medical bye to Natls means so much to a skater, then he/she should beat out enough skaters and earn an Intl assignment. That's how I would do things, but I understand why others feel differently. I'm just really big on taking care of athletes and promoting good habits/safety. Saving a few dollars by keeping a skater out of Natls doesn't appeal so much to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Flatt will have a PB on the SB list from Skate America. Her score of 136.08 was well over the GP minimum, but would have placed her in the 50's on this season's SB list.
     
  14. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

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    Looking at the roster of the Senior level skaters from 2010 US Figure Skating Championships using Wikipedia as the source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Figure_Skating_Championships#Senior

    Figuring the greatest motivation for most skaters is to qualify for the Olympic event..therefore, would expect the greatest number of entrants in an Olympic season National Championship:

    Senior Men: 23 entrants, with 12 men that had byes
    Senior Ladies: 23 entrants, with 12 ladies that had byes
    Senior Pairs: 16 teams, with 5 teams that had byes
    Senior Dance: 15 teams, with 5 teams that had byes

    1. Not sure about the question of expense....as the skaters and their families pay for competing at the national championships...entry fees, coaching fees, hotel, transportation....no free rides in skating, LOL. The only additional expenses that I would see for adding additional skaters would come from additional ice time for the practice and event times. The LOC has the facility for the week, so with amount of break time between events, I could see there being room for one more group of skaters added. But, some of that would be covered by some of the entry fees for the added skaters. One extra ice make perhaps added to the cost.
    2. There would be some additional income for the LOCs hosting the event and community from additional families attending the events (and we all know that skating could use MORE attendees)
    3. Rounding out the Singles events up to 24 or event 30 skaters...so 4 groups or 5 groups of 6 each....that would add 1 more practice session and 1 more competitive session during the events. Just thinking thru logistics.
    4. Being the devil's advocate here....one of the newly paired teams for the US...Yankowskas and Reagan.....are out of both of their SGP events due to injury. But, are still in the cue to compete at US Championships. I understand that they were assigned two SGP events (even though they have no experience or ISU points as a team)...but will still have the bye to the championships. So, sort of a question of how you look at it....should the new pair or dance teams that are newly formed, like in this instance, be allowed the bye to the championships even though they have injury issues (like the thread above has discussed)...but were lucky enough to be in a discipline to allow for selection to two SGPs.


    OTOH...reasons to not adjust the bye system...
    1. Who makes the determination on "how" injured a skater or team is, and if the injury is 'legitimate', and where do you draw the line on determining if a skater can compete injured? And, if they can not compete injured at the event that would allow them the bye ...that leads to the next item.....
    2. Would monitoring be the proper response to answering the "how injured" is injured. When do you do it? How do you handle the bias of officials that want a "favorite" to compete at an event? Is this a role for USFS's Mitch Moyer and his team that develops the elite athletes?

    What are the examples from the past when athletes took advantage of the medical bye? Was it just all out abuse of the medical bye protocol, or was it just a few examples that took it to the extreme?

    Its a tough problem to consider. Something to think about....
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  15. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

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    removed... i think I basically said the same thing earlier in the thread. SORRY for the repeat!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  16. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    That isn't going to change because of "reputation judging". That creates pressure to be competing lest you be forgotten and lose your reputation points.

    I agree, though, the pressure to be at Nationals come hell, high water, blown out knees or fractures is not good for the skaters.
     
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    According to Sylvia's earlier posts, two GP events only gets a bye through Regionals, and they have to compete in Sectionals unless there is a scheduling conflict with a GP in which they compete, and, in Weir's example, there's precedent to give them the bye if they travel to and start the event. Y/R neither completed or started a conflicting GP event.

    By ISU rules the ISU considers her experience as a Top 6 (seeded) team in the world to be experience, and that skaters who've shown that kind of excellence should not have to wait years to get a qualifying score.

    They won't have a bye to Nationals, only for Regionals, from just being assigned to GP events: they would have had to at least show up and start a conflicting event. It would be USFS qualifying rules that would apply.

    That shouldn't apply to them, because they didn't compete.

    I assume all athletes who want to got to Nationals have to declare with official paperwork by the deadline, which is, IIRC, the beginning of September. Y/R already had their GP assignments by the deadline -- the first in the initial selection and the second on 20 August -- but perhaps all skaters check off whether they will compete at Regionals and Sectionals if there aren't more qualifying skaters than spots, because that, and having that condition apply to their Section -- I'm not sure what their section is, and if this applies -- or skating through their program at Sectionals are the only things that should qualify them for Nationals.

    If they didn't show up at Sectionals, then the way that they are lucky would be that they're in a discipline that has so few competitior that they don't have to compete at Sectionals in the first place.
     
  18. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Agree. I cannot see how anyone can argue that Mirai deserved it more than Rachel. Makes no sense. Last year they both proved...nothing really other than they both have a lot of work to do.
     
  19. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

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    Looking at it from the USFS perspective, Mirai potentially has a future, Rachel does not. Mirai's problem is psychologically based and she has a poor work ethic. It looks like Mirai will get a second GP this year anyway, so it does not mater, but it still would have benefited Mirai - and the USFS program generally - for Mirai to get a second spot than Rachel. Mirai potentially if she has her head in it could make the Grand Prix final, and we only have a handful of skaters who could do that. Fair for Rachel to take the spot she earned,but if she was injured & knew she was not really training appropriately, she should have done what was good for fiure skating program in general and not went out there with such a poor performance finishing so low. She had a decent performance in her long program at nationals and could have ended her career on a high note. Also, Rachel finished just one spot above Mirai at nationals so it is not like you would be awarding the spot to the 20th place finisher.

    Also, I use Mirai as an example, but it really could have been any of the other up and coming skaters. My point is we should not be sending unhealthy skaters (and unhealthy skaters who have no shot at worlds) into intl competition. USFS old system is not working, using rigid rules to award international spots. Rules about byes, etc. and spots means that skaters will do what is good for themselves not what is good for skating. I feel the same way about Alyssa. She made a fool of herself at worlds and she should have withdrawn and let another skater skate. Same thing with Rachel the year before. USFS needs to somehow change the incentive structure so that injured athletes do not go out there and make a fool of themselves when international spots for the US are on the line. We should only be send healthy skaters to intl competition.

    The international field is weaker this year it seems, and with the Japanese limited to 3 skaters, and the Russians, faltering, there is a real chance for us to get back 3 spots. I am hopeful Ashley and Gracie could do that, but if one gets injured, USFS should think about who can replace them. Rachel would not be one of those people. We should be awarding intl spots to people who legitimately have a chance at making it to worlds now or in the future. Else, we are going to be in the same position we have been in for years - and only 2 girls going to Olympics next year. People may not like Mirai, and say what you will against her, while she did not perform good last year, if she had her mental issues sorted out, if she skated to potential (indeed even if she skated the way she did in Vancouver at age 16) she could win worlds or at least medal.
     
  20. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    Oh boy....

    ETA:
    I believe Yankowskas/Reagan would have registered for Mids (pairs/dance teams don't compete at Regionals) but they also had the option of Easterns (in their Team USA bio online, her club is listed as Colonial FSC in Mass. and he is still Stars FSC of Texas).

    I am assuming they will be on the 2013 Nationals roster because they elected (in their Nationals qualifying paperwork due on Sept. 1st) not to compete at Sectionals if there were 4 or fewer pairs registered.

    Correct (and Y/R didn't show up at Sectionals).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  21. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    I think it is very dangerous to make decisions, that affect people's lives, based on something as nebulous as potential. Figure skating is a sport. What counts is what you put out at what ever event is the qualifier. It is also an individual sport. Neither Rachel nor Alissa are obliged to give up their spot to another skater. Obviously there are instances where the rules state they must declare injuries, which Rachel didn't at worlds in 2011, but other than that, it is every skater for him or her self.
    Yes, NGO's need to consider their entire program, but IMHO, skaters do not need to think about anything other than their own goals.
     
  22. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Nagasu should have gotten a second long ago based on her Top 24 SB, according to the GP Announcement, and Flatt didn't qualify in the same way (even had she not been injured). Nagasu earned a second spot as an alternate based on last year's results in GP-score qualifying competitions.

    As important as it might be for Nagasu personally and for US GP spots on the whole next season for her to compete again, the odds of her making GPF with 9 points, a relatively low score, and a field including Asada, Suzuki, Lipnitskaia, Zawadzki, and Gedevanishvili are very low, since she'd have to win to guarantee a spot.
     
  23. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

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    I don't blame the athletes for going out and skating; they should only look out for themselves. I blame USFS for not having rules in place to make sure that poorly trained or injured athletes are even allowed to compete in intl competition, especially when another athlete can take the spot. An athlete like Alyssa at worlds should not have been there, both for USFS and for herself, as she damaged her reputation. If we take them at their word, and they announce shortly after the competition, "I didn't do well because I was injured," then the USFS needs to remove the personal incentive that allows these injured skaters to skate in the first place.

    I don't know all the rules about byes, etc. but it seems to my understanding that Rachael had to skate at SA in order to get a bye to nationals. So even if she was injured or semi injured she would still skate. But if USFS just gave her the bye, maybe athletes like that would not skate when they are injured. That would be better for USFS (as they could give another athlete a chance to better develop their reputation) AND the athlete themselves (who would not embarrass their reputation skating half-baked).

    Rachael, Alyssa and even Jeremy (at recent Skate america - a disaster in what would have been a great program) all recently have blamed poor performance on injury so either they are just making excuses (which I do not think is the case, I think they really are injured) or they are being allowed to skate injured by USFS or they are not telling USFS the extent of their injuries and USFS lets them get away with it. It is this latter point USFS needs to address. These injured athletes should not be skating, embarrassing themselves and the federation.

    I am not sure what other countries do, like Japan or Russia, but perhaps USFS needs to get more involved with athletes to make sure they are healthy before competing. We see time and time again that athletes competing injured just ends in disaster. Perhaps others know more, but it does not seem to me that I hear stories from Russia or Japan where they have injured athletes competing at worlds or athletes blaming poor performance on injury, I think if they are injured to the extent it will make their program a disaster they just do not compete.
     
  24. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Mirai is going to get a second gp? Really?


    Rachael has a back problem too---two bulging discs. She said she was going to wait until her competitive career was over to have them corrected, but it looks like now would be a good time to get that done and it might help her skating.
     
  25. Blondie12

    Blondie12 New Member

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  26. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    She's was assigned to NHK yesterday, replacing Polina Shelpen.

    I assume you mean any athlete from any country, since while USFS has influence, they can't replace a US skater in a GP with another US skater automatically, except at Skate America, and, of course, for their own championships teams, with declared alternates.
     
  27. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad Y/R have the opportunity to be at Nationals. But I wish there was a way for them to be there because of a medical bye-- NOT because they happened to check a box on a form saying they DIDN'T want to compete at Sectionals. :lol: So if they actually wanted to compete, they would have been kept out of Nationals because of the injury (or Reagan would have been forced to skate at Sectionals while too injured to compete). That makes so much sense. Nice one, USFS.
     
  28. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you should ask Rachael's doctor. I would guess s/he knows a lot more about Rachael's capabilities and appropriate treatment than you do.
     
  29. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Also, it should be noted that athletes in general have a tendency to want to compete at almost any cost to their body, etc. It's the coaches and the team that have to have rules in place to prevent athletes from risking further damage, since you cannot- I repeat, CANNOT- rely on the athlete him or herself to make the right call. 90+% of the time they will rush back to the field/ice/court.

    So, to draw this parallel to skating, yes, naturally Flatt (and Czisny) would want to go out and compete, even if they were physically hampered. It is USFS (and team Flatt/team Czisny) that really failed in this case to prevent them from performing and risking further injury (and, of course, the program since their performances affect spots for next year).
     
  30. hoptoad

    hoptoad Well-Known Member

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    I'm on the fence about medical byes in general, but I would definitely let any skater who qualified for the JGP final keep their bye even if they couldn't compete due to injury.

    Can you imagine Ferris or Brown not qualifying for nationals because they had the flu or some short term injury during the JGP final? Ridiculous!

    ETA: I guess I'm not thinking of it as a medical bye. I think they've earned it by virtue of qualifying for the final and it shouldn't matter if they actually compete there or not. No one is going to skip it to game the system.