Releases for Skaters with Multiple Citizenships

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by kwanfan1818, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Does anyone know definitively -- i.e., what specific ISU chapters and verses -- whether a federation can refuse to release a skater if that skater has citizenship in another country for whom s/he wants to compete?

    There have been lots of statements, including by me, and they go both ways, but it's got to be written down somewhere.
     
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  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I don't think citizenship matters at all.

    Let's say you're US and Canadian but competed for US before.

    For ISU purposes you are seen as an American skater and the USFS "owns" you.

    The best example for this is Jerome Blanchard.

    He's not Russian but is still "owned" by the Russian Fed because he competed for them.
     
  3. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/fileurl/0,11040,4844-203191-220414-166536-0-file,00.pdf

    Rule 109 appears to indicate that:

    1. A skater who holds citizenship in two countries may normally skate for one country and then the other.
    2. The skater normally cannot skate for two different countries during the same season.
    3. The first federation can prevent the skater from switching countries for 24 months after competing in an ISU Championship or 12 months after competing in some other international competition.
    4. If the first federation won't release the skater, then the skater can ask the ISU Council to let him switch anyway.
    5. Such applications will normally be granted, but not if "granting such application would be contrary to the purpose and spirit of the Rule. (e.g., in [the] case that a Member tries to 'import' several athletes with foreign citizenship, in particular when such athletes should form a new national team of such Member or its substantial part)."

    In other words, if Bryce Davison wanted to skate for the U.S., it would probably be futile for Canada to try to hold him back, and the Russian Federation probably couldn't stop Jérôme Blanchard from skating for France if he wanted to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  4. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Many thanks, Vagabond for deciphering Rule 109 :cheer2:

    #5 may be Matthews/Gislason rule, and the reason why Azerbaijan stopped filling out paperwork for North American skaters.

    Davison last competed in an ISU championship for Canada on 24 March 2010 (Worlds). He could technically could skate for the US in Nice, since those championships don't start until 26 March 2012, more than the 24-month mark. (109.2.b.iii) and he'd be clear for any non-championship competition immediately (109.2.b.ii), were Skate Canada to refuse to release him, and he applied for and was granted an exception.

    Blanchard should be free and clear for the upcoming and future seasons, if there was an attempted block, and he applied for and received an exemption.

    Every once in a while, the ISU gets it right.

    Also interesting, in 109.5 (the exception clause), "A competitor nominated by the ISU does not count in the quota of the country of his citizenship or residence." Am I reading this correctly to mean that the skater wouldn't have to earn a spot through the federation qualifiers? (Ex: New Partner/Davison came in third at US Nats).

    For all of the other split pairs and dance partners, they are SOL without a second citizenship and a partner from that country.
     
  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Does all this really apply in Blanchard's case? I thought he only competed in Russian events, not internationally, which is the deciding factor. Or am I missing something? Of course, it's unlikely that he'll be returning to competition anyway, so it doesn't really matter much.

    It will be interesting to see if any of the now partner-less skaters will attempt to country hop, and who (if anyone) will be able to do so. Davison obviously should have no problem if he wants to skate for the US.
     
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  6. ProgramerUSFS

    ProgramerUSFS Member

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    I have always wondered about this and your items above have created a question. If the skater does a ISU Championship say a national competition for the member country, and switches before the next national competition. This doesn't seam to be possible under this rule. Like lets say a Japan skater competed at their national event, then wanted before the next nationals to move to say China. Are you saying that they can't do it without permission? How long would they have to wait?
     
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  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The ISU doesn't care about nationals as far as sitting out periods are concerned. Neither Blanchard nor Volosozhar needed a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete internal competitions or nationals in Russia.

    Rule 109 applies because Volosozhar was granted Russian citizenship. She did need a release from the Ukrainian Federation to compete at 2011 Worlds, because according to rule 109, had they refused, she would have had to sit out for 24 months from her last ISU championships instead of 12 (with release), and the Russian Fed would have had to apply for an exception. However, she could have competed in other international competitions for Russia without release, if the ISU granted an exception.
     
  8. ProgramerUSFS

    ProgramerUSFS Member

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    So a countries nationals isn't consider an ISU event that applies to rule 109?
     
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    I believe this is true (there have been cases in recent years where a US skater has competed at their Regionals in October and/or Sectionals in November and then showed up representing a country other than the USA at Four Continents a few months later, for example. The proper procedure, AFAIK, would be for the US skater to request a formal release from USFS by having their new federation contact the current Chair of USFS' International Committee.
     
  10. Ladida

    Ladida Member

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    I think you should ask directly Reed's mother.
     
  11. ProgramerUSFS

    ProgramerUSFS Member

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    You would think that more skaters would do this. Is the reason that you don't see more changing countries is because the skater is required to be a citizen of the member country they are moving to and that is difficult to get?
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Residency is enough (is it even required?), you don't have to be a citizen.
     
  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The way the rule is written, residency or citizenship is required, at least for 109 to apply.
     
  14. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Also, to be clear, an ISU Championship is: Worlds, Euros, and 4CCs on the Senior level. GP events, the GPF and any Senior B events are not ISU Championship events. They are ISU events.

    But I could be wrong about the GPF and I'm not sure about the Olympics because they are also under the control of the IOC and not just the ISU.
     
  15. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    This distinction is important, because without a release, there are different sitting out periods for championships and non-championships, if an exception is granted.
     
  16. operagirl

    operagirl Active Member

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    Would Emily Samuelson have to sit out another year if she switched (to Canada and Poirier)? Her last competition was Worlds 2010.
     
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  17. ProgramerUSFS

    ProgramerUSFS Member

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    I read the 109 and am thinking that the waiting periods only apply if the member country doesn't release the skater. Am I correct, in that if the US would release Emily to Canada, she could go without any waiting?
     
  18. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    There is a one-year waiting period for pairs and dance skaters and a two-year waiting period for singles for international competitions and championships with a release.

    Since the last time Samuelson competed for the US internationally was Worlds 2010, she's already past the waiting period, with a release. Without a release, and with an exception, Worlds 2012 is the first championship in which she could compete, but she's already passed the waiting period for non-championship ISU competitions.
     
  19. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone really believe USFS would release Emily to skate for Canada?
     
  20. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    No, but she'd be eligible to skate for Worlds in Nice if the ISU granted an exception under Rule 109 of the ISU Constitution, and, with it, she could also skate in GP and other international events as soon as it was granted, since the last time she skated for the US was Worlds 2010.
     
  21. just wondering

    just wondering Member

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    What if prior to the official break up, Emily engaged willingly in reconciliation attempts? What if she did all that USFS asked and did her absolute best to keep the team together? Would they ever release her knowing that she did not initiate the break up? Kind of a consolation prize for patiently sitting out the past season waiting on Evan & being so willing to make the partnership work?
    I know this assumes a lot of facts we don't know are true, but I wondered if USFS would even consider such factors?
     
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  22. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Could the US and Canada do a trade? Yankowskas for Davison?
     
  23. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly an even trade. Davison is a US citizen (he was born in California) and would not need a release from Skate Canada to skate for the US. Samuelson is not a Canadian citizen and has no compelling reason to switch countries.
     
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    And it's not clear what his skating future is. We'd need to get a 'player to be named later' in addition for it to be a fair trade.
     
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Davison needs either a release from Skate Canada or to be granted an exception under rule 109. If granted an exemption, he could start doing international competitions as soon as it was granted, and Worlds 2012 as the first championships.

    There was word that Poirier did not want to leave his coach or rink, which suggests that any new partner would have to move to Canada to train with him. That would make her a Canadian resident, but under normal circumstances, even if she were granted permanent residency status, she couldn't apply for citizenship until she had been physically present in Canada for three out of four years. To get an exception under Rule 109, she needs to be resident for a year and have applied for citizenship. So she'd need expedited permanent residency status and an exception to apply for citizenship early and to compete in Sochi, she'd need an exception to the physical presence rule.

    USFS would have to apply for the exception for Davison. They'd look pretty greedy if they went to the ISU to ask for an exception for Davison, and refused to release Samuelson. I'm not sure if they want a repeat of the bitterness surrounding their refusal of Morgan Matthews, especially when they turned around and released her partner not that long after.
     
  26. oubik

    oubik Well-Known Member

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    You are right abour pair skaters and ice dancers, however in case of the solo skaters they have to either never skated in any domestic event of the other member (which they have to state in special document) or have the release permission from the other member.
     
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  27. oubik

    oubik Well-Known Member

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    It´s even more complicated, he can apply for am exception but only 2 years after the waiting period and if he is wanting to skate at Worlds 2012 he has to apply for it one month (30 days) before the event at least which is unfortunately in conflict with his 2 years period ends.

    The only way for him to start for the US in Nice is to have the Canadians YES permission.
     
  28. oubik

    oubik Well-Known Member

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    Nope: GPs, JGPs and Finals are ISU events, as well Team Trophy or any other cheesefest under ISU flags. International events are international calendar events, nothing more. So the 1 year period is for all of them but Champs (and even for pairs and ID there is only 1 year period for Champs), 2 years period is for Champs in solo figure skating and all other ISU branches (short track and speed skating). Synchro World is different like usually, the skater should be taking part in synchro team for other federation but do not skate in other disciplines (including speed ST ones) in the same season for his original federation. But what he/she needs is an approval from his original member. He can switch back to his original country the year after.
     
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  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    There's nothing in Rule 109 text that states that this applies to pairs and dance teams only. 109.2.c. states (emphasis mine):

    There would be no reason for this the wording to specify different rules for pairs and dance partners if the rule does not apply to singles skaters.

    The rule itself does not state that the exception can only be granted after the waiting period, and not after the federation refusal, but that could be internal procedure.
     
  30. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    It's also worth noting that the Rule doesn't put the onus on a skater with dual citizenship to obtain the release from the first federation. Rather, it appears that the federation can put a block on the switch for a specified period of time, subject to any supervening decision by the ISU Council.

    In Davison's case, Skate Canada would have little reason to put a block on the switch. If it did, the ISU Council would almost certainly overrule it. The switch wouldn't be "contrary to the spirit and purpose of the Rule." It's not as if the USFSA were some upstart federation trying to build a national team from scratch by getting quickie citizenships. Davison was born in the United States and has held U.S. citizenship all his life.

    As far as I can tell, if Davison were healthy and paired up with Caitlin Yankowskas to skate for the U.S., they could participate in a Senior "B" as soon as they wanted to.

    (If only, if only.... :saint:)