What should happen to the Age Eligibility Rules

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Mar 17, 2011.

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Should the Age Eligibility Rules be changed?

Poll closed Apr 16, 2011.
  1. They should be scrapped

    16 vote(s)
    14.8%
  2. They should be relaxed to allow skaters to enter seniors earlier

    22 vote(s)
    20.4%
  3. They should remain as they are

    70 vote(s)
    64.8%
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva will not be eligible to compete in Worlds until 2013. Mao Asada was unable to compete at the 2006 Olympics. Why? Because of the Age Eligibility Rules. Is it time for the rules to be scrapped or amended? Or should they remain the same?
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

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    :shuffle: I think it should be you have to be 16 by July 1 of start of season to compete on senior level. I shall run away now. :scream:
  3. neptune

    neptune New Member

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    I think the age limit should be raised to 21, and skaters should be forced to show their IDs to the judges. ;)
  4. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I think no one should be allowed to wear skates until they hit puberty. Even for purely recreational skating.
  5. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Well-Known Member

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    I think the Novice Skaters in China should first get permission from their employers at WalMart.
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  6. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    I actually think age rules should be strengthened, and current rules for ISU championships should be applied to Gran Prix as well. This might discourage people from complaining so much about age rules.
  7. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I think young skaters shouldn't do any jumps, to concentrate on pure basic skating.
  8. MikiAndoFan#1

    MikiAndoFan#1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't run away! :lol: I have the same opinion as you. :D
  9. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    ITA Consistency is a good thing.
    There should be age disclosure at the lower test levels, to track skater progress.
  10. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious as to why you and Figure Spins support age rules. The official justification is to protect young skaters from over-training developing bodies, but as we see it has in practice done nothing to discourage that. Young skaters learn and practice triple jumps as soon as they can.

    I agree that it is concerning that young children should be consumed by what is essentially a professional sports career at an age when they can't make independent decisions or forsee the long-term consequences of the choices made for them.

    However, the reality is that it is happening anyway, and with the current technical requirements of the sport a lot of girls are peaking and burning out at 15 or 16. Is it fair to them not to be able to compete in the top competitions when they, according to the rules, are the best competitors? Also what does it mean for the OGM or World Champion if the best are excluded from competition?

    What kind of career would Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski, or Sonja Henie have had if these rules were in plance when they competed?
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Well, in Tara's case, might have been longer as she might not have demolished her hip trying to be the little jumping star while she was still tiny and had 'cute' going for her.

    And what does it mean for medals? It means the winners are the BEST ELIGIBILE. Same as other sports with ages and qualifying criteria.
  12. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I think so too! Actually, I think they should be made to do school figures 4 hours a day until they're 13 or 14 at least!:D

    ETA: I am actually of the opinion that the age rule should be lowered. I think that an exception should be made going into a Worlds or Olympics for athletes who are clearly their country's best. Some of the Olympics greatest stars were children in their teens like Henie, and Comaneci. An athlete shouldn't be punished because they happen to be younger than someone whose just not as good as they are and their birthday didn't fall into an Olympic year. It's just not fair imo.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  13. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    The age rules should STAY. It is not fair to get rid of the age rules just to favor two up and coming pixies.
  14. bek

    bek Guest

    I think there are a lot of countries who would like the age rules to change. Its not like the US has never had and will never again have talented pixies. The Japanese too. And after the ridiculousness that exists with China's age cheating.

    Oh maybe some will fight it since it will help Russian pixies. But once their pixies come up, they'll be asking for a change too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2011
  15. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I think it is more likely that Tara's career would have ended at the junior level if there had been age restrictions. I've never heard of a skater who could do triples saving themselve for later. If they are worried about permanent damage they usually quit.

    I think the real issue is that Olympic sports have morphed from amateur recreational sports to professional careers. There really isn't much difference between elite skating and signing on with the NFL or NBA now that the skaters can get paid for skating. The only difference is child labor laws don't apply.
  16. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    I think Tara's career is what caused there to be age restrictions. The rules were implemented right when she hit the big time, but she lucked out and placed high enough to get grandfathered.
  17. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    That's correct. It became known as the "Lipinski Rule"!

    How the Lipinski Rule came about
  18. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I think they're good because i don't want to see a bunch of 14 year old jumping beans who mostly lack artistry winning worlds all the time in ladies.. it's boring.
  19. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and it's not just about the artistry in their skating their jumps could use more control too even when they land them. That will come with age and security with their bodies.

    Rules are rules no matter if we agree with them or not. I would love to see to chicks skate together or two men but it's not allowed. I would also like to run though a stop sign when no one is around.

    I likes watching Nancy much better than Tara.
  20. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

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    I feel like they should be relaxed by one year-so that skaters who are 14 by 7/1 of the competition season can skate both the GP events and Worlds.

    I don't believe it's ever happened, but what if the GPF winner couldn't even throw his/her hat into the Worlds ring because of age ineligibility?

    I'm sure others will disagree, but I think Dominque Dawes said it best when she said that, by about 13, the top kids and the ones who'll be the first ones out of the gates when they become eligible, are already training at roughly the same level as seniors, anyway.
  21. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I would love to see teams of two men skating together.
  22. SamuraiK

    SamuraiK Well-Known Member

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    It has happened, Mao Asada in the 2005-2006 season. And she not only missed Worlds but the Olympics too..

    Im in favor of the age rules but they should be consistent between ISU Championships and the Grand Prix so the Mao situation never happens again.
  23. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    EYS ! The perfect World ! ;)

    My point is that for sure, we couldn't see skaters at 13 doing triple jumps with no technique. So, skaters would be of an excellent level (jumps + skating) later. Very good things, IMO.

    The problem is always exceptions. A rule is always like that : good for a majority, bad for exceptions.
  24. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    From that article:
    This information is incorrect.

    The current age limits passed at the 1996 ISU congress, right after Tara Lipinski placed 15th at her first worlds when she was 13.

    She was allowed to continue competing at the senior level in the 1997 season because of a grandfather clause.

    Other skaters who benefitted from the grandfather exceptions in the 1997 and 98 seasons included Eva Marie Fitze, Evgeny Plushenko, and Evgenia Filonenko.

    In 1998 Lipinski was old enough.

    The rule change was also made right after Michelle Kwan won her first world title when she was 15, 6 days too young by the new age rules, and three years after Oksana Baiul won her first (and only) Worlds at 15, 4 months too young by the new age rules.

    If we're going to name rules after people who inspired them, and if we believe that very young champions were the inspiration, it would make more sense to call it the Baiul rule or the Baiul-Kwan rule.

    You can call it the Lipinski rule if you want, naming it after the chief beneficiary of the exceptions. But it wasn't passed because she won the Olympics at 15. It was passed before she won the Olympics at 15.
  25. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure gkelly ?
    I've always thought the age was 15 after 1996 Worlds, and 16 after 1998 Olympics because of Lipinski.
  26. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I think perhaps relaxed by a year. I think 15 is just right. Not too young and not too old. People always use Tara as an example for the rules but I've always thought she looked much younger than her age. ;) No one thought a 15 year old Michelle was too young for her first Worlds. I think young skaters with promise should be given the opportunity because the careers of ladies figure skaters are quite short so there may not be another chance if they missed it the first time around.

    I also agree that if the rules were to remain as they are, they should be consistent across all events. It makes no sense that the skater is allowed to compete in the GP series yet not be old enough for Worlds or Olympics. It's like they're saying you can compete with the big girls now but not for the big prizes. It must be extremely frustrating and disappointing for young talented skaters who are put in this peculiar situation.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  27. ks777

    ks777 Well-Known Member

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    We should get rid of the age rule and bring back school figure.
  28. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem as far as fairness is Olympic eligibility. It's one thing to make an athlete wait another year to compete at World Championships becuase a rule is a rule, but making them wait 4 more years when they are at their peak usually means their career will be over before they get the chance.

    As far as jumping beans vs. artistry, that is determined by the judging and technical rules. If the judges want to see jumping, the jumping beans will win no matter what their age. If the judges want to see "mature" artistry then the young girls wouldn't be qualifying and it wouldn't be an issue.
  29. falling_dance

    falling_dance The Scarlet Unlettered

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    I'm pretty sure it's still 15 for both. I don't think there would have been the same advocacy for Asada's Turin Olympics participation in particular if her birthdate had been more than several months from the cutoff mark for age eligibility.
  30. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Kwan was born in July 1980. Her first World Championships was 93-94 season so she was only 13. She placed 8th. She placed second at U.S. Nationals and was the alternate for the Olympics (Nancy got a bye and bumped her).
  31. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm sure. There was no change to the minimum age after 1998. Fifteen by July 1 for senior championships (14 by July 1 for other senior events).

    This affects specific skaters differently depending when their birthday is. Some skaters are old enough to compete at Worlds (or Euros or 4Cs, or Olympics) while still 15, others won't be old enough for their first championships until they're 16.

    What changed after 1998 was the exceptions:

    1) By 1998-99, the skaters who were grandfathered in because they'd already competed as seniors before July 1996 had all gotten old enough through the passage of time.

    2) The "junior worlds loophole" that allowed skaters who had medaled at Junior Worlds to compete at senior events they were otherwise too young for (biggest beneficiary, Sarah Hughes) was eliminated after the 2000 season.

    So should we call eliminating that loophole "the Hughes rule" even though at the time it stopped applying Hughes's biggest credentials were 5th place at Worlds and a couple of senior fall comp medals? And even though the rules to phase out the junior medal exception had actually been passed before Hughes ever competed in a single senior event?

    Like Lipinski, Hughes was not the inspiration for the change, just the skater who happened to benefit most from the exceptions during the transition period.

    Again, both Lipinski and Hughes were old enough to compete at the Olympics that they won. There is a case to be made, however, that they would likely not have won if those had been their debut senior seasons, if they hadn't been allowed years of earlier senior experience thanks to the exceptions to named above.
    HisWeirness and (deleted member) like this.
  32. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Oops. I meant when she won her first Worlds.
  33. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Is Tara insinuating that she wished the age restriction was higher when she competed? If so, she wouldn't have had the OGM.

    I do agree that this - "contorting their backs in all sorts of mind-numbing spin positions -- many of which are OK for young girls now, but many wonder how well they'll be able to walk, much less skate, down the line." - is an unintended outcome of the new age rules. Because of these new positions you have to force yourself into, the chances of you being successful are only good when you are very young. I look at Rachael's layback, which isn't half bad, and is better than Kwan's, but she gets criticized because her leg isn't over her head.
  34. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Or get rid of the age rule, but have two categories: Women and Girls. The pixies can do all the jumps they want, but can't compete against those who have hit puberty. This is pretty much the idea behind World Juniors, but there's no Olympic equivalent. The age rule shows who has the true talent, skill and motivation, and isn't just benefitting from being born a midget and not having grown out of it yet. You see who has true talent after they have grown. Michelle, Alissa. As someone commented on that link, if the USFS really cared about "growing bodies" then they'd make the age limit in the U.S. as well; but I understand why they don't because they want to keep their field very deep.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  35. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    I think it's ok that the GP has different age rules than Worlds. Younger skaters can get some Sr. exposure by the GP.
  36. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

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    Figure skating is dumb to have age limits. The sport has always been about teen-age girls. Carol Heiss was, what, 13 when she went to her first world championship. Peggy Fleming won Nationals at 15, Janet Lynn went to her first Olympics at 14, Michelle Kwan 13 at worlds, ditto Tara Lipinski, etc.

    Competition should be for everyone. If the best skater is 13 or 14 so be it. That skater had to work just as hard as all the other ones to get there.
  37. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't saying to lower the age rule to 'favor two up and coming pixies'. I said in case an athlete happens to be their country's best-as has happened even in the U.S. and they had to send a less accomplished athlete in the higher ranked athletes stead.

    There was also the frustrating fact that other sports still allowed athletes younger than 15 to compete at the Olympics-like diving.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  38. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    Well put. Not everyone is fortunate to be well-paced like a Nastia Liukin was by her dad, and Mao Asada too. They were both fortunate not to suffer career ending growth spurts/injuries in the years they had to wait their turn.

    And as for those who fear the 'jumping beans' would win a Worlds again-I think it's perhaps less likely under this new COP.
  39. FrouFrou

    FrouFrou New Member

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    ITA. It was and is illogical to not send your national champion to represent your country at worlds because of technicalities. I felt bad for Mirai.
  40. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
    Regardless of how old they actually are, Sui and Han were doing the quad for a while.
    Ando was doing the quad sal when she was a junior as well.