Wild Cards at Worlds / Continental Championships, regardless of country??

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Coco, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Looking at how strong Japan's men are, and knowing how strong other countries have been in the past in various disciplines, should the ISU allow a wild card (or 2 or 3) in each discipline regardless of where the wild card skater is from? This will result in more than 3 per country in a given discipline at worlds/4ccs/euros.

    I know the argument against allowing more than 3 in the past was that it made it difficult for emerging countries to place higher.

    But seeing as we can hardly get our sport televised, doesn't it make sense to make a small allowance for super successful skaters, so that the championship has the best of the best?

    If this do this, which they won't , but it's fun to speculate, they should really change how spots are awarded. Instead of adding up the placements, they should do something based on being with in a certain percentage of the top 5's average score.
     
  2. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    I've often longed for this! And there has rarely been a stronger argument than the Japanese men this year!
     
  3. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    It frustrates me to no end that such world-class competitors must stay at home while others (who I'm sure are super nice people) struggle to acheive some basic elements. Countries/fields where this drives me crazy: Japanese men and ladies, Russia (most disciplines, depending on the year), American men (sometimes ladies). Some years the U.S dance has been pretty strong, Canadian pairs, Chinese pairs, etc. I wonder if the top 24 or top 30 based on the grand prix event standings should be those who go to worlds. I can see people have a problem with six of the 24 pairs teams were Russian, but I say let's give it a try!!! :cheer:
     
  4. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Wild card skaters wouldn't crowd out just the emerging countries, they would -- or at least could -- crowd out everyone else.

    This year, Japan has at least five men (Takahashi, Hanya, Kozuka, Machida, and Oda) who, under the present system, might qualify for Worlds and could, at their best, even win a medal. Russia may have a similar situation with its Ladies program soon.

    If you allowed the five Japanese men to compete at Worlds, you could have a Top Fifteen that looked something like this:

    1. CAN
    2. JPN
    3. JPN
    4. JPN
    5. JPN
    6. JPN
    7. ESP
    8. CZE
    9. CZE
    10. FRA
    11. USA
    12. FRA
    13. USA
    14. CAN
    15. KAZ

    (All you Plushenko ubers relax, I'm assuming for the sake of this hypothetical that he voluntarily sits out the competition.)

    Under the current system, the result would be:

    1. CAN
    2. JPN
    3. JPN
    4. JPN
    5. ESP
    6. CZE
    7. CZE
    8. FRA
    9. USA
    10. FRA
    11. USA
    12. CAN
    13. KAZ

    That would give Canada and the Czech Republic (and of course Japan) three entries at the following year's Worlds, and France and the USA two. But if under the alternative hypothetical, Canada and the Czech Republic would end up with just two entries, and Japan might still have five.

    So do would you set up a system that would potentially allow Japan to keep entering five skaters at the expense of two other federations, or would you find some way to let those third Canadian and Czech men in, even if that meant that two other federations wouldn't be able to send any men at all?

    And let's face it. If the ISU in its present mindset were to allow "wild cards," it would be very unlikely to increase the size of the fields to accommodate them.
     
  5. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    No one wanted to do something like this when the US women were dominating because people would have raised holy hell so why do it now just because the Japanese men are so strong?
     
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  6. bek

    bek Guest

    Or when Russian pairs and the Russian men?
     
  7. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    Vagabond, in the last part of my post, I said:

    I'd also like to add one more thing - they need to build in safeguards against countries manipulating the results of their nationals to beef up the number of entrants they have at worlds. Let's say there's a wild card eligible skater named X. And X's country has someone on their team who wouldn't have a ghost of a chance getting a wild card because they aren't on the season's best list nor do they have a world ranking, then no wild card to X.

    And I totally wanted the US to have 4 ladies spots in 2002.
     
  8. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    ^ In response to that, they do at least have the minimum TES. It ain't perfect--but I would think it would eliminate the chance of someone having zero world ranking points being eligible to go to worlds?
     
  9. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    This thread is not about the Japanese men. I mentioned in my post other countries and disciplines that this could apply to.

    How does marks at nationals play into how many entries go to Worlds?
     
  10. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see the medalists at 4CC and Euros be given a free pass to Worlds which would not impact on the number of spots their country would get. So - for ex - if Daiskuke won 4CC, he would get to go to worlds, but Japan would still have 3 spots at Worlds for another 3 skaters [so their total would be 4].
     
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  11. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    But all that would happen then is the "big countries" get to send more people than they qualify. And rig the system. Russia has one spot for Worlds this year in men - under the system you propose, the Russian fed could just pick Plushenko and then send Gachinski on his own to win Euros, thus qualifying two men for Worlds and doubling their likelihood of getting more spots for the next year. And if Japan had four men...well, don't you think that's rather unfair on the poor skater from a minnow country who just got kicked out of Worlds to make room for another skater from a big country? We know the ISU wants to reduce the fields, not increase them.
     
  12. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    The other issue with the 4CC / European winners being separate from countries' spots is that would only work for places who have other amazing skaters in that discipline. For instance it would make sense to me if a Japanese skater won the men's event at 4CC and Japan still got to send 3 more but not so much if Yuna won the women's or Kostner European's or even if Patrick Chan won the men's event while Japanese skaters came 2nd 3rd and 4th - and Canada got to send another man - but Japan didn't. Or Takahashi and Tran won the Pairs event etc. etc.
     
  13. miffy

    miffy Well-Known Member

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    I am still sad Nakano didn't get to go to the Olympics. Together with Ando, Asada and Suzuki, that was such a strong team.
     
  14. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    That was very US biased of me :) I was thinking that in order to maximize # of worlds entries, a country might put "out of nowhere" skaters on their official worlds team, knowing that established skaters with high SB scores or high ranking might get wild cards. To guard against that, ISU would have to look at the skaters a country is sending to see if they + the possible wild card all deserve to be there.

    Although now that there are minimum scores, perhaps this is not such a problem. No one will be showing up at worlds w/o having first been in a senior international, unless they earn the minimum in a junior international event.
     
  15. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    For medals, synchronized diving has a rule for championships where more than one team per country is allowed: only one team can medal, and the second team is bumped from the podium, regardless of where they place.

    In any wildcard scheme, the money, placements, and ranking points can be structured in a similar way, where a maximum number from one country can gain any of these.
     
  16. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan Well-Known Member

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    This is not true, FINA does not allow multiple entries in a championships , but for Grand Prix and World cup events. These are similar to similar to FS grand prix and tier B events in FSing. In championships and Olympics FINA rules don't allow 2 teams to be entered in the Synchronised diving events.
     
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I knew that Olympics were limited to one team, but I thought I was watching WC highlights when there were multiple teams from China at the top. It must have been another event.

    Still, the principle is the same -- there's no reason it couldn't be applied to championships if the ISU wanted to allow wildcards.
     
  18. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    That would mean that Russians would get six pairs spots at worlds, considering that they had the whole podium at the Europeans? Plus 3 medailists from 4CC...
     
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Does the Russian team have six pairs with the TES minimums, which set a very high bar? If so, should it be a problem that there are six Russian Pairs at Worlds, especially if there is a limit to the number of medals/money/points they can get?

    On the one hand, the Feds would like extra spots, but on the other hand, the one power that hasn't been eroded is the ability to control and manipulate their national teams. Remember how Sokolova and Sandhu, for example, we're "retired" by their Feds by not being submitted for GPs when they had earned spots at the previous Worlds? If championship medallists were personally guaranteed spots, the tie to the Fed could be as tenuous as a club affiliation, even if they lose the politicking.
     
  20. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty certain they would have six pairs that would meet the TES minimum. I love Russian pairs, so I wouldn't have any problem with there being so many of them. The reason why I mentioned it was that if there is 24 pairs at the worlds and 6 places would be take by medallists from Euros and 4CC without any consideration to which country they come from, that doesn't leave that many spots for the other countries...
     
  21. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    What if - in addition to the skaters sent to Worlds, the ISU selected the next 5 skaters on the SB roster?

    To help keep countries from manipulating who gets sent, these 5 skaters could not be in the top 10 SB. (That way Canada couldn't just choose to not send Patrick knowing that he would be selected anyways). It's an idea at least.
     
  22. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    One of the things I've always found interesting about Rule 109 is that if a federation won't release a skater, and the ISU grants an exception release, that skater/team doesn't count towards the country-specific spot allocation. Also, the ISU has allowed the championships (not Olympics) host to allow a lone entry to continue to phases for which s/he hasn't qualified. There's no reason they couldn't add more skaters from one country.

    The point I would make about a Top 10 (or Top X) SB restriction is that there are legitimate examples where a nation would drop a Top X skater. For example, at least one of Oda, Takahasi, Hanyu, and Kozuka can't all make the Japanese Men's team. If a rule were that if all were in the Top X, it wouldn't be an issue where they placed on the National team. The choice would be restricted, though, if number X +5 skated a blinder and made the team legitimately, even though there could be two more skaters among the World's best.

    Nations traditionally have been pretty controlling about not letting their podium contenders lose Nationals to skaters who have been better, arguably. There's a video of Gary Beacon's 1984 LP where the commentators -- I think CBC -- talk openly about how Orser's chances at the Olympics would be hurt if he didn't go in as National champion, and there was a controversy about John Curry beating Robin Cousins one year. I suppose to game the system, they could come up with alternate criteria for the World Team -- or actually really use them -- in order to have their National champion and leave that skater off the team to get a wildcard spot. I think it's more likely for the second/third spot (s), especially if the SB was achieved in a prior season or earlier when the skater was healthy/motivated.