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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mishieru07 View Post
    Honestly, I'd be far more afraid of coaches than skaters themselves if we're talking sexual abuse/ molestation. Does anyone have any statistics or anecdotal evidence?
    I don't have any stats, but there have been some very high profile cases of coaches who have sexually abused their skaters. And there have been some which never see the light of day. But, yes, sexual abuse is not just a partner issue.

    I want to be clear, here, I am not saying sexual abuse is a common thing, but it is something to consider with regard to age. I have also seen situations where a 12/13 year old girl is spending a lot of time with her 18/19 year old partner and his friends off ice. Very often because it's all she knows. Often these young girls don't have a social network off ice. There may be no abuse at all, but that young girl is often exposed to things that she is too young to be exposed to.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I don't have any stats, but there have been some very high profile cases of coaches who have sexually abused their skaters. And there have been some which never see the light of day. But, yes, sexual abuse is not just a partner issue.

    I want to be clear, here, I am not saying sexual abuse is a common thing, but it is something to consider with regard to age. I have also seen situations where a 12/13 year old girl is spending a lot of time with her 18/19 year old partner and his friends off ice. Very often because it's all she knows. Often these young girls don't have a social network off ice. There may be no abuse at all, but that young girl is often exposed to things that she is too young to be exposed to.
    The problem with that argument is that the same could happen just from hanging out at a rink without parental supervision. Or going to competitions as a junior or young senior when most competitors are older. Your making a lot of assumptions that the age difference creates a problem when, at best, you have some anecdotal evidence (which you won't disclose). Without some evidence, I don't see that pairing a 13-year old with an 18-year old creates greater problems than pairing a 13-year old with a 15-year old. I still suspect the 18-year old is less likely to socialize with a girl who is that much younger, which means she is less likely to get involved with the guy or party with him.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    The problem with that argument is that the same could happen just from hanging out at a rink without parental supervision. Or going to competitions as a junior or young senior when most competitors are older. Your making a lot of assumptions that the age difference creates a problem when, at best, you have some anecdotal evidence (which you won't disclose). Without some evidence, I don't see that pairing a 13-year old with an 18-year old creates greater problems than pairing a 13-year old with a 15-year old. I still suspect the 18-year old is less likely to socialize with a girl who is that much younger, which means she is less likely to get involved with the guy or party with him.
    ITA with you Reckless. This is a very weak excuse for changing the age limits. I'm with Oz_sk8ting_mom. The physical safety of both partners should be the primary concern and the bottom line is that there is less risk when the male is older and stronger than his female partner.

    It is up to the parents of the girl - not the ISU - to look after the emotional and social needs of their daughter. As for maturity, let's not forget that often girls are much more mature for their ages than boys - so the age gap may also help the maturity gap!

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    I also am curious how many of the teams at this year's JGP and Junior Worlds had an age gap of more than 5 years. Is it to big a problem that it really requires drastic change?
    No, IMO. I pointed out earlier that only 4 of the 40 pair teams that competed on the JGP and/or Jr. Worlds this past season had an age gap of more than 5 years.

    Now, here's a detailed breakdown for dance as well as for pairs. All ages are as of June 30, 2009.

    JUNIOR PAIRS (40 teams)
    7 year age gap: 1
    6: 3
    5: 6
    4: 9
    3: 10
    2: 6
    1: 5

    JUNIOR DANCE (73 teams)
    7: none
    6: none
    5: 1
    4: 5
    3: 12
    2: 26
    1: 17
    0: 10
    -1: 2 (female is the older one)

    More importantly, the change makes no sense for both disciplines. The physical requirements of pairs -- and increasingly in dance -- generally require an age difference. A 16-year old boy does not have the same strength as an 18-year old to lift a 14-year old girl. Under this proposal, the 18/14 team would only have one year of junior eligibility before they have to go to seniors.
    Actually, an 18-year old male partner would have to have a July 1st or later birthday in order to be Junior age-eligible under this proposed age limit rule! So if he turns 18 before July 1st, then he would be out of luck! (same for his partner or a singles skater)

    I also wonder if the ISU has considered the potential safety risks. I often shudder when junior teams do lifts right now. I can't imagine what lifts are going to look like when the boys are generally weaker than they are now.
    Reducing the male partner's maximum age by 3 years in one swoop is an indication to me that Junior pair/dance teams' safety isn't being considered seriously enough.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 05-04-2010 at 04:00 AM.

  5. #45

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    Well, before the age limit for the guys was raised, was there a big safety problem in junior pairs at the JGP?

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Well, before the age limit for the guys was raised, was there a big safety problem in junior pairs at the JGP?
    I don't know the answer to this but I do know that the sport has progressed and more is being expected of pairs teams. The Chinese team is pushing the envelope on quad throws. Triple twists are becoming more common. In order for these big tricks to happen, there must be not only a lot of strength on the part of the boy but also a lot of trust on the part of the girl. IMO these two things are more likely in a team with a larger age gap.

    I have heard from many sources that there is a worry about the future of pairs and any move on the part of the ISU that will result in less teams is not a good one for the sport. If their sole argument for this is to align with the Youth Olympics that seems weak to me too. Let countries send teams to that event that are eligible under the rules it has created but leave the grand prix series alone. I would like to see an increase in the number of pairs teams and have these kids rewarded with the same number of opportunities as skaters in other disciplines, not less!

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I don't have any stats, but there have been some very high profile cases of coaches who have sexually abused their skaters. And there have been some which never see the light of day. But, yes, sexual abuse is not just a partner issue.

    I want to be clear, here, I am not saying sexual abuse is a common thing, but it is something to consider with regard to age. I have also seen situations where a 12/13 year old girl is spending a lot of time with her 18/19 year old partner and his friends off ice. Very often because it's all she knows. Often these young girls don't have a social network off ice. There may be no abuse at all, but that young girl is often exposed to things that she is too young to be exposed to.
    I do agree with cruisin that the early exposure can be a problem. To add to that, there is great deal of early exposure to this sort of stuff at the Junior Grand Prixs and Junior Worlds regardless of your partners age. You have 25 year old guys celebrating in the same room with 13 year old girls. I have heard some pretty wild stories. Maybe, lowering the boys age would help.

  8. #48
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    Oh for the love of god...

    The "seperate young girls from older boys or they will get sexually abused" stuff is just .
    Last edited by Ziggy; 05-04-2010 at 09:33 AM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Oh for the love of god...

    The "seperate young girls from older boys or they will get sexually abused" stuff is just .
    It's not "just ". And it is not necessarily sexual abuse, but inappropriate situations. It is an issue. Especially at Internationals when parents are not always able to go, and coaches/officials are out partying themselves. Frequently, no one is supervising these kids. I am not saying that this is a reason to lower the age limits, but it is a concern.

    barbk - I don't recall that the increase in the boy's age had anything to do with injuries. It was more about trying to keep Junior teams eligible for a longer period of time and providing a larger pool of Junior boys. USFS and the other federations are not known for caring much about the safety/health issues of the athletes, just medals. If they cared about injury, they'd address eating disorders and the physical consequences of pushing some envelopes. They can make some elements illegal at lower levels. The mentality that these young teams have to get out there with the most difficult tricks possible, often prevents them from learning basic skills that could help them perform the tricks more safely. Reward the skating, reward the lesser tricks well done. Evaluate whether or not some tricks pose a physical threat, to developing bodies, even if they are done properly. That is how we prevent injury.

  10. #50

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    BTW, I happened to see the earlier version (January 2010) of the ISU Congress Agenda/proposals, and these are the two significant changes in the latest, public version that I noticed:
    1) Any new age rules would not apply until the 2011-12 season IF they pass at the Congress; and
    2) The 14-year-old minimum age being proposed for all disciplines originally included the Junior Grand Prix and Final, but now only applies to Junior Worlds.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post

    Actually, an 18-year old male partner would have to have a July 1st or later birthday in order to be Junior age-eligible under this proposed age limit rule! So if he turns 18 before July 1st, then he would be out of luck! (same for his partner or a singles skater)
    It's always been July 1st (at least as long as I remember), that hasn't changed.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    It's not "just ". And it is not necessarily sexual abuse, but inappropriate situations. It is an issue. Especially at Internationals when parents are not always able to go, and coaches/officials are out partying themselves. Frequently, no one is supervising these kids. I am not saying that this is a reason to lower the age limits, but it is a concern.
    Because kids don't do inappropriate things at home.

    Or are you one of those parents who ensures they don't by locking them in the basement?
    Last edited by Ziggy; 05-04-2010 at 03:58 PM.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    It's not "just ". And it is not necessarily sexual abuse, but inappropriate situations. It is an issue. Especially at Internationals when parents are not always able to go, and coaches/officials are out partying themselves. Frequently, no one is supervising these kids. I am not saying that this is a reason to lower the age limits, but it is a concern.
    Then it sounds like the issue is supervision, not age limits.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Then it sounds like the issue is supervision, not age limits.
    Yes.

    And supervision of athletes who are minors is not the responsibility of the ISU but their respective coaches and team leaders.

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    It's always been July 1st (at least as long as I remember), that hasn't changed.
    Sorry if I wasn't clearer earlier. When the maximum age was raised for the ISU Junior male pairs/dancers 12(?) years ago from 19 to 21, they had (and currently have) to be 20 years old before July 1st. The current ISU Council proposal states: "A Junior is a Skater who has reached the age of thirteen (13) but not the age of eighteen (18) before the July 1st immediately preceding the relevant event/competition."

    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    Before that it was 18 for all. So, they are actually going back to the way it used to be.
    But an additional year (18 before July 1st) is being cut off the maximum age for ALL Junior singles skaters (19 before July 1st), which was the way it used to be for pairs and dancers as well.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Because kids don't do inappropriate things at home.
    Kids are not in that sort of situation at home, at least none that I know.

    Or are you one of those parents who ensures they don't by locking them in the basement?
    Yeah, that's it

    To some degree it is a supervision issue. To some degree it is putting kids, who are not ready to be exposed to serious partying, in that situation. As I said, it is not a reason to raise the age restrictions, but it is a problem. If the respective coaches and team leaders are not supervising adequately, it is a sport issue. When athletes are up on a roof getting drunk and one falls off, we'll see what happens. The younger kids can get out of control. They are away from parents, etc. often for the first time, and are not watched 24/7.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    1) Any new age rules would not apply until the 2011-12 season IF they pass at the Congress; and
    .

    AFAIK, this applies to dance and pairs only. For singles the changes will be effective immediately.

  18. #58

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    I don't see much that this would really help on "inappropriate" issues -- like using a hammer to put in a screw.

    I do think that the current age disparity (if the rules continue as they are today) will continue the push for junior teams to take on higher and higher levels and risks -- and teams that are similar in age, or only a few years apart will be greatly hampered vs. the gorilla-flea combinations it is easy to create with a 19 y.o. man and a 13.y.o.girl. If the expanded age limit was originally allowed in order to give male skaters more time to mature, they may be seeing that the unanticipated side effect is to discourage closer in age pairings.

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by SUN View Post
    AFAIK, this applies to dance and pairs only. For singles the changes will be effective immediately.
    Yes, thanks for clarifying, SUN.

    From the ISU Congress Agenda thread:
    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...41&postcount=8
    c) Pair Skating and Ice Dance (Pairs and Couples)
    What in this paragraph 3 related to these two sport disciplines, with the exception of the Novice category, becomes effective as of the season 2011/12 – for the season 2010/11 the age limits for Pair Skating and Ice Dance as per Rule 108, paragaraph 2 of the 2008 General Regulations apply.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I don't see much that this would really help on "inappropriate" issues -- like using a hammer to put in a screw.

    I do think that the current age disparity (if the rules continue as they are today) will continue the push for junior teams to take on higher and higher levels and risks -- and teams that are similar in age, or only a few years apart will be greatly hampered vs. the gorilla-flea combinations it is easy to create with a 19 y.o. man and a 13.y.o.girl. If the expanded age limit was originally allowed in order to give male skaters more time to mature, they may be seeing that the unanticipated side effect is to discourage closer in age pairings.
    What could work in making the age limits tighter for Novice and Junior, is making restrictions on elements. Especially in pairs. If 14-18 year old boys are not allowed to do elements that could hurt them with a close in age partner, they would have more time to develop. But the age issue makes no sense, unless they address the elements allowed at certain levels. In having a 14-21 year spread, it forces the kids on the younger end to do these elements in order to keep up. It also pushes, as you say, the gorilla-flea combinations. Either way, there is a lot of pressure on these young girls to remain tiny. For some, that is an injury (illness) all by itself.

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