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  1. #1
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    Skaters at the senior level who skate junior

    Though skaters like Agnes Zawadski are new to the senior circuit, does it damage their reputation if they continue to skate at the junior level and are beaten by junior skaters ineligible to skate senior.

    I'm talking specifically, about returning to junior worlds and maybe not making the podium against the baby Russians.

    Though it is a decision ulitimately made by their association, any skater who is doing well at the senior level, would have to think it is a step backwards skating junior. Elena Gedevanishvili, a seasoned senior, comes to mind in 2009 when she didn't make the podium at Junior Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    Though skaters like Agnes Zawadski are new to the senior circuit, does it damage their reputation if they continue to skate at the junior level and are beaten by junior skaters ineligible to skate senior.
    Kimmie Meissner: 2nd at JW in 2004. 4th at JW in 2005. 1st at Worlds in 2006.
    The Junior Grand Prix: Where skaters who "come out of nowhere" come from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanna View Post
    Kimmie Meissner: 2nd at JW in 2004. 4th at JW in 2005. 1st at Worlds in 2006.
    That's impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanna View Post
    Kimmie Meissner: 2nd at JW in 2004. 4th at JW in 2005. 1st at Worlds in 2006.
    I guess. But that was prior to her skating internationally as a senior.

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    Meissner was 3rd at 2005 US Nationals but too young for Worlds in Moscow, so going back to Junior Worlds was the only way for her to gain ISU World Standings points after Nationals.

    ETA: Caroline Zhang won 2007 Junior Worlds in her first trip (having competed on the JGP that season), but returned to JW the next 2 years, winning silver in 2008 and 2009, because she didn't make the World team (4th at both the GP Final & Nationals and too young in 2008; 3rd in 2009 when there were only 2 spots).
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-13-2011 at 09:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Meissner was 3rd at 2005 US Nationals but too young for Worlds in Moscow, so going back to Junior Worlds was the only way for her to gain ISU World Standings points after Nationals.

    ETA: Caroline Zhang won 2007 Junior Worlds in her first trip (having competed on the JGP that season), but returned to JW the next 2 years, winning silver in 2008 and 2009, because she didn't make the World team (4th at both the GP Final & Nationals and too young in 2008; 3rd in 2009 when there were only 2 spots).
    Ah...that makes sense. Gaining points to get GP assignments

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    I don't think it looks bad necessarily. I mean, if it's Junior Worlds or nothing, Agnes might as well compete at Junior Worlds for the ranking points. She might not win or even make the podium but I bet she will still do very well for herself. Fields are deeper/weaker in some years than others and that's just the reality. I mean, Polina Shelepen and Christina Gao were 2nd and 3rd at the JGPF last season, and this season they were 5th and 6th, but overall I think most people would agree in saying they have both improved since last season and that the field this season was a lot deeper and they both just happened to have off nights at that competition.

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    Keegan Messing is skating on the senior level in the US, but isn't he still skating as a junior internationally (at least for this season)?

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    I thought this thread was about skaters who seem junior skaters when they skate

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    Quote Originally Posted by paskatefan View Post
    Keegan Messing is skating on the senior level in the US, but isn't he still skating as a junior internationally (at least for this season)?
    But the senior level in the USA means nothing in comparision to the junior/senior levels internationally. They use the same words, but they don't mean the same thing.

    I don't think it is at all a step back for a USA senior level skater to skate junior internationally.

    But I see the point that if you skated on the senior grand prix all year it may be a step back to go skate at junior worlds.

    However, there are a lot more SGP spots than there are worlds spots. If I were a young skater, I'd rather go to junior worlds then sit at home. If I had medaled on the SGP and I didn't think I had an excellent chance to medal at junior worlds, then maybe I wouldn't go.

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    I find the whole concept weird. Either you are a junior skater or a senior skater. I think once you pass your senior test you should move on. Junior skaters (especially the women) have the advantage when it comes to jumps (they are lighter). They may be at a disadvantage performance-wise, but the way skaters train full-time now starting at an early age, that is debateable.

    Carlo Fassi predicted that this would happen when they got rid of figures. He said that you would see the girls peak out at 15 or 16 and that with the age restrictions you would see junior ladies who were better than the senior ladies.

    In defense of the skaters who skate both levels at once, I think the age restrictions are unfair. The justification that it protects younger skaters by discouraging them from training triple jumps at an early age is ridiculous.

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    Junior internationally is determined by age. Junior and senior in the U.S. is determined by an ability test.

    Evan Lysacek made his U.S. senior debut in 2001. He was still skating junior internationally until 2004. He went to Jr Worlds after he won a bronze at 4 Continents. He spent that season going back and forth. Didn't seem to hurt his sr career, which ultimately included U.S., 4 C, World and Olympic gold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I think once you pass your senior test you should move on.
    What test? The ISU doesn't have a senior test. It has a minimum age. The minimum age overlaps with juniors maximum age.

    Skaters who flip flop the levels do so because the ISU allows it. The ISU doesn't have a test that determines ability to place skaters as juniors and seniors.

    Individual countries might- but that is only within their own systems. They mean nothing internationally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    What test? The ISU doesn't have a senior test. It has a minimum age. The minimum age overlaps with juniors maximum age.

    Skaters who flip flop the levels do so because the ISU allows it. The ISU doesn't have a test that determines ability to place skaters as juniors and seniors.

    Individual countries might- but that is only within their own systems. They mean nothing internationally.
    Which is why I don't think they should have age restrictions for international competition. Age is not defining the level of the skater when as you point out the ages for international junior and senior overlap.

    The federations are the ones determining the level of the skater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Which is why I don't think they should have age restrictions for international competition. Age is not defining the level of the skater when as you point out the ages for international junior and senior overlap.
    So, suppose you have a small country with one talented skater. She can do a double axel at age 9, and no one else in the country can do a double axel at all.

    Should they send her to the JGP? How about to senior Worlds?

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    What if the country has no talented skaters and the best skater in the country can do a double flip? Does that skater get to skate senior? Since the federations determine the level of the skater?

    There is no "senior test" since all federations have their own version. Obviously this skater wouldn't make it past the qualifying round- but should she get to go if her supposed federation decided that she was the best skater in the country, and thus their senior?

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    There didn't used to be age limits, and we have seen 11- and 12-year-olds competing at Worlds and Olympics in earlier eras.

    Some of them grew up to be world champions.

    Others may have been done before they were 15. Or, like Tracey Wainman, eventually able to make a comeback.

    I guess the question is how young is too young?

    It's one thing to acknowledge that talented 13,14,15-year-old girls can often do their hardest tricks at that age and may lose some skills after their final growth spurt.

    It's also true that many federations who sent out talented young teens or preteens understood that they were going for experience at that age and that if they were going to start bringing home medals it was going to happen later in their careers.

    Thus it might make some sense to lower the minimum age by a year or two, at least for girls.

    It's another thing to have no age limit at all, to allow preteens to carry the hopes of their nations with all the pressure that might entail, and to require them to attempt 4- or 4 1/2-minute programs and (more, harder, any) triple jumps before they've really developed the skills to do so.

    The minimum scores requirement for senior ISU championships will also help to keep out skaters who really aren't ready for senior competition. Entering senior B events would not be as much of a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    So, suppose you have a small country with one talented skater. She can do a double axel at age 9, and no one else in the country can do a double axel at all.

    Should they send her to the JGP? How about to senior Worlds?
    I'm not sure what your point is since she wouldn't qualify to compete anyway.

    My point is that senior is supposed to be a higher skill level than Junior. Senior World Champion has more status than Junior World Champion.
    Why should lower level skaters have to compete against higher level skaters? If there is no difference then why have 2 levels in the first place?

    As far as age goes, Michelle Kwan competed at the senior worlds at 14, and Tara Lipinski won both Worlds and Olympics at 15. Under the current rules that wouldn't be allowed.

    Why should skaters who can compete be forced to stay junior and should lower level skaters be forced to compete against them?

    As far as a nine year old being successful competing against teenagers that is not likely but if she's the best more power to her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I'm not sure what your point is since she wouldn't qualify to compete anyway.
    Why not? The only thing she might not qualify for is ISU senior championships now that there are minimum scores.

    And even so, if high levels on her spins and steps and good GOEs on everything including double jumps (using a score from a junior SP where triples are not required), she might earn the minimum score without attempting triples.

    She could certainly be better than some teens on the JGP from other small countries, with the same jump content and less basic skating talent.

    And what about 10- or 11-year-olds who do have some triples? E.g., Nathan Chen.

    My point is that senior is supposed to be a higher skill level than Junior.
    On average, but there is a very wide range between the minimum skill level it takes to be allowed to compete at that level and the skill level it takes to win world medals at that level.

    Most international competitors, both senior and junior, fall somewhere in the middle of that wide range. So, for that matter, do most national-level competitors.

    No matter how you define the levels, there's going to be overlap between skill levels of skaters competing in junior and those in senior.

    We can redefine the entry requirements for both levels, but we'll never get past the fact that many skaters are good enough (or old enough) for seniors and not too good (or too old) for juniors.

    So then you can add more restrictions about when skaters who enter or place at any senior events are or are not allowed also to compete in junior events again.

    The question is, what should those rules be? Who determines them?

    And should national federations use the same rules for their domestic events, even if the size and depth of their field would mean too many or too few competitors at either or both levels if they used international restrictions?
    Last edited by gkelly; 02-14-2011 at 05:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
    I thought this thread was about skaters who seem junior skaters when they skate
    I did, too, and I was looking forward to that discussion!

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