View Poll Results: Should the Age Eligibility Rules be changed?

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  • They should be scrapped

    16 14.81%
  • They should be relaxed to allow skaters to enter seniors earlier

    22 20.37%
  • They should remain as they are

    70 64.81%
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  1. #21
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    Haha, I would love to see teams of two men skating together.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoriaheidi View Post
    I
    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?

    .

    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.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    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!
    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.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    That's correct. It became known as the "Lipinski Rule"!

    How the Lipinski Rule came about
    From that article:
    The ISU devised an age limit after Tara Lipinski became the youngest woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she was 15 back in 1998.
    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.

  5. #25
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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.

  6. #26
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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 by miki88; 03-18-2011 at 04:27 PM.

  7. #27
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    We should get rid of the age rule and bring back school figure.

  8. #28

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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.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Are you sure gkelly ?
    I've always thought the age was 15 after 1996 Worlds, and 16 after 1998 Olympics because of Lipinski.
    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.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    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.
    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).

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Are you sure gkelly ?
    I've always thought the age was 15 after 1996 Worlds, and 16 after 1998 Olympics because of Lipinski.
    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.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    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).

    Oops. I meant when she won her first Worlds.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    That's correct. It became known as the "Lipinski Rule"!

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

    "It's hard to say," Lipinski said. "I wish the judging system was the way it was now when I skated. But I still believe the best skater is going to come out of it."
    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.

  14. #34
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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 by leafygreens; 03-18-2011 at 11:16 PM.

  15. #35
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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.

  16. #36
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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.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    The age rules should STAY. It is not fair to get rid of the age rules just to favor two up and coming pixies.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
    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.
    There was also the frustrating fact that other sports still allowed athletes younger than 15 to compete at the Olympics-like diving.
    Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 03-19-2011 at 05:47 AM.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    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.
    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.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    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.
    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.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    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?
    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.

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