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  1. #1

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    International developmental opportunities: why is Skate CAN not using them?

    I've just noticed that the Triglav Trophy and the Gardena spring trophy are taking place in the next couple of weeks. The US has already announced their teams. Skate Canada used to participate in these developmental events, but has not for a while. It seems to me that the best competitive model to develop champions is to compete early and compete often. Is it purely for financial reasons that Skate Can no longer sends athletes?

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    I'm bumping this; I want to know the answer, too!

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    I can't quote you a source on this, but I think I remember reading previously that US skaters must pay their own way if they want to participate in these developmental competitions (maybe Sylvia can confirm or deny this?). Perhaps Skate Canada has the same rule and no Canadian skaters have volunteered to foot their own bills?

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    7 USA singles skaters (all making their international debut) and their coaches were sent to Gardena Spring Trophy in Italy this past week and, AFAIK, all of their travel/hotel expenses were covered by USFS. Except for one skater, 6 will be JGP age-eligible next season, and so the purpose of these spring developmental assignments is to have them gain their first international experience in preparation for possible JGPs/other assignments in the future.

    ETA: A few invited US singles skaters did pay their own way to compete at Triglav Trophy in April 2008 -- before then, USFS had covered expenses for this competition like they are still doing with Gardena. Challenge Cup in The Hague debuted in March 2007 and has been also been used by USFS as a developmental international (expenses paid), but the comp. was cancelled this year.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-04-2011 at 06:22 PM.

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    Canada stopped sending skaters to these events after David Dore resigned from Skate Canada. I'm told it's a money issue. I wish we would use every opportunity we have to get these kids international experience, especially since the North American Challenge Series, which was the only other place where kids at the Novice or just-up-from-Novice Juniors could get their first international opportunity, was cancelled a few years ago.

    Now the kids start with JGP events.
    Last edited by Dragonlady; 04-04-2011 at 07:13 PM.

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    Thanks for the clarification.

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    If money is tight, couldn't these kids get a similar experience by going to some of the larger club competitions in Canada or the US? I'm not sure that the overall competition level of the Gardena Spring Trophy at the junior level is that much higher than might be found at some of the summer comps, and the cost would likely be tremendously lower. It is one thing when Skate Canada chooses not to fill all the JGP slots it has available, but I can see making a decision that these spring developmentals in Europe aren't worth the bucks.

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    One thing I have noticed is that some of the American summer competitions have quite an international flavor to them. It's like they are unofficial ISU events. They attract skaters from Canada, Europe, Asia, all over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polymer Bob View Post
    One thing I have noticed is that some of the American summer competitions have quite an international flavor to them. It's like they are unofficial ISU events. They attract skaters from Canada, Europe, Asia, all over.
    The international nature of summer competitions in both Canada and the US is due to the summer programs offered at top training centres across North America. Skaters come from around the world to these training centres in the summer and, at the end of the summer, compete in the summer comps.

    As well, the USFSA and Skate Canada use summer competition results in order to help determine JGP and senior B international assignments. Since the cancellation of the North American Challenge Skate events, the US and Canadian federations have an arrangement whereby a skaters' results in certain of these summer events in either country may be used for this purpose.

    That said, the summer competitions are nothing like an international ISU competition and it is a huge mistake to think otherwise. The skaters are not there representing their countries, and the atmosphere and expectations are completely different. Summer competitions are about trying out your new programs in a competition setting and getting judge feedback.

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    In the K&C Canadian summer competitions thread, we were musing about the negative implications of SC's really challenging criteria for international competition eligibility plus the general trend of SC not using all of its 'slots'.

    I am wondering whether there is any way to express concerns about this, since these policies will come back to haunt the sport in a few years. Can anyone think of a sports journalist who might write a column in this if emailed about it, perhaps in the context of the post-Vancouver Olympics sport scene? Or does anyone have other ideas?

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    For context, from the Skate Canada web site:

    The following criteria will be used for selection of International Assignments for the 2011-2012 Junior Grand Prix and Senior [B] International events: click here (benchmark & target scores at summer competitions, technical requirements, etc.).

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    To play devil's advocate here, who should Skate Canada be sending? I was just looking through the Minto results http://mintoskatingclub.com/summer-s...n-longfl2.html
    and there really wasn't anyone who, on paper, stood out as being ready. The first two in the 2nd flight of Junior LPs (the link above) are probably the closest just based on the protocols, but they are a long way from the JGP minimums. Caelen Dalmer (flight 2 3rd place) may be on track for next year. She is still quite young - 14 I believe.
    There wasn't anyone who landed two different triples in the long, and most didn't even land a clean triple. I know these are development competitions, so even if you reduce the jump requirements from what is required for a JGP, you are still looking for someone who can land 2 different triples in the long and has a solid 2A and a triple in the short. There certainly weren't a lot of those at Minto.
    I would love to be totally wrong, perhaps someone who was actually at Minto or Thornhill could make some suggestions.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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    Veronik Mallet and Julienne Seguin skated well at Quebec Summer Skate. Why not send them? They're doing mid 70s now in the free, not too bad. They just need some experience. Both have solid 3S and 2A. Mallet went for the 3Lo in the FS.

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    I'm not sure why Minto would be used as an example competition, since it's one of the weakest competitions in singles, arguably weaker in singles than Wild Rose, for example. It's strength is dance.

    Far better examples for singles would be Quebec Summer, Thornhill, and BC Summer Skate. We'll know a lot more on which skaters should be considered in ten days, after those competitions are complete.

    Having said that, there are skaters who have IMO already shown that they should at least be considered for the JGP assignments that have been left blank. In men, there are Garrett Gosselin (why is he only a sub?), Charles Dion, perhaps Peter O'Brien and Christophe Belley-Lemelin, depending on how they skate in the long program at Quebec this weekend.

    Women is more questionable, but since there are only four spots anyway (if I remember correctly) that's not really where the issue is, IMO. Kate Charbonneau, Alexandra Najarro and Vanessa Grenier are going to get three of the four spots so really only one spot is up for grabs.

    In pairs the talent pool is quite thin, and unfortunately Rau/Simpson and Orr/Furiano are not age-eligible, but I think people like Dejardins/Bilodeu should at least be considered even if they don't have all the technical qualifications.

    It's in dance that I think the current assignment strategy is most off-target, however. There are numerous dance teams that are skating at a high calibre; they were already skating well at Canadians this past season, and I can't imagine that they've all regressed rather than improved. Bruser/Lum, Bent/MacKeen, and Hasegawa/Hasegawa should be more than just alternates, and in addition to that there are other strong treams: Fournier-Beaudry/Breton, Edwards/Pang (although Minto did not go well for them, they are a strong team), Paradis/Ouellette, to name a few, and that's ignoring any new dance teams this season.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoskate View Post


    Women is more questionable, but since there are only four spots anyway (if I remember correctly) that's not really where the issue is, IMO. Kate Charbonneau, Alexandra Najarro and Vanessa Grenier are going to get three of the four spots so really only one spot is up for grabs.


    It's in dance that I think the current assignment strategy is most off-target, however. There are numerous dance teams that are skating at a high calibre; they were already skating well at Canadians this past season, and I can't imagine that they've all regressed rather than improved. Bruser/Lum, Bent/MacKeen, and Hasegawa/Hasegawa should be more than just alternates, and in addition to that there are other strong treams: Fournier-Beaudry/Breton, Edwards/Pang (although Minto did not go well for them, they are a strong team), Paradis/Ouellette, to name a few, and that's ignoring any new dance teams this season.
    Some comments on your post. I agree with you for the most part.

    Ladies: Grenier has aged out and is listed as a substitute for Nebelhorn. Perhaps she will get the Finlandia senior B. Purich did step up in Wild Rose ( scoring over 125 total which is well above the Skate Canada summer standard of 115. I don't think anyone else has stood out.

    Dance : Canada only has 1 slot per JGP this year as Canada was the 5th best country at the last JW ( ie not in the top 3 which get 2 slots per JGP) So to be fair to SC, Canada has used all its dance slots so far this year. I am still mad that SC left half the slots blank last year ( when we actually could use 14 slots )

    Last year SC left the dance slots blank based on standards that were set before anyone had competed a short dance. Completely stupid.

    So this season it is the men and pairs that are getting shafted. It is even better to fill it with novices. BTW , SC did this in pairs years ago ( Dube/Tetrault , Burke/Radford) and Dube/Tetrault made the JGPF before they won novice nationals.

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    the thornhill comp this weekend even showed a lot of potential in women. gabrielle daleman landed a 3 lutz (a bit OVER-rottated) in each Jr program (she gets amazing spring and height, not sure if she is age eligible), alaine chartrand went for several triples in sr (including a 3 lutz), Rachel Greben landed a 3 flip, 3 loop and 3 sal in Jr. Things aren't as dire as they seem to be...

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    I thought that Canada only had 1 spot for each JGP for dance but there are 2 teams listed for the Poland JGP. Can anyone explain this?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadie View Post
    I thought that Canada only had 1 spot for each JGP for dance but there are 2 teams listed for the Poland JGP. Can anyone explain this?
    When countries above Canada don't use all their slots , Canada does have a right to add an additional entry.

    In this case Slovakia ( 4th highest ranked country in ice dance ) did not use its slot so Canada got an extra entry.

    Just checked the Poland list and again Canada is only sending one man ( they have the right to send 2 ) and one pair

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fan View Post
    the thornhill comp this weekend even showed a lot of potential in women. gabrielle daleman landed a 3 lutz (a bit OVER-rottated) in each Jr program (she gets amazing spring and height, not sure if she is age eligible), alaine chartrand went for several triples in sr (including a 3 lutz), Rachel Greben landed a 3 flip, 3 loop and 3 sal in Jr. Things aren't as dire as they seem to be...
    I checked the results of Daleman and Greben and if you combined their SP scores in their respective groups to the FS scores in the final ( not the FS group scores that were much lower ) then both of them met the 115 minimum set by Skate Canada.

    What is also encouraging most of the junior ladies in the final improved their FS scores over that in the group stage. This is important as the final is a much better simulation ( ie high quality field ) of what one would expect in international competition.

    Only JGP-eligible ladies can compete in Junior ladies in Canada. Except for pairs (no age restrictions ) you must be Junior age eligible to compete in the other junior events in Canada.

    The real problem is that we have only 4 ladies slots available. Because of this there simply is not room to give assignments to deserving ladies.

    The only way this can be solved is a good performance by whoever we send to Junior Worlds. JW results determine JGP slots and we failed to qualify anyone for the free skate hence the reduction to 4 spots.
    Last edited by nadioso; 08-15-2011 at 09:29 PM.

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    Hi everyone! It was great to be at Thornhill if only for a day because of visiting family ...Fan caught me in the stands and asked me to find out if I could about this very question of all of the Jr GP spots not being used. I asked 2 different people at different times their opinion. When I asked Mike Slipchuk and told him that I would be posting the answer, this is what he had to say. He didn't talk about money but he did talk about the fact that the application deadline for the first two or 3 Jr GPs had already passed and Skate Canada had made the decision to really utilize the Summer comps as a way of determining whether or not a skater was ready to be put out on the international scene. He also said that in truth if a skater isn't able to make top 10, then it potentially becomes a big hole to climb out of. Rep is after all a part of this sport - especially for newbies on the international scene. I had the chance to talk to Fan and another couple of people after the fact and we entered into a lively discussion about needing to compete in order to understand how to compete not to mention minimum scores. Point taken. I am not sure what the solution to this is - but I promised Fan I would let y'all know the basics of my conversation. More later if I can find out more details as I have to mention that my conversation with Mike Slipchuk was on the staircase and on the fly...cheers Pj

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