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Thread: ISU Congress

  1. #61
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    When I watch the struggles smaller federations have getting athletes into Olympics (outside of skating, really) I think that World's should remain a system where ALL countries can send an athlete, to have a chance. I don't care if it is prelims or no-prelims, but they should be able to go.

    Without these chances the program will NEVER develop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leapfrogonice View Post
    It is a sad statement, if it is true, that a country like Canada - that chose a VERY modest location with limited seating - could not host this event. Very sad statement for the status of the sport in North America.
    I think it's an even sadder statement that changes like this are rushed through without thinking things through. At the very least it should have passed with the condition that it start at a later date. You shouldn't change the rules in the middle of a game and that's what they did (apparently). Skate Canada chose their location and made all their plans with certain expectations, sold tickets to the events, and have now been told (after all that planning and preparation) here are some new rules that will raise your expenses and change your scheduling so deal with it. It's a piss off.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    When I watch the struggles smaller federations have getting athletes into Olympics (outside of skating, really) I think that World's should remain a system where ALL countries can send an athlete, to have a chance. I don't care if it is prelims or no-prelims, but they should be able to go.

    Without these chances the program will NEVER develop.
    I also don't disagree with any of this. I just don't think it's fair to Skate Canada (or whoever would have had the Worlds directly following this vote) to have this dumped on them in the middle of their preparations.

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcg View Post
    I think it's an even sadder statement that changes like this are rushed through without thinking things through. At the very least it should have passed with the condition that it start at a later date.
    Oh, absolutely.


    There need to be competitions for skaters who are not among the top 10 or 20 in the world, enjoyable for almost all audiences to watch by virtue of their skill level and the competitive interest in fighting it out for top placements.

    No skater gets to that level without being weaker earlier in their career. And no federation gets to the level of having skaters that good without establishing a competitive field at lower levels and nurturing the talented ones to aim higher.

    Depending on the emphases of rules, judging standards, and priorities of the individual skaters, some of the lesser skilled skaters will be painful to watch and others will be quite enjoyable (e.g., if they mostly stick to skills they're comfortable with, if they have some outstanding skills in one area even if they're deficient in others, if they add some personality and interesting choreography to their performances).

    Let's say that the final round freeskate at the World Championships (24 skaters) is for 24of the best skaters in the world that year. There's no way of finding out who are the very best 24 skaters in the world without getting many more skaters than that in the same place at the same time to battle it out against each other. And once you get much more than that, the quality of the event will suffer, even if all the skaters are excellent -- the fairness will suffer from judging fatigue, and the entertainment value will suffer from audience fatigue.

    So there need to be ways to cut the field to a reasonable number for the final round. That number has been determined to be 24 singles skaters -- 4 groups of 6 per warmup.

    The stakeholders are
    1) the ISU itself, which wants to develop skating as a competitive sport throughout the world, determine the best skater as its world champion, and provide a sports product they can sell to broadcasters and live spectators -- probably in that order of priority

    2) the individual federations, some of which have well-developed programs with many strong skaters, some that sometimes have one or two potential medal contenders and a number of average senior-level skaters, and others that are still developing their programs toward an average senior standard

    3) the skaters who are at or close to medalworthy standard (maybe at least 24 of these across the world, but most of them concentrated in a few strong federations), skaters who are at a solid average senior standard (or better but inconsistent), skaters who are average on a good day and weaker on bad days, and skaters who are still aiming to reach that average standard

    4) whichever country is hosting Worlds that year and needs to attract local audiences, serious fans who travel from abroad, and broadcasters from around the world

    5) audiences -- some who only care about seeing the very best in the world and their own compatriots, others who like to see a broader range of ability to understand what makes the best skaters best and to appreciate favorite skaters with favorite kinds of skills or performance quality

    How can we take several hundred skaters around the world who can meet basic senior level standards and determine which ones qualify for that final round this year?

    Well, there are several ways to do it, and the ISU has tried or proposed most of them over the years. Meanwhile, the number of federations participating has continued to increase.

    There's no way everyone is going to be satisfied with the process or the results no matter which approach is chosen.

    Preliminary round long programs or everyone skate the short? They keep changing their minds about this because different groups have different interests. But they need to foresee effects of each change and ploan them in advance.

    It's always going to be the federations' interests and concerns about hosting costs and packaging the event to attract the most TV income from the most sources that will prevail.

    We can each think of our own theoretical ideal format for a figure skating world championships. We'll surely disagree with each other. But I bet my ideal would not be financially feasible, and someone else's ideal would prevent the majority of federations from participating, etc., so for practical reasons we won't expect to ever see them become reality.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcg View Post
    I also don't disagree with any of this. I just don't think it's fair to Skate Canada (or whoever would have had the Worlds directly following this vote) to have this dumped on them in the middle of their preparations.
    That's true. It should have been enacted for 2014 or something.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcg View Post
    I just don't think it's fair to Skate Canada (or whoever would have had the Worlds directly following this vote) to have this dumped on them in the middle of their preparations.
    If the Russians can put together Worlds on one month's notice, I am sure a well-run organization like Skate Canada will be able to adjust for this change with nine months to go. They just had four rounds of qualifying and at least a couple of days of skating and practice time shaved off the event, which should make things easier.

    I think it's great that more skaters will have a chance to compete at Worlds in the pre-Olympic year, and hopefully there will be some pleasant surprises.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    If the Russians can put together Worlds on one month's notice
    They did such an amazing job that time.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanna View Post
    What the hell is the point of the World Championships if not to be a championship for skaters all over the world, where the best skater in every country gets a shot to compete? (edited)
    Quote Originally Posted by can'tsk8 View Post
    I agree World Championships is exactly that, it is not an exclusive event for the worlds greatest skaters, if that is the case Nationality is not important it should just be invited skaters. World Championships whether you like it or not is for the Whole World not exclusive regions! (edited)
    Another point of view is that the point of the World Championships is to determine (at the end of the season, rather than the middle) the best-performing skater from anywhere in the world, regardless of how many other competitors are affiliated with the same federation.

    We have seen that the third-place skater from a National Championships may become the champion (for example, Sarah Hughes in the 2002 Olympics, and I believe there are examples from the ISU Worlds), so it is not a big leap to imagine that a fourth-place skater from a strong country could win the Worlds in March or April.

    I would argue that the purpose of the World Championships should be to rank the top 24 or 36 or 48 skaters in the world in each discipline, not just to crown a champion. This is clearly not accomplished when each federation is limited to 1, 2, or 3 entries depending on the previous year's results. The top ten or so may be accurately ranked, but beyond that many of the skaters who should be ranked in the teens and twenties are not permitted to compete. (Currently, with the dominance of Japan, even the top ten may not be accurate in men's and ladies'.)

    One final point--although I live in a large country with a relatively successful skating program, it is not my goal to be able to chant my own country's name and wave the national flag ten or more times in each discipline as each of the skaters compete. In fact, I never do this at a skating event (or any other event). I sit quietly and root for all of the skaters who are competing to do their best, and applaud each of them when they are finished. I have attended events such as the Nebelhorn Trophy and Junior Worlds which do not include the best in the world and enjoyed watching the skaters from around the world compete. My preference for a World Championships that would include all of the world's best, regardless of country, is because I LOVE THE SPORT OF FIGURE SKATING AND WOULD LIKE TO WATCH ONE COMPETITION AT THE END OF EACH SEASON WITH ALL OF THE BEST IN THE SPORT. I do not expect such a competition to be held in my lifetime, but that is my preference.

  9. #69

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    Well if Canada don't want it, I'm sure Australia could put on a kickass Worlds!




    ....eh, who am I kidding. The ISU would never do something like that.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcg View Post
    Skate Canada chose their location and made all their plans with certain expectations, sold tickets to the events, and have now been told (after all that planning and preparation) here are some new rules that will raise your expenses and change your scheduling so deal with it.
    In what way would this have changed their choice of location?

    As for the tickets, surely Skate Canada is aware that the format of the championships is often reviewed during the Congress and this is not the first time the format has been changed. Therefore if they have chosen to sell the tickets before the Congress, this is a risk they have knowingly taken. The championships are more than nine months away. What was the great hurry?

    OT: Tickets for skating competitions in Canada and the US are sold so much earlier than anywhere else in the world. I always wonder if the fans don't protest. The difficulty of knowing one's schedule more than a year in advance aside, we don't usually pay so much in advance for any goods or services!

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post

    OT: Tickets for skating competitions in Canada and the US are sold so much earlier than anywhere else in the world. I always wonder if the fans don't protest. The difficulty of knowing one's schedule more than a year in advance aside, we don't usually pay so much in advance for any goods or services!
    In Canada, we only in Quebec. (and we're good at it!)

    The rest of us are fairly...I dunno...

    So I wouldn't expect much.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    If the Russians can put together Worlds on one month's notice, I am sure a well-run organization like Skate Canada will be able to adjust for this change with nine months to go. They just had four rounds of qualifying and at least a couple of days of skating and practice time shaved off the event, which should make things easier.

    I think it's great that more skaters will have a chance to compete at Worlds in the pre-Olympic year, and hopefully there will be some pleasant surprises.
    The Russians did a great job.

    Not a fan of the Eddie the Eagles of the skating world, and I hope that the ISU increases the minimum score requirement in singles skating, which would solve a good deal of the problem.

    We have a World Cup in soccer, and require countries to go through qualification rounds which do not seem to have diminished the interest in soccer.

    Australia has the capacity to support figure skating; they just don't have the interest yet. In swimming, they have the interest -- and look at the amazing results. Did Korea have huge interest in figure skating pre Yu Na? And yet she managed to become a world class skater training right at home, with local coaches. And now skating is hugely popular in Korea.

    I can see how prior to the advent of the internet that getting to international competitions was a big deal for skaters since the coverage was otherwise spotty. These days, there is no reason a coach can't watch an infinite number of videos of all sorts of competitive skating programs.

    I'd rather the ISU fund developmentals and coaching seminars that might actually improve skating rather than excursions to Worlds for skaters who lack the credentials.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    OT: Tickets for skating competitions in Canada and the US are sold so much earlier than anywhere else in the world. I always wonder if the fans don't protest. The difficulty of knowing one's schedule more than a year in advance aside, we don't usually pay so much in advance for any goods or services!
    Are tickets to skating events often bought by corporations? I know large corporations/businesses in the US buy blocks of tickets for major sporting events far in advance as part of their yearly budgeting. Those businesses don't care about scheduling when they buy. Maybe that's why SC wanted to start selling early?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    In what way would this have changed their choice of location?

    As for the tickets, surely Skate Canada is aware that the format of the championships is often reviewed during the Congress and this is not the first time the format has been changed. Therefore if they have chosen to sell the tickets before the Congress, this is a risk they have knowingly taken. The championships are more than nine months away. What was the great hurry?
    If I remember correctly, the sale of tickets for Euros 2011 was held off until after congress in 2010 precisely because of this.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RUKen View Post
    Another point of view is that the point of the World Championships is to determine (at the end of the season, rather than the middle) the best-performing skater from anywhere in the world, regardless of how many other competitors are affiliated with the same federation.
    I'm going to start a thread in the Trash Can for hypothetical discussion of this goal. Please join me there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I hope that the ISU increases the minimum score requirement in singles skating, which would solve a good deal of the problem.

    ...

    I can see how prior to the advent of the internet that getting to international competitions was a big deal for skaters since the coverage was otherwise spotty. These days, there is no reason a coach can't watch an infinite number of videos of all sorts of competitive skating programs.

    I'd rather the ISU fund developmentals and coaching seminars that might actually improve skating rather than excursions to Worlds for skaters who lack the credentials.
    I'm fine with some sort of minimum score requirement, so long as it can be achieved in senior Bs and not just in GPs/ISU Championships. However, I do think that there is no substitute for actual participation by lower ranked skaters - this is their chance to skate alongside the best and learn from them, and more than one skater has said how helpful that is. The Chinese pairs program is an often-used example, but there are other examples. For instance, in more recent years, I think the opportunity to skate at major events has been very important in the development of several of the Spanish skaters - and that's a local program, not American imports. This is something that needs to be encouraged in other countries, too.

    So, toward that end, I think a minimum score for Worlds is fine, but it shouldn't be too high. And perhaps participation in Junior Worlds and the continental ISU Championships should not have such a requirement, or maybe could require a lower minimum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post

    Not a fan of the Eddie the Eagles of the skating world, and I hope that the ISU increases the minimum score requirement in singles skating, which would solve a good deal of the problem.
    I saw most of Worlds this year live in person and I can't think of one skater who deserves an Eddie the Eagle comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    We have a World Cup in soccer, and require countries to go through qualification rounds which do not seem to have diminished the interest in soccer.
    It's a completely different sport! The World Cup takes places once every four years and the qualifiers happen over the course of 14 months. That's before I mention that the barriers to entry in soccer/football are very low which is what makes it a popular and easy to play sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Australia has the capacity to support figure skating; they just don't have the interest yet. In swimming, they have the interest -- and look at the amazing results. Did Korea have huge interest in figure skating pre Yu Na? And yet she managed to become a world class skater training right at home, with local coaches. And now skating is hugely popular in Korea.
    And without the experience of skaters who you labelled "Eddie the Eagles" there would be no Yu-na Kim. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Think of how Chinese pairs have advanced since finishing dead last at Worlds 30 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I can see how prior to the advent of the internet that getting to international competitions was a big deal for skaters since the coverage was otherwise spotty. These days, there is no reason a coach can't watch an infinite number of videos of all sorts of competitive skating programs.
    It still is a big deal for skaters to compete at Worlds. And what does a coach watching skating videos have to do with anything? The skaters who go to Worlds gain a lot of valuable experience that can't be learned through just training. And if you think otherwise you really are an idiot.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I'd rather the ISU fund developmentals and coaching seminars that might actually improve skating rather than excursions to Worlds for skaters who lack the credentials.
    Skaters have to meet a minimum score, so all the skaters who competed at Worlds had the credentials. As for the ISU funding their excursions - if only!
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    And perhaps participation in Junior Worlds and the continental ISU Championships should not have such a requirement, or maybe could require a lower minimum.
    There is no minimum score requirement for Junior Worlds.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    There is no minimum score requirement for Junior Worlds.
    I couldn't remember if there was or not - but I figured if people want minimums in other major events, they might make the same case for JW. Anyway, thanks for the clarification!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I couldn't remember if there was or not - but I figured if people want minimums in other major events, they might make the same case for JW. Anyway, thanks for the clarification!
    The problem is that many of the junior competitors are brand new to international competition; their only opportunity to earn a score before Jr. Worlds might be that season's JGP.

    A 13-year-old from a geographically isolated country, and that country's federation, might have to make a choice between funding a trip to a JGP and funding a trip to Junior Worlds.

    And what if the skater was injured during the fall but recovered and skating well in the winter? Or not yet on the federation's radar at the time JGP assignments were made and blew away the junior field at that country's nationals or other selection competition? The latter can happen in large wealthy federations as well.

    For senior competitors, the previous season's scores can contribute, even if earned in junior competition.

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