Also, you wrote about the effort you made, tears, blood and sweat; I am really sorry that the skating conditions in the UK are not better and that there is not much support from NISA, but other skaters from the poorer countries made it too. You mentioned Verner - I am pretty sure that he was not funded by his skating federation either until he started having results. The conditions in the Czech Republic are actually much worse than in the UK (and I know that for sure. Most rinks close over the summer, and ice hockey always gets priority on the ice at most rinks). It is definitely harder than if you lived in the USA, Canada, or Russia, but this is sport. Unfortunately, sport doesn't reward the effort. It rewards the performance, the results. It is not about how hard you tried, but whether you delivered. I know it is harsh.
We are writing about world championship. If the sport would like to survive, it has to open the doors not slamming it shut. It's the ratings that matters. I am not sure what ISU had in mind, but if this is only resolution to the qualification rounds elimination, than its purely though trough.
I think we need to look at those minimums with an eye on the wording about moving the standard up or down as needed to yield the desired number of entrants. Looking at Worlds, for example, there are 30 slots for the ladies singles. If fewer than 30 have met the standard, I read the ISU communication as saying they will lower it to allow the next highest scores in. Conversely, if too many skaters meet the qualifying minimums, the ISU raises the number, so the qualifiers drop out starting with the lowest qualifying score. Think what a mess that would be. A skater goes along all season thinking they have a qualifying score only to learn a couple weeks before the event that the standard has been raised. My guess is they set the standards so high in the first place to make sure this last scenario does not happen.I think there's nothing wrong with the minimum tech score, the only problem is that they picked really high scores.
Just to clarify, I'm totally for a minimum technical score, I just don't think it should be so astronomical that only a select few countries can achieve it. In order to compete at Worlds I think the score should be attainable with a short program based on requirements, 2 triples, a 2A and level 2/3 spins. A long program should have about 4-5 triples to be acceptable for World level not 8. Of course some of you may disagree with this but that's my opinion.
I don't like the fact that components aren't being factored into it either, it's showing people that skating is all about the elements. There are some skaters I'd much rather watch just skating around and performing without any jumps but I guess now a lot of skaters will be packing their programs with technical difficulty to get the scores. I'm praying the scores for worlds get lowered sooner, rather than later!
And if we applied everything you said, we should just close figure skating down in the vast majority of the countries. ISU governs an Olympic, amateur sport and not professional sport, though. It shouldn't be all about the money.
I would be fine if the SP minimum score was 2axel, 3toe/2toe, 3salchow and spins and steps at least Lv1 (given there's levels 0-4 now) all performed to GOE 0.
And FS score was two 3toes, two 3salchows, two 2axels and all non jump elements at least Lv1 all performed to GOE 0.
Maybe raise it a little for the men.
Having said that, I'd be even happier if they just made the federations pay their teams' expenses and went back to the previous minimum scores to ensure maximum participation.
So even though it would be hard to set a minimum PCS standard for skaters, the ridiculously high TES minimum (for Worlds) already emphasizes that it's the technical difficulty that counts. A lower TES minimum would allow more room for focusing on PCS.
Rockin' Finnish commentator: "And that was supposed to be a flip but it turned out to be a flop."
Besides, have you noticed, or has ISU, that Kiira Korpi didn't met the worlds FS minimum in TES winning silver medal at Euros last year?
I understand it is difficult to have some PCS requirement, so a minimum TES is the way to do it. But common ...
I know the Euros - 4CC minimum is lower and I'm OK with it. You could put it a few points higher for worlds if necessary, say 2 or 3 points higher for example, but not more.
I love to see a lot of skaters and enjoy the days at competition when I manage to go, and when not I'm lowing to see so many skaters as possible on TV. Some skaters are really beautiful to see, besides they have only fewer jumps. It's figure skating not jumping competition
It is extremely difficult to get ice in the Czech Republic, because hockey is considered to have higher priority. As a result, there is not enough training ice, getting 1:1 is not as frequent, you mostly learn in group. In the UK, you mostly have 1:1, in group you only learn the completely basic course Learn to skate.
And the price, yes, in the Czech republic it is cheaper, but at the same time, they earn much less. So If you are comparing it for someone who earns in the UK and skate in the Czech Republic, it would appear extremely cheap, but if you look at it from the perspective of an average Czech salary, it is not as cheap as you think.
There is a reason why every Czech skater who gets more successful (Verner, Brezina) trained in Obertsdorf.
And I never said that British athlete gets some amount of funding. What I said was, the Czech athletes are not getting it (until he/she gets to the complete top) and if some Czech skaters could make it (Verner, Brezina), athletes from the poorer countries obviously have a chance. Yes, they have it harder, but in any competition in any sport the athletes will never start on the same level. One will always be richer, other one perhaps more talented, other will be from country who is more supportive...
Last edited by hanca; 08-03-2012 at 09:48 PM.
The question is, does the sport exist for the participants or for the spectators?
I hope we could all agree that the majority of figure skating is for the athletes.
At a certain point -- and IMO that point should be where the skaters are earning more money from skating than they are spending on training -- the spectators' needs may become more important than the skaters'.
The ISU is in the business of governing an international sport with participants from novice level up to the very best in the world.
They can earn more money from outside if, as part of their mission, they produce an entertainment product that appeals to general audiences who are only interested in seeing the best in the world. Such events will be easier to sell tickets to and to sell broadcast rights for.
(Broadcast rights for countries who have some good but not great participants is another wrinkle)
There are different levels of international competition that the ISU sanctions or holds its own events in. Obviously not every skater who is good enough to merit competing internationally is good enough to merit competing at Worlds.
So where do they draw the line for each kind of competition. How do they draw the lines?
One set of lines is drawn based on age, similar to racing sports (which the ISU also governs on ice).
Another set of lines is drawn based on nationality, with skaters representing national federations that are entitled to send a maximum number of skaters to various events. This has long meant that just being old enough and good enough to compete with the best doesn't guarantee participation, when federations have to choose among too many good-enough skaters.
A third set of lines is drawn based on skill level, as reflected by different requirements for the programs at novice, junior, senior level. Minimum technical scores is another new way of measuring the minimum skill level needed to be eligible for some high-profile international events -- the ones where paying audiences and networks expect to have a say.
Should that line be drawn so high that even some skaters who could be considered among the best in the world don't make the cut? Should it be drawn low enough that anyone who is a credible senior-level skater is qualified by skill level for senior events and then they have to fight it out among others at about the same level for spots in the final round at Worlds? That tension seems to be going back and forth as a result of the expense of providing for large numbers of entrants and their attendant national teams.
Obviously it's hard to balance all the competing needs and expenses/income streams.
I hope they can find a way to work it out so that the maximum number of amateur athletes who have demonstrated worthiness of competing at junior or senior level get to participate in the most prestigious events at those respective levels.
Well it will be interesting to see if Australia is represented at worlds and Junior Worlds in the future. I fear for the sport in this country.
For our skaters to attend any ISU event in an effort to gain the score we have to travel across the world at huge expense even if our skaters can meet the required score at an ISU event, for most it's a decision on should you train O/S or should you attend a comp.
If this is going to be enforced then give us some comps that we can attend with out the requirement of taking out a second mortgage.
This is a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
The problem, from the ISU's POV, is that standard would leave too many qualifiers for Worlds. How would you propose to get the field down to 30 without going back to using qualifying rounds?
Last edited by Susan M; 08-04-2012 at 04:10 AM.
http://www.iceskating.org.uk/node/5498UK Sport funding of more than £3m is set to drive forward the delivery World Class performance skating in Great Britain ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The National Ice Skating Association (NISA) has been awarded a Grant Funding Agreement of £174,337 to be invested into its Figure Skating Programme over the next two years...
In the last year, NISA increased spend on figure skaters by 36 percent. 2010/11 also saw an increase in the subsidy that NISA makes towards the staging of the four British Championships (Figure, Adults, Solo and Short Track) and the three IJS events.
The NISA-staged European Championships 2012 was the only event supported financially by UK Sport in 2012.
After Euros/4C's or a Senior B that is finished by the end of February, they could make the TES cut-off the Top 30 combined TES for SP/SD and FS/FD, not counting scores where there are more participants from a country than that country has spots. For example, if Japan has three spots and seven skaters in the Top 30, they'd go down at least another four. If a country doesn't have enough qualifying skaters for the number of spots, the spot could go back into the pool, and they could go down the list for the next highest combined score. Or they could create a minimum in advance, and if there aren't enough, fill from the next highest on the list where there are spots available until they get the number of spots. Practically speaking, this is the same as lowering the minimum later in the season.
Alternately, they could also assign a mid-winter Senior B as a qualifier for the skaters who didn't meet the higher minimum, like they do Nebelhorn for Olympics, and take as many that they need to get to 30. It would guarantee a solid field with enough competitors from enough nations to the Senior B.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy