Last edited by hanca; 08-04-2012 at 05:35 PM.
What morqet said.
Some of the most interesting and entertaining performances come from skaters with a low technical content.
Radeva's crows and Vassileva's "Devdas" is where it's at.
I see a real appeal to this approach. If they were willing to hold a qualifying event to fill out the field, they really wouldn't need the whole concept of qualifying standards at all. They key question is whether such as event would pay for itself. The ISU don't like doing anything that costs them money.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.
By ISU here, I guess we need to realize that these are decisions made collectively by the member federations. I have never understood why so many times, proposals are passed by the ISU Congress (very often by voice votes) even though they work to the detriment of the majority of federations. Any know how this works? Do all federations get the same number of votes?
I hope we will have worlds with at least 30 skaters and not with less I could watch much more if possible
I know I'm in the minority, but I like the higher minimum technical scores for Worlds and 4CCs/Euros this season. I think they will lead to better, more competitive competitions. At the world championship level, I want to see the best skaters in the world compete. I'd rather see the ISU ease the restrictions on the number of competitors per country than the minimum technical scores.
I agree with Selene. Even top junior girls have better technical content than ice_sk8r suggested. Surely senior men should do better than that? And if they don't, do they deserve to attend world championships?
Again, we are talking about an amateur, Olympic sport and not professional sport here.
The point is not only watching the best of the best but also promoting and developing figure skating world-wide. Which will not happen if skaters from many countries can't even compete at major events.
Last edited by Ziggy; 08-05-2012 at 09:14 PM.
So if we are talking about amateur competition, I would expect certain level of skills. As you said, Ziggy, it is Olympic sport after all!
328 women and 376 men. Yet the ISU seems to think that having even a quarter as many competitors (30 men, 30 women, 20 pairs, and 24 ice dance couples) is too much!
For what it's worth, the lowest-scoring man to make it out of Preliminaries at this year's Worlds didn't do any triple axels or triple loops, and his TES was 57.99. He also skated "clean," with no negative GOE. What was so bad about letting him compete in the Short Program?
The most successful skaters earn enough prize money to cover their expenses. Hardly any do.
For about the last 20 years skaters are allowed to earn money for endorsements, coaching, appearing in shows, etc. -- so it's possible to make a living and fund one's training by cashing in on their success in the sport while still participating in the sport. In that sense, they could be considered professional skaters.
But most of that money does not come from the sport itself. The ISU is not paying most of the athletes. The ticket sales and broadcast rights sales are not paying salaries to all the competitors who entertain the ticket buyers and broadcast viewers.
Lots of sports that aren't spectator-friendly have world championships. Competitors want to compete. They best competitors want to compete to become the best in the world and prove themselves against the other best skaters. The not-there-yet skaters want to participate to work their way up to becoming among the best, or just for the honor of participating at the highest level they qualify for.If people wouldn't watch skating, there would probably be no world championships.
I'm not an expert on how any other sports structure their world championships. I think there is a lot of variation, with some having more of a professional orientation than skating and some more amateur, some attracting more spectators and some less.
Since the ISU also governs speedskating, that may be the best comparison. What kinds of ticket sales and broadcast contracts do speedskating championships attract? What kind of money can speedskaters make from entering and placing well at competitions?
If it's less than figure skating in its non-peak years, does that mean that there's no reason for speedskating to hold world championships?
World championships in figure skating existed before there was music, when freeskating counted for only a small part of the results compared to circle tracing and then for half and more of the results. Some eras and some formats have been more fan friendly than others. The skaters paid their own way. If all the fans suddenly stayed home and all the broadcast contracts suddenly dried up completely in the modern era, it might go back to being even more of a rich person's sport (but probably not with the earlier insistance on strict amateurism).
There might be a way to encourage both participation with appeal to local audiences who want to see hometown representatives and an elite product for general audiences who want to see the best. But that would probably involve qualifying rounds and federations paying their own way for skaters and officials until they qualify for a final round.The point is not only watching the best of the best but also promoting and developing figure skating world-wide. Which will not happen if skaters from many countries can't even compete at major events.
There are many levels of amateur competition. Everyone's trying to do the most difficulty they can to gain as many points as possible, but only for the most talented with the best training conditions (which costs money) is that best the highest level in the world.
Most amateur skaters are not good enough to compete at Worlds. Most are not senior level.
No, beginners entered in a local beginner competition are amateurs.So if we are talking about amateur competition, I would expect certain level of skills. As you said, Ziggy, it is Olympic sport after all!
What you really mean here, I think, is if we're talking about world championship competition we would expect a certain level of skills. I agree. But what is that certain level? How do we define it? How high do we define it compared to the entire pool of amateur competitors who claim to be senior level?
How should we/the ISU define "senior level" or "world class (=worthy to compete at Worlds)"?
Minimum technical scores are one way to do so.
For me personally, I think that the cutoffs should be something that's reasonable to expect of anyone who claims to be an international-caliber senior-level competitor. The current cutoffs for Euros/4Cs look reasonable to me in that regard.
I also think there should be some way to give credit for better basic skating skills -- if not also the performance aspects. The way program components are awarded is more subjective and thus more variable across panels and more subject to manipulation than the element scores. So I understand why they weren't included in the qualifying criteria. But I'd like to see them at least include the Skating Skills score in calculating the minimums, requiring an average of at least 4.5 or 5.0 for that one component.
With those minimums, with or without any PCS included, we'd end up with a larger pool of Worlds-worthy skaters than there is room for at Worlds. I think that is appropriate.
That means there need to be other competitions to decide which of the worthy world-class senior-level skaters earn the privilege of competing at the world championships each year.
Limits on number of entries per country and the national championships in countries who have more worthy skaters than they have slots is part of that process.
Qualifying rounds at the Worlds venue has been another way of doing it. Using Euros/4Cs as qualifiers or adding a separate Worlds qualifier competition at least a week before in another location are other ways to do it.
What I don't like is (arbitrarily) defining a technical standard that many otherwise worthy skaters might not earn in any given year, especially skaters who earn higher placements on the strength of their basic skating skills, non-element technical content (transitions), and other components.
gkelly, I think you are missing the point. For the skating championship to take place, the organisers needs to ensure that they sell the tickets and TV rights. I understand what you are saying that "Lots of sports that aren't spectator-friendly have world championships", but I don't believe that it would happen in skating if people didn't want to watch it. It would be too expensive to have Worlds, at least in the form it is now (= organisers paying hotels and travel for the skaters). It would be far too expensive. It is expensive even with tickets being sold out, so imagine how expensive it would be without this income. No matter if you like it or not, having championships is dependent on audience.
Alternatively, they would have to completely change the format of the competition, for example the participants would pay all their expenses, but then you are going to achieve that skaters from poorer countries may not be able to afford to attend. So there won't be a barrier based on skater's skills, but barrier based on their purse. Not sure if that will be any better, because mostly the same skaters would be left out.
If there were suddenly zero spectators and zero broadcast rights sales for any figure skating competition, then the skaters would have to pay to hold a championships.
If the ISU canceled all figure skating championships and refused to host one, then the ISU would no longer be serving the function that it has served since 1896. The figure skaters and federations who want to have a championship and can afford to host one would leave the organization that had ceased to organize and would start a new organization at their own expense.
There would be world championships. Skaters and federations without financial resources would not be able to afford to participate.
The new organization would probably try to sell tickets and broadcast rights. They might do better or worse than the ISU does now.
They might change the format in some ways to make it easier to attract those income sources.
But either way, whoever is in charge, world championships would be the last thing to go. Junior internationals including Jr. Worlds, and maybe Four Continents, would be canceled before Worlds would be discontinued.
Nonchampionships international events hosted by federations might continue depending on which hosts can still afford to do so without money coming in from outside the skating world. They would have to charge entry fees to the participants.
And you are assuming that there would be a new organisation, "The new organization would probably try to sell tickets and broadcast rights. " You forgot that in our scenario, there are no people willing to watch skating, so even if there was a new organisation, this organization would not be able to sell the tickets and sell the TV rights, so we are at the same starting point - no country willing to host it because the richer countries would host one or two, but the poorer countries wouldn't be able to afford it and sooner or later you would run out of those countries who can host it.
And if they charge entry fee, it will be even less skaters who can attend the championships, because those skaters will be paying travelling fee, hotel expenses, entry fee, in top of their coaches fees and training expenses...
Last edited by hanca; 08-06-2012 at 10:28 PM.