Has anyone heard if they are going to do the Special Achievement Awards again this year?
Courtney Hicks (SWP) now has a bye to Pacific Coast Sectionals.
The elimination of US "Junior" Nationals has made it a lot tougher for these young skaters to get out onto the national stage, especially in large regions like North Atlantic and South Atlantic. It's a shame that the funding just wasn't there anymore.
I wish they would take the top 8 from Sectionals with the Juv and Int events, like they've done with dance and pairs the past few years. Yes, going from 12 to 24 would increase the time needed for the events at Nationals, but the fields would still be small enough not to require a QR. They could always eliminate skaters after the SP. The more kids at those levels who can have a national comp experience, the better, I say.
Or at least use a proportional formula for how many kids get to move on from regionals to sectionals.
They're going to re-evaluate this new procedure after 2014 I guess. Maybe some changes will be made at that point.
Or take the top 4 out of each regional. And then take the next top 4-8 over all high scores from all regionals. Those poor girls in SA Regionals. 4 out of 120 just doesnt seem fair.
I agree, 4 out of 120 (compared to regions that have much fewer entrants) doesn't seem fair. IIRC, it used to be that way (4 max advancing to JN) and then USFS went to a proportional formula to level the playing field, so to speak.
How long have SA and NA (and other regions) been this comparatively larger than other regions?
Has there been any discussion about re-configuring? Or is that a whole can of worms to open somewhere else?
They used a ratio for Junior Nationals for a few years - they should have kept that & applied it to Sectionals as a starting point, not gone backwards - especially with the rule in place to discourage region-hopping at these levels. It really is not fair to those girls - way too early to not encourage development.
I don't really oppose getting rid of "junior" nationals, since I often felt like there was so much undue emphasis placed on it for what are supposed to be developmental levels, that it seemed like many skaters pushed so hard to get there that they burned out before making it to the higher levels. But since juvenile and intermediate are supposed to be developmental, I don't think it would be a bad idea for more skaters to get to go to sectionals (even if more don't advance to nationals). At sectionals, they would get the experience of competing at another, more selective event, and they would be able to see and learn from their counterparts in the higher levels.
For me it's very to see less Junior skaters than Senior skaters making it to Nationals.
It should be exactly the opposite.
With both juniors and seniors, byes are an issue, which is why they have more skaters than the lower levels. I don't know that there's a big difference in the number of competition byes between those two levels, across disciplines. But with seniors, they also give direct byes to those who finished in the top 5 the previous year.
The "Junior Nationals" being referred to here was for juvenile and intermediate skaters. They had been qualifying straight from sectionals to the "Junior National" competition, at least four per region, so there were many more juveniles and intermediates going to the national event than there were novices (only top 4 from each section, no byes).
Now juvenile and intermediate will be in the the same situation as novice. The difference is that there are more of them, at least in the singles disciplines, especially girls. And they're required to represent a club in the region where they live and/or train most of the year -- no club hopping allowed.
I just checked on the last few times I was out at "Junior" Nationals. In Strongsville (2010JN) the SA region had 4 of the top 12 juvenile skaters, and all 6 from the region made finals. The following year in Intermediate (SLC,) SA had 3 of the top 5 skaters and 5 of the top 12...so not only is there an inordinate number of skaters, but the quality is high as well...
Not only that, but at the Juv/Int level so little separates the skaters that simply allowing more skaters to make it to Sectionals and/or nationals makes sense. It isn't much harder to run an 18-24 skater round (6-8 skaters advancing) than to run a 12-skater round (any referees out there, please correct me if I'm mistaken- I've never actually run a comp.) It seems that as long as qualifying rounds aren't necessary, it is not a severe hardship financially for the LOC or for USFS, and it would keep the young ones more optimistic and interested in the sport. As it is with the age for juvenile having increased to 13, a good deal of the young talent may be left out. The extra year in age increases the number of skaters at the level while the number advancing from the larger regions simultaneously decreases.