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  1. #1

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    Should skaters be required to wear gloves if they are attempting catchfoots?

    I've noticed LOTS of skaters have been cutting their hands recently, and it isn't surprising given all the blade-catching people are doing. While no one has been seriously injured that I know of, it seems dangerous to reward grabbing of blades while also not encouraging the use of gloves. I've heard it remarked that some people have been wearing flesh-colored gloves and didn't even notice it myself, so it's definitely possible without it being aesthetically distracting.

  2. #2
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    I have a better idea. Stop rewarding blade grabs and the question of gloves becomes moot.

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    Seriously?

    Solution: learn extension and avoid catch foots all together.

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    If any safety equipment should be required, I'd be more in favor of hip pads or possibly helmets.

    Let skaters decide for themselves if they want to wear a glove. At least there is no stigma for that.

  5. #5
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    No. Mandating costume choices goes too far, as these are issues the skater should address themselves, and it is not an ISU issue to address.

    Also, you may be noticing more cuts, but cuts are so common already that I doubt there is an actual increase in cuts from blades. It is far more usual for these cuts to happen in practice than in competition.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by siouxdonym View Post
    Seriously?

    Why don't they just learn extension and avoid catch foots all together?
    Catchfoots are explicitly rewarded as difficult variations though. I'm not sure what you mean, "just learn extension," having good extension would increase the GOE but generally is not a feature (unless it's an extremely unusual position).

    I just don't think it's very responsible for coaches to instruct their skaters to catch their blades without gloves. I mean, there's some risk involved in anything, but when there's an extremely basic, inexpensive, and not cumbersome way to make it significantly safer while not compromising the aesthetics that are also important to the sport, why not? It seems to me to be common sense, like wearing a helmet while on a bike or motorcycle.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by PairSk8Fan View Post
    No. Mandating costume choices goes too far, as these are issues the skater should address themselves, and it is not an ISU issue to address.

    Also, you may be noticing more cuts, but cuts are so common already that I doubt there is an actual increase in cuts from blades. It is far more usual for these cuts to happen in practice than in competition.
    I'm sure cuts happen in practice also, but at least there skaters more often already wear gloves (also it wouldn't be a place for the ISU to require that skaters wear gloves during practice anyway). I don't recall ever seeing skaters with cuts on their hands in competition before catchfoots became so common, which vastly increases the risk. Now it seems like several skaters per event are leaving the ice with a cut hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    I just don't think it's very responsible for coaches to instruct their skaters to catch their blades without gloves.
    I would guess very few of the skaters who were cut had coaches who won't allow them to wear gloves. Rather, the skater choose not to. Most of the skater's are adults; those who are not, I assume have a guardian in their life who can advocate for them and help them make their own choices. It shouldn't be up to the ISU to require it. If the skater feels they need gloves, they can wear them. If their coach instructs them to do something they feel is is against their best interest of safety: change coaches!

    I don't do catchfoots, but I've bloodied up my hands from falling and scraping ice. If the skater also had a fall, you don't know where there cut came from.

  9. #9

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    I don't think it should be a requirement, but rather a recommendation, and skaters should not lose any points for not wearing them. It would be up to them to take that risk. FS is a dangerous sport, and every injury cannot be avoided, but at least in the practice they may want to consider using gloves, helmets, etc. I am not a high level skater, so I don't have to face that problem.

    BTW this sounds like yet another discussion that would be a better fit in the Trash can.

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    I am quite surprised skaters aren't using gloves already. You can make them so that they fit the costume or you can just use flesh-coloured ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    I am quite surprised skaters aren't using gloves already. You can make them so that they fit the costume or you can just use flesh-coloured ones.
    Many do wear them. I think we are seeing many costumes with gloves incorporated, and flesh-colored gloves are being used too (Marchei and Gedevanishvilli at Skate America, for instance).

  12. #12
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    When I was skating, my coach taught me how to grab my blade so I wasn't grabbing the sharp part that can cut you. Gloves were not required.

    Personally I think to equate a small slice from grabbing your blade the wrong way from how you practice in the heat of competition to the sort of serious head trauma and even death that results from not wearing a motorcycle helmet and crashing your bike to be a bit overly dramatic. The two are in no way comparable.
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    Really? Are cuts to the hand the ONLY thing you're worried about with catchfoots?

    I'd think the possible increase of back injuries in non-flexible men who are practically required to do a catchfoot is much more of a concern...

  14. #14

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    In terms of risk with the sport, it is probably on the lower scale. There could be a concern about transfer of blood born diseases and preventing that happening is something to consider. So gloves would reduce the risk to negligible. But at the end of the day a skater would decide themselves.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    When I was skating, my coach taught me how to grab my blade so I wasn't grabbing the sharp part that can cut you. Gloves were not required.

    Personally I think to equate a small slice from grabbing your blade the wrong way from how you practice in the heat of competition to the sort of serious head trauma and even death that results from not wearing a motorcycle helmet and crashing your bike to be a bit overly dramatic. The two are in no way comparable.
    I agree that the danger isn't nearly as severe, but the simplicity of the step to reduce risk is.

    misskarne, I didn't say that cuts to the hand were the only thing I was concerned about, but that a simple step would reduce the concern. Has there been an increase in back injuries since the catchfoots? If so, then that should be evaluated also and see if there is a causal relationship there and whether it's worth continuing to reward catchfoots so much.

  16. #16

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    All skater should be bubble wrapped. The more bubbles popped, the higher the level of difficulty. The less bubbles popped, the higher the grade of execution.

  17. #17
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    Skating boot companies like Reidell can come out with new boots that have a canvas hook on the side of them so the skaters can grab that instead of the blades

  18. #18
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    Talking about injuries, it seems that being a competitive figure skater is almost certainly bad for your health. I have heard from at least one coach and read elsewhere that the overemphasis on Biellman/catchfoot positions increases back injury and vertebral stress fractures. The overemphasis on quads ... well, we all know about that. Hip injury is not a new story either. Now with the way lifts are judged in ice dancing, male partners are increasingly suffer from neck injury. If the establishment cares about the health and safety of skaters, a lot of the rules can and should be revamped. The responsibility rests on the technical committees who make the rules that determine what's good and better skating, not on young skaters who are all too eager to risk their long term health for the Olympic Dream.

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    I think it should be up to the skater.It's their hands.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    Talking about injuries, it seems that being a competitive figure skater is almost certainly bad for your health. I have heard from at least one coach and read elsewhere that the overemphasis on Biellman/catchfoot positions increases back injury and vertebral stress fractures.
    Ya think? (Not mocking you, mocking the system.) Catchfoots/Biellmans etc are unnatural. We have young skaters stretching themselves into unnatural positions as a matter of training, putting too much stress on growing bodies. IMO the rewards for gumbiness in IJS is extremely harmful to skaters. It's a way bigger problem than a cut hand.

    Plus, to me, those positions are largely ugly to boot.

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