I think the problem with the proposed age categories (and the rationale given in the GC packet) is that they appear to have been looked at from a numbers standpoint as opposed to a human standpoint. From my personal experience, I can say that the 38 year old skater I was is far different than the 49 year old skater that I am, and I can bet dollar to donuts that the 60 year old skater I hope to be will be far different than I am now. The physical changes accelerate much faster in your 40's and I am sure even faster in your 50's and 60's, and the proposal doesn't acknowledge that.
I already know skaters in their 60s who used to compete (mainly solo dance) and have given it up because those events aren't separated by age.
If it were me and there had to be only four groups, then I'd combine 21-40 and break things out in decade chunks from there. However, I see nothing wrong with it as it currently is -- maybe if the numbers at AN are too big they should look at further restricting the number of events someone can enter. Or limit people to only one type of interp. Or don't let people compete in an open event if they are also in the championship event at that same level. There's a whole bunch of options that maybe having a focus group could address better than just the adult committee.
Also, Stormy, that Facebook post by M. on the competitive adult skaters group was the first I'd heard of it. Was it discussed at last year's AN meeting? (I wasn't at that AN). I'm not in any way trying to slam the work of the committee. Lord knows I've served on enough thankless volunteer jobs. It's just with this one it seems like people are both blindsided and upset.
Last edited by purple skates; 04-08-2014 at 10:36 PM.
Canada uses the same age ranges as the US. Speaking as someone who just finished a competitive year at the upper end of an age bracket, I think broadening the age ranges even further would be a terrible idea. The unexpected side effect IMHO would be that even more people would drop out in frustration at being in unevenly matched groups of competitors. I agree with sk8er1964 that if the numbers at US adult nationals are the problem that this proposal is trying to address, there are other ways to do it.
FWIW we only have one kind of interp at Cdn adult nationals. The same interp group can contain programs that are and others that are , which may be a little challenging for the judges, but I haven't heard anyone complaining that there should be different categories because of that. I also like sk8er1964's idea of making people choose one kind, if numbers in interp are getting too big.
The changes to power circles sound very odd. I was liking those, for the short time I had been practicing them before I broke my ankle 2 years ago. I fail to see what is accomplished other than a Speedy-style "we need to cut down on expenses [time] and who cares if we destroy the sport in the process?"
BARK LESS. WAG MORE.
What is the largest age range at ANs? Does it make sense to have 21-40 together and then 50s, 60s, 70s? Are there really enough people in those upper decades? (50s, I'm sure- but to have 4 groups- do you really need a 70s group?)If it were me and there had to be only four groups, then I'd combine 21-40 and break things out in decade chunks from there.
I think 21-40 sounds INSANE. At 21 I was 100 pounds and could pull my legs over my head with no stretching required. By 30, that weight wasn't even close and I have almost no flexibility left because of injuries. Not to mention, at 21-25 I had very few responsibilities, could train as much as I want. 30-40 people are trying their best to sneak a few hours of training in between work and family commitments. Of course, these are generalizations, but that range represents vastly different life stages; which effect skating.
I guess I don't see how changing the age groups will change the length of the event, unless the purpose is to scare people away. Unless the main savings is in on ice medal ceremonies? (I don't know if AN does those). If the same number of people are doing the same number of programs, how much does it matter how you group them? Does it really take that much time to announce a new event? Are warm ups not combined if number of skaters are low?
If the rationale is to have evenly divided flights, why not just eliminate the age categories altogether. Then divide the total entries into even flights, sort the skaters by date of birth and count off the first x number into Group 1, the next x into group 2, etc. That's the way some Opens divide the kids (which seems to be another goal of the committees - making Adults as much like the kids as they can; *sigh* Doesn't anyone remember that the Adult Levels came into being because Adult Skaters aren't the same as kids?)
And no, I'm not advocating the elimination of age groups; it's one of the few things I like about US Adult competitions.
I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.
If you have the opportunity to be a delegate, please isolate the items with which you have issues. If not, please find one or more of your club's delegates and let them know your concerns, so that they can try and address these issues at Governing Council. Without knowing specific concerns, it becomes more difficult for delegates to talk to various issues (such as these) at the meeting.
And if the new AN groups get bigger, then they'll need to have a QR, which just creates more groups anyway. I believe AN does medal ceremonies off-ice, like at club comps, Regionals, and Sectionals.
There is already a proposal to restrict skaters to only 1 Interp event/1 category, and I agree with sk8er1964's other suggestions. As long as you have the same number of people doing the same number of events as before, you'll need the same amount of time for the comp.
Switching gears, I read the rationale for requiring parents to join a club along with their kids and I found it rather amusing. Does USFS really think that by making parents pay an extra $20, they'll be more likely to volunteer? And how will increasing every club's membership increase their influence at GC? If every club has an increase in members, each club's relative representation basically stays the same. Unless there are a bunch of large clubs with mostly adult members, which I doubt. This smacks of USFS sitting down with their consultants brainstorming ways to increase their numbers (and dues income) back to 90s levels.
Thanks for clarifying. I know on-ice medal ceremonies add a lot of time, and area a reason to want to cut groups. I was surprised when ISI synchro nats did those- because off ice ceremonies saves a lot of ice time/money!I believe AN does medal ceremonies off-ice, like at club comps, Regionals, and Sectionals.
I have always felt that if only 3 skaters showed up in the oldest age category, they all deserved medals for still being out there! And, no, I'm not quite in that group yet, and yes, I have envied the edge quality some of those folks have!
For financial reasons I mainly only compete in our club's adult competition, which does divide freestyle and interp groups by age but often there will be two adjacent age groups combined.
For men, they often don't have enough entries to divide by age at all.
Some years I compete at nearby club competitions that offer adult freestyle. Those are the only events I have my coach for, since I can't make it worth her while to take a whole day off from teaching to come to an adult comp with only me. Those tend to have small adult fields, so I may end up competing against bronze skaters 20 years younger than me or skating up to silver just to have an event to enter -- and sometimes both. In which case I'm not surprised to get straight 4th-place ordinals in a field of 4, but it just makes 6.0 scoring meaningless for me.
I only went to Adult Nationals once, in 1999 -- there were many entries and there were qualifying rounds. IIRC that was with age divisions.
So for me personally, it doesn't make a big difference where they draw the lines on age groups.
As I understand the proposal, the main time saving for Adult Nationals would be in warmup groups. Fewer events with 3-4 skaters, or 7-9 skaters, means fewer times that 6 minutes are spent with only 3 or 4 skaters on the ice.
In case people aren't aware, there are videos posted for the following on the 2014 GC info page: http://www.usfsa.org/shell.asp?sid=49843
Proposed Moves in the Field Change - Juvenile and Adult Gold Counterclockwise Forward to Backward Power Circles (items 348 and 353)
Proposed Moves in the Field Change - Juvenile and Adult Gold Clockwise Backward to Forward Power Circles (items 348 and 353)
Proposed Moves in the Field Change - Junior Choctaw Sequence (item 351)
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
Thanks for posting, Sylvia! It looks like there aren't really any 'fast' crossovers on the power circles, maybe the last one in each sequence of 8. That might help me, lol, but the transition would definitely get me. Need to explore my summer testing options.
EDIT: I see now that it says Sept. 2, 2014. Well I would like to get past this level before then, simply to just get test credit for the loops I've worked so hard for.
As a test chair, I've seen very low pass rates on Novice MIF compared to almost all other levels. Even skaters who pass seems to get lowest scores on loops and then twizzles. A few judges who have done figures say that, yes, the blade makes it harder, but also not doing loop on circle makes it harder. I've never skated anywhere near that level or know much about the MIF tests themselves, but the judges seem to think the way loops were done on figures test were easier somehow. It still looks like a tough move to me.
Power circles, OTOH, seem like an odd thing to remove.
These seemed to be one of the moves that went particularly quick. Juv moves in particular aren't one of the longer tests, it seems. Pre-Juv, Int and Novice seem to take longest.Power circles, OTOH, seem like an odd thing to remove.