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2012 ISU Congress Proposals - Discussion

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by HisWeirness, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness pork cutlet bowl fatale

    Visaliakid has already posted a thread about the proposed rule change regarding ISU elections. Here is a link to the thread discussing that particular proposal.

    In this thread I'm outlining some of the other proposals that may be of interest to FSU readers. You can download the entire proposal document "Summary of Proposals for the 54th Ordinary Congress Kuala Lumpur - 2012 (Provisory Version January 31, 2012)" here.

    General Proposals for ISU Congress

    Age Limits

    From ISU Council:
    • Add definition - Senior: Age 15 by July 1st that immediately precedes the relevant competition
    • International Senior Competitions will now require the skater to meet the "Senior" definition above, not the Age 14 by July 1st now required in Rule 108.
    • Maximum age for Men in Pairs and Dance would be 20 instead of 21, effective with the 2014-2015 season.
    • Max age for novice (international) lowered to 14 from 15, effective with the 2014-2015 season.

    Also Added:
    HW note: this proposal is :confused: since Rule 107 paragraph 6 mentions both senior and junior GP series :wall:

    ISU Reasoning:The age requirements are different in the ISU Branches. Even in Figure Skating a Skater can be a Novice, a Junior or a "Senior" Skater by age, that is not appropriate and does not reflect the clear needs of a proper age scale of an International Federation. It is also embarrassing that a Skater can win the Grand Prix Final, but is not permitted to participate in ISU "Senior" Championships. To make it easier for the Members to adjust their training programs to the proposed age requirements, a two years postponement of the new age limitation for Junior Men in Pairs and Ice Dance and the Novice age is been proposed. Within that time the Members can update their training and recruiting programs. In addition, a Skater who decided to move to the "Senior" category should stay within this level and should not be entitled to switch back-and-forth between Junior and Senior events. Such switches are no good for all Junior Skaters and should therefore not be accepted.

    From Russia
    • Change maximum age for Junior Men and Ladies to 18 instead of 19
    • Change maximum age for Pairs/Dance Ladies to 18 (instead of 19) and for Pairs/Dance Men to 19 (instead of 21)

    Reasoning: the current upper age limitations for Juniors seem to be too high.

    From Germany
    • Keep novice maximum age limit at 15 for singles and pairs and ice dance ladies.
    • Make maximum age for novice pairs and dance men to be 17 instead of 15.
    Reasoning: The proposed age limits allow to compose more pairs and ice dance couples.

    Skaters Changing Countries

    From ISU Council:
    • Reduce the waiting period to compete in ISU Championships to 18 months instead of 24 months when switching federations.
    • Waiting period is still 12 months for pairs/dance partners (as long as the other partner is a citizen/resident already).
    Reasoning: Paragraph 2b)iii): Shorten Skaters waiting period give Skaters possibility for coming back to compete faster

    The "ISU is Never Freezing our Butts off Again in Bern" Rule :cold:

    From ISU Council:
    For International Competitions, at least one covered and preferably heated rink is required. For ISU Championships, and the Olympic Winter Games and the Winter Youth Olympic Games, two covered and closed rinks are required. For ISU Events, the Olympic Winter Games, the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the Qualifying Competition for the Olympic Winter Games the ice rinks must be heated.

    Reason: To ensure that the ice rinks for the ISU Events (including ISU Championships, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating, ISU World Team Trophy), the Olympic Winter Games, the Winter Youth Olympic Games (OWG) and the Qualifying Competition for the OWG are heated.

    Number of Skaters/Couples qualifying for Free Skate/Dance at Olympic Games

    ISU Council:
    • Pairs: 16 pairs qualify to free skate instead of all 20
    • Dance: 20 couples qualify to free dance instead of 24
    Reason: To harmonize the Rules for the Olympic Winter Games with the Rules of ISU Championships. The OWG represents the ice skating event of the highest level and with the highest world-wide media attention. For the sake of giving the world-wide audience the best possible impression a limitation in the duration and focus on quality should prevail.

    Singles and Pairs

    Rewarding Jumps Completed Later in the Short Program

    ISU Single & Pair Technical Committee (SPTC) & Norway:
    In the Short Program of Single Skating the base values (but not the GOE’s) for all jump elements started in the second half of the program will be multiplied by a special factor 1.1 in order to give credit for even distribution of difficulties in the program. Each factored base value for all jump elements performed in the second half of the Short Program will be rounded to two decimal places. The second half commences in the middle of the maximum time which means 1 min. 25 sec.

    Reason: To give credit for even distribution of difficulties in Short Program, not only in Free skating. This adjustment of the rule will get better balanced short programs, now most Skaters do all the difficult elements in the beginning of the program.

    Vocal Music for Singles and Pairs

    Skate Canada & Spanish Figure Federation:
    Delete deduction for vocal music in Junior and Senior Singles and Pairs

    Reason: To allow vocal music in junior and senior singles and pairs, bringing those disciplines in alignment with the ice dance and synchronized disciplines, and allowing Skaters the full range of musical options when designing programs. The use of vocal music has been very successful in the ice dance and synchronized disciplines. The television networks are requesting the use of vocal music in singles and pairs to increase the entertainment value for the viewing audience. The viewing audience (through all media) is essential for the visibility of the sport and the financial success of both the ISU and its members.

    Increase vocal music deduction to 2 points from 1 point currently

    Reasoning: The Committee discussed the proposal of Finland, Figure for a Technical Rules change which will allow vocal music in Singles and Pairs. As there are both positive and negative impacts of the proposed change, the Committee decided to leave the decision to the ISU Congress 2012 (of course if there will be a corresponding proposal for a change in Special Regulations). However in case of the Congress decision to allow vocal music, the Committee recommends to implement it only after OWG 2014. Up to that moment the Committee proposes to increase the deduction for vocal music to avoid any intentional violation of the Rule and to be in line with the Ice Dance violation of music restrictions.

    Costume Rules

    No kind of political, religious or racial propaganda is allowed on the costume.
    Reason: self-explanatory.

    The decoration on costumes must be non-detachable.
    Reason: to be in line with subparagraph 1. c) of the Ice Dance Technical Rules.

    Spin Positions and Levels

    • Remove language about "intermediate positions."
    • Define clearly layback and sideways leaning spins. (Layback Spin is an upright spin in which head and shoulders are leaning backward and the back arched. The position of the free leg is optional. Sideways Leaning Spin is an upright spin in which head and shoulders are leaning sideways and the body is arched. The position of the free leg is optional.)
    Reason: the SPTC does not consider the term “intermediate positions” as necessary any longer; however to give credit to variety in spin, in combinations one difficult variation in a non-basic position can still be counted to increase the Level; a change of position with a jump is planned as a separate Level feature; definitions of layback and sideways leaning spins must be given.

    Step/Moves Sequences Changes

    • Add "Step sequences must fully utilize the ice surface."
    • Remove language describing circular, straight line and serpentine step sequences separately.

    Reason: with the current requirements step sequences no longer have any described above (straight line, circular, serpentine) shape.

    Add the "Choreographic Sequence" to replace the Spiral sequence in Ladies and Pairs and the Choreo Step Sequence in Mens.

    A Choreographic Sequence consist of any kind of movements like steps, turns, spirals, arabesques, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, hydroblading, transitional (unlisted) jumps, spinning movements etc. A Choreographic Sequence for Ladies & Pairs must include at least one spiral (not a kick) of any length. The Sequence commences with the first move and is concluded with the last move of the Skater. The pattern is not restricted, but the Sequence must fully utilize the ice surface. If this requirement is not fulfilled, the Sequence will have no value. The Choreographic Sequence has to be performed later then the step sequence. The Choreographic Sequence has a base value and will be evaluated by the judges in GOE only.

    Reason: to allow more variety in the programs.

    Junior Short Program Requirements


    Singles: Loop (2Lo or 3Lo) is required solo jump in SP, flying spin is the sit spin, men have to do camel spin with only one change of foot.
    Pairs: SBS double loop or double axel jump. 2T or 3T throw. Toe Lasso lift. Pair change combo spin. BIDS.

    Singles: Lutz (2Lz or 3Lz) is required solo jump in SP, flying spin is the camel spin, men have to do sit spin with only one change of foot.
    Pairs: SBS double lutz. 2Lo or 3Lo throw. SBS change combo spin. FIDS.

    Senior Free Skate Requirements

    Men: change choreo step sequence to choreo sequence
    Ladies: change spiral sequence requirement to choreo sequence

    Pairs Lifts

    ISU SPTC: Remove language allowing up to 2 twist lifts. Now allow only 1 twist lift.
    Reason: the option with 2 twist lifts does not seem to be practical.

    Levels of Elements

    Lifts, twist lifts and death spirals (pairs), spins and steps (singles and pairs) are divided depending on their difficulty in five (5) Levels (instead of 4) according to the number of features achieved: Basic Level – in case of no features, Level 1 – in case of one feature, Level 2 – in case of two features, Level 3 – in case of three features and Level 4 – in case of four or more features.

    Reason: to give credit to Skaters who have achieved one Level feature in comparison with Skaters who did not achieve any Level features in a particular element.

    Free Skate Draw Changes

    There will be no draw for the order of skating in each group, competitors will skate in reverse order to their places in the preceding segment of the competition, that is, with the best placed Competitor skating last. The order of skating between tied Competitors shall be determined by a separate draw.

    Reason: To implement for the Free Skating the same practice as in the ISU Grand Prix Events.

    NOTE: ice dance technical committee did not propose to change the free dance draw. Yet...

    Ice Dance

    Short Dance Music Requirements

    ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee (IDTC):
    • The music may be without an audible rhythmic beat for up to 10 seconds at the beginning of the program.
    • The music must be selected in accordance with the designated rhythm(s) and/or theme(s).
    • The music must be selected in accordance with the specified tempo, when applicable.
    • Short Dance music that does not adhere to these specifications will be penalized by deduction(s) (see Rule 353, paragraph 1.n) (ii)).
    Reason: to extend the current deduction for incorrect Free Dance music to incorrect Short Dance music.

    Levels of Difficulty & Choreo Elements

    ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee (IDTC):
    All Required Elements are divided into four (4) Levels depending on their difficulty, except elements designated in the list of elements announced annually by the IDTC with a fixed Base Value. The description of characteristics that give an element a certain Level of Difficulty is published and updated in ISU Communications.

    Reason: to introduce the possibility to include Choreographic Required Elements in Short Dance and Free Dance.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for this excellent summary, HisWeirness.

    You are our :COP: treasure. :respec:

    Now let the :mitchell: and :lynch: begin.

    Actually, most of those proposals aren't that bad.

    Although I hoped they could leave the numbers of skaters competing at Olympics in peace, at least.

    If you want the sport to develop, why reduce the competitive opportunities. Bastards. :(

    One change that I really really want to see.

    Ban flying upright spins in the short program.

    I can just about excuse pre-Novice skaters performing them but honestly, not Juniors and Seniors. :lynch:
  3. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member


    Especially if it is connected to television wanting to make the sport nothing but entertainment. Seems like that would be a short road to a lot of crappy pop music at competitions. Because television networks aren't looking to boost ratings with arias from classic operas.
  5. MissIzzy

    MissIzzy Active Member

    Definitely, the only really painful thing would be the reducing the number of free skaters in the Olympics. And quite honestly, I was expecting them to reduce the number in the competition altogether, so...of course, they might just do that in 2018 now. :blocjudge
  6. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    As always, thank you HisWeirness for your hard work, and for being able to translate some of the gibberish that is in these documents.

    Re the proposed reduction in the number of couples in the pairs and dance finals at Olympics:
    I don't think the problem in "giving...the best positive impression" is going to be solved by limiting the number of participants. That's the least of the problems. If anything, further limiting numbers is going to lead to even more :sekret: :bribe: trying to get the skaters high enough to get into the finals.

    Re the proposed costume limitations:
    Would that include "aboriginal" designs? And what about all the skaters who wear little crosses around their necks?
  7. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Why? AFAIK, there aren't any rules regarding the order in which the other elements can be performed... that's very stifling creatively.
  8. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member



    Noooooooooooooooo to the Nooooooooooooooth power!
  9. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Another No from me.
    It's enough that we have to endure Ilinykh/ Katsalapov's "Ave Maria" rendition for the whole year.
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Currently in the senior men's LP the first step sequence is leveled and the second one is the "choreo" sequence with fixed base mark. So this is just extending that rule to ladies and pairs.

    From the choreographer's and skater's (and aesthetically oriented viewer's) perspective it's limiting.

    From the tech panel's perspective, it's much easier if they know automatically which sequence to count features on and which just to identify as "choreo" and relax until it's over.
  11. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Ah. That actually makes sense.
  12. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    VERY limiting. I think it's an unnecessary restriction for ladies. The step sequence should be obviously different from the spiral / mitf sequence.

    For those who have experience running competitions with this scoring system, would it work for skaters to designate their leveled step sequence in their planned elements? It seems like that would be a much easier way to go.

    But I do love the bonus for jumps after 1:25 in the SP (yeah!)

    I think bringing age limits for GP in line with ISU championships will be well received, but I kind of liked it. I think it helped young skaters experience senior ranks on the GP without having pressure of earning spots at worlds weighing on them all season.
  13. bek

    bek Guest

    Didn't the ISU to try to propose it last year; and Russia of course introduced their own proposal which would just make the age for all ISU championships a year lower.:rofl:

    I'm actually not sure countries with strong ladies will want that. But yes ISU it is an embarrassing.
  14. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    I like/liked it as well. IMO, it gives the younger skaters a chance to dip their toes into the water when it comes to senior competetion, but like you said, without the potential pressure of senior worlds weighing on them all season.

    I'm actually torn about the possibility of pairs and singles being allowed to use music with lyrics in it. I think it could definitely allow for some more creativity there and there are some choreographers/skaters who would probably come up with some really nice stuff we haven't seen before, but the trainwreck potential is so very high. In my dream world, I think what I would personally love to see is the ISU split the difference and allow lyrics in the SP but not in the LP.
  15. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Judges didn't even bother with deducting for Amodio. Maybe because it was a surprise? But why wouldn't they all immediately deduct? Because it was a delayed worlds?

    Part of the reason for quad going away was so many jumps after halfway point in free skates for bonus and how that was like equal to doing a quad or something but they're only 3 jumps in the SP but LP saw decline in difficulty of jumps and maybe you are seeing that in ladies this season and last season with Ando doing 5 jumps post halfway and doing the easiest content of her career. Maybe that is why they say the GOE factor doesn't change. Because bonus plus GOE increase is soo bad.
  16. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    I also like it because it gives them a chance to show their stuff to the judges and have their names out there. So they get to present themselves as top-notch but just too young.
  17. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    I don't like lyrics, I don't want Mambo #5 to be heard in competition. I like the fact the fact they are lowering the age of juniors but I wish they get rid of it and go strictly by ability and not by age.
  18. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    I'm really torn about the vocals/lyrics. I personally don't like it as I feel it makes it too "exhibition" like, but if it gets the sport more airtime and exposure I can see why they want to do it, and I don't want to be so elitist that I exclude a new audience. There have been very very few routines I've liked with vocals, but I suppose it depends on the skater/coach's decision on what track to use. Mambo #5 would make me whoop my cookies, but some other Carmina Burana (just an example) or The Flower Duet from Lakme could be really beautiful. I very much enjoyed Butryskaya using the track from Bilitis that year as it's stunning music. Given it has no lyrics, it's just a human voice going "Ba da da da da...etc" it did give a lovely effect (even if the skating itself looked like she had one long bone from her hip to her ankle. Bend your knees damn it!).
  19. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    I have mixed feelings, too. I personally love the lack of vocals, but I don't completely know how the rule works. Would something with vocal oohing and aahing be acceptable under current rules?
  20. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Yes as long as it is not recognisable words... rather a grey area. Here is the track Maria skated to that I mentioned earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6DpKaBoX3A See what I mean, sure sounds like words to me, but it fits the requirements so no deduction.
    hanca and (deleted member) like this.
  21. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    The use or words is a rule which is not reinforced consistently.

    For example, Iliushetchkina & Maisuradze have music which I think could be potentially deducted but it was considered acceptable.


    In comparison, a few years ago Brian Joubert had some music which was considered ok for the whole season, including GP events and Europeans, and then got deducted at worlds.


    And then we can compare it with Amodio, who got away with using program with words last year at Worlds...

    I would prefer if words were not allowed in the program. But either way, I think it would be much more fair if the rule (either allowing it or not allowing it) applied to all freeskaters equally. If it is not allowed, it should be is reinforced by bigger deduction (like -5), because otherwise it looks like if Amodio was sticking his middle finger towards the judges and saying 'sod you' (and got away with it).
    Ozzisk8tr and (deleted member) like this.
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    But with this change, ladies will have the option to do another step sequence that contains one spiral. (Already some do that in their step sequences, although they rarely hold them very long)

    So it won't always be obvious at the beginning whether it's going to be the step sequence or the choreo sequence . . . or just transitions.

    It would help.

    I just know in the US. At nonqualifying competitions sometimes skaters do not submit planned program content sheets, so the callers have no idea to expect.

    Even if submitting the sheet is a requirement for entering a qualifying competition or an international competition, there's no guarantee the skater will follow it.

    E.g., US competitors submit the form in the summer when they register for the whole qualifying season. If they don't update it when they make changes, but the time they get to Nationals (assuming they get there), the plan might be very different from what they submitted.

    And then sometimes they make a mistake early in the program and start improvising to try to make up for it -- either switching to a plan B or making it all up on the spot. Or, early in the season, they forget the plan and start improvising.

    The latter probably wouldn't affect the placement of the step sequence vs. the choreo sequence. It might affect whether one or both of the sequences fill enough ice to get credit all, though. Which could confuse the tech panels.

    It would be possible to let tech panels just call both sequences and decide after the fact which gets a level and which doesn't. More work for the panel (but not much more than when both sequences had levels) and more time to wait for them to finalize after the end of the program.

    It could also make it possible for skaters (especially men) to aim at high levels for both sequences and then get credit for whichever one better succeeded at achieving the features. Do we want to let some play the system that way so that others can have the freedom to put their choreo sequence first?

    Especially if there's a medium to deep field in the skater's country, the federation has the option to send that skater to GPs for experience and send an older skater to Worlds. But not even smaller countries always choose to use it -- e.g., South Korea 2005-06.

    However, it does kind of make sense to keep the ages consistent for all senior events, especially since the ones with the lower minimum generally take place earlier in the season. For skaters with winter birthdays, it was kind of silly to say "You can compete senior when you're still 14, but you're not allowed to compete at the later season events when you're already 15."

    They're lowering maximum ages, which means limiting junior competition to fewer skaters (teams).

    And raising the minimum age for senior Bs, which means limiting senior fall competitions to fewer skaters.

    The only age change I see that gives more skaters a choice to compete at a given level is raising the max age for novice male partners.
  23. missing

    missing Well-Known Member

    I've never understood the objection to vocals, given the constant (and valid) complaints about endless Carmens, etc.

    If you want the sport to be judged as pure athletics, then eliminate music altogether. If you acknowledge that it's a sport judged by musicality, then open up the music to all its possibilities.

    I'd much rather see skaters performing to the actual versions of songs than the ghastly muzak they use now.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  24. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    From the original post, this is the sentence that scares me:

    How far away would we be from "NBC presents the ladies free skate at U.S. Nationals with the music of Justin Bieber" (or whatever the pop flavor of the year is...)?

    As I already said, I don't think the networks are envisioning promoting the entertainment value of classical music with vocals.
  25. Lanna

    Lanna Well-Known Member

    One age for senior! That would be great. :cheer2: And, hey, since the GP apparently isn't meant to be developmental, it doesn't make sense to let skaters in a year early when according to the championships, they're still juniors.
  26. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Given that is basically replacing the spiral sequence / requirement, I would hope skaters use it for spread eagles, ina bauers, spirals and hydroblades. This would make it hard to confuse with a step sequence.

    "COP leads to cookie cutter programs" is a major criticism of this judging system. Requiring that this sequence can't come before the step sequence is not going to help this issue.

    Since skaters like to leave their step sequences for the end, I hope this might lead to them doing easier* sequences earlier in the program. But I'm guessing most will leave it until the end and just continue right into this choreographic sequence, with some crossovers in between, possibly finishing with a spin.

    I like gkelly's idea about marking both sequences and giving a level to the more difficult one, but I don't think we'll be that lucky.

    *easier = faster and more musical!
  27. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    I'm hesitant about lyrics too, but the thing is the no lyrics rule doesn't really stop the skaters from using pop songs. It actually makes it worse because they have to use muzak. A lot of people complained about Duhamel & Radford's version of Viva la Vida by Coldplay this year. It would have sounded better if they had just used the original song with lyrics (it seems to me that they cut between muzak and parts of the actual song where it's just "ooooooh"s with no words). Then there's all the skaters who have used dreadful arrangements of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rolling Stones songs, etc. Joannie's Like a Prayer SP was ok, but would have been better with Madonna's lyrics and orchestration.

    The downside is that skaters will probably just tend to use whatever is popular or that they like without a lot of thought... so we would start seeing a lot of Glee, Adele, Josh Groban, etc in competition, which would be sort of awful.
  28. UDelpairs2012

    UDelpairs2012 New Member

    I doubt that we would see that many pop music programs. When choosing music skaters think about what judges are going to like. Look at Ice dancing...no one is skating to lady GAGA yet or jamming to Fergie...
  29. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    If it is still a matter of choosing to please judges. But if ISU caves to network television to allow it, how far will they cave to please the networks with music choices? Again...the networks aren't in it to cross promote operatic arias.
  30. missing

    missing Well-Known Member

    But maybe it isn't only network television that's requesting the change. Maybe coaches and choreographers are (they've got to be bored of Carmen also). Maybe the elite skaters are (they've got to be even more bored of Carmen).

    Maybe the ISU has done some polling/market research, and found younger skaters are dropping out of the sport because they have no desire to skate to Carmen. Maybe they've found that audiences are turned off by the endless repetition of the same music.

    Maybe some of the complaints about the cookie cutter nature of the current programs (complaints I don't agree with, but acknowledge are there) would disappear if there was a greater variety of musical choices to skate to.