2018 USFS Governing Council meeting & board initiatives (proposed changes to the current U.S. Nationals qualifying pipeline & more)

Weve3

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Figure skating programs are going to have to begin luring kids away early on from lacrosse and hockey, etc. (also sports that want kids in by 6 or 7 yo) to build their base.
Agreed.

The sport in the U.S.A. has really been up against it when trying to find internal and external factors that will help stimulate desire, energy, and motivation in people to be continually interested and committed to the sport.

To be fair, I don’t think the sport’s lagging popularity and disinterest is due to the of lack of trying so much as it is to the program being improperly managed and beset by ideas that have been holding it back, in many cases, instead of moving it forward. I think there has been too much hesitation in the past to take the leaps and gambles other countries have for future success, and USFS now finds itself scrambling to catch-up.
 

gkelly

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Aside from Canada, are there any other countries that have strong elite-track training programs and also strong grass roots programs keeping skaters in the sport past childhood without triple jumps?

Maybe Japan?
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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Aside from Canada, are there any other countries that have strong elite-track training programs and also strong grass roots programs keeping skaters in the sport past childhood without triple jumps?

Maybe Japan?
I don't know that I would describe Canada's grassroots programs that way. Skate Canada no longer has a national StarSkate championship (StarSkate competition ends at Sectionals) or a national adult championship, both of which were motivators to keep skaters in the sport. Collegiate skating, both singles and synchro, is almost exclusively in Ontario and Quebec. Despite its strategic goal of "skating for life" SC hasn't really paid a lot of attention to non-elite programs. There are some SC sections that do a really good job of supporting the non-elite skaters, but it's difficult for them to do that when the national level is less supportive.

StarSkate Learn to Skate has also changed quite a bit in recent years, and I know there are many coaches/program assistants that think Learn to Skate has been "dumbed down", as in the levels and assessment standards are less rigorous. This may keep beginners in the sport longer, but I think there are also questions about what quality of competitive skating this will lead to in the future.
 

mackiecat

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USFS programs of National Solo Dance, National Showcase and Theatre on Ice are great examples of trying to keep kids in skating at the grass roots. Canada's Starskate system however is much more superior to USFS test track. Yes National Starskate is cancelled but that was only for a Triathlon and Biathlon anyways. Each province has a Starskate championships and there isn't a stigma to being in that stream. It is quite competitive at least in Ontario. You do see double axels in Star 9, 10 and Gold.
 

purple skates

Shadow Dancing
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@Coco It's very popular at colleges? There's tons of programs and that number is growing. I think Liberty University is added to the roster of varsity programs, and other schools are making synchro club varsity. The Haydenettes also recently added their own Collegiate team to the mix (although that went on Hiatus this year).
Trine University (Indiana) is starting a program this year.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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Honest question that I probably haven't thought through:

Is there any solid reason that boys couldn't compete against girls at competitions, maybe through Juv or even Intermediate? If there are "body of work" scores, these could be factored separately for the purposes of Regionals or Sectionals. If the point is to compete to gain points and gain competition experience, then does it matter who is or isn't getting medals at Competition Q in Town, State?

Saying this as my son is competing the weekend in No Test against girls. He knows it's going to be tough. But, really, that's not a concern. He's not going to be an elite skater, and if he were, then competition is competition, whether or not they are Belimanning at 9yo or not.
They talked about having boys compete against girls up to a certain level. From talking to those in the know, there is concern that the boys will almost always win, which will be a demotivator to the girls. I've been told that they want to keep boys in the sport, and thus they tend to mark the boys more gently than girls who are at a comparable level. Of course, YMMV. This is what I've been told, I don't have personal experience related to this.
 

Sylvia

Not yet ready for club comp. season to be underway
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USFS' press release today: http://www.usfigureskating.org/story?id=91487&type=media
(5/3/18) – More than 350 delegates have come to Orlando for the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council, presided over by U.S. Figure Skating President Samuel Auxier. The event, which runs May 2–5, is being held at the DoubleTree Hotel.
...
Auxier, who has been U.S. Figure Skating’s president since 2014, will preside over his final Governing Council as president as his term is ending.
...
With a membership of more than 184,000, delegates appointed by member clubs, individual members and athletes will meet to vote on bylaw and rule changes, as well as elect a new President for the organization.
A club education seminar on Wednesday will kick-off activities. Delegates will also be able to attend a host of meetings, presentations and seminars on Thursday.
On Friday, the Eastern, Midwest and Pacific Coast sections will caucus before the full Governing Council is called to order by Auxier.
The full Governing Council will be in session on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. The new U.S. Figure Skating President and Board of Directors will be elected Saturday and will meet on Sunday.
The GC schedule by day is linked from the event website here: https://www.2018governingcouncil.com/news_article/show/763409?referrer_id=1877257
 
D

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They talked about having boys compete against girls up to a certain level. From talking to those in the know, there is concern that the boys will almost always win, which will be a demotivator to the girls. I've been told that they want to keep boys in the sport, and thus they tend to mark the boys more gently than girls who are at a comparable level. Of course, YMMV. This is what I've been told, I don't have personal experience related to this.
A rule was already added last year to allow boys to compete against girls up through the Pre-Juvenile level (rule 3045 http://www.usfigureskating.org/content/2017-18 Rulebook.pdf). I have seen it and the boys definitely haven't always, or almost always, won (in the one big group I remember, the boy came in last). The total scores for Juvenile should be pretty comparable for boys and girls since they have the same requirements, and at Nationals the top girl scored 65.38 and the top boy 54.35 (a score that would have been 6th in girls). Some boys might be especially demotivated by "losing" to girls, although they shouldn't and I hate the sexist attitudes in society as a whole that would make that seem like something for a boy to be particularly embarrassed by.
 

Sylvia

Not yet ready for club comp. season to be underway
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And what is this North American Challenge Skate? Is it replacing the US Novice and Junior Challenge Skate? Does that mean Team Canada juniors will be invited as well?
The prelim. info I've seen is that Skate Canada and USFS are re-joining to co-host the re-branded North American Series for Novice level skaters and the 2 competitions chosen for singles and/or pairs are Skate Milwaukee (July 11-15) and Skate Ontario Summer Skate #2 (August 16-19 in North York). I believe the Lake Placid Ice Dance comp. (July 24-27) will used as well.

Salt Lake City is supposed to host the ISU Challenger Series U.S. comp. again, along with the U.S. Challenge Skate in September 2018, I believe (not yet officially confirmed though).

ETA that outgoing president Sam Auxier was interviewed by Phil Hersh last month and the IN article link is posted in this GSD thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/usfs-outgoing-president-auxier-expresses-concern-on-state-of-us-figure-skating.103920/
 
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Sylvia

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From USFS: http://www.usfsa.org/story?id=91487&type=media

(UPDATED 5/4/18) – Governing Council delegates approved adding language to three articles of the U.S. Figure Skating bylaws on Friday to further support U.S. Figure Skating’s SafeSport efforts.

Delegates also approved the Committee Realignment Process, which will change some of the U.S. Figure Skating committees in May 2019 in order to bring more efficiency and relevance to the governance of U.S. Figure Skating. This includes better defining the structure and responsibilities of the Strategic Planning Committee to ensure that U.S. Figure Skating is committed to utilizing best practices in strategic planning for the protection and long-term viability of the association.

Delegates did not approve a proposal to make changes to the size of the Nominating Committee and the process for electing representatives

As done with all World champions, delegates elected U.S. Figure Skating’s newest World champion, Nathan Chen, as an Honorary Member of U.S. Figure Skating and welcomed six new clubs – Bend Ice FSC, Champions’ Edge SC, El Paso FSC, Grand Junction FSC, Sikumi FSC and Worthington Valley FSC – into full membership.
 

Willin

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From USFS: http://www.usfsa.org/story?id=91487&type=media
As done with all World champions, delegates elected U.S. Figure Skating’s newest World champion, Nathan Chen, as an Honorary Member of U.S. Figure Skating and welcomed six new clubs – Bend Ice FSC, Champions’ Edge SC, El Paso FSC, Grand Junction FSC, Sikumi FSC and Worthington Valley FSC – into full membership.
Is there poor wording here or a word left out? Why would they elect him an Honorary member of USFSA if he's already a member in good standing? Unless they've elected him an honorary lifetime member or an honorary member of the governing council or something?
 

Sylvia

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^^^ "Lifetime" was accidently omitted is my guess.

There are 2 candidates for USFS president: Anne Cammett (nominated by the board) and Lainie DeMore. Voting by the delegates is tomorrow morning from 9:00-9:30 am.

George Rossano's article: Contested Election for U.S. Figure Skating President

Rossano's preview: Orlando Meeting Packed with Contentious Issues
Revisions to the development system are indirectly addressed in five broad concepts being presented to the Governing Council by a Competitions Task Force. This original motivation for forming this task force was to address the unwieldy size and schedule of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships which currently includes championships for Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior and Senior. It subsequently expanded to include many additional initiatives that have resulted in a complex proposal affecting non-qualifying competitions, qualifying competitions, the structure of the national championships and the creation of development camps.
A major structural deficiency for the task force initiatives is that the financial impacts for these proposals are not addressed. These proposals affect the finances of non-qualifying competitions, qualifying competitions, club finances, competition expenses for competitors, the cost of the national championships and the cost of the proposed development camps, and more. It is simply unreasonable and irresponsible to ask the delegates to approve these initiatives without knowing what they will cost and how they will impact the finances of skaters, clubs and the Association.
There are five broad initiatives (sections) being presented by the task force. Each of these is intended to stand alone, so that any combination can be approved or not as the delegates might chose. The most significant two are actually closely related, dealing with the elimination of Juvenile, Intermediate and Novice Championships and the restructuring of the qualifying competitions.
ETA:

This delegate from Minnesota wrote in her blog that she is "very excited about the new competition structure": http://governingcouncil2018.blogspot.com/2018/05/thursday-meeting-notes.html
Her GC blog: http://governingcouncil2018.blogspot.com
 
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Debbie S

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Is there poor wording here or a word left out? Why would they elect him an Honorary member of USFSA if he's already a member in good standing? Unless they've elected him an honorary lifetime member or an honorary member of the governing council or something?
"Honorary" likely means that his USFS membership in future years will be free.
 

5Ali3

Well-Known Member
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477
Being elected an Honorary Member is, essentially, an honor. Yay Nathan! :cheer2:

Article V, Section 4 of the U.S. Figure Skating bylaws:
Honorary Members.
  1. A person elected as such by a vote of two-thirds of the votes cast of the Governing Council present in person or by proxy at an annual meeting for such terms as the Governing Council may specify in said vote.
  2. Have no voting rights with respect to the government of U.S. Figure Skating, but may be accorded the privilege of speaking when present at official meetings of U.S. Figure Skating, including but not limited to Governing Council; provided, however, that if such person is also a member in any other membership category, such person will have and may exercise voting rights and privileges available to them by virtue of such other membership, including as a delegate to the Governing Council.
  3. May serve, if elected or appointed, in any office or position and exercise all voting and other rights pertaining to the office or position so held.
Translation: an Honorary Member does not automatically have a vote at Governing Council or on the Board of Directors, but if they are also a "regular" member ("Individual persons registered with U.S. Figure Skating who are members of a member club or a collegiate club") and are appointed as a delegate to Governing Council or elected by the athletes to be an athlete delegate to Governing Council, they are not prohibited from exercising their delegate vote. Someone whose only membership in USFS is Honorary Membership can be elected to the Board of Directors or Nominating Committee, or be appointed to serve on USFS Committees.

Honorary Members are exempt from payment of USFS dues (MR 5.10) although they still need to register annually (Article XXIII, Section 1), are allowed to compete and test (Article XXI), and will receive annual notification of the date and location of Governing Council (Article IX, Section 3.A).

I have no doubt Nathan is particularly excited about the last bit. :rofl:
 

Sylvia

Not yet ready for club comp. season to be underway
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Notes passed along to me from GC just now...

Anne Cammett has been elected USFS president.

ONE triple will be allowed in Juvenile FS beginning in 2018-19.

ETA: Looks like taking Novice out of Nationals (starting in 2019-20 season) has passed.

Group photo of the Athletes Advisory Committee: https://twitter.com/TimDolensky/status/992531616554782722
 
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Sylvia

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Some background on newly elected USFS president, Anne Cammett:
http://drexel.edu/alumni/connected/alumni-spotlight/1980s/cammett/

It's interesting that she has a background in corporate sales and marketing development, albeit for an eyecare company. I'd like to learn more about her platform and ideas for U.S. figure skating.
You can read Cammett's "Statement of Purpose" (along with all the others nominated for the BOD) here: http://www.usfigureskating.org/content/2018 BOD Slate Bios & SOPs.pdf

And those for the Committee Chairs here: http://www.usfigureskating.org/content/2018 Committee Chair Slate Bios & SOPs.pdf

ETA blog updates by the Minnesota delegate:
Saturday #1: http://governingcouncil2018.blogspot.com/2018/05/saturday-morning-news.html
Saturday #2: http://governingcouncil2018.blogspot.com/2018/05/end-of-isolations-and-new-business.html

... and Saturday #3: http://governingcouncil2018.blogspot.com/2018/05/afternoon-session-end.html
The Nominations Committee's recommendations were presented and accepted. Changes to the slate of committee chairs - Steve Wolkin will be the chair of the Grievance Committee for one year while Dawn Eyerly will serve as a member of the committee to learn the ropes. Sam Auxier will be chairing the International Committee.
 
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Sylvia

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May 5th Governing Council update: http://www.usfigureskating.org/story?id=91487&type=media
Anne Cammett has been elected as the 32nd president of U.S. Figure Skating on Saturday at the 2018 Governing Council in Orlando, Florida. Cammett earned the election with a vote of 718-to-320. She began her term in office after the meetings at the Governing Council ended on Saturday.
In addition to electing Cammett, the Governing Council delegates passed the Competition Task Force proposal, which will make changes to the qualifying competition structure beginning with the 2019-20 season. More details are available on the U.S. Figure Skating website here and will be provided throughout the next year.
In all, more than 70 rule changes and other action items were approved. The full details on all action items from the Governing Council meeting will be available on the U.S. Figure Skating website no later than May 18.
 

Sylvia

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Posted on USFS' website today (5/16) - The 2017-18 Combined Report of Action is now available. This details all bylaw and rule changes made through the past year (May 7, 2017, through May 5, 2018), most of which go into effect by July 1, 2018. ALL MEMBERS should review this document here (PDF is 87 pages long).
 
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Sylvia

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Copied from pages 60-61:

434. APPROVED – Singles Committee
Amend rule 1071 (D) (page 102, Rulebook) as follows:
1071 IJS Basic Principles of Calculation – All Skating Disciplines
D. Singles and Pairs Bonus

1. Junior Singles Short Program and Free Skate:
a. +1.0 bonus for each triple Axel achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence;
b. +2.0 bonus for each quadruple jump achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved
as a solo jump, or in combination or sequence;
c. Triple Axel and quadruple jumps are eligible for bonus points only if compliant with well-balanced program
and repeat rules.

12. Novice Singles Short Program and Free Skate:
a. +3.0 bonus for each two-jump combination where both jumps are triple jumps, or a three-jump combination
where two triple jumps are executed in succession. Both triple jumps must be under-rotated or full value to
receive the bonus.
b. +3.0 bonus for each triple Axel achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence;
c. +2.0 bonus for any triple jump (under-rotated or full value) that immediately follows a double jump (including
double Axel) in a jump combination.
d. +1.0 bonus for each triple jump achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence, that doesn’t meet the criteria in paragraphs a, b or c above.
e. Triple jumps are eligible for bonus points only if compliant with well-balanced program and repeat rules.

23. Intermediate Singles Short Program and Free Skate:
a. +1.0 bonus for one double Axel achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence;
b. +3.0 bonus for each two-jump combination where both jumps are triple jumps or a three-jump combination
where two triple jumps are executed in succession. Both triple jumps must be under-rotated or full value to
receive the bonus.
c. +2.0 bonus for any triple jump (under-rotated or full value) that immediately follows a double jump (including
double Axel) in a jump combination.
bd. +1.0 bonus for each triple jump achieved (under-rotated or full value) , regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence, that doesn’t meet the criteria in paragraphs b or c above.
e. Double Axel and triple jumps are eligible for bonus points only if compliant with well-balanced program and
repeat rules.

34. Juvenile Singles Free Skate:
a. +1.0 bonus for each double Axel achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence.
b. +1.0 bonus for one triple jump* achieved (under-rotated or full value), regardless of whether it is achieved as
a solo jump, or in combination or sequence.
c. Double Axels and triple jump* are eligible for bonus points only if compliant with well-balanced program and
repeat rules.
Remaining paragraphs will be re-numbered accordingly.

Implementation date: July 1, 2018

-----

Pages 67-75 cover COMPETITIONS TASK FORCE (ITEM 456).

456. APPROVED INCLUDING REFERRAL– Competitions Task Force
Outline of this Request for Action: Each section contains a separate request for action, including rationale, implementation
date, committee votes and financial impact of that section.
Section 1: The National Qualifying Series
Section 2: The National High Performance Development Team and Team Camp
Section 3: Advancement Through the Qualifying System Competitions
a) Pairs and Ice Dance: NQS or Sectional Challenge to U.S. Final
b) Singles: NQS or Regional Challenge to Sectional Final
c) Pairs and Ice Dance: U.S. Final to U.S. Championships
d) Sectional / U.S. Final to National High Performance Development Team Camp for Juvenile and Intermediate
e) Sectional / U.S. Final to National High Performance Development Team Camp for Novice
Section 4: Novice Singles Athletes Qualify to Compete at Junior at the U.S. Championships
Section 5: A Minimum Technical Score for Senior Competitors at the U.S. Championships
...
Implementation date: 2019-20 competitive season
 
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Frida80

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Bonus points for quads and 3A in juniors? Huh. Looks like they finally decided to push girls to go for it.
 

gkelly

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Bonus points for quads and 3A in juniors? Huh. Looks like they finally decided to push girls to go for it.
Probably more like they're pushing the boys to go for it as soon as they're halfway ready (the 3A bonus applies in novice as well), but hey, girls are welcome to try too.
 

Frida80

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Probably more like they're pushing the boys to go for it as soon as they're halfway ready (the 3A bonus applies in novice as well), but hey, girls are welcome to try too.
After Mirai, Trusova, and Alyssa I'm sure they want as many girls to try to get them as possible. Next season is going to be insane with Alena, Sasha, Young You and a few more girls attempting advanced jumps at the junior level. Now that Tom Z has gotten Mirai to land one in her twenties, they may be encouraging a jump revolution in the US.
 

mag

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I am still shocked that a bonus is given when the the jump is <. That means it can be forward and still get a bonus. That is just crazy!
 

Debbie S

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I am still shocked that a bonus is given when the the jump is <. That means it can be forward and still get a bonus. That is just crazy!
The deduction in base value is still applied. The point is to minimize the penalty for trying the harder jumps in comp so that skaters won't feel pressured to play it safe. In order to land jumps in comp, they need to attempt them in comp and that's what the bonus system is designed to do.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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So wait, to compete in solo dance at, say - pre-bronze, do you need to pass the solo dance tests? Or is the level you compete in solo dance determined by your partnered dance tests?
 
D

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I am still shocked that a bonus is given when the the jump is <. That means it can be forward and still get a bonus. That is just crazy!
A completely forward landing would be a downgrade and not get the bonus. An < jump has to be less than half a rotation short.
 

mag

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A completely forward landing would be a downgrade and not get the bonus. An < jump has to be less than half a rotation short.
Okay, so a minute degree less than forward. The point is, many skaters can stand up on 2.5’s. American panels are known for being easy on rotations (that’s not a fan saying that it is skaters saying it.) The big problem will be in a Novice where a skater who can stand up on a 2.5+ 2.5 and do it in both programs will get SIX bonus marks! Make it a 2.5+ 2.5 and a 2A + 2.5 in the long and now that is EIGHT bonus marks. It is quite possible that a skater who does a bunch of 2.5 jumps in Novice will beat a skater who does a few clean triples. I guess if that is goal then have at it.
 

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