2020-21 Skate Canada Challenge & qualifying season announcement

Sylvia

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Press release today: https://skatecanada.ca/2020/09/2021-skate-canada-challenge-announcement/
Excerpts:
Following consultation with all Skate Canada Sections, the following revisions to the format of 2021 Skate Canada Challenge will be operational for the competition scheduled to take place at the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre in Edmonton, AB from November 23-29, 2020.
  1. Junior and Senior Events will be held in person as originally scheduled.
  2. Pre-Novice and Novice Events will not be included in the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge. Skate Canada will organize a stand-alone National Championship for Pre-Novice and Novice Events on or before March 31, 2021. Preliminary details will be provided by November 30, 2020.
  3. Individual Sections may experience challenges in hosting qualifying competitions this season. Accordingly, each Section has been sanctioned by Skate Canada to determine, in their sole discretion, how competitors will be qualified to compete and be registered for the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge. ...
... Each Section shall make their own decision as to when and/or if they will hold their Sectional Championships. Each Section will be responsible for determining the method used to fill their quota qualifying to Skate Canada Challenge for Junior and Senior Events and to the stand-alone National Championships for Pre-Novice and Novice Events. It is expected that each qualifying athlete demonstrate the appropriate skills relative to other qualifying athletes.
The number of [Senior & Junior] qualifying entries from 2021 Skate Canada Challenge to the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships for Junior and Senior Events will be communicated no later than October 1, 2020.

The Canadian Figure Skating Championships will be completed no later than the first Sunday following January 31 of the current Registration Year.

The date and location of a stand-alone National Championships for Pre-Novice and Novice Events will be communicated no later than November 30, 2020.
 
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overedge

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This stood out for me:
It is expected that all competitors entered in the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge will demonstrate the appropriate skills to be competitive relative to other qualified athletes.

This seems very subjective. Presumably skaters who are competing at a certain level have passed the tests for that competitive level. But every year there are Skate Canada sections whose skaters usually don't even get as far as Challenge - e.g. Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick. Are skaters from those sections going to be considered to have the "appropriate skills" to compete at Challenge in this new format?

(Note that I am not insulting the work of the Sections in those provinces, or the skaters. But realistically those regions have fewer clubs and fewer opportunities for high-level coaching than elsewhere in the country.)
 
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danafan

Canadian ladies über
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It seems they want everyone to skate at the challenge and I wonder if anyone will get a bye. Says a bye will only be given in writing and it mentions that twice.

Unless a bye to the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships is provided by Skate Canada in writing to an athlete, all athletes must compete at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge to qualify for the 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

All Events at 2021 Skate Canada Challenge are compulsory and only athletes with written permission of Skate Canada shall be permitted entry to 2021 Canadian Figure Skating Championships without having competed at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.

In previous seasons, being top three at nationals the previous year, having a senior grand prix assignment, or qualifying for the JGP Final gave you a bye. And the number of byes determined the number of qualifiers out of the challenge, with a maximum of three warmup groups per discipline at nationals. Since it says the number of qualifiers to nationals out of challenge in junior and senior will be communicated by October 1st, I wonder if they are waiting to see how the grand prix assignments unfold before making a decision about byes.
 

Sylvia

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Article by The Canadian Press' Lori Ewing in the Toronto Star yesterday about the cancellation of Skate Canada International: https://tinyurl.com/y3wxtsdv
Excerpt relevant to Challenge (new dates are December 2-6, 2020):
The Canadian championships are scheduled for Jan. 11-17 in Vancouver, and will likely be held with no fans, according to Skate Canada’s high performance director Mike Slipchuk.
...
Moore-Towers and Marinaro plan to “compete” in the Skate Canada Challenge, which in a regular season would be a qualifier for bigger national events. The Challenge was scheduled for Edmonton, but has been replaced by a remote event that will have skaters perform their programs at their home arenas, but under competitive rules, with full costumes, etc., then submit video.
“It’s a different situation that we’re trying to navigate just like everybody else, we miss Team Canada and all the opportunities we have to see our teammates and to take advice, and to get better and improve our craft because ultimately our big goal is Olympics and regardless of what happens now, we hope to still be our best there,” Moore-Towers said. “And so we need to figure out what the best way is to to continually improve in the best way we can right now.”
 

Sylvia

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Canada shifted its national figure skating championships from January to February and reduced the number of competitors for the event in Vancouver, allowing more time for skaters to prepare amid the coronav*rus p*ndemic.

“The global p*ndemic has put forth challenges for us all, and our priority is to support the development and goals of our skaters in a safe manner,” Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong said in a press release.

Nationals, now scheduled to conclude the weekend of Feb. 14, will have two flights of skaters per discipline in junior and senior categories, but not novice competition.

Another event, January’s Skate Canada Challenge, a nationals qualifier, was shifted to a virtual competition with skaters participating from their home regions.


ETA link to press release: https://skatecanada.ca/2020/10/skate-canada-2020-21-skating-season-update/
The remote 2021 Skate Canada Challenge competition will take place from January 11 – 17, 2021 and will allow Canadian skaters to participate from their home regions virtually with live officiating providing each with an opportunity to qualify for the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The date for submitting video submissions for the junior and senior disciplines will be announced shortly.

The 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships are still scheduled to take place in person in Vancouver, B.C., at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. However, the event will now take place on February 8 – 14, 2021. The number of competitors has been reduced to accommodate safety protocols. Only junior and senior categories will compete, and each discipline will only have two flights of skaters. More details surrounding that event will be available later this year.
 
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Colonel Green

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Sad for the novice skaters not getting a nationals this year, but it is what it is.

Two flights rather than three will mainly matter in singles — and also junior dance, where the crunch at Challenge is going to be brutal.
 

haribobo

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Sectionals for 2020/21

AB/NW/NU Oct 29- Nov1
Entries - https://skateabnwtnun.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Sectionals-entry-list-Oct.-14.pdf

Ontario Nov 4-13 (tentative filming videos date)
*No entries listed yet

BC Nov 5-8
*No entries listed yet

Quebec Nov 6-8
Entries - https://patinage.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Liste-des-participants-finale.pdf
 

Rock2

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This is a smart decision with no 4CC. I wouldn't be surprised if world's got pushed out, too, to buy some time for the crud to slow down as the weather warms. There won't be much of a show season so as long as athletes have ice to train on, I could see world's happening as late as into May of push came to shove.

Really disappointing how SC hasn't found any virtual ways for athletes to compete, leading up to Sectionals/Challenge. Unless I missed something in my half-hearted efforts to stay current in the skating world.
 

Sylvia

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doritos

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Sad for the novice skaters not getting a nationals this year, but it is what it is.

Two flights rather than three will mainly matter in singles — and also junior dance, where the crunch at Challenge is going to be brutal.
My sources have told me that there are plans for some form of a National Novice and Pre-Novice championship style event in March/April, depending on the state of affairs at that time and the ability to host something in person.

As there is no link to any ISU championships in the Novice category, and in the interest of event management and safety protocols for attempting to make Nationals feasible, the decision was made to reduce to only Jr and Sr and with only two groups per category.

I don't think there is an easy solution to hosting an in-person event that traditionally has over 250 athletes + coaches involved unless it was formatted this way. Hopefully the event will be feasible in February.

Really disappointing how SC hasn't found any virtual ways for athletes to compete, leading up to Sectionals/Challenge. Unless I missed something in my half-hearted efforts to stay current in the skating world.
Virtual initiatives to prepare for Sectionals would have to be spearheaded by the provincial Section administration, not Skate Canada. As mentioned previously, BC and Alberta have been doing that. Seems as though Ontario was having an extended catnap and possibly just woke up with their announcement to make Sectionals a virtual event. But to your point, something/anything could have been initiated in the summer in parallel with planning in-person events, so that if/when the in-person opportunities were canceled, the virtual options were ready to execute. That seems like a missed opportunity for some of these skaters.
 

danafan

Canadian ladies über
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I understand why but it will be sad to only see two warmup groups at nationals. Under this rule, Schumacher would not have qualified last year (she skated very poorly at Challenge).
 

ChiquitaBanana

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My sources have told me that there are plans for some form of a National Novice and Pre-Novice championship style event in March/April, depending on the state of affairs at that time and the ability to host something in person.

As there is no link to any ISU championships in the Novice category, and in the interest of event management and safety protocols for attempting to make Nationals feasible, the decision was made to reduce to only Jr and Sr and with only two groups per category.

I don't think there is an easy solution to hosting an in-person event that traditionally has over 250 athletes + coaches involved unless it was formatted this way. Hopefully the event will be feasible in February.


Virtual initiatives to prepare for Sectionals would have to be spearheaded by the provincial Section administration, not Skate Canada. As mentioned previously, BC and Alberta have been doing that. Seems as though Ontario was having an extended catnap and possibly just woke up with their announcement to make Sectionals a virtual event. But to your point, something/anything could have been initiated in the summer in parallel with planning in-person events, so that if/when the in-person opportunities were canceled, the virtual options were ready to execute. That seems like a missed opportunity for some of these skaters.
It would have been difficult for the different sections to think about virtual competitions for the fall when they didn’t know where they were heading during the summer. We weren’t even sure competitive would have had ice time for school time so I guess they were putting their efforts into ********* planning Strategies for the government instead of planning for competitions.
 

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