2024 ISU Congress Agenda

Firedancer

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I agree they should wait to implement changes until the next Olympic cycle. None of the ISU’s tinkering with the rules is going to do anything to increase the popularity of the sport. All the uncertainty just makes it harder for skaters to get ready for next season.
 

barbk

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8,440
I'm interested in how NCAA women's gymnastics has become such a successful and popular sport in the past 10 years. It has many of the same challenges as figure skating, with rules most of us won't ever understand. For a long time, the collegiate gymnastics scene was where folks went who weren't "good enough" for international elite. What changed? What could we learn from that?
 

skatingguy

decently
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18,674
I'm interested in how NCAA women's gymnastics has become such a successful and popular sport in the past 10 years. It has many of the same challenges as figure skating, with rules most of us won't ever understand. For a long time, the collegiate gymnastics scene was where folks went who weren't "good enough" for international elite. What changed? What could we learn from that?
Increased depth in US women's gymnastics has meant that the level of the gymnast who was available for college teams is higher than in the past. Built in fan base because they cheer for a school team rather than relying on individual athletes to be always be the draw. Regularly scheduled competitions that are relatively easy to access both tickets for live events, and television coverage. Social media engagement, and a few viral moments that increased the visibility of the sport.
 

carriecmu0503

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574
I'm interested in how NCAA women's gymnastics has become such a successful and popular sport in the past 10 years. It has many of the same challenges as figure skating, with rules most of us won't ever understand. For a long time, the collegiate gymnastics scene was where folks went who weren't "good enough" for international elite. What changed? What could we learn from that?
NCAA women's gymnastics still uses the perfect 10 score, not the open-ended score used in elite. The only thing that kept a lot of elite gymnasts from doing college gymnastics in the past was the rule that once they accepted endorsement money, they were not eligible for NCAA athletics. Jordyn Weiber was very sad she could not do NCAA gymnastics because of that. Now that that rule has gone by the wayside, many elites are doing NCAA simultaneously. What also helps is the US women gymnasts have been on top at the Olympics, finishing on the medal stand in the team event and winning many singles medals, including the last 5 AA golds, for decades now. People follow these elites to the college scene to keep watching them. Contrast that with women figure skaters, who have not won Olympic gold in more than two decades or medaled at all at the Olympics in nearly 2 decades, and you have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind sport.
 

overedge

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I don't follow gymnastics closely. But I get the sense that NCAA gymnastics is also popular because gymnasts who weren't "good enough" for high level international competition do some pretty interesting routines there, and seem to have fun as well. Medals aren't everything, and being a "name" isn't everything either. The ISU could learn from that too.
 

carriecmu0503

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574
I don't follow gymnastics closely. But I get the sense that NCAA gymnastics is also popular because gymnasts who weren't "good enough" for high level international competition do some pretty interesting routines there, and seem to have fun as well. Medals aren't everything, and being a "name" isn't everything either. The ISU could learn from that too.
It is not really about not being "good enough" for elite. You need to remember that only about a dozen AT MOST gymnasts make the US national team (elite athletes) each year. There are hundreds of gymnasts in collegiate, but even that is a TINY fraction of the number of girls who take gymnastics through HS. Those who make a college team are VERY GOOD. Many of them were elites who did not make the Olympic team. Please remember that only 5 women make the Olympic team every 4 years.
 

Aussie Willy

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I don't follow gymnastics closely. But I get the sense that NCAA gymnastics is also popular because gymnasts who weren't "good enough" for high level international competition do some pretty interesting routines there, and seem to have fun as well. Medals aren't everything, and being a "name" isn't everything either. The ISU could learn from that too.
I have seen some great programs by US college gymnasts that have gone viral.
 

carriecmu0503

Well-Known Member
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574
Please read what I posted before dissing on it. I didn't say that NCAA gymnasts weren't good. I said that they weren't considered good enough. Big difference.
I did not diss anything in your post. You again just said that "they weren't considered good enough." Another reminder, only FIVE gymnasts from the US can make the Olympic team once every 4 years. Many of those NCAA gymnasts ARE "good enough," they just did not have the luck of timing. Literally, the US could field THREE teams of 5 gymnasts and sweep the team podium if that was allowed. The US gymnastics team is the hardest team in the world to make. At this point, countless US women with passports from other countries are qualifying spots to the Olympics for other countries/ will be competing in the Olympics for those countries because they ARE "good enough." As you said, you don't follow gymnastics closely. I do. Just giving some background and education.
 

Willin

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2,624
I think a huge part of the problem is that the sport is too old fashioned. Sports are primarily entertainment. The athletes need to be both athlete and personality. In popular sports we see touchdown dances, huge celebrations/blowups for the good and bad, huge made for TV personalities, people that aren't scared to speak their mind, people that are living in the latest trends.

Skating restricts personality - we expect our skaters to be prim and proper and not do anything crazy. The skaters are so, so boring in interviews and on social media. What goes viral is the crazy - amazing programs/feats, cool music choices, reactions like Ashley Wagner's "bull****" on live TV. And skating hates that crazy. Some Korean skaters may get punished for (god forbid) drinking alcohol at a training camp hotel. That's how un-fun this sport is.
 

Karen-W

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I think a huge part of the problem is that the sport is too old fashioned. Sports are primarily entertainment. The athletes need to be both athlete and personality. In popular sports we see touchdown dances, huge celebrations/blowups for the good and bad, huge made for TV personalities, people that aren't scared to speak their mind, people that are living in the latest trends.

Skating restricts personality - we expect our skaters to be prim and proper and not do anything crazy. The skaters are so, so boring in interviews and on social media. What goes viral is the crazy - amazing programs/feats, cool music choices, reactions like Ashley Wagner's "bull****" on live TV. And skating hates that crazy. Some Korean skaters may get punished for (god forbid) drinking alcohol at a training camp hotel. That's how un-fun this sport is.
Or FS Xwitter tries to cancel someone for daring to express an opinion they don't agree with or they are offended about - Ilia Malinin last summer having to apologize for a flippant comment on an IG live - he hasn't done an IG live since then and do you blame him? Who wants to have to be constantly on guard and carefully watching what they say so that no one can find any offense in anything? Who wants to be that devoid of any personality?. Heck, even the federations will cut you out (eg - Meagan Duhamel) if you speak too candidly about anything.

I don't want this to devolve into a lecture about how Ilia's comment was deeply hurtful (that's a topic that's been discussed to death here already) but it serves as an example of how, in our current cultural climate we are willing to cancel someone and how the federations will act quickly to suppress and issue an apology for anything that is even the slightest bit controversial. One of the things that fans have bemoaned about the lack of Russians on the international competitive scene is that they never failed to bring the off-ice drama and entertainment value. Even now with their reduced visibility we still hear from the likes to Tarasova, Yagudin, Zhulin, etc all making snarky comments that get amplified by the Russian media. THIS is what we are desperately lacking and need in the sport on a global level. Not gonna lie, I appreciate the genuine respect and camaraderie that exists between the top men - it's such a joy to see Ilia, Adam, Yuma, Junhwan, Matteo, et al pushing each other and appreciating what each man brings to the ice, but I wouldn't mind some good ol' fashioned trash-talking and bravado from them. Let them show some personality and good-natured rivalries. One of the moments that struck me most, at Worlds, was Ilia's fist pump when his score came up. That was such a JOCK, athlete thing where you knew he was stoked at breaking the FS World Record. We need more of that and less stifling and shutting the skaters down. Let them breathe, let them be themselves, let them do or say something that generates clicks. Not all bad publicity is bad in the long run.

I'm not sure how to change things but it needs to start at the top with the federations approach - enough of this "I just want to skate my best" and more "I want to win." People still respond to winners and the desire to win. Allow yourselves to be like Sasha Trusova - unabashedly a jock who wants to win and who is devastated at losing. Give yourselves some sort of edge.

I'm currently catching up on the ISU Vision 2030 presentations from this morning and this afternoon. I am really intrigued by the Short Track efforts to develop their branding, especially the team concept with every country having their own team name (French Roosters, Belgian Ice Bears, Korean Ice Tigers, Japanese Ninjas, Australian Racing Roos, American Talons, etc). I think that's so cool and could perhaps be extended across the entirety of the ISU's disciplines. Why not have the same or similar branding for the team jackets in figure skating and synchro skating? Grow a unified identity for the entire sport, build up a country's whole success on the international level not just individual skater or pairs/dance team achievements? People might view short track or speed skating or figure skating somewhere online and see the hashtag for their national team and then look that up and discover other skating sports.
 

Willin

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I think the thing is, though, you can have a personality without offending people.

Marshawn Lynch, for example, became popular for his antics - like driving a golf cart around the football field in college, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” and his immense love for skittles. Klay Thompson is very popular because he’s so chill and something of a carefree airhead stoner type - he just says and does some really weird stuff. Usain Bolt got big in part because of his huge personality on the track.

These sports also make things a show: NBA players have some sort of weird fashion show, arriving to games dressed in ridiculous looking but ridiculously expensive getups to grab attention. The NHL thrived on explosive emotions like fights for a long time. Now that they’re allowed, NFL players try to come up with ridiculous touchdown celebrations to make fans and each other laugh.

Even on the ice, we can see that personality and music choice goes viral. Ilia’s hardly the most artistic skater out there, but his 6 quad FS to succession went viral in part due to the succession tie-in (especially given the show had just ended and the fans wanted content). A show program he did just went minorly viral again because he was skating to music people are into. It shows he’s in touch with Gen Z tastes and introduces skating to people that hate Carmen and Moulin Rouge. Even little things like that help.
 

Karen-W

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You can and it's funny that people pretend you can't.
I never said you can't. You most certainly can - before that positive doping test, Kamila Valieva was absolutely going viral - for all the right reasons in the sport. My point is that just because someone says something even mildly controversial maybe the collective "we" (the federations, the fans, those already involved with the sport) should refrain from shutting it down and issuing an apology. Even bad publicity can turn out okay in the long term. We don't need to be so sanitized as to have no personality.

One other thought from this morning's Vision 2030 presentation, specifically related to FS - it was pointed out that Michelle Kwan and Nathan Chen (but not Evan Lysacek 🤣) have something in common - both collaborated with Vera Wang for costumes. The question/observation was raised - why are we not working harder to make connections with high-end fashion designers for costumes? That's a natural, additional type of cross-promotion that expands awareness of the sport to more people. Skatewear designers are some of the best but can you imagine a collaboration with Valentino for Guignard/Fabbri or Stella McCartney for Fear/Gibson or Dior for Adam Siao Him Fa, etc? If the ISU could find a way to collaborate with the top fashion houses across the world for costume designs for the Worlds, Euros, and 4CCs medalists - and some high-end fashion shoots - plus maybe even promoting an annual design contest for rising designers to collaborate with maybe the Jr Worlds medalists - the promotional and advertising opportunity is better than their cheesy ISU Awards "Best Costume" contest by a long shot.
 

On My Own

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You most certainly can - before that positive doping test, Kamila Valieva was absolutely going viral - for all the right reasons in the sport.

Well, she was also going viral after that doping test. She was the most popular skater of those Olympics. I'd bet though that the doping scandal is what caused people to remember her name, not whatever she was going viral for before that.

I've pointed out that V/M were going viral on twitter in Feb this year or something. I think they went viral 30 or so times in total. But I doubt anyone knows their names at this point. I would guess it's the same story for most skaters.
 

On My Own

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5,792
but I wouldn't mind some good ol' fashioned trash-talking and bravado from them. Let them show some personality and good-natured rivalries.
Maybe trash-talking will work well in the USA, but I don't know if people would appreciate it internationally. Rivalries, sure, but you know the deal with Yuna/Mao. It can easily go out of control. The Hanyu/Fernandez rivalry worked but only because people knew they were friends - although I don't know how much it made the sport popular as much as it did those skaters, and mostly just one of them.
 

Private Citizen

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I kind of agree with no major change in the middle of an Olympic cycle. It feels like they make changes to push favorites forward at the expense of others. They should have a whole cycle so everyone knows what to train and time to plan safe training.

I tend to agree. I still remember when Russia led the illegalization of repeating the triple toe in pairs, so that Shen and Zhao could not longer do 2A+3T sequence and solo 3T. IIRC, this was the season leading into the 2006 Olympics. It was a very deliberate attempt to handicap Totmianina and Marinin's main competition, and then Shen and Zhao got injured trying to increase their tech content in other areas.

That said, haven't we already had some major changes in this cycle -- e.g., the change to the double axel sequence that is resulting in x + 2A + 2A sequences becoming almost required in pairs? I do think this needs to be fixed, and it would be more of an undo than anything else.

I also think some of the other changes -- e.g., reduction to six jumping passes and swap for one spin to be a choreo spin -- would be less technically taxing in most instances and shouldn't result in overtraining and injury.

What threshold are people thinking for "major" v. minor change?
 

On My Own

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5,792
That said, haven't we already had some major changes in this cycle -- e.g., the change to the double axel sequence that is resulting in x + 2A + 2A sequences becoming almost required in pairs? I do think this needs to be fixed, and it would be more of an undo than anything else.
In the 2007-08 season, the edge calls/warnings (can't recall which) were introduced for Lutz/Flip.

I don't mind mid-cycle changes. And this change is going to reduce the load on skaters, so not sure how it's going to handicap anyone.

I wish for step sequence rules to be simplified. Either lessen the requirement for level 4 or make level 3 the maximum achievable.
 

On My Own

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5,792
Oh also, a spin was dropped altogether from LPs in 2008-09 - similar timing, and similar reduction in requirement. Seems fine to me.
 

On My Own

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5,792
Some Korean skaters may get punished for (god forbid) drinking alcohol at a training camp hotel. That's how un-fun this sport is.

And?

They broke the rules they're 100% aware of. It's got nothing to do with skating, I bet similar rules exist for other sports in Korea.

I read that the Hungarian-Chinese Liu brothers who switched countries for short track were skewered by Chinese social media because they brought girls to their dorms (Chinese posters free to correct me if wrong). They are well aware of the rules too. What flies in your countries doesn't elsewhere.
 

Karotyna

New Member
Messages
8
I never said you can't. You most certainly can - before that positive doping test, Kamila Valieva was absolutely going viral - for all the right reasons in the sport. My point is that just because someone says something even mildly controversial maybe the collective "we" (the federations, the fans, those already involved with the sport) should refrain from shutting it down and issuing an apology. Even bad publicity can turn out okay in the long term. We don't need to be so sanitized as to have no personality.

One other thought from this morning's Vision 2030 presentation, specifically related to FS - it was pointed out that Michelle Kwan and Nathan Chen (but not Evan Lysacek 🤣) have something in common - both collaborated with Vera Wang for costumes. The question/observation was raised - why are we not working harder to make connections with high-end fashion designers for costumes? That's a natural, additional type of cross-promotion that expands awareness of the sport to more people. Skatewear designers are some of the best but can you imagine a collaboration with Valentino for Guignard/Fabbri or Stella McCartney for Fear/Gibson or Dior for Adam Siao Him Fa, etc? If the ISU could find a way to collaborate with the top fashion houses across the world for costume designs for the Worlds, Euros, and 4CCs medalists - and some high-end fashion shoots - plus maybe even promoting an annual design contest for rising designers to collaborate with maybe the Jr Worlds medalists - the promotional and advertising opportunity is better than their cheesy ISU Awards "Best Costume" contest by a long shot.
Oh, please, somebody give Adam Siao something to wear. His costumes after the Olympics are either WTFwhyWTF or cringey - not the 90s cringey, but still. The guy did quite the work to draw young boys to the sport, he deserves at least one good costume. There are so many french designers, at least one of them could come up with something that isn't mesh.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
2024 ISU Congress info page: https://www.isu.org/inside-isu/rules-regulations/isu-congresses
Tue all day – A15-A21 – Dev Commission report, Disciplinary report, Legal report, continuing Communications validity, Drafting Matters motions, Constitution Amendments (21 – USFS create Pairs Tech Cmte) & Motions labeled as DRAFTING MATTERS have been identified: 46, Gen Regulations Amendments – (45 – FS & Synchro age limits; 47 – USFS Sr pairs women age 16; 48-49 – CAN FS Jr age limits; 50 – CAN FS country switch release; 51 – AUT FS synchro 50% citizenship)
Tuesday's session 1 is live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjayZKutScc
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Thumbs up to all the ISU Development projects!

ETA a few videos from IceLab COE’s account of some of the ISU Development seminars this spring that were mentioned today:

“Art of Skating” camp with Kostner & Lanotte:

“The Artful Duo” pairs seminar:

2nd ISU Regional Development Camp for Africa & the Near East:
 
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Karen-W

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I was lucky enough to score some time off work this afternoon, from 2-4pm, so I hope to pay closer attention when they're debating some of the pieces of legislation, particularly the age limit changes.
 

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