Create Your Own Selection Criteria for 2025-2026

VGThuy

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After some heated but informative discussions about the Canadian and American selection criteria, I want to ask if you were given the task to draft your own for the next Olympics, how would you do it?

Using the U.S. current selection criteria below:

Group 1
Highest Priority
Group 2
Group 3Group 4
Lowest Priority
CRITERIA
FOR 2022 US
CHAMPIONSHIPS
Placed in the top 3
AND
Placed in the top 5
AND
Placed in the top 3
OR
Placed in the top 5
OR
CRITERIA
FOR 2021
INTERNATIONAL
SCORES *
Consistently scored equal to Top 3 at 2021 WorldsConsistently scored equal to Top 5 at 2021 Worlds
AND/OR

scored once equal to Top 3 at 2021 Worlds
Consistently scored equal to Top 10 at 2021 Worlds
AND/OR

scored once equal to Top 5 at 2021 Worlds
Scored once equal to Top 10 at 2021 Worlds
OR

consistently scored equal to Top 15 at 2021 Worlds


* Note: 2021 INTERNATIONAL SCORES must be from:

2021 Stockholm Worlds (done)
2021 GPs
2021 GPF
2021 Challengers
2021 JGP
2021 JGPF
2021 Other identified ISU events (not clear)

Let's pretend every skater competing this season retires. Let's have no emotional attachment to anyone. How would you re-write the above?

For me, for the U.S. specifically...

Looking at the chart above, I started to wonder if we really need Group 3 and Group 4.

I would keep Group 1 and Group 2 but also add OR Consistently Scored Equal to Top 3 Senior Level's Season's Best Scores for Group 1. I would add OR Consistently Scored Equal Equal to Top 5 of the Senior Level's Season Top 5 Scores and/or Score Once Equal to Top 3 Senior Level's Season's Best Scores for Group 2 to give the skater's a bit more wriggle room.

For those competing in the Junior GP, I would add some language that Junior Scores will be used with consideration of the different technical requirements and score ceilings for Juniors. For Mens, for example, they are missing 3-5 points by missing the choreo sequence in the LP and no quads are allowed in the SP. I would also give some acknowledgement that PCS and GOE CAN be stingier for juniors (though I'm not sure how true that is if you're a top junior trying to make a senior team in the same season as opposed to a Zagitova-like situation where she came off of Juniors and started her Olympic season as a senior building up her rep to get higher PCS and GOE).

Some people may think it's harsh to get rid of Group 3 and Group 4, but I'm starting to become convinced that slots should only be reserved for those who have shown they can challenge for medals or at least a top 5 placement which will let you play spoiler for a medal. I would then let Nationals dictate the rest considering scoring potential, who seems to be peaking right at the right moment, etc.

One problem with getting rid of Group 3 and Group 4 is that it gives much more discretion for the U.S. selection committee to pick the team if most of the contenders for the team fail to meet Group 1 or Group 2, but hey, sometimes it's good to have a debate. I would also put heavier emphasis on Nationals scores and base values (not so much ranking) because placement 3-4 with like a twenty+ point gap is different from placement 3-4 with like a 2 point gap. Of course, this has its own issues with callers not calling accurately and judges going crazy with GOE and PCS and manipulating results to get pump up their arguments. This is one reason I didn't change Group 2 to Top 3 from Top 5 at Nationals because it was bad enough with Vincent Zhou getting an undeserved 3rd place finish despite the fact he made Priority 2, but there would have been even bigger reason to do so if I made Group 3 Top 3 at Nationals AND international scores as opposed to the current Top 5 placement at Nationals AND international scoring criteria.

I'm interested in what you all would do.
 
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Karen-W

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Love this thread @VGThuy! I'll have to save a longer response for after work when I'm on my laptop than my phone, but one thing I would do is remove the "Or Score at least once Worlds Top 3" from Group 2 qualification. Either you demonstrate consistency in Worlds Top 5 scores or you don't get that priority status because you happened to get a lucky CS assignment with a generous tech panel (Warsaw Cup Dance, Lombardia Trophy Women). I probably would also require a Nats Top 3 finish for Group 2 but I'll have to ponder that some more because you do make a good point regarding the ridiculous tech panels in both the Men (and Women) at Nats this week.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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If the reason that the federations need criteria is that they inform athletes how they can be better prepared, I'd have to think about them.

However, barring that, I don't know if I think that selection criteria are needed. IMO, it's not that big of an ask for the federation's decision committees to evaluate the athletes on a dynamic basis throughout the Olympic season (and the winter half-season before it). As an example, I said in the Men's thread, Chen vs Zhou vs Uno at Skate America isn't that important compared to how they're each doing now (at least IMO). The peak condition and trajectory matter; the stakes, depth of field, and pressure at each competition matter, and boiling it all down to simple numbers isn't that useful. The data are too little for the numbers to mean much, and using your eyes and the domain knowledge should be more useful, assuming the decision committee has the required expertise. And they should absolutely each be compared to how the top skaters in the rest of the world are doing, and were doing through the season. The best possible team for a shot at the medal should be sent.

Or just send the top 3 if you can't trust yourself to do that.
 

VGThuy

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I think one good thing about having a selection criteria is that it puts some power into the skaters' hands (even though their scores are dependent on international judges and callers...but guess who is deciding their scores for the Olympics and Worlds?). By having none, you really are putting all one's eggs into the domestic Nationals judges and callers hands and we know how tribal and inaccurate that can get when the scores and calls may not match what happens in international competition.

And like it or not, data are useful when it comes to IJS. Often times, we have a pretty good idea of where skaters can hit at Worlds/Olympics by seeing how they score and get called and scored GOE/PCS wise by the time the GPF (which we didn't have unfortunately), Euros, and 4CC hits. Even if it's not entirely accurate and we do get some funky, unprecedented bump-ups at Worlds/Olympics, it's more accurate than going by no data whatsoever and relying strictly on domestic judging at ONE Nationals.
 

barbk

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Is there some value in looking at the lows or the degree to which a skater's scores are erratic? (Probably from a technical score perspective rather than PCS.) Abbott managed to achieve some real highs, but also some deep lows. Kwan was remarkably steady. Evan was pretty steady, but Johnny much less so.
 

VGThuy

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Is there some value in looking at the lows or the degree to which a skater's scores are erratic? (Probably from a technical score perspective rather than PCS.) Abbott managed to achieve some real highs, but also some deep lows. Kwan was remarkably steady. Evan was pretty steady, but Johnny much less so.
I think when looking at "steady", it's also worth looking at how much that "steady" is worth. Top Ten Jen steady was different than no lower than silver/then bronze for almost a decade Kwan steady.
 

overedge

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Is there some value in looking at the lows or the degree to which a skater's scores are erratic? (Probably from a technical score perspective rather than PCS.) Abbott managed to achieve some real highs, but also some deep lows. Kwan was remarkably steady. Evan was pretty steady, but Johnny much less so.

That might help, but that's also based on the assumption that calling and GOE standards are consistently applied across all competitions. Theoretically they are, but in reality there seems to be some, er, variations. Judges are also not the same across all competitions, which also affects the marking.
 

screech

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For the US requirements, I think there needs to be more allowance for skaters who compete junior internationally but senior nationally, since they're at a disadvantage score-wise when it comes to meeting the criteria.
I also think that nationals should be a bit more important than the fall season, as nationals is how the skater is doing currently where as the fall is a few months ago and could be completely irrelevant for current/future events.
 

VGThuy

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IMO, some definition of "consistently" would help, such as a percentage of events (for example, "consistently" isat least 50% of the time.)
I think that's fair. I think those who get to be in Group 1 or Group 2 and thus pretty much having a team spot reserved for them on the condition of a top 5 placement at Nationals should have to really EARN it. I think having only two groups and making it harder to achieve will also give more leeway to those skaters who couldn't compete that much in the Fall for whatever reason but have gotten physically better to compete in the second half of the season.
 

Karen-W

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IMO, some definition of "consistently" would help, such as a percentage of events (for example, "consistently" isat least 50% of the time.)
They did define that as the median score. So, basically if you had 5 events, you needed to score at or above Worlds Top Whatever 3 times in order to slot into a group criteria.
 

becca

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I don’t have a problem with Vincent. He could place 1 or 25th. He has a world medal he has really high technically content it makes sense to take him. He has good scores this season.


I didn’t have a problem with Ashley she said as GPF medalist and two top five spots at worlds

I just have a problem with rewarding body of work to skaters who have repeatedly demonstrated they are not competitive for a world or Olympic medal.

Over young talent
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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And like it or not, data are useful when it comes to IJS. Often times, we have a pretty good idea of where skaters can hit at Worlds/Olympics by seeing how they score and get called and scored GOE/PCS wise by the time the GPF (which we didn't have unfortunately), Euros, and 4CC hits. Even if it's not entirely accurate and we do get some funky, unprecedented bump-ups at Worlds/Olympics, it's more accurate than going by no data whatsoever and relying strictly on domestic judging at ONE Nationals.
I didn't say we should base it off ONE nationals, rather that there are a lot of hidden factors that should be evaluated throughout the season. So, it seems to be the incorrect reading of my post. Again, for that, I present Zhou vs Uno vs Chen. I wouldn't be saying he was on a downward trajectory, and has bombed TWO major, high pressure competitions, if I were just accounting for 2022 US Nationals.

Data are too little for the numbers to be useful, is what I said, at least in terms of numerical inference (the mean/median discussion that was going on a while back). And there are hidden factors like who was there in the field, who was on the technical panel, which competition it even was, so on. I don't think, for example, that Zhou is going to score his huge Skate America score unless a miracle happens and Chen and Uno do badly again (and Beijing moves to the US). However, we can judge the other parts of this datum point.

Numbers can still be used somewhat meaningfully, I agree, and I mentioned why Anna Shcherbakova should be on the team over Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, simply because she was getting huge scores without landing a quad, but again I'd say we're seeing the trend and reputation, rather than the hard numbers. A skater's reputation can be gauged easily by the time worlds hits, but that can also be gauged by other factors (reputation rises as they podium at GP events, make the GPF, see how they placed against others, so on, which again is less about a number, rather a trend), and instead of ever knowing the exact PCS or its ballpark, we compare reputations and say "X will outscore Y on PCS at worlds", do we not?

Again, the point of my post is not that we should use no data, rather no numbers, because distilling it to numbers seems strange to me. "Consistently scoring equal to the top 3 at worlds" is an example of that, that the skater is doing well enough to be equal or better than the reigning bronze medalist in terms of condition so it gets some useful information... but OTOH, maybe the number was achieved at a terrible worlds competition for it to mean much, and maybe the field was doing comparatively poorly, which I would say was indeed the case at Worlds 2021 Ladies; using this number blindly and trying to gauge hard information from it is strange to me.

I don't know if this makes any sense, so I will leave it be, though.
 
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VGThuy

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I don’t have a problem with Vincent. He could place 1 or 25th. He has a world medal he has really high technically content it makes sense to take him. He has good scores this season.


I didn’t have a problem with Ashley she said as GPF medalist and two top five spots at worlds

I just have a problem with rewarding body of work to skaters who have repeatedly demonstrated they are not competitive for a world or Olympic medal.

Over young talent
I get that argument actually, which inspired me to wonder if Group 3 and 4 was needed.
 

VGThuy

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I didn't say we should base it off ONE nationals, rather that there are a lot of hidden factors that should be evaluated throughout the season. So, it seems to be the incorrect reading of my post. Again, for that, I present Zhou vs Uno vs Chen. I wouldn't be saying he was on a downward trajectory, and has bombed TWO major, high pressure competitions, if I were just accounting for 2022 US Nationals.

Data are too little for the numbers to be useful, is what I said, at least in terms of numerical inference (the mean/median discussion that was going on a while back). And there are hidden factors like who was there in the field, who was on the technical panel, which competition it even was, so on. I don't think, for example, that Zhou is going to score his huge Skate America score unless a miracle happens and Chen and Uno do badly again (and Beijing moves to the US). However, we can judge the other parts of this datum point.

Numbers can still be used somewhat meaningfully, I agree, and I mentioned why Anna Shcherbakova should be on the team over Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, simply because she was getting huge scores without landing a quad, but again I'd say we're seeing the trend and reputation, rather than the hard numbers. A skater's reputation can be gauged easily by worlds, but that can also be gauged by other factors (reputation rises as they podium at GP events, make the GPF, see how they placed against others, so on, which again is less about a number, rather a trend), and instead of ever knowing the exact PCS or its ballpark, we instead compare reputations and say "X will outscore Y on PCS at worlds" do we not?

Again, the point of my post is not that we should use no data, rather no numbers, because distilling it to numbers seems strange to me. "Consistently scoring equal to the top 3 at worlds" is an example of that, that the skater is doing well enough to be equal or better than the reigning bronze medalist in terms of condition so it gets some useful information... but OTOH, maybe the number was achieved at a terrible worlds competition for it to mean much, and maybe the field was doing comparatively poorly, which I would say was indeed the case at Worlds 2021 Ladies; using this number blindly and trying to gauge hard information from it is strange to me.

I don't know if this makes any sense, so i will leave it be, though.
I would say though that if it was achieved at a terrible Worlds competition, then many more skaters should have achieved the score. If we're still left in a slate where nobody or only one person achieved it, then it still equalizes the playing field somewhat if we got rid of the other priority groups and just left the first two that are hard to achieve. I think we both want the same thing in that we want to give more skaters a chance to make the Olympic team at Nationals. I don't want to dismiss past scores in the Fall and at last year's big championships because I do think they are valuable and the skaters who medal at Worlds or showed scores in the Fall that shows they can medal is a really big deal. Especially if they hit top 3-5 scores consistently.

For the men, only two of them were able to do that. For the women, nobody was able to do that except Alysa Liu but I'm starting to wonder if I need to rewrite my criteria so a one-off top three score met at a challenger event (in what early October...middle of September?) doesn't control everything and excuse low scores elsewhere. I still think Liu did enough make the team given the rest of the competition, but I am still uncomfortable with how her Lombardia score really did control her grouping. Like at least Zhou didn't just have that one top 3 placement to put him in Group 2 as he also met the consistent top 5 score as well.
 

Mayra

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My selection criteria is Nationals results. Places 1, 2, 3 automatic selection.

Additional selection criteria that can be taken into consideration being a world medal the previous worlds and/or a GPF/ JGPF score that is comparable to a top 3 finish at worlds.
:shuffle:
 
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Karen-W

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I get that argument actually, which inspired me to wonder if Group 3 and 4 was needed.
And the more I'm seeing the BOW/Selection Criteria play out, the more I am feeling like giving consideration for skaters who aren't going to contend for Worlds Top 5, to the point that you essentially disregard a great Nationals performance, is ridiculous. We all know that 2018 wasn't Ross v Vincent but Ross v Adam. Why did it matter when all of the guys except Nathan were putting up scores that would place them in the lower half of the Top 10, if we sent Adam instead of Ross? We already had Nathan and Vincent - and their score/hypothetical group placements based on consistent scoring placed them Top 5 and Top 10 which is exactly where they finished, 5th & 6th respectively. Adam, also in the same score grouping as Vincent finished 10th. Did it matter where the 3rd guy finished all that much? No one medalled. So, why shouldn’t we have sent the guy who finished 2nd at Nats?

I haven't done the same analysis with the 2014 women, so I can't really comment on that decision of Ash v Mirai but, she didn't medal and she didn't place Top 5, so was it really worth all that angst of sending her over the 3rd place finisher at Nats? Not really.
 

VGThuy

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I agree with you for the most part, but Ashley did win a bronze at the GPF and I think her scores were competitive with the top ladies. Even considering there was no Yuna Kim or Kostner at the GPF, thinking she was a possible top 5 ladies skater going into Sochi, I think, was justifiable because if things played out differently, she could have been a spoiler for a medal. It just so happened that in Sochi, Sotnikova and Gracie Gold leapt over her, but Ashley was scoring well and could have been a player if things played out differently.
 

Karen-W

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I agree with you for the most part, but Ashley did win a bronze at the GPF and I think her scores were competitive with the top ladies. Even considering there was no Yuna Kim or Kostner at the GPF, a thinking she was a possible top 5 ladies skater going into Sochi, I think, was justifiable because if things played out differently, she could have been a spoiler for a medal. It just so happened that in Sochi, Sotnikova and Gracie Gold leapt over her, but Ashley was scoring well and could have been a player if things played out differently.
Well, like I said, I haven't done the same hypothetical analysis for the 2014 women as I did for the 2018 men, so it is possible Ashley would have been in Group 2 heading into Nationals. Maybe she would have skated differently/more confidently if she'd felt like her position was secure-ish. I don't really know.
 

VGThuy

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Well, like I said, I haven't done the same hypothetical analysis for the 2014 women as I did for the 2018 men, so it is possible Ashley would have been in Group 2 heading into Nationals. Maybe she would have skated differently/more confidently if she'd felt like her position was secure-ish. I don't really know.
Just quickly glancing, she would have been in Group 2 comfortably with a top 5 Nationals finish because every score she had in the Fall was in the top 5 total scores at 2013 Worlds (Ashley herself was one of those top 5 scores at Worlds). One GP score was within 2 points of a top 3 from 2013 Worlds and the other GP event was 3 points from the top 3 score from 2013 Worlds.
 

Karen-W

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Also, I think that there needs to be some more specific verbiage/language about the Team Event considerations that might be factoring into any potential group criteria.

Until and unless I see the USFS and USOPC start acting and treating the TE like it is as serious and as important as an individual medal, then there isn't any need to give priority to a lower half of Worlds Top 10 skater. If I see them, this year, treating the TE with any sort of strategic approach on the level that Skate Canada took 4 years ago, then I might change my opinion of their focus and critical thinking skills.
 

aka_gerbil

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Also, I think that there needs to be some more specific verbiage/language about the Team Event considerations that might be factoring into any potential group criteria.

I think it’s clear now that the team event is being taken very seriously just as the team events in gymnastics are. Gymnastics often makes decisions on who to take based on what’s in the best interest of the team event rather than individual potential. There should be language in there about the team event being a factor.
 

Karen-W

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I think it’s clear now that the team event is being taken very seriously just as the team events in gymnastics are. Gymnastics often makes decisions on who to take based on what’s in the best interest of the team event rather than individual potential. There should be language in there about the team event being a factor.
I hope so because I have been one of the only people around here analyzing the scores and potential placements in the TE across all disciplines and seeing that the USA is a lot closer to RUS for gold than the superficial conventional wisdom that says silver at best. Heck, there are people who think JPN has a chance at silver (not really), and there are others who still think CAN is in the medal hunt (unlikely).
 

becca

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I hope so because I have been one of the only people around here analyzing the scores and potential placements in the TE across all disciplines and seeing that the USA is a lot closer to RUS for gold than the superficial conventional wisdom that says silver at best. Heck, there are people who think JPN has a chance at silver (not really), and there are others who still think CAN is in the medal hunt (unlikely).
But I think the only way USA wins good is if the place top 2 in men’s in both sections. I don’t think that happens if they use Jason.
He is reliant on a lot of mistakes from other men.
 

Louis

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For the women, I think we need immediate revision of the criteria to encourage world-leading skills, which take time to develop.

E.g.: Successful execution of at least two quads or triple axels (total) at Nationals or an ISU event within the previous six months, with full rotation and average GOE not less than -2 should be required for Groups 1 and 2 (in addition to top 3 at Nationals for Group 1, and top 5 for Group 2).

It might also be worth considering minimum base value requirements for Group 3, perhaps 32 in the short program (achieved twice in the previous six months, which may include Nationals) and 62 (or at minimum 60) in at least two free skates.
 

Karen-W

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But I think the only way USA wins good is if the place top 2 in men’s in both sections. I don’t think that happens if they use Jason.
He is reliant on a lot of mistakes from other men.
Well, it isn't as though any of the men have been super-consistent in the SP this season except, surprisingly, Vincent (and to a lesser extent, Nathan). If I had my druthers and the Men's individual event was the 2nd week of the Olympics, I'd put Vincent in the SP and Nathan in the FS, but the best we can hope for is reverse.
 

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