ISU to evaluate feasibility of 2020-21 skating season

clairecloutier

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The ISU has established a Working Group, headed by Lakernik, that will monitor the feasibility of holding figure skating events during the 2020-21 season, due to the challenges of the current crisis.

The Working Group will decide whether it's okay to hold events or not. If it's decided to cancel events, they are supposed to provide a minimum 10-week notice. So the first notice of any cancellation (for the first JGP event) would be in mid-June.

Details: https://isu.org/inside-isu/isu-comm...cisions-of-council-meeting-april-28-2020/file
 

Debbie S

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Thanks for posting. I noticed the announcement also said that the season awards will be done virtually and they will provide details "in due course." Not that I was that interested in them to begin with, but it's nice to look forward to something skating-related, I guess.

I don't see how they'll be able to hold events in the fall, given that some countries are closed to int'l travel through the end of the year. The statement doesn't mention Challengers, but I assume they would also follow the 10-week notification?
 

nimi

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For sr GP events, the deadline for cancellations is 12 weeks before the event.
Latest by August 1, 2020 for first event (Skate America, October 23-25, 2020) which means 12 weeks before the event. This twelve-week deadline will also apply for subsequent ISU Grand Prix events.
Also, we get those prestigious ISU Skating Awards in digital/virtual form. Oh yay. Anxiously waiting for those "further details" that will be provided in due course. :rolleyes:
 

ChelleC

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I really think next season will be domestic competitions in the fall, and we'll be lucky if we have the ISU Championships in the late winter/spring.
 

skategal

Bunny mama
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Yeah I guess maybe Skate Canada could just be Canadian skaters and the other competitions the same thing?

But who knows if spectators will be allowed to attend.
 

Tony Wheeler

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The problem lies within the fact that it's not a worldwide procedure for reopening. Some countries have already suggested big events won't even be starting to happen again until around the time Worlds 2021 would take place. Some countries may not even open their borders for any kind of travel until well into next season. Sure, you can do domestic competitions but that would take a lot of 'only if's - take the USA. Are the cities even back open? Are the rinks open across the US or only in places that want to jump start the reopening process? Are the case numbers going back up after reopening which may potentially shut everything down again? Do people really want to travel, even domestically, through airports if this thing isn't 100% under control? Some people would be coming from very small towns to huge cities where the positive tests were much higher- do they even want to risk it? The questions could go on and on. Simply saying 'we are reopening and we are currently at level [x]' doesn't really mean anything if the chances of catching CV are still there.

I've said it before and I'm not trying to be negative, but numbers are still on the rise/even higher than what was predicted in so many places. I know the dilemma of keeping shelter in place rules/people not working/whatever, but I'm sticking by my opinion that reopening everything hastily, as some people are so eager to do, is just going to result in us going through this all over again.

It's already May and rinks across the world aren't open yet. I know the ISU has to give people hope and not completely shut out the possibility, but it's just a huge stretch at this point no matter how you look at it IMO.
 

barbk

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How long does it take for elite athletes to come back up to speed after significant time off the ice? I hope the planning reflects consideration for the increased injury risk if competitions are held in the normal fall schedule.

I question whether there is any need to hold junior competitions at all this fall.
 

Tony Wheeler

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How long does it take for elite athletes to come back up to speed after significant time off the ice? I hope the planning reflects consideration for the increased injury risk if competitions are held in the normal fall schedule.

I question whether there is any need to hold junior competitions at all this fall.
I don't think most elite skaters could really answer this question unless they've been seriously injured- but even then, depending on what the injury is, they still might have limitations as far as being on the ice. They might still be able to work out for example, but now most if not all gyms are closed so it's dependent on what they are able to do/are able to get creative. Diets may have also drastically changed. I have a feeling all of the skaters will have to take quite some time relearning a lot of their skills once they are back on the ice. And by this point in a normal year, a lot skaters would have already been getting comfortable with their new programs and maybe prepping for a test summer competition.
 

concorde

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I don't think most elite skaters could really answer this question unless they've been seriously injured- but even then, depending on what the injury is, they still might have limitations as far as being on the ice.
I don't think you can compare time off from an injury to time off from *********-19. When you have an injury, you still have access to your normal facilities (including doctors and coaches) whereas with *********, you have access to . . . Whatever is in your home (maybe some facetime with a coach).

It will be interesting to see how long it takes skaters to "rebound" after this.
 

Tony Wheeler

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I don't think you can compare time off from an injury to time off from *********-19. When you have an injury, you still have access to your normal facilities (including doctors and coaches) whereas with *********, you have access to . . . Whatever is in your home (maybe some facetime with a coach).
That's exactly what I said ;)
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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Any reason that the Junior Grand Prix couldn't be scheduled later in the year, and overlap with the Senior Grand Prix?
 

Tony Wheeler

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Any reason that the Junior Grand Prix couldn't be scheduled later in the year, and overlap with the Senior Grand Prix?
It would pretty much guarantee 3-4 international events every weekend for that stretch of nearly 2 months (if nothing is canceled), and I'm not sure the ISU would be able to keep up with all the resources involved.

End of October to even start these bigger international events assumes the majority of the countries have opened back up to the 'phase' that would include hotels being open, ice rinks being fully functioning, airports all being open, no travel bans, etc. I'm not so sure that the ISU would go forward with the start of the season if some countries were still imposing strict rules.
 

essence_of_soy

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After we lost Worlds to Nice, it seems Australia is cursed never to host a senior ISU Championship event.

I'm thinking at this point Four Continents next February in Sydney will be cancelled. Though talks of Australia lifting local restrictions is a possibility within the next month or so, international restrictions will likely still be in place for some time.

On a more serious note. USA isn't even close to flattening the curve.
 

misskarne

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After we lost Worlds to Nice, it seems Australia is cursed never to host a senior ISU Championship event.

I'm thinking at this point Four Continents next February in Sydney will be cancelled. Though talks of Australia lifting local restrictions is a possibility within the next month or so, international restrictions will likely still be in place for some time.
I'm still clinging to a faint hope...but that hope will do no good if the skaters from the other 4CC countries can't come.
 

marysy

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USFSA members just received an email from the president, Anne Cammett, with a timeline for when guidelines for reopening will be released. An excerpt from that email:

With close consideration of national guidelines, U.S. Figure Skating has been working with other leaders in the ice sports industry (notably U.S. Ice Rink Association and USA Hockey) and our own constituent groups to create a comprehensive plan that will help us return to the rinks in a safe and responsible manner.

Recognizing that each ice rink and associated business is unique and must adhere to its own state or local *********-19 procedures and restrictions, U.S. Figure Skating’s guidelines will be released and posted on USFigureSkating.org in three phases:
  • Protocols for Return to On-Ice Activities – No later than May 4
  • Standards for Disciplines and Programs – Week of May 11
  • Course of Action for Competitions and Events – Week of May 18
As you can imagine, there is no “one size fits all” guide in this situation. We anticipate there will be updates to these guidelines as more restrictions are lifted or if stay-at-home orders are restored. These updates will be conveyed on USFigureSkating.org.
 

starrynight

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I just want any calendar of events to be considerate to the skaters. I don't want skaters sitting at home panicking and stressing about events that have been scheduled when there isn't even an ice rink to go to.
 

Polaris

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How long does it take for elite athletes to come back up to speed after significant time off the ice? I hope the planning reflects consideration for the increased injury risk if competitions are held in the normal fall schedule.
Hanyu and Kim (Yuna) are best examples of the fastest an elite athlete can come back up to speed, so that's your lower bound.
 

misskarne

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Hanyu and Kim (Yuna) are best examples of the fastest an elite athlete can come back up to speed, so that's your lower bound.
Hard disagree. Hanyu and Yuna Kim also had a wealth of resources and money at their disposal to allow it.

Your lower bound is what the smaller country skaters with more limited resources can do. Which we don't really know.
 
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I cant imagine that a 2020-2021 season will happen.
I can imagine in the absence of a vaccine or medication it will be difficult for most sports sessions to ahead. There are just so many factors including each countries stage of recovery, the condition of the athletes after facilities being closed, insurance and even availability of transportation. It’s so disappointing for the athletes and fans but I know we will all want to protect people’s health.
 

Polaris

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Hard disagree. Hanyu and Yuna Kim also had a wealth of resources and money at their disposal to allow it.

Your lower bound is what the smaller country skaters with more limited resources can do. Which we don't really know.
Lower bound is fastest you can expect skaters to rebound. Upper bound would correlate to longer length of time.
 

MacMadame

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Hard disagree. Hanyu and Yuna Kim also had a wealth of resources and money at their disposal to allow it.

Your lower bound is what the smaller country skaters with more limited resources can do. Which we don't really know.
I have to agree with Polaris. Kim and Hanyu are the lower bound by the definition of what a lower bound is.

People with fewer resources will fall somewhere between the lower and upper bound and ISU will have to set the bar somewhere between the lower and upper bound based on some criteria that no one will agree with and will be bound to screw over someone's favorite but will hopefully be reasonable.
 

Colonel Green

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On a more serious note. USA isn't even close to flattening the curve.
This is a situation where we’re going to see a lot of variation even within countries, I expect.

Here in Canada, for instance, greater Montreal is probably the worst-hit part of the country.
 

carriecmu0503

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I can imagine in the absence of a vaccine or medication it will be difficult for most sports sessions to ahead. There are just so many factors including each countries stage of recovery, the condition of the athletes after facilities being closed, insurance and even availability of transportation. It’s so disappointing for the athletes and fans but I know we will all want to protect people’s health.
This is a *****. It is not going anywhere. We are going to have to learn to coexist with it. We cannot all just hide under our beds in fear forever.
The great depression that is going to happen soon if we do not get back to work is going to cause a whole lot more deaths than this *****. We cannot wait 12 to 18+ months for a vaccine for life to go on.
 

taz'smum

as @Jesche says - мама knows best
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How long does it take for elite athletes to come back up to speed after significant time off the ice? I hope the planning reflects consideration for the increased injury risk if competitions are held in the normal fall schedule.
Example 1 - Coming back from injury
After recovering from a broken ankle, once back on the ice, it took Alexis Miart 10 weeks to be ready for his first competition, but 14 weeks to be anywhere near the level he was at prior to his accident.
Bear in mind though, that he had been through intensive serious full-on rehabilitation, which had left him in better physical shape in terms of muscle bulk and cardio-vascular fitness, than he had ever been. Even the most dedicated skaters will not be able to achieve that level of fitness at home.

Example 2 - Coming back after a long period out of competition
It took Tiff around 2 years to get back to her previous level of international competition readiness after her 2 years partnerless. So I agree with some of what I have been reading in the Russian press, that for each month/week off the ice, it will take you at least that amount of time to get back where you were once you are back on the ice.
 

Tony Wheeler

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Example 1 - Coming back from injury
After recovering from a broken ankle, once back on the ice, it took Alexis Miart 10 weeks to be ready for his first competition, but 14 weeks to be anywhere near the level he was at prior to his accident.
Bear in mind though, that he had been through intensive serious full-on rehabilitation, which had left him in better physical shape in terms of muscle bulk and cardio-vascular fitness, than he had ever been. Even the most dedicated skaters will not be able to achieve that level of fitness at home.

Example 2 - Coming back after a long period out of competition
It took Tiff around 2 years to get back to her previous level of international competition readiness after her 2 years partnerless. So I agree with some of what I have been reading in the Russian press, that for each month/week off the ice, it will take you at least that amount of time to get back where you were once you are back on the ice.
Great examples, and if you combine them to the idea that skaters are not only off the ice now but they don't have their off-ice training/classes/schedule/availability and probably a much more lax environment than their coaches and nutritionists watching everything they do, the 1 month = 1 month equation may be off-set by all the extra factors.

Most of Europe has been through this for nearly 2 full months now, right? And the USA and Canada are about 2 weeks behind. Even with a hypothetical lax of the procedures on June 1, this example would suggest most skaters would be fighting to get back to their previous three months from then, which would then be a mad rush to be ready for any of the internationals. And of course, they'd probably be learning new programs on top of all of this. I don't think anything on a global level is going to be resolved in the next 30 days, though, and that would push us likely right into the beginning of 2021 as an absolute minimum, and I still think that's extremely wishful thinking.

I have a feeling we are all going to end up back here in a few weeks or a month questioning why we ever thought there would be a chance for the season to start/take place.
 

starrynight

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I’d much rather see happy, prepared skaters than a big splatfest.

My ideal would be for skaters to prepare for their respective Nationals and then find a way to proceed to Euros/4CC and Worlds in 2021 — if possible.
 

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