Missing the Novice, Junvenile and Intermediate Events

catcritter

Member
Messages
93
Is anyone else miss seeing the younger skaters stake this year. They all do such a wonderful job and are so cute to watch. I don't understand why they can't go to Nationals anymore. They worked for it and deserve it. I know they are sending them to some kind of camp, but it would have been nice seeing them compete.
 

jiejie

Well-Known Member
Messages
815
You can see them at the Sectional level. I don't miss them at Nationals (maybe Novice level), and for all kinds of logistical and cost reasons, it was just unsustainable. And the belief is that the unintended consequence was making Nationals be the final goal of a skater, rather than training to be internationally competitive. I remember when there was only Novice, Jr, Sr at Nationals and the Juvenile/Intermediate levels had their own Nationals.....which had issues of its own. I'd consider the new arrangement as a work-in-progress since this is the first year, so we'll all see how this Nationals and the follow-on Performance Camps go. At the very least, it might make it harder for China to locate and poach the upcoming young US talent.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
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28,304
You can see them at the Sectional level. I don't miss them at Nationals (maybe Novice level), and for all kinds of logistical and cost reasons, it was just unsustainable. And the belief is that the unintended consequence was making Nationals be the final goal of a skater, rather than training to be internationally competitive.
Yes, the USFS report explaining the change specifically said that among some groups (e.g. parents) there was too much focus on medals and not enough on skater development. E.g. holding a skater in a category for another year so they might get a medal, as opposed to moving them up into a higher competitive level where they would have to develop their skills more.

That being said, for some skaters, going to Nationals (not necessarily winning there) is a reasonable goal, and a reward for their hard work throughout their career. I do feel bad for those skaters who might not now have that opportunity.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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36,541
I thought adding Juvenile and Intermediate to Big Nationals was a mistake. It made the whole event way too long and insane, especially for the coaches. Plus I'm not sure having those younger kids mixing with the older kids was a good idea. (There is a lot of partying that goes on at Nationals.)

But I kind of miss Novice being there. It's probably only because that's what I'm used to. But I still remember Rachael Flatt as a bubbly kid winning Novice Ladies and how fun it was to watch.
 

once_upon

Voter
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15,745
I miss the Novice level at Nationals. The kids were always so excited to be there. I remember first seeing Beebee as a novice, I think I first saw Adam as a novice competitor. So many others that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to be introduced to early on.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
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5,573
Back in the day, Australia used to have two separate National Championships. One for Junior, Senior, and Synchro skaters, and another for Novice to Primary. Now, everything is scheduled into one big week with the addition of Adult Masters. While a lot of the skaters only stay for their specific competitions, some take in the entire championship to learn and soak up the experience.

From an educational point of view, it can be beneficial to see what needs to be done working towards higher levels.

While some skaters may never graduate to the next phase for whatever reason, just getting there is a nice reward for all of the years of work put in as well.

I understand that US Skating looks at athletes for their Olympic and long term potential, and as some posters have mentioned, just the logistics and costs involved in putting on such a big event. But not going to nationals as it were, seems to diminish the lower levels somewhat. Future stars probably don't get the same press coverage or fan buzz at sectionals, either.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
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5,573
I’m missing the novice singles.
Back in the day, one of the biggest highlights from going to the US Championships was seeing an unknown Tara Lipinski burst onto the national scene at the novice level. I was like, "Who's that girl? She's definitely got a big future ahead."
 

Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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11,944
Back in the day, one of the biggest highlights from going to the US Championships was seeing an unknown Tara Lipinski burst onto the national scene at the novice level. I was like, "Who's that girl? She's definitely got a big future ahead."
I also remember seeing the then-tiny Todd Eldredge winning Novice Boys in (I think) 1984...oh, and Rudi Galindo winning Novice Boys in 1982 Indy! I got to know his dad and other family then...up in the bleachers, during figures. We all spoke Spanish. Most unusual back in the "country club era" - LOL!
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
516
Under the old system, the top 4 Novice skaters in each Section moved to Nationals. Under the new system, only the top 2 advance. So you are getting to see half of those Novice skaters (2 vs 4) but they are now skating as Juniors. Hope that makes sense.
 

Twizzler

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1,346
Under the old system, the top 4 Novice skaters in each Section moved to Nationals. Under the new system, only the top 2 advance. So you are getting to see half of those Novice skaters (2 vs 4) but they are now skating as Juniors. Hope that makes sense.
But that’s only for singles. Pairs and dance do not advance at all.
 

Dobre

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7,820
I think it was really valuable to have Novice Nationals. It is a great motivator for talented youngsters and gives those athletes moving up to the JGP some high-pressure competition experience. Also allows the decision-makers selecting athletes for the JGP to see how specific athletes respond to a make-or-break competition. (In my experience, strong competitors are often strong competitors at every level. It's not something that you see in practices or necessarily at a training camp).
 

azcalder

Active Member
Messages
147
I think it was really valuable to have Novice Nationals. It is a great motivator for talented youngsters and gives those athletes moving up to the JGP some high-pressure competition experience. Also allows the decision-makers selecting athletes for the JGP to see how specific athletes respond to a make-or-break competition. (In my experience, strong competitors are often strong competitors at every level. It's not something that you see in practices or necessarily at a training camp).
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
516
I think it was really valuable to have Novice Nationals. It is a great motivator for talented youngsters and gives those athletes moving up to the JGP some high-pressure competition experience. Also allows the decision-makers selecting athletes for the JGP to see how specific athletes respond to a make-or-break competition. (In my experience, strong competitors are often strong competitors at every level. It's not something that you see in practices or necessarily at a training camp).
I would argue the opposite. Having the top 2 skaters from Novice compete against the Juniors give the decisions makers an apples to apples comparison of the skaters.

BTW, most of the top 2 Novies competed as both Novices and Juniors over the summer (Isabeau Lavito is an example) so they did not just tweak their program just in time for Nationals.
 

Vark

New Member
Messages
8
Not for pairs and dance. They have limited opportunities to compete throughout the year. There are less teams every single year.

I would argue the opposite. Having the top 2 skaters from Novice compete against the Juniors give the decisions makers an apples to apples comparison of the skaters.

BTW, most of the top 2 Novies competed as both Novices and Juniors over the summer (Isabeau Lavito is an example) so they did not just tweak their program just in time for Nationals.
 

concorde

Well-Known Member
Messages
516
If you look at how pairs and dance qualify, it really is an entirely different model from how singles skaters qualify. While ladies and men have the same model, the odds of a male qualifying is much better than a lady qualifying.

I still do not understand how pairs and dance qualify. From what I understand, teams can get a NQS bye to Sectionals. Teams do not have a Regionals since their Sectionals is at the same time as singles Regionals. Then while Singles have Sectionals, I believe there is a finals for teams. So then what is Nationals? I think it is the top teams moving forward from finals.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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36,541
Not for pairs and dance. They have limited opportunities to compete throughout the year. There are less teams every single year.
My experience watching Novice Pairs is that they were allowed to do moves that were beyond the ability of a typical Novice skater. So I think that problem has to be solved first before we worry about whether they should be allowed to go to Nationals or not. (This is less of an issue for Juvenile and Intermediate because they aren't doing lifts.)


I know the justification for not having Nationals for the lower levels is that many skaters would have "Nationals" on their resume, which looks good for colleges so they'd quit to go to college. If they can't get "Nationals" on their resume, the thinking goes, they will stay in. I think that's mixing up the chicken with the egg. (Putting the cart before the horse?) Anyway, as an athlete who participates at a non-elite level in a different sport, I would say the following:

-most of those athletes were going to quit skating to go to college anyway. If they know there is a possibility to have "nationals" on their applications, it's helpful to them and might keep them skating through High School (a lot of skaters quit skating so intensely around then because they want to have a more "typical" HS experience).

-most skaters are not going to make the World or Olympic team someday. For those skaters, having the opportunity to go to a "Nationals" type of event is a wonderful experience and very motivating. (I'm plotting how to get to a particular "Worlds" event that I haven't qualified for yet myself and it's keeping me motivated in my sport.)

I understand the financial aspects of putting on a Junior Nationals event and also the logistics when it was combined with Senior Nationals. I don't think that arrangement was sustainable. But I think there needs to be something more than what there is now for the kids skating who are Junior High aged and above.
 

gkelly

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15,378
I still do not understand how pairs and dance qualify. From what I understand, teams can get a NQS bye to Sectionals. Teams do not have a Regionals since their Sectionals is at the same time as singles Regionals. Then while Singles have Sectionals, I believe there is a finals for teams. So then what is Nationals? I think it is the top teams moving forward from finals.
There have not been any regional dance or pair competitions for approximately 15 years. (I'd have to look up exactly when that ended.)

All teams started their competition season in November at Sectionals, unless they had international byes at higher levels or there were not enough teams in their section to require a competition and they did not choose to skate anyway, in which case they could advance straight to Nationals (or Junior Nationals if applicable).

As of this year, as I understand it, the sectional pair and dance competitions are now held in October, in conjunction with one of the regional singles competitions in that section. All teams are automatically qualified to begin their competition season there.

At each level the top 5 teams from each of those sectional events qualify for a national event held in November, in conjunction with one of the singles sectionals, called the U.S. Pairs Final and U.S. Dance Final. Also the top 3 teams nationally from the NQS at each level are automatically qualified for the November "Final" events, so those teams could skip the October sectional events and go straight to the Final in November.

For juvenile, intermediate, and novice levels, this November event is essentially a nationals, although it is not officially named a championship. Everyone competing there had to qualify to get there, unless there were too few teams in their section to require an event.

The top 9 juv, int, nov teams from the Final get invited to the high-performance camp held in January in conjunction with Nationals.

Junior and senior teams qualify to the Final in the same way (NQS or sectional challenge in October), although there will be fewer teams competing at those levels. The top 12 teams (assuming there are at least 12 competing) at the Final plus anyone who has byes straight to Nationals get to compete at Nationals in January.
 

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