Should The Minimum Age That Ladies Can Compete As Seniors In Singles Be Raised From 15 To 17/18 Years Of Age?

Should The Minimum Age That Ladies Can Compete As Seniors In Singles Be Raised From 15 To 17/18?

  • Yes

    Votes: 70 46.7%
  • No

    Votes: 73 48.7%
  • Don’t Know

    Votes: 7 4.7%

  • Total voters
    150

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
30,596
That's true, and I don't recall the same frenzy after Lipinski's or Hughes' win, and they were both of tender age but a different nationality.
Actually there was a frenzy with Lipinski and even Kwan in the post-compulsories era where 13-15 year old girls started doing 7 triple programs at senior worlds so they actually changed the rules to make it 15 or 16 by whatever date right before 1997 Worlds, but Tara was grandfathered in since she had competed at 1996 Worlds. Then there were no exceptions unless you medaled are Junior Worlds, which helped Sarah Hughes out and allows her to compete at 1999 Worlds and thus every other World she qualified for before she turned 16, but Sasha Cohen wasn’t able to take advantage placing 7th at her junior Worlds and then got injured and missed the following season, so she had to debut as a senior internationally during the Olympic year at 17. After that, they stopped making an exception for junior world medalists. So it’s false that there wasn’t talk and debate with the American girls, especially right in the era directly following the elimination of compulsory figures. You had Jill Trenary talking about ladies skating being over or whatever (even though Nancy, Kristi, and Tonya were no teen waifs); you had Lu Chen saying “that little girl has my gold medal” about Kwan (they’re friends now), you had Bobek and Butyrskaya going on about offering something Different and more mature than a jumping bean, you had Slutskaya go up to Lipinski at 1996 Worlds and say “you don’t belong here” with Tara responding with“oh yes, I do...” etc.
 

Tony Wheeler

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,606
Actually there was a frenzy with Lipinski and even Kwan in the post-compulsories era where 13-15 year old girls started doing 7 triple programs at senior worlds so they actually changed the rules to make it 15 or 16 by whatever date right before 1997 Worlds, but Tara was grandfathered in since she had competed at 1996 Worlds.
15 by the previous July 1. And the interesting thing about Lipinski’s situation was that the USFSA committee voted in favor of sending her to Worlds in 1996 over Bobek by ONE vote. Had that been reversed, Tara still could’ve gotten there via Junior Worlds the next year but it would’ve been a much different path to the Olympics.

There were even younger skaters (sometimes 12 years old) competing at the major internationals in the past. Elena Vodorezova, Tracy Wainmann, Krizstina Czako, Zuzanna Szwed and Julia Lautowa IIRC, even Julia Sebestyen was at her first Euros when she was 13 I think.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,864
That's true, and I don't recall the same frenzy after Lipinski's or Hughes' win, and they were both of tender age but a different nationality.
See, e.g.,

Lipinski’s critics at the time weren’t as impressed: Simon Barnes, writing in The Times of London, infamously referred to her as a “robotic shrimp,” and when Salon’s Cintra Wilson traveled to Nagano to see the much-ballyhooed Kwan-Lipinski matchup, her takeaway was that the event featured “overwrought, totally digitally remastered, Spielbergian Happy Meal orchestrations accompanying good little girls like Tara Lipinski.”
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
Messages
11,904
That's true, and I don't recall the same frenzy after Lipinski's or Hughes' win, and they were both of tender age but a different nationality.
OH there was quite the frenzy after Lipinski left. There was not social media, so the fire storm was much smaller. It had nothing to do with nationality. And Hughes had a terrible season after the OLYS.....she left and went to college. Not a lot to say about that.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
Messages
13,581
That's true, and I don't recall the same frenzy after Lipinski's or Hughes' win, and they were both of tender age but a different nationality.
Age was an issue with both of them.

you had Slutskaya go up to Lipinski at 1996 Worlds and say “you don’t belong here” with Tara responding with“oh yes, I do...” etc.
Peter Carruthers used to like to tell that story :D
 
Last edited:

Seerek

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,380
Interestingly, when Rayssa Leal, Sky Brown and Misugu Okamoto grab the headlines in Tokyo this summer, 15/16 will seem almost ancient.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
22,459
No! I hated the age limit when it prevented a gifted skater like Mao from competing at the 2006 Olympics and I hate it still! I hate the age limit in gymnastics too. Often gymnasts hit their peak at 15-16.
Age limits will always affect some skaters adversely, while working well for other skaters. I see no way around that, and no age limits is not a solution.
 

UGG

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,372
The arguments people set out re gymnastics seems compelling.

When I was a little girl, (as far as I remember it) the gymnasts were all such tiny waif like things, and sometimes their skin almost translucent. Now, the explosive power of a Simone Biles or Gabby Douglas is a world away from that.

I think that as long as this sport keeps discussing the idea of puberty being the killer of a career, the more it makes sense to have seniors start at an age when puberty has already started happening. I think skating is in such a bubble, that it forgets how utterly bizarre it is to talk of how stopping being a child ends you in an elite sport.

As for what effect raising the age limit might have, I would hope that it means that firstly, sustainable jumping technique is taught and also there is a calm understanding that time is required for skaters to adjust to body changes when they do come. Trying to adjust to body changes in the glare of the seniors field after a season of success in a child's body creates panic and must be very upsetting for the skaters.
I agree! I remember the 1992 Olympic Team all looking sickly. I was the same age as Shannon Miller and I was about 90 lbs when I was 15 and I think she was like 70 lbs or something crazy like that.
 

attyfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,459
IMO, I'm not sure what raising the age limit would do as long as juniors are performing many of the same technical elements that the seniors do. I think it is immoral to experiment on the potential injury producing aspects of these elements on juniors (I think it smacks of experimenting on kids). After all, no one expects the same of little league players -- or even minor leaguers -- as they do from MLB
 

Kateri

void beast
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3,712
There was also outcry and debate at the time about Tara Lipinski being allowed to train and jump the 3L-3L, because of the damage she did to her hips. This isn't new.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,181
Well Kostner is in her 30s and she's having surgery on her hip so the argument is moot with regard to age. And, unless men are part of the age discussion, it's gender biased and also moot. Let the kids skate.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
30,596
I think the ISU may not want a sport dominated by 15 and 16 year olds for image purposes. That is debatable though. They don’t have that issue with the men so much or any other discipline because they are allowed to age and get better. It seems with the ladies there’s an attitude that skating is “only” a hobby rather than a career. And people like legends in the making like what Simone Biles is becoming or is.
 

starrynight

Well-Known Member
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1,805
Sports get big traction through having stars people can follow and - particularly for Olympic Year Sports - follow over multiple Olympics.

I'm still struck by that letter that Spielberg wrote Lipnitskaya which said 'You are the best discovery of the Sochi Olympics and we look forward to looking for you in PyeongChang 2018'.

At the time people laughed at him for being a 'once every four years fan', but it does show how people think about these things. Holding a presumption that she would get better with age and experience.
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
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11,904
There was also outcry and debate at the time about Tara Lipinski being allowed to train and jump the 3L-3L, because of the damage she did to her hips. This isn't new.
I don't think that is correct. I haven't seen any reports about concern for her injury until after the OLYS. Do you have a source?
 

Michalle

Well-Known Member
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2,175
A much simpler solution would be doing away with the limitations on athletes per country. Let as many Russian skaters qualify to Worlds as are capable of being competitive there and then we will see Medvedeva, Zagitova, and Tuktamysheva there.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
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22,459
A much simpler solution would be doing away with the limitations on athletes per country. Let as many Russian skaters qualify to Worlds as are capable of being competitive there and then we will see Medvedeva, Zagitova, and Tuktamysheva there.
There have to be country limits in order to allow for diverse representation in 'World' or 'Olympic' competitions.
 

hanca

Well-Known Member
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9,373
There have to be country limits in order to allow for diverse representation in 'World' or 'Olympic' competitions.
At the Olympics it is understandable, but why at worlds? If it was up to me, I would leave Europeans and 4CC as it is now (the best from every possible country, with max three per country limits), and worlds 24 completely best in the world, regardless of their nationality.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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30,596
I guess they fear in less competitive periods, there will only be like 3-5 countries represented in one discipline and it’ll look more like some weird intramural national championship than a true international sporting event with representatives from ISU member countries. I think Worlds is fine the way it is because it should have as many of the world as possible represented. I do think we could look into expanding the maximum amount of entries from 3 to maybe 4 or more possibly or maybe allow a country to earn an extra slot from what they gained at the previous Worlds based on a wild card competition or something before Worlds but we may need to have qualifying rounds again, which I don’t think anybody wants. Plus, competitions cost money and I don’t think the ISU wants yet another event.
 

UGG

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,372
In gymnastics, the best of the best don’t get compete in the AA either as they have the 2 per country rule. In 2012 Jordan Weiber was reigning world champ and placed 4th in qualifying but did not move on to the AA because Gabby and Ali were 2nd and 3rd.
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
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11,904
A much simpler solution would be doing away with the limitations on athletes per country. Let as many Russian skaters qualify to Worlds as are capable of being competitive there and then we will see Medvedeva, Zagitova, and Tuktamysheva there.
Solution to what?
 

Cutting the Ice

New Member
Messages
7
I agree with Axel Annie that more peer reviewed research is needed on risk of injuries when growing bodies are asked to perform difficult jumps repeatedly. I took a very quick look at the literature cited in PubMed (free to everybody). There were a few articles but this one interested me and points out the need to control repetitive training in young athletes. We can only wish that the figure skater who amazes us at 14 or 15, can continue to skate and improve in the sport rather than being side-lined or forced to retire because of injuries. Abstract below -

Epidemiology of Figure Skating Injuries: A Review of the Literature.
Sports Health. 2018 Nov/Dec;10(6):532-537.
Han JS, Geminiani ET, Micheli LJ
CONTEXT:: As the popularity and technical demands of figure skating increase, so will the number of athletes presenting with sport-related problems.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION:: Searches were performed across PubMed from 1980 to 2017.
The keywords searched were skating, skaters, incidence, and injuries. The search was limited to English-language articles and human participants. Relevant articles were cross-referenced.
STUDY DESIGN:: Clinical review.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level 5.

RESULTS: Previous studies suggest an increase in incidence of figure skating injuries from 1982 to 2003. When combining all disciplines of figure skating, there is a similar proportion of acute and overuse injuries. Within disciplines, overuse injuries appear to be more common in singles skating, while acute injuries are more common in pairs skating, ice dancing, and synchronized skating.

Lower extremity injuries are more common than upper extremity injuries in all disciplines, and pairs skating accounts for the majority of upper extremity injuries. Ankle sprains are the most common skating injury, and patellar tendinitis is the most common overuse injury across all disciplines. Stress fractures are the most common overuse injury in female singles skaters.

CONCLUSION: The predominance of overuse injuries in singles disciplines reflects their increasing technical difficulty, with more difficult jumps and longer training hours. Partner disciplines are more likely to involve acute injuries and upper extremity injuries due to high-risk throws and lifts. Emphasis should be placed on properly fitting skating boots, intrinsic foot and ankle strengthening, and lower extremity flexibility, which may prevent many of the common lower extremity and back injuries in figure skating.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
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11,547
Odd that concussion isn't mentioned.
Curious that the date range for increased injuries is 1982-2003 since they looked at literature up to 2017. They apparently missed the whole new quad revolution?
 

Cutting the Ice

New Member
Messages
7
Odd that concussion isn't mentioned.
Curious that the date range for increased injuries is 1982-2003 since they looked at literature up to 2017. They apparently missed the whole new quad revolution?
The article indicates that they undertook the study because previous older studies found injuries were increasing. This study was to include more recent literature. So not sure of your point but this study didn’t compare quad training to triple training but looked a type of injuries. WRT concussions, that could be included in acute injuries. I will need to see if I can download the entire article as a word limited abstract can’t include everything in the article.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
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18,627
That's true, and I don't recall the same frenzy after Lipinski's or Hughes' win, and they were both of tender age but a different nationality.
actually on the contrary...... not only nobody complained about Sarah winning and only skating 1 year more, but when Mao Asada was too young to compete in Worlds (by few months only she did not make 15), so many people cried "unfair".. :D and wished so hard that she could skate.

It was season 2005, when Irina Slutskaya was competing and won.... and people said "only because Mao unfortunately not able to skate".. :lol:
 

Brenda_Bottems

Active Member
Messages
214
Yes. 18.

I long for the days when ladies were actually ladies on the ice. When women like Tonia Kwiatkowski and Katarina Witt and Josee Chouinard graced the ice and our television screens with maturity,sensuality,and class.

I attempted to watch the Grand Prix Finals and felt as though I was watching a regional Russian gymnastics competition. Little girls doing a unimportant moves with no relation to the music,audience, or the ice.

Rest in peace,ladies figure skating.

Bring back school figures while we're at it too.

-BB
 

MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
Messages
31,174
There have to be country limits in order to allow for diverse representation in 'World' or 'Olympic' competitions.
There doesn't have to be anything. It depends on what the goals are. If the goal is to have the best of the best, then country limitations are stupid. If the goal is to have the most diverse field ever by country, then they make sense.

But even if you approve of that goal (vs. having the best of the best), there's nothing magic about the number 3.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
30,596
There doesn't have to be anything. It depends on what the goals are. If the goal is to have the best of the best, then country limitations are stupid. If the goal is to have the most diverse field ever by country, then they make sense.

But even if you approve of that goal (vs. having the best of the best), there's nothing magic about the number 3.
I guess they figure three medalists, three chances for a country to medal and possibly sweep. I guess it’s been three for such a long time they don’t want to mess with the formula. It’s not rational but I don’t like it when GPF has more than three qualifiers from one country even when they deserve. With a limited field of 6 per discipline, 3 is quite a lot already.
 

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