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

Tak

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,714
Thank you for bringing up Midori Ito.
She certainly was a jumping genius even during her earlier years...1981-86.
Perhaps most relevant to current discussion is how her injuries and ISU rules impacted her career.
Around 1982-83, she injured her ankle and she did not return till 83-84 Junior Season. She managed to get Bronze at 1984 Junior Worlds (actually also known as 83 NHK in Sapporo, this Junior World Medal was required to allow her to compete in Senior event such as Olympics), and was all set to compete in 84 OLY, but she fell trying 2Ax at JPN Senior Nats SP, and was only allowed to compete at 84 Worlds (Ottawa). This is the only time, IIRC, she actually fell trying 2Ax, her most secure jump. This is because she competed as Junior, the entire season, using the same program where she was only allowed to jump 1Ax as a Junior, since 2Ax was forbidden in Junior Ladies SP Axel type jump, back then. Her relatively quick recovery from the first injury is clearly evident in 84 NHK performance.
The 2nd major injury to her ankle occured just before 1985 Worlds (Tokyo). Since puberty hit around the same time, it did take a long time for her to regain competitive form. Even at 86 Worlds (Geneva), she was not fully recovered, IMHO. She gradually improved 86-88, and she was fully back to her competitive form by 87 NHK and 88 Olympics (aged 18). 1988-90 was highlight years of her career (aged 18-20).
 
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coppertop1

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,352
No. Fifteen is fine. This smacks of targeting the young Russians and it's pretty stale. If the other skaters want to beat the Russians, they need to match them. That's how sport works.
 

florencewind

Banned Member
Messages
10
No. Fifteen is fine. This smacks of targeting the young Russians and it's pretty stale. If the other skaters want to beat the Russians, they need to match them. That's how sport works.
I think it is more people not being a fan of the Eteri approach to the sport and how it is playing out and seemingly will continue to. Young girls taught technique that works only on children, winning big for a year or two, then struggling and being usurped in their own rink and leaving the sport depressed.
 

coppertop1

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,352
I think it is more people not being a fan of the Eteri approach to the sport and how it is playing out and seemingly will continue to. Young girls taught technique that works only on children, winning big for a year or two, then struggling and being usurped in their own rink and leaving the sport depressed.
Then how would the age limit fix that? It's the approach to coaching th should be addressed.
 

cs.berlin

Active Member
Messages
116
Society seemed to have accepted the magic number (15) as the lower limit for an adult athlete in any sport for quite some time, because it was an absolute exception, just like the athletes themselves. There was nothing reprehensible about this. However, when the exception becomes the rule, with manifestations reminiscent of "assembly line products" and "disposable products with a short shelf life", it is a new phenomenon whose tendency to split will not last long for either a society or a sport. In the end, everything will be settled by money, when the great diversity is lost and the cows threaten not to want to be milked anymore.
 
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Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,563
Thank you for bringing up Midori Ito.
She certainly was a jumping genius even during her earlier years...1981-86.
Perhaps most relevant to current discussion is how her injuries and ISU rules impacted her career.
Around 1982-83, she injured her ankle and she did not return till 83-84 Junior Season. She managed to get Bronze at 1984 Junior Worlds (actually also known as 83 NHK in Sapporo), and was all set to compete in 84 OLY, but she fell trying 2Ax at JPN Senior Nats SP, and was only allowed to compete at 84 Worlds (Ottawa). This is the only time, IIRC, she actually fell trying 2Ax, her most secure jump. This is because she competed as Junior, the entire season, using the same program where she was only allowed to jump 1Ax as a Junior, since 2Ax was forbidden in Junior Ladies SP Axel type jump. Her relatively quick recovery from the first injury is clearly evident in 84 NHK performance.
The 2nd major injury to her ankle occured just before 1985 Worlds (Tokyo). Since puberty hit around the same time, it did take a long time for her to regain competitive form. Even at 86 Worlds (Geneva), she was not fully recovered, IMHO. She gradually improved 86-88, and she was fully back to her competitive form by 87 NHK and 88 Olympics (aged 18). 1988-90 was highlight years of her career (aged 19-20).
She just competed at the World Winter Masters Games doing pairs. And does the ISU Adult competitions. She is still competing because she loves the sport so much which is fantastic to see.

Maybe there should be a Masters competition. Bit like the Tennis which is held during the Grand Slam and other events.
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,490
Debating whether 15 or 16 or 17 or 18 is a more appropriate senior age does not make sense unless we understand the rationale for calling for the change.

If it is to discourage over-training of risky elements by pre-puberscent skaters to avoid injuries, then it seems quite pointless. Important but pointless. A higher senior age won't keep the boys / girls from training quads and 3axels since they can still perform them in juniors. This only makes sense if at the same time they raise the senior age AND prohibit certain risk elements at juniors or below (e.g. no jumps with 3.5 revolutions or above until seniors). I am not saying this should be done - I am saying this doesn't make much sense otherwise. Plus it still doesn't discourage young skaters over-training those hip-killing 3loop combos.

If it is to discourage poor technique, then it is totally within the judges' control via GOE. Whether they do a good job with it is another matter.

If it is to discourage over emphasis of difficult elements at the expense of PCS, then again it is totally within the judges' control via PCS. Again, whether they do a good job with it is another matter. Perhaps the ISU can also revisit the TES / PCS split as I suggested earlier.
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,490
On the subject of per country rules, I still think there should be measures to maximise elite participation even if the basic principle is inclusion. Being able to compete at the sport's biggest competitions should not hinge on where my grand mother was born or which Federation can pay my way for a quick release and citizenship.

For Worlds and Olympics, I am thinking perhaps

1. current season top 12 seasons best
2. current season top 3 world standing not included above
3. previous season top 3 seasons best not included above
4. top 6 from Euros not included above
5. top 6 from 4CCs not included above
6. top 6 from some sort of qualifying competition for skaters from countries not already qualified from 1-5
 

florencewind

Banned Member
Messages
10
Why should she have won a competition she wasn’t in? That makes no sense.
Well she should have never been ruled out by age and she was pretty much always going to win there. That would be true even if the favorites had all skated their best she would be the likely winner, but with the way it was skated it would be a cakewalk the way she went that season. The competition was so weak even Kwan (who was far from the favorite by then) would have had a shot at the gold if she skated cleanly and did a 6 triple long.
 

maatTheViking

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,771
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.

I feel if the ISU didn't want the sport to be dominated by 15 and 16 year olds, they would crack down on the 'bonus PCS' for high TES.

I do see this across the board, not just for the young women - people are rewarded with PCS based on TES and/or perceived skill/standing.
 

florencewind

Banned Member
Messages
10
Even with proper PCS there would be nobody who could catch with the Russian girls TES gap except maybe a perfect Rika. And the least TES gap is Alena who legitimately has the strongest PCS of the Russian girls.
 

gotoschool

Well-Known Member
Messages
919
In terms of fair scoring, my view is that the age issue overlooks the more central point that the Russian federation can issue tech memos to strong arm judges and tech crews to increase their scores even more as happened after the Cup of China late last year and the fact that the current defacto head of ISU figure skating is Lackernick former head of the Russian skating federation, former head of the tech control panel, and one of the main architects of the current scoring system and the one who presided over tech control when the highly biased scoring at Sochi took place which set the new Russian advantageous scoring precedent. The conflict of interest is stunning and even though Eteri's 15 year old skaters, Alena, Anna and Sasha for jumps are quite impressive, other challengers like Rika must make up a handicap in scoring because of their relative underscoring in all categories with the NHK trophy being one of the clearest examples when Alena's SP score increased by 9 points after the power play memo between the Trophy of France and the NHK. This 9 point difference ended up being the difference in total scores between Rika and Alena for both the SP and LP with Rika being scored much stricter in both segments.
 
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antmanb

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,556
Well she should have never been ruled out by age and she was pretty much always going to win there. That would be true even if the favorites had all skated their best she would be the likely winner, but with the way it was skated it would be a cakewalk the way she went that season. The competition was so weak even Kwan (who was far from the favorite by then) would have had a shot at the gold if she skated cleanly and did a 6 triple long.
Asada didn't even win Junior worlds the month after the 2006 Olympics took place so i'm not sure the predictions of her winning are that realistic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_World_Junior_Figure_Skating_Championships

And if she had competed then would Kim have as well, and if it went the same way as Junior Worlds....
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
Messages
13,580
Just searching around a bit, I noticed that there is an intersection between:

  • Child Labor Laws
  • Child Entertainer Laws
  • Minimum age in sports

This discussion should really be addressed more holistically, and include basic developmental needs, educational needs, who is profiting from the child's efforts, and THE HAZARD OF THE ACTIVITY. It is not just about puberty, who is winning, the coach, and from which country.
 
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florencewind

Banned Member
Messages
10
Asada didn't even win Junior worlds the month after the 2006 Olympics took place so i'm not sure the predictions of her winning are that realistic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_World_Junior_Figure_Skating_Championships

And if she had competed then would Kim have as well, and if it went the same way as Junior Worlds....
I did not see the Junior Worlds but I assumed Asada had an off event, especialy seeing how low her scores were, very low for her. I think her showings in the Senior events are a better indicator to her Olympic chances, and she had been dominant in her Senior outings, going a combined 5-1 vs the 3 Olympic favorites- Slutskaya, Cohen, Arakawa. Including comfortably beating Slutskaya, who before that loss was the heavy Olympic Gold favorite, at that seasons GPF.

Kim also could have been a contender for sure, but she did not have the amount of exposure Asada did yet and that would make it harder for her. That showed in her senior debut at Skate Canada 2006 where she came 3rd behind Rochette and Suguri with very low PCS, lower than even Suguri. It took her until the winter of 2007 to build up the reputation that her PCS rose to close to Asada's.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,563
Just searching around a bit, I noticed that there is an intersection between:

  • Child Labor Laws
  • Child Entertainer Laws
  • Minimum age in sports

This discussion should really be addressed more holistically, and include basic developmental needs, educational needs, who is profiting from the child's efforts, and THE HAZARD OF THE ACTIVITY. It is not just about puberty, who is winning, the coach, and from which country.
I think this is one of the best points I have read on this topic. Totally agree with you.

I would also add workplace health and safety obligations into the mix.
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
527
Having just watched the first day of Euros live, without the distancing effect of a TV camera, I think I'd like to change my vote from 16 to...oh, let's say 21?

Watching a bunch of, let's be frank, kids the same age and visible maturity level as the (extremely young and immature) kids I used to teach not only flinging themselves and each other around doing dangerous and terrifying things, but desperately trying to make an audience believe they have anything relevant to communicate in connection to music from Carmina Burana to Never Tear Us Apart - or indeed anything at all - and failing utterly, has had an unexpected impact. Good Lord, it was a relief when skaters like Bychenko and Brezina showed up!
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
Messages
22,563
Having just watched the first day of Euros live, without the distancing effect of a TV camera, I think I'd like to change my vote from 16 to...oh, let's say 21?

Watching a bunch of, let's be frank, kids the same age and visible maturity level as the (extremely young and immature) kids I used to teach not only flinging themselves and each other around doing dangerous and terrifying things, but desperately trying to make an audience believe they have anything relevant to communicate in connection to music from Carmina Burana to Never Tear Us Apart - or indeed anything at all - and failing utterly, has had an unexpected impact. Good Lord, it was a relief when skaters like Bychenko and Brezina showed up!
Hmmm I think you would find that is a large number of skaters. Most skaters pick music because they have to skate to something. Very few succeed in creating programs that genuinely have a musical connection. The ones that do really stand out from the pack.
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
527
^

It was more in the nature of a vent than a serious suggestion. But goodness, those little boys were lacking a lot.
 

starrynight

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,805
I would love for skating to be more like ballet. There are no 13-year old prima ballerinas. Can you imagine?!? It requires years of training of proper technique.
I agree completely.

The tiny kids are a bit of a novelty at the moment, but if the turnover keeps going at this rate the novelty will wear off.
 

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