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: 82 46.3%
  • No

    Votes: 86 48.6%
  • Don’t Know

    Votes: 9 5.1%

  • Total voters
    177

DreamSkates

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,661
That would include concussions, rape, sexual assault, daring adolescent girls to ask older men to send them photographs of genitalia, eating disorders, psycological abuse, pushing prepubescent ice dancers to perform on Russian evening television, and girls under the age of eighteen doing triple axels and quadruple jumps to compete at their respective Nationals, where the ISU rules would not apply.

Not that funny when you think about it.
It sounds like adults involved, who make the rules, or disregard integrity, is more at fault than age. Or age invites taking advantage of youth in too many ways.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
Messages
43,210
In some sports, they have figured out what kinds of movements cause issues and they limit those. Like young pitchers only do a certain amount of pitches in a week and certain types. But figure skating, we don't know that. People have ideas of what they think is causing the issues, but not enough hard data.

If we did, then the sport could issue guidelines such as "no more than 6 hours of skating a week until you go through puberty" or "no triple loops until your growth plates are fused" (or whatever the data shows is the answer to the problem). But we don't which means raising age limits is just a "throw it on the wall and see if it sticks" solution to a problem we can't even agree on.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
19,762
I just looked at the poll results and was surprised to see that there is currently an 80-80 tie, with 8 "Don't know" votes.

I didn't vote, but I might have voted for raising the minimum age to 16 if that were an option. As it is, if I did vote, I'd vote "Don't Know."

Would anyone here say that the minimum should be 18, not just 17?
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,735
I'm sure I've said this before -- so often these discussions start with offering a solution (Raise the age limit!) and then debating what the problem is that solution is supposed to solve.

It seems to me it would make more sense to start the discussion with the problem (whatever the poster might be concerned about) and then offer possible solutions to address that problem. Age limits could be possible solutions for some such problems. But if we know what we're trying to solve, at least we would all be on the same page as to what the discussion is really about in the first place.

I also find it odd that this thread was started specifically about raising the age limits for ladies to compete as seniors in singles, rather than just raising the age limits for singles skaters regardless of gender. Why shouldn't the ages be the same for both?

As is, it seems that the thread starter would be fine with leaving the age limit as 15 for boys. But if anything it would probably make more sense for the age limits to be older, not younger, for boys than for girls, if there is to be any difference at all.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
24,756
I also find it odd that this thread was started specifically about raising the age limits for ladies to compete as seniors in singles, rather than just raising the age limits for singles skaters regardless of gender. Why shouldn't the ages be the same for both?

I had the same thought. And while I'm not lawyer, it seems to me that it would be discrimination to raise the age limit for ladies, but not for men.
 

briancoogaert

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,531
Again, IMO, the problem is not the age, but the judges.
If judges put according marks to what skaters really do on the ice, no problem.
A lot of Eteri's skaters should have 5 in PCS, not more, and no +GOE for their awfull jumps. If they were marked like that, they would be forced to work on their basics, to have better edges, better placements, better technique, and less injuries. JMHO. ;)
 

starrynight

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,001
Well let's see what happens this season.

All 3 of the Russian trio will be 18 or almost 18 at the end of the season. So it will be a taster of what an older age limit would offer us.

I think what happens with them will be significant in how people view the age limit.
 

hanca

Values her privacy
Messages
11,780
Well let's see what happens this season.

All 3 of the Russian trio will be 18 or almost 18 at the end of the season. So it will be a taster of what an older age limit would offer us.

I think what happens with them will be significant in how people view the age limit.
I think even the ‘mature’ 18 year old will be pushed to have the harder jumps. We will see that it is possible to have those jumps at their age, after all, Mirai Nagasu learned 3A as a mature lady, Tuktamysheva managed to keep 3A into adulthood and learned quad toe loop as an adult. Considering that quite a few junior ladies were trying quads even at the test skates, it shows how to sport expectations (at least in Russia) moved and seniors won’t be able to stop doing those hard jumps even if the age limit moves. The seniors ladies will have the juniors nibbling at their heels; they will be pushed to keep up with the quads.
 

starrynight

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,001
Well we will just have to see what happens with the Russian trio, how their Olympic season goes and if they continue their careers after 2022 and how that goes. Or if inevitably they just get replaced with 15 year olds. Time can only tell.

There are always more tiny juniors waiting in the wings. But the stories of whether the current skaters will continue in the sport as adults is more interesting to me.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
Messages
4,369
I'm sure I've said this before -- so often these discussions start with offering a solution (Raise the age limit!) and then debating what the problem is that solution is supposed to solve.

I'm interested in this, too. If longevity is the concern, changing the per country limits could help so that the older skaters aren't constantly pushed out by the next wave of 15-year-olds.
 

alchemy void

SLAY DAŠA!!!
Messages
26,374
A lot of Eteri's skaters should have 5 in PCS, not more, and no +GOE for their awfull jumps. If they were marked like that, they would be forced to work on their basics, to have better edges, better placements, better technique, and less injuries. JMHO. ;)
THIS. Although then we're led back into the never-ending circular discussion of how to fix IJS and (more importantly) the judges' application of IJS. :p

My suggestions:
  • revise the GOE bullet points for jumps. BIG jumps aren't rewarded nearly enough. I want the emphasis to be: height, speed in and out of the jump, CLEAR entrance edge (none of this edge flopping a microsecond before takeoff), clear rotations, and control of landing edge.
  • I think we need to clearly look at some sort of penalty for cheating not only jump landings, but questionable jump entrances. I'll let those more qualified than I to tackle that.
  • The jumps of Kaori Sakamoto or Loena Hendrickx could be a template for top-tier GOE.
  • Emphasis back on controlled jump landings. I don't need to see 5 twizzles and a leg kick out of the landing on a triple flip. It was novel for one year, but not so much anymore.
  • PCS is broken. Categories need to be simplified. More emphasis on SPEED and ICE COVERAGE in skating skills, less in transitions. Again, look to Sakamoto and Hendrickx as examples there.
  • More emphasis on performance, audience engagement, and cohesive choreography
  • If you want to do a transition-heavy program, great, but the transitions score can't drive the rest of the program. Vary the PCS, something like 6.50 / 8.75 / 8.00 / 7.00 / 6.50 would be refreshing to see.
  • Rebalance the SP and the LP. Make the SP the technical program. 3 jumping passes, allow quads, etc. The LP should have more freedom, maybe 5 jumping passes, a base level artistic spin, no footwork levels, etc. It's still difficult and a sport, and the jumpers can still max out quads and combos in the LP, but allow more artistic freedom in the LP.
  • Separate TES and PCS panels. The judges have repeatedly demonstrated they can't separate TES and PCS, too bad if they don't like it or are bored. Hold judges accountable for their PCS scores, since that's their only focus.
  • Revise the PCS categories and apply more measurable and less ambiguous bulletpoints to more quantify PCS.
Essentially, fix the GOE bulletpoints and PCS to benefit my favorite skaters. :shuffle:
 

hanca

Values her privacy
Messages
11,780
Well we will just have to see what happens with the Russian trio, how their Olympic season goes and if they continue their careers after 2022 and how that goes. Or if inevitably they just get replaced with 15 year olds. Time can only tell.

There are always more tiny juniors waiting in the wings. But the stories of whether the current skaters will continue in the sport as adults is more interesting to me.
It doesn’t really matter what will happens with the Russian trio. Every year more and more skaters with those jumps will be becoming eligible. So even if the Russian trio had a bad season, and even if falls on quads prevented Trusova to medal at the Olympics, skaters will still keep doing it. I remember times when only a handful ladies were doing 3-3 in the SP at the Europeans. And times when one quad in men was enough. Times when men someone without quad won Olympics, and worlds…it won’t happen now. The same will happen in ladies. The majority of ladies can do 3-3 in the SP and seven triples in the FS, and have their spins at high levels. The only way to ensure winning is now increasing technical mark.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,735
Possible problems that higher age minimums might be proposed to address:

*Minimizing the physical demands on the bodies of still-growing teens and preteens, to reduce the incidence of serious injury among minors who are not in a position to make wise training decisions of their own nor to override unwise demands by adults

*Minimizing the incidence of severe chronic and acute injury among skaters of all ages

*Minimizing the psychological demands on minor athletes whose athletic promise/success leads to pressure to win medals for their home countries and to lead their young lives under constant public scrutiny

*Allowing athletes who want to have successful careers in the sport as adults to plan and develop their careers accordingly and to have a fair playing field on which they won't be pushed out by younger athletes just because the sport places the highest priority on skills that favor less mature bodies

*Allowing for long careers for the benefit of fans who enjoy watching individual athletes develop from adolescence to adulthood

*Allowing for adult careers for the benefit of fans who prefer to watch young adults rather than young adolescents

*Equalizing the skill sets, demands, and expectations between the men's and women's events

Anything else?

Choose one of the above. Start a thread and pose the problem to be solved. Then we can brainstorm solutions.

Some of those "problems" would probably benefit from opposite solutions.

(E.g., other issues for which the proposed solution might be leaving the age limits as is or lowering or eliminating the senior minimums would be to avoid official age discrimination, to embrace turnover among champions to allow more athletes a chance at the top, to prioritize the [jumping and/or flexibility] skills that tend to peak in mid adolescence among female skaters)
 

AxelAnnie

Like a small boat on the ocean...
Messages
13,638
Well let's see what happens this season.

All 3 of the Russian trio will be 18 or almost 18 at the end of the season. So it will be a taster of what an older age limit would offer us.

I think what happens with them will be significant in how people view the age limit.
I don't think is a valid test of anything. These girls have been skating in Ladies competitions for years. They are not coming into a new level.
 

screech

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,540
As is, it seems that the thread starter would be fine with leaving the age limit as 15 for boys. But if anything it would probably make more sense for the age limits to be older, not younger, for boys than for girls, if there is to be any difference at all.
I think that reason for mentioning women only is that we see so many younger females competing than males. How often do we see 15 year old males having huge breakthroughs on the international scene compared to females? The last male youngster I can really think of is Stephen Gogolev, and IIRC when traning with Orser, there were limits put on how much he could practice the harder elements each day.

I feel like the age keeps shifting. I may be misremembering, but wasn't it 16 at one point? Then it became 15 by the previous July 1...

Personally, I think 16 is an okay age. A lot of female skaters reach puberty at later ages than the average person due to the toll being placed on their bodies. By 16 I feel that more would have reached that stage, and are less likely to have growth-related injuries.
However, no matter the age limit, it doesn't stop the younger skaters from attempting the harder elements, which is the major problem. There are already some limitations in what can be done by juniors in competition, but if their bodies can do it, they will keep pushing themselves in practice. The age limit will have no effect on that.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,735
I feel like the age keeps shifting. I may be misremembering, but wasn't it 16 at one point? Then it became 15 by the previous July 1...

It's been 15 as of July 1 since the 1996-97 season. There were a few exceptions during those first few years that have since expired.

The effect is that by the time Worlds comes around at the end of March, ~3/4 of the skaters who are in their first year of eligibility will already be 16. But the cutoff has not changed in the past 25 years.

Before 1996, I don't know what the rules actually said, but whatever limits there were back then were lower and/or more flexible.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
Messages
9,360
It's been 15 as of July 1 since the 1996-97 season. There were a few exceptions during those first few years that have since expired.

The effect is that by the time Worlds comes around at the end of March, ~3/4 of the skaters who are in their first year of eligibility will already be 16. But the cutoff has not changed in the past 25 years.

Before 1996, I don't know what the rules actually said, but whatever limits there were back then were lower and/or more flexible.
It was 15 for the Olympics starting in '96-97, and 14 for all other international competitions until 2014 when it was moved to 15.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,097
Could you imagine Kostornaia or a young Michelle Kwan or Mao Asada or even Carolina Kostner having to wait another two years to compete (in Kwan’s case- 4 years)?

I think 15 is a fine age. Like I’ve said elsewhere regarding the subject- some skaters are more than senior-ready by the time they are 15. Some still aren’t skating emotionally-geared programs into their late 20’s and early 30’s.

What I do think the ISU needs to consider is making the ladies/pairs PCS follow the same as the men. No more 80% of the total- just give them the full 100% and 1.0/2.0 factors.
How about a press release after 1998 USN if the age was 18?

"Youngsters Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski stole the show in Philadelphia last night. However, due to being unable to compete as seniors internationally, the Olympic Team for Nagano will consist of only two members this year, as first time World team member Nicole Bobek was only able to place 13th in her first ever World championship last year. The other skater representing the United States is Tonia Kwiatkowski, a 5-time World team member, and the favorite of the elder figure skating fans who like "old style, conservative skating without the gymnastics". A spectator present spoke to us and replied "Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski? Yes, they are phenoms. But they are just little girls. I'd rather see a woman at the Olympics show how artistic that skating can be. Michelle Kwan can wait her turn until she matures into an artistic skater. Tonia Kwiatkowski has age on her side, since she also competed in figures her entire life until she turned 18, so she brings to her skating those long-forgotten edge skills of the all-time greats to become a much better artist than the National champion. You can tell for instance that Kwan and Lipinski never competed in figures. Kwiatkowski's skating ability is MUCH higher than Kwan or Lipinski, due to her competing in figures", says this longtime fan of figure skating who proudly asserts that she learned everything about skating from the 'internets' and from what she remembers from the early 70s when she first watched a skating competition. USFS is hoping for a podium finish by their bronze medalist Bobek, and that Kwiatkowski, who didn't even make it past qualifying in her first WC in 1993 and has been in/out of the Worlds top ten ever since, will have a top ten performance. "

No, raising to 18 or even 17 is ridiculous. I think they could even move it to 14. If you are high school age, you should be allowed to compete with the 16, 17, and 18 y/os.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
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19,762
Conceivably, the Ladies' podium in Nagano would have been:
🥇 Chen Lu 🇨🇳
🥈 Vanessa Gusmeroli 🇫🇷
🥉 Elena Sokolova 🇷🇺
I could live with that, tbh. :shuffle:
 

tony

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,259
Conceivably, the Ladies' podium in Nagano would have been:
🥇 Chen Lu 🇨🇳
🥈 Vanessa Gusmeroli 🇫🇷
🥉 Elena Sokolova 🇷🇺
I could live with that, tbh. :shuffle:
Except not because you forgot Butyrskaya and Sokolova would’ve turned 18 during the Olympics, so also not eligible in an 18+ scenario. 😒
 

VGThuy

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35,376
I’m imagining the entire 1998 US field being different if age eligibility were raised and skaters knew it for years. We may have seen Kristi try for another one. Bobek probably would have paced differently. Maybe other strong skaters would have stayed from 1994…I know, what strong skaters?
 

Karen-W

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Messages
9,461
I’m imagining the entire 1998 US field being different if age eligibility were raised and skaters knew it for years. We may have seen Kristi try for another one. Bobek probably would have paced differently. Maybe other strong skaters would have stayed from 1994…I know, what strong skaters?
Elaine Zayak for multiple US titles in the mid-90s!
 

Brenda_Bottems

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Messages
734
In this scenario,Miss Tonia Kwiatkowski would have thrice been United States Champion AND rightfully won a medal at the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships. 💖

-BB
 
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ЭPiKUilyam

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,097
"Even though young Kwan, who has been the Junior World champion in 1993 & 1996 and previously won the senior National title two years ago in 1996 yet is still ineligible to compete in a senior World Championship until the year 2000, swept the crowd and the judges with perfect 6.0's, the crowd knew that young Kwan is not able to handle the physical and emotional demands of senior level international skating. Ann Lewis, well known on figure skating online groups, cried: "We have to remember that Kwan is merely 17. She is a CHILD!!!!! I would much rather watch an actual woman skating in this discipline, and that's why Tonia Kwiatkowski has been a legend in American skating. She may not ever have a National title, but SHE is American skating!" but then she admits "It's not just singles either. Pair skating is just as bad. Don't even get me started on Gordeeva!" Interestingly, the previous National champions this Olympic cycle: Bobek in 95, Kwan in 96, and Lipinski in 97, were all unable to compete at Senior worlds under the age rules as decided by the ISU and elder skate fans for their own protection due to the fragility of their young minds and bodies. Meanwhile, online, members of Skatefans at Udel are at loggerheads debating whether a child of seventeen should compete in senior level competition. "We must protect the children!" is the mantra for many skating denizens online who are unwavering in their support of the age 18 requirement."
 
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Vagabond

Well-Known Member
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19,762
Except not because you forgot Butyrskaya and Sokolova would’ve turned 18 during the Olympics, so also not eligible in an 18+ scenario.
I was assuming that they would have had to have turned eighteen by July 1, 1997, given that the rule in place at the time was that skaters had to have turned fifteen by that same date.
 

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