Skate Canada Changes Definition of Pairs/Ice Dance "Team" for Domestic Events to "Two Skaters"

WOULDACOULDARETURNS

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I bet Stephanie Roth (5'8" body builder, US adult champion and senior national competitor) could do overhead lifts with a female partner. I think she could be / could've been competitive in pairs at a novice level, maybe even junior.

I'm trying to think of other female skaters who might be competitive as a "lifting" pairs skater and am coming up empty. But maybe they exit the sport early because their body types are not typical for skating.
Yup, Stephanie could handle it for sure. She is fierce!
 

Pink Cats

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I think you would have to come up with a third type of pairs event that combines pairs and dance. Eliminates the overhead lifts and the twists of pairs and add in the dance lifts.
 

kwanfan1818

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I think you would have to come up with a third type of pairs event that combines pairs and dance. Eliminates the overhead lifts and the twists of pairs and add in the dance lifts.
That was what Pairs used to be. Anything overhead was like a cartwheel type of lift, up and over and down.

For Pairs, not every team even has two triples, but there's no reason why taller woman can't perform two triples. with few exceptions, it's not worth if for them to compete in singles, when two triples isn't remotely competitive, and it's nearly impossible for them to compete in Pairs under the current standard smaller woman/larger man setup.

Tamara Moskvina coached a Pair where both partners were taller, and I loved them: Viktoria Borzenkova and Andrei Chuvilaev, who, in their last GP, 2005 NHK, just missed out on bronze by .2. She was a little over 5'6"; he was over a foot taller. Jumps weren't their strength, but they attempted, and sometimes scored around 0 GOE with 3T's in the SP, and a 3T sequence, 3T solo jump in the FS, back when they were allowed to repeat triples. I'm not sure if they never had 3S's, and they were planning 2S's, or if the 2S's on the protocols were unplanned.

Like Ashley Cain, Borzenkova was considered a giantess.
 

chameleonster

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The reason why tall women aren't talked about in the sport of singles and pairs skating, is because it's already hard for them to rotate triples with their height. Even if we reverse the gender roles in a pair, and even if we posit that a more muscular woman would be able to rotate triples better, we'd still need to see what will happen with our own eyes before we reach conclusions on whether it is fair or not, because a lot of the technical requirements of the current CoP very much did evolve around a Female/Male pairing.

I don't think we can say Han Cong was only 5'7'' without pointing out that Sui Wenjing was 4'11''. They weren't exactly even in terms of height.

Personally, I have no interest in watching same gender pairs compete in ISU competitions, at least not before it can be proved they'd all be on an equal footing. Same gender ice dance could be good, especially because a lot of the technical requirements can/should be jettisoned to make it more of an artistic endeavour IMO.
It's certainly harder to rotate triples at a taller height, but that's true for the men too. Most pair men in fact go into pairs because they're tall and don't have enough jumps to be competitive in singles. I think it's reasonable to think that there are some tall women who can rotate a couple triples, which is nowhere near enough to be competitive in singles but reasonable enough for pairs. And again you have to account for all the women who might make for good leads/lifting partners for dance or pairs who get discouraged and quit because of their body type and the lack of career opportunities. Body image issues affect both men and women, but the skating world is world is especially hostile to women who aren't considered dainty enough. What on earth is a muscular broad shouldered 5'11" woman going to do under the current rules and categories?

Yes of course Wenjing is quite short, but so are several of her contemporaries. That has its own issues frankly, but I never suggested that she and Han Cong were similar in size, I was only pointing out that there are in fact very successful teams that don't look like the perfect ideal image you think of when you think of a pairs team. You would generally think of a tall man 6'0"+, not 5'7".

I do think it's going to be faster and easier to integrate same sex dance teams as well as M/F teams with a swapped dynamic, but it's not like its going to happen next week. Also why should the technical aspects of ice dance be discarded when all kinds of dance teams are allowed? We've already seen examples teams close in height that achieved success, as well of reverse lifts even though its not the norm. Why don't we instead jettison heteronormativity and gender roles that discourage creativity? Or cut short careers-- I'm sure we can all think of talented skaters who had to retire early because their height made it difficult to find a partner. And even with the current field, I think say Madison Hubbell and Madison Chock could probably do some solid lifts. And let's not forget how many lifts where sitting in your partners lap still got level 4s and high goe. I think this will do great things to grow the sport over time.
 

carriecmu0503

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It's certainly harder to rotate triples at a taller height, but that's true for the men too. Most pair men in fact go into pairs because they're tall and don't have enough jumps to be competitive in singles. I think it's reasonable to think that there are some tall women who can rotate a couple triples, which is nowhere near enough to be competitive in singles but reasonable enough for pairs. And again you have to account for all the women who might make for good leads/lifting partners for dance or pairs who get discouraged and quit because of their body type and the lack of career opportunities. Body image issues affect both men and women, but the skating world is world is especially hostile to women who aren't considered dainty enough. What on earth is a muscular broad shouldered 5'11" woman going to do under the current rules and categories?

Yes of course Wenjing is quite short, but so are several of her contemporaries. That has its own issues frankly, but I never suggested that she and Han Cong were similar in size, I was only pointing out that there are in fact very successful teams that don't look like the perfect ideal image you think of when you think of a pairs team. You would generally think of a tall man 6'0"+, not 5'7".

I do think it's going to be faster and easier to integrate same sex dance teams as well as M/F teams with a swapped dynamic, but it's not like its going to happen next week. Also why should the technical aspects of ice dance be discarded when all kinds of dance teams are allowed? We've already seen examples teams close in height that achieved success, as well of reverse lifts even though its not the norm. Why don't we instead jettison heteronormativity and gender roles that discourage creativity? Or cut short careers-- I'm sure we can all think of talented skaters who had to retire early because their height made it difficult to find a partner. And even with the current field, I think say Madison Hubbell and Madison Chock could probably do some solid lifts. And let's not forget how many lifts where sitting in your partners lap still got level 4s and high goe. I think this will do great things to grow the sport over time.

I think if pairs/ ice dance actually becomes Blades of Glory on ice, it will cease to be an Olympic sport.
 

VGThuy

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I think if pairs/ ice dance actually becomes Blades of Glory on ice, it will cease to be an Olympic sport.
In what way will having a same-sex pairing turn it into Blades of Glory? That teams won’t take training seriously and turn it into an older PG-13 slapstick comedy romp where two rival teams fight each other and one tries to sabotage the other with Pearl necklaces?
 

tony

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Not really. In general, we do see taller men being able to rotate triples. It's quads that give them trouble.
We've seen few taller men (as in.. above 5'10 or so) actually get to the top levels in the sport, at least in singles skating where more than a 3T and maybe a 3S are required, as it is in pairs.

But what about all the men growing up and never making it to the top national, let alone international levels who can't jump anymore once they get too tall? It's like short basketball players. Yes, there are some. But how many weren't competitive once they stopped growing and everyone else around them grew to 7 feet?

So in this case, I don't know if it's a common thing or fair to say 'in general' men are able to keep their triples as they grow. Memola is certainly going against the odds these days, Lysacek did it in his day, and Tobel was able to hit an amazing program every once in a while in the past, but his jump technique was very loose.
 

VGThuy

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Not really. In general, we do see taller men being able to rotate triples. It's quads that give them trouble.
My general impression is that tall, more muscularly-built men seemed to have trouble, especially with the harder ones and with consistency. Skaters tend to be shorter than average but then pairs men were sort of the exception although we’re not talking many over six feet or anything. However, I do think we’ve been seeing taller men being able to jump better than they had in the past with more taller men in singles being able to compete than before. Maybe the coaching improved as time went on. How about that.
 

On My Own

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My general impression is that tall, more muscularly-built men seemed to have trouble, especially with the harder ones and with consistency. Skaters tend to be shorter than average but then pairs men were sort of the exception although we’re not talking many over six feet or anything. However, I do think we’ve been seeing taller men being able to jump better than they had in the past with more taller men in singles being able to compete than before. Maybe the coaching improved as time went on. How about that.
I think better coaching and lighter equipment, probably. Pairs is still about 3T+2T+2T and 3S, even now. I don't think tall men have a problem with this. We do see women who are taller on an average, like Maria Sotskova and even Polina Tsurskaya with her big jumps, who did have trouble with rotating even the lower level triples. Maybe they had their own unique issues and maybe it won't be the case with tall muscular women, but it's still something I'd much rather see being experimented with repeatedly before it's brought into international competition.

Or we could reformulate the CoP entirely to make it fair for FF, MM, FM, and MF couples, instead of using the one that evolved around FM couples.
 

overedge

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I don't think we can say Han Cong was only 5'7'' without pointing out that Sui Wenjing was 4'11''. They weren't exactly even in terms of height.

And even that kind of difference is a relatively recent development in pairs skating. There were many pairs in the 60s and 70s who were fairly evenly matched in height, and who were competitive at a world level. It wasn't until some countries started sending couples with big height differences to international competitions, and those couples could do way bigger throws because the woman was tiny, that the different heights started being the norm. It's entirely possible for pairs without that difference to compete as pairs if the judging system doesn't overvalue big throws and lifts.

And speaking of lifts, I for one would be very happy to see more restrictions on what can be done in lifts. It's not interesting IMO to watch the woman be precariously held over the man's head while she contorts herself into bendy positions. More restrictions on lift content (and entrances/exits) would also open up pairs to women or men who can't, or don't want to, fly in the air while bending like Gumby.
 

On My Own

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It's entirely possible for pairs without that difference to compete as pairs if the judging system doesn't overvalue big throws and lifts.
But that is the point I bring up in the previous post, I'd be fine with the CoP were entirely reformulated instead of the one that very much did evolve around FM pairs to this date. If this new CoP allows MF, MM, FF, evenly matched FM, whatever else, it'd be perfectly fine by me. But I don't necessarily see how, right now, with the existing code, we'd see very competitive couples apart from FM pairs with visible height differences.
 

kwanfan1818

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Maybe we can have an acrobatic pairs and a more…mirror?/matching/2become1 pairs competitions that’s more about matching moves and unison.
Theoretically, that's the case now for SBS jumps, spins, and footwork, but the amount of +GOE for clearly out-of-synch jumps and jump combinations/sequences, and the inconsistent distance between the skaters, for example, is the application of the code, not the code itself.
 

Seerek

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The spiral step sequence was a pairs element up until I think 2010?

That could be an element a pair would prefer to do versus a lift if given the choice to "swap out" an element for another in a program (though any step sequence eats up more time in a program).
 

Pink Cats

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The average height for women is 5' 4" so you are not going to see very many women who can be that taller partner necessary for lifting in pairs but you could easily have mirror pairs.
 

leilaofpaper

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The average height for women is 5' 4" so you are not going to see very many women who can be that taller partner necessary for lifting in pairs but you could easily have mirror pairs.
What’s the average height for women 30 and younger? Just a thought, given that each generation seems to be getting taller and most figure skaters are under 30.

Regardless, given that it’s an average that does mean roughly half the population is taller than that.
 
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Pink Cats

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What’s the average height for women 30 and younger? Just a thought, given that each generation seems to be getting taller and most figure skaters are under 30.

Regardless, given that it’s an average that does mean roughly half the population is taller than that.

This article from Scientific American states that the increase in height increase has leveled off.
 

Theatregirl1122

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The average height for women is 5' 4" so you are not going to see very many women who can be that taller partner necessary for lifting in pairs

That’s really not how averages work? Knowing the average doesn’t tell you how spread out the data is from the average so there’s no reason to suspect that the data is clustered around the average.
 

chameleonster

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I feel like I have to point out that skaters, (and elite athletes as a whole), generally have body types far from the average. I know very few women who have the expected pairs girl height and build. There are always outliers in their sport but MANY sports favor taller people. I reiterate, WNBA keeps finding tall women, volleyball, swimming, tennis, fencing, etc etc. I'm not saying that these women are growing on trees, but I don't know many women built like Weijing Sui or Meagan Duhamel or Aljona Savchenko either.

Do I think that it will take years for nontraditional couples to being internationally competitors? Yes. Do I think that ice dance will probably see more same sex teams or M/F teams with a different dynamic and sooner? Yes. Do I think any of the current top women will make good pairs lifting partners? No. But the way this discussion is going you'd think they were scrambling to be an Olympic category by 2026. Solo ice dance has been a thing for ages and the ISU is just now voting to make it an international sport, who knows if or when it'll ever be at the Olympics. Same sex teams are just now being allowed at the domestic level, and it will likely be a long time before they get to be an ISU international sport, especially since we'd need to wait awhile for other countries to start getting in on this. Why don't we sit back and wait and see how these young skaters are experimenting and developing and what new athletes may be drawn to the sport before saying what is and what is not possible and immediately shoving them in a box before they've even gotten started? More younger skaters getting to continue to compete for longer can only be a good thing.
 
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AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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Skate Canada has rewritten its policy that specifies ice dance and pairs team must comprise a man and a woman, a rule change that has Weaver and two-time Olympic ice dance champion Scott Moir as its biggest advocates — and could revolutionize the stuffy figure skating world.


am I just tired tonight or what am I missing here.? This to me says that skate Canada says it must be one man and one woman correct? So why is Weaver and Moir so excited about this? Sounds like they want to have a team comprised regardless of gender.

also don’t they have the last name of Maxim wrong?
 

chameleonster

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Skate Canada has rewritten its policy that specifies ice dance and pairs team must comprise a man and a woman, a rule change that has Weaver and two-time Olympic ice dance champion Scott Moir as its biggest advocates — and could revolutionize the stuffy figure skating world.


am I just tired tonight or what am I missing here.? This to me says that skate Canada says it must be one man and one woman correct? So why is Weaver and Moir so excited about this? Sounds like they want to have a team comprised regardless of gender.

also don’t they have the last name of Maxim wrong?
They meant that that was the original policy. The new rules have been rewritten:

As of next season, pairs and ice dance skaters — up to the Canadian championships, but not beyond — need only be two skaters.

“This is meant to be gender inclusive, so it doesn’t matter how you identify yourself, if you’re a skater, you’re welcome,” said Skate Canada president Karen Butcher.
 

MacMadame

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