Where will skating be five years from now?

missing

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All dates are arbitrary, but I picked five years because it will encompass one Olympic cycle and be midway through the next.

A lot of change can be predicted over the next five years. There's certainly been a lot in the past five, most obviously in the increased technical abilities of the young women skaters. The thinning out of pairs teams has also been noticeable, as has the rise of SafeSport, with more awareness of sexual misconduct and crime both publicly and privately.

I'm curious about what you think will be the major (and minor) changes over the next five years. Will there be major rule changes, such a allowing quad jumps in women's short programs, or extending the age which skaters must stay junior.

Will there be greater technical prowess in the men's jumping? Will quad axels and quint jumps start appearing?

Will dance continue to putz around with required steps and rhythms? This season has a shortened finn step. Within five years will they have eliminated required rhythms altogether or made them even more stringent.

Will the ISU change rules about how many entries each federation can have at Worlds. Will they expand it five or will they change the shape of the federations, so there might be a Scandinavian federation, sharing a nationals. Will they allow pairs and dance teams to represent two different countries in everything except the Olympics?

What will happen when the current faces of skating retire? Hanyu might stick it out for a fourth Olympics, but it's also possible he'll retire (or simply fade away) after 2022. Nathan Chen, currently the only truly strong American competitor in any of the disciplines, might also retire by 2026. Will other stars replace them? Will skating suffer noticeable financial loss upon the retirement of Hanyu?

Will analytics change the sport as it has changed baseball? Will more stringent drug testing or more frequent drug use result in more frequent suspensions?

There's a lot of speculate about and I figure this is as good a time as any to do so. I hope you'll join me and share your thoughts about what the five year future of figure skating might entail.
 
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essence_of_soy

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Quads will be allowed in the senior ladies' short program.

Quads will be allowed in the junior men's short program.
 

hanca

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Hopefully, Russia will not want pairs category to disappear, so they will share skaters much more than they do now. After all, it wouldn’t hurt them to share their senior pairs number 13 and lower (i.e. those who are not bad but didn’t even qualify to the Russian nationals). For example, their senior pair Kudriavtseva/Spiridonov didn’t qualify for senior nationals, but are still much stronger than GBR pair, and then there are countries who don’t have any pairs at all and they would be very pleased to have someone like K/S skate for them).
 

Tak

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Interesting topic!
IMHO, the closest analogy to current situation in the Ladies was 1991. Just before attending 91 Worlds, I thought by 96 Worlds
  • 5-6 Ladies would be attempting and landing 3Ax.
  • 3Ax will be allowed in Ladies SP, as Axel type jump.
What happened is history. After Midori landed the second 3Ax in 92 OLY, nobody landed 3Ax in Ladies, unitil 02 Skate America, when Nelidina and Nakano landed it. 3Ax was allowed as Axel type jump in Ladies SP only in 2010 (IIRC).
Since the vast majority of NGBs comprising ISU has no Ladies skaters landing quads, I expect at least 10 year wait till quads are allowed in Ladies SP. Since RUS and USA are quite powerful within ISU, this may be brought forward by 3-4 years, if Alysa, Anna, Sasha retain their quad jumps for the next 5 years.

Financial support for ISU activities are, IMHO, currently borne heavily by JPN TV revenues. The ratings for Ladies have already been hit badly when Mao retired. If Hanyu retires the ratings for Men may drop severely, unless Shoma, Sato, Kagiyama or somebody else can fill Hanyu's shoes. The interesting thing is that competitive skaters (registered competitive skaters) in JPN was always girls 4: boys 1 or worse. Since Takahashi and Hanyu, boys numbers have dramatically increased and currently it is nearing gender equality. If JPN was able to find Hanyu and Takahashi from competitive pool of just around 1000 male skaters, we may be lucky enough to see very competitive new generation in Men from JPN. In Ladies, Rika Kihira is the only one, half way competitive with the Russian "Tsunami". However, the re-tooling in Novice/Junior ranks have resulted in 4-5 3Ax jumpers (12-15yo), coming up the ranks. By Beijing, RUS versus JPN shootout with Alysa (and her team mates) from USA will, hopefully, be quite exciting. The bottomline is that Ratings may have already peaked in JPN and is expected to decline. Hopefully this decline will not be as precipitous as it was in USA.
 

aftershocks

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Nathan Chen, currently the only truly strong American competitor in any of the disciplines...
^^ This statement is inaccurate.

As to the thread topic, speculation and predictions are always rampant. Unless anyone has a crystal ball, we can't determine the future. We will have to wait and see. A lot can and will happen in five years time.
 

AxelAnnie

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I kind of think it will be in the toilet. You have to be a really dedicated and technically literate person to even find skating and watch.

Then to be up to date enough to even sift through you are watching, and why it is scored as it is..............well, I it is hard work. And I am a die hard fan.

The GP series is all glomed together, and it is difficult to watch it all, understand the results and the standings.............and I love watching.

What little is on TV is a mess. I think I read that next week, Tara and Johnny would be on a televised GPF............really....that happened a while ago.

Then there are the confusing age eligibility rules. The US Champ is not eligible to skate in the GP Series or Worlds. That is weird.

So I think you have to be dedicated to find it to watch, and to decipher what the hell is happening.

TV was bringing in the big bucks....and I think that is over. Who is going to watch? And competition venues have so many empty seats.
 

aftershocks

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^^ From that perspective then, the sport is already in the toilet, if not quite flushed away from wide public consciousness until the Olympics rolls around again (a state of affairs which has usually been the case for most of the sport's elitist, niche history).
 

antmanb

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Interesting topic!
IMHO, the closest analogy to current situation in the Ladies was 1991. Just before attending 91 Worlds, I thought by 96 Worlds
  • 5-6 Ladies would be attempting and landing 3Ax.
  • 3Ax will be allowed in Ladies SP, as Axel type jump.
I'm just curious why in 1991 you might think the ladies would be allowed to do an axel in the SP as an axel type jump by 1996 when the men weren't allowed to do an axel in the SP in 1991, nor could they in 1996 and it would actually be the 1998/1999 season when the men were finally allowed to do one in the SP, in other words it wasn't until the majority of the elite men were doing 3A+Combo, 3Lz and 2A in the SP that the rules changed.
 

Tak

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I'm just curious why in 1991 you might think the ladies would be allowed to do an axel in the SP as an axel type jump by 1996 when the men weren't allowed to do an axel in the SP in 1991, nor could they in 1996 and it would actually be the 1998/1999 season when the men were finally allowed to do one in the SP, in other words it wasn't until the majority of the elite men were doing 3A+Combo, 3Lz and 2A in the SP that the rules changed.
In 1991, I was an uniformed newbie. Just prior to 91W, Tonya Harding nailed 3Ax at US Nats. At that time, I fully expected GDR (remeber them?) to come up with Ladies triple Axeler before long, as well as a couple more from JPN and USA. I thought rule changes would happen much quicker than the glacial pace which I now know it takes.
The point I wanted to make, is "It will take much more time to change the rules than you expect".
 

antmanb

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In 1991, I was an uniformed newbie. Just prior to 91W, Tonya Harding nailed 3Ax at US Nats. At that time, I fully expected GDR (remeber them?) to come up with Ladies triple Axeler before long, as well as a couple more from JPN and USA. I thought rule changes would happen much quicker than the glacial pace which I now know it takes.
The point I wanted to make, is "It will take much more time to change the rules than you expect".
:confused: The Berlin wall came down in 1989 the GDR formally ceased to exist by October 1990 about four months before Harding first landed her first competition 3A, and 5 months before she did it at worlds.
 

chewy

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Skaters are a commodity. The ISU is a business.

The most popular skating category is ladies singles. Development of this category is uneven worldwide. It is in the be$t interests of the ISU to have as many member federations as possible. Every federation has a lady skater. Making rule changes such as allowing quads in a short program when there are barely one handful of skaters who can do such a jump, and who come from highly funded and supported training enviroments would a dumb idea financially for the ISU.
 
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