Can retired elite skaters compete in Adult Skating?
Is there any rule that would prevent former champions and serious competitive skaters from entering Adult Skating contests as ringers and winning all the prizes?
No, there aren't any rules against that, but why would they want to?
Originally Posted by Mathman
Well, Michelle Kwan might want to add to her medal count so no one would ever be able to catch her as the "most decorated U.S. skater of all time."
Former elite skaters who are adults are allowed to compete in adult events at the appropriate levels.
At US Adult Nationals, for instance, there are adult bronze, silver, and gold levels for skaters who either started as adults or did not reach a high test level as kids.
There are also "masters" levels for skaters who have passed at least the intermediate tests. In the open events there are masters novice, masters junior, and masters senior events, divided by age groups if there are enough entrants to warrant it.
There are also championship masters events that mix all the masters levels together. Skaters compete at adult sectionals to qualify for these championship events.
Former senior-level elite competitors could either qualify through sectionals for the championship event or enter the masters senior event, in their discipline, or both.
The international adult event in Germany seems to break down the higher levels into "masters" and "elite":
Here are the results from 2008 US Adult Nationals:
Of the names I recognize, the championship masters men's event includes Larry Holliday, who was a national-level skater at the senior level in the late 1980s/early 90s, and Edward van Campen, who competed internationally for the Netherlands in the early 1980s.
In adult championship pairs, Craig Joeright, an international US pairs competitor just a few years ago, competed with a partner who took up pair skating as an adult.
There is also an event called "Centennial Dance" in which the combined ages of the two partners must be at least 100. The roster includes Sally and Stanley Urban, who competed internationally for the US in the 1960s.
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I actually thought of that the other day. nothing is stopping a national champion who is over 21 to switch to the adult circuit and clean up! and my question was, could they compete as an adult one year, then switch back to the competitive senior field?
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Theoretically, they could, but why would they want to? The only reason I could see would be if they "hung" up their skates for a awhile and then wanted to relive their childhood years again. Most skaters who have competed at a high level usually move on to tours or teach.
you would think.
Originally Posted by Ladskater
The Zamboni Rocks!!!
Originally Posted by Mathman
I don't think that anyone will every catch Michelle in that regard. Skaters just don't stay around that long anymore!!
At the rink. Again.
Beyond Larry Holliday and Craig Joeright, Eric Shroyer competed in 2004. He is another former National level skater (at the Junior level) who missed Nationals as a Senior the year Todd E. had to qualify through Sectionals (Eric was 5th at Midwestern Sectionals that year). Deirdre Reeves, who won Championship Masters Ladies several years in a row and holds the distinction of being the first lady to land a 2A at Adult Nationals, made it to Midwestern Sectionals as a Senior lady several times in the late 80s/early 90s. Stephanie Cooke, the 2007 Chmapionship Masters Ladies' Champion was also a former Sectional competitor at Easterns in Senior ladies. Natalie Shaby was a former Canadian competitor and won the title in 2006. I also think Liz Floriani was a former Sectional competitor and won the title in 2005.
Masters in the US is broken down to the open events for those who passed at least their Intermediate FS test (either as an adult or prior) but now there are two Championship Masters levels - Intermediate/Novice for those that have passed those two tests and Junior/Senior (used to be ALL masters levels combined). This was passed to encourage the log jam of skaters at the Gold level to move up and to encourage the people who only skate open events in Masters (Masters Novice, typically) to enter the qualifying events at their respective Sectional events because the requirements are capped for the new Intermediate/Novice level to be roughly equivalent to the Novice FS test.
The requirements are that a skater must be 21 or over by the close date and that they cannot have skated in a qualifying competition during the current season on the standard track - so you can't finish dead last at Regionals and then say, what the heck, I'll just skate as an adult in February. Nothing prohibits someone from switching back and forth between the two tracks year over year and I know of several skaters who compete "against the kids" at local non-qualifying competitions in Senior Ladies.
In fact, when I competed at Grand Rapids Open at the end of June, I may have talked one Senior lady into skating Championship Junior/Senior this year, we'll see in February.
The reasons that many of the former high level kid competitors give for coming back as an adult is that the competition bug continues to bite them and they know they aren't competitive at the standard track anymore as they age into their 30's and 40's. This provides them an outlet for that competitive drive among people who are their peers instead of getting strange looks from the parents.
So, theoretically, Michelle Kwan might be competing against some of you. (Yikes!)
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In Canada only at the Skate Canada Adult Championship there is a category called "Adult Competitive" for former elite skaters who have been removed from elite competitive skating for at least one year and are at least 25 years old or older.
Originally Posted by gkelly
it would be nice if they had a Senior Circuit for retired skaters as Golf has for their retirees. Problem would be to find sponsors.
Maybe Tonya Harding would want to compete to get the medals she missed while competitive.
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
That may bring on a whole new question-- do these skaters have to reinstate? Technically, US Adult Nationals is sanctioned, and in order to compete in sanctioned competitions, one cannot have competed in a professional contest, and Tonya's last competition was a professional contest.
Originally Posted by Winnipeg
Yes, they have to be eligible persons, so if they had lost eligibility they would have to get reinstated.
Harding is banned for life, so it won't happen in her case.
For someone who might have toured with an ice show or taught skating at age 20ish back when those activities were enough to lose amateur status and who wants to come back to adult skating in middle age or older, reinstatement would be the route to take.
I'm pretty sure that would not make them eligible to compete in ISU championships, etc., but within the US, or other countries that offer the option, they would be eligible for domestic events and probably the few international adult competitions.
If they had ever competed in pro competitions, they could be reinstated for some purposes but there would be additional restrictions.
Adult competition is not a means to glory of the same sort provided at the elite level.
Which is not to say that former elite skaters might not want to participate. But someone who had already won national and international medals at the senior level wouldn't be doing it for prestige; they'd be doing it because they still/again enjoy training and competing.