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Thread: Should the ISU expand the field for the Grand Prix final?

  1. #46
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Thanks for such an informative post Chuck. I also tend to agree with the opinions you offered and to me it is clear that ISU could do with a major renovation regarding their ranking system.

  2. #47
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    I think you made two very good points; I hope the ISU will revise its points system, but I'm not holding my breath.

    One thing I don't get: senior Bs count towards points and thus standings and the season bonus - but not towards the season's best list. I don't see how that makes any sense. If a skater is from a smaller fed, or for some other reason had few opportunities to compete in ISU events, and this was their best score of the season, why not count it so that they have a better shot at a GP assignment the next season? I mean, really, either these events should count or they shouldn't, but the ISU needs to be consistent on this matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    There are several problems with the ISU Ranking system:

    1. GP events are too heavily weighted.

    Winning two GP events and the GPF gives the same amount of points as winning the World Championship. IMO, these titles (GPF champ and World champ) are not equal.

    If a skater is unable to compete in the GP for an entire season due to illness or injury, the loss of those points can cause that skater's ranking to drop for at least two seasons.

    Smaller federations (and even larger federations who aren't GP hosts) are at a disadvantage because their skaters don't get the same opportunities to compete in GP events as the GP host federations.

    2. Nearly all "B" Internationals are held in Europe

    The "B" International category was created to help federations who aren't GP hosts gain points for their skaters. However, many European skaters who DO get invited to GP events "pad" their rankings with two or more "B"s per year. That is why Carolina Kostner and Tomas Verner have been ranked #1 on the ISU Rankings even though both are inconsistent skaters and neither one has ever won a World or GPF title.

    North American and Asian skaters do not have the opportunity to "pad" their rankings as easily as the European skaters do because there are no "B" competitions in North America and Asia.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think a more precise analogy would be, what if Canada qualified three teams for the Olympics, Canada #1, Canada #2 and Canada # 3.

    But Canada team #4 was also better than the Bolivian team. What should we do?
    It is a trick question - there is no Bolivian ice hockey team

    I thought about this - after I forgot about it - and decided since there is only one basketall, baseball and soccer/futbol team per country in the Olympics there should only be one hockey team as well. Plus, ice hockey has a long enough Olympic history and tradition and the format for the tournamnet in the Olympics has been successful and non-controversial. No reason to change this format. The NHL also would not permit this as they already are inconvenienced letting one team from Canada and USA take part.

    Figure skating has a different tradition with multiple skaters from many nations an accepted norm. All I would like to see is 5-10 more of the very best skaters that don't qualify at their country's nationals to be added to the field. A way to do this might be to raise the skill requirements.
    If that is not possible then increase the size of the field and let Cinquanta auction off the spots That is something he might go for

  4. #49
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think a more precise analogy would be, what if Canada qualified three teams for the Olympics, Canada #1, Canada #2 and Canada # 3.

    But Canada team #4 was also better than the Bolivian team. What should we do?
    i was thinking the same in the morning, normally the first 5 (or ten) skaters of russia, or canada or usa or japan are far better that lets say the national champion of bolibia(do they even skate there?) , what you propose for qualifying?there should always be a limit in participation from each country, if we want to see the 5-10 of russia for example that are that good and didnt qualify for international comps, we can watch their nationals. Lol, Do I make sense?

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    i was thinking the same in the morning, normally the first 5 (or ten) skaters of russia, or canada or usa or japan are far better that lets say the national champion of bolibia(do they even skate there?) , what you propose for qualifying?there should always be a limit in participation from each country, if we want to see the 5-10 of russia for example that are that good and didnt qualify for international comps, we can watch their nationals. Lol, Do I make sense?
    Sure you make sense. Every point is valid since this is more of a rhetorical question and nothing in the short term will be done about it.
    There is a basic question to consider here: do we want at least one skater from each ISU federation member at Worlds - or do we want to see the best skaters at Wolrds and Olympics
    I think we want both. It is fun, particularly at the Olympics to see athletes from so many different countries. And it is a dream of many skaters to participate in the Olympics.
    My point is that I feel bad for a few of the top skaters from the top federations that won't qualify. These are skaters that have trained for years and practiced for uncountable hours. They don't go and instead skaters who have not spent half the time training and preparing get their spot because they are from a smaller federation or a country without much skating tradition.
    I thought of this watching Caroline (your little Fibonacci skater) sitting in the stands at Worlds this year. She placed third at US Nationals and therefore was not eligible to participate at Worlds. No one here will argue that she is not a better skater than the majority of ladies who skated at Worlds. She would have probably cracked the top ten and possibly the top 5. But even on her worst night she finishes in the top 20. There are a few skaters from Japan and other federations who get treated the same way. I am just saying it doesn't seem fair that some of the best skaters in the world don't make it to Worlds/Olympics simply because they are from big federations.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-20-2009 at 08:34 PM.

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    We do get to see the best 4-6 of the US, Japanese and Canadian skaters----in the GP events and at 4CC.

    I think Worlds should remain as it is: with the best skaters/teams from each federation, according to the number of skaters/teams earned per discipline at the previous Worlds.

    I think if you added 10 of the 'best' skaters outside the top 3 from the big skating federations, the smaller federations would quickly put at end to it, because they would be effectively locked out of any chance to get guaranteed places in the GP.
    Just think if all of the top 12 skaters/teams in each discipline were from the same 3 or 4 federations. Worlds and the GP would become an elite skaters' club instead of a WORLD competition. Since Italy doesn't have depth in any discipline, you can bet that Speedy wouldn't go along with such an idea.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    We do get to see the best 4-6 of the US, Japanese and Canadian skaters----in the GP events and at 4CC.

    I think Worlds should remain as it is: with the best skaters/teams from each federation, according to the number of skaters/teams earned per discipline at the previous Worlds.

    I think if you added 10 of the 'best' skaters outside the top 3 from the big skating federations, the smaller federations would quickly put at end to it, because they would be effectively locked out of any chance to get guaranteed places in the GP.
    Just think if all of the top 12 skaters/teams in each discipline were from the same 3 or 4 federations. Worlds and the GP would become an elite skaters' club instead of a WORLD competition. Since Italy doesn't have depth in any discipline, you can bet that Speedy wouldn't go along with such an idea.
    Thanks for your comments. I guess I have to agree with your points even as it still feels like something is wrong. For an example I could mention the case of Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards. A colorful character and who gained a degree of popularity with the public while gaining equal notoriety within the ski jumping establishment.

    Quopte from Wiki
    "The widespread attention that Edwards received in Calgary turned into a large embarrassment for the ski jumping establishment. Many athletes and officials felt that he was 'making a mockery' of the sport. Shortly after the Olympics finished, the entry requirements were greatly toughened, making it next to impossible for anyone to follow his example."

    I am not suggesting that skating is facing a similar situation - but federations do have the authority to make changes. I understand your points - they are political - and also firmly based in the reality of the situation. But I still don't see why a skater like Yukari may not qualify for the Olympics even though she is a top 10 skater at a major competition. Maybe this season Johnny or Jeremy may be left on the sidelines, their spot taken by a skater that might realistically only score half as high as they would have.
    My suggestion and hope would be to make the field a bit larger but to also have a pre-qualifying event where many of the skaters that are so far below the best skaters can skate it off and the better ones can remain in the competition. The ones who were eliminated can then be replaced by several top skaters selected (in a manner yet to be decided )
    Anyway - it is possible and it would also help in the long run because a better competition will lead to better things like attendance, TV ratings etc.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post

    I thought about this - after I forgot about it - and decided since there is only one basketall, baseball and soccer/futbol team per country in the Olympics there should only be one hockey team as well. Plus, ice hockey has a long enough Olympic history and tradition and the format for the tournamnet in the Olympics has been successful and non-controversial. No reason to change this format. The NHL also would not permit this as they already are inconvenienced letting one team from Canada and USA take part.
    If you accept the format of hockey why don't you accept the skating one as well? You have to qualify to have a hockey team in the Olympics, just like in skating you qualify how many skaters a Federation gets to send. I don't think there has been much controversy about this system. Sure it's unfair sometimes, but really what isn't? The Olympics is all about countries coming together, celebrating nationalities, and the power of sport and competition. In my opinion, I don't think the Olympics would be much fun or interesting if the Women's figure skating competition only consisted of ladies from Japan, The States and Canada (for example).

    If a ranking system were implemented to allow the 20 "best" skaters to compete, it would throw out the importance of Nationals all together. I think Nationals is one of the most exciting competitions of the year, especially in an Olympic year. There is an extremely high level of skating and the skaters put everything out on the ice in order to qualify for the Olympic team. Skaters earn the right to compete for their country.

  9. #54
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    it is good to keep small federations on the game and keep them interested to fund/help athletes of figure skating...you never know how it will turn out, did South Korea ever had a really high level skater before ?(i dont know any s.korean skater sorry)..and now they have a world champion lady and the most probable for the OG. Someday it may happen to anyone 's country.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post

    My point exactly - that when ISU wanted money for something they were able to find it.
    Can you give a source for this? or at least some examples of the ISU searching for money.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post
    If a ranking system were implemented to allow the 20 "best" skaters to compete, it would throw out the importance of Nationals all together. I think Nationals is one of the most exciting competitions of the year, especially in an Olympic year. There is an extremely high level of skating and the skaters put everything out on the ice in order to qualify for the Olympic team. Skaters earn the right to compete for their country.

    There already is an ISU rankings system in place - but it could probably use a few tweaks.
    I agree that Nationals (for some countries) is an exciting, pressure packed event. I would not like to see it lose it's importance.
    As to hockey - what would three teams consist of - maybe 60 players. That is already larger than the singles field in figure skating. Giving the best hockey playing nations multiple teams and we would have 600 or more hockey players plus all of their coaches and trainers - they would almost have to build another Olympic Village to house all of them. And maybe build 2-3 more ice rinks. Logistically it appears to be out of the question. (You did not address the point that the NHL on a club by club basis would most likely not support this either).

    As to earning the right to compete for your country that is not always the case. Yuna does not have to earn the right by skating at Korean Natls. She earns the right by what she does throughout the year at other events. Granted, that is an unusual case.
    So what I suggested would amount to either a slightly larger entry field (not more than a 10% increase) or perhaps have a dozen of the lowest ranked skaters competing in a special pre-event competition - to be held at the Olympics - a few days before the skating begins. Let the skaters who lose out stay at the Olympic Village and have their Olympic experience - and let a few of the best skaters in the wolrd who would otherwise not be competing - also have their Olympic experience.
    Anyway - it was just a thought and maybe it is best to leave it the way it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Can you give a source for this? or at least some examples of the ISU searching for money.
    WTT.
    Did you think Cincuanta just woke up one morning and found 1.1 million dollars under his pillow? To put on the WTT a lot of money was needed.
    My comments were that ISU was able to "find" a way to get the funding to put on this new event. I know a little about where the "funding" came from but not the whole story.
    I also suggest that there simply is not enough interest in the GP series to justify networks broadcasting it in N. America anymore. This being an Olympic year and with NBC having the rights (and two cable stations that have shown skating last season) perhaps we will see the GP series next season. I would certainly like that.
    I think the question should be, "will the GP series return to TV in USA" and not "should there be more skaters in the GPF." One step at a time - and the GP series has to become popular enough again before ISU can think of expanding it.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 06-21-2009 at 11:15 AM. Reason: merging, please use the multiquote feature

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    As to hockey - what would three teams consist of - maybe 60 players. That is already larger than the singles field in figure skating. Giving the best hockey playing nations multiple teams and we would have 600 or more hockey players plus all of their coaches and trainers - they would almost have to build another Olympic Village to house all of them. And maybe build 2-3 more ice rinks. Logistically it appears to be out of the question. (You did not address the point that the NHL on a club by club basis would most likely not support this either).
    I wasn't suggesting there be three teams competing in hockey - that would be ridiculous. I was just wondering why you agreed with hockey and not skating because they both have qualifying systems in place. There has also been MUCH debate here in Canada about how we could easily field at least two teams and both be top contenders. So hockey is not without controversy as well. As for the NHL, the NHL goes on about a two to three week break for the Olympics, so adding more players wouldn't be an issue because there is nothing go on during that time anyway. This looks like the last Olympics the NHL wants to support (even though the players still want to compete). Hopefully we will see them again in 2014!

    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    So what I suggested would amount to either a slightly larger entry field (not more than a 10% increase) or perhaps have a dozen of the lowest ranked skaters competing in a special pre-event competition - to be held at the Olympics - a few days before the skating begins. Let the skaters who lose out stay at the Olympic Village and have their Olympic experience - and let a few of the best skaters in the wolrd who would otherwise not be competing - also have their Olympic experience.
    Anyway - it was just a thought and maybe it is best to leave it the way it is.
    Adding a pre-event competition would just be like having a qualifying round like there used to be at Worlds. Maybe it could be added again to "weed out the weak" I don't really like the thought of that though. The skaters that have qualified have passed the required tests to compete at the Senior Level and I think they deserve the right to compete, even if there skills aren't up to par with the top skaters.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post

    Adding a pre-event competition would just be like having a qualifying round like there used to be at Worlds. Maybe it could be added again to "weed out the weak" I don't really like the thought of that though. The skaters that have qualified have passed the required tests to compete at the Senior Level and I think they deserve the right to compete, even if there skills aren't up to par with the top skaters.
    I can see how your view is fine and does show a fair approach and respect for the Olympic spirit. BTW, I like hockey much better played on International size rinks with Intl rules.

  14. #59
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    [QUOTE=janetfan;401782]
    WTT.
    I know a little about where the "funding" came from but not the whole story.{/QUOTE]
    Obviously.

    I think the question should be, "will the GP series return to TV in USA" and not "should there be more skaters in the GPF." One step at a time - and the GP series has to become popular enough again before ISU can think of expanding it.
    This you could check with NBC if they plan on carrying out the GPseries in 2010. You can check out the USFS if it is doing anything about securing TV coverage in 2010. Once you get that information, let us know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    .
    This you could check with NBC if they plan on carrying out the GPseries in 2010. You can check out the USFS if it is doing anything about securing TV coverage in 2010. Once you get that information, let us know.
    I will send you a pm if I hear anything Joe
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-21-2009 at 11:54 AM.

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