Reading all this makes me sigh; oh Ashley, why didn't you get *1* more freaking point during the GP... She'd be ahead of Leonova and a near-lock for the final... Now she can be busted out of the final by Caroline, Rachael or Alissa... These upcoming competitions are going to be nailbiters for me even though Ashley isn't in them!! Ahh, the life of a fan.
Of course; if Ashley makes the final but finishes last with a disastrous skate (nope that's not going to happen! you can skate that LP beautifully Ashley, we saw you do it at RC!); that could affect her chances to make the Olympic team in a negative way...
Rachel needs to win SA, though, to be in contention for the final and that won't happen unless Yuna WD.
Zhang or Czisny winning SC has better odds, but they're still slim IMHO. Rochette is in the field and unless she bombs (definitely possible) and one or both of the above skaters knocks it out of the park (or Suzuki), she'll win.
Last edited by R.D.; 11-11-2009 at 12:02 PM. Reason: add emphasis
For our next argument ....... why does a skater with a gold and a 4th place win over one with a silver and a bronze? Should it be the other way? Should consistency matter?
In the early 1990s, Cinquanta decided it wold be cool to have a "championship series" in the fall (sort of like a "regular season" in sports with playoffs). The idea was that each of the major federations would host an international event, then the six winners would get together in a big showdown. This showdown became the Grand Prix Final.
By the way, the reason it wasn't called the Grand Prix in the first couple of years was that the ISU had to secure rights to this name from other sports that also had "Grand Prixes" (what is the plural of "prix?")
So that was the model. If you got first place in one of the events, then you were automatically in the final. If the same skater won two different events, then they started considering second place finishers to round out the roster. So from the beginning the preference went to the skater who got at least one gold medal on the circuit.
At one time the points went something like this. 12 for first, 9 for second, 7 for third, 5 for fourth, 4 for fifth, 3 for sixth, etc. This gave an extra bonus for first place (first plus fourth = 17 points, second plus third = 16 points.) One year Michelle Kwan qualified for the finals with only one event (Skate America 2002.)
So that is why first and fourth is considered better than second and third. Winning is everything.
Last edited by Mathman; 11-11-2009 at 02:50 PM.
Wow.. I never knew any of this.
I was just wondering.. back in 2002 when Kwan qualified for the finals with one event, did others not competed in two events?
I mean even if the scores had been something like you mentioned(12 for first, 9 for second, 7 for third, 5 for fourth, 4 for fifth, 3 for sixth), even 2-4 or 2-5 would outrank Kwan(12) in total points earned. Maybe only few skaters got two events back in the days?..
Again, history tells the tale. The idea of the World Championship was that each country sends its champion to a big free-for-all. To be sent to the World Championship or the Olympics as the representative of your nation, you had to win the National Championship of your country first. If your country had more than one spot, then one of the also-rans at Nationals got to go, too.
That.of course, was back in the days when there were hardly any international competions, so the national championship was pretty much the only way that you could press your case that you were the best in the country and deserved to be sent to Worlds.
Anyway, over the years the United States Figure Skating Association took pride in following this rule to the letter (except for a few exceptional cases where last year's world champion had to miss nationals with an injury, or something like that.) In fact, the USFSA made this a kind of moral principle. Those other sinful federations may determine these matters by bribes and politics in smoke-filled back rooms, but the pure-hearted USFSA would have none of that. If you want to go to Worlds, you have to skate for it at Nationnals, period.
As for the Grand Prix, if you win the Eric Bompard Trophy, your reward is the Eric Bompard Trophy.
The reason that some fans (like Polymer Bob ) believe that things are going to be different in the future is this. Two years ago a loophole was brought to light in the bylaws of the U.S. Olympic Committee that gives the USOC ownership of all "Olympic trials." If the U.S. national figure skating championship was the sole determiner of the U.S. Olympic team in figure skating, then there was the possibiltiy that it would be classified as the "Olympic trial" in this sport, and the USFSA would lose control of the event to the USOC.
To forestall this possibility, last year the USFSA rushed through a revision of its Olympic selection procedure. U.S. Nationals will no longer be the officially designated Olympic trial event, but rather the USFSA will take into account a variety of factors. Placement at U.S. Nationals is still number one on the list, but considerations like placement at the Grand Prix Final, placement at last year's Worlds (go Lysacek!), placement at 2010 Four Continents, etc., will also -- on paper -- be considered. (That last one is a little strange because the Olympic team will surely be determined well before Four Continents.)
For Worlds the old rule still applies. Winner of U.S. Nationals goes to Worlds, period. Other spots, if any, are up for grabs.
Bottom line, it remains to be seen if anyone at the USFSA will pay attention to the supposed new rules or whether they will do as they have always done.
Last edited by Mathman; 11-11-2009 at 02:59 PM.
I could see automatically sending her if she wins and if she had tested out her programs at least once in front of international judges. This hasn't happened. What happens if she finishes second? Other skaters will have had at least two competitions to make improvements. Those skaters have a greater chance of their programs being well received by the judges than Sasha. It would also be in the best interest of the USFSA to send one of the younger girls to get Olympic experience so they are prepared for 2014.
^ I don't really know what the big-wigs at United States Figure Skating are pondering this year. But if you look at their track record, I think most of the time they take this point of view: We have a nation-wide competition. The prize for winning this competition is a trip to the Olympics.
I do not think they are debating about something that may or may not happen four years from now, or who has or does not have feedback from ISU judges. It's a competition. Win and go to Vancouver, lose and go home.
(Of course I reserve the right to be wrong. Maybe the USFSA leaders are churning over all sorts of contingency plans even as we speak. They just didn't tell me about it. )
If Rochett win, and Suzuki any where from 4th to 2nd. Both of them will be in.
Even if both Caroline and Alissa managed to squeeze in for silver and bronze, both will not be able to make it to GPF, as their combine placement with 4th place is lower than Ashley silver and bronze.
Alissa never skated a clean skate without a single <, and that will hurt her score. Carolinem, while she managed to fully rotate her jumps, they are often slap with poor exucution.
For sure, one 2014 Olympian will come from the next gen and possibly more.
I don't have time to write a long post because I'm at work right now, but I just wanted to thank Mathman for the explanations of the Grand Prix ranking system as well as the way the USFSA determines Olympians. This is a huge help in demystifying the process.