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Thread: What If....No More Tests???

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsrossano View Post
    I would love to see testing eliminated from requirments to compete. Testing is for learning how to skate and a test structure is fine for that, but it is not needed for a competition structure. testing is is a demotivating impediment for competition that drives people away fromt he sport.
    Needing to school figures before being able to compete in freestyle was definitely demotivating.

    The more difficult Moves in the Field tests starting next September may drive away some test skaters.

    On the other hand, there is still the issue of large numbers of skaters who need to be divided into appropriate competition groups. And if there's too much of a perception of sandbagging by highly skilled skaters competing at lower levels to collect medals, that will discourage less skilled skaters.

    Suppose we let skaters test up as far as they want in moves in the field and/or in freestyle (without prerequisites). Keep the competition levels with their content and age requirements the same, and let skaters choose what competition level to enter independent of what tests they have or haven't passed.

    The highest allowed jump content and the minimum short program requirements for each competition level would give them a good idea of where they would best fit in. It might take a few competitions before the skater gets a good idea of what to expect at each level, but most coaches would have a pretty good idea. Let skaters move up and down in the levels at club competitions until they feel comfortable.

    Regionals is a different story. Juvenile girls and especially intermediate ladies are already huge fields in some of the larger regions. And competing at regionals is prestigious enough that if there were fewer or no requirements and restrictions on entering those competitions, those fields could easily double or triple.

    The short program requirements may scare skaters away from competing novice, junior, or senior even if they have passed those tests, if they have the option of competing at a lower level. So the higher level fields would get smaller, and the high-test recreational skaters would swell intermediate field with more skaters who are competent at that skill level.

    At the other extreme, all the teenagers currently competing in preliminary, prejuvenile, or open juvenile with a couple of shaky double jumps might sign up for intermediate regionals just to say they had competed in a qualifying competition, especially if they knew they had the option of going back to more comfortable levels in club competitions. That would increase the intermediate field even further with bad intermediate skating.

    Of course they'd have to be willing to invest in developing a short program and have the stamina to get through a 2.5-minute long program, which might weed out a few.

    Maybe there would need to be a rule prohibiting skaters from entering entering a club or regional event at a lower level than the highest level they've ever competed in a qualifying competition. That would discourage recreational skaters from signing up for regional competition above their competence just for the prestige factor.

  2. #17
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    Although I really hate testing, I have to admit I am glad I've been forced to test. If I hadn't needed tests to compete, I would have focused on nothing but the jumps and spins and would never have worked on my edges, stroking and turns. I also wouldn't have understood why I lost to someone who did easier jumps and spins because I wouldn't have understood what the judges were looking for when giving out PCS.

    I also think that requiring tests--and periodically updating the requirements for the tests--gives the USFSA more skaters with strong skating skills and that makes us more competitive at the international level.
    Last edited by vlaurend; 11-03-2009 at 07:51 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    On the other hand, there is still the issue of large numbers of skaters who need to be divided into appropriate competition groups. And if there's too much of a perception of sandbagging by highly skilled skaters competing at lower levels to collect medals, that will discourage less skilled skaters.
    Age and self-motivation of entering a group you think you can win (or at leat not look like an idiot) would make it self regulating. We already have sandbagging. In the last two years we have changed our competition announcement twice to minimize it.

    Suppose we let skaters test up as far as they want in moves in the field and/or in freestyle (without prerequisites). Keep the competition levels with their content and age requirements the same, and let skaters choose what competition level to enter independent of what tests they have or haven't passed.
    Suppose we did. Wouldn't that be great! Much of Europe does it without test requirements, I believe. Seems to work just fine.

    Test requirements are SOOO far below the competition standard, what's the point. The senior FS test still requires only up to a double Lutz. No double Axel required! No triples required! When you have to have a double Axel at Juvenile to be competitive. Test requirements for competition are a joke, that is no longer funny.

  4. #19
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    Would love to see something like gkelly suggested.
    There really are other ways besides the current test system to structure a "fair" competition.....We did not have a real problem in roller with people skating out of their "level." (At least after A and B divisions were introduced.) Most skaters had coaches and they directed them to the "correct" level. No one wants to look ridiculous. As gkelly mentioned, on the adult level there is actually a form on USFS site that spells out exactly what jumps and spins they allow (and how many) at each level. People can read. Why not have an open competition? What are they afraid of? If tests, edge quality etc. are really as important as everyone is saying, then the people who don't test will have such awful skating skills that they will be unable to compete at any but the lowest levels anyway. Right? So why not let them in? Let them choose a level by what jumps/spins they have mastered. Let the judges worry about edge quality.
    It is interesting that some posters seem very defensive about this topic. Why? I would think bringing more people into the the competions would be a good thing....

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    I would think bringing more people into the the competions would be a good thing....
    Which competitions are you talking about? Good for whom, in what way?

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    Well.....any competitions. By allowing more people to compete, you may increase interest in the sport. (Also gain enterence fees.) Don't see what would be lost by allowing eveyone to compete without regard to tests. Just letting them sign up and skate "their" level. I really don't think you'd have a run on the senior division. (No one wants to look like a fool.) Also don't think the other divisions would be overrun. I mean, most skaters who want to compete are testing already, so I doubt you'd have that many more. Of course, if you did not actually require the tests to compete, um....some of those skaters may just not bother...which I think is the big problem here, since that would come with a loss of revenue for the USFS and an accompaying loss of "skills" (supposedly). But, this begs the question: What exactly IS a skill? Tonichelle wrote earlier that: "...ice dance work is amazing when it comes to edges which is what skating is about" Maybe it is about that to Tonichelle, but certainly not to me. What makes Tonichelle's opinion right and mine wrong? It was all about single jumps and figure 8s once, too. (Doubt anyone wants to buy tickets to see that at any show.) So, I repeat, what IS a skill? And, more importantly, which ones should be required? I'd love to force the people admire edges/freedance so much to land double jumps/triples and deathdrops in order to compete in dance......Those are what I consider skills....
    Tonichelle also wrote that it wasn't fair to allow someone to come in off the street and compete against a person who has put endless hours of practice time and money in tests/lessons. Why? If their skills in jumping/spinning surpass the other's "beautiful edgework" then shouldn't they win? Isn't that "fair"? Just how much weight do you think it is appropriate to give edgework in freestyle contests? Equal with jump/spins? More than jumps/spins?

  7. #22
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    But the levels that would likely have increases are ALREADY huge groups (Intermediate and below). At our club competition in September, we literally had an entire rink for one day devoted SOLELY to Intermediate ladies. We had another year of RECORD entries, so why would we want more with "drop ins"? Why would judges want to see people skating at a level that they are not really ready for but that they *think* they are ready for?

    Would you also remove the limits that are currently in place at certain levels (no triples at Juvenile, no more than 3 doubles at prejuvenile, 2 at preliminary, etc)? There was a time when those limits weren't in place and a lot of bad attempts at things that these kids couldn't do well were going on (crappy triple sals and toes at Juvie) and even more injuries among those pushing for these level-inapproriate elements.

  8. #23
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    Gosh no! I would definitely keep the limits. How else could you choose the right level?
    That many in Intermediate!?? Wow!
    And, for the record, I do think people would have a pretty good idea of their skills (most would probably even have a coach.) For example, if I were young, with my skills, I would skate juvenille. As an adult, I'd skate master's senior or champ masters. I would definitely NOT attempt (standard) Novice. (Would get my clock cleaned.)
    Last edited by bondgirl; 11-04-2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: added stuff

  9. #24
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    Champ Masters Junior/Senior and Masters Senior have equivalent skating skills to the "real" Junior and Senior level skaters with doubles and low level triples. Several of the ladies this year had level 3+ spins across the board and all doubles through lutz (including combinations) along with fantastic skating skills, transitions, interpretation and choreography. The speed and flow is the big thing, so if you would skate Juvenile as a younger skater, I hate to burst your bubble but you would not be a good fit for Masters Junior/Senior as an adult, either.

    I am an Adult Gold level skater and I know even with the additional doubles it would take to be "equal" technically (I am already able to do level 2 and 3 spins, if not consistently), I am no match at this time from a PCS standpoint and would never make it out of sectionals in Championship. One of my coaches skates at this level and his surety and glide are amazing and just make me jealous at times.

    YES, we really had that number of Intermediates. We also had a huge number of Juvies, Prejuvies, Prelims, Prepres, and Novices.

  10. #25
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    The issues raised in this thread are interesting in several different directions, so I think I'll be making several more separate posts on different topics.

    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    I would think bringing more people into the the competions would be a good thing....
    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    That many in Intermediate!?? Wow!
    Standard-track Regionals especially in the larger regions, Adult Nationals, and the more popular club competitions are already pretty much as large as they can be without becoming unmanageable.

    Maybe the sport isn't hurting as much as you seem to assume it is.

    The places where bringing in more skaters would be welcome would be at some of the less established existing club competitions and in areas of the country that don't have many figure skaters at all, probably because they don't have many rinks. That may be because the population and/or average income level is too low to make a skating rink an economically viable business. If the local culture supports hockey but not figure skating, bringing in the right coach(es) to start up a program might increase participation, but it would take several years to build up.

    If the locations are isolated and hard to get to, it's harder to attract out-of-club entries to a local club competition and it's harder/more expensive to bring in judges to judge the competitions or to hold regular test sessions.

    Those are geographical challenges such clubs need to deal with regardless of the testing rules.

    any competitions. By allowing more people to compete, you may increase interest in the sport. (Also gain enterence fees.)
    Clubs that want to attract more entries to their club competitions for the entrance fees probably also want more skaters to join the club, skate on their sessions, and test at their test sessions. Having a large, active club will help the sport at the local level more than getting $100 or so a year in entry fees from a few people who otherwise want nothing to do with supporting the club.

  11. #26
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    Triples. By ladies in Master's Senior and Championship Masters?????? Are you sure?? That's interesting because the highest level jump I saw (clean) was a 2axel by Natalie Shelby. Didn't see any triples posted. Do you have a link? Know some men at the adult level have managed a few triples but didn't think any of the women could......
    Let's see......
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE7FA8lhgqA No triples.Oops, fell on 2toe, Attempted an OF camel.

    This one has some nice single jumps.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0ldybVYhdc

    And here is Natalie (the silver medalist) who did a 2axel but again no triples. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LthDuey_22U (But great edges and line). Here she is at worlds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMvqmTCkK2w Step out on 2axel and, guess what? No triples.

    This one attempts a flying sit and has a few nice doubles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR79Pfn7ZB4

    Don't worry about my bubble....
    With the exception of Natalie, I would be fine skating against any of the ladies whose routines I have seen posted on youtube. Yes, Natalie would probably beat me unless she had a very bad day..... Since Natalie is the silver medalist it is possible the the women who won gold might have landed a triple, but even so that is only one woman. Not many as you implied....Low level triples. No. I don't think so.....

    OK. Finally. A triple. Done by a MAN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NEQEt_OkOw

    So who exactly are you referring to when you mention ladies doing triples in adult competition?????
    Last edited by bondgirl; 11-04-2009 at 11:54 PM.

  12. #27
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    I guess that ice has a lot more participants than I thought. So tests are a type of "gatekeeper" to keep people out? Doesn't that just keep them at lower levels? (Since most of them test anyways.) Or are they hoping to get some (like me) who are discouraged by the whole thing and just don't bother....

    Upon reflection, I guess testing makes sense to "prove" one's knowledge in order to be a coach. At least you have some kind of credential to show the rink/parents.

    I wonder if the Adult Level is as crowded as Standard. If not, maybe keep testing so as to "gatekeep" for standard and allow "open" competition for adults. (I mean, everything is already spelled out for the adults in the sense of the jumps/spins allowed at each level anyways. Why not open it up? )

  13. #28
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    For someone who claims to be so aganist the system, not interested in formal coaching or testing, you do certainly follow an awful lot of the sport

    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    Don't worry about my bubble....
    With the exception of Natalie, I would be fine skating against any of the ladies whose routines I have seen posted on youtube. Yes, Natalie would probably beat me unless she had a very bad day..... Since Natalie is the silver medalist it is possible the the women who won gold might have landed a triple, but even so that is only one woman. Not many as you implied....Low level triples. No. I don't think so.....
    I would respectfully disagree with you if your skating is as you have described. By your own admission you have no interest in anything other than jumps and at the adult level you can often gain more points from your PCS and non jump elements than you can your jumps. You said you had no interest in turns or basic stroking or in actually getting formal coaching, so i'd hazard a guess that the things you can't tell well from youtube (like speed, flow, ice coverage etc) would all be at a much higher level than you are anticipating. Also if you lack formal ice coaching, i suspect your jumps might nt be as "clean" as you think they are, and you'd have to break your own rule of not getting formal coaching if you hoped to compete with these ladies.

    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    So who exactly are you referring to when you mention ladies doing triples in adult competition?????
    It might just be me (and i am being grumpy today ), but you are coming off as pretty attacking in these posts, and as much as you feel disrespected by the skaters you feel talk about you when you skate their freestyle sessions, i feel that you are disprespecting a lot of the adult skaters at this level.

    Ant

  14. #29
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    Well....
    Read the posts again. With all due respect, people are attacking me (not the other way around.) "Don't want to burst my bubble" pleeezeee..... Seriously, read them all the way through with an open mind and you willl see it.....

    Here's the thing......Skating (ice especially) seems so hung up on this edge/flow MITF idea.....for freestyle.......It's almost as if you are dissing those of us who happen to be good at jumps/spins. Those are difficult and should count too, you know! Just look at the disrespect people on ice boards who can't even land a single axel give Bonaly. (Would love to see anyone who puts her down do a backflip or any kind of triple jump. At all.) There is already a part of this sport dedicated to edges/turns etc. It is called dance.

    antmanb, if you can do triples please post and provide a link. I would love to see them.

    Tell you what. Obviously, I can't go to Adult Nats. Will make program following rules on USFS site for Masters Senior. Will post it on youtube the week of Nats with a link. You can make up your own mind. Don't think I would have done quite as badly as everyone keeps telling me......
    Last edited by bondgirl; 11-05-2009 at 07:36 AM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I would respectfully disagree with you if your skating is as you have described. By your own admission you have no interest in anything other than jumps and at the adult level you can often gain more points from your PCS and non jump elements than you can your jumps. You said you had no interest in turns or basic stroking or in actually getting formal coaching, so i'd hazard a guess that the things you can't tell well from youtube (like speed, flow, ice coverage etc) would all be at a much higher level than you are anticipating. Also if you lack formal ice coaching, i suspect your jumps might nt be as "clean" as you think they are, and you'd have to break your own rule of not getting formal coaching if you hoped to compete with these ladies.



    It might just be me (and i am being grumpy today ), but you are coming off as pretty attacking in these posts, and as much as you feel disrespected by the skaters you feel talk about you when you skate their freestyle sessions, i feel that you are disprespecting a lot of the adult skaters at this level.

    Ant
    This is where I agree with Ant. I NEVER said that the ladies landed triples. I said LEVEL 3+ spins, double lutzes in combination. I said where you would be lacking from your own admission is in anything other than jumps. PCS is approximately 1/2 of your total score. If you don't do anything but crossovers, your PCS score will be VERY low, even if you manage to land clean triples.
    Many of the Masters level adults (Championship Jr/Sr and Int/Nov both) have high level spins (a level 4 change combo spin is worth a double Axel) and high level skating skills. There are TONS of skaters in the adult ranks - there were no less than 12 ladies in Midwestern and Eastern Adult Sectionals and I think 7 at Pac Coasts year in Championship Junior/Senior.

    I was NOT attacking, I was OFFENDED by your assertion that YOU would be able to beat these ladies. I am DONE with this thread.

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