(nb the above is sarcasm tinged with disgust, all the more so because I can't find any indication it's not what ISU officials actually believe).
(nb the above is sarcasm tinged with disgust, all the more so because I can't find any indication it's not what ISU officials actually believe).
What bothered me about this case, was that it came out of nowhere (not even the rules, I believe). There was never any apology for Vise and Trent, and the new rule of next-in-line finally came into being. It's like 'Oh, that was a mistake, we'll fix it and move on' Nothing for the victims. It's somewhat like Cinquanta just eliminated the individual scores of the judges in 2003 which just came not so much of nowhere but from what I believe was fear. He even stopped the investigation and let France be the only one at fault. Again, let's fix it and move on.
I realize most fans are not that concerned about the ISU as long as they can watch figure skating somehow, and talk about the sport and are oblivious about its administration.
Just one more thing, Tony, if I may. That meeting they have in May to discuss changes; is their agenda ever published and if something was not taken up the reasons why would be given? The results of changes would, of couse become new rules. (Can't help but think about the US Supreme Court's dissenting opinions.)
Last edited by Joesitz; 03-12-2010 at 10:16 AM.
1) In China, skaters on the national elite team (also applies to many other sports) are an arm and tool of the State. This is not a secret here. With the exception of high achievers on the international stage over a long period of time (such as a Shen/Zhao and that only in the last several years), Chinese skaters are means to national glory rather than individual glory. They are "owned" and they do know this--their training/housing/eating/all aspects of life are strictly controlled, in return for complete financial support from the Federation, and for some skaters...also their families...for as long as they continue their usefulness/achievement in the sports world. The closest similar model would be the former East German or Soviet sports training systems.
2) It is a sad fact that many things in China don't change except with some huge "loss of face" that can't be hidden from the public, and some resulting outrage. Stripping medals and titles, and/or banishment for a year, would definitely cause more national embarrassment in China than in most other countries. It would also produce sympathy for the skaters themselves, and a search for the head of the rotten fish, and possibly some positive change at the Federation level. Which is ultimately what one is after for the long term. I agree that the skaters as individuals would be "collateral damage" in the short term. This is a very tough and seemingly heartless stance to take, but it is likely the most effective.
3) The concept of "right" and "wrong" in the Western sense is not widely present, as the cultural underpinnings of society are completely different. The best way I can describe it (oversimplifying for brevity) is:
"right" = something that produces the result you wanted, and "wrong" is the opposite. Grand principles of morality don't exist so are irrelevant. So entering three pairs if you aren't entitled to it, but you get away with it, is Right. But if you get caught out and shamed, and other material consequences follow, is Wrong.
The ISU side of the equation is a related but separate matter. Again, if the ISU would only come out with which rule, regulation, communication, etc. authorized the legitimate inclusion of a third Chinese pair, then this would go away.
Last edited by bigsisjiejie; 03-12-2010 at 10:45 AM.
You didn't explain why they used seeded skaters who already had qualified for the Finals who were permitted to knock off other skaters after the entries were completed.
You do not explain why the rule changed. Was there a guilty feeling among the ISU voters? Do you know? I can guess too.
What was the real reason to use seeded skaters, and what was it about a Rule change when there was no rule to begin with? Do you know?
Last edited by Joesitz; 03-12-2010 at 06:35 PM.
Well if it makes anyone feel better, in 2008 China qualified for 3 at the 2009 World JRs but only 2 skated.
I don't recall seeing board members making such a fuss about that.
I know you can't bank skaters from one year to the next but maybe it's to make up for an ISU mistake?
For those of you so adamant that the Chinese Federation is behind this, can you imagine China giving up an opportunity to skate 3? Especially when the pairs program is all they got. Perhaps they get 3 in 2010 because of injury last year or another special rule us common people don't know about.
Unless you are an ISU official you are just speculating.
Anyhow I feel some members feel too strongly about this for whatever reason (whether prejudice or not). Please relax. Thank you.
That was China's decision to only have two pairs teams compete in 2009. It happens all the time with Federations. Georgia and Switzerland almost instantly gave back their second ladies spots this year for the Olympics, and there were even countries that didn't use their full spots in the pairs competition in this very event (such as Switzerland, who was allowed to send two pairs teams but sent none).
I'm not saying anything about the Chinese Federation nor have I the entire time. I have a feeling someone in the ISU sent paperwork saying three pairs could compete and they just went along with it. I mean, who wouldn't? The final call is obviously that of the ISU and not a skating federation.
If you're saying that I feel too strongly for wanting to know why the rules were broken, I don't know what to tell you. The ISU publishes EVERYTHING on their website as far as rules go, so there's no "common rule" that we don't know about.
If you scroll down to the last paragraph on page 7 you will see the rule that says, if a team is skating in their non-scoring event and finishes higher than someone else, the lower-finishing skater (like Vise and Trent) does not move up and get the points for the higher finish. So this was an actual rule for 2007-08 (and also for 2006-07).
This article from the Golden Skate archives mentions that
http://www.goldenskate.com/articles/2007/sa_1.shtmlPair teams can compete in a third event if there is an open slot, however, it is considered "non-scoring" in terms of points. Prize money still applies according to placements.
From what I have uncovered, I think the rules were gradually changed over a three or four year period to give the ISU greater and greater control over the Grand Prix series, vis-a-vis the organizers of the individual events. In 2006-07, for instance, the rules permitted any skater to skate in a third, non-scoring, event, if he/she was invited. (Sasha Cohen did so, for instance.) The reason for this is that the individual event organizers wanted to make money from television and the live gate, so they wanted to be able to invite the top draws in all disciplines.
By the 2007-08 season, the ISU was tightening its control and they changed the rules to prohibit singles skaters and ice dancers from doing more than two events. Pairs were allowed an exemption to the new rule because there were not enough top-flight pairs teams to go around. This loop-hole for pairs was closed by a rule change the following year (2008-09).
There were a bunch of other rules changes during those years, all designed to require skaters to toe the line laid down by the ISU and correspondingly restricting the rights of the event organizers to do whatever they wanted to, as had been more-or-less the practice in the past. Some of the individual events pre-dated the Grand Prix series, and the organizers of Skate America and Skate Canada, at least, dragged their heels as much as possible in complying with the new rules.
Some of these new rules were that skaters could not skip Grand Prix events and appear in shows and cheesefests instead, that skaters could not appear in the exhibition if they didn't skate in the competition, that skaters who performed in the gala must do a real exhibition program, not just repeat their short program, etc.
So if you ask why the rules were changed several times. I think the answer is only partly to make the competitions more fair. It was also part of the ISU consolidating control.
The issue that Tony Wheeler, Watchvancouver, Gsrossano, Nylynn, etc., are raising on this thread is quite a bit different from the question of why the ISU changed the Grand Prix rules in 2006 and and again in 2007 and again in 2008. In the case of the 2010 Junior Worlds, the rule is clear and as far as anyone can tell the ISU violated its own rule.
Last edited by Mathman; 03-12-2010 at 08:09 PM.
Nonetheless, I find this statement very hard to believe.
But you've inspired me to explore the question a little. Starting here...
^^ Remember that much of ancient and traditional Chinese philosophy, including about responsibilities, obligations, honor, and behavior towards others, has in the PRC gone mostly out the window in the last several decades, at least towards strangers and towards the public/society at large. And there's somewhat of a vacuum now as far as replacement philosophies go. So the academic stuff is nice but is just that...and not much apparent in the current reality. Mostly as individuals, groups, organizations, governmental entities, etc., the attitude is either overt or stealthily pushing at all costs, to get what you want. The ends is what matters rather than the means.
That's why it is not surprising to me (or to most Chinese citizens) when they hear of sporting scandals that involve high officials, such as the falsification of age records for Olympic gymnasts, etc. Which involved collusion on the governmental side not just the sports federation. The truth is out about 2000 on that one, and eventually 2008 will come home to roost as well (not sure about 2004). What's surprising (to the Chinese) is that nobody else (Intl sporting bodies, etc.) is willing to put the hammer down with meaningful sanctions and punishments, which is a language the Chinese can absolutely understand. Absence of thi is the same as giving them the green light to continue. Should the ISU have purposely or inadvertently allowed the third pair against their own regulations, I have no doubt Chinese sports-meisters are laughing their heads off--which will embolden them even more, as they see that they are able to bend rules with impunity, to their benefit.
Last edited by bigsisjiejie; 03-13-2010 at 03:39 AM.
It's a clear case for Tony Wheeler's topic. Yes, it has been resolved but why not bring it up again?
If it was a decision, then the ISU should admit it, which it didn't. And what would be the reason for establishing a Rule so that these rash decisions will never happen again.
There was no rule change because there never was a Rule. They decided to establish a Rule to cover up the mistake in permitting top skaters to fill gaps - and of course, move on.
Here are the official rules, taken from the ISU Grand Prix Technical Announcement for the 2002-03 season (the first season of the new judging system.)
Special consideration is also give to pairs, outside the top six.2.1 Seeded skaters/couples
a) According to the results of the previous World Figure Skating Championships, the skaters/couples ranking 1 - 6 in each of the 4 categories (Men, Ladies, Pairs, Ice Dancing) shall be seeded in two events. A 3rd event is optional to these skaters for participation.
b) In case of retirement or ineligibility of any of the top 6 skaters/couples seeded (see paragraph a) above), the next placed skater/couple shall be seeded.
c) Such seeded skaters/couples must commit on their two assigned events (counting for points). Priority will be given to the home event, if possible.
d) The 3rd event in which the seeded skaters/couples are invited for participation will not count for points, but prize money will be awarded according to the placement. Only one skater/couple per discipline per event can be accepted as "additional third event". Priority of choice has to be given to the higher placed skater/couple.
e) Each ISU Member concerned must announce by August 1st, 2002 latest which events will be the "scoring events" (two events) and which event has to be considered as the "non-scoring event". (see also paragraph 2.1. d) and 3.3). If a skater/couple fails to announce the additional non-scoring event until the a.m. deadline, the Chairman of the ISU Management Commission is entitled to decide.
Pairs have always been given special treatment in the rules, since traditionally there have not been as many top pairs teams worldwide and the ISU wants to encourage the development of this discipline. For instance, in the 2002-03 season pairs (but not singles or dancers) were allowed to skate in both the Junior and the Senior Grand Prix.2.2...(b) No invited skaters/dance couples (except seeded skaters/couples in accordance with para 2.1) may compete in more than two events of the "Grand Prix of Figure Skating". These events will count for points and prize money will be awarded according to the placement. Exception is given to Pairs.
c) Pairs may compete in a third event, which will not count for points, but prize money will be awarded according to the placement. This additional third event must be declared through the Member concerned as the "non scoring event" by August 1st, 2002. If a pair fails to announce the additional non-scoring event until the a.m. deadline, the Chairman of the ISU Management Commission is entitled to decide.
The provision that allowed the top six to skate in three events was changed for the 2007-08 season, except for pairs, which continued with the same rules until they were changed for the 2008-2009 season.Skaters/couples entered for an event of the "Grand Prix of Figure Skating" may not participate in the same discipline of an event of the "Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating" in the same season, except for Pairs.
Last edited by Mathman; 03-13-2010 at 06:19 PM.
A few more crmubs about this on my site.
In nosing around on this I discovered an unrelated but intersting (to me at least) item. Dick Pound who criticized IJS before the Olympics and was then later basically caled an idiot by Ted Barton in a subsequent interview, signed up to be a medal presenter for the Dance event. OC nixed it because of the comments Pound made about IJS. If you cross OC there is always payback, even if you are a senior IOC member.