Why is Worlds so late in season?
Does anyone know why Worlds is held so late in the season? It comes 3 months after the Grand Prix Final; and 2 months after Europeans and most of the national championships. Just seems like such a long time between competitions, and possibly counterproductive to the skaters' training (i.e., hard to maintain peak condition for so long). Not to mention, as a fan, it's a pretty long wait until Worlds finally starts. Why the delay?
We will have our World Champions before the Stanley Cup winner is decided.
ISU is only kindly delaying our withdrawal and shortening the off season so we wouldn't run out of topics to argue about.
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 03-09-2011 at 10:13 AM.
Worlds is the culmination of the season. Once it's over, the elite international season is over and then starts the down time before the beginning of the following season. So it makes sense to schedule Worlds as late as possible in the winter -- originally, as late as possible as natural outdoor ice could be expected in the chosen venue.
Now it tends to be scheduled during the official first-sometimes second week of spring.
Originally, the only other major international event was the European championship. And international travel was more onerous.
Now we have Four Continents and Junior Worlds which are also ISU championships scheduled late in the season.
There's also more of the world involved in these international championships -- more skaters who have to travel long distances to get there. Air travel is more efficient now than 80 years ago, but traveling to the other side of the world still eats up at least a day each way, and jet lag is still an issue.
And some individuals are scheduled to compete in two or three of the four championships. Participation in Euros and 4Cs will never overlap, although some officials, and coaches, might be present at both.
So there has to be enough time in between each of these championships for the people involved to travel from one to the next, which might be on the other side of the world. And the skaters usually prefer to go home in between, recover from the previous competition, make adjustments to their programs or elements as needed, and then build back to competition readiness.
The Grand Prix is a more recent addition, and not a championship of the same sort. Most elite skaters who participate it use it as a way to ease into the season and build toward the championships more than as an end in itself.
The goal is to peak at Worlds, or whatever is expected to be the culmination of that skater's season, not to peak early in the season and then sustain that level for months. Of course, not everyone succeeds in doing so . . . or in placing well enough at earlier season events to be named to their countries' world teams.
Last edited by gkelly; 03-09-2011 at 10:28 AM.