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Thread: Did the USFS Send the Right Mens Team to Worlds?

  1. #16
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    As Mathman and others note earlier, perhaps optimal results at Worlds is not the priority of USFS. Sure it's nice to get world medals and it does raise our profile to the world, but it's not an essential function that ensures the long-term sustainability of figure skating in the United States. (Though I know some would point out that successful world teams does get more television coverage..)

    I also think that 2 spots does not always mean less success. The U.S. Ladies only two spots in 1994 because of Nancy's bad FS (and Lisa Ervin's 13th place and Tonia K not qualifying). Obviously we all know what happened, but besides that incident Nancy still managed to get the silver medal. Of course that's a terrible example for the Nationals only world team selection because of what happened, but it does point to the fact that more entries don't mean better results.

    To be honest, I don't think anyone USFSA is loosing much sleep over this.
    I agree and most USA fans know you are right here.

    Further, if US Skating were to devaluate Natls at this time who knows what would happen. If I was an advertiser I would certainly consider leaving since the US Championship would lose so much prestige within the country.

    Anyone that wants to use Abott as the answer obviously has a very short memory. He has never come close to skating his best at Worlds. There was no guarantee that this year would have been different.

    Time to rebuild and I think USA is taking the right approach. We just wonthe '09Men's WC and the 2010 OGM.

    I don'tt think we have too much to feel bad about. Not when it comes to figureskating.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-29-2011 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #17
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    It's a very human reaction to want to change the rules in response to a recent disaster (not that losing 1 spot is that much of a disaster). For many upon many years, the US was the only federation that consistently scored 3 spots for men at Worlds. The system worked great all those times, I don't think it's wise to chuck it out one time it didn't.

  3. #18
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    It's a very human reaction to want to change the rules in response to a recent disaster (not that losing 1 spot is that much of a disaster). For many upon many years, the US was the only federation that consistently scored 3 spots for men at Worlds. The system worked great all those times, I don't think it's wise to chuck it out one time it didn't.
    I think you are right. I would also add that seeing two young skaters, Dornbush and Miner handle themseleves so well was a good thing and not a reason to fret.

    The quad seems to be important heading into 2014. That was not going to be fixed by USA this season. We saw from Bradley and Reynolds that it takes more than a quad to be competitive.

    No answers for now and the next three seasons will tell the story heading to Sochi. Truth be told the USA public have never cared as much about the Men as the Ladies and I see little reason for that to change whether we have 1 or 10 Men competing at Worlds.

  4. #19
    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Yes. They sent the right team. Ryan won--he rightfully deserved to go. Richard is part of the future of USFS, and was dominant on the Jr circuit. He deserves the experience that Adam got last year.

  5. #20
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
    They made a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig mistake. No bueno. Jeremy or Adam, on a good day, could have won the bronze medal at this worlds.
    No they couldn't have. Not without a Quad. Well, Abbott could have if he skated perfect in both the SP and LP, but that's more than just a "good day" and something he hasn't done all season. His showing at 4CC is pretty much what could have been expected of him at Worlds and that would have put him outside of the top 6. The U.S. was likely going to lose 3 spots no matter what, simply because Abbott is the only U.S. guy that had considerable international clout and he hasn't had a good season. Ross Miner skated well enough to deserve 6th place, IMO, and look at where the judges placed him. They placed Richard Dornbush higher with inferior performances because of his clout of dominating the Junior Grand Prix this season.

    Reputation, politics, timing. The U.S. guys just weren't going to get it done this year without a mini-miracle.
    Last edited by Blades of Passion; 04-29-2011 at 05:40 PM.

  6. #21
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    It's a very human reaction to want to change the rules in response to a recent disaster (not that losing 1 spot is that much of a disaster). For many upon many years, the US was the only federation that consistently scored 3 spots for men at Worlds. The system worked great all those times, I don't think it's wise to chuck it out one time it didn't.
    The system has always been bad. Skaters should qualify for Worlds based upon their OWN international results (each country can decide who gets to go to Four Continents and Europeans, which would be important qualifiers) and entries should not be limited to a maximum of 3 per country to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Should the USFS look into changing the regulation that the best choice is not necessarily the fairest choice? If your answer is yes, what would be the best method for sending their best skater? Other Feds do not rely on one competition.
    - Best choice vs. fairest choice -

    This is a recurring argument right after the nationals and the worlds. I'll see if I can put my own two cents in.

    I believe that this is the perennial question since it is rooted in the philosophical question of how one perceives human beings. This question not only encompasses the criteria on which one makes decisions but also political affiliations and one's life outlook.

    One side believes that the human nature is basically good, so human can self-regulate oneself, and given a choice one can make right choices for oneself toward realizing one's uqique potentials (Christianity, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, etc).

    The other side espouses that human nature is at best questionable, and majority of humans need to be managed by the ruling class who supposedly know better than the mass (Plato, St. Acquinas, Freud, President Obama etc).

    I know that I am grossly oversimplifying more than 3000 years of western philosophical tradition, but you get the gist.

    So when you poses question as "best choice vs. fairest choice," your question presupposes the existence of the ruling/expert class (in this case the American federation) that knows the "best ourtcome (which by definition occurs in the future)" more than the "masses (yea, those ignorant skaters who skate their heart out at nationals)."

    In contrast, I prefer the term objective choice rather than the term fairest choice. Sending nationals' winners to the worlds is objective in that the criteria is clear and objective, and everyone who participates has the same opportunity. As I mentioned above, given a clear choice, humans/skaters are capable of making the best choices for his/her trainings/coaches, etc., to maximize his/her most desired outcome.

    The objective choice maximizes equal opportunity whereas the 'best' choice attempt to maximize the desired outcome determined by "experts." Once again, experts supposedly knows the best outcome better than the masses.

    Joesitz, I know that you are a big fan of the experts selection system espoused by the old USSR in constrast to the "democratic" American system. Here are the "objective facts." During the existence of the USSR (1922-1991), the democratic US system produced:

    6 Olympic golds, 2 silvers, & 4 bronze, totalling 16 medals. In constrast, supposedly superior Soviet system produced 0 Olympic gold, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze medals, totallying 3 medals.

    Now, here's the kicker. Ever since the fall of the authoritarian state (1992 - present), and under the "more or less democratic" Russia, she produced: 5 Olympic golds, 2 silvers and 0 bronze, totalling 7 medals. During the same period, perennially democratic USA produced the total of 3 medals (one color each). Guess all knowing experts are not so all knowing, but who am I to say.

    I know which way I side, but I leave that decision and debate up to the others.

  8. #23
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post
    - Best choice vs. fairest choice -

    This is a recurring argument right after the nationals and the worlds. I'll see if I can put my own two cents in.

    I believe that this is the perennial question since it is rooted in the philosophical question of how one perceives human beings. This question not only encompasses the criteria on which one makes decisions but also political affiliations and one's life outlook.

    One side believes that the human nature is basically good, so human can self-regulate oneself, and given a choice one can make right choices for oneself toward realizing one's uqique potentials (Christianity, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, etc).

    The other side espouses that human nature is at best questionable, and majority of humans need to be managed by the ruling class who supposedly know better than the mass (Plato, St. Acquinas, Freud, President Obama etc).

    I know that I am grossly oversimplifying more than 3000 years of western philosophical tradition, but you get the gist.

    So when you poses question as "best choice vs. fairest choice," your question presupposes the existence of the ruling/expert class (in this case the American federation) that knows the "best ourtcome (which by definition occurs in the future)" more than the "masses (yea, those ignorant skaters who skate their heart out at nationals)."

    In contrast, I prefer the term objective choice rather than the term fairest choice. Sending nationals' winners to the worlds is objective in that the criteria is clear and objective, and everyone who participates has the same opportunity. As I mentioned above, given a clear choice, humans/skaters are capable of making the best choices for his/her trainings/coaches, etc., to maximize his/her most desired outcome.

    The objective choice maximizes equal opportunity whereas the 'best' choice attempt to maximize the desired outcome determined by "experts." Once again, experts supposedly knows the best outcome better than the masses.

    Joesitz, I know that you are a big fan of the experts selection system espoused by the old USSR in constrast to the "democratic" American system. Here are the "objective facts." During the existence of the USSR (1922-1991), the democratic US system produced:

    6 Olympic golds, 2 silvers, & 4 bronze, totalling 16 medals. In constrast, supposedly superior Soviet system produced 0 Olympic gold, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze medals, totallying 3 medals.

    Now, here's the kicker. Ever since the fall of the authoritarian state (1992 - present), and under the "more or less democratic" Russia, she produced: 5 Olympic golds, 2 silvers and 0 bronze, totalling 7 medals. During the same period, perennially democratic USA produced the total of 3 medals (one color each). Guess all knowing experts are not so all knowing, but who am I to say.

    I know which way I side, but I leave that decision and debate up to the others.
    Interesting answer and analysis.

    Can't wait to hear some try to talk their way past your logic.

    With so many uncertainties in skating I think I still like Natls being "for all the marbles" (except for Mirai ).

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    It's a very human reaction to want to change the rules in response to a recent disaster (not that losing 1 spot is that much of a disaster). For many upon many years, the US was the only federation that consistently scored 3 spots for men at Worlds. The system worked great all those times, I don't think it's wise to chuck it out one time it didn't.
    Since 1990, Russia won the Men's World title 7 times and a total of 13 medals, Canada won Gold 8 times - 15 medals in total, USA won Gold twice, 15 medals. The longest drought of medal for Team USA in the Men's discipline since then is 3 years: 1992, 1993 and 1994. Since 2009, the U.S. has been struck out two years in the row at Worlds and the prospect looks poor with no one in sight to step up. If this trend holds up, the longest drought for the last few decades or so may have to be rewritten.

    I think it's very human in trying to resist change and prefer status quo. Ultimately however, adaptation to change is a necessity as humans are superior to other animals because we adapt, evolutionaly and socialy as well. Looking around, almost no one else uses a system where National Championship is the de facto sole criterion to select World Team.

    The model used by the USFS may as well be outdated since it hasn't been changed in a very long time. When they were adopted, there were far fewer competitions in a given year, hence it made sense to have the Nationals being the major prestigious qualifying event. However, since the existence of Grand Prix Series and its predecessor, the Champion Series - a lot of things have changed. Just as the Russians had to adapt to the collapse of USSR, the American model continued to work well in the late 1990's but it's clear that signs of distress have begun to be felt and one needs not to look any further than the situation with U.S. ladies to see what the issues are.

    Mathman's opinion re: the "American Way" is frankly an outdated concept since he is from another era. It simply doesn't work in today's reality and cannot expect to be a functional model going forward. After all, 30 years ago, there was no competition from a lot of other countries such as Japan. Asians winning World Championship may as well be considered as likely as Martians visiting Earth, especially in disciplines like Men's back then. Things have changed however. Takahashi is the first Japanese and as well as the first man from outside of Europe and North America to win the World Championship last year. Figure Skating has become a lot more international with far more representations from other countries besides the traditional Western powers and the Eastern Bloc.

    With all these changes, is it really reasonable to expect the old way will still work? Russia is learning its lessons from resisting changes and it paid a dear price for it. It's only logical for the United States to plan its next steps seriously and openly.
    Last edited by wallylutz; 04-29-2011 at 06:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Interesting answer and analysis.

    Can't wait to hear some try to talk their way past your logic.

    With so many uncertainties in skating I think I still like Natls being "for all the marbles" (except for Mirai ).
    Thanks, and I totally agree with Mirai. My head says the US selection system, but, alas, my heart says Mirai!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post
    - Best choice vs. fairest choice -

    This is a recurring argument right after the nationals and the worlds. I'll see if I can put my own two cents in....
    This dichotomy has its parallel in the narrow world of figure skating, too. Some national federations – most prominently Canada and Russia – have strong central leadership dominated by individuals who are both personally ambitious (to achieve power in the ISU) and unabashedly nationalistic.

    Others, like the USFSA are democratic (aka, chaotic ).The true power lies with the hundreds of local club representatives who volunteer to serve on national committees. The top leadership of the USFSA is constantly moaning about the fact that they can’t get anything done because everybody has a different opinion. Both a recent USFSA president and a USFSA general director resigned not too long ago because they tried to lead but the unruly mob had no interest in following.

    So, yeah, appointing a world team selection Czar to hand pick the “best team” – that is never going to fly.

  12. #27
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post
    One side believes that the human nature is basically good, so human can self-regulate oneself, and given a choice one can make right choices for oneself toward realizing one's uqique potentials (Christianity, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, etc).

    The other side espouses that human nature is at best questionable, and majority of humans need to be managed by the ruling class who supposedly know better than the mass (Plato, St. Acquinas, Freud, President Obama etc).
    I laugh at the fact that you put Christianity as espousing the belief that "human nature is basically good", when one VITAL PART of its core includes the concept of Original Sin such that Jesus had to rescue us all from our innate badness. But go ahead and put Obama on "the wrong side."
    Last edited by prettykeys; 04-29-2011 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    This dichotomy has its parallel in the narrow world of figure skating, too. Some national federations – most prominently Canada and Russia – have strong central leadership dominated by individuals who are both personally ambitious (to achieve power in the ISU) and unabashedly nationalistic.

    Others, like the USFSA are democratic (aka, chaotic ).The true power lies with the hundreds of local club representatives who volunteer to serve on national committees. The top leadership of the USFSA is constantly moaning about the fact that they can’t get anything done because everybody has a different opinion. Both a recent USFSA president and a USFSA general director resigned not too long ago because they tried to lead but the unruly mob had no interest in following.

    So, yeah, appointing a world team selection Czar to hand pick the “best team” – that is never going to fly.
    Which is really ironic when you think about it. In reality, the United States has one of the most centralized political federation of any country in the World. Americans see themselves as Americans first, not their regional identity. American unity and sense of oneness is what the U.S. a strong and powerful nation.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    The model used by the USFS may as well be outdated since it hasn't been changed in a very long time. When they were adopted, there were far fewer competitions in a given year, hence it made sense to have the Nationals being the major prestigious qualifying event. However, since the existence of Grand Prix Series and its predecessor, the Champion Series - a lot of things have changed. Just as the Russians had to adapt to the collapse of USSR, the American model continued to work well in the late 1990's but it's clear that signs of distress have begun to be felt and one needs not to look any further than the situation with U.S. ladies to see what the issues are.

    Mathman's opinion re: the "American Way" is frankly an outdated concept since he is from another era. It simply doesn't work in today's reality and cannot expect to be a functional model going forward. After all, 30 years ago, there was no competition from a lot of other countries such as Japan. Asians winning World Championship may as well be considered as likely as Martians visiting Earth, especially in disciplines like Men's back then. Things have changed however. Takahashi is the first Japanese and as well as the first man from outside of Europe and North America to win the World Championship last year. Figure Skating has become a lot more international with far more representations from other countries besides the traditional Western powers and the Eastern Bloc.

    With all these changes, is it really reasonable to expect the old way will still work? Russia is learning its lessons from resisting changes and it paid a dear price for it. It's only logical for the United States to plan its next steps seriously and openly.
    If I follow your logic, under the US system, there is no chance that the American ice dance should be flourishing. In reality, it is thriving.

    Problem of expert selection as I previously stated, is that you have to know the best outcome of the future, which by definition is unknowable. It ultimately means that experts are playing gods (I'm sure most experts do not consider themselves that way.)

    Even though experts know a whole lot more than lay persons, trying to predict human endeavor is impossible. You may be able to increase the probability of the desired outcome, but still there are too many variables.

    For example, who would have thought that the 2011 World was postponed for 5 weeks and went to other country due to terrible Tsunami and earthquake in Japan? We can't even begin to conceive just what the effects of this tragic incident to not only Japanese skaters but to all the participants. How would it affect the outcome? or would it?

    This is what I mean by experts playing gods.

    I know I am pushing my logic very far, but it is the logical conclusion nonetheless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post
    If I follow your logic, under the US system, there is no chance that the American ice dance should be flourishing. In reality, it is thriving.

    Problem of expert selection as I previously stated, is that you have to know the best outcome of the future, which by definition is unknowable. It ultimately means that experts are playing gods (I'm sure most experts do not consider themselves that way.)

    Even though experts know a whole lot more than lay persons, trying to predict human endeavor is impossible. You may be able to increase the probability of the desired outcome, but still there are too many variables.

    For example, who would have thought that the 2011 World was postponed for 5 weeks and went to other country due to terrible Tsunami and earthquake in Japan? We can't even begin to conceive just what the effects of this tragic incident to not only Japanese skaters but to all the participants. How would it affect the outcome? or would it?

    This is what I mean by experts playing gods.

    I know I am pushing my logic very far, but it is the logical conclusion nonetheless.
    Your misunderstood my points. Laying out the selection criteria clearly but use a combination of various assessments and opportunities to decide the outcome as opposed to rely on a single event is what for instance Japan does and they do it very well. That way, everyone knows what to do and everyone has an equal chance but Nationals is not the only consideration. This seems both fair and sensible to me.

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