There is nothing special about Skate America in terms of its weight among the BigSix. Each of the BigSix have the same privilege. What the USFS has to avoid is entering 3 of its top skaters into SA. I know it is considered profit making to have as many stars in the one competition, but I don't think that's not going to give them enough points to qualify for GPF.
There are five other GPs to disperse the USFS' top skaters. Other than Ice Dance, I don't see any particular draw for the other divisions. But a good example, I would not put The Shibutanis or Chock and Zurlein in the same competition. They have strong possibilites to make the Final. Why would you want to pit them against each other?
It seems to me that Fans do not understand the system of the GPs and its importance as a major competition in Figure Skating. It's not a glamorous beginning of the Season; it is the first of a series of competitions (not unlike other sports) ending in a meaningful Final.
Skate America is just one competition and the USFS can play with that in terms of strategy for high placements of its skaters. Putting in Czisny, Mirai and Zawadski will negate the placements of the best of that trio. If Miki, Carolina or even Yuna skate how would the 3 Americans end up? Strategy! strategy! strategy is a must.
Don't laugh as the attendance is nowhere near what it used to be.
Your strategy makes sense but so does having a few American draws to keep SA going. If not look for "Skate Korea" or "Skate Finland" in the not to distant future.
The CoP and the Grand Prix is not a hot ticket in the USA.
SA's best bet is to invite the biggest Asian stars and have the event in an area with a large Asian-American population.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-03-2011 at 06:12 AM.
A couple of "customs" not mentoned yet.
USFSA always tries to get US skaters who are likely to sell the most tickets to appear (even if they aren't going to show up-think Kwan and Cohen in the day), with next choices going to international names.
Jr Worlds' medallists get 2 slots. That would include Lichtman & Copley for dance.
And in the case of dance, especially the way the SD is now, top teams want to get their dances out in front of the technical callers as early as possible, so they have time to fix things, and perhaps even choose new music. Consequently, SA is very desirable, if you're a dancer, particularly if you train in North America (to avoid transportation costs) and particularly if your coaches will have other teams there (to split costs between teams)
The top 3 skaters' preferences of where they want to go are usually honored.
The only US skaters this applies to are Davis and White and the Shibs, who can't be at the same event. I'm guessing D&W pick Skate America (and that USFS wants them there in any case).
Samuelson and Bates will surely be chosen. They need to get an invitation somewhere.
I'm hoping they pick Kriengkrairut and Giulette-Schmitt (or Cannuscio & McManus or Cannuscio & Lorello) for their third team.
Next question is which team of the 4 through six teams will go to SA? I'm hoping for Weaver and Poje! With Pechalat Bourzat moving to Krylova, we might be lucky enough to get them instead, and that would be great too.
For the remaining, I'd like to see:
Reeds (US to get Samuelson / Bates to Japan, so they have a shot at the GPF)
Ilinykh & Katsalapov (we should be so lucky)
Capellini & Lanotte (they have done SA before)
Pushkash & Guerreiro (Jr Worlds Silver Medallists, training at IceWorks with Linichuk)
Hoffman & Zavozin
Tobias & Stagniunas (with Shpilband)
One of the Chinese teams
Mirai (needs the slot)
From top 3 Kostner (I believe Kim & Ando are not doing GP this year?)
From second 3 we have Alissa
Mai Berenice Meite
From the 1 to 3 group:
I hope we get Kozuka!!
From the 4 to 6 group: Michal Brezina
Javier Fernandez (yes!!)
Marley & Brubaker (they need the slot)
Cain and Reagan (they need the slot) or Castelli and Shnapir (who also need the slot) whichever looks better in summer comps
Top 3 Savchenko & Szolkowy, I hope!
Next 3 Yankowskas & Coughlin fill this spot
Takahashi and Tran
Sui and Han
Lawrence and Sweigert
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch
Berton & Hotarek
Hausch & Wende
Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-03-2011 at 06:45 AM.
China is a very desirable choice if you are a skater/federation!
1. It's skaters are only super strong in pairs, so that teams and skaters in the other disciplines are sure that the 3 home picks will not be as strong as say in Russia or Japan or France or Canada. Why do you think that Domnina/Shabalin and Belbin and Agosto just loved going to China?
2. It is not the first in the series (if you want to start training later)
3. It is not last in the series (where it conflicts with university exams)
4. If you invite China's men or ladies or dancers to your event, they may reciprocate by inviting your teams that don't automatically qualify for a spot to CoC. (Samuelson /Bates anyone?) There's a reason there are often 2 Chinese dance teams at Skate America.
Some of what you say, I can agree with. American figure skating and the GPs have never been the best drawing crowd except for Kwan. Americans do not look at it as a sport, imo. It's more of a pagaent, and who is the best. Interest in figure skating in amercia started with Sonia, and her popularity was glamorous films, not her gold medals. That's the way it is perceived in the US - a show case for pretty young ladies in sequined costumes with short skirts. Button did get an enthusiastic following of competitive skating, and I believe that was the beginning of competitive interest followed by the Albright/Heiss rivalry. However, show skating still reigned supreme.
I do not know the business of the USFS, and how important it is for it to raise money. I do know they have not played strategy in bringing their skaters to the Finals but rather they made it a showcase for its stars. Was that the way to go? I dunno. I would hate to see them toy with Chock/Zurlein for the sake of drawing in another 100 fans.
Even this thread is going for the glamorous US stars for SA which they can watch on TV and not speaking about strategy to be part of the Finals.
^ The problem is that with a guarantee of one of the top three and one from 4-6 at every event, the strategy of getting your skaters into the finals by shielding them from top competitiuon is just not available any more like it was in the past.
Let's take Chock and Zuerlein for example. No metter where they go, Skate America or anywhere else, they will have to face either Davis and White, Virtue and Moir, or Shibutani and Shibutani. They will also have to compete against one of either Pechalat and Bourzat, Weaver and Poje, or Bobrovo and Soloviev.
So which gives Chock and Zuerlein a better shot at the finals? To go to Skate America against Davis and White and (say) Weaver and Poje, or to go to Eric Bompard and face Virtue and Moir and Pechalat and Bourzat?
That's true, Chock/Zurlein will face the Medal Winners from other countries, even in SA they will. NO? but I think they should not be pitted against the Shibs and D/W and possibly V/M, P/B, and that young Russian team I like. It's a question of reputation which will be lowered if we say that American team placed 4th and out of the Finals. Let them place 4th in other venues. Not Amercian against American. Even the Shibs will be 2nd best if and only if V/M and P/B show up. They could be 4th also because American against American. Chock/Zurlein will have a better chance to medal in China and maybe Japan. Strategy strategy.
That's just the Ice Dance where we know a first place is obvious. The Ladies have Yuna in California, Carolina who likes America, Miki, and the likes of Sotnikova making an appearance. So maybe, putting what amounts to the best Americans will work for the USFS treasury.
The two newbees will have had worlds experience. Quads are quite possible. Separate them from SA. Jeremy and Adam have been hit hard due to a US Nationals. Did it affect their competititiveness?
I think Pairs would be at their best in SA to make a good showing.
Finally, this thread is far too early to speculate except for a fun show at SA. and in that respect, let them all skate. But when the GP entrants are finalized, then let's begin to scrutinize. Has the ISU changed its methods?
What is so important about SA that it is not important elsewhere? That's the trouble I have with this thread. It speaks only of raising funds for the USFS and not the sport of figure skating.
I am not in a position of predicting how the USFS handles it. Just hoping they consider the sport as well as the financial interest.
What I would like to see would be all the American boys skate a "B" comp or similar events in the US before the GP events. I believe Chan skated one last year in the big one in Pennsylvania.
The problem is that skaters like Abbott, Rippon, and Nagasu are not guaranteed two events because they were not at 2011 Worlds. If Skate America does not invite them, they may wind up with only one event and have no chance to make the finals at all.
So the best strategy for ladies might be to invite Mirai to Skate America, then try to cut a deal with Japan to take her for NHK. Other countries might not want to invite these strong Americans because those other countries are trying to protect their own skaters, too.
Bear in mind if Ando and Kim both decline to appear in the GP and are not submitted by their federations for the ISU Grand Prix selection meeting, then two new seeds will be chosen. Since Ando and Kim were #1 and #3 on the Seasons Best list, and #2 is Asada (already a seed), the #5 and #6 seeds would be Makarova and Murakami.
However, if Ando and Kim are given assignments and later withdraw, the seeded positions would remain vacant. You can bet that some federations will "pick" Ando or Kim because they know downstream they will be able to replace them with lesser skaters who won't be competition for their top ladies.
I am hoping the ISU will come up with rules that prevent the second scenario from happening. The federations who have the seeds should be required to ascertain their participation in the GP before the meeting. Last year, there was ISU grumbling over the low quality of some of the 'replacements' for late withdrawals.
But the reality is that with 7-12 at Worlds, 1-24 World Rankings and 1-24 Seasons Best skaters already having assignments, the pickings are pretty poor after that and replacements for very top skaters aren't going to be much competition. It would be unfair and unreasonable to expect the remaining seeds to do 3 assignments to make up for the absence of some of the seeds.
I think the only alternative is for the ISU to crack down on the federations for allowing assignments to be given to non-participating seeds in the hopes they will change their minds. I think both Ando and Kim are quite firm in their intentions to skip the GP next season, and their federations should not submit their names for assignments.
Mathman, I don't think Abbott, Rippon and Nagasu are in any danger of not getting two assignments. Abbott is #8 on the ISU Ranking list and #12 on the Seasons Best list; Rippon is #15 and #7; and Nagasu is #13 and #4. On paper, they are not strictly guaranteed two assignments, but I am sure they will get them.
All of these skaters have struggled last season, and are not that likely to pose a challenge to top men from other hosts.
Last edited by chuckm; 05-03-2011 at 11:22 AM.
I think outside the US, Abbott and Rippon are much better known and bigger draws than the 3 US Nationals medalists. They have enthusiastic fans wanting to see them. In fact, I am pretty sure of this.