I think that it is a tragedy that Paradis/Ouellette have not been given an assignment as yet. They were 5th if junior at nationals last season, they have been getting good results this year, beating Poulin/Servant at Quebec. I also think that the Quebec teams that went to Lake Placid instead of Minto competition did themselves a dis-service as skate canada has seemed to choose most of their assignments from Minto. If the Quebec teams had gone to Minto and were above the B.C teams and Bent/Mckeen, they would be getting the assignments now. The exception of course of the Hasagawas and Poulin/Servant who were pre-chosen because of their placements at nationals last year. I also think that Orford/Williams have a really good chance of making the junior grand prix final. They should likely win JGP Australia and will medal at their second assignment. I agree with NorthernDancers is saying Orford/Williams have the easiest event of the year in Australia but they medalled on the circuit last year and are a very good team (fast, strong, consistent) so I think they will do well anywhere they go.
Just had a look at the other assignments/events. The good news is that some of the Quebec teams are substitutes for other events, and hopefully they will be given opportunities. Interesting pespective on Minto vs Lake Placid. That would be very unfortunate if its true. It's so hard to base future success on the first couple of competitions. Some teams just need a little more time to solidify new programs, and it's just too early to know which ones will stand on the podium by January. And I'm not convinced all the new kids are that much better than some of the older teams from Junior last year. Why not give them a chance to develop at home at Junior, and give the reprised teams, especially those that will be aging out, the benefit of internatonal monitoring. Unless the new teams are that much better, which I don't think they are.
I agree that Orford/Williams will make it to the JGPF. They should medal at both their assignments. I agree they are fast and show confidence. I'm looking forward to see if they develop finesse and quality skating details, which I think will be necessary for them to achieve success beyond Junior, in the long-term. At Senior, they will have to compete with teams like Virtue/Moir and the Shibs who both have achieved success because of their outstanding details, unison, etc., and Weaver/Poje and others who have made big improvement in these areas. To me, success is not about speed while putting on a show. That's a show program, not a competition program. In fact, speed can hide/excuse the lack of skating skills, which is what I think happened last year at Junior, and perhaps even Novice. I'd much rather watch a little slower team with fantastic edges, quality extensions, unison, attention to details, great lines, posture, and so on. Personally, I think Hasegawa's deserved to win the SD at Nationals in Junior last year, and maybe even the title. I was so impressed with their overall skating ability, and the improvement year over year. Their SD was just brilliant in concept, performance, skating, - the whole package. And perhaps Bent/McKeen were caught a bit in this speed vs quality debate as well.
Constable , Costume Police
My question is this..have we left slots unfilled for Ice Dance as we have for the other disciplines ?
I must say I'm with geoskate, here. I question the why of 2 assignments for P/S , considering the depth of the field...but not for O/W, our Jr.Champions , who had good results last yr. internationally, after such a brief time together. Judging by their SD at BCSS they've kept up their progress and they definitely have an indefineable something that sets them apart . Surely if you were giving 2 assignments to anyone right off the bat , it should be them. And why would you not try to get them the most advantageous assignments possible ? You know , like other countries do.
I haven't seen the Hasegawa's SD, but I think their FD looks very competitive ( I think Marie - France and Patrice are doing a fine job with them..and in general ) and after seeing The Volvo Cup, I sort of wish , if anyone else was given a chance at 2 slots , it was the Hasegawas. But I can't begrudge Bruser/Lum , or Edwards/Pang their assignments since just at BCSS, you could see they've really come on from last year. If we've left slots unfilled though ,when we have skaters who would meet the requirements , that's a whole other matter.
I like Poulin / Servant, but apart from any mistakes they might have made , I feel 'The Dock of the Bay " doesn't make a very successful Cha-cha and their costumes didn't help to make the connection. The overall effect was puzzling. I think they shot themselves in the foot a bit , there. Oh , I know couples try to be "different" to stand out. I just think they went a step too far.
ETA; Meant to say; O/W will age out this year and it will be interesting to see how they do at Nationals. While I'm sure they're not coming up expecting to challenge any of V/M , W/P or even P/I at this stage of their careers , I'm sure they're looking forward to jockeying for position with the rest.
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-05-2011 at 07:37 PM.
I loved both of their programs! If only He Zhang had tacked on a 2R at the end of 2A-2T-R jump, he would've won!
Originally Posted by shine
Performance wise, I actually liked Jiaxing Liu best. He had the best footwork sequence, he was totally into his program, and he sold his program as well as he could. I'm disappointed that the judges did not see fit to give him higher PCS, especially in comparison to Tim Dolensky -- who did very well for himself, no doubt, but IMHO not better than Jiaxing performance/presentation/skating skills wise.
We have not left any spots unfilled in ice dance this season ( unlike men and pairs ). We were guaranteed 7 slots ( 1 per JGP ) based on our 5th highest country finish at JW.
Originally Posted by colleen o'neill
In those assignments where we sent 2 teams it is because Slovakia ( which finished ahead of us at JW ) is not using all of its slots. Slovakia is the 4th highest ranking country and Canada has first right to any slots they don't use.
Hopefully O/W will medal and/or at least finish in the top 3 countries at JW this year guaranteeing maximum JGP slots next season ( only good if SC actually uses them ). I don't expect much at nationals ( the senior SD uses a different CD altogether ) but hopefully they do enough to at least get an automatic Nebelhorn place next season which could lead to a Skate Canada spot.
As far as assigning to "advantageous" assignments, it is hard to predict beforehand which events will have the tougher fields given you don't know until the last minute whether the "official entry" will go or it will be one of the substitutes ( which in many cases is stronger than the official entry when the lists are first published ). The official entry is just a placeholder for the official entry or one of the named substitutes ( no limit on how many substitutes can be named ).
The one thing SC does wrong though is failing to list everybody as substitutes for every event. This is what other countries do ( I have seen the Americans list 7 substitutes at times for some events). The more substitutes you list , the more flexibility you have.
It is too bad if teams are being punished for going to Lake Placid. The fact is that the US association does tremendous writeups on the top teams at Lake Placid ( even if they are not American ). So getting a writeup there gives you a little bit of good reputation internationally. The other thing that helps is that the Lake Placid field tends to be more international in nature so good results there help you more on the international stage.
Originally Posted by from the sidelines
Constable , Costume Police
nadster..thanks for clarifying that. I didn't really think SC was favouring O/W unreasonably , and I'm glad to have it straight in my mind how it all works.
I know O/W will have to have a new SD for nationals ( which in itself is a challenge ) and when I say jockeying for position , I mean just that ... how close can they come to R/H and H/G , both of whom have less than ideal programs , IMO... G/P will only have 6 mos. under their belts and won't be all that they can be just yet ( etc, etc.). So if O/W's FD is as good as some have reported, they'd have a chance to firmly establish themselves as " in the mix " at the Sr. level.
The Hasegawas will , of course, also be trying to make the best possible showing ... but if I'm not mistaken , they could stay at Jr. for another year , if they choose ? ( He was born May 20 / 92 )
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-06-2011 at 03:27 AM.
Will Orford/Williams skate Senior at Nationals this season? Or just skate Junior all season, and get sent to worlds based on their rankings through the JGP season? It would be a tough task to learn a whole new SD, as well as extend the time on their FD this year. With the arrival of the SD, I thought that pretty much stops the jumping back and forth between Senior domestically, and Junior internationally.
Constable , Costume Police
Carification time, anyone ?..I haven't read anything to the contrary about Jrs. competing as Srs. at National competitions , especially those who have to move up next yr., like Orford / Williams.It may be tougher for them now , but wouldn't the alternative leave them as SRs. without any Sr. National ranking for the year ahead ?
It's not as if couples have been hopping back and forth at random , like the terrible GP/ JGP setup that was burning skaters out, before ( see Dennis Ten ), but Nationals sets them up for the next competitive year.
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-06-2011 at 01:23 PM.
At the rink. Again.
There are many skaters in the US who skate domestically as seniors but internationally as juniors. I would assume it would be the same in Canada.
I am pretty sure Orford/Williams will compete senior at nationals this year. Considering they are reigning junior national champions they have nothing to gain and everything to lose competing junior at nationals again.
Chances are they will struggle a lot with the senior SD in particular as they would not have had the chance to compete it all season ( that is assuming they make the JGPF which at this point looks like a safe assumption).
A reasonable goal is to be competitive with the likes of Ralph/Hill. If the FD scores are similar to Ralph/Hill, then they probably would be the top team on the Nebelhorn/Skate Canada track next year.
Interesting. Maybe it is better to just focus on doing the very best for Worlds and not worrying about a brand new program plus another part of a new program. Jumping to Senior domestically and staying Junior internationally makes a whole lot of sense for mens, ladies and pairs where the amount of change between Junior and Senior is minimal. It used to be fine, although still difficult for many, when the OD was interchangeable between Junior and Senior, and only the FD needed extending. The compulsories where relegated to a minor role, and most teams at this level know the patterns to Junior and Senior dances. With the SD model, it's wholesale change for dancers, and would be really tough, and perhaps a distraction with no apparent benefit. If they focus on improving and growing as Juniors, and win a good placement for Canada internationally, there will be more spots for more teams next year on the JGP circuit. To me, that should be Skate Canada's priority. I don't think previous year senior results determine who goes to Nebelhorn/Skate Canada. I'm just thinking about how Islam/Paul moved right into international assignments in their first year as seniors domestically. And Arnold/Trojek earned a spot to Nebelhorn last year based on their great showing in the Summer competitions. I think it matters more how they improve and grow and develop their skills, without distractions, and how they place internationally as Juniors. Then if they place well in the Summer competitions at Senior, their Junior ranking may mean much more in Senior assignments as well. I count 16 teams, without any Juniors skating up, at Senior this year. There's the first group that Orford/Williams simply are not good enough to beat. Then there are quite a number of teams - maybe about 6 or 7 - that will likely chase for position in the middle. Unless they can win that middle group, which is doubtful with brand new programs just for Senior nationals, there is no benefit to them. It might actually hurt them. However, making the best possible Junior programs and medaling at Junior Worlds will mean a lot for Canada next year, and will help their reputation as they move into Senior.
Constable , Costume Police
But they would still be going to JR. World's regardless of the outcome of Sr.Nationals , and I'm sure that any couple who finds themselves in that position will be sure to keep polishing their Jr. programs as well , so there's no reason to think that they wouldn't be able to secure a good situation for next yr.'s Jrs.
Since our Nebelhorn entries this yr in dance are H/G and R/H , I think it's reasonable to assume that SC does take the previous yr.'s SR. National placement into account. It can't just be coincidence.
In what way and for whom would it be fair for O/W (or any couple in their position) to have to become Srs. , but Sr's with no ranking in 2012 ? Who would that benefit ?
The SD situation does complicate matters , but the skaters really have no choice but to dig deep and carry on. After all, IIRC the SD will be up for re-assessment at the next congress. ( am I right ?) So it may be something entirely different in 2013.The difficulties it creates this year may well be removed. The skaters can't be expected to hold themselves back for something that may be a passing fancy.
I don't think O/W would necessarily have to win the middle group at Nationals to do themselves some good. As nadster points out , they probably only have to come close to the current 5th or 6th teams in the FD. And if a team feels they have a reasonable chance to do that , why should they not try ? ( Don't forget , they train all the time with one of those teams, and probably have a pretty realistic view of their comparative abilities. )
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-06-2011 at 07:51 PM.
Yeah, the switch to SD from OD really does change things. Both Virtue/Moir and Crone/Poirier skated as seniors nationally the years they did juniors internationally (hell, V/M won bronze at 4CC before World Junior gold), and virtually our entire world junior team last season competed at the senior level nationally (Rogozine, Firus, Najarro, Charboneau, Jones/Gaskell). We didn't see it last year, but Spanish team of Hurtado/Diaz did junior on the GP series, junior Worlds, Europeans, and Senior Worlds, so it's not impossible. And keep in mind that was with the Golden Waltz (or as Alex Shibutani dubbed it, "the really hard waltz") as the SD steps - the Rhumba is easier.
That stated, learning an entirely new dance takes time away from practicing the old one, and they need to skate at World juniors (presumably), so risking it seems wierd - keeping in my they'd have to create a new step sequence for the no-touching circular step. A great result at World Juniors (top five) > a mediocre result (lower than sixth) at senior Nationals. I'll be interested, though, seeing which way they head.
Constable , Costume Police
/\ Which is why I'll be glued to YouTube Thursday and Friday evening..especially for the FD , which is the one I think must be competitive with Sr. programs.
The thing is , I thought I read (somewhere ) that Canadian Srs. was part of their plan. ..Well ,I can't find the reference..(naturally )..so, I don't know if that would have been contingent on JGP results , or (possibly) pure speculation....and plans can always change.
At the same time I always think it's wrong to suggest that skaters make important decisions based on what might be best for other skaters....because ,on the other side of the "taking one for the team" stream of thought, it might seem unfair to the juniors currently behind them if they were to compete nationally at Jr , when they'll be ageing out , thus possibly depriving someone else of a title. I don't think there's a solution that would be perfect for everyone.
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 09-07-2011 at 02:32 AM.