I feel the exact opposite to what the OP said. I think the ISU/Federations should have/keep in place the minimum technical requirements and allow any skaters who can achieve that compete at the high level regardless of age. If a young lady or man who is 13 can vie to be on the world or Olympic podium they should be allowed to try.
In contrast as 25 year old who can't even get the minimum to skate worlds should be forced to compete in a lower level. Senior and junior shouldn't be about age it should be about ability.
I don't know anything about dance so I won't comment but pairs would have to have different rules about age so 30 year old men aren't skating with 12 year old girls (although sometimes that is the only partner available.) But I do think if some Russian 'junior' teams are good enough to compete at worlds they should be allowed and some who get 12th at Euros and 4CC should be competing with teams more at their level of ability not age.
I don't think that would work. If a skater's birthday is in November, that skater could be assigned to NHK but would not be allowed to compete at Eric Bombard a week earlier. Another skater could not go to Europeans but could skate at the world championship the next month. Also, the exact dates of some events are not settled far in advance, so it would be hard to make plans, say, a year in advance.Originally Posted by CaroLizaFan
Whatever date you set as the cutoff, there will always be one skater who just barely makes it and another who just barely doesn't. July 1st is as good as any, IMHO.
I also prefer watching senior level skaters, though the junior level skating I've seen has yet to make me feel uncomfortable. I do agree with what others have said about illusion mesh, that it shouldn't be overused or used inappropriately, but otherwise I think skating dresses are fine. The one-piece bodysuits are not necessarily less revealing in my mind, they're usually quite tight, aren't they? The loose (not skin-tight at least) pants and shirts that the men sometimes wear would be the least revealing, but I don't see ladies skaters wearing anything similar to that in competition.
It doesn't seem like age restrictions protect young skaters from overworking themselves very much. Driven skaters with high goals will still work hard towards their skating and learning difficult jumps. So even though I prefer watching older, senior skaters, on principle I agree more with mousepotato. I wouldn't mind if the best junior skaters (or all 14- and 15- year olds personally) were allowed to compete at the senior level. Cases like Mao's (and others) make me feel bad, unable to compete at the most prestigious competitions when you're among the best in the world just because you were born months too early. Then you have to wait for the next Olympics to get your chance, and a lot can happen in four years. And there's also the fact that these talented junior skaters are working hard and spending lots of money to skate, but they won't get nearly the same recognition as they would if they were allowed to compete on the senior level because of people like me who mostly just watch seniors.
Last edited by avalyn; 01-16-2013 at 03:56 PM.
I feel that there is double-standard from the initiator of this thread. When Mao and Kim were not able to compete in 2006 OG due to age limit, there were cries all over the place against the rule. Now someone is saying they need to tighten the rule so no juniors can compete in their own Nationals.
A girl looks like 10 to someone doesnot mean she is 10. She has her birthday in documents consistantly. Didn't someone question Polina K's birthday last year saying she should be older than what was in doc and they hided her age to make let her compete in junior?
(FYI, I think CarolLiza_fan is actually a guy.)
I agree with Buttercup's point about a poster being entitled to state an opinion about age designations. For one thing, it's important to remember that we on GS have no power to make or change regulations. We get no vote, and in this issue even the court of public opinion doesn't exist, because the skating authorities don't give a fig for our views on any subject. So why not express an opinion? One can disagree with a stated preference, but one can't designate posters who have a right to support or oppose that preference. After all, we never know when any of us will need such an indulgence in the future!
My reasons for supporting (in general) an age requirement for girls is the realization that in some countries with national programs, the skaters live in sports compounds, and their entire lives are consumed with competition and training. (I generally have in my mind the haunting images of Chinese gymnasts when I think about this issue, which is relevant to me though it may not be to everyone.) It's not a great life for kids, though some may be fine with it.
Again, I understand that a few skaters are astonishing at an early age, and interestingly, those tend to be the skaters who don't burn out before they mature: Michelle, Janet Lynn, YuNa, Mao. (Tara is a special case because her body burned out, though her talent might have remained and matured had she had the chance to compete further.) I don't know what to suggest as rules that would keep them in consideration while protecting everyone else. But it is definitely an issue to think about for me. So much hinges on the fact that girls do mature sooner than boys in terms of talent, and also that girls' achievements often seem on the surface to benefit from immature bodies, while boys' achievements almost invariably improve with increased size and strength. Does this mean that we value the wrong things in ladies' skating? It's definitely a pressing question to ask.
Last edited by Olympia; 01-16-2013 at 01:55 PM.