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Thread: Should the rules on age be tightened up?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Can I say just one thing? "That was absolutely brilliant!"

    Can I say just one more thing? Check out the flowing edge out of the double Axel at 0:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    That's not true. There's a thread on FSU focusing on skaters who performed in simple, elegant costumes that includes quite a few examples. Here are a couple of relatively recent ones.

    And who gets to define what's appropriate to an athletic event? (Yes, yes, the technical panel ). I think a sequined dress can be very appropriate and certainly aesthetically more pleasing than those hideous things Scott Hamilton wore, or the a gymnast's leotard (so unattractive, even on obviously fit young women). There are plenty of option between that and shredded chiffon, gaudy ornamentation and misused illusion mesh.
    A special citation goes to Buttercup for the splendidly vivid phrase "misused illusion mesh." I have a feeling I'll be calling that phrase to mind many times in my future viewing.

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    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.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLizaFan
    Also, I do not like the way that the rules are at the minute that to compete in Senior championships you have to be 15 before the start of the July before the season starts.

    The case of Adelina Sotnikova demonstrates perfectly the problems with doing it like this. She was born on the 1st July 1996, the day after the cut off for the 2011/12 season. So, even though she was the Russian Ladies champion in both 2010/11 and 2011/12, she had to wait another year until the 2012/13 season before she could compete in the European and World Championships.

    For me, a much better way of doing it would be to have it so that you have to be 15 on or before the start of the individual competitions, rather than before the start of the season. This is how they do it in Motorcycle racing, and it has worked very well, as this example shows.
    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.

    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.

  5. #20
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    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.

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    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?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsfan View Post
    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.
    Unless CaroLiza_fan was among those who complained about the age limits in 2006, I fail to see why her original post in this thread constitutes a double standard. You can agree or disagree with her opinions, but it's not fair to accuse her of something she didn't do (while ignoring the substance of her post).

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    A special citation goes to Buttercup for the splendidly vivid phrase "misused illusion mesh." I have a feeling I'll be calling that phrase to mind many times in my future viewing.
    My pleasure

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    (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.

  9. #24
    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntBREAD View Post
    FYI, it was Zhang Dan who retired, I know it's a bit confusing as Dan is a Western male name, but Dan's name in Chinese is a girl's name!
    Ach! I knew I would do that at some stage!

    Sorry about the mix up. I have been getting confused about which was Dan and which was Hao ever since I first saw them all those years ago. So it was inevitable that I would make that mistake on here at some time! Better get it out of the way early on! I suppose it doesn’t help that they have the same surname. At least if the surname was different, then it might help me remember that Dan is the girl and Hao is the fella!

    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I'm not sure exactly what makes you uncomfortable. Is it the skimpy outfits and whether those are age appropriate? If so, I'm 100% with you; it also troubles me seeking a 13 year old with heavy make-up and a skimpy outfit. However, restricting the age of senior competitions seems to not address that particular issue. I don't like that someone who is among the best in the world is not able to compete against the best in the world solely for being too young, like Mao in 2006.
    Yeah, it was the skimpy outfits that was making me feel uncomfortable. Like, if somebody my age (27) is feeling uneasy watching children that are, at the most, only 15 years younger than me wearing stuff like that, what must older people be thinking?

    You know, there are ways around that problem that can actually look very good. For example, in one of my favourite photos of my favourite female skater (Liza Tuktamysheva), she is on the ice wearing just a T-shirt and a pair of trousers (Here is a link to the photo, as taken from her vKontakte profile: http://cs10027.userapi.com/u38537529...x_b6305cb8.jpg ) Another example is Li Zijun’s current gala costume of a checked shirt and denim shorts (Here is a video of her gala performance at the NHK Trophy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa1fGljdbD4 )

    But, the point I was trying to make is that Junior skaters should be in Junior competitions, and Senior skaters should be in Senior competitions. There should not be an overlap.

    At least that way, you can avoid feeling uncomfortable at the Junior skaters wearing skimpy outfits by just not watching the Junior competitions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    Since the 2014-2015 season, the skater must be at least 15 to compete in the GP, too, so we won't see skaters competing the the GP and then at Junior Worlds (like Sotnikova, Liza, Lipnitskaya and 90% Radionova next season), there will be 100% Junior seasons and 100% Senior seasons, since the skaters aren't allowed the compete in both the Senior and the Junior GP anymore...
    But I like the idea of having all the skaters entered in at least one event competing in two events!
    Thank you to “FSGMT” for letting me know in the other thread I started last night ( http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?39697 ) that they are changing the rules in the GP Series so that you do have to be 15 to participate. So, no more overlaps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I think kids competing as seniors is less common in countries where there's a huge pool of older skaters. The young ones just don't make it through the crowd at the top.

    In general, I worry about all the very young skaters (even more so the gymnasts) competing at senior levels. I worry on two grounds: physical damage and inappropriate costumes and music. In terms of the physical demands, junior skaters do fewer jumps and skate shorter programs. The relentless pounding of triple-triples, and the extra hours of training have effects on the body that are by now well documented.
    Well said! I was that busy thinking about how the youngsters looked and how I was feeling, that I never even thought about what the youngsters themselves must be going though physically! I think you have just made an even better case for why Juniors and Seniors should not be competing in the same competition!

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    As for presentation, including costumes and music, was it Liza or Julia whose ensemble last year was just a bunch of green Band-aids? It wasnt even flattering. 't least Tara Lipinski dressed like a youngster and skated to music that didn't pretend to project overly adult emotions.
    As for the costume you are describing, it sounds like the sort of thing that would stick in your mind. So, seeing as it’s not in my mind, that suggests that it must have been Julia, because I hadn’t seen her before until this season. And anyway, if it was Liza, I would definitely have remembered it!

    Talking about “projecting overly adult emotions”, did you notice Elena Radionova acting suggestively in the gala at Russian Nationals?! Totally wrong on so many levels! Mind you, I will forgive her this once as it was SOOOO cute the way she latched onto Elena Ilinyk in the finale, and never left her side! I think Nikita was a bit miffed when “wee Elena” even stood in between him and the older Elena!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    But as a rule, I look at these super-young skaters (especially now when the very difficult jumps are in demand) and worry that I'm watching not a sport but violations of the child labor laws. It makes me squirm with unease and even some guilt.
    I know what you mean! But, that is the way sport seems to be nowadays. Start them young, and get them up to the top as quickly as possible. What happened to having a childhood?

    By the way, has anybody found out what ages Anastasia Gubanova and Alexei Sintsov are? I am still curious as to just how young they are!

    CaroLiza_fan

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    But, the point I was trying to make is that Junior skaters should be in Junior competitions, and Senior skaters should be in Senior competitions. There should not be an overlap.
    The question is, how do you define what "Junior skaters" are and what "Senior skaters" are? Who gets to define it, and on what basis?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsfan View Post
    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.
    I am not saying that Juniors cannot compete in their own Nationals. I am just saying that Juniors and Seniors should not be competing in the same competitions. There should be separate Nationals for Seniors and Juniors (and Novices).

    But, I suppose that it is finances that is is not letting that happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The question is, how do you define what "Junior skaters" are and what "Senior skaters" are? Who gets to define it, and on what basis?
    Well, in my original post, I said that the skater's 15th birthday shouild be the dividing line between being a Junior and being a Senior. And, according to "FSGMT", they have decided to go with that for the 2014/15 GP Series.

    But, the problem is what to do in the Pairs and Ice Dance where there is an age difference between the partners. I have said to define them by the younger member of the partnership, but that would still leave a "Senior" skater competing with Juniors. If you go with the older member, then you have the opposite problem. It's a nightmare to legislate for, so I'm glad I'm not the one making the rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsfan View Post
    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?
    Hey, I'm notorious for being bad a judging girls ages! So, I know better than most that just because she looks a certain age doesn't mean she is that age!

    Call me cynical, but ages (and the documents supporting them) can be faked! Examples have already been pointed out in this thread. And, since I mentioned them in my original post, what about the confusion over Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao's ages? Whichever set of ages you go with, you still come to the conclusion that they were in a competition that they were outside the age range for.

    But, for your example, I wouldn't have said Polina K was older than she is claiming to be. Sure, she is very tall. But, apart from that, she does look her age! When I was at High School, I fancied a girl that was 4 years younger than me. Although she was very tall for her age, you would have still known she was younger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    (FYI, I think CarolLiza_fan is actually a guy.)
    Oh, and yes, I'm a guy!

    CaroLiza_fan

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Here are some US skaters competing as seniors before age 15 (i.e., ineligible for ISU championships under the current rules):
    Nicole Bobek 1991

    Lisa Ervin 1992

    Michelle Kwan 1993

    Michelle Kwan 1995

    Tara Lipinski 1996

    [current age rules introduced, with some exceptions]

    Tara Lipinski 1997

    Naomi Nari Nam 1999

    Sarah Hughes 1999

    [age rules tightened further]

    Bebe Liang 2001

    Rachael Flatt 2007

    Caroline Zhang 2008

    Mirai Nagasu 2008
    I snipped the skaters from the figures era and left in those names from the "triples" era since 1990. Every generation seems to have had one skater who survives the riggors of training and competition and is successful from an early age. But they are the exception, the very rare exception. So very many of the girls who arrived at senior Nationals before age 15, end their careers with hip surgery, including the seeming poster child for early arrival: Michelle Kwan.

    Bebe Liang, Deanna Stellato, Tara Lipinski, Naomi Nari Nam, all worked on the 3L/3L and all had serious hip problems which impeded or ended their careers. All skated at senior Nationals before age 15.

    Zhang and Nagasu have also had their share of injuries to deal with and neither has lived up to their early promise, to date. Since both are still competing, it's too early to say how their careers will finish.

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    That's a really excellent point. I forgot about Stellato, which is a terrible thing to say about such a splendid skater. She isn't remembered by many because she had to leave skating so early with hip and/or back injuries that ended her career. Certainly Lipinski and Nam are prime examples of bodies damaged way before their time. Kwan for some miraculous reason lasted a good long time, to the benefit of skating in general and Kwanbots (like me) in particular.

    You're smart to take out the skaters from the figures era because they didn't face such heavy demands on their bodies.(Though Karen Magnussen did have stress fractures that even put her in a wheelchair for a short stretch.) But as long as we're talking about how wearing the triples era has proved to be, look at how early Midori Ito was hampered by injuries. Even in "her" Olympic year, 1992, she was held back by injuries. She was just about a sure shot to win otherwise.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    Well, in my original post, I said that the skater's 15th birthday shouild be the dividing line between being a Junior and being a Senior. And, according to "FSGMT", they have decided to go with that for the 2014/15 GP Series.
    Not exactly.
    What's changing is that the minimum age for the senior Grand Prix and senior B events will now be the same -- 15 as of previous July 1 -- as for the senior championships. So you won't get skaters competing on the Grand Prix who are too young for Worlds or Euros/4Cs.

    But the maximum age for juniors is still not-yet-19 as of July 1. So there will still be plenty of 15-, 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds competing internationally in juniors. Just not, for the most part, the same ones who compete internationally in seniors. Especially in disciplines other than ladies singles.

    I guarantee that between next season and whenever they change the rule again, we will see some skaters in that age range (15-18) compete JGP in the fall and turn up at Euros, 4Cs, or senior Worlds the same season.

    If the rule is that skaters can do one senior international and still be eligible for junior internationals, than I think it is highly likely we will see some skaters compete at one senior B or one Grand Prix in the fall and then turn up at Junior Worlds that year.

    All this just applies to international competitions. Rules for what individual federations do at their domestic competitions have never been the same as each other and there's no reason why they need to be. Different federations have different needs.

    Also different individual skaters have different needs, which is why some 16-year-olds might be winning Worlds and others might be just getting their feet wet in junior-level competition for the first time.

    Individuals' bodies also mature at different ages and to different final shapes and sizes. Just because a spectator wants to look at ladies who look like young women rather than little girls doesn't mean that an age cutoff at 15 (or other mid-teen years) will keep all mature-looking girls on one side and all undeveloped-looking ones on the other.

    16 years old
    17 years old
    18 years old

    14 years old
    13 years old
    14 years old

    Maybe the ones who look mature earlier will also achieve senior-level skill sets earlier and maybe not.

    For girls jumping ability (but not skating ability or presentation) tends to peak in the early to mid teens. Those who mature early are least likely to ever get the top jump content.

    The more triple jumps count toward the results, the more that the early-teen girls are likely to outjump the older teens and young adults.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Bebe Liang, Deanna Stellato, Tara Lipinski, Naomi Nari Nam, all worked on the 3L/3L and all had serious hip problems which impeded or ended their careers. All skated at senior Nationals before age 15.
    Stellato was born in June 1983 and debuted at senior Nationals in 2000, at age 16.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    Individuals' bodies also mature at different ages and to different final shapes and sizes. Just because a spectator wants to look at ladies who look like young women rather than little girls doesn't mean that an age cutoff at 15 (or other mid-teen years) will keep all mature-looking girls on one side and all undeveloped-looking ones on the other.

    16 years old
    17 years old
    18 years old
    That was interesting. To me, of this trio only Katerina Gordeeva looked like a little girl (Sergei looked pretty young, too). Kristi was a little slip of a thing and so was Tara -- they still are. (OK, maybe Kristi's legs are not quite so skinny now as when she was 17. ) But they didn't look like children. In particular Tara looked fine doing the hootchie-kootchie at 18.

    But your point is well taken. You can't mark the division between junior and senior by bust size.

    The main question that I have is this. What is the reason for holding junior championships in the first place? Is it for young kids at various ages to have fun, like the World Series for under 14 Little League baseball (which is often won by a team with a ringer -- a seventeen-year-old pitcher passing for 14.)?

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