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Thread: Thoughts on the format of the GP Series

  1. #16
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    You can require all the selections before the series starts to give every skater entered two events. But you can't enforce all skaters actually to skate in two events. Sometimes it will be absolutely necessary for them to withdraw from the second one they're scheduled for.
    That was what I obviously meant, I just wanted to say that it would be better not to see the Osmond (winner of one GP can't go to the final) or Korpi (European silver medalist with just one event b/c she didn't compete at Worlds) situation... There would be a lot of things to think about and consider, but I'm sure that the ISU could solve all the problems: it looks like they have a great imagination...

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    Banned Reginald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I don't think increasing the number of competitors would add excitement because, to me, there already isn't much depth in skating. Each discipline has at most 5 competitors capable of winning a world title, and each GP event features 1 or 2 of these skaters who are marked in a way to win (i.e. Mao's not getting UR calls and +GOE on doubles). The scoring system, as well as the judges, prevent depth from occurring because they protect the top skaters even when they are off. Maybe if someone who skates well and delivers a clean program, like Liza or Akiko, could actually win an event we might have an exciting sport in which anything can happen. So I think the biggest improvement to the GP series would be to score programs in a way that a good performance from a marginal skater could beat a marginal performance from a good skater.
    I agree. There is so little parity in figure skating.
    As opposed to the NFL where at least 20 of the 32 teams each season has a chance of winning the Super Bowl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deedee1 View Post
    So true! And please do so, karne! I am perfectly fine with GPF in Australia, since it means less time difference for me, compared to GPF either in Europe or N America.

    btw, I am looking forward to seeing Australian skaters at 4CC next month, karne! It's such a wonderful opportunity for skating fans like me to see skaters from smaller federations/countries other than US Canada Japan, etc. to compete at 4CC and to witness these skaters improve step by step, isn't it? I always love/enjoy it so much every year. From your country, I especially love the ice dance couple Danielle OBRIEN/Gregory MERRIMAN. They have improved so much over the years! Good luck to them in Osaka next month!
    I would love an international in Australia more often (I was flat broke when the JGP was here and couldn't get to Brisbane...I missed Jason :( ). Unfortunately I don't really see it happening in the near future. However, maybe someone should nudge the ISA (I was joking, haha!)

    I always love watching the Australian skaters on the big stage! Daniel Kranjec is another huge one for me, a real revelation on the JGP. I can't wait to see Brooklee Han in action either. Aussie Aussie Aussie!

  4. #19
    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Great post!
    Thanks for the compliment!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the main problem with your suggestions is that the ISU cannot afford them. In fact, due to lack of funds the trend has been in the other direction -- fewer competitors and scrimping on money wherever possible. I think the ISU loses money on every event it puts on outside Japan.

    Fifteen years ago the ISU had something like a 15 million dollar contract with ABC television to broadcast skating events in the United States. (The USFSA paid Michelle Kwan upwards of $US 900,000 a year for her participation.) This money is long gone. The USFSA has to scramble each year to find a city/local club to put on Skate America, because it is a losing proposition financially.
    Wow! I knew that lack of money would come into it somewhere, but I didn't realise it was as bad as that! And, great skater and crowd-puller though Michelle was/is, I don't think I would be paying anybody that much to participate! Come to think of it, I don't think I would be paying anybody to participate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    My suggestion would be to go back the the original idea of the "Championship series" (before it was called the Grand Prix). Each country that wants to can put on its own show. Then the ISU stages a big whoop at the end featuring the winners.
    I have been reading with interest the comments about the Champions Series, as by the time I started watching Figure Skating it had already been replaced.

    It sounds like a really interesting format, and I think it would be fun if it was revived. Not as a whole series, though. I think the GP Series is doing fine in that regard.

    But, perhaps you bring back the Champions Series Final for the winners of the different National Championships. You know, as a sort of stand-alone “Champion of Champions” competition. So, off the top of my head, if you had 12 slots, they could be filled by the winners of the following Nationals:

    1. USA
    2. Canada
    3. Russia
    4. Japan
    5. China
    6. Korea
    7. France
    8. Germany
    9. Italy
    10. Finland
    11. Czech Republic
    12. ?

    Not sure what country I would give the final slot to. Spain is a possibility, as I always love watching Javier skating. Or, what about Georgia, to get Elene Gedevanishvili in? There again, I would love to see Jenna McCorkell compete, so perhaps give the slot to Britain (OK, I’m being biased because her hometown is 40 miles from mine!)

    Oh, you could debate for hours!

    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Actually, maybe having the Olympic-year GPF OUTSIDE of the big six would be a great idea, to prevent bias?

    *prepares Australia's bid*
    And I love the idea of holding an international skating event in Australia. Especially if it meant we got to see some local skaters compete, as we don’t get to see many Aussie skaters on the international stage.

    The only worry I would have is whether there would be enough demand for tickets to make it financially viable. I know it’s a cliché, but because of the climate, Aussies tend to prefer outdoor sports. So, I don’t know how many would turn up for an indoor winter sport! But, I suppose we can take encouragement from the fact that since snooker started holding a ranking event in Bendigo, VIC a couple of years ago, there has always been a good turn-out of spectators. So, the cliché is not totally watertight!

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    You can require all the selections before the series starts to give every skater entered two events. But you can't enforce all skaters actually to skate in two events. Sometimes it will be absolutely necessary for them to withdraw from the second one they're scheduled for.

    But other considerations to take into account:
    A skater travels to the first event but their skates don't make it time -- or with extreme travel delays, maybe the skater doesn't make it in time -- or s/he has to withdraw because of some acute and temporary health crisis like food poisoning; no reason that should preclude competing in the second scheduled event a few weeks later

    Also, what about the host picks? The way eligibility for GP selections currently works, the skater must have achieved a certain level of previous international results to be considered for GP invitations from other countries. But if the skater is from a host country, their own federation can invite them to the home event. For someone who had one or more breakout performances at the last year's Nationals, summer or fall domestic competitions (official qualifying or nonqualifying), or non-GP internationals junior or senior, they may not qualify for the GP by the initial rules. This will be especially true for brand new pair and dance teams, perhaps where one member had previous impressive results. In countries with deep fields, which tend to be the GP host federations, allowing this exception is a good way to get breakout stars onto the elite circuit the same year when they first become hot.

    Also, for skaters lower on the list of being eligible for GP selections, choosing several for only one event meant that more individuals got to experience the GP. Giving two events to the first choice will mean fewer slots for the second choice. If the total number of slots available is going to be expanded, that's not a big problem -- the skaters who get left out would also have been left out of the smaller fields. BUT what happens when someone withdraws a week before an event and can be replaced by an alternate? There's no way to guarantee that the alternate selected for this event will also get a second event -- especially alternates for the last event.
    Getting back to the GP Series, and I think gkelly makes some very valid points about the problems that could arise by requiring skaters to compete in 2 events. Like, there are unforeseen circumstances like illnesses or things going missing in transit (I liked that suggestion, gkelly!) that could prevent them doing one of their appearances. This is where the rule-makers would have to do a lot of thinking about how exactly they word the rules, and about what to do with the skater involved if that situation arises.

    When I suggested having local wildcards on standby in case of last-minute withdrawals, it did cross my mind that we could have another Kaetlyn Osmond scenario if a wildcard came into a competition and did particularly well. If they were given another appearance because of doing so well, it could cause problems as it might mean taking a slot away from a skater that was scheduled to appear at a later event. Or, it might mean stopping another wildcard from competing in their local GP, which would anger the host federation. So, here is another area which would need careful consideration.

    Getting the rules worded just right so as not to cause controversy if something unexpected happens is always the hardest part.

    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Aussie Aussie Aussie!
    Oi Oi Oi!!!

    (Sorry karne, I couldn't resist!!!)

    CaroLiza_fan
    Last edited by CaroLiza_fan; 01-18-2013 at 08:49 AM.

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    And, great skater and crowd-puller though Michelle was/is, I don't think I would be paying anybody that much to participate! Come to think of it, I don't think I would be paying anybody to participate!
    As I understand it the money came directly from the television contract as part of the deal. In those days, as a strictly commercial venture, from the sponsors' point of view it was "no Michelle, no show". The ABC television network broadcast and promoted five events in those days: Skate America, U.S. Nationals, and three cheesefests. Michelle's part of the deal was that she had to skate in these five. Worlds and other Grand Prix events were not money-makers for U.S. television and corporate sponsors, so they didn't care about that.

    Michelle never missed a cheesefest. Not even the 2005 Marshall's phone-in-the-vote event, where she was so crippled up from her hip injury that she could hardly walk, let alone skate. (The audience didn't care; they voted for her anyway and she won. )

  6. #21
    Banned Reginald's Avatar
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    Team Competition

    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    Thanks for the compliment!



    Wow! I knew that lack of money would come into it somewhere, but I didn't realise it was as bad as that! And, great skater and crowd-puller though Michelle was/is, I don't think I would be paying anybody that much to participate! Come to think of it, I don't think I would be paying anybody to participate!



    I have been reading with interest the comments about the Champions Series, as by the time I started watching Figure Skating it had already been replaced.

    It sounds like a really interesting format, and I think it would be fun if it was revived. Not as a whole series, though. I think the GP Series is doing fine in that regard.

    But, perhaps you bring back the Champions Series Final for the winners of the different National Championships. You know, as a sort of stand-alone “Champion of Champions” competition. So, off the top of my head, if you had 12 slots, they could be filled by the winners of the following Nationals:

    1. USA
    2. Canada
    3. Russia
    4. Japan
    5. China
    6. Korea
    7. France
    8. Germany
    9. Italy
    10. Finland
    11. Czech Republic
    12. ?

    Not sure what country I would give the final slot to. Spain is a possibility, as I always love watching Javier skating. Or, what about Georgia, to get Elene Gedevanishvili in? There again, I would love to see Jenna McCorkell compete, so perhaps give the slot to Britain (OK, I’m being biased because her hometown is 40 miles from mine!)

    Oh, you could debate for hours!



    And I love the idea of holding an international skating event in Australia. Especially if it meant we got to see some local skaters compete, as we don’t get to see many Aussie skaters on the international stage.

    The only worry I would have is whether there would be enough demand for tickets to make it financially viable. I know it’s a cliché, but because of the climate, Aussies tend to prefer outdoor sports. So, I don’t know how many would turn up for an indoor winter sport! But, I suppose we can take encouragement from the fact that since snooker started holding a ranking event in Bendigo, VIC a couple of years ago, there has always been a good turn-out of spectators. So, the cliché is not totally watertight!



    Getting back to the GP Series, and I think gkelly makes some very valid points about the problems that could arise by requiring skaters to compete in 2 events. Like, there are unforeseen circumstances like illnesses or things going missing in transit (I liked that suggestion, gkelly!) that could prevent them doing one of their appearances. This is where the rule-makers would have to do a lot of thinking about how exactly they word the rules, and about what to do with the skater involved if that situation arises.

    When I suggested having local wildcards on standby in case of last-minute withdrawals, it did cross my mind that we could have another Kaetlyn Osmond scenario if a wildcard came into a competition and did particularly well. If they were given another appearance because of doing so well, it could cause problems as it might mean taking a slot away from a skater that was scheduled to appear at a later event. Or, it might mean stopping another wildcard from competing in their local GP, which would anger the host federation. So, here is another area which would need careful consideration.

    Getting the rules worded just right so as not to cause controversy if something unexpected happens is always the hardest part.



    Oi Oi Oi!!!

    (Sorry karne, I couldn't resist!!!)

    CaroLiza_fan
    Maybe you could make it a team CS event. Take the top 7 skaters from each of those 11 countries (have Britain as the 12th country). Make it like a NFL Playoff format.

    Seed all the teams by total score (add the 7 skaters scores SP and LP scores from nationals together)

    Have the top four seeds get a bye.

    Then have a wild card round #3 vs #12, #4 vs #11, #5 vs #10, #6 vs #9, #7 vs #8.

    Then have a "divisional round" etc.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    My suggestion would be to go back the the original idea of the "Championship series" (before it was called the Grand Prix). Each country that wants to can put on its own show. Then the ISU stages a big whoop at the end featuring the winners.
    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    I have been reading with interest the comments about the Champions Series, as by the time I started watching Figure Skating it had already been replaced.

    It sounds like a really interesting format, and I think it would be fun if it was revived. Not as a whole series, though. I think the GP Series is doing fine in that regard.
    The Champions Series and the Grand Prix of Figure Skating are the exact same thing. They just changed the name in 1998 because it took them that long to get the rights to use the words "Grand Prix" so for the first three years they used "Champions Series" as a placeholder name.

    Before the series started in 1995-96, various federations hosted small invitational international events, such as Skate Canada, Skate America, NHK, etc. I.e., the federation invited a few of their own skaters and a few challengers for them from around the world, generally for a total of 8-12 entries per event, no more than would fit in two warmup groups.

    The idea of the series was to bind these independent events into something with a bit more prestige and TV appeal by making the initial events count toward something. Skaters would participate in 1, 2, or (for the few best from the previous year's Worlds) 3 of the 5 or 6 events in the series (there were only 5 the first year, Russia was added later), and one warmup group worth of those who earned the best combined results over two events -- which did not necessitate actually winning any of the events -- would qualify for a final, which could bill itself as the best-of-the-best and that was a lot more convenient format for getting those top skaters together for TV than, say, Worlds with all the not-top skaters also participating.

    Some of the details have changed over the years, but the basic premise has not.

    If "Each country that wants to can put on its own show. Then the ISU stages a big whoop at the end featuring the winners." was an accurate representation of how the series worked in 1995, then it's an equally accurate representation of how it works in 2012, no more and no less.

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