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Thread: Timing of Championships

  1. #1
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Timing of Championships

    I find it interesting that Canada and US Championships were held much later than other major powers. It was a very quick turn-around between Nationals and 4CC.

    Of course, Europeans were held much earlier than 4CC, so the gap for those skaters may have been very little, too.

    I would think that US and Canada would give their skaters a longer respite between their Nationals and 4CC. Really, there's not much time in between for rest, not to mention that there is little time to consider judges feedback and to adjust the elements/programs if needed.

    Wasn't Europeans wrapped up before the North American Nationals?

    I'm not sure if this is the standard or not. Can someone educate me, please?

  2. #2
    Custom Title starryxskies's Avatar
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    Euros were held on the same weekend as US nationals I believe. Canada and US give their skaters a little more time after the GP series/final (if they make it). Japan nationals were held late December, I think maybe 2 weeks from GPF.

    I think there are pros and cons... the US/Canada give skaters more polish time after the GP series to digest international feedback and make any changes necessary in order to get on the world team. You have to get on the team before you can even consider 4CC and worlds right?

    Perhaps maybe Euros/4CC and Worlds all happen too early.

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    I agree that Euros/4CCs could be scheduled a bit later. USFSA is likely scheduling Nats for optimum television/media exposure. Notice that for several years now it has been on the off weekend between the final round of NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. Earlier in January and they would be up against NFL broadcasts--granted they don't likely have the same audience, but there may be enough overlap and a hesitancy from NBC to be up against it with figure skating. Go back to December and it would run into college football, holiday specials, and the holidays themselves.

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    USA has a 3-tier qualifying process for the part of the competition field that isn't receiving automatic byes: Regionals, Sectionals, then Nationals. By the time you figure in Thanksgiving and Christmas-New Year holiday seasons, there isn't any time left to hold US Nationals before the end of the year. Regardless of what other sports are out there, or the TV schedule. IIRC, in the 1990's, the start of US Nationals was anywhere from the first week of January (Olympic years) to first half of February. So current time slot isn't some sort of aberration. Also remember the 4CC is a relative Newbie imposed by the ISU, it's only been around for 14 years. Euros scheduling had never been a problem since obviously North Americans weren't part of the field. IMO, 4CC is too early, but I'm sure the ISU wants to keep it scheduled this way to avoid having to bounce it around the calendar during Olympic years.

    Perhaps we need an extra month of winter added to calendar to get it all in.
    Last edited by bigsisjiejie; 02-09-2013 at 12:30 PM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    To expand on what bigsisjiejie said...

    Historically, the United States National Championship has been a big deal to USFS. Sometimes in the past it was held after Worlds or the Olympics. Four Continents, on the other hand -- until recently the problem was in finding some second tier U.S. skaters who were willing to go.

    Even now, Canadian men's champ Patrick Chan and U.S. ladies' champ Ashley Wagner decided to give it a miss.

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    Note that next year, in the Olympics year, US Nationals will be held earlier: Jan 5-14, 2014.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Four Continents, on the other hand -- until recently the problem was in finding some second tier U.S. skaters who were willing to go.

    Even now, Canadian men's champ Patrick Chan and U.S. ladies' champ Ashley Wagner decided to give it a miss.
    I think it has a lot to do with the location. Skaters can easily travel to compete at the Euros but many competitors have to do trans Pacific flying to participate in 4CC. Jet lag is wearing and will also cut into top tier skaters' training time for Worlds soon after. Skaters are more likely to want to compete when the event is held at their home continent.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    I think it has a lot to do with the location. Skaters can easily travel to compete at the Euros but many competitors have to do trans Pacific flying to participate in 4CC. Jet lag is wearing and will also cut into top tier skaters' training time for Worlds soon after. Skaters are more likely to want to compete when the event is held at their home continent.
    That's not necessarily accurate. With skaters relocating for training all the time, European skaters might have to travel quite far to reach their continental championship, too.

    Many skaters are not based in their home continent these days: Pechalat/Bourzat and Valentina Marchei are in Detroit, and I believe Cappellini/Lanotte spend a lot of time in Novi. Javier Fernandez, Tomas Verner and Elene Gedevanishvilli are all based in the Toronto area, as is Yuzuru Hanyu. Misha Ge and Denis Ten are in California, and both made it to 4CC, along with Hanyu (not surprising, considering the latter is the national champion of the host country). Michal Brezina and Coomes/Buckland train in New Jersey. Hurtado/Diaz are in Montreal. Kemp and King have been in Florida for the past year or two. Faiella/Scali, DomShabs, the Kerrs and the Zaretskis were all US-based teams (I believe that all Israeli skaters train abroad, and many of the British skaters).

    So I do think that the difference is that despite the rise of NA and Asian skaters, the skaters themselves still consider 4CC as optional, while European skaters consider Euros a must. It also helps that there's a longer gap between Nationals and Euros than between US/Canadian Nats and 4CC, plus 4CC scheduling in Olympic seasons is an issue.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 02-12-2013 at 04:58 PM.

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    4CC was held in the US last year, but it was in Colorado----a mile above sea level, and many of the skaters were affected by the altitude. Charlie White and Alex Shibutani, both asthma sufferers, were gasping for breath; some skaters had to be given oxygen when they came off the ice.

    It seems unfortunate that when 4CC is in the US, it has to be at such an unforgiving venue.

  10. #10
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    ^ true since I cant remember skaters skipping Euros for Worlds. Euros has a long history, 4CC is relative new, so it needs time. If USA Nationals and Canadian Nationals were a bit earlier, 4CC wouldnt have been a problem. In Olympics season it is an issue always though while Euros are not skipped.


    OT but Russian Nationals during Christmas is a tradition too, I dont know why they have nationals then but they used to have all sort of christmas trees in knc in the past.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Historically, the United States National Championship has been a big deal to USFS. Sometimes in the past it was held after Worlds or the Olympics.
    So how was the team selected then?

  11. #11
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    4CC was held in the US last year, but it was in Colorado----a mile above sea level, and many of the skaters were affected by the altitude. Charlie White and Alex Shibutani, both asthma sufferers, were gasping for breath; some skaters had to be given oxygen when they came off the ice.

    It seems unfortunate that when 4CC is in the US, it has to be at such an unforgiving venue.
    I realize it's not as high altitude as Colorado Springs, but a decade ago we had the Olympics well above sea level, and the skaters seem to have survived the experience. Courchevel often hosts a JGP, and it's pretty high-altitude (no idea if it's as high as CS, though). Anyway, it is possible to aclimatize, it's not like they had to skate on top of a 14,000er or were informed of the location at the last moment.

    If I'm not mistaken, airplane cabin altitude is often maintained at a higher altitude than Colorado Springs (though skaters, happily, do not have to skate in airplanes, either).

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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    ^ true since I cant remember skaters skipping Euros for Worlds. Euros has a long history, 4CC is relative new, so it needs time. If USA Nationals and Canadian Nationals were a bit earlier, 4CC wouldnt have been a problem. In Olympics season it is an issue always though while Euros are not skipped.
    Euros is sometimes skipped, especially if there's a minor injury. Better to save oneself for the bigger event. E.g., Kulik in 1998.

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    Many skaters arrive at the Olympic venue well in advance of the competition. They did so for the SLC Olympics, held at high altitude in Utah. The problem with Colorado Springs last year was US Nationals ended on 1/29 and 4CC started on 2/8, which didn't give US skaters who train at sea level enough time to get acclimated to the altitude.

    ETA: Courchevel France (where JGPs are held) and Lake Placid NY USA (1932 and 1980 Olympics) are both about 1800 feet above sea level, while Colorado Springs is at 6000 feet. No comparison there at all.
    Last edited by chuckm; 02-12-2013 at 05:32 PM.

  14. #14
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Euros is sometimes skipped, especially if there's a minor injury. Better to save oneself for the bigger event. E.g., Kulik in 1998.
    Any event can be skipped due to injury, I was just saying that skaters usually dont skip Euros in favor of Worlds, and not even in Olympic season. Is it the same as the skipping of 4cc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Euros is sometimes skipped, especially if there's a minor injury. Better to save oneself for the bigger event. E.g., Kulik in 1998.
    Sometimes - yes. Often - no.

    ETA - A competition has the value it is given.

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