Variety is the spice of life.
I am partly here because of programs like Yuna Kim's El Tango De Roxanne, Danse Macabre and her James Bond. Will the world of figure skating lose more fans world wide than gain fans without these sensational programs? I am sure there are plenty of fan favourites among other short programs, let alone the thrills and spills of MUST ace that routine. To think this world without them is clearly more self harming, damaging than good.
It is time for Speedy to bow out gracefully instead of trying burn the house down just because he is throwing a fit when nobody like or respect him.
I'm not sure how the scoring system could be changed to make the free skate a free skate again. Perhaps eliminating any element requirements there would help (as long as jump limits are kept). I don't know. That brings us to the whole IJS debate most of which is a dead horse. Innovation is dead, though, no one wants to do a spin or lift or any element that does not have a level and base value so why try to create something new? I think that is hurting skating as much as anything. (Other than fans apparently having the attention span of gnats according to NMURA who has repeated it so much it must be true, right?).
New poster here. These proposed changes are terrible, especially the proposal to eliminate the short program. Cinquatta proposes that the short program should be eliminated so that senior and junior competitions can be held in the same facility at the same time. For hypothesis sake, let's accept Cinquatta's premise that some solution is required to maximize efficiency for holding both juniors and seniors worlds at the same facility at the same time. What a solutions other than eliminating the short program?
My solution would be to keep the short program but limit the number of skaters/couples to 15 entries in the short. There would be only 3 warmup groups of 5 individuals/couples in the short. The long program would just have 12 entrants-the top 12 finishers of the short. There would be 3 warmup groups of 6 individuals/couples.
As a result, instead of the short program lasting 3-4 hours, maybe it could last just under 2 hours. Instead of time spent on a series of ice resurfacing, maybe just resurface the ice one time.
These changes would be applicable to both juniors and seniors worlds. The mens and pairs short for the juniors and seniors could occur on the same day. Same as for the ladies and ice dancing.
The tricky point would be how to determine who is eligible to make the top 15 and whether to limit the number of skaters a country can send to Worlds and other international events. Perhaps Worlds eligibility would be based on the number of points accumulated over the junior and senior grand prix final. You accumulate points for your country based on your placement at Grand Prix events. If you are a winner in the Grand Prix Final, you're automatically a Worlds entrant and your country gets an extra entry at Worlds. Not only are you skating for yourself at the grand prix events, but you're also skating for your country. Kind of like the team event. Except for Grand Prix, you are skating for the spots at Worlds, not just medals.
Bottom line: If ISU does need to start cutting costs, there are alternatives other than eliminating the short program. That aren't that creative or groundbreaking.
It is about time that speedy has to go for good.
Just one other thought. Perhaps I'm just too cynical after watching all of the games that politicians play in my country, but I think I've seen this song and dance before. Politicians often leak to the media some terrible idea that raises a lot of opposition. A trial balloon. After some dialogue, the politician comes up a with a compromise that isn't as bad as the terrible idea that elicited outrage, but it's still worse than the status quo. The politician planned to introduce the compromise all along but knew the compromise would face opposition compared to the status quo. Hence the trial balloon.
It's amazing how Phil Hersh was able to obtain the letter from Cinquitta. Did Cinquatta have one of his minions give it to Phil and other media outlets as a trial balloon? Where's the real proposals?
I don't think IOC will go along with this. Figure skating is the marquee event at the winter Olympics games, where all broadcasters get tons of advertising revenue for the event worth extra air time, why would ISU want to sabotage it? Just because Speedy can no longer be part of it for 2018? It is such a selfish, short sighted and ignorant view of the sport.
Completely irresponsible and callous.
Rather than killing or "evolving" the sport slowly like this, why not just do it quickly?
- No more music -- programs will now be called "routines", and will be constructed much like the routines in artistic gymnastics.
- No more costumes -- each country will have their own uniforms and each skater will have a number, just like gymnastics.
- Time Limits - since we're trying not to waste people's time, each routine should last no longer than 2 minutes.
- Codify power moves that are currently illegal - allow backflips, detroiters, iron lotus lol etc - and introduce new ones like full twisting butterfly, etc -- anything to make the sport more daring and exciting for the audience.
- No more footwork sequences -- routines will consist of skating around the rink performing jumps and/or spins, and different kinds of lifts for pairs (including dance lifts), but footwork will no longer be a part of the sport. The sad truth is that the general public can't grasp, and therefore can't care less, about the difficulty/intricacy of edge-work, so all that's left is to get rid of it. This means you can drop ice dance altogether, since all it is is music, costume, footwork, and restricted lifts (if the first three are eliminated, and the last one is given to pairs, there's nothing left of it).
Depending on if you want to keep the name:
- Bring back figures - this could be an untelevised, qualifying phase of competition, only the top 5 teams can go on to the final, or top 15 individuals/pairs
- Rename the sport - by dropping the name "Figure Skating" in favor of "Freestyle skating" it makes a better counterpart to Speed Skating (much like freestyle skiing and the racing events), and it also helps the sport distance itself from all the stigma that's attatched to it right now.
- Design new events -- you can have jumping competitions, spinning competitions, freestyle combined (jumps + spins) for both singles and pairs, and team as well. You could easily hold all events over 1-2 days (a single weekend). You can also design competition around a tournament format for World Championships and Olympics.
- Drop "junior" division -- there's no need for it. Maybe just have an a general age requirement to enter competitions.
Right, but the sport has been in decline for just over a decade now, despite the big exposure it gets every 4 years from the Olympics. Either Cinquanta has done an awful job of capitalizing on Olympic exposure and popularizing the sport in the intervening years so it can flourish, or it's the sport itself that is in need of radical change in order to be profitable again, and IOC will just have to deal with it.I don't think IOC will go along with this. Figure skating is the marquee event at the winter Olympics games
Besides, with proper marketing, it could take off. If you eliminated edge-work and made it all about the "wow" elements, with a simpler point-system, it would instantly be more viewer-friendly.
I haven't had the time to read the thread yet, but I just wanted to say I think eliminating the short program is a horrible, horrible idea. I'm frankly disgusted and appalled. I never could have imagined that anyone could have come up with such ... I can't even call it "thought". I can't even... ! It's just beyond the pale.
@I♥Yuna: What is "Iron lotus"?
@Npmonice: IJS is here to stay. It needs to be improved, but going back to 6.0 is a huge regression. What we need are a neutral body and honest/competent judges.
@I♥Yuna: I kinda want to see skaters performing to the same music instead of no music at all.
Oh come on. I really don't know.