I much prefer LADIES on the GP-not prepubescent girls.
It's unfair for a lady of 21 to compete with a string bean that hasn't hit puberty yet. I wouldn't mind an age of 16 and up.
The 14 y/o's can do the JGP.I think it's good there is an age limit. If they are meant to skate with the ladies, they'll skate with the ladies.I think it's good to make them wait until they are 15 just like at Worlds and the Olympics. If they are that good they can wait another year and if puberty gets them well that's how it goes. I for one as glad not to see 4'7 65lbs little girls on the Senior GP.If figure skating is such a physically peculiar sport, wouldn't it be logical and fair for athletes and fans to create two different disciplines then:Because they have the frigging JUNIOR GRAND PRIX for a reason? What next, are you going to start whinging that the minimum age of 13 for the JGP is totally cruel and it should be lowered to 10 so the baby Russian jumping beans can go on it?
- adult figure skating (with age+ limit) for viewers who like watching grown-up skaters only, irked by "jumping beans",
- open figure skating (without age limits) for viewers who like watching simply the best skaters, no matter if 12 or 30yo?
(Of course plus strict monitoring and life-long ban for every coach/school/fed proved messing with children growth/health issues)
Junior competitions could stay the same as they are.
Everybody's happy and live happily ever after, right?
Let us see JrWorlds Champions from 2009 to 2014.
2009 - Alena Leonova, she had not 3+3 combo. After that she earned very good 3T+3T and became World Silver Medalist. Progressed much after being JrWorld Champion.
2009 3rd place - Ashley Wagner. No doubt became really stronger being more mature.
2010 - Kanako Murakami. Also became better being more mature.
2011 - Adelina Sotnikova. Her skating at Olympics-2014 was very good, much better than at any competition before (somebody may tell that she doesn't deserve gold medal, but no doubt she deserves medal of Olympics).
2011 2nd place - Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Also skated better being more mature.
2012 - Julia Lipnitskaia. At season 2013-2014 (GP Skate Canada, GP Final, Team Event Olympics) skated really better than at that JrWorlds.
2012 2nd place - Gracie Gold. No doubt progressed after that JrWorlds.
2013 and 2014 - Elena Radionova. She was better at 14 than at 13, also at 13 than at 12 and so on.
So what we see? Young Ladies who were most successful in Junors are better when are elder.
Yes, of course not all the Young Ladies become very good Senior Ladies - but it is sports, some retirement is normal.
I don't see problem at all.
If young age would give advantage, we would see many 14-years-old Ladies at GP and many 15-years-old at Worlds.
But at GP-2011 were only Sotnikova and Tuktamysheva, GP-2012 - Lipnitskaia, GP2013 - Radionova of that age.
At Worlds situation is about the same. At 2014 were three 15-years-old girls (Lipnitskaia, Pogorilaya, Edmunds) - and who can say that they are not good enough in all aspects for Worlds?
Past some seasons (after Olympics-2010) I don't remember at Worlds youngsters with really high results.
Some years ago at Worlds were youngsters Kostner, Ando, Asada, Kim. They all were good and became better when were more mature.
Maybe, youngsters show very good results because they are very good skaters? (so good that not at any year may exist)
And at most they become better being more mature?
Seriously, haven't you noticed huge group of skating fans dissing every young girl skater that achieves some success?
Every single 13,14,15 women winner/champion/medalist has been constantly diminished and disrespected by them using two magical words:
maturity - noone exactly defined what it is yet, except that for sure NO 13-15yo HAS IT!
growth spurt - noone exactly knows how much it'll affect the skater, except for sure in year or two IT WILL CRUSH ALL THE BLOODY RUSSIANS!
There is big group of fans that don't want prepubescent skaters on senior ice - as you see above, they even say their presence is unfair(!) to other grown-up skaters. Imagine how do they feel when such "jumping bean" wins!
If there is no common respect for champions amongst the fans, the sport will not progress. It's really unusual and harmful situation for integrity of the sport.
Change the rules or acknowledge them.