On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks, consisting of mass shootings, suicide bombings, and hostage-taking, occurred in Paris, France, and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis.
Approximately 590 kilometers away in Bordeaux, France, the first day of 2015 Trophée Éric Bompard competition—the fourth event of six in the 2015-16 Grand Prix Series of Figure Skating—had just concluded with the pairs short program.
The following day, the Minister of Interior Affairs of France, Bernard Cazeneuve, and the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppe, informed the French Figure Skating Federation (FFSG) that the competition had to be cancelled due to the state of emergency and national mourning days in France.
The International Skating Union (ISU) and the FFSG acknowledged the decision and expressed their deepest sympathies to the victims of the attacks.
Since then, the figure skating community has expressed their shock and concern for the victims and France as a whole, lighting up social media sites with French flags and messages of solidarity in a show of support. At the same time, however, the question has come up as to how the cancellation of the event would affect skaters standings and selections for the Grand Prix Final which will take place in less than a month in Barcelona, Spain.
On Nov 23, 2015, the ISU announced that according to Article 17, paragraph 1. r) of the ISU Constitution, the ISU Council unanimously agreed upon the following measures related to the Trophée Eric Bompard 2015 (hereafter “the event”):
1) ISU World Standing/Ranking Points and Prize Money
The results of the Short Programs / Short Dance of the event are considered as the final result and the World Standing Points, the Seasons World Ranking Points as well as the Prize Money are awarded based on the results of the Short Programs / Short Dance of the event.
2) Qualification Criteria ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and Tie Breaking Criteria
The results of the Short Programs / Short Dance of the event are considered as the final results and the Grand Prix points are awarded based on the results of the Short Programs / Short Dance of the event.
As the Skaters who competed at the event were not able to achieve a combined Total Score and a Free Skating Score, the Tie Breaking Criteria, Point 4.3, b), d) and e) as per the General Announcement for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating season 2015/16, are void and the Tie Breaking Criteria is revised as follows:
If there is a tie by added points, the following criteria will be taken into consideration for tie-breaking:
a) the best place obtained in the two designated events will count for the better place/ranking;
If there is still a tie,
b) the higher total of the added scores in the Short Program/Short Dance obtained in the two designated events will count for the better place/ranking;
If there is still a tie,
c) participation in two events will be considered better than having participated in only one event;
If there is still a tie
d) the number of participants finishing the two individual events in which the tied Skaters/Couples have completed, will be added to the total. The higher number of participants will count for the better place/ranking.
If there is still a tie, all Skaters tied are qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
3) Exceptional Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final qualification criteria
As usual, the top 6 Skaters/Couples placed in the final Grand Prix of Figure Skating season 2015/16 ranking (after the last individual event of the 2015/16 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series, the NHK Trophy) will qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Barcelona, while places 7 to 9 are the Substitute Skaters/Couples for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and need to stay on stand-by in case of a withdrawal of the top 6 ranked Competitors.
However, following the events as mentioned above and due to the fact that no Free Skating/Free Dance segments could be skated at the Grand Prix event in Bordeaux, any first Substitute Skater/Couple (placed 7th in the above-mentioned 2015/16 Grand Prix ranking) will be invited to join the qualified Skaters/Couples, provided that this/these Competitor(s) has/have skated the Short Program/Short Dance at the event in Bordeaux. Such additional Competitor(s) will be added to the qualified Competitors for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2015/16 and the warm-up groups will be adjusted accordingly once the number of participating Competitors is confirmed.
The ISU will cover the costs for travel and full board on site for such an additional Competitor(s) possibly entered into the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
The usual procedure for the Substitute Skaters/Couples will remain unchanged.
The International Skating Union reiterates its deepest sympathies to the victims of the attacks in Paris.
The sixth event will take place this week in Nagano, Japan, at NHK Trophy. The Grand Prix Final will be held in Barcelona, Spain, Dec 10-13, 2015.