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Thread: Solomon's Decision: jumping beans -vs- silver foxes

  1. #41
    Bona Fide Member andromache's Avatar
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    I think the correlation/causation that's being made between ridiculous depth + limited spots per country and a lack of longevity in the sport is totally false. I don't think the two things are all that related.

    Otherwise we would see the same thing happening in other countries or other disciplines.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by andromache View Post
    Skaters who are unhappy with the level of depth in their countries can change countries. It isn't easy, but it isn't impossible either.
    Isn't there a requirement to be released by federation? I remember not so long ago here was a story about French ice dancer retirement who was not realesed by French fed. I do not closely follow ice dance so I am not sure in my memory.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Casual audiences who watch figure skating only in Olympic years, or only a couple of times per year, are generally most interested in watching skaters from their own countries: to root for their compatriots at international events, and in places with deeper fields to follow national championships for their own sakes and out of interest in who will be chosen to represent their country internationally.

    Few casual skating fans, let alone casual viewers who wouldn't even call themselves skating fans, would have much interest in watching national-level events outside their own nations.

    At Olympics or other international events they tune in to watch, they would want to see the best in the world and also their own skaters, assuming those are not the same. But if they're not Russian or Japanese themselves, they're likely to perceive the top ladies as "the Russian girl" and "the Japanese girl" rather than having a good grasp on each skater as an individual.

    It takes a lot more commitment to following the sport even to keep track of who's who let alone to understand the subtleties. And watching a couple of international competitions where they only see skaters from one or two other countries with a chance to medal is not likely to attract casual fans to put in the effort to follow the sport closely and become less than casual.
    Casual audiences from countries other than Japan and Russia have little interest in ladies' figure skating in general. Stands is a very good indicator. Even at the Olympics the stands were virtually empty during early groups of ladies: I was there and took a picture. And the stands in Korea were almost full for the last group although it was sort of clear that it was just about who of the 2 Russians is going to win. Although some Americans who were seating beside me knew nothing about who is who and just showed up for the last 2 groups to watch the best skaters.

    So, people from "small countries" don't care much about their skaters especially when they have very little to show. Once again, a good solution would be introducing qualification competitions like tennis has. If there is expected audience interest in their countries' skaters National TV could show just their skaters' performances.

  4. #44
    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andromache View Post
    I think the correlation/causation that's being made between ridiculous depth + limited spots per country and a lack of longevity in the sport is totally false. I don't think the two things are all that related.
    I guess I just assume some may feel demotivated to train as hard if they face uncertainty and struggle. Especially that even getting distinguishable results might not equal GP assignments?

    Otherwise we would see the same thing happening in other countries or other disciplines.
    What other disciplines or countries aren’t sending JGP finalists (let alone medalists) to JWC or have skaters in the top SB scores not getting GP assignments?

  5. #45
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Vladimir View Post
    Single Ladies Ice Dance?
    But they still should be required to do clean jumps. I would make less jumps for senior groups, but add extra StepSeq requirement. StepSeq. But also a fall should be counted as -5 points penalty. This way ladies will be jumping lower difficulty base, but landing all jumps. And more attention to skating quality. So using your terminology it will be "Single Ladies Ice Dance with Jumps".

  6. #46
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The thing is, there will be some athletic skaters who can maintain their athleticism and jumping ability well into their 20s.
    True. But between 15 and 21 "jumping beans" would have a chance to win Olympics (and even twice at some cases!) and several shots at Worlds title and medals. Those young girls who dont have jumping talents, can still learn jumps with a bit less difficulty and work on their PCS, because after 20 they can use their jumps and "artistic advantage" in Senior field.

    So I wouldn't want to put them out to pasture into an event in which 3-3 combos or 3A are not allowed or not valued just because they've reached the age of 21. If they can still jump well enough to compete against teenagers, or against each other, on the strength of their athleticism, they should have an event where they're allowed to do so.
    Good point. This is how I see it. If 3A will keep their jumping ability and still be athletically strong they can surely still bring this talent and consistency+difficulty into Senior/Artistic Ladies field, and by the age 20-21 they definitely would develop more artistry and smooth refined skating. SO they will be even in more advantage. But judges will also pick on demand more refined components (TR, SS, IM) from them. The same quality PCS what older girls are capable of. So our dear jumping beans and all future generations of the young jump-technicians can use their amazing jumps (if they are able to keep them) past the age of 20, but push their PCS a bit more in order to build even more successful lengthy career in FS. Just the rules and judges have to emphasize more skating than jumping in the category past the age of 20-21.

    If the division between the top juniors and the top seniors is strictly by age, then each age group compete under pretty much the same rules, with opportunities to rack up points through jump difficulty, jump quality, difficult spins and steps, and all the program components.

    Jump difficulty may be highest among the more athletic top juniors, but that doesn't mean that every elite junior medalist will be jumping the most difficult jumps, nor that every senior medalist will be watering down jump content or restricted to only lower content. The teens are allowed to rack up enough points to win through quality, and the 20-somethings are allowed to rack up enough points to win through difficulty, as well as vice versa.

    Excellent skaters and performers with good jumps can win in both age categories, and excellent jumpers with good skating and performance quality can win in both age categories. Who wins any given event will depend who showed up and had a good skate that day.

    Alternatively, if you want divisions by program type, then allow for plenty of age overlap with no maximum age in either event, make the rules significantly different, and call them by different names based on emphasis rather than the likely ages of the winners.
    Good points too.
    It is all debatable. Let the ISU summon the international meetup of retired figure skaters and coaches and have them discuss that further. I just pitched the idea.

  7. #47
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Another solution I can propose - qualifications. We can still have 2 categories: Single Ladies Technical and Single Ladies Artistic. But no age restrictions for both categories. My idea is simple. Before the competitions ISU have to make some kind of Qualifications process. Like in gymnastics. Skaters all together one after another should skate their Short Program. And by the scores they receive they will be classified into Artistic or Technical category. I want to emphasize here that "Artistic" category should still be required to perform jumps (it is ok if the jumps are of less difficulty), but jumps should be also important even if a skater is going more for PCS than TES. How to judge and give points - this can be discussed furhter.

    Let's say we have prelim Qualifications event 2 days before the Finals. We initially have 40-50 skaters from different countries. No 2-per-country or no 3-per-country rule. We want all the best, we want all of them, everyone who is currently decent on the market (using ISU current international rating system), whatever is their nationality. We run qualifications and pick only 20 ladies out this big pool of skaters. 10 ladies for Artistic and 10 ladies for Technical categories. And then in the main event (Finals) these girls should skate their SP and LP (or just LP, since SP is already used up for Qualifications). And we just pick the winners in each category. 10 skaters per each category, this is 2 warm-ups with 5 skaters in each one. Let them skate their thing and let the judges judge. So 2 days later we can have gold-silver-bronze medalists in Technical category (probably will be dominated by younger girls) and gold-silver-bronze medalists in Artistic category (probably we will see a bit older girls there). 2 different style of figure skating, 2 different approaches to sport. And everyone is happy. All tastes, all figure-skating-ideologies and all favoritisms/fandoms are satisfied.

    This is just my another rough idea. Just a draft. I'm open to suggestions and etc.

  8. #48
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Well that’s because the way the system is set up. It grants opportunity to compete based on nationality and not talent. We’re going to see lots of girls retire who could maintain a standard triple jump layout because they are from Russia or Japan. No one is ever going to take longevity discussions seriously as long as the sport is set up in a way that actually works to discourage it. One only needs to follow the career of someone like Gubanova or Sakhanovich to see that talent doesn’t equal opportunity. Why would anyone plan for a long career in a sport where you can surpass the standard and not have any hope of getting to the international championships or worse yet not even get a single GP.

    Im a little tired of seeing the girls get picked on for doing what they have to do to stand out.
    I think figure skating rather is a very globalized sport, and we already almost pass the nationalistic pride. Flag-waving is a nice thing, but soon to be a bit unnecessary, although we don't have "Kostornaya-nation" flag yet, soo... they have to wave the flag of her origin. yet. I think the 2-per-country or 3-per-country rule is getting old already. We want the best to compete. However, on another hand some special quota for "smaller countries" should still be saved and used for upcoming and less-famous talents. So no talent will be overlooked and left behind because of their country of birth. We need to think of something.

  9. #49
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateSkates View Post
    I wish they would do a competition at the end of the season to include all skaters in the top 24 SB regardless of country or age. A sort of “open championships” that really includes the best of the best in the sport.
    This is interesting. Super Bowl or Super Cup of figure skating.

  10. #50
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    Another solutions I can propose: we can still have 2 categories: Single Ladies Technical and Single Ladies Artistic. But no age restrictions for both categories. My idea is simple. Before the competitions ISU have to make some kind of Qualifications. Like in gymnastics. All skaters all together one after another should skate their Short Program. And by the scores they receive they will be classified into Artistic or Technical category. ...
    Then there could be, besides the technical champion and the artistic champion, the all-around champion with the highest combined scores, like in gymnastics.

    Or -- better yet, let everyone compete a "technical" program and an "artistic" program, the way pro competitions were organized decades ago. You could give "small medals" to the winners of each program separately.

    I once had the idea for the Grand Prix of a "trophy dash" competition, modeled after stock car racing. To warm up the audience there is a short "trophy dash race." The winner gets a trophy. Then there is the long race, the winner receiving placements and points toward the season rankings (the Grand Prix Final) and the title of NHK champion, etc.

  11. #51
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    This is interesting. Super Bowl or Super Cup of figure skating.
    Money, money, money. Get some rich person to put up a ten million dollar prize. Come one come all. The ISU wouldn't like it, but where is their ten million dollar tournament?

  12. #52
    Rinkside anna gabriela's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateSkates View Post
    I wish they would do a competition at the end of the season to include all skaters in the top 24 SB regardless of country or age. A sort of “open championships” that really includes the best of the best in the sport.
    I love this idea, that would be really amazing to watch and I totally agree about regardless of country or age. There’s always going to be a few amazing juniors on the top 24 SB and it always seems a shame that they can’t compete with the best. I think it would be really cool to have a competition where literally anyone can compete if they’ve earned their place throughout the season, entry based solely on talent and performances.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Money, money, money. Get some rich person to put up a ten million dollar prize. Come one come all. The ISU wouldn't like it, but where is their ten million dollar tournament?
    Maybe Japan can host? It would benefit their skaters such as Mai Mihara.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    If people want to keep a limit on the amount of athletes per country then it seems rather silly for those same people to come into threads saying they want longevity and for skaters to develop long lasting.
    Not really. Plenty of talented skaters have long and personally satisfying competitive careers never once competing outside their own country's borders for a variety of reasons, or never making it to a single major championship. If that's good enough for skaters everywhere from Australia to Kazakhstan, why shouldn't skaters from Russia, Japan etc accept that it's a perfectly good option for them too? Surely, like everyone else, they compete primarily for love of the sport, and that can be expressed at a domestic competition just as easily as at an international one.

    Equity of access for skaters from all countries matters, and whether it's in agriculture, architecture or athletics, monocultures are death. For that reason, I'd personally prefer to see a stronger emphasis on the World part of the 'World Championships' title, so that everybody remembers that means 'everybody in the world gets to send their best to compete', not 'exclusive showcase for chosen few routinely sullied by inclusion of lowly nobodies from inferior nations'. And if that meant that each and every country with a figure skating federation only ever got to send one competitor/team per discipline, I'd be right there cheering the change on.

  15. #55
    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Sure, we can have a professional circuit for *all* comers regardless of country.
    They get a trophy. They get money. NO national anthem. NO identification by country. Just Mr. Mxyzptlk with the best score wins.


    But if the contest identifies skater by countries, if golds are used as point of “national” pride, if flags and anthems are raised at a “world” championship, then take steps to make sure the *world* is invited.

    And cry me a river that the “best” (including many American ice dancers) aren’t there.
    Last edited by el henry; 01-08-2019 at 08:13 PM.

  16. #56
    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harriet View Post
    Not really. Plenty of talented skaters have long and personally satisfying competitive careers never once competing outside their own country's borders for a variety of reasons, or never making it to a single major championship. If that's good enough for skaters everywhere from Australia to Kazakhstan, why shouldn't skaters from Russia, Japan etc accept that it's a perfectly good option for them too? Surely, like everyone else, they compete primarily for love of the sport, and that can be expressed at a domestic competition just as easily as at an international one.

    Equity of access for skaters from all countries matters, and whether it's in agriculture, architecture or athletics, monocultures are death. For that reason, I'd personally prefer to see a stronger emphasis on the World part of the 'World Championships' title, so that everybody remembers that means 'everybody in the world gets to send their best to compete', not 'exclusive showcase for chosen few routinely sullied by inclusion of lowly nobodies from inferior nations'. And if that meant that each and every country with a figure skating federation only ever got to send one competitor/team per discipline, I'd be right there cheering the change on.
    You missed my point I think. I wasn’t disputing the system...I said the system is preventing longevity (re: Russian Ladies) in many ways

    I was also including GP events in my analysis of the system too. Figure skating is a small sport that garners very low interest. It’s not a big sport like Golf or Tennis which can afford to invite athletes regardless of nationality and ensure the best in the world are at their biggest events.

    My point really was at those who want every skater to perform for them for 10 yrs and develop further at a slower rate. I was nearly pointing out how silly it is to later see those people criticizing short careers in a system that doesn’t make an effort to include those skaters who can’t find a place to compete after hitting a downturn. It’s ok to shut people out of events based on nationality but to then expect them to stick with a sport with little sponsorship opportunity and in some cases little chance to even compete...well that is what seems unfair to me. It is rather pricey and time consuming to do on the elite level simply for the love.

    Notice...I don’t complain about long or short careers for all the reasons stated above.

    tl;dr

    The system is unfair ...be understanding in terms of longevity. Not the system is unfair let’s change it

  17. #57
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Just on the limit of number of participants per country, isnt that the rule/requirements of Olympic Council?
    Something to do with inclusivity

    Cos the max 3 or max 2 per country rule applies to all individual sports during Olympics. And World Championships.

    As for whether the audience will be interested based on nationality, depends on the fan base of the sport. In general, yes. There are cheering groups organised to be present in the stadium, complete with drums.

    Sometimes, the only reason why we cheer for athlete is cos of patriotic reasons, even if he/she ends up last place. This includes figure skating.

    The lack of audiences in stadium issue, one main reason is the expensive ticket price. Expensive when compared to other sports.
    I can get Worlds tickets at 30% to 50%(depending which sport) of prices of figure skating WC. The price itself is enough to deter unless its an avid fan or someone from 1st world country.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    The thing is that I’m not even disputing the reasons for the system but rather to point out that it’s really the same system that is what is shortening the careers of skaters. At least in this instance re: Russian Ladies (Maybe japan too). When a skater begins to struggle and fall behind it’s hard for them to stay motivated. I give Sima tremendous credit for sticking with it!! If people want to keep a limit on the amount of athletes per country then it seems rather silly for those same people to come into threads saying they want longevity and for skaters to develop long lasting careers. As it stands the sport isn’t designed for that when the level of competition is this high. There are 10 and 11 yr olds throwing out 3-3 combos in Russia. Here in the US some of our seniors at Nationals will struggle to get one. Shall we count how many were landed at RusNats this year?

    I doubt many have ever heard of this Skater? Valerie Emelyanova....and yet.

    3z-3lo

    If we want the goal to be longevity then the sport needs to offer more opportunity to skaters capable of staying at the forefront of competition. As it stands...these kids have to strike while they can or get passed by. People aren’t looking to spend hours and money training when their best score is top 20 in the world and they can’t even get a GP invite. I don’t think it’s fair to ask that of them either. They can’t rest either by taking GP off and then cruising to international assignments. That is an advantage for skaters for smaller federations. It’s easier to train slowly and make Long term strategy when you know your spot is secure and you’ll have several chances at the ISU Championships.
    Good points. But I think that there a various reasons for young athletes to give up their athletic careers. Competition/opportunity is only one. If they don't love the sport (or love something else equally/better) they just don't stick around through /after puberty. Hormones are a factor. The question is, would they stick around if they would be able to compete at, f.e. Europeans, knowing, because they ended up f.e. 10th at Nationals, that more than 8th place and 8th best place at Europeans would not be possible? They would get close to zero media coverage and sponsors wouldn't be interested. This probably wouldn't stop kids from rich familys, but athletes are ambitious, I don't think that this outlook would be all that alluring.
    There are always those athletes who are patient, waiting for their chances / their time, like Sima. Who have a lot of self esteem and believe in themselves and have families who are supporting.
    I think that the only real incentive for athletes from small feds is that they know that they can compete internationally, travel, see the World. TV stations are more likely to cover a competition if at least one athlete from their country is competing. International competition is good for the popularity of any sport.
    I also feel bad for some of Russia's and Japan's athletes, but I don't think that, apart from the opportunity to see the World, more possibilies to compete internationally on a high level would be that good for them. And I doubt, that even big feds like Russia and Japan would be willing to pay all those additional expenses.
    And I don't know exactly how the ISU is funded, but I think they receive money from the member nations.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I doubt many have ever heard of this Skater? Valerie Emelyanova....and yet.
    - Ah, another Tutberidze's girl? Senior from the next season? What does she jump? 3Lz-3Lo? Wake me up after a couple of quads...

    Looks like many of us are overfed with those complex combos, quad attempts, edge/PR/UR issues.

    I personally support the idea for ISU to introduce jump-only competitions. Say, a skater has 120 seconds or 6 attempts to do as many (but limited number) different jumps and combos as he/she feels possible. Like ski freestyle acrobatics or moto-trial...
    I remember there were something like that 10+ years ago.

  20. #60
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrary View Post
    I personally support the idea for ISU to introduce jump-only competitions. Say, a skater has 120 seconds or 6 attempts to do as many (but limited number) different jumps and combos as he/she feels possible. Like ski freestyle acrobatics or moto-trial...

    I remember there were something like that 10+ years ago.
    I think there still are occasional "Top Jump" competitions, organized locally. My impression is that there is no audience interest, so it is just for the skaters' own enjoyment. Like barrel jumping. (Except that barrel jumping is cool. )

    To make it more like hot dog skiing, I think they they would have to allow more interesting moves, like backflips and tumbling passes on skates.

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