2021-22 U.S. Pairs Figure Skating | Page 17 | Golden Skate

2021-22 U.S. Pairs Figure Skating

gold12345

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Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Most US pairs competed at the John Nicks Pairs Challenge International 2 weeks ago--- but the top 5 haven't received World Standings points for it (at least not yet anyway). Did the ISU not update the standings yet, or is it something else? This competition was an ISU International (Sr B) featuring nearly all the US pairs, a Russian pair, and pairs from 2 other countries. The results are posted in the pairs' respective ISU Biographies, but the World Standings haven't been updated.

World Standings points are awarded if the competition has at least 5 pairs from 3 countries (this event met that requirement easily with 11 pairs from 4 countries) as well as a technical panel from all different countries (this event also had this). If there is some reason why this event was ineligible for points, I wonder why this pairs event wasn't run in conjunction with the US International Classic, which received WS points (there was no pair event there, as the pairs competed at the John Nicks International). Basically, these two events were the same thing, except the pairs were in NY and the other disciplines were in Boston, so I don't see why both events wouldn't get WS points.

Not that the WS points make much of a difference, but I'm just wondering if they forgot to add the points or if there's something I'm missing. A Russian pair traveled across the world for this event, so one would think WS points were being awarded like any other International (this field was extremely similar to the Cranberry Cup International a month ago, which received WS points).

It was interesting how the pairs event at Autumn Classic in Canada was declared a Challenger Series Event at the last minute. The pairs field at John Nicks was even stronger/larger with just as many countries and an international technical panel, yet it hasn't been given Sr B points. It could just be it takes time to update the page, but usually it doesn't take more than a few days. Anyone have any idea?
 
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skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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It was interesting how the pairs event at Autumn Classic in Canada was declared a Challenger Series Event at the last minute. The pairs field at John Nicks was even stronger/larger with just as many countries and an international technical panel, yet it hasn't been given Sr B points. It could just be it takes time to update the page, but usually it doesn't take more than a few days. Anyone have any idea?

No, I have no idea. Could it be just an oversight or admin mistake? Or like you said, a delay.

I do recall that the reason the pairs event at Autumn Classic in Canada was declared a Challenger Series Event was because Riku/Kihara of Japan were assigned. That brought the number of countries represented up to 3 and the number of pairs up to 5. Before that, it had only been the 3 Canadian pairs plus Pfund/Santillan, who are now skating for Switzerland. After R/K were assigned, the two US pairs were assigned the event, if I'm remembering that correctly.

ETA: Or perhaps there was some other criteria having nothing to do with the skaters that the John Nicks didn't meet. But I have no idea what that might be and it's just a wild guess. I hope it is resolved, whatever the issue.
 

gold12345

Medalist
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Dec 14, 2007
No, I have no idea. Could it be just an oversight or admin mistake? Or like you said, a delay.

I do recall that the reason the pairs event at Autumn Classic in Canada was declared a Challenger Series Event was because Riku/Kihara of Japan were assigned. That brought the number of countries represented up to 3 and the number of pairs up to 5. Before that, it had only been the 3 Canadian pairs plus Pfund/Santillan, who are now skating for Switzerland. After R/K were assigned, the two US pairs were assigned the event, if I'm remembering that correctly.

ETA: Or perhaps there was some other criteria having nothing to do with the skaters that the John Nicks didn't meet. But I have no idea what that might be and it's just a wild guess. I hope it is resolved, whatever the issue.

That makes sense re: Autumn Classic, except they didn't do the same thing for Lombardia Trophy. That pair event had over 5 pairs from 3+ countries, but remained a Sr B while the rest of the disciplines at Lombardia were Challenger. So it's been a little confusing. Given that all the Challenger events for pairs tend to be in Europe and Asia, it's nice to have one in North America too, so it made some sense to switch Autumn Classic to Challenger, but that pair event likely would have had more entries had it been declared a Challenger from the get-go instead of waiting until Sept 1. Who knows why they changed it last minute, but not Lombardia Trophy. Not a big deal though.

The only real confusion I have is if the pairs who competed at John Nicks Int'l are entitled to World Standings points, which it seems they should be. It was a Sr B just like Lombardia pairs or US Classic, and met the requirements I know of. And if for some unknown reason it was not points eligible, you would think with a field that big with 5 countries entered (the Canadian pair withdrew but there were still a lot of pairs there) they'd look to fulfill whatever requirement they had to to make it WS points eligible, so I'm confused. Unless it's just taking a while to update the standings or there was an oversight.
 
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ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
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Feb 27, 2012
... World Standings points are awarded if the competition has at least 5 pairs from 3 countries (this event met that requirement easily with 11 pairs from 4 countries) as well as a technical panel from all different countries (this event also had this). ...

But did the Nicks judging panel meet ISU requirements?

From what I can see, three judges (out of five) are not named as Singles/Pair judges on the ISU list (although they are named as other types of officials).
Prins, Delfa, Enzmann.

International competitions are supposed to have judges recognized as "International"-level by the ISU, right?
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Aug 12, 2014
But did the Nicks judging panel meet ISU requirements?

From what I can see, three judges (out of five) are not named as Singles/Pair judges on the ISU list (although they are named as other types of officials).
Prins, Delfa, Enzmann.

International competitions are supposed to have judges recognized as "International"-level by the ISU, right?

I can't say yes or no, but the implications of your questions sure make sense that that could have been the problem. And it makes sense with my speculation that the reason had nothing to do with the skaters' numbers or countries.
 

gold12345

Medalist
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
But did the Nicks judging panel meet ISU requirements?

From what I can see, three judges (out of five) are not named as Singles/Pair judges on the ISU list (although they are named as other types of officials).
Prins, Delfa, Enzmann.

International competitions are supposed to have judges recognized as "International"-level by the ISU, right?

The John Nicks competition was listed on the ISU's International event schedule and is listed in the skaters' ISU biographies as an International competition. So I assume the event was set up to fit the ISU criteria for a International (just like Cranberry Cup did). Given the strength of the field (including a pair all the way from Russia), it seemed as much of a Sr B as any other.

Thanks for the link to the ISU judges list-- the 3 judges you mentioned are all listed as ISU referees not judges, but it seems they're still allowed to judge International events. Similarly, the men's event at the US International Classic had 2 judges who are listed as referees instead of judges on that ISU list-- and they received World Standings points but John Nicks didn't. The US Intl Classic didn't have a pairs event because it was essentially being held at John Nicks instead, so I find it especially curious that the latter didn't receive WS points.

Is there a list anywhere of all the requirements for a Sr B to receive World Standings points? The only criteria I see when I search are "5 pairs from 3 countries" and "a technical panel from all different countries", which this competition had. There were 2 US judges, but that was also the case for the Men's event at US Intl Classic. The women's event at US Classic also had 2 Canadian judges, so clearly, it's not a requirement to have all different judges. So I can't figure out a real difference between US Classic and John Nicks that would give WS points to one and not the other.

Hopefully those involved are aware of this just in case someone forgot to update the points. I figure if this was an error it would have been corrected by now, but who knows how often people look at the World Standings, as they're not all that significant, really. Still, you want to be sure the skaters receive the points for the events they compete in.
 
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Koatterce

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Feb 20, 2018
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That makes sense re: Autumn Classic, except they didn't do the same thing for Lombardia Trophy. That pair event had over 5 pairs from 3+ countries, but remained a Sr B while the rest of the disciplines at Lombardia were Challenger. So it's been a little confusing. Given that all the Challenger events for pairs tend to be in Europe and Asia, it's nice to have one in North America too, so it made some sense to switch Autumn Classic to Challenger, but that pair event likely would have had more entries had it been declared a Challenger from the get-go instead of waiting until Sept 1. Who knows why they changed it last minute, but not Lombardia Trophy. Not a big deal though.

The only real confusion I have is if the pairs who competed at John Nicks Int'l are entitled to World Standings points, which it seems they should be. It was a Sr B just like Lombardia pairs or US Classic, and met the requirements I know of. And if for some unknown reason it was not points eligible, you would think with a field that big with 5 countries entered (the Canadian pair withdrew but there were still a lot of pairs there) they'd look to fulfill whatever requirement they had to to make it WS points eligible, so I'm confused. Unless it's just taking a while to update the standings or there was an oversight.
late reply, but re Autumn Classic:

Challenger series competitions are determined way earlier - whenever the CS announcement comes out (unless there's a TBD, but I believe Autumn Classic was a CS from the start). At that time, for the competition, it was declared that only women, men, and dance would be Challenger events. In order to meet the requirements for a CS competition, 3 events must be eligible for Challenger status (i.e. have enough entries from enough countries + whatever the requirements are for TP/judging). However, when it came close to the event, the men did not meet the Challenger criteria, but pairs did, so in order for Autumn Classic to maintain its CS status, pairs was upgraded. Lombardia did not have an issue with women/men/dance losing their Challenger status, so pairs was not forced to be upgraded and it remained a senior B.
 

gold12345

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Joined
Dec 14, 2007
late reply, but re Autumn Classic:

Challenger series competitions are determined way earlier - whenever the CS announcement comes out (unless there's a TBD, but I believe Autumn Classic was a CS from the start). At that time, for the competition, it was declared that only women, men, and dance would be Challenger events. In order to meet the requirements for a CS competition, 3 events must be eligible for Challenger status (i.e. have enough entries from enough countries + whatever the requirements are for TP/judging). However, when it came close to the event, the men did not meet the Challenger criteria, but pairs did, so in order for Autumn Classic to maintain its CS status, pairs was upgraded. Lombardia did not have an issue with women/men/dance losing their Challenger status, so pairs was not forced to be upgraded and it remained a senior B.

Thank you for explaining about Autumn Classic & Lombardia pairs. That makes total sense re: Challenger status requirements, it's just kinda funny that the determination of whether the pair field in Canada was called "Sr B" or "Challenger" was more or less based on who entered the men's event. Given that Nebelhorn Trophy was an Olympic qualifier this year, I think Autumn Classic pairs should have been made a Challenger event from the start. More pairs seem to be doing Sr Bs this year because of how few Challenger events there are for pairs that don't overlap/come too close to the GP series. Yet one of those Sr B's apparently got no World Standings points at all, and I can't figure out why.
 
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Dogo

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Oct 2, 2020
I think after Finland we will have a better idea of the progress made with C/J. Slowly but surely, I hope they take steps forward to polish their programs. Looking forward to see the progress made since Cranberry with this amazing duo.
 

gold12345

Medalist
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
I'm really curious how Cain-Grible and LeDuc will fare this weekend. It seems too soon to be fully recovered from her illness and time off, but I hope for some improvement in endurance.

It didn't seem like the main issue was endurance when watching C/L at Autumn Classic, although surely Covid disrupted them to some extent. Cain's major mistakes were on the first 3 jumps/throws, and then she landed the last major element of their LP better than all of the previous elements. Their SP was similar where their biggest mistake was on the opening jump, and then their spins were off at the end of the program, but that likely wasn't a matter of endurance either. They've been hot and cold on jumps over the years, especially Cain. Sometimes she will land, sometimes she will underrotate or even get downgraded. I think the pressure could also have been weighing on them. They're likely in a rather heated battle with Calalang/Johnson. I'm curious to see if C/L and James/Radford do any better this weekend since Autumn Classic was so rough; there's nowhere to go but up when it's that rough. J/R of course are a new team and trying to figure everything out months before the Olympics, which is difficult.

On another note, the John Nicks Pairs International still isn't listed as part of the World Standings points, so it looks like for some reason no World Standings points were allotted to the 4 US pairs and the 1 Russian pair who placed in the top 5, despite the event being recognized as an ISU International and seeming to meet all the criteria necessary for Sr B points. If this had been an error, I think someone would have spotted it by now. It's not a big deal, I just wish I could find a concrete explanation as to why the US International Classic got points but the pairs did not.

On another note, the way the US pairs are all friendly with each other and seem to have some sort of camaraderie despite being each other's direct competition is nice to see, a true example of good sportsmanship.
 
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skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
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Aug 12, 2014
It didn't seem like the main issue was endurance when watching C/L at Autumn Classic, although surely Covid disrupted them to some extent.
When I watched the programs, especially the FS, my impression was that Ashley was majorly out of breath at the end. Which is a different issue from endurance. And having trouble getting one's breathing back to normal is one of the most-often reported lingering effects of Covid.
ETA: Trouble getting her breathing coordination back could have interfered with any element anywhere in the program.

Ashley indicated that she was following strict doctor's protocol during her recovery, so I think (and hope!) we'll see gradual improvement. I'm very excited about seeing their skates this week, and very excited to see Jessica and Brian's, also.


On another note, the way the US pairs are all friendly with each other and seem to have some sort of commaderie despite being each other's direct competition is nice to see, a true example of good sportsmanship.

I really love the cameraderie and closeness they have! Back when they were doing only off-ice training during the lockdown, Ashley posted a group "routine" which she put to music. I remember one of Jessica's posts later, to the group, was "I miss you all so much." So I think when our pairs have the opportunity to train together and feel like part of a USA team, they really enjoy it. :cool:

'Quarantined Pairs Edition', if you want to revisit it: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_S8ZsUD8vU/
I couldn't find the post I remembered with Jessica's reply.


@ucrgirl :
I'm really curious how Cain-Grible and LeDuc will fare this weekend. It seems too soon to be fully recovered from her illness and time off, but I hope for some improvement in endurance.
 
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ladyjane

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I really love the cameraderie and closeness they have! Back when they were doing only off-ice training during the lockdown, Ashley posted a group "routine" which she put to music. I remember one of Jessica's posts later, to the group, was "I miss you all so much." So I think when our pairs have the opportunity to train together and feel like part of a USA team, they really enjoy it. :cool:

'Quarantined Pairs Edition', if you want to revisit it: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_S8ZsUD8vU/
I couldn't find the post I remembered with Jessica's reply.
This was fun. I'd seen it before, but it is rather nice to revisit!
 

mrrice

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Jul 9, 2014
Looking at the Finlandia Scores, it looks like our Pairs have a mountain to climb. They're more than 10 points back of the leaders but, they're not out of medal contention. Just 3 points behind Vanessa and Eric sitting in 3rd. I hope they have clean skates in the free program.
 

BlissfulSynergy

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It didn't seem like the main issue was endurance when watching C/L at Autumn Classic, although surely Covid disrupted them to some extent. Cain's major mistakes were on the first 3 jumps/throws, and then she landed the last major element of their LP better than all of the previous elements. Their SP was similar where their biggest mistake was on the opening jump, and then their spins were off at the end of the program, but that likely wasn't a matter of endurance either.
I don't think there's anyway not to take into consideration Ash coming down with COVID just before an opening event of the season. She had to recover, and then probably take it slow getting back into training. I don't know a ton about it, but from what I do know, it is not a slam dunk getting back to the same fitness level once your training is interrupted by illness. And then the psychological aspect enters into it, with the importance of keeping one's confidence uplifted, while not overdoing it and rushing back into heavy training.

Timothy and Ash were looking very sharp with more pop and power on their elements. I wouldn't get excited about the problems at Autumn Classic. They just needed a competition under their belts to get used to competing again after an illness. Ash looked tentative at AC, IMO, due to the forced time off recovering. And I think what also happened at AC, is that Ash got the wind knocked out of her on a fall, which is likely why it looked like she was out-of-breath at the end of her performance. Cue up the concerns about her endurance -- when seemingly at a first comp back after illness, it's more about regaining her breath, and alleviating pain she may have suffered from the fall.
 

Olympic

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Nov 1, 2006
Congratulations to Tim and Ash on another Bronze! Clean long program at Finlandia with the exception of some minor glitches on the SBS jumps but they stayed upright. Got a q on the 3L and rotated the 3S. Progress.

Jessica and Brian’s LP video wasn’t posted but I looked at the protocols. Solid except for you know what- SBS jumps, but she did not fall which is progress I guess
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Congratulations to Tim and Ash on another Bronze! Clean long program at Finlandia with the exception of some minor glitches on the SBS jumps but they stayed upright. Got a q on the 3L and rotated the 3S. Progress.

Jessica and Brian’s LP video wasn’t posted but I looked at the protocols. Solid except for you know what- SBS jumps, but she did not fall which is progress I guess
Don't pick on Jess. This is a partnership. Brian has issues with jumps too. They both had issues during this competition, with some obvious lack of complete confidence. However, we should also note that their showing at Finlandia showed a bit of progress with the jumps. Not enough as yet, though. It was Brian who doubled his sbs jump in the sp, which is why they were behind their teammates at 64+.
 
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