USFS Announces Worlds team

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
If Worlds does happen I feel like they’ll have to do something about the tech minimums. ...

We already know that the ISU will "adjust the procedure" for obtaining TES minimums for 2021 Worlds -- per the ISU announcement on Dec 15.

We do not know yet how exactly how the ISU will make the procedure "more flexible."

4. Procedure to obtain the Minimum Total Elements Scores for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021
Considering the limited number of International Figure Skating Competitions during the ongoing season 2020/21 and consequently limited opportunities to achieve the Minimum Total Element Scores, the ISU Council exceptionally agreed to adjust the procedure for obtaining the Minimum Total Elements Scores for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 by making it more flexible. An ISU Communication including the relevant details will be published in due course.


 

brightphoton

Medalist
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
My general principle is: if someone wants to know something about figure skating, I'll tell them about that.

Now, if I don't feel like answering their question, then I just won't post. But it's in bad form to scold the person asking a question and it's bad for our community.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
... But it's in bad form to scold the person asking a question and it's bad for our community.

For the record: I did not scold anyone for asking a question.

It is bad form to make an implication/accusation that someone did something that they in fact did not do.

I stand by my original post, which was intended to convey that different people could have different perspectives on what would be relevant to include in an answer to the question.
And to convey that the topic from 2017 -- through no fault of the person who asked the question -- was a huge can of worms.
 
Last edited:

TontoK

Hot Tonto
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Country
United-States
As previously stated, I expect the ISU to modify the qualification process. But, you know what, I'm fine if they don't. I personally think "all ties go to the athlete" but consistency is the most important factor - what's good for one is good for all.

In some quarters, not necessarily GS, I'm getting a "neener-neener-neener" vibe about the possibility of Vincent being ineligible. OK, that's fine.

But it's worth asking if the better chance of securing three Olympic spots rests with a team of Nathan/Vincent/Jason or Nathan/Jason/Hiwatashi... keeping in mind that (God Forbid) injury or COVID exposure could sideline any of these, and your hopes for the Olympic season rest with new senior Naumov or shakey Pulkinen.

I am completely fine with two Olympic spots if that's where the agreed process leads us. Heck, I'm fine with one if that's the competition outcome.

But, I will say this. If you're in the "serves him right" camp regarding Vincent, you can keep your mouth shut if your favorite is the odd man out on a smaller Olympic team.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
The selection of the World team happens every year.
The full set of circumstances in 2017 does not happen every year.
The full set of circumstances varies, but the same argument comes up year after year. Should we send the young guy who can quad up a strom, or should we go with the tried and true guy who skates dependably but without the tech firework?.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
The full set of circumstances varies, but the same argument comes up year after year. Should we send the young guy who can quad up a strom, or should we go with the tried and true guy who skates dependably but without the tech firework?.

For 2020 Worlds, the selection of U.S. men was not that type of choice at all -- although it was a choice based on "body of work."

So I do not really agree with "year after year."

And for the "third" men's slot for 2018 OWG, USFS was not making that type of choice either.
(No matter which man you believe USFS already had chosen for the "second" slot.)

Not to mention that I still think it is a vast oversimplification to say that the heated 2017 disagreement on GS was over nothing more than a question of: "Should we send the young guy who can quad up a strom, or should we go with the tried and true guy who skates dependably but without the tech firework?"
2017 had a number of extenuating factors.
 
Last edited:

karne

in Emergency Backup Mode
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Country
Australia
Should we send the young guy who can quad up a strom, or should we go with the tried and true guy who skates dependably but without the tech firework?.
That's a ludicrous over-simplification and really a false representation of that argument. Because in the end, said "quad up a storm" hadn't had any ratified in international competition at the time, as well as not having the minimums, as well as never having competed in a top-level Senior international before, and the Worlds in question was the Olympic qualifier. And ultimately, those who argued against sending two Worlds rookies to get the Olympic spots were proved right when Zhou's GP debut was underwhelming at best.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
... But it's worth asking if the better chance of securing three Olympic spots rests with a team of Nathan/Vincent/Jason or Nathan/Jason/Hiwatashi... keeping in mind that (God Forbid) injury or COVID exposure could sideline any of these, and your hopes for the Olympic season rest with new senior Naumov or ... Pulkinen. ...

BTW, as things stand now, Naumov does not have the TES minimums for 2021 Worlds.
"*Pending ISU decision on minimum score" applies to Naumov's selection as second alternate as well as to Zhou's selection as a member of the team.

The seven U.S. men who already have both TES minimums for 2021 Worlds (without needing the ISU to reverse itself and accept 2020 GP scores -- or to modify its requirements in another way):

Nathan​
Jason​
Tomoki (first alternate)​
Camden (third alternate)​
Jimmy Ma​
Krasnozhon​
Torgashev​
 
Last edited:

drivingmissdaisy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
The full set of circumstances varies, but the same argument comes up year after year. Should we send the young guy who can quad up a strom, or should we go with the tried and true guy who skates dependably but without the tech firework?.
We should do it how we've done it before, which is go with the order of Nationals finish unless there is a compelling reason not to. In the past, that meant considering someone who missed the event due to illness or injury, but compiling a line-up that increases the chances of two solid finishes to earn future World/Olympic spots is certainly a compelling reason. Lately, the USFSA has decided that it's ok to swap out one inconsistent skater with another that serves no purpose, or leave a silver medalist home when we have three Olympic spots like in 2018. Nationals has become about as important as a Grand Prix event when it comes to selecting a team.
 

Lzbee

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
It is a disservice to mislead any fans by oversimplifying a very complicated set of unique circumstances in 2017.

2017 and its unique circumstances regarding selection of the World team are water under the bridge.

The selection of the World team happens every year.
The full set of circumstances in 2017 does not happen every year.

(p.s. Lzbee has been a member of GS since 2016, so I do not think that s/he would fall into the category of "new" fans.)
I only follow ladies in detail so I may be considered a "new fan of men's"? I genuinely wasn't trying to stir up drama by asking that question but it was quite difficult to understand the flow of the thread without context.

Another poster answered with nothing but a long, snarky, and ultimately empty reply, so I'll fill you in.

In 2017, Vincent Zhou won the silver medal at national championships, 9 points over bronze medalist Jason Brown. This was before Nathan Chen became a rock star wunderkind, and the US only had 2 spots. The committee chose Nathan and Jason to send to Worlds, skipping over Vincent. Much booing and hissing.

Nathan did the same sort of thing he would repeat at the 2018 Olympics, messed up the short program, did a good long, ending up middle of top 10. Jason skated like typical quadless Jason and also got middle of top 10. Together, they squeaked by with 13 points and the men earned 3 spots.


Funny enough, at the 2019 championships, Vincent was on the other side of the situation. He finished lower than a newcomer, but was bumped up to the World team anyway. Everything came full circle. Except the 2019 World championship was cancelled. Unfortunately, Vincent had skipped the 2018/2019 international competitions due to college, the pandemic cancelled the 2019/2020 international events, and now he's missing his score minimums to go to 2020 Worlds.

But there won't even be a 2020 Worlds (probably?), so it's all moot.
Thank you for the explanation.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Nationals has become about as important as a Grand Prix event when it comes to selecting a team.
I think that what is happening is a gradual disconnection between the USFSA's national and international missions. I think a case can be made that a skater's reward for winning the National Championship is that he becomes the National Champion. His prize is a gold medal saying, congratulations, you won the national championship (five times in the case of Nathen Chen.) Ross Miner skated great at 2018 U.S. Nationals. He received a silver medal for his accomplishment. Hooray for Ross. Let's hear iot for the boy!

Now stop. End of topic. New topic begins. Which skaters should we send to Worlds? The stated pur[pose of the selection process is to increase tha chance of having an impact in international competition. Rewarding the national champion for his achievement does not come into play -- he has already been rewarded.

Of course in practice the person who wins Nationals and the person who has the best chance of medalling at Worlds turns out to be one and the same skater. But there is no guarantee of this. Back in the day winning the National championship was regarded as a big deal in its own right. Janet Lynn, for instance, was much lauded in the U.S. (and became the highest paid woman athlete in the wortld). Going to the World Championship -- fans in America hardly knew there was such a thing. Nowadays we are moving more in the direction of scarcely knowing (or caring) that there is such a thing as the U.S. Champiuonship.
 
Last edited:

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
Didn't Vincent win the JWC in 2017? Wasn't that a great achievement in itself? I don't get the problem, as Nathan and Jason together got your wished for 3 spots for the OG - and Vincent shined there (he was sixth, not bad for a rookie). Sorry, I didn't participate in any discussions on this issue in 2017, as it's not my Nationals at stake - but it does surprise me there was any discussion then at all because of Vincent's success at JWC. I'm surprised this success didn't stop the discussion. I know, that's hindsight. I'll close the can of worms now.
 

Blades of Passion

Skating is Art, if you let it be
Record Breaker
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Country
Russia
Vincent Zhou put all that energy into the Olympics, and the emotional come-down didn't allow to him deliver at Worlds, where he actually could have won a medal. It was my opinion he should have been sent to 4CC and Worlds, and no Olympics. He could have won a medal at 4CC to build up international cred and then aimed to peak at Worlds with a medal; that's big success for a first-year Senior and would have set him up better for this quadrennial than his Olympic appearance that was never going to get much coverage.

Ross Miner not even being named 1st alternate to either competition was such a robbery. Jason was not showing consistent skating that season, not only was his Quad totally MIA, but his Triple Axel had become unstable too. Ross showed he had fight in him at Nationals, he looked hungrier than Jason, who had already been to the Olympics, and Ross at least had a chance of landing a Quad in his programs at Olympics, along with good presentation and overall skating, and the Queen music tie-in to get some views.

It was so clear Adam Rippon was never going to Worlds and would just be cashing in on the Olympic opportunity and getting out of competition asap. He shouldn't have been named to the World team at all.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
I only follow ladies in detail so I may be considered a "new fan of men's"? I genuinely wasn't trying to stir up drama by asking that question but it was quite difficult to understand the flow of the thread without context.


Thank you for the explanation.

Hello @Lzbee

As someone who follows the men, and not the women, I understand your confusion. Since we are revisiting 2017, let me add another perspective:

Vincent was not simply "skipped over". He did not have the minimums for Worlds. Some felt he should be sent to the last remaining comp of the year to get those minimums. I was not one of those persons, and I believed that the two skaters who had Worlds minimums at the time of Nats, Nathan and Jason, should be sent. (I am a stickler for that kind of thing, despite who it affects. I also think Ross should have gone to the Olys). And that is indeed what happened.

Much cheering and clapping from those of us who agreed with the decision ;) Nathan came in sixth and Jason came in seventh at Worlds, and thus regained three spots for the men. So much cheering and clapping then too. :)

And now back to 2021:biggrin:
 
Last edited:

karne

in Emergency Backup Mode
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Country
Australia
Didn't Vincent win the JWC in 2017? Wasn't that a great achievement in itself? I don't get the problem, as Nathan and Jason together got your wished for 3 spots for the OG - and Vincent shined there (he was sixth, not bad for a rookie). Sorry, I didn't participate in any discussions on this issue in 2017, as it's not my Nationals at stake - but it does surprise me there was any discussion then at all because of Vincent's success at JWC. I'm surprised this success didn't stop the discussion. I know, that's hindsight. I'll close the can of worms now.
What?

Zhou didn't win JWC until after US Nationals in 2017. By the time he went to JWC, the discussion was long over because the US had already named the team - correctly, with Nathan and Jason on it.

JWC 2017 was not at all part of the conversation for who the Worlds team should be in 2017. It was also completely irrelevant to that discussion because Zhou did not have the minimums for Senior Worlds and you cannot obtain Senior minimums at Junior events. JWC was also only a week or two before Senior Worlds.

Ultimately, my point at the time - which I still hold - was that sending a first-year Senior international and a fricking Senior international debutant to Worlds in the year Olympic spots were decided was a blasted awful idea. They needed one experienced older skater to balance with Nathan. Adam and Max were both either injured or suffering the after-effects of injury and Adam hadn't skated at Nationals at all. Jason had been injured but was at a stage in his recovery where he was skating reasonably well and improving.

If it had been any other year than the one in which Olympic spots were determined I wouldn't have had an issue with a Nathan-Vincent team. But the very nature of that fact meant that to go with that team was a much bigger risk to three spots at the Olympics. The USFS had to consider the good of the team. They made the right call.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Hello @Lzbee

As someone who follows the men, and not the women, I understand your confusion. Since we are revisiting 2017, let me add another perspective:

Vincent was not simply "skipped over". He did not have the minimums for Worlds. Some felt he should be sent to the last remaining comp of the year to get those minimums. I was not one of those persons, and I believed that the two persons who had Worlds minimums at the time of Nats, Nathan and Jason, should be sent. ...

I will add a different perspective :):

Within a couple of years preceding 2017, there was at least one instance of USFS giving a skater an outright assignment to Junior Worlds -- although at the time of the decision, she did *not* (yet) have the tech minimums for Junior Worlds.
Tyler Pierce is the one who I recall for sure.

Tyler's case raised the question of whether USFS did consider Vincent to be an eligible option for outright assignment to 2017 Worlds -- although at the time of the decision, he did not (yet) have the tech minimums for Worlds.

2020-21 obviously is a not-normal season, but FWIW, a reminder that USFS did already announce that it has given 2021 Worlds assignments (with asterisks) to two entries who at the time of the decisions had not met the currently-in-effect ISU requirements for minimum TES.
Meaning Knierim/Frazier and Vincent.
(Remains to be seen how the ISU will make the requirements more flexible for 2021. But for those whose opinion in 2017 was that USFS should have a strict standard of requiring minimums to already be met at the the time of selection -- then this year is another example (in addition to Tyler) of not using that standard.)​

Anyway, before el henry's post, I already had sent Lzbee a long PM explaining a number of additional factors that were part of the total picture in 2017.

As I noted in my PM to Lzbee:
With its customary silence, USFS never gave a public explanation as to which specific facts/factors it took into account when it selected the Nats bronze medalist (Jason) over the silver medalist (Vincent).​
USFS never said that tech minimums were *the* reason or even one of the reasons.

Just my opinion -- but I always have thought that the "body of work" policy is why Jason was selected (and that tech minimums had nothing to do with Vincent not being chosen).
 
Last edited:

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
I will add a different perspective :):

Within a couple of years preceding 2017, there was at least one instance of USFS giving a skater an outright assignment to Junior Worlds -- although at the time of the decision, she did *not* (yet) have the tech minimums for Junior Worlds.​
Tyler Pierce is the one who I recall for sure.​
Tyler's case raised the question of whether USFS did consider Vincent to be an eligible option for outright assignment to 2017 Worlds -- although at the time of the decision, he did not (yet) have the tech minimums for Worlds.​
2020-21 obviously is a not-normal season, but FWIW, a reminder that USFS did already announce that it has given 2021 Worlds assignments (with asterisks) to two entries who at the time of the decisions had not met the currently-in-effect ISU requirements for minimum TES.​
Meaning Knierim/Frazier and Vincent.​
(Remains to be seen how the ISU will make the requirements more flexible for 2021. But for those whose opinion in 2017 was that USFS should have a strict standard of requiring minimums to already be met at the the time of selection -- then this year is another example (in addition to Tyler) of not using that standard.)​

Anyway, before el henry's post, I already had sent Lzbee a long PM explaining a number of additional factors that were part of the total picture in 2017.

As I noted in my PM to Lzbee:
With its customary silence, USFS never gave a public explanation as to which specific facts/factors it took into account when it selected the Nats bronze medalist (Jason) over the silver medalist (Vincent).​
USFS never said that tech minimums were *the* reason or even one of the reasons.

Just my opinion -- but I always have thought that the "body of work" policy is why Jason was selected (and that tech minimums had nothing to do with Vincent not being chosen).

I remember that many journalists (such as Philip Hersh) mentioned that Vincent did not have minimums for senior Worlds when approving the ultimate selection by USFS. I do not remember whether USFS ever said anything, but, just my opinion, I always thought the tech minimums were the reason.

My "other point of view" was simply to counter those who said (only) that there was booing and hissing. (not your post) As you noted there was discussion on both sides and there was certainly no general consensus either way.

I have no idea what should happen for 2021, given the reasons for the unusual season. Which is where I think we are focused now. :biggrin:
 

drivingmissdaisy

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
I think that what is happening is a gradual disconnection between the USFSA's national and international missions. I think a case can be made that a skater's reward for winning the National Championship is that he becomes the National Champion. His prize is a gold medal saying, congratulations, you won the national championship (five times in the case of Nathen Chen.) Ross Miner skated great at 2018 U.S. Nationals. He received a silver medal for his accomplishment. Hooray for Ross. Let's hear iot for the boy!

Now stop. End of topic. New topic begins. Which skaters should we send to Worlds? The stated pur[pose of the selection process is to increase tha chance of having an impact in international competition. Rewarding the national champion for his achievement does not come into play -- he has already been rewarded.
There are very good reasons for prioritizing the Nationals result. First, you get a side-by-side comparison of all the contenders, and it's the only event during the season where you can evaluate everyone on a level playing field (i.e. same ice conditions, same judges, etc.). Second, there is more pressure on the skaters to perform well against their peers in front of the domestic fans. This just isn't the case at most Senior B's or GP events, where you might have one or two other Americans skating against you and, often, perform in front of nearly empty stands. Finally, it gives the skaters who aren't heavy favorites a chance to showcase their best form when they haven't had as many competitive opportunities. The selection criteria tend to favor skaters merely because they have competitive opportunities. If we weigh Worlds as an important competition to consider, we only have two women who can even use that result as part of their body of work. How do you weigh, for example, a 12th place Worlds finish? Is it helpful because the skater got picked for the team, or do you penalize the skater if it's a disappointing result? If it's the former, it makes it that much tougher for up-and-comers to break out of the pack, because they're getting passed over merely because they got passed over before. We know it's not the latter, because skaters regularly get picked after disappointing results at Worlds and other big events.
 

Colonel Green

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Country
Canada
Vincent Zhou put all that energy into the Olympics, and the emotional come-down didn't allow to him deliver at Worlds, where he actually could have won a medal. It was my opinion he should have been sent to 4CC and Worlds, and no Olympics. He could have won a medal at 4CC to build up international cred and then aimed to peak at Worlds with a medal; that's big success for a first-year Senior and would have set him up better for this quadrennial than his Olympic appearance that was never going to get much coverage.
Zhou finished sixth at the Olympics. That was a huge deal for him, and considering that he won a World medal the very next year, I don't see how you could argue that sending him to the Olympics didn't pay off for the USFS.

I agree that Miner should have been the first alternate.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
There are very good reasons for prioritizing the Nationals result. First, you get a side-by-side comparison of all the contenders, and it's the only event during the season where you can evaluate everyone on a level playing field (i.e. same ice conditions, same judges, etc.). Second, there is more pressure on the skaters to perform well against their peers in front of the domestic fans. This just isn't the case at most Senior B's or GP events, where you might have one or two other Americans skating against you and, often, perform in front of nearly empty stands. Finally, it gives the skaters who aren't heavy favorites a chance to showcase their best form when they haven't had as many competitive opportunities. The selection criteria tend to favor skaters merely because they have competitive opportunities. If we weigh Worlds as an important competition to consider, we only have two women who can even use that result as part of their body of work. How do you weigh, for example, a 12th place Worlds finish? Is it helpful because the skater got picked for the team, or do you penalize the skater if it's a disappointing result? If it's the former, it makes it that much tougher for up-and-comers to break out of the pack, because they're getting passed over merely because they got passed over before. We know it's not the latter, because skaters regularly get picked after disappointing results at Worlds and other big events.
I agree with all that. Well stated.

I think the USFSA does try to take all that into account as best they can. Their job is a thankless one. They will never be able to keep all the balls in the air as they juggle the considerations that you mention.

For instance, on the issue of providing opportunities for young up-and-comers to get into the mix, their statement is
The purpose of U.S. Figure Skating’s International Committee is to select the U.S. Figure Skating Team that wins the maximum number of international medals and berths possible by strategically providing experience to qualified members of the World Figure Skating Team, and by identifying and supporting the best qualified future prospects to develop and achieve the ultimate goal of Olympic and World podium results.

No one can object to these words -- but the devil is in the details.

(And kudos to the Federation for saying "best qualified" instead of the sloppy "most qualified." ;) )
 
Top