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Thread: 'Radical change' could be on the way

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit1234 View Post
    Were there more countries and regions participating in the competition in the era of the 6.0 point system where the discretion of the judges was wide?
    No, there were fewer countries and regions participating during the 6.0 era.

    I don't have time right now to do the research for you. Try searching for World Figure Skating Championships for various years to see which countries were participating and how many different countries were represented on podiums or in the top 10.

    For a quick comparison, here is the list of competitors at 2003 Worlds, which was the next-to-last Worlds held under 6.0, the last one held outside Europe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_W..._Championships

    And here is 2017:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_W..._Championships

    There were almost as many entries this year. Keep in mind that all federations were allowed to send skaters in 2003, and there were qual rounds to cut the singles field down to 30 skaters for the short programs.

    Now there are minimum technical scores instead of qual rounds, so some federations that do have senior skaters but not strong ones are no longer allowed to send those skaters to Worlds if they haven't earned the minimum scores.

    You can compare how many European vs. non-European federations were represented.


    There was a big increase in the number of federations represented at Worlds (and Junior Worlds) in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union broke up and other European countries also split and some of them had their own skating federations. Qualifying rounds were first used at Worlds in 1993 -- they hadn't been needed much before that.

    Also in the 1990s and 2000s more non-European federations formed and started participating in championship events. In the mid-1990s the ISU recognized that non-European members needed a championship-level event comparable to the European Championships (which had been around since 1892, even longer than Worlds). The first Four Continents Championships was held in 1999.

    Part of the motivation for adding the Four Continents Championships was because the ISU had started offering prize money at its championships, and it was only fair to the top American, Canadian, Japanese, and Chinese skaters to have equal opportunities to earn prize money. (The first ladies' event at 4Cs was won by Tatiana Malinina of Uzbekistan, who trained under the Soviet system.)

    But the other part of the motivation was to grow the sport, which had started in Europe and had long been dominated by Europe, in other parts of the world.

    Many of the smaller Asian federations that participate in international events now did not exist during the 6.0 era or did not yet have world-level senior skaters. Same for Western hemisphere federations outside North America: e.g., Argentina, Brazil.

  2. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Somebody like a Denis Ten or Javier Fernandez would never emerge.
    Why?

    They emerged not because of politically correct quotas, but because they are good. And if you are good it doesn't matter where you are from.

    In ski jumping its maybe seven countries: Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Austria and Switzerland. Northern Europe and that's it. Any problem with that?
    In alpine skiing it's just North America and northern Europe. Do you see any Africans or South Americans? Does anybody cry about it? The sport is doing great without enforced quotas.
    In cross country skiing it's practically Scandinavia only. Nobody is even thinking about kicking Norwegians out. They dominate, so be it.

    In tennis nobody even dares about thinking of enforced "diversity" and we still had Baghdatis from Cyprus. Or Ostapenko now from Latvia. Beating Americans on the way.

    If you are good in sports, the country boundaries don't matter.

    In figure skating no matter what, it's just USA, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, France and Italy. Miss something? It's a pretty good diversity. And nobody stops occasional talented skaters from Germany, Sweden, Spain and Kazakhstan from emerging. There is no ban on those countries. If they are talented they will emerge. They don't need enforced "diversity" for that.

  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    If we think of Olympic sports like diving where China is dominant would it be fair to have the majority of World championship entries be from there? Or women's hockey should it just be A, B, C and D teams from USA and Canada and forget everyone else? Should the NBA be allowed to send 8 Dream teams of US players to every Olympics and monopolize the podium?
    I am not talking about Olympics. I am talking about World Championships. Which should be for the best only.

    We would never see them compete at a World Championship if only the best skaters (all countries combined with no cap on entries per country) were allowed to compete.
    I don't care about skaters who are not good enough to qualify on their own.

  4. #229
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    How does a federation get skaters to be good enough to qualify on their own?

    Nowadays they can send skaters to the JGP, and to senior B events when they age out of juniors. There are plenty of convenient opportunities in Europe, not so many in the rest of the world.

    20, 30, 50, 100 years ago not all those opportunities. If a federation wanted to join the international skating community, Worlds was where it was at. The skating community as a whole was much smaller, but even early on there were limits on the numbers of skaters allowed per country.

    There wasn't originally a whole international circuit to figure out which countries had the best skaters, or which specific skaters were among the best. The only way to find out was to let them compete against each other at the big event.


    Even with multiple international events available year round around the world, which is a pretty new development, and world standings and seasons bests, also pretty new, there is room for debate over what is the best way to determine who is next in line for an available Grand Prix invitation. Imagine how much more contentious the decisions would be about deciding who is or isn't worthy of inclusion at Worlds.

    How easy would it be for skaters who live and train far from any senior B events (which they can only attend at their own expense, with help from their federation if they're lucky) to work their way up to Grand Prix invitations, let alone qualifying for Worlds on a points-based or world standings-based scale? If the best skater from Kazakhstan and the fifth best skater from the USA are approximately equally good, who is more likely to get a Grand Prix invitation?

    Should a skater from Australia or the Philippines leave home to train in Canada or the US or Russia to get the best instruction and choreography, increasing daily expenses all year round but decreasing the specific costs of getting to international events that can increase their world standings and let them compete head to head with some of the best in the world?

    Should the ISU do anything to make it easier for new federations to develop world-class athletes? Or should they intentionally build in structural obstacles to newcomers or just not bother acknowledging that they already exist?

    Should the non-championship season be intentionally restructured in significant ways to allow skaters from all over the world to participate in non-championship events on an equal footing, so that everyone has an equal chance to qualify for the championships if they can deliver the goods at early-season events?

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