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Thread: Should minimum age for seniors be raised?

  1. #691
    GS Supporter flanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    I’m sorry, the reason I avoided coming back to this thread is we all keep saying (and I include myself as number one on this) the same thing. Of course it won’t stop me from saying it again

    1. There are studies that support my position. I’m sorry I can’t go back and look them up now, but that’s what I believe and I’m sticking to it. I’m stubborn that way.

    2. I do believe in imposing rules for health, it happens in every sport. And, I DON’T CARE what the athletes will do “anyway”. I had a nickel for every time I said this, I’d have a lot of nickels

    The point about training costs is a good one, and if I knew how to make skating long term accessible for everyone who wanted to skate, I would do so. I don’t

    But I think we will just need to agree to disagree, and everyone can have fun with all the comparisons they want.....
    Well, if you DON’T CARE what the athletes will do “anyway”, then what is this all about. What's the point then? Not real health troubles, just the way how to falsely satisfy some minds (and remove some danger for competitors)? If there really is some danger (based on solid evidence!!!, not just concern) for health, than maybe ban on quads could be considered, but not the age restrictions. Again (and again and again), how many skaters stared in seniors young without troubles for further succes and medals? I didn't see any acceptable argument yet.

  2. #692
    GS Supporter flanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    No, not again

  3. #693
    Bona Fide Member andromache's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I enjoy a good dose of nostalgia every now and then!!

    Of course, the novelty would wear off if we had to watch them every competition.

    I do think that if injuries and the dominance of prepubescent skaters become issues in the years ahead, then implementing some sort of "figures-adjacent" portion of the competition - something that focuses almost exclusively on the objective evaluation of blade-to-ice skill - could effectively mitigate both problems. Trying to make it entertaining is another issue entirely. Perhaps removing a jumping pass or two in the SP and replacing those + a spin or two with one or two high-value extended compulsory footwork sequences? The footwork sequences could be evaluated separately from the program in great detail, and then the program as a whole could be evaluated regarding BV, GoE, and PCS. The SP result is quickly totaled as usual; then, while the competition continues as normal, a separate panel analyzes replays of each skater's footwork and scores it accordingly (based on correct execution of compulsory steps, depth of edges, speed, flow, etc.) - these score totals would then be added on to the SP totals after the completion of the SP, prior to the LP.

    Training the skating skills necessary for something like this would necessitate less time spent training difficult jumps and reduce jump-related injuries, as well as raise the value of skills that are not impacted by physical development. If 4-8 years down the road we see a pattern of increased numbers of teenagers forced into retirement due to injury and/or the sport become dominated by prepubescent girls (both of these things which may or may not happen), it may be desirable to change the sport in such a way as to mitigate these problems.

    I'm just spitballing here and brainstormed on this spot, so no one needs to attack me with reasons why such a thing would be bad. Just trying to have fun and procrastinate real work by coming up with potential alternatives to ye olde boring figures.

  4. #694
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I have friends who skated and have had to get surgeries from training jumps over and over. They didn’t happen during any competition though. Maybe it’s just me but I trust the parents and coaches to make their own decisions. Especially when you consider how everyone is unique and grows at different paces. I really think it’s an issue for the athlete, their doctors, and family to decide.
    Sometimes parents, and even some coaches, don't know better.

    So first I would I would find ways to share known research about dangers of overtraining in childhood and early adolescence, and recommendations for best practices in developing healthy elite skaters.

    There will still be some coaches and some parents who will believe more training is better and ignore the recommendations. Young skaters especially those who are most driven are very likely to practice their favorite elements, or the elements they believe will best help them to win, over and over again more than their coaches recommend. In most cases those elements will be jumps.

    And in some cases the overtrainers will have enough short-term competitive success to believe they have found a winning long-term strategy, even if the current success is at junior level or below. By the time they get to senior level, at whatever age that becomes possible, the long-term damage may already be done.

    Because it's easier for young teens/preteens who already have consistent triples to start training triple-triple combos, triple axels, and quads than it is for older young women. If we want to see those elements from female skaters at all, age limits alone won't solve the problem. If those elements are illegal before senior level and the senior age limit is higher, we'll see some junior and younger skaters trying to learn them while they're still small in hopes that it will be easier to hold onto them as they grow than to learn them from scratch when they're older and bigger. To the extent that early training leads to injury, skaters who take that approach would still get injured but without the ones who do master those jumps getting a chance to try them in competition.

    On the other hand, skaters who start trying to learn those elements at 17+ are likely to take harder falls and probably a higher percentage of falls and ground-out landings, so they'll just be delaying the injuries until an older age. And there will still be very few who succeed in mastering those elements and bringing them to senior competition. Whoever does, with current program content and scoring rules, would have the same outsized advantage as a 15-year-old with the same jumps. In mitigation, though, older skaters might be wiser about training smarter rather than just pounding out the repetitions. And more fully developed bodies might be better able to withstand the intensive training, even if they are not as agile in the air.

    Changing the program/scoring rules to encourage more training of skills that are less dangerous to practice and more likely to build core strength etc. could help.

    I don't think that school figures as a separate phase of elite singles competition is ever coming back. But what if there were a required freestyle element that requires edge precision at a level that can be incorporated into freestyle programs and judged (and called by technical panels) from a distance during the program without the need for clean ice? If a level 4 element of this type is worth as much as a triple jump and +GOE can make it worth even more, and the skills needed to achieve level 4 and high GOE require some figures-style training, that could be one way to encourage ambitious young skaters to spend the time on the edge skills.

    Would it be fun for audiences to watch? Well, it's not as exciting athletically as a cutting-edge jump. But it could probably be integrated into choreography better (though not as well as a good step sequence or choreo sequence).

    Fans who are primarily interested in the jumps might prefer an emphasis on more female 3As and quads. But at what cost to the skaters' health?

    We don't have all the answer. But I think it's worth investigating in these directions and not expecting age limits alone to prevent injuries.

  5. #695
    All Hail Empress Eteri Spirals for Miles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    All the folks who are so salty that the age might possibly be raised, I am having fun reading the comments

    Only because as amusing to you as comments about height, and about other disciplines, and heavens to Betsy about other endeavors even, the relevance is so far removed that the humor is gone. Talk about reductio ad absurdum... not related at all to the raising the minimum age for seniors and not convincing at all to those of us who support it.

    And, I gotta say funny to me because it’s not even funny. I can’t believe how a move to protect the health of skaters is so *threatening*.....
    Because it's not a move to protect skaters' health. There's NOTHING in the proposal about health of skaters, but what there is is that apparently the older skaters are afraid of the younger ones, or that the sport apparently wants idols (everyone's definition of an idol is going to be different anyway and people are always going to have different idols anyway) It would be different if they're considering this for the skater's health and had proof to back it up that such a change would indeed protect health, bu they aren't and they don't.

  6. #696
    Medalist tars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I've just reported this post for mental abuse and overwhelming boredom.

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