View Full Version : Criteria for being a Junior skater

March 7th, 2000, 01:16 PM
I was surprised to find out that Matt Savoie was a "junior skater". When are you NOT eligible to skate at the junior level anymore? Why are the lines so blurred? Don't you think you either make it to the seniors and stay, or stay in the juniors? Is it fair for the younger more inexperience skaters to have to skate against Matt Savoie? Nothing against Matt, just curious. Thanks.

March 7th, 2000, 01:33 PM
Rene, I think Matt Savoie just barely squeaked under the age limit for junior worlds (he's 19). He is able to compete as a junior at the junior worlds (even though he has competed in senior GP events) because he has never competed at senior worlds. If he had competed at last year's senior worlds, like Sarah Hughes did, he would not have been eligible to compete in Germany this year.

March 7th, 2000, 02:21 PM
Ah-ha, thanks.

March 11th, 2000, 12:11 PM
Why are NNN, SC and SH into seniors at such a young age while Kirk & Stellato who are older are still in juniors? Are Kirsk & Stellato that far behind the "baby ballerinas" technically that they could not pass the test sooner? Or did they choose to wait until they gained more maturity to advance?

March 12th, 2000, 10:14 AM
I don't know the answer to your question, but it seems like Kirk and Stellato have placed themselves in an excellent position for next years seniors. Both have won a 'world" medal, both seem to have a strong techinical background with artistry on the way. Next year in seniors they will have the "reputation" SC and NNN so dearly wish they had. (Unfortunately both girl's national silver medals seem to be a fluke rather than a reputation booster.) I think Kirk and Stellato are right where they should be. Remember when Button (?) said that about Michelle at the end of the '95 season? I think NNN and SC got thrown in too soon. I hope it doesen't ruin them. Next year should be very exciting for all of them and us, too!

March 12th, 2000, 04:11 PM
I agree with you FlashOBlue--building a solid reputation at the junior level seems to give the person a great edge when he/she enters the senior level. Many coaches and skaters seem to be well aware of this--does anyone remember the episode where Michelle acquired a senior skater status by passing the exam without receiving a permission from Frank Carroll and she was just ended up scolded by him so hard? Also we all know that Michelle had to wait a couple of years to get a "reputation" as a senior skater although her technical skills were way superior to that of the majority of other senior level skaters. Well, today's world appreciates immediate success/gratification so much and many skaters are hungry for the quick glory like Tara got. The media portlays the longevity (prime) of female figure skaters as 3-4 years maximum and unfortunately the general public believe it as well, like "If you are not internatinally renowned skater by age 15, you are out." I personally think this is very sad.

March 13th, 2000, 07:24 AM
Iloveskating, I need to point out a big distinction here. With the exception of Sarah Hughes, all of these young ladies can compete in national seniors events (US nationals), but do not meet the minimum age requirement to compete in international senior events (i.e. the senior Grand Prix series, senior worlds, etc.). Sarah Hughes is eligible to compete in senior international events because she medalled in a junior world competition -- that is the only way to get around the minimum age requirement for senior international events. Stellato and Kirk will be eligible to skate in senior international events next year because they medalled at junior worlds this year.

Its not so much a question of a difference in technical ability (actually, I should except Sarah Hughes from that statement, because she is clearly technically advanced beyond all the other young ladies her age), just a question of consistency, luck in medalling in the right competitition at the right time, or the bad luck of not doing so, being "on" the right night, etc.

March 13th, 2000, 08:58 AM
sw, I understand the age rule, and the difference between national & international comps. I was just curious, why some of these very young skaters advanced to seniors so early, even without a jr world medal, while their older counterparts stayed in juniors an extra year or 2.

March 13th, 2000, 09:34 AM
Iloveskating, sorry, my misunderstanding. I misinterpreted the question you were asking, and therefore answered a different question.

I think that the successes of Oksana, Michelle and Tara at such young ages have really changed the public's and the skating world's perceptions of ladies figure skating and ladies skaters. When Kristi and Midori competed for Olympic gold in 92, the press and the fans didn't harp on their ages (Yamaguchi was 20; I *believe* Ito was a little older), nor did they obsess about Nancy and Tonyas' ages during the run up to the 94 Olympics (they were both a few years older than Kristi had been in 92). Now, Michelle actually gets asked stupid questions like will she be too old in 2002 at the ripe old age of 21? There are now such greater expectations of younger skaters because a few extraordinary talents have managed to do it, and in an ironic way, the example of Baiul may have propelled some skaters into a realization that they'd better hurry up and try to do it now, before they grow too tall, their figures fill out, wear and tear takes a toll, and the jumps become harder and harder. Its sort of instilled a now or never, go for broke, grab the spotlight and the cash while you can, fatalistic approach. And now the public has come to expect its brightest female skating stars to be 15 and 16 year olds, and there seems to be much more of a ravenous feeding frenzy to try to find the next new 9 day wonder.

And of course, this push to move up into the senior ranks as fast as a ladies skater can is largely motivated by the proximity of the Olympics. Deanna might have been able to afford to wait a year or two longer than the "baby ballerinas" because if she is now 17, she was 15 in 1998, a year in which the US competition was such that she probably didn't stand a chance of making the senior world or Olympic team. The current crop of 14 and 15 year olds who are dying to do the SLC Olympics don't have that luxury -- they have to try to make names for themselves, get the plum international assignments and make the team now and next year, or they may be passed by. Or at least, that is what they and their coaches may believe, whatever the truth of the matter.

March 24th, 2000, 04:22 AM
I just have to reply to this. There are so many misconceptions in this thread. NNN, Sasha Cohen, Jenny Kirk, Sara Wheat AND Sara Hughes all moved to seniors after one year as a junior! Deanna skipped jrs all together and went from Novice to Senior. She stayed in novice an extra year because of injury problems. Sasha and NNN both skated on the JGP for the first time this year just like Jenny, Deanna, Sara Wheat. Sara Hughes skated on the JGP only one year, but a year earlier than the others. NNN only became age eligible for the JGP this year. Sasha won the only JGP competition she skated in and missed the other because of injury and was therefore not eligible for the JGP final.

My point - all of these girls have pretty much followed the same track and have pretty much established the same reputations with the USFSA. What Sasha and NNN did was hit big at US Nationals which the other girls have yet to do.

Why do you have to divide everything up into good and bad? I know you'll protest that, but it's true.

March 24th, 2000, 04:44 AM
.....than Worlds, Europeans or 4CC's. So Sasha, even NNN, Kirk, Stellato, Wheat, are all eligible for GP assignments next year. You have to be 14, not 15, by the previous August to compete in these events. I don't know about the GP final, but it would seem stupid to allow a skater to qualify for it and then say "oops, you're too young for the final," but I wouldn't put it past the ISU.

I think Sasha will for sure have senior GP assignments as the US silver medalist. Kirk and Stellato, who were not that impressive at Nationals and finished down the list of competitors, may end up with events like Obertsdorf, Vienna Cup, etc. Or Kirk, who is a very junior looking skater, may end up back on the JGP.