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Author Topic: Juv/Int age limits  (Read 5933 times)

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Offline Sierra

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Juv/Int age limits
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:36:22 PM »
Under USFSA, you must be 13 or under to compete in Juvenile, if you aren't, you compete in Open Juv and cannot do qualifying competitions. Same for Intermediate, except it's 18 and under.

So what is the point of an age limit? I really cannot think of any conceivable reason why USFSA would not want 13+ kids in Juvenile Sectionals.

Offline icefrog

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 10:09:09 PM »
Open Juv is at regionals same with Open Pre-Juv you just don't advance to Jr Nats if you place in the top 3 in the final round.

Offline Debbie S

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 11:15:10 PM »
So what is the point of an age limit? I really cannot think of any conceivable reason why USFSA would not want 13+ kids in Juvenile Sectionals.

Probably to ensure that kids test up and compete against kids of similar ages. Juv and Int programs have similar requirements (diff is Int can do triples, but not many do) and you see skaters doing the same things at each level - most at both Juv and Int have doubles through lutz - the difference is overall skating skill, power, presentation. I suspect if there were not an age limit in Juv, you'd see skaters staying at that level for years, trying to make it to JN or medal at JN. Since Juv is the first level in the qualifying structure, it's an important developmental level, and it would be difficult for under-13 skaters to develop and get nat'l experience if they are constantly competing against 16-year-olds. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense - kids under 13 have 1 level, kids 13-18 have another. Other sports are organized in similar ways.

Of course, kids don't have to wait until they are 13 to test up to Int, that's a choice they and their coaches make based on their abilities. If a skater is talented enough to compete Int at age 11 or 12, they can, but it's their choice.

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 09:21:52 AM »
Canada has a similar structure, but it's gender differentiated to reflect that boys mature at different stages than girls. We have two age-limited categories: Pre-Juvenile (which isn't truly a competitive level, but, gives kids a taste of what it is like) - girls have to be under the age of 11 at July 1, boys under the age of 12.  For Juvenile, which is our first Competitive level, girls have to be under 12 at July 1, and boys under 13. 

It is very true that skaters could/would "hang back" and compete Juvie if they wanted a medal, you see that in all levels of skating; however, recognizing the different "profile" at this age, the age limits are placed. Because age can make a huge difference in terms of skating competencies, you don't want to discourage skaters entering the competitive track by having a 11 year old skating against a 14 year old who is bigger, stronger, more years on ice, more maturity.  We also don't have an "Open" category. Pre-Novice is the first level out of Juvie: you simply need to land 3 clean doubles, some specific spin requirements, and pass a minimum PCS score, which is not unobtainable for skaters who want to be competitive, one would hope.

Many skaters do seem to be going straight to Pre-Novice, and skipping the Juvenile year entirely, particularly as that level no longer goes to Nationals any longer, or to National qualifiers: it simply stays at the Regional (Sectional) level. 

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:37:46 AM »
Probably to ensure that kids test up and compete against kids of similar ages. Juv and Int programs have similar requirements (diff is Int can do triples, but not many do) and you see skaters doing the same things at each level - most at both Juv and Int have doubles through lutz - the difference is overall skating skill, power, presentation. I suspect if there were not an age limit in Juv, you'd see skaters staying at that level for years, trying to make it to JN or medal at JN. Since Juv is the first level in the qualifying structure, it's an important developmental level, and it would be difficult for under-13 skaters to develop and get nat'l experience if they are constantly competing against 16-year-olds. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense - kids under 13 have 1 level, kids 13-18 have another. Other sports are organized in similar ways.

Of course, kids don't have to wait until they are 13 to test up to Int, that's a choice they and their coaches make based on their abilities. If a skater is talented enough to compete Int at age 11 or 12, they can, but it's their choice.

Exactly, my dd (age 10) is competing juvenile this year-- yes she has all doubles through lutz and working on double axel.    She will also skate up to intermediate for a short program at some open competitions this year.  The younger girls, especially, would have a hard time being competitive with 14+ girls (who are stronger and more mature of course)

Offline Sierra

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 09:43:34 AM »
Open Pre-juv?

They might as well put an age limit on all the levels if they want the kids to be competing against similar ages. I'm always going to be competing against little kids until I'm in Int or Nov. And the kids that have to skip Juv and go to Int- for Nats. purposes- are still going to have difficulty for a while getting to the top. Int has 6 jumping passes, Juv 5. Not to mention the one triple allowed in Int, and Int is 15 seconds longer.

I'm not going to Jr.Nats, so it doesn't affect me if I skip juv and go straight into Int(in the distant future.. not anytime soon). And I'm gonna try to because around here, hardly anybody competes in Open Juv. I like having people to compete against.
But why make Int harder, which pretty much cuts off the 13+ kids that are aiming for Jr.Nats. That right there is kind of counterproductive to the whole 'you're never too old to start' thing. Gymnastics has age requirements for each level (reasonable ones).. if skating had those, it'd cut down on injuries and 9 yr olds doing triples.
you don't want to discourage skaters entering the competitive track by having a 11 year old skating against a 14 year old who is bigger, stronger, more years on ice, more maturity. 

 Pre-Novice is the first level out of Juvie: you simply need to land 3 clean doubles, some specific spin requirements, and pass a minimum PCS score, which is not unobtainable for skaters who want to be competitive, one would hope.
Older doesn't always mean that they've skated longer. In fact, it's probably shorter time of skating because the little ones don't usually improve as fast when they're 4-7 yrs. The 11 yr old could have very well been skating for 6 yrs, the 14 yr old 3-4 years. But, yes, the 14 yr old does have more power, more speed, more.. drama? on the ice.

Your Pre-nov sounds like right between our Prelim and Pre-juv. Pre juv (four doubles) and Int (double axel, possible triple if at big comp) is a pretty big line to cross. I'll have to dig up videos from my area to see what the Int competitors have.

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 09:58:00 AM »
Open Pre-Juv is part of Test Track.

No competitions have "qualifying" Test Track events. 
http://www.usfigureskating.org/Programs.asp?id=79

Always remember and never forget, the ultimate goal of the USFSA is to Create Champions for the USA!  Therefore, they choose to eliminate as many qualifying competitors as possible before Regionals and Nationals to focus on top skaters that can compete at the higher, and international, levels. A 14-year old who hasn't passed Juvenile isn't considered a viable prospect for international competition, regardless of his/her talent or promise.

Many of the "participatory" programs like Basic Skills, Test Track and the lowest-level standard/adult test categories aren't competitive at the international level, so non-qualifying events are all that's needed, which helps keep skaters involved in the sport while they continue to develop.  Having Sectional and Regional competitions with these non-qualifying events mixed (schedule-wise) with the qualifying events is intended to inspire and light a fire under the lower-level skaters.  It's part of the psychology of Creating Champions.

It works, too: look at how Sierra is now thinking about Intermediate freeskate events.  Age and experience don't always go together - the most current example is Johnny Weir.  He started skating (ISI groups!) at 12 and medaled in the World Junior Championships at 16.  Injuries and having a life do get in the way of progress.

I get the feeling that "serious skaters" have to meet that age cutoff or focus on testing higher to catch up with her "age peers."
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Offline drskater

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 10:58:44 AM »
Yes, for the reasons listed above, in competitions Intermediate is de facto Novice. I really enjoyed watching Jr. Nationals on Ice Network. The Intermediate men had triples and so too did a number of Intermediate Ladies. At the same time, I've met an awful lot of teenagers and adults who've tested up Intermediate and never attempted to go further. That's the issue with USFS--there's such a disparity between test requirements and the skills needed to be competitive (e.g. axel at Pre-pre).

Of course, ISI handles the issue of competing against peer groups quite effectively. No matter your level, you are always put in a group of skaters close to your own age. Plus, if you don't like the limitations placed on the freestyle programs, you can always compete in the new open categories (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). One thing I've noticed at ISI competitions is that there are lots and lots of skaters between 14 years and 18 years old, skating at all levels. So opportunities for kids who learn to figure skate a bit later do indeed exist.

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 12:43:52 PM »
Open Pre-juv?

I'm not going to Jr.Nats, so it doesn't affect me if I skip juv and go straight into Int(in the distant future.. not anytime soon). And I'm gonna try to because around here, hardly anybody competes in Open Juv. I like having people to compete against.
But why make Int harder, which pretty much cuts off the 13+ kids that are aiming for Jr.Nats.

My dd's coach has a number of kids who were/are really on the edge for being competitive in juvenile.   What they did was compete in Juvenile at 12 almost 13-- even though they weren't going to nationals to gain some experience.   Many had only up to consistent double loop, and you know what?  They didn't qualify for nationals, but many of them did reasonably well there.   Now they are using this year to get the rest of the doubles consistent and will compete intermediate - at 13.   Another year, and they can most certainly have ONE triple- and be competitive. 

Offline icefrog

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 02:03:11 PM »
Open Pre-Juv isn't part of test track. Its like Open-Juv all skaters have to be 13+ they have it at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and possibly some bigger competitions.

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 02:05:22 PM »
Open Pre-Juv isn't part of test track. Its like Open-Juv all skaters have to be 13+ they have it at Upper Great Lakes Regionals and possibly some bigger competitions.
My mistake - I misread the column headings.  I thought the ones on the right were the Test Track events.  Sorry.
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Offline twokidsskatemom

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 02:06:55 PM »
Yes, for the reasons listed above, in competitions Intermediate is de facto Novice. I really enjoyed watching Jr. Nationals on Ice Network. The Intermediate men had triples and so too did a number of Intermediate Ladies. At the same time, I've met an awful lot of teenagers and adults who've tested up Intermediate and never attempted to go further. That's the issue with USFS--there's such a disparity between test requirements and the skills needed to be competitive (e.g. axel at Pre-pre).

Of course, ISI handles the issue of competing against peer groups quite effectively. No matter your level, you are always put in a group of skaters close to your own age. Plus, if you don't like the limitations placed on the freestyle programs, you can always compete in the new open categories (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). One thing I've noticed at ISI competitions is that there are lots and lots of skaters between 14 years and 18 years old, skating at all levels. So opportunities for kids who learn to figure skate a bit later do indeed exist.
If they have enough, ISI does the put ages together ie 8 years olds with 8 year olds. I can tell you my kids have always always been in with older kids, even at ISI.Older doesnt always mean better.  We have also had open pre juv. Not test track, well balanced.

Offline techskater

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 09:13:35 PM »
It's part of Champion creation and talent identification that Juvenile cuts off @ 12 and Intermediate @ 17.  Basically, unless you are a really special case (like the Johnny Weir situation where he started at 12), typically there's a certain development pattern "expected" which is 2A by 12...

FWIW, the top Juvies have 2A and the top Intermediates have at least 1-2 different triples at our Regional and at JNs

Offline Sierra

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 09:31:19 PM »
Always remember and never forget, the ultimate goal of the USFSA is to Create Champions for the USA!
Therefore, they choose to eliminate as many competitors as possible before Regionals and Nationals to focus on top skaters that can compete at the higher, and international, levels. A 14-year old who hasn't passed Juvenile isn't considered a viable prospect for international competition, regardless of his/her talent or promise.
It's part of Champion creation and talent identification that Juvenile cuts off @ 12 and Intermediate @ 17. 
Oh. Of course.

So then it filters down to any competition that's under Regionals. They could at least only apply the age limit at qualifying competitions. The Int limit doesn't make much sense either- there is really almost no difference between 18 and 22, like there is between 12 and 16. And again with the 9 yr olds doing double axels/triples so they can beat the age limit.

Offline icefrog

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 11:33:55 PM »
Except a 22 year old adult at Intermidiate level probably isn't going to ever be a US Champion like Techskater said its all to develop champions. And there is a bigger difference between 18 and 22 then you might think.

Offline drskater

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 11:36:14 PM »
So many adults test in order to skate at ANs. This makes me wonder...  what is the incentive for later start skaters who are still kids (like Sierra) to test, especially since they cannot really compete at the appropriate skill level?


Offline Clarice

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2011, 06:36:10 AM »
An 18 year old skater can either do Intermediate Test Track, where there's no age limit (but there are jump limits), or test up to Novice.

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2011, 09:04:34 AM »
So many adults test in order to skate at ANs. This makes me wonder...  what is the incentive for later start skaters who are still kids (like Sierra) to test, especially since they cannot really compete at the appropriate skill level?
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Offline fsk8r

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2011, 09:18:39 AM »
So many adults test in order to skate at ANs. This makes me wonder...  what is the incentive for later start skaters who are still kids (like Sierra) to test, especially since they cannot really compete at the appropriate skill level?


Isn't the incentive in the tests themselves?
OK I'm an adult, but my tests do not enable me to compete (UK competitions rely on honesty of entering the appropriate standards as they recognise that child skaters might not necessarily still be able to land those triple jump when they're 50), I test for the ability to have a piece of paper which proves I've reached that standards. I'd be quite happy to continue testing and never compete again. I'm sure there are others out there who have a similar attitude to skating. I actually know a talented teenager who admitted to me that her goal is solely to pass all the tests. She's little desire to compete.

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2011, 10:16:37 AM »
So many adults test in order to skate at ANs. This makes me wonder...  what is the incentive for later start skaters who are still kids (like Sierra) to test, especially since they cannot really compete at the appropriate skill level?
IMO, being able to skate well is its own reward.  You don't have to compete in order to love skating and do it well.  Not every skater wants to compete; some use testing to record their progress, others just want to do show skating.  Still more just skate without any formal involvement in testing, competitions or shows.

Adults can test standard track because there's no upper age limit; the limit is on taking adult tests.  Any skater who tests standard track can "crossover" to the adult track for tests or competitions, IIRC.  There are crossover rules, but I don't remember them right now.

For those who want to compete, there are non-qualifying events available with/without restrictions.  Sierra's point is that she can't enter a qualifying event that leads to sectional/national/international competitions with the standard-track USFSA structure because, even at the Juvenile test level, she has to skate non-qualifying Open Juv since she's over 13.  That's absolutely true, and it's probably the reason that there ARE so many late-start skaters who compete in ISI while still developing their skills to be competitive at the higher standard-track levels. 

In my area, ISI doesn't exist, so it's not an option, but Test Track is a good step in bridging the gap, but I wonder if those events are really serving two masters: the late-start/rec skaters TT was intended for, and the less-competitive standard-track competitors.  Some standard-track skaters who don't hope to place well in their competitive division can choose to skate Test Track, where they might dominate.  I'm not saying they're sandbagging, it's just an observation.

If anyone has a proposal or a better idea, they can submit it to the appropriate USFSA committee to be considered.
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Offline techskater

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2011, 02:29:56 PM »
Actually, most skaters I've seen in TT really ARE TT or slightly above that.  Just like non qualifying has a "stigma" for "serious" competitors, so does TT

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2011, 03:05:58 PM »
Actually, most skaters I've seen in TT really ARE TT or slightly above that.  Just like non qualifying has a "stigma" for "serious" competitors, so does TT
Do you mean at your rink in particular or the latest Regionals? 
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Offline icefrog

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2011, 03:06:47 PM »
Yea I noticed the samething about TT and Open Juv. and I've heard about sand bagging to win. Why is winning such a big deal at these levels?? Who cares if you are the winner of Preliminary Test Track Group A Sunny Blossom Open Basic Skills Competition?? I mean really!?!
ok rant over.

I was a late starting skater before TT and I always competed Pre-Pre LTD against kids that came up to my knees. Eventually I would get a 14 year old to compete against. Sometimes they would beat me, sometimes I would beat them it all depends, but it was very frustrating to never compete against a skating peer. I would have loved to move up to another level and get a longer program, but jumps never were my thing... So I skated with the kiddies the few times I competed.

I did some ISI comps but all of the ones I did had very very strict age division. I did FS 4 when I was 16 and there was a 12, 14, and adult skater all at FS 4 and we were all on our own groups against the book. So coming from ISI even skating against kids was good because atleast it was someone...

I also like that they have TT at regionals. It is a good way for late starter to get to go to regionals even if they aren't ready for Open Pre-Juv or Open Juv.

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2011, 04:16:02 PM »
Do you mean at your rink in particular or the latest Regionals? 
At our club competition, there were very few signed up for TT (like 1-2 per level) compared to 500+ starts without artistic events.  At our Regional, kids who are "serious" test up to Int or Nov (depending on their age) even when they aren't in the ballpark element wise so they aren't in Open Juvenile or aged out of Intermediate.   

Offline Sierra

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Re: Juv/Int age limits
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2011, 04:58:09 PM »
Test Track around here has hardly anybody competing in it. I've never competed against a group any larger than 3(including me), and I'd really like to be able to compete in a group of 5+ so I have more variety to compete against, and so I'm less likely to end up dead last.

Yea I noticed the samething about TT and Open Juv. and I've heard about sand bagging to win. Why is winning such a big deal at these levels?? Who cares if you are the winner of Preliminary Test Track Group A Sunny Blossom Open Basic Skills Competition?? I mean really!?!
The girl who won my group a little more than a year ago (I was competing Basic 5) is an extreme sandbagger. I didn't find this out until only a little while ago. She did Basic 5 in fall of 2009. Did Basic 6/7 in 2010. I watched one of her videos- I think it was B7- and she was just so obviously too good for the level. I mean a 10 rev one foot spin in Basic 7?
At least I'll never compete against her again, since she/her parent/coach apparently can't lower herself to actually challenging herself in competition.


As to the incentive for late-start skaters, well not many late start skaters are actually planning to devote the rest of their life to the sport. The majority compete in Prelim/Pre-juv or so, then quit when school starts eating time.