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Author Topic: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?  (Read 1926 times)

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Offline skatingintexas

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Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« on: May 06, 2015, 04:03:30 PM »
I started skating when I was 14 and since then I've always competed with kids anywhere from 3 years younger to 10. When I started I was under the impression that when I turned 18 I could compete as an adult, but you have to be 21. I was wondering what the opinion of adult skaters would be if USFSA introduced having 18 in the category that starts at 21 or even putting it from 18-20 or making a teen category from 16 or so to 20. Would you find this annoying to compete with someone at least 3 years younger? It's not just that I feel like I'm competing against babies sometimes, but I feel like their parents are judging me. I will admit it has gotten better now that I've moved to the Test Track categories.

Edit: I was looking at some links and saw that it used to be a category. I wonder why it's not anymore. I would still like you're opinions though!

Offline riley876

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 04:24:23 PM »
Seriously, what's the rush?  A> it won't be a step up in general treatment, given how second class skating adults are treated and B> It's only another 3 years anyway.   A blink of an eye.

As for parents judging you.  Of course they are.  You should learn to stop caring.  They're always be someone judging you. 

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 05:13:38 PM »
At 18 more emotionally mature and can intensively focus on your musicality and performance skills. Yes little kids have the 'cute' factor, but if you can out perform them you can beat them. If you want to compete with adults you're going to be competing with people who have better musicality better performance and emotional expression. You'll have a better chance at getting a sit spin, but those adults have experience and style.

Just a word of warning. Don't be too eager to go the adult route.
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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 08:57:27 PM »
Well, I will say this - I'd have less of an issue competing against an 18 year old myself (I am 34) than I would with an 18 year old competing against my 9 year old.. that said, I think adult competition is likely to be "tougher" than competing against kids.  When you compete against kids you are typically competing against newer skaters with less experience (especially at lower levels), and in adult, you often run into people who have been at the same 'level' for a VERY long time... even if they're just a bronze level skater. 

As an adult (and really as a younger skater too) your focus when competing should really be about performing your program better than the previous competition - it really ISN'T (or shouldn't) be about placement against other skaters, or how old they are, or anything else other than how you skate that day.  Skate/compete for yourself :)

Some basic skills competitions may set "adult" beginning at 18, others may enforce 21 - and you are NOT "required" to compete in the adult levels once you are 18 either... you can stick with test track if you want to (and you've already aged out of the lower standard track levels, of course, so that's not an option).

Offline PhysicsOnIce

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 04:05:45 AM »
Why would you want to do that?
Personally, I find that competing against younger skaters keeps you on your toes technically, and makes you focus on yourself a lot more. It makes you think about why you skate and what do you want to improve.

In Belgium there is no such thing as adult skating, so everyone competes based on their level regardless of age (in the B-track). I'm 26, and compete girls who could literally be my daughters. Yes, it can be hard to stand up and put a smile on your face and skate on when the "cute 8 year old jumping jelly bean" just skated a nearly prefect program before you, but after all this is skating. You shouldn't worry what others are doing, regardless of age. From personal experience, You can't compare yourself to an 8 Year old whose musicality and expression is limited to waving their hands around despite having all their doubles.  As it has already been said you may not be able to beat them technically, but you can out preform them.
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Offline karne

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 05:15:17 AM »
Funnily, I've never felt like the parents of my opponents were judging me. Actually, several of them have come up to me over the years and told me how much they admire that I started late and still competed, especially against little kids. (It did make for some truly epic podium photos, though - clumpy giant me next to itty bitty kids!)

You zone it out, after a while. The only time I've ever been truly irritated by an opponent's level was when I was in Free Skate 2 (there are four levels), and one of the girls in the group was so obviously sandbagging it was ridiculous.

I'm Adult Bronze now. Now I'm the baby, skating against a 60+ year old lady. Rock on!
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Offline saje

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 06:30:26 AM »
I actually ragree with skatingintexas.  I originally started skating when I was 16, and wanting to compete meant that I had to compete in the "no axel" track of pre-preliminary against 5-10 year olds (which I did, because I really wanted to compete at that time).  It didn't feel "fair" to me (I often won, because I was older and could focus more on expression and musicality) and I often felt embarrassed competing against someone who was less than half my size, skating to The Little Mermaid.  For the most part, parents weren't too awful, though I did have one parent that thought I was a threat to her little skating princess and tried to get my ice show number taken away from me because I "didn't have my axel" (I did).

I think it's interesting to see how many comments here say things like, "What's the rush?" and "Don't be too eager to go the adult route."  Just like the OP, I would have welcomed the opportunity to compete in a teen or adult category.  Adult competitions seem much more calm and welcoming to those with low-level skills at older ages.  I think older teens should have the ability to compete in this track if they so choose, but that's just my opinion.
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Offline celia

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »
I would support 18, mainly because I feel that's when people cross the threshold into "adult priorities and demands."  Whether it is balancing college, or grad school,  job(s), and/or children, adults, including those just barely past 18, have a completely different set of priorities than kids and it is nice to compete against (and meet) one's peers, so to speak.  I know there are the collegiate championships, but people like me were really nowhere near advanced enough for that.   Obviously there are many national competitors who are indeed adults, but I'm referring to the lower levels that most of us inhabit.

I started at 13 and was lucky to be in an area where skating was popular enough that people started at every age and I always had kids my own level AND age to compete against.   I've never competed as an adult, but plan to test on the adult track (though I'd love to make it back into standard track moves eventually, go figure).  When I was 22 I passed pre-juvenile moves on the standard track because back then (c.2000) "adult" was 25. I didn't mind so much but remember thinking it was strange that I didn't "count as an adult."

Offline skatingintexas

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 12:48:23 PM »
There are certainly a big difference of opinions! It's not just I'm wanting to grow up or in a rush to be an adult, but I feel that it is harder in a sense for me to compete against kids just because of my personality and feeling bad if I beat them, which does happen rarely. I mean, in one competition I had to sit on the podium so I wouldn't tower over the kid I beat. Collegiate skating really isn't an option for where I'm going, even if I was good enough. Also, not every single parent judges, and there have been some that feel I didn't place where I should of just because I'm older, I've had a parent or two tell me that they thought I did better than there own kid and should have been higher. I guess to sum this up, it isn't just about being an adult, but trying to make it fair to all parties involved, which can be a hard thing to do.

Offline TreSk8sAZ

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2015, 03:31:42 PM »
There still is a "Young Adult" category, which encompasses ages 18-20, and runs along the same levels as the Adult track. Many competitions, however, don't offer it because they don't get enough entries or they don't know about it. At Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals this year, my dramatic group (Silver A, which was a very odd combination of class I and some of the IIs, but not all of the IIs) had a young adult skating with us because no one else entered her age class. It's really no different than combining age classes, which they often do at smaller events.

I would say if you see an announcement of a competition you would like to skate in, and they aren't offering a Young Adult age group, ask the registrar. They may be able to ask the referee or make a decision on their own regarding whether it can/should be offered. They aren't required to offer it and may say no, but they may consider it. There absolutely is a separate teen division for Showcase events as well, but I think you were talking more about freeskate events.

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 05:52:18 PM »
There still is a "Young Adult" category, which encompasses ages 18-20, and runs along the same levels as the Adult track. Many competitions, however, don't offer it because they don't get enough entries or they don't know about it. At Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals this year, my dramatic group (Silver A, which was a very odd combination of class I and some of the IIs, but not all of the IIs) had a young adult skating with us because no one else entered her age class. It's really no different than combining age classes, which they often do at smaller events.

I would say if you see an announcement of a competition you would like to skate in, and they aren't offering a Young Adult age group, ask the registrar. They may be able to ask the referee or make a decision on their own regarding whether it can/should be offered. They aren't required to offer it and may say no, but they may consider it. There absolutely is a separate teen division for Showcase events as well, but I think you were talking more about freeskate events.

^ This!  As long as you aren't entering Adult Nationals or a Championship event at an Adult Sectionals competition, you are basically entering a non-qualifying competition and age classes can be combined.   Out of curiosity, SkatinginTexas, what is your current test level?

Offline skatingintexas

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 09:24:24 PM »
^ This!  As long as you aren't entering Adult Nationals or a Championship event at an Adult Sectionals competition, you are basically entering a non-qualifying competition and age classes can be combined.   Out of curiosity, SkatinginTexas, what is your current test level?
I haven't tested. I've been skating at high beginner, but my coach is talking about moving me up since I got my flip and loop.

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 07:07:18 PM »
I haven't tested. I've been skating at high beginner, but my coach is talking about moving me up since I got my flip and loop.

Ah, I see!  Are you working on your first Moves-in-the-Field test yet (the Preliminary test)?  The good news is that you can test on the standard track and still compete as an adult as soon as you turn 21 (or if a competition offers a Young Adult event or combines Adult and Young Adult).

Offline skatingintexas

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2015, 03:22:58 PM »
Ah, I see!  Are you working on your first Moves-in-the-Field test yet (the Preliminary test)?  The good news is that you can test on the standard track and still compete as an adult as soon as you turn 21 (or if a competition offers a Young Adult event or combines Adult and Young Adult).
My coach has mentioned it once or twice in passing, but for now we're just doing intro events (high beginner). I was looking at the announcements for upcoming competitions and all adult events say 21 or older.

Offline blue111moon

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2015, 07:27:29 AM »
USFS rules set the age for Adult at 21.  (Not too long ago, it was 25!)  Some competitions might offer a Young Adult category (18-21) but most feel that this age group is already covered by Collegiate competitions. 


Offline JSM

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2015, 09:48:21 AM »
My coach has mentioned it once or twice in passing, but for now we're just doing intro events (high beginner). I was looking at the announcements for upcoming competitions and all adult events say 21 or older.

Usually adult events at standard track competitions do this.  There is often a young adult category at adult only competitions - there are not very many competitions that are only for adults, though.  You'll probably have to travel. 

Offline Query

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2015, 03:03:41 PM »
In a sense, nothing can be "fair". People start at different ages, have different bodies, different training, and so on.

At 18, you are about the same age as many Olympic contenders. Do you want to compete against them?  :)

On the other hand, I watched a 5 year old doing axels. How unfair!

In any event, it won't be long at all before the kids you are currently competing against will be a lot better than you are - at least most of those who continue.

I guess you are looking to compete against people at about the same skill level. That just isn't the same thing as age.

If you pick Ice Dance, you probably won't compete against many kids - but there are a few, some very serious.

If it really bothers you - just don't compete.

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2015, 12:50:53 PM »
To add a positive angle to all of this. . . A lot of 18-year old skaters are QUITTING at 18.  When you are 25, you will be landing double jumps while they may find that they are no longer able to do them because they haven't stayed in practice.  I didn't start skating until I was 27 and I am still competing at 50, so you are way ahead of a lot of adult skaters and you will catch up and surpass a lot of skaters who got a head start on you if you just stick with it! :)

Offline alejeather

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2015, 01:17:40 PM »
To add a positive angle to all of this. . . A lot of 18-year old skaters are QUITTING at 18.  When you are 25, you will be landing double jumps while they may find that they are no longer able to do them because they haven't stayed in practice.  I didn't start skating until I was 27 and I am still competing at 50, so you are way ahead of a lot of adult skaters and you will catch up and surpass a lot of skaters who got a head start on you if you just stick with it! :)

Yes! This! You may have a few years where you won't have a slot to easily slip into as far as competition groups is concerned. But if you keep with it, as a young adult, you'll have a great start for competing in the adult community.

I'm not against letting 18 year olds compete with adults, but I'm a young adult myself. I've seen older teens starting to skate at local rinks and it is hard for them to find competitors. I seem to remember having seen that there is sometimes a teen classification at basic skills competition. You can always ask a competition chair if you don't see something you were hoping to see in the announcement. The answer may be no, but if the change will be small and it means you will register when you wouldn't have otherwise, they may be willing to accommodate your request.

On another note, persevering with something that you really want to do when the environment is not ideal is a really great life skill to hone.
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Offline Neverdull44

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2015, 03:16:19 PM »
Yes, I would support it.  It would be an option at 18, to join either track.   Just like it is for adults.   18 year olds have demands of jobs, college, and need a more laid back environment to continue skating.   

I also think that there should be an adolescent track, for those who are not at the high level of other teens or who didn't skating when they were 5.   Teens don't want to be classed in with children. Teens are very conscious of their bodies, surroundings, and others not thinking they are babies.   The current system isn't fair because the kids are developing faster, making hips wider earlier.   A beginning teenager has nowhere to compete, but against a skinny 7 year old.   Other teens may not be able to continue the hard training needed on the regular track.   Maybe, make the tract levels something harder than the adult tract, but easier than the regular tract.  This would account for the fact that teenager still learn the sport relatively faster than most adults.    Pre-bronze (one foot spins and waltz-toe), bronze (flip, lutz, camels), silver (axel double), and gold (harder doubles).  Maybe make it for 13-19 year olds?   Doesn't the sport lose alot of kids at 14 years old?

Offline icedancer

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Re: Adult Skaters Would You Support Putting 18 as Adult?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2015, 03:27:57 PM »
Well, there is Open Juvenile - for those 13 and over and I have seen young adults compete in that very nicely.

And then some areas have designated "Test Track" vs. "Competitive Track" levels in their competitions if there is enough interest and enough skaters competing.