In one of its last publications, the ISU wrote about conducting trials of having teams with between 12 and 16 skaters in Senior events. In order to understand well this communication, our redaction asked to the Chair of Synchronized Skating, Christopher Buchanan from Great Britain.
Which are the main informations contained in this publication?
Christopher Buchanan: The information came about because we have been unable to find sufficient teams in previous years to participate in the Universiade event. This will support the decision to allow smaller teams to take part in that event to achieve participation and to increase the number of countries able to field teams for the event. It is considered important for out Olympic ambitions to support and participate in the Universiade. It should be noted that the Universiade has very different requirements for participation including different age, nationality, and educational status requirements. The reason for the test events is to ensure that the rules we have in place at the moment will not adversely impact the levels that can be achieved by the teams in the competition. It is always helpful to explore new possibilities in all of our disciplines otherwise we will never evolve and improve.
What is Universiade? An international multi-sport event organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The name is a combination of the words « University » and « Olympiad ». This takes place each 2 years.
Why are you allowing fewer skaters than 16 to skate during competitions?
Christopher Buchanan: As I have explained above, we wish to examine the positive and negative impacts that skating with a team of 12 brings. We would want to make any necessary adjustments to the regulations well ahead of the Universiade event to allow teams the ability to fully realise the best possible programs for competing at the event.
Did you adapt the rules after the World Championships in Colorado Springs and the performances of Team Russia 1 who became World Champion with 15 skaters?
Christopher Buchanan: There is no need to adapt the rules as this situation had been covered in the Synchronized Skating rules for many years. The rules clearly state that teams of 14 or 15 are allowed to participate at the championships if the reduction in the team size is due to illness or injury that has happened at the Championship itself. No special consideration had to be made for this situation as it is clearly dealt with in the rules.
The publication said that tests will be done during international competitions next season. What does that mean?
Christopher Buchanan: We will be looking to work with our members to find suitable events at which we will offer a special category for teams of 12 skaters. Discussions are already underway and we have received positive responses. Those events at which the trials will happen will be published in due course.
Something to add?
Christopher Buchanan: I hope that people are not reading too much into these trial events, it is very common for the ISU to hold trial events for many purposes e.g. Trial events have been held to explore new judging approaches, different event formats etc. We simply want to ensure we are doing everything possible to support our burning ambition of inclusion in the Olympics for Synchronized Skating. Making this small concession for the Universiade is well worth the effort if it takes us even one step closer to realising that ultimate goal.
More info: ISU