New guidelines and an extended age limit
Hot Shivers Senior from Italy. (Credits: Ice Galaxy 2020)
The guidelines for the season 2020/21 are out. The Council of the International Skating Union (ISU) also decided that the Novice and Junior upper age limits will be extended by one year next season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus reduces the opportunities for training
"The different age categories vary greatly and the preparation of new programs for the transition to the next age category requires substantial ice training," explained the International Skating Union (ISU) in a recent communication. The ISU added that with Covid-19 restrictions, many training opportunities are now stopped.
Only for current competing teams
This extended age limit applies only for Ice Dance Couples and Novice and Junior Synchronized Skating teams that "were already competing together during the 2019/20 season and in cases where the same programs as for season 2019/20 are maintained."
Synchronized teams opting for such extension of the Novice or Junior upper age limit must send a corresponding request to the Chair of their respective ISU Technical Committee in order to obtain a certificate confirming the exception," the ISU wrote. This decision does not relate to Single and Pair Skating.
If a synchro skating team has new skater(s) next season, the athlete(s) must be of the normal Junior/Novice age according to Rule 108 - paragraph 4 - of the 2018 ISU General Regulations.
The Council, in consultation with the Technical Committees, also added in this communication that an evaluation of "other potential consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, such as the lack of ice training" is now in process. Some extraordinary measures could be published soon.
New guidelines published
"All categories will keep their Well Balanced Programs for the 2020/21 season for both the Short Program and Free Skating," said the ISU.
Also noted that the guidelines' communication for next season has now been released by the ISU. This important document explains, for example, the most important deductions in synchronized skating and the criteria of the Grades of Execution (GOEs).