(July 25, 2007)
The 2008 BMO Skate Canada Western and Eastern Challenge events and the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships will have a new look this season.
Since the creation of the BMO Skate Canada Western and Eastern Challenge events in the 2000 - 2001 season, only junior, novice and pre-novice skaters competed at the event.
But the 2008 Challenge event will also feature senior skaters who have also qualified to compete through their respective Sectional championships. The Challenge event will now serve as a qualifying competition for senior-level skaters aiming to reach the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships, at which there will no longer be the possibility of a qualifying round in the senior events.
Senior events at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships will now begin with the short program for the men’s, women’s and pair events, and the compulsory dance for the ice dance event.
A maximum of 18 men, 18 women, 12 pair teams and 15 ice dance teams will compete at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships. The number of berths to the national championships up for grabs at Challenge will depend on the number of byes granted. A senior-level skater, pair team or ice dance team will receive an automatic bye to the national championships if they placed in the top-three in the senior event at the previous national championships or have received an assignment on this season’s ISU Grand Prix circuit.
| ||Maximum # of Entries at BMO Canadian Figure Skating Canadian Championships ||Number of Byes Anticipated to date ||Minimum # of Entries to BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships Qualifying from Challenge |
|Senior Men || |
|Senior Women || |
|Senior Pair || |
|Senior Ice Dance || |
Let’s take the men’s event, for example. To date, a total of six Canadian men (Jeff Buttle, Chris Mabee, Shawn Sawyer, Patrick Chan, Vaughn Chipeur and Kevin Reynolds) have received at least one ISU Grand Prix assignment this season. They will all receive an automatic bye to compete in the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Although Emanuel Sandhu won’t compete on this season’s ISU Grand Prix circuit, he will still receive a bye to compete at the national championships based on his third-place performance at last year’s national championships.
Add it all up, and that makes a total of seven men so far who have already qualified for the national championships. As a result, there will be an anticipated minimum number of 11 berths to the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships on the line for the senior men competing at Challenge.
The Road to the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships (for Senior competitors)
Another significant change at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships will be the start orders for the senior short programs (or compulsory dance) and free programs (or free dance).
For the short programs, those skaters who receive byes to the national championships will skate in reverse order of placement from last year’s national championships.
For example, Jeff Buttle would skate last, Chris Mabee would skate second-to-last and Emanuel Sandhu would skate third-to-last, etc.
If a skater receives a bye to the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships but didn’t record a placement at last year’s championships, he or she will participate in a random draw to determine the start order (these skaters would skate prior to the seeded skaters).
Finally, those skaters who qualified for the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships through the BMO Skate Canada Western and Eastern Challenge will skate in reverse order of their 2008 Challenge placement (these skaters would skate prior to the skaters who received a bye to the competition but didn’t record a placement at last year’s championships).
For the free programs (or free dance), the competitors will skate in reverse order from the short program results (or combined compulsory and original dance results). This means that the skater who is in first-place after the short program will be the last to skate the free program.
Motivating the change this season was the fact that, in 2006, the ISU Congress approved a motion to cancel the qualifying free skating round at all ISU championships. Skate Canada had introduced senior qualifying rounds at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in part to allow for development of the skills necessary to compete in qualifying rounds at international competitions.
With the ISU removing the qualifying rounds, this athlete development rationale no longer exists. Feedback from all stakeholders agreed that retaining the qualifying rounds for senior athletes at the national championships was unnecessary, and should be removed. Additionally, the ISU has mandated the seeded draw process at all ISU Grand Prix events in 2007.
“Skate Canada wishes to ensure that our competition system continues to meet the needs of the athletes with respect to fairness, optimal training and development, and provision of appropriate competitive opportunities,” said Jackie Stell-Buckingham, Skate Canada Director of Skating Programs and Events.
For more details concerning changes to the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships and 2008 BMO Skate Canada Western and Eastern Challenge, click here to download the pdf.