Israeli skating group protests new world standards

9JTA) — Israel’s Ice Skating Federation protested new and tougher International Skating Union qualifying standards for world championships, saying they unfairly discriminate against countries not in the top skating tier.

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“We believe that these increases are excessive and arbitrary and were enacted for the improper purpose of discriminating against skaters for those countries/federations who are not necessarily in what may be considered the ‘top echelon’ of skaters,” said the Aug. 13 letter from Boris Chait, the ISF president, to Ottavio Chinquanta, the ISU president.

The new standards were set at the 2012 ISU Congress, held in June in Kuala Lumpur.

Minimum required technical points have almost doubled in a range of qualifiers, for instance from 20 to 35 for the men’s short program, 15 to 28 for the women’s short program, and 17 to 29 for the ice dance short program.

Chait suggests in his letter that the ISU tightened standards in order to eliminate qualifying rounds and lower overall costs for competition.

He asks the ISU to “reevaluate these increases and come up with a more reasonable schedule to minimize expenses for the various competitions but at the same time protect and respect the rights of all skaters and not just those at the top end of the tier.”

Chait’s letter was first posted Aug. 14 on the online magazine, Ice Skating International.

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