The 58th Ordinary Congress of the International Skating Union (ISU) will take place in Phuket, Thailand, June 6-10. The 280 delegates expected to attend will vote on the 249 proposals submitted by ISU member nations. Congress will be live streamed on the ISU YouTube channel (link below).
Elections for positions on various ISU technical committees will be held. With Jan Dijkema retiring, a new president will be elected. There are currently four nominees (Serbia, South Korea, Finland and the USA), two of which are women.
Four candidates have thrown their names into the hat for the office of vice president, including the incumbent, Russia′s Alexander Lakernik. His nomination is dependent on the amendment to Article 13 (raising the age limit for office holders from 75 to 80) being adopted. THIS PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED.
In an April 25 communique, it was noted that 20 ISU members had requested that no Russian or Belarusian officials be permitted to attend Congress, to seek election to any position within the ISU, or be permitted to attend any official ISU meetings or seminars. Council had planned to bring a motion to have those two nations excluded.
However, following a meeting on June 5, ISU Counsel sent member federations a letter stating no vote will take place due to the intention of the two nations to challenge any such decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. If the CAS ruled in favor of such an application, that could potentially make all decisions and elections at Congress null and void. THIS PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED.
As a consequence of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, one of the most important proposals that will be voted on at Congress is the Protective Measures provision. Council had to use its extraordinary powers under Article 17.1.q) of the ISU Constitution to guarantee the safety of participants and the integrity of international competitions (i.e. banning Russian and Belarusian competitors and officials from the World and World Junior Championships). THIS PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED
With the possibility of similar situations arising in the future, Council concluded that a specific provision, defining the basic framework under which conditions the ISU Council will be empowered to impose protective measures and to act swiftly within well-defined limits — that are known and accepted by ISU Members — needs to be included.
This would avoid the need for Council to enact its extraordinary powers under Article 17.1.q) for imposing protective measures in cases of exceptional circumstances outside the ISU’s control.
A vote to increase the age limit for senior competitions will also be held at Congress. The ISU proposal is to concurrently raise the senior age limit to 16 in the 2023-2024 season and 17 in the 2024-2025 season. (Those age limits would also apply to synchronized skating). THIS PROPOSAL WAS ACCEPTED
The results of the ISU Athletes Commission survey of the 48 participating ISU member nations, published on Jan. 13, reveals 86.2 percent of those polled are in favour of raising the age limit to 14 in juniors and 17 in seniors (link to report/results is below).
Rule changes to avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of national bias of officials at ISU Championships, international competitions and the Olympic Winter Games are also on the agenda.
Other proposals include:
♦ Separating the judging panels into two sub-panels: One that focuses on the technical elements (GOE) and skating skills, with the remaining program components assessed by a separate panel of judges.
♦ To adjust the component factors to balance out the program component score (PCS) and the total elements score (TES).
♦ To introduce three program components: Composition, presentation, skating skills.
♦ To change the World Championships format to include a qualification round starting in the 2024-2025 season.
♦ To formalize the reverse skating order principle used during the pandemic, which would eliminate the need for a draw for the free skate/free dance.
June 5: Council Meeting
June 6: Opening of the Congress / Workshops
June 7–9: Full Congress / Figure Skating and Speed Skating Branch Sessions
June 10: Full Congress and Elections