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17th May
written by Mombo#9

Datebook: May 16, 2010

So again the slide rule on age consideration glides into view and hinges on the whims and mind-set of those holding the buzzers that sound the “yea” or “nay” for the vote. The difference this year, of course, is that the ISU appears to have considered the failure rate of the age-change that has been brought forth for the past few years and come up with a “Plan B.”

The concept of age and subsequent privileges and/or penalties has been bantered about since, well, forever. I imagine Plato asking his mother how old he had to be before he could wear a toga commando style and disliking her answer of “10.” He would pontificate about not being in swaddling for nine years and the practically of not needing to wear the equivalent of BC Underoos. She would give him “the look” and he would mutter under his breath, “Virtue is relative to actions and ages of each of us in all that we do,” and she would tell him to stop talking back and go clean his room.

Each year a group tries to bring a Senate bill forth that would raise the driving age from 16 to either 16 and 9 months, or 17. One group stresses the lack of maturity in the developing brain of a teenager that allows them to drive 90 mph on a wet road while texting, and one group, with a heavy lobby from the insurance industry, counters with the needs of youth to help work to provide income to the family. The same goes with the drinking age. One side argues that a young man can go fight for his country but not be able to buy a beer before he gets on the transport. The other side, supported by a large group of slovenly men who hang outside of liquor stores to procure alcohol for underage drinkers and subsidize their income, counter that young brains do not know that they cannot drink 21 shots on their birthdays chased by upside down keggers.

The ISU does not get the same type of fanatical debating. They just get a lot of head shaking and sighing.

Proposal A is simply that a junior skater must be 13 but not 18 by July 1 to compete.

Proposal B is that a junior skater must be 13, and girls not 18, and boys not 19 by July 1st to compete.

The reason for the rule change is listed as “Current upper age for junior seems too high.”

The ISU will never get red carpet seats for the Oscars with this type of bias. They would perhaps turn up a nose to spotting James Wood and Ashley Madison will their 39 year age difference, or snort at Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas with their quarter century age disparity, or shake their heads at Indiana Jones-Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart with their 22 years of separation.

It seems there will be no Cougars or AARP members on the ice in junior — male or female.

Their rationale is a bit weak to be sure. Are they really posing the concept that it looks bad? Or that the boys are malingering/loitering in junior? Did they consider the current statement to the world that girls, at 18, are “over the hill” and must move up to senior or not compete?

I may be in a small circle that might suggest that the ISU should change the age requirements for juniors, but instead of lowering it for young men, they should raise it for the girls so the statute is equal: 21 years old for both. Each team could then decide when they had the skill and the time to dedicate to the rigors and demands of a competing senior team.

The vote will come and the vote will reflect the politics du jour and the opinions of the folks holding the buzzers. No vote will be made based on the scientific research for developing muscles and bones or other physiological factors. In the end it will be, as it is in almost everything we encounter in life, the opinion that answers the call of the vote.

Plato of course stated, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

By that time, surely, he was able to make his own call on boxer, briefs, or sans, and could happily wander forth creating new quote for centuries in the future. We, on the other hand, will be stuck in the middle with a Plan A or B, when maybe it should have been C all the time.


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