U.S. champions no longer guaranteed spot on world figure skating team

New selection rules mean none of the champions crowned at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships this week in Kansas City are guaranteed a place on the team for the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki this March.

According to a U.S. Figure Skating spokesperson, the rules change to eliminate the champions' automatic qualification was made in the fall by the U.S. Figure Skating International Committee, with approval coming Dec. 13 by the organization's board and its Athletes Advisory Committee.

That decision was made too late to make it into the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating media guide, which says the winner of each discipline at the current U.S. championships will earn an automatic spot on the world team.

There has been no public announcement of the new rules, nor are they available on the public area of U.S. Figure Skating's website. The change was first reported by International Skating Online.

The new selection procedure (PDF) is the same as the one that was used for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and it will also be used for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

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