Hey, since you know a bit more about figure skating than I do, could you explain to me (like I'm a child), which would be the year (age-wise) that Yuuri Katsuki would have had to enter the senior division at the latest?
To compete at junior level internationally you have to be at least thirteen but less than nineteen as of the July first before the season begins.
Some skaters will take the junior test before thirteen and compete at the national level (i.e. junior nationals) at twelve, but they wouldn’t be allowed to compete at world juniors or junior grand prix event at twelve. On the flip side, some skaters compete at senior level events but because they’re at the age where they’d still be allowed to compete at junior events/or because they’re not old enough to compete at senior international events (i.e. Mirai Nagasu, who won the senior US national title in 2008 at fourteen, despite the fact that she was not old enough to compete at senior worlds)*, their federation sends them to those instead.
For an example of a skater who is old enough but still went to juniors, sixteen year old Vincent Zhou is the US men’s silver medalist this year on the national level, but he is being sent to the Junior World championships instead of the senior worlds this year. He’s still young enough to go to junior worlds and he also, I believe is lacking a requirement to compete at worlds in the form of some kind of senior international competition (correct me if I’m wrong fellow FS fans).
Generally it’s a little simpler than this though and Vincent would just go to senior worlds (he is old enough). In fact he is actually the US’s first alternate for the World team, so if one of our men has to drop out, he will compete.
*You’re probably wondering about Yurio here, since he was fifteen at the GPF. The specific rule states that they can be fifteen, but they have to have turned fifteen before July 1st of the previous year to skate in senior international events, so since Yurio’s birthday is March 1st, he’s okay to compete internationally that season. If he’d been born in say, August though? He’d have to wait a year. In fact even if he’d been born on July 1st, this would have been the case (they’re strict about it).
NOW BACK TO YUURI: According to official info, this is Yuuri’s ‘fifth season as a senior level skater’, however, it is not known if it means fifth season as of the start of the series (i.e. when he’s competing at the Sochi GPF) or his fifth season starting with the season the series actually covers (with Victor coaching him). I’m guessing the former.
If it’s the season starting with Sochi GPF, he would have moved up to senior level when he was seventeen. If it’s the latter, he would have moved up to senior level when he was eighteen.
The OLDEST Yuuri could be as a junior is eighteen. He’d have to move up at nineteen.
I hope this all makes sense!
edit: whoops screwed something up in age requirements. I fixed it.