Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
In my opinion, Lipinski and Hughes had less to offer in other areas of their skating than Arakawa, although I think both of their Olympic programs were full of transitions between elements. Under CoP, rotation and the individual parts of jumping -- entry, air position, height, and landing -- are given more emphasis than a landed jump that is underrotated, has a skid or low entry, has little height, or has a faulty landing. Those were problems that were tolerated under the system in which Hughes and Lipinski thrived. Arakawa's strengths were rewarded by the system: clean rotation, solid entries, tight air position, good height, and the softness knees and landings in the business.

There's been huge amount of complaining about how technical difficulty has gone down in Ladies' jumping -- post Ito, Harding, Yamaguchi -- since the early 1990's, a decade before CoP was implemented. Bauil's Olympic-winning program had a splendid opening 3Lu, if telegraphed, and not many more well-executed and difficult jumps. All of these skaters, who had excellent spins as well, were from the school figures age, but they were able to trade their figures time for jump time in the early 1990's. The kids who came up post figures had that same block of time to work on more difficult jumps from an earlier age, once they no longer had to train for figures.

Kwan is usually credited with lowering the overall difficulty of Ladies' championship skates, because she "only" did 3T/3T, but did a series of top-quality spirals and footwork as well as spins in good positions with controlled and polished transitions. When speed because the calling card, she reduced the number of transitions -- just like Totmianina/Marinin did with their post-Cotton Club long programs -- in order to increase speed.

Under OBO, the "well-balanced" guidelines were minimums and under CoP, they are maximums. CoP doesn't force skaters to do any more spins or harder spins than the well-balanced program rules under OBO. The type of spin in the SP has been dictated for decades. What CoP encourages is more than perfunctory sit spins, especially among the men -- remember Yagudin in SLC? remember Joubert before CoP? -- and footwork sequences by offering points for more difficulty and, at least in theory, better execution. If you think that every spiral sequence in Ladies' is the same under CoP, Biellmann after Biellmann, you should have seen almost all of the 2003 European Ladies' spiral sequences: nearly all of them had catch-foots with flat backs -- picture Marinin in his LP spiral, except on 35 women -- or bent legs, and few positions were held for more than 2 seconds, with the free leg dropping like lead and hardly any core strength.

CoP point allocation doesn't discourage rotated difficult jumps at all. What it doesn't do is encourage jump diversity -- i.e., no bonus for doing all five or six triples instead of 2-3Lu's and 2-3F's or skipping a jump -- or harder combinations, because all combinations are simply the sum of the point values of the two single jumps -- i.e. no bonus for 2T/3T vs. 3T/2T or 3Lu/3T vs. 3Sa/3T. But in addition to encouraging more complex spins, spirals, and footwork, CoP also encourages doing more than five triples, and the skater can choose to do harder jumps, spins, spirals, and footword or to trade off higher levels of difficulty on spins, spirals, and footwork for more difficult jumps, if that is the way the skater wants to allocate his/her time.

Scenario 1: Six triple program with one 3/3. No 3A. Hardest six triple program.
3Lu/3T
3F/2T/2Lo
3Lu/2T
3F
3Lo
2A
2A

The 3T in combination is worth 4 base points and the extra 2A is worth 3.6 (after the first half). Assume the five-triple program has one unplanned doubled flip. The total difference in base is 7.6-2 or 5.6 points.

If the same skater does a L1 upright spin instead of L4 upright spin, a plain sit-change-sit instead of a L4 change of foot spin, a L1 combo spin instead of a L4 combo, and a plain flying camel, the difference in base is 5.7.

Total advantage for 4-L4 spins vs. 3/3T and second 2A and all L1 spins is .1 in base, but the potential upside/downside for the 3T is twice for each level of GOE. And change the 3T in combination to a 3Lo and the single 3Lo to a 3Sa, and there's another net .5 on the jump base.

There isn't a singles skater at the Olympic or Worlds level who can't do at least one L2 spin with little additional training, and almost no skaters have all L4 spins. The point differential between 4-L2's and 4-L4's in base is 4.2, which would give the same skater with six triples and 2-2A's the opportunity to do a L2 instead of a L4 spiral sequence, and have a slightly higher base than the 5-triple skater with 2 doubles and L4 spins and spirals.


Scenario 2: Six Triple program, including a 3A.

In this case, the 3A raises the base difference by 4 points over scenario 1 -- 3A replaces second 3A -- and the skater can do all L1's -- spins, spirals, footwork -- and still have the same base as a skater doing all L4's.

Scenario 3: Seven triple program, not including a 3A.

3Lz/3T
3F/3Lo
3Lz/2T/2Lo
3F
3S
2A
2A

Scenario 1 except the skater can do L1 spins, spiral, and footwork and have a higher base than the five-triple/2 double skater who has all L4's.


Scenario 4: Seven triple program including a 3A.

Scenario 1 except the skater can do L1 spins, spiral, and footwork and have an even higher base than the five-triple/2 double skater who has all L4's.

Any skater has the choice of taking that practice time and putting it into jumps that will rack up points,, especially if performed well, instead of increasing Levels on other elements. Weir, for example, could have done all of Tarasova's original spins, if he had completed all eight jumping passes and done the maximum combinations and still had the same, if not a higher, base score. (Why the USFS gave him griefs about his levels instead of his jump content is beyond me. 2x3=3x2.) Any skater has the choice of doing simpler spins, spins, and spirals and of converting the program time needed to hit and hold extra positions to longer and easier -- or harder, thus increasing the transitions scores -- set-ups for jumps. It's all there on paper.
Great post hockeyfan! Don't know where I would be without you!