Several of us have been discussing some of the flaws within the CoP regarding jump combinations and other such issues. I have taken it upon myself to go through and fix everything that I currently see wrong with the judging system as it stands (have been working on this for some time now; I submit my ideas with the 2007-2008 season updates in mind as well).
First up is jumps. Jump combinations should be receiving a bonus; most people agree on this. A 3A + 3T is harder than a 3A and 3T by themselves. However, giving jumps even more points than they get right now would be imbalanced. In order to create a system where combinations can be given their rightful due, the individual value of jumps as they are now need to be decreased.
VALUES FOR JUMPS:
4Lutz - 9.8 (-1.6, +1 for GOE)
4Loop - 9.4 (-1.5, +1 for GOE)
4Flip - 9.0 (-1.4, +1 for GOE)
4Sal - 8.6 (-1.3, +1 for GOE)
4Toe - 8.2 (-1.2, +1 for GOE)
3Axel - 6.8 (-1.1, +1 for GOE)
3Lutz - 5.2 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Loop - 4.8 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Flip - 4.4 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Sal - 4.0 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Toe - 3.6 (-.9, +1 for GOE)
2Axel - 3.2 (-.8, +.8 for GOE)
2Lutz - 2.0 (-.4, -.4, -.5, +.6 for GOE)
2Loop - 1.7 (-.3, -.4, -.4, +.6 for GOE)
2Flip - 1.6 (-.3, -.3, -.4, +.6 for GOE)
2Sal - 1.3 (.-3, -.3, -.3, +.6 for GOE)
2Toe - 1.2 (-.2, -.3, -.3, +.6 for GOE)
1Axel - .9 (-.2, -.2, -.2, +.4 for GOE)
1Lutz - .6 (-.1, +.3 for GOE)
1Loop - .5 (-.1, +.3 for GOE)
1Flip - .5 (-.1, +.3 for GOE)
1Sal - .4 (-.1, +.3 for GOE)
1Toe - .4 (-.1, +.3 for GOE)
I credit the Loop jump as being harder than the Flip. This is up for debate but if you look at what the skaters are actually doing, it seems rather true. MANY ladies leave the 3Loop out of their programs altogether and looking at the Men's Long Programs from last year's World Championships, the difficulty of the Loop jump was greater than that of a Flip (5 Loop jumps were doubled or underrotated...only 2 Flip jumps were doubled or underrotated).
Another change is the increased impact of negative GOE on (most) jumps and a reduction of the penalty for falling to .5 (which wasn't stated above). Is it really much worse when someone falls as compared to someone who double-foots a jump, falls out of the landing, and puts both hands down onto the ice (ie. -3 GOE)? The reduction of the penalty for a fall also means that people end up with lesser negative points for falling on (non-Axel) Doubles. It very rarely happens anyway for Seniors but I'm sure Novice skaters will be happy.
BONUSES FOR COMBINATIONS and SEQUENCES:
First Jump - no bonus if the second jump is a single, 5% bonus if it’s a double, 10% bonus if it’s a triple, 15% bonus if it’s a 3Axel or higher.
Second Jump - 20% bonus if the first jump was less than 3Axel, 25% bonus if the first jump was a 3Axel or higher.
Third Jump - 20% bonus if the second jump was a single or double, 25% if it was a Triple, 30% if it was a 3Axel or higher. If the second and third jumps are both doubles of the same type, the third jump shall only have the value of a single jump.
For PROPER jump sequences (hops or non-listed jumps between each jump element), the bonuses are half of what it is for a combination (the amounts listed above).
For IMPROPER jump sequences (full steps between the jump elements), the first jump receives no bonus and the second (and/or third) jump(s) receive a penalty of 25%.
VALUES FOR UNDERROTATED JUMPS:
4Lutz - 7.4 (-1.2, +1 for GOE)
4Loop - 7 (-1.1, +1 for GOE)
4Flip - 6.6 (-1, +1 for GOE)
4Sal - 6.2 (-1, +1 for GOE)
4Toe - 5.8 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Axel - 4.8 (-1, +1 for GOE)
3Lutz - 3.6 (-.9, +.8 for GOE)
3Loop - 3.2 (-.8, +.7 for GOE)
3Flip - 3.0 (-.8, .-7, -.7, +.7 for GOE)
3Sal - 2.6 (-.7, -.6, -.6, +.6 for GOE)
3Toe - 2.4 (-.6 -.6, -.5, +.6 for GOE)
2Axle - 1.9 (-.5, -.5, -.4, +.5 for GOE)
2Lutz - 1.3 (-.2, -.3, -.3, +.4 for GOE)
2Loop - 1.1 (-.2, +.4 for GOE)
2Flip - 1.0 (-.1, -.2, -.2, +.4 for GOE)
2Sal - .8 (-.1, -.1, -.2, +.3 for GOE)
2Toe - .8 (-.1, -.1, -.2, +.3 for GOE)
It is important that underrotated jumps are not simply downgraded a full level. An underrotated Quad is not a Triple. An underrotated Triple is not a double. These jumps should have their own values.
FLUTZES AND LIPS:
*For a Lutz jump that switches over to slight inside edge, the base value of the jump shall be reduced by 10%. For a Lutz jump that switches over to a very obvious inside edge, the base value of the jump shall be reduced by 20%.
*For a Flip jump that switches over to a very obvious outside edge, the base value of the jump shall be reduced by 10%.
BONUS FOR THE FINAL JUMP ELEMENT:
If the final jump element of a program is in the last quarter of the program, it shall receive a 20% bonus. If it is in the last tenth of the program, it shall receive a 30% bonus. These bonuses are instead of the normal 10% bonus the jump would normally receive for being in the second half of the program.
BONUS FOR A VARIED AND SUCCESSFUL JUMP LAYOUT:
For skaters that complete at least one of each Triple jump (double axel instead of triple for ladies; quads can count as triples) with an adequate score (greater than the equivilent of -1 GOE, taking not only GOE but also Flutzes/Lips and underrotating into consideration) and have no more than -1 GOE on ALL jump elements, a 1 point bonus will be awarded to their technical score.
ASSIGNING GRADES OF EXECUTION:
*Judges can give “half” of a GOE value to any element. In other words: -2.5, -1.5, -.5, .5, 1.5, 2.5 are now GOE values which can be assigned to an element.
*For jump combinations and sequences, judges may grade just one of the jump elements instead of the whole combination. For example - a 3Flip/2Toeloop combination with the skater falling off the end of the 2Toeloop should only lose .6 points (a -2 GOE for a Double Toe), not 2 points (which is a -2 GOE for a Triple Flip). A 3Flip/2Toeloop where the skater does just an average Flip, but has a difficult arm position in the 2Toeloop, could be given a bonus of .6 (the value of a +1 GOE for a Double Toeloop).
CHANGES TO SPINS: (the 4 point values listed for each type of spin reflect the 4 levels of difficulty)
*Spin in one position and no change of foot* - 1.2 (-3, +5 for GOE), 1.6 (-4, +5 for GOE), 2.0 (-5, +5 for GOE), 2.5 (-5, +5 for GOE)...add .3 for a Layback
*Flying spin with no change of foot or position AND Change of foot spins with no change of position* - .5 more than a non-flying spin with no change of foot or position, for each level (the negative GOE values for these spins increase by .1 for level 1 and level 2 spins).
*Combination spin with no change of foot* - 1.7 (-.4, +.5 for GOE), 2.1 (-.5, +.5 for GOE), 2.5 (-.5, +.5 for GOE), 3.0 (-.5, +.5 for GOE)
*Combination spin with change of foot* - 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 (-.5, +.5 for GOE for all levels).
The negative GOE values for most spins has been increased to more harshly punish spins that gain levels by adding difficult positions which are not attractive. The point values for some lower level spins have been increased as well, which adds to the idea that a simpler well-performed spin is to be favored over complex spins that look tacky.
*Gaining levels in Change-of-foot Combination spins:*
-A change of edge on both feet should be able to count in the same position (and not just a basic position!!!...Combination spins which don't change feet shouldn't have to do the change of edge in a basic position either) as long as it's not the EXACT SAME position (ie. arms and legs placed exactly the same way) on each foot.
-Difficult variations should be able to count as a feature twice on each foot (as long as a skater is not gaining ALL of their features for for a Level 4 spin on a single foot...ie. - backward entrance, change of edge, and two difficult variations on one foot and then no other features on the other foot). Two difficult variations performed on one foot need to be in different positions to count. The exact same difficult variation on each foot can not count twice unless it's the Beillman spin or the Pearl spin entered from another difficult position (such as a Donut spin), as those are exceptionally difficult maneuvers to perform.
-Spinning for 8 revolutions in a non-Upright position should count as a feature in Combination spins as long as it's not done in the first position of the spin. Spinning for 8 revolutions should also count in the Upright position (for a regular Upright spin too, not just combination spins) as long as it is done along with a clear increase of speed (scratch spin).
With the abolishment of 4 changes of position counting as a feature for a change-of-foot combination spin, there shouldn't be MORE restrictions on additional ways to gain features. The above changes should provide for more variety in spins.
FOOTWORK AND SPIRAL SEQUENCES:
*New values for Footwork sequences: 1.8, 2.4, 3.0, 4.0. The GOE values for each level are -.5, +1.
Footwork sequences at all levels should have a +1 GOE bonus. A level 2 footwork sequence that is really fast and well-done should be worth more than an average level 3 footwork sequence (that's never how it works out with the current rules). Because level 4 footwork sequences are SO extremely difficult, the base point value was raised as well.
Additionally, doing a footwork sequence that is ALL toepick work or performed ENTIRELY on one foot should be able to replace the mandatory requirement of using a variety (complexity for Level 4) of different turns and steps.
*New values for Spiral sequences: 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5. The GOE values for each level are -.5, +1.
Like footwork sequences, Spiral sequences should have a +1 GOE value for each level. So much of the difficulty of Spiral sequences is tied to flexibility and holding the blade and body position beautifully. Those qualities are not covered in the Level of a Spiral. Doing a Level 2 Spiral with Sasha Cohen quality is harder than doing an average Level 4 Spiral. As such, it should be worth more.
SHORT PROGRAM CHANGES:
*No mandatory -3 GOE penalty for jump elements that are popped. The reduction in points resulting from the popped jump(s) is already enough of a penalty.
*Doing a jump sequence instead of a jump combination results in a 20% penalty to the second jump of that sequence, instead of discounting it altogether and tacking on a -3 GOE to the first jump. If someone falls out of the first jump of their combination or takes a step, turning it into a sequence, they should still get some credit for that second jump.
LONG PROGRAM CHANGES:
A skater may swap one single technical element out of their program for another (thereby exceeding the normal maximum amount allowed). A skater who takes out a step/spiral sequence or a spin for an extra jump pass shall receive a 20% deduction on that final jump pass of their program. Men may choose to do a Spiral Sequence as the element that they swapped out for.
REPEATED TECHNICAL ELEMENTS:
Currently, a type of spin that is performed twice (ie. has the exact same abbreviation as another spin in the program) counts for nothing. Henceforth, it shall just received a 20% penalty. This penalty shall also extend to Step and Spiral Sequences (a lady who chooses to do 2 Spiral Sequences in her Long Program would be wise to make sure they are different Levels) and to jump combinations.