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Thread: Downgrades

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Downgrades

    At a recent major competition, there were what seemed to be an unusual amount of downgrades to the jumping skills of the competitors. Yet at another recent competition, there were far fewer downgrades.

    The words of the Technical Panel are infallible so I would like the opinions of our members as to why they think (or they know) what caused the discrepancies.

    Was it a better field of skaters in the latter? Was it a different lineup of the Tech Panel in the two competitions? or Is there some other reason?

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    At a recent major competition, there were what seemed to be an unusual amount of downgrades to the jumping skills of the competitors. Yet at another recent competition, there were far fewer downgrades.

    The words of the Technical Panel are infallible so I would like the opinions of our members as to why they think (or they know) what caused the discrepancies.

    Was it a better field of skaters in the latter? Was it a different lineup of the Tech Panel in the two competitions? or Is there some other reason?

    Joe
    I'm puzzled too. The only theory I can think of is that the technical panel at SC were more concerned about wrong edges than underrotation. According to protocol, more than half of skaters at men's event have inadequate flips. And Mao Asada ended up with whopping -1.6 GOE on her flutz. After SA, ISU might have realized harsh judging on underrotation would lead to huge deplation of scores especially in ladies discipline. So, they are probably going with harsh judging of wrong edge.

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    That's a bit of an exaggeration. There were 10 edge calls in the Men's event at Skate Canada, all for the flip. Othman got one in the SP and one in the FS. Joubert and Wu each got two in the FS, and Buttle, Chipeur, Kaska and Smith each got one in the FS.

    Apparently men lip even more than ladies flutz. So all those who were cheering that flutzes were being penalized at last, now may not be so happy.

    Asada was penalized so heavily for her flutz because it is one of the worst out there. But while Asada got -1.60 in the SP, she got only -0.8 in the FS. Ashley Wagner took a big hit in the SP, and big -GOE on both lutzes in the FS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Asada was penalized so heavily for her flutz because it is one of the worst out there. But while Asada got -1.60 in the SP, she got only -0.8 in the FS. Ashley Wagner took a big hit in the SP, and big -GOE on both lutzes in the FS.
    Can you elaborate on that? I'm not trying to argue with you, but I just can't tell what is "good" flutz or "bad" flutz. Because IMO, aside from the fact that all flutzers start from wrong edges, Mao is one of "better" flutzers in terms of the execution and landing.

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    The distinguishing feature of the lutz is the back outside edge takeoff. Mao and Ashley roll over to the inside edge before takeoff, making the jump more of a flip than a lutz, hence a "flutz". Some skaters take off on the flat of the blade, which is not correct, but not as bad as a roll to the inside. So the judges can take off -1 to -3, depending on the degree of flutz.

    Mao may get high in the air and land smoothly, but her takeoff is technically incorrect. That is what the judges are penalizing.

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    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    Just a reminder that Skate Canada has NOT aired on TV yet in the United States so please be aware of any spoilers when posting things here.

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    Dear me, this was supposed to be about the rash of downgrades at SA as compared to less at SC, and why the difference.

    Joe

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    I think there are many factors involved in this issue.

    Technical panel make up is one. It takes two out of three members to agree on a call, so if in discussions after the skate, only one wants the downgrade ( or edge call), it doesn't happen, but if the panel is made up of other members, you may have two that would agree on it so it would be downgraded( or edge call). It is not a 'mistake' by the panel, just a judgement call . It is the same judgement that a judge uses to decide what GOE they would give to an element.

    Video angle is another part. There are certain calls that can be reviewed using video. Camera location in the rink can change the perspective of what the technical panel may see upon review.

    Skater performance is another. Some skaters are stronger skaters than others, some have better days than others, etc. Some skaters' hide ' mistakes better than others.

    Remember, the tech panel makes the initial calls real time. If no one asks for an element to be reviewed during the real time skate, it doesn't get reviewed upon completion of the skate.

    The tech panel also will watch practices ( mostly to help them give the appropriate levels to footwork and spins, etc) but they also see things that they will plan to take closer looks at when the skate happens in competition.

    You have always had discrepancy in judging panels( IJS and 6.0) as to whether to give credit to a cheated jump or entry edge mistake. In 6.0, you just never saw what the judges put in their notes. When a panel is spread over 30 +feet along the side of the ice, the perspective of judge 1 is very different than judge 6, etc. That also can explain some of the GOE discrepancies.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative post, Sk8ingjudge.

    Specifically about the downgrades, it just seems astonishing to me that in the ladies' free skate at Skate America there were 21 triple jumps downgraded to doubles, compared to only four at Skate Canada.

    To me, the easiest explanation is simply that one technical crew was more picky than the other. No problem, except in the case that there are ties in the selection procedure for the GP final. If there are two skaters, both with a 2nd and a 3rd, vying for the last place in the finals, the one that had a low score at Skate America is out of luck.

    I wonder if maybe the tech specialist got caught in a trick bag. Maybe he downgraded one skater's jump on a borderline call. Then the next skater did a jump that was just as bad. After that he had no choice but to be consistent throughout the competition and ding everyone.

    Most of the wuzrobbin' about tech specialists' calls is not, "oh, my poor skater was downgraded unfairly." It's, "hey, the other guy was just as bad and he got away with it!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    No problem, except in the case that there are ties in the selection procedure for the GP final. If there are two skaters, both with a 2nd and a 3rd, vying for the last place in the finals, the one that had a low score at Skate America is out of luck.
    Or qualifying or not qualifying for GP the next year, but just missing the cut-off for the Personal Best list that makes up discretionary invitations.

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    Sorry. I really don't want to hear the excuses of a Tech Panel playing with the Calls. That would make them incompetent. They are selected for their excellent observation and their knowledge of the elements. If they are not up to the job, they should be dismissed.

    I did find Wrimy's theory very interesting.

    21 to 4 on downgrades and how many in SA on wrong edges?

    Joe

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    It's quite possible that the result of SA influenced SC...people paying specific attention to get the required rotation in. Emily Hughes herself seemed to do that, at least. The Lutz she did at SC was clearly better than the downgraded one she did at SA.

    I'm sure having a different tech panel played a role as well, though.

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    Last edited by DaveT; 11-08-2007 at 06:44 PM.

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    Thanks for the post, DaveT.

    I generally agree with Hirsh's points. However, the question of downgraded jumps really seems distinct from Hirsh's main beef with the IJS, namely:

    Sadly, the only consistent thing about it is how it has turned every program into monotonous sameness, with each skater doing an ugly leg grab spiral and too many sloppy jumps while cramming the program with so much point-scoring (but pointless) junk there is no time for anything interesting or elegant.
    Also, the way he phrased it, saying that apparently the word to crack down on underrotations didn't make it "North of the border" to Skate Canada -- this is a little misleading because it was the Canadian tech specialist, Jayson Peace, who officiated at Skate America. At Skate Canada the tech specialist was Claudia Unger (German).

    BTW, the tech specialist at Cup of China, currently in progress, is also German. She is none other than Anett Poetzsch, the 1980 Olympic gold medalist who was involved in a judging controversy herself when many people thought Linda Fratianne was the victim of ISU politicking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8ingjudge View Post
    Video angle is another part. There are certain calls that can be reviewed using video. Camera location in the rink can change the perspective of what the technical panel may see upon review.
    This is sometimes true, but in general the location of the TP and the camera they use is similar at most major competitions. At SA and SC the TPs had the same viewing perspective. For SA the camera was at the right end of the judging panel, while for SC it was at the left end of the judging panel. I doubt this accounts for the difference.

    Skater performance is another. Some skaters are stronger skaters than others, some have better days than others, etc. Some skaters' hide ' mistakes better than others.
    While the difference between the numbers in the two competitions is large, it could well be that a lot if it was just due the different skaters. After all, Charoline Zhang was the source of a large number of calls at SA and she was not at SC. It would be interesting to do this comparison for different TPs with the same skaters. But that is hard to arrange.

    Because you have different TPs at different competitions with different skaters, it's really hard to pinpoint the source of the difference, or to say if one TP is doing a worse job than another.

    At the end of the Grand Prix some industrious person could count up all the downgrades and edge calls for each skater and see if there are statistically significant differences for each skaters from one competition to the next -- but even that assumes the skaters make these errors at the same rate throughout the season, and don't get better or worse over the few months of the Grand Prix.

    Trying to evaluate the TPs -- is a very messy problem.

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