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Thread: Lori Nichol on the ISU judging system (old interview)

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Lori Nichol on the ISU judging system (old interview)

    Nigel just posted this interesting article from last year in Sylvia's thread about the PSI "Edi" awards.

    http://www.absoluteskating.com/inter...orinichol.html

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22009

    The interview, by Magdelena Osborne of Absolute Skating, is mostly about Nichol's work with Carolina Kostner in 2007. But it contains a number of talking points about the CoP from the perspective of an elite choreographer.
    I see great pros and great cons with the system. I find it’s not about the art of skating and it’s not about being artistic; it’s about being clever. And in a way clever employs artistic vision but it’s not the same freedom...
    The good thing is that skaters from around the world now know what is expected of them and for a beginning coach and choreographer it’s much easier to come up with ideas....

    [But] I’d say that from the middle level and on up it’s much more stagnating. As a choreographer I sometimes really feel like I’m wearing a straight jacket, every time I seem to come up with a really great idea it’s illegal...
    [The rules on spins are among the flaws of the current judging system.] I keep asking why 3 spins isn’t enough! I mean, if you can’t tell after 45 seconds of spinning if the skater is good at it or not, them we have a serious problem.

    And I’m not a fan of many of the spin positions, I think many of them are ugly and don’t have anything to do with the music. Each spin is also in such extreme positions that I’m very concerned about the health of the skaters. The backs with the girls and Biellmanns, and the hips with both the girls and the boys. I’m concerned about the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and what bodies we will have left...
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-04-2008 at 09:41 AM.

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    These are very interesting comments. With the complexity of COP, I would not have thought it would actually make it easier for a beginning skater/choreographer to come up with a program, but I can see her point. There are a lot of requirements and details already laid out in the judging system, so building around them is fairly simple, if you're not trying to get too creative.

    I was most interested in her comments about spins. It echoes a lot of my own thoughts on the subject. Ugly positions, many of them really tough on the bodies of sometimes very young athletes, and the dreaded Beillman.

    Her worry about the physical well-being of the young athletes, however, really should lead to some kind of comment about jumps, though, and the younger and younger ages at which the athletes are trying the extremely difficult and body-punishing triples and triple combinations. It's particularly prevalent in ladies, though the quad pounding the guys are facing has certainly taken its toll in the last several years.

    I'll put this out there: I think there should be more of a limit placed on jumps (number of). I know many of the sport-first crowd won't agree with that, but there it is. I think it would make for better, more interesting programs, and would also be much better health-wise for those in the sport. Seriously, when was the last time we saw a really clean program, performed as it was actually mapped out, anyway?

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lori Nichol has given some of the best views on programs. She's one of a kind.

    Joe

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    From Rain....I'll put this out there: I think there should be more of a limit placed on jumps (number of). I know many of the sport-first crowd won't agree with that, but there it is. I think it would make for better, more interesting programs, and would also be much better health-wise for those in the sport. Seriously, when was the last time we saw a really clean program, performed as it was actually mapped out, anyway?

    Okay...I am going to bite. Flatt. 3 times actually. Nichol did her 07/08 LP. It was clean at JGPF, US Natls and JW. Jr and Sr versions.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    I love hearing what Lori has to say. I had the great opportunity of watching her at work for a whole week at my rink and she is amazing. Watching her mind work is a great experience.


    As a choreographer I sometimes really feel like I’m wearing a straight jacket, every time I seem to come up with a really great idea it’s illegal...
    i share her pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
    Okay...I am going to bite. Flatt. 3 times actually. Nichol did her 07/08 LP. It was clean at JGPF, US Natls and JW. Jr and Sr versions.
    One person from juniors is not enough. It only goes to prove my point. Also, was that clean, as in no edge or under-rotation calls? Because, IMO, those pesky technique flaws are being hidden behind intended difficulty at junior levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rain View Post
    One person from juniors is not enough. It only goes to prove my point. Also, was that clean, as in no edge or under-rotation calls? Because, IMO, those pesky technique flaws are being hidden behind intended difficulty at junior levels.
    IIRC, Flatt had only one edge call in those three events (solo 3Lz in her LP at JW) and no UR. She had three 7 triple LP performances. Not sure anyone else came close to that last season. And, as stated above, Nichol choreographed those programs. Lots of transitions and flow.

    I think what Nichols is saying and Flatt demonstrated, that it isn't impossible....the skater has to be willing to trust the choreographer and their coaches, taking risks with the choreo, but also train, train, train those elements.

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