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Thread: The Lost Edge

  1. #16
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    Yeah to pass a figures test a skater had to do the turns perfectly and repeatedly (including people examing the tracings to make sure, for instance, that it was a real rocker turn and not a three turn followed by a change of edge).

    It's my understanding that for MITF a skater has to do turns 'good enough' to pass onto the next level and there's no micro-examination of technique, which works for young skaters but which can have serious repurcussions later.
    That was my point when I said MIF were a complete joke when compared to figures. I've seen "boxes" (edge-flat (turn) flat-edge) and "pyramids" (flat (turn) flat) pass the Intermediate brackets in the field, I've seen changes of edge pass on counters and rockers, I've seen complete flats on the threes in the field, skids pass, "wiggles", etc because they were "good enough" or "skated with a lot of speed and power" and I skate in an area that is notoriously HARD to pass MIF tests (we have the lowest pass rate of any state in the US per the last GC report).

  2. #17
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    ^^^

    In my day showing skill in spins was simply centering them. That's not for bonus getting; that's for getting the base score, along with beautiful positions in camel and all-the-way-down in sitsspins. Flying camels and Flying sits could get a bonus point, if they turned more than one rotation in the air and when landed to keep to the centered position.

    Other than the take-offs, there is no difference in jumps except the number of air turns. Getting a proper text book jump scored should be the base value of that particular jump. Jumps in the last 2 minutes should get bonus points; upfront jumps which have nothing to do with what Ms. Rusch is talking about are the crossovers and pausing types of hi-level jumps and should be penalized imo.

    There is nothing wrong with making the Sport more acrobatic but the name of the Sport, figure skating and worse the latinized version of artistic should be changed to Skating Tricks. I think that is what the CoP is driving at.
    Last edited by Joesitz; 11-11-2008 at 09:57 AM.

  3. #18
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    After the 2002 Olympics, it was decided that the judging system needed to be more objective and transparent . The only way to make a judging system more objective and transparent is to make the scores more quantifiable. That requires defining specific elements and difficult variations of those elements and assigning a value to each, which is exactly what IJS does.

    Whenever you define levels of difficulty and assign points to them, you will get athletes doing whatever they can to perform the element/variation that gets them the highest point value (the same is true in gymnastics). Of course skaters are more likely to injure themselves if they are attempting more difficult elements and/or positions.

    If the most dangerous/difficult elements were disallowed in order to reduce injuries, the focus would shift to presentation, which is less objective and much less quantifiable. That would bring us right back to the accusations of biased judging that prompted the development of IJS in the first place.

  4. #19
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    It shows skill and control over the blade. It adds variety. And in the days before it was a recognized feature to earn higher levels in the new judging system, it was unusual and therefore creative and "cool."

    How do you like the forward inside edge on the upright position at the end of the flying combo spin at 3:05 in this program?....
    Thanks for the video links. That was so much fun. As for the Kristi Olympic SP, I have two comments: (a) Kristi sure had skinny legs back then , and (b) why would anyone ever want to skate to anything else than the Blue Danube?

    Cool to hear Brian Boitano commentating on the Michael Weiss program.

    Now, about the change of edge in the spins, I guess I have to disqualify myself from further comment about this. I couldn't tell which edge the skaters were on or whether they changed edge or not. I don't think I can see the difference between spinning on an inside, outside, backward or forward edge. For sure I can't when watching the whole program in real time.

    I think this is what Ms. Daniker Rusch is referring to, when she disputes that the current judging system is more transparent to the audience than the judging of figures was. About figures, people complained that the average television (or live) viewer has no way of telling what was a good figure or a bad, all they knew is that at the end the judges gave out a score, somebody won, somebody lost.

    It is the same with features like changes of edges in spins. The typical viewer can't see anything that gives one skater a level 3 and another a level 4 -- it is just a magic number that appears on the screen after the performance that bears no relation to anything the audience saw on the ice.

    This is not necessarily a criticism of the IJS, just an observation that maybe we were too hasty in throwing out figures just because the audience could not relate to the judging.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Now, about the change of edge in the spins, I guess I have to disqualify myself from further comment about this. I couldn't tell which edge the skaters were on or whether they changed edge or not. I don't think I can see the difference between spinning on an inside, outside, backward or forward edge.
    See, and noticing cool details like that was a lot of what I enjoyed about watching skating ca. 1995-2005. After obsessive fandom taught me to recognize skills that I hadn't actually learned myself or seen at my home rink, and before some of the skills that were once unusual started to become commonplace because they earned higher levels in the new judging system and others became less common because they didn't.

    I think it's worth making the effort to learn to see the technical details. But of course it was easier for me than for many fans because I had already been a low-level skater before I was a fan.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    It's my understanding that for MITF a skater has to do turns 'good enough' to pass onto the next level and there's no micro-examination of technique, which works for young skaters but which can have serious repurcussions later.
    Thats exactly it. I know kids who pass tests with brackets and rockers and whatever else (I'm not sure of the levels because I test the adult track , and the levels are different there), but they don't do the moves well enough to make them flow nicely in a footwork sequence in their programs, for example. And six months after the test if you ask them to do the brackets or the rockers, they look at you like they have no idea what you are talking about, and they sure as heck can't do the moves! With figures, the skaters had to have the moves down so solid, and with all the repetitions they could probably still do the figures years later.

  7. #22
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vlaurend View Post
    After the 2002 Olympics, it was decided that the judging system needed to be more objective and transparent . The only way to make a judging system more objective and transparent is to make the scores more quantifiable. That requires defining specific elements and difficult variations of those elements and assigning a value to each, which is exactly what IJS does.
    I think that was the answer to make fs fairer to which I agree, but what has happened? The actual judging is anonymous; the judges have to rush their scores for the audience; the audience is totally unprepared for these scores when they see them posted outside the main hall; the fans have to search for the protocols and understand what the symbols mean and not till days later.

    What it all has accomplished is that there will be no audience clash at the competition site as there was in 2002. There hasn't been any since that time, but questions of the nitty gritty still arise with the fans as to the Tech panel's calling URs and wrong edge takeoffs. Forums are full of this and only playbacks will solve those matters. Something every Sport has except figure skaiting.

    As for the PC scores and the PC stands for Program Component and does not mean Presentation Component (I learned that in golden skate). Quads and exotic spin cominations will carry over in PCs. At least half of the many items that the judges have to score are subjective, and they have to rush those too, for the audience, so why not let them use the 6.0 system for PC?
    The value earned should be decided by the ISU.

    Whenever you define levels of difficulty and assign points to them, you will get athletes doing whatever they can to perform the element/variation that gets them the highest point value (the same is true in gymnastics). Of course skaters are more likely to injure themselves if they are attempting more difficult elements and/or positions.

    If the most dangerous/difficult elements were disallowed in order to reduce injuries, the focus would shift to presentation, which is less objective and much less quantifiable. That would bring us right back to the accusations of biased judging that prompted the development of IJS in the first place.
    Injuries occur in every sport. The CoP demands difficulty. It should have it.

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vlaurend View Post
    Whenever you define levels of difficulty and assign points to them, you will get athletes doing whatever they can to perform the element/variation that gets them the highest point value (the same is true in gymnastics). Of course skaters are more likely to injure themselves if they are attempting more difficult elements and/or positions.
    I don't think that gymnastics is a sport that figure skating should emulate. Gymnastics has a scoring system that no one outside the sport has sufficient interest to try to understand; gymnastics attracts essentially zero TV viewing audience except once every four years and for live competitions attracts only other gymnasts and the families of the competitors; and athletes, especially young girls, who excel in the sport and aspire to elite levels typically inflict serious and permanent physical damage to thier bodies.

    About injuries in figure skating, I don't think Ms. Daniker Rusch is speaking about the ocassional and unavoidable accidents that happen in all vigorous physical activity. I think her concern is, as GSRossano discusses above, that the ceaseless pounding that young bodies endure in training triple and quadruple jumps necessarily ends up producing young adults crippled by hip, knee and back problems that most people hope at least to put off until old age.

    Sure we can say, that's life, that's sport, too bad, you knew the world was dangerous going in.

    But who are the adults here? Should we really be in the business of encouraging children to practice 1000 repetitions of a quad so that they can win a medal and spend the rest of their life with a painful disability?

    However, I am not convinced that the solution lies in restricting the number of jumps in a program, in requiring skaters to train figures, or in changing the judging system. If we appeal to the football analogy (as Rossano did above), the main way in which foot became "safer" (relatively so) was in the introduction of pads and helmets. As the cliche goes, if we can put a man on the moon why can't we come up with skating equipment that minimizes the pounding that destroys the joints and skeletal structure of skaters?

    I haven't heard anything about the hinged boot recently. I think Alissa Czisny has given it up for a conventional and stiffer boot. Well, her jumps seem to be more reliable this season. On the other hand, with the hinged boot she made it to age 21 without having to go for hip replacement surgery.
    Last edited by Mathman; 11-12-2008 at 11:51 AM.

  9. #24
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I think that was the answer to make fs fairer to which I agree, but what has happened? The actual judging is anonymous; the judges have to rush their scores for the audience; the audience is totally unprepared for these scores when they see them posted outside the main hall; the fans have to search for the protocols and understand what the symbols mean and not till days later.

    What it all has accomplished is that there will be no audience clash at the competition site as there was in 2002. There hasn't been any since that time, but questions of the nitty gritty still arise with the fans as to the Tech panel's calling URs and wrong edge takeoffs. Forums are full of this and only playbacks will solve those matters. Something every Sport has except figure skaiting.
    DING DING DING DING!

    That is exactly what has happened - the new scoring system was all about saving Cinquanta's a$$ and making sure he could keep Figure Skating in the winter Olympics, not by cleaning up his house but by ensuring a public outcry would never come up again while the event was still running.

    I accept that COP has its fans, and that it was being worked on before the SLC scandal but i think the best thing for the future of the sport is that Annoymous judging is abolished immediately - the judges should be accountable for their judgments.

    Secondly a COP commission made up of skaters, coaches and technical officials is set up immediately and that commission is tasked to write amendments for the COP which are to be published on the date of the final competition (worlds?) of the Olympic season setting out the changes tot eh COP which are to be in effect for teh next quadrennial. Doing this means that everyone is clear exactly where they stand for the next four years - the scale of values, the reductions for e.g. change of edges etc etc.

    Any proposals that the committee make could be applied in dummy runs at competitions throughout the four years period to see how implemnting the change woudl affect the staus quo. Actually have a thought out plan over a number of yeas rather than knee jerk changes, like the no repeating triple toes by the pairs unless it's in combination with itself that caused Hongbo's injury prior to Turin.

    Ant <who in hinsight maybe shoudl ahve started a new thread!>

  10. #25
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I haven't heard anything about the hinged boot recently. I think Alissa Czisny has given it up for a conventional and stiffer boot. Well, her jumps seem to be more reliable this season. On the other hand, with the hinged boot she made it to age 21 without having to go for hip replacement surgery.
    Alissa only wore the Jackson Hinge boots for 2 seasons when she was struggling with pain from ill fitting conventional boots. Before and after, she's been in SP Teris.

  11. #26
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    About injuries in figure skating, I don't think Ms. Daniker Rusch is speaking about the ocassional and unavoidable accidents that happen in all vigorous physical activity. I think her concern is, as GSRossano discusses above, that the ceaseless pounding that young bodies endure in training triple and quadruple jumps necessarily ends up producing young adults crippled by hip, knee and back problems that most people hope at least to put off until old age.[/QUOTE[

    If we insist on making this a children's sport, maybe we should just let the rules say don't do anything innovative and no more than single jumps We can then stop complaining about the dangers of this little children's sport. As far as I've noticed, only occasional accidents happen in figure skating. I believe there is much more in little soccer players.
    Last edited by Joesitz; 11-12-2008 at 04:51 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    As far as I've noticed, only occasional accidents happen in figure skating.
    If you count falls as "accidents," they happen all the time in skating practice. It's part of the process of mastering new skills.

    But the concern is less about traumatic injuries that result from accidents and more about repetitive stress injuries. Similar to concerns about children practicing certain kinds of baseball pitches, or preadolescent ballerinas dancing en pointe.

  13. #28
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    If we insist on making this a children's sport, maybe we should just let the rules say don't do anything innovative and no more than single jumps We can then stop complaining about the dangers of this little children's sport. As far as I've noticed, only occasional accidents happen in figure skating. I believe there is much more in little soccer players.
    Just to add to this, many sports, if done at high levels of competition over time, will eventually take a toll on one's body. Football players (the American kind) have all sorts of awful injuries and accumulated damage to their bodies. Baseball players, especially pitchers, often end up with so much damage to their elbows that they require ligament replacement surgery; this injury is becoming increasingly common with very young players, even high schoolers.

    There are certain things that the human body just isn't meant to do over time. The question is, should athletes be allowed to decide on their own what they wish to risk? Should certain safeguards that could make it less dangerous be mandated (e.g. in figure skating, easier jumps) at the expense of the level of competition? After all, while many skaters suffer from serious (even career-ending) injuries due repetitive stress, others do not. Having had neither the talent nor the inclination to pursue a career in any sport, I have no idea how someone might go about weighing the risks vs. the rewards.

    I do think one of the problems with skating is that in order to achieve elite level, one has to start training at an extremely young age. So maybe they should make the age cutoff higher?

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I do think one of the problems with skating is that in order to achieve elite level, one has to start training at an extremely young age. So maybe they should make the age cutoff higher?
    I'm not sure how that would help. SOME kids are going to start skating at very young ages just because they like to go to the rink (or pond) and skate around, and they want to take lessons to learn to do crossovers, skate backwards, etc. And a very tiny minority of those kids will turn out both to pick up the basic skills very quickly and also to love the sport and want to keep learning new skills.

    There's no need for coaches to rush them, but talented 7- and 8-year-olds landing axels and learning double jumps, 9-year-olds landing multiple doubles, is nothing new; it happened when school figures were required as well. Not all preliminary/pre-juvenile-level kids, or even juveniles, did double jumps, but the best jumpers among them did.

    What did increase throughout the 1970s-1990s was the expectation that senior and junior level skaters would be landing multiple triple jumps. So you had kids starting to work on double axels and triples as soon as they mastered all their other doubles, and the most talented jumpers who picked them up quickly would put them in their programs at novice, intermediate, or even juvenile levels (US levels; they have different names in other countries). And as school figures were phased out in the 1990s, there started to be more of jump arms race at these middle levels. The best jumpers at these levels could land clean double axels and triples, so all the kids who hoped to compete with them, and who might have been better skaters in other areas, started attempting these jumps, with many falls and cheats and even more injuries among kids who only hoped they could make it to the elite levels than among those who actually could make it.

    Age limits were one solution to the problem, to discourage 12- and 13-year-olds from moving up to senior or even junior level, where they would need double axels and triples.

    At the lower levels, around the turn of this century the US at least put some limits on the jump content allowed at lower levels, most notably outlawing triples at juvenile level.

    The IJS has further discouraged preteen mid-level skaters from pounding away at triples because of the severe penalties for underrotation. Look back at an intermediate competition from 5 or 10 years ago and you'd see a lot more attempts at double axels and triples than you would see today. Then, making the attempt was a way to get noticed. Now, for the most part, the only kids who try them are the ones who can actually rotate and land on one foot more often that not.

    Of course the kids who can't land them cleanly yet are still working on them in practice, but there's much less sense of urgency to add those jumps before they're ready.

    So I would guess that there are fewer specifically jump-related injuries among kids at that level than there were 10 years ago.

    Meanwhile, however, the IJS also encourages very busy programs and encourages skaters to perform positions requiring extreme flexibility in their spiral and spin positions. Forcing or overtraining too many of these positions without gradually building up the required strength and flexibility can also lead to different kinds of injuries. I would guess that there are a lot morecontortion-related injuries now than there were 10 years ago.

    The way I see it, the best way to address the problem of injuries would be to adjust the IJS rules in ways that reward and encourage skaters to develop core strength, edge control, and high quality of simple elements at least as much as they encourage flexibility, rotations in the air, and complexity. I have plenty of ideas about how this could be done.

  15. #30
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    But (and i also agree with this on back camels) a change of edge on a camel spin I think can look really beautiful. We used to see them pre COP and i think a beautiful long camel spin where the edge changes in time to the music is a thing of beauty.
    Agreed, edge changes should mainly only be done in the Camel spin. In any other position they usually don't have a positive effect.

    It really comes down to what the skater can do well. If they can do a change of edge attractively in the sit or upright position, then go for it. Otherwise, STOP IT.

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