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Thread: Hybrid System - NJS Discussion

  1. #1
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    Hybrid System - NJS Discussion

    I had an idea just now, while lamenting (as usual) the many shortcomings of CoP -- Hybrid System. Discuss.

    Technical Elements = CoP type scoring -- this creates Technical ordinals
    Artistic Elements = 6.0 type scoring -- this creates Presentation ordinals

    Ordinals would then work as under 6.0. It might need tweaking... but even if it didn't bring the best of both worlds, it might at least eliminate the worst of both worlds. At least Technical Elements would still be scored under CoP which would be minimally affected by corruption. And at least Presentation would be freed of the shackles of CoP, scored again under a more subjective system which is really required for any kind of art.

    And as far as corruption (which has been omnipresent) -- no more anonymity, create an oversight board with actual power to investigate and stop corrupt judges, and any corrupt individual (judge or otherwise) should be banned for life.

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    But if you do it that way, the Presentation is going to HAVE to be factored into the final mark somehow...right? Not going to work very well if one is ordinal-based and the other is point-based...

    You know, the current system is fine...on paper, anyway. In practice, it hasn't turned out so great IMHO. The first thing that needs to be done is yes, to expose the judging. But the next thing is to make sure falls are penalized MORE than underrotations or stumbles. This might increase the number of clean routines again since you won't have skaters going for jumps they can't do rather than risk URing the ones they CAN do.
    Last edited by R.D.; 11-23-2008 at 03:12 AM.

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    Presentation would BE the artistic mark. Doesn't matter which one you name it.

    It may seem odd at first to have a hybrid system, but at its core figure skating IS a hybrid sport. It combines technical skill AND artistry, and they are both supposed to count. The AUDIENCE certainly cares about both. CoP barely even cares about artistry at all anymore, or marginalizes it at best. It just cares about adding up numbers, and it simply doesn't care where you get the numbers from.

    But it doesn't make sense that things like triple-triple combinations would add mathematically to artistic marks, producing one final point total. It's equating apples and oranges. Splitting it and once again giving each an ordinal would automatically bring back an inherent balance between the technical elements and presentation/artistry. Keeping a CoP-type scoring makes sense for technical elements, and CoP can remain and do a good job with that. But CoP doesn't make sense for artistry. It doesn't work for artistry and it doesn't reward artistry. Artistry is subjective, not a math equation.

    We would still have a technical controller calling technical elements. But if a skater wants to win, they can't JUST have jumps. All the jumps in the world can only get them half way. At WORST we would have half the corruption of 6.0, if corrupt judges still want to fudge the presentation mark. But now the fudging will be twice as apparent (since they can't just spread it out over 2 marks) and corrupt judging still has to be stopped in any system. The more I think about a hybrid system, the more I like it...

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    When IJS was first being introduced into the US, one thing
    I told/suggested to the implementation committee was that one way of avoiding the problem of calibrating the judges to mark on a consistent absolute scale (which is very hard to accomplish), was to calculate the total score from each judge and then ordinalize it. This is something that could have been done for Novice and below, where adoption of the official version of IJS was not necessarily required. That idea went no where.

    What is suggested here is to ordinalize both TES and PCS and then combine them together. To combine the two ordinals a factored place would be calculated with a factor of 0.5 for each. So if a skater was 3nd in TES using majority principle and 4th in PCS using majority principle, the factored place for the segment would be 3.5.

    Mathematically this works well, and allows the judges to mark on slightly different scales, getting rid of the nasty calibration problem. The ISU, however, would oppose this tooth and nail.

    1. By using ordinals you are going from an absolute system back to a relative system, and relative judging is something that is totally out of favor at the ISU -- even if it gives a better result.

    2. When you ordinalize the results, you are throwing away the information about margin of victory from one place to the next. If one skater is first by 0.01 points or 10.00 points, the ordinal difference is the same. One. By throwing away the margin of victory, holding onto a lead in the short program becomes more difficult, and that would be viewed as undesirable, and one would again need help to win in some cases -- also viewed as undesirable.

    For example, say I am fourth and you are first in the short program, but I am only 1 point back. Then in the free skate I am first by 20 points and you are second. If we go back to total factored place, my TFP is 3 and your TFP is 2.5, and you win, even though in total points I cleaned your clock. I need someone to come in second and you need to come in third in this case for me to win.

    One way of trying to get around the needing help problem would be to not use TFP for combining SP and FS results. One could add the TES from the short and long, and ordinalize it. One would then add the PCS from the short and long and ordinalize that. Then the two ordinals would be combined with a factor of 0.5 each. But this method still lacks real margin of victory information -- since how many ordinals you win by is not necessarily an insightful measure of how many points you might have won by. And it really doesn't solve the need help problem.

    Suppose you are first in TES and I am fourth, 1 point back. Then in PCS I am first by 20 points, and you are second. My TFP combining TES and PCS is 2.5 and your TFP is 1.5. You win, even though in total points I am ahead by 19 points.

    So somehow you have to incorporate margin of victory information into the ordinal method to avoid this problem. Not obvious how to do that. (At least to me at 1:30 AM)
    Last edited by gsrossano; 11-23-2008 at 05:32 AM.

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    I'm all for a hybrid system.

    Maybe we could have half of the total grade a CoP score, and the other half a 6.0 like one, but maybe out of 100 instead of 6?

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    I hated ordinals. Among the things I actually like about the current system is that skaters can have PBs and, even better, that there's actually some movement in placements and that a weaker SP makes winning a medal difficult but no longer impossible.

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    Artistry isn't and shouldn't be treated as absolute or mathematical. Pretending that it is is slowly killing the sport.

    gsrossano - Your examples are extreme... and we had ordinals for many decades. AFAIK they were never really the biggest problem people had with the system. It was accepted that the top 3 after the SP "controlled their destiny". It gave the audience a frame of reference of what to expect, and they also gave the SP MEANING. Like a qualifier, with the top 3 going to the top tier of the finals. Now, the SP is just half of a FS. When someone, as you say, has a 20-point lead after the SP (read Yu-Na Kim), it certainly kills all the suspense for the FS. Instead of watching the top 3, each of which is on equal footing going in, you're just hoping/hoping against one single person screwing up big time. That's not a good thing for viewership. What if high playoff score advantages for sports teams carried over to the final? Or between games of a playoff series? No one would want that. Why even separate the SP and FS at all? According to CoP it's just one long skate with a rest break in between.

    Sarah Hughes' victory was in defiance of the ordinals, a "miracle" outcome for her, and it was a huge event and seen as positive by most. Under CoP it would have just been a lucky point gain, and would have generated almost no attention. And lest I forget the absurdity in the men's results at last year's nationals. Tied in points? And tie broken by FS? That generated some negative attention, since the vaunted point system had failed once again. CoP has had its own arbitrary messes (and that was not the only tie. Fumie was in a tie for 3rd I think, and probably others)

    Lastly, I don't like the use of "PCS" since "program components" is a terrible CoP creation designed to create the illusion of balance between technical elements and artistry which no longer exists. PCS is NOT artistry! Only some of its elements even relate to it, and even then they usually don't flex too much. And when they do, it is often pointed to as someone being "unfairly held up in PCS". (some would point to Carolina Kostner last season.) So, if skaters are still sometimes being "held up" with a PCS mark, what is the point of clinging to this stifling, antiseptic system? This whole change was supposed to get rid of judging impropriety, but it hasn't! To stop the cheating of a few judges, we have tied ALL of the judges hands, instead of actually fixing the problem. (And now the corrupt judges are cheating with their feet.)

    You are very right about one thing though. I don't think the ISU would make any changes like this. I'd almost say that someone should start up a competing skating union free of corruption, whose goal was to really improve the sport. Except I know someone already tried to do just that, and the ISU stopped them.

    Buttercup - they could still have personal bests under a hybrid system. CoP would still be in place for the Technical Elements. Heck, it could be even better, we could have 2 categories for people to earn personal bests. I'm not married to 6.0 for the artistic element side, I mainly want to split TE and artistry evenly, and restore ordinals to give them both meaning. I actually like Natacha's idea of artistic score out of 100. Then they could have personal bests for artistry as well. I just think artistic score has to have some kind of limit, but it doesn't need to be 6.0.
    Last edited by Particle Man; 11-23-2008 at 07:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    AFAIK they were never really the biggest problem people had with the system. It was accepted that the top 3 after the SP "controlled their destiny". It gave the audience a frame of reference of what to expect, and they also gave the SP MEANING.

    Sarah Hughes' victory was in defiance of the ordinals, a "miracle" outcome for her, and it was a huge event and seen as positive by most. Under CoP it would have just been a lucky point gain, and would have generated almost no attention..
    1. Why is it a good thing only for the top three to control their destiny? Just because viewers were used to it doesn't mean it's the best system. The SP still has meaning, as it puts the top people in a more advantageous position (e.g. Johnny Weir and his bronze at Worlds). But while you can still lose a competition in the SP, you can't lose it just by being slightly less impressive than the top people. I like the relativity of it. The outcome at US Nationals was unusual; I can think of only one other event with a tie (5th and 6th in the Ladies at 2007 Worlds).

    2. Sarah Hughes was lucky. It made US viewers happy - good for them, really. But as I see it, that result shouldn't have been a miracle, and I like having more skaters being able to control their destiny. I liked it that Brian Joubert could go from 6th to 2nd at Worlds, and when Verner's risky LP took him from 9th to 4th at 2007 Worlds, or how Voronov just pulled himself from 12th to sixth at CoR. I'm happy to finally see some movement in the Ice Dance. So I dislike ordinals. That's not going to change . And that's the major reason I prefer the current system. The PB option is a bonus.

    BTW, I never got the feeling that Tara Lipinski's OGM or Kristi Yamaguchi's were of less interest in the US, despite being "ordinary" wins.

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    I actaully don't like ordinals. I feel like what if five people skate really well in the short program or skate (amongst an equal level) why not give all five the chance to win, that makes the competition more exciting.

    But what if only one person skates well in the short and everyone skates poorly, well I think that one person deserves a lead.

    I think the best thing about COP is that people can gain a lead, or move up etc, it's much more fair than the ordinal system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    gsrossano - Your examples are extreme... and we had ordinals for many decades.
    Yes, but only to make my point. Even with examples of much smaller point differences, I can beat you in total points and still loose. Needing help to win is intrinsic to using TFP. Getting rid of needing help to win in IJS is something most skaters were glad to see. I don't think they would want to see it come back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    You know, the current system is fine...on paper, anyway. In practice, it hasn't turned out so great IMHO.
    To me, that is the end of the discussion.

    I think the reason why the IJS "hasn't turned out so great" is that figure skating is a judged endeavor. This skater was the best, that one was second, the other was third. To me, the great fault of the IJS is it's basic dishonesty. Figure skating is not a list of numbers. Saying that it is, is simply a falshood, IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    Artistry isn't and shouldn't be treated as absolute or mathematical. Pretending that it is is slowly killing the sport.

    gsrossano - Your examples are extreme... and we had ordinals for many decades. AFAIK they were never really the biggest problem people had with the system. It was accepted that the top 3 after the SP "controlled their destiny". It gave the audience a frame of reference of what to expect, and they also gave the SP MEANING. Like a qualifier, with the top 3 going to the top tier of the finals. Now, the SP is just half of a FS. When someone, as you say, has a 20-point lead after the SP (read Yu-Na Kim), it certainly kills all the suspense for the FS. Instead of watching the top 3, each of which is on equal footing going in, you're just hoping/hoping against one single person screwing up big time. That's not a good thing for viewership. What if high playoff score advantages for sports teams carried over to the final? Or between games of a playoff series? No one would want that. Why even separate the SP and FS at all? According to CoP it's just one long skate with a rest break in between. .
    A team sport is a bad example you can't compare one vs one to one vs a whole field. Diving and gymnastice are cumalitive over a lot more than just two rounds and they both seem to do well at presenting a true winner with out ordinals. Execpt bothering with PCs. They just have base values and GOE's. The last time I check the Sp and Lp is one compition not two seperate ones.So it should be scored as such. I like to see copitions with ten or even twenty great skates(it's a dream) but what would be the whole point when only three can win. Ordinals are anti-depth, anti-sports(let the best win who-ever) Any event that has more than three top skaters should find ordinals to be obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    Sarah Hughes' victory was in defiance of the ordinals, a "miracle" outcome for her, and it was a huge event and seen as positive by most. Under CoP it would have just been a lucky point gain, and would have generated almost no attention. And lest I forget the absurdity in the men's results at last year's nationals. Tied in points? And tie broken by FS? That generated some negative attention, since the vaunted point system had failed once again. CoP has had its own arbitrary messes (and that was not the only tie. Fumie was in a tie for 3rd I think, and probably others).
    A tie is one fo the greatest achievement of COP and an arbitrary mess of Ordinals. If skaters peformend about equally shouldn't they get an equal score. Judges should not be force to (lie,cheat, be bias) and place one above the other.How should a tie be broken now that is a different story. Would an overtime skate off be better?There is nothing lucky about EARNING a win under COP( except overlooked UR or E) A Maricle and being Lucky are pretty close. I think you got ordinals and COP missed up here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    Lastly, I don't like the use of "PCS" since "program components" is a terrible CoP creation designed to create the illusion of balance between technical elements and artistry which no longer exists. PCS is NOT artistry! Only some of its elements even relate to it, and even then they usually don't flex too much. And when they do, it is often pointed to as someone being "unfairly held up in PCS". (some would point to Carolina Kostner last season.) So, if skaters are still sometimes being "held up" with a PCS mark, what is the point of clinging to this stifling, antiseptic system? This whole change was supposed to get rid of judging impropriety, but it hasn't! To stop the cheating of a few judges, we have tied ALL of the judges hands, instead of actually fixing the problem. (And now the corrupt judges are cheating with their feet.).
    I believe the main problem with the PCs is judges are using them like ordinals either on purpose or not. Going to Ordinals won't make a difference. We will still have the same problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    You are very right about one thing though. I don't think the ISU would make any changes like this. I'd almost say that someone should start up a competing skating union free of corruption, whose goal was to really improve the sport. Except I know someone already tried to do just that, and the ISU stopped them.

    Buttercup - they could still have personal bests under a hybrid system. CoP would still be in place for the Technical Elements. Heck, it could be even better, we could have 2 categories for people to earn personal bests. I'm not married to 6.0 for the artistic element side, I mainly want to split TE and artistry evenly, and restore ordinals to give them both meaning. I actually like Natacha's idea of artistic score out of 100. Then they could have personal bests for artistry as well. I just think artistic score has to have some kind of limit, but it doesn't need to be 6.0.
    This is what COp already has except it is broken down into five categories. I also think the judges should just do one mark out of a hundred instead of 5 marks out of ten. They don't really make use of the five categories anyway.

    The problem began with a judging scandal and with the judges it remains. I think better resuts would come from better trained judges than any MAJOR changes to COP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    1. Why is it a good thing only for the top three to control their destiny?
    I explained it above. It gives the SP meaning and identity. Under CoP, SP+FS is just one long skate with a rest break in between. Under CoP, if someone gains a large point advantage after the SP, the FS becomes boring. No one would want the world series or stanley cup finals to add up the total score for all 7 games, making it nothing more than one long game in 7 pieces. If the first 2 games are 9-1, people will stop watching.

    That said, a hybrid system wouldn't necessarily require this. You could still do TE(SP) + TE(FS) = TE(total), 0.5*AE(SP) + AE(FS) = AE(total). Then ordinals from that as a way to bridge the two. I'm more concerned with how artistic/presentation marks can be restored to the sport.

    I thought about it last night, and I'm now convinced that artistic marks should be on a 10.0 scale. The average person inherently and automatically understands it. They understood "perfect 6.0" as well, but using 6.0 again would be seen as a retreat or step backward, making it a bad PR move. When someone skates an energetic and perfect program, it is thrilling to see marks like "9.9 10.0 10.0 9.9 10.0" come up on the screen. The audience gets instant gratification. They get something they can immediately understand and react to. The hybrid system can bring this back, while still keeping a point-scoring system for TE, including personal bests.

    I also realized that another 6.0 problem would be automatically eliminated in the hybrid system. Judges would no longer have to "leave room" in the marks! Under 6.0, judges weren't allowed to give tie marks. This was one of the biggest problems for 6.0, because it often forced things like 5.8's for perfect programs that were skated early. Under a hybrid system, TE would still be CoP, which almost never ties, and has no upper bound. So a perfect program can still earn just as many 10.0's for AE, whether it is skated first or last.

    The biggest problem I see (and what I'd like ideas on) is how to fairly merge unlimited-point TE and perfect-10 AE to achieve a final placement. I suggested ordinals, but I'm not totally sure about that now. Very often, things like this might happen:

    Yu-Na Kim TE=1 AE=3
    Fumie Suguri TE=2 AE=2
    Carolina Kostner TE=3 AE=1

    You can see the problem... We could have TE be the tie-breaker, but I think ties would happen too often to accept...
    Last edited by Particle Man; 11-23-2008 at 04:11 PM.

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    Yeah! Lets get this party started. enlight78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To me, that is the end of the discussion.

    I think the reason why the IJS "hasn't turned out so great" is that figure skating is a judged endeavor. This skater was the best, that one was second, the other was third. To me, the great fault of the IJS is it's basic dishonesty. Figure skating is not a list of numbers. Saying that it is, is simply a falshood, IMHO.
    I think that depends on what you are looking at.(the competition results,or the popularity results.) I don't beleive quantifying judge attributes is the problem. 6.0 did the same in a primitive way.The problem is the different oppinions of what makes this skater first, that one second and the other third.I have found the COP results with compitions more satisfying and truelly representive of what happen in the competition(give or take some). But others may believe a clean program is best, an artistic program is best, an athletic program is best, fun program, a dramactic program, etc. In trying to be fair Cop doesn't care about any of those things in particular. So it leaves a lot of fans out. Just because COp doesn't bend to our biases doen't make it a failure at what it does.Give all skaters equal representation(overall that is. Yes there are still a lot of little kinks). That what ask for most of all in a judging system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enlight78 View Post
    I like to see copitions with ten or even twenty great skates(it's a dream) but what would be the whole point when only three can win. Ordinals are anti-depth, anti-sports(let the best win who-ever) Any event that has more than three top skaters should find ordinals to be obsolete.
    Why do sports have playoffs then? Why unfairly eliminate worthy teams from competing on even footing in the finals? Maybe eliminate playoffs and finals entirely, and just whoever scores the most runs during the season wins? Wouldn't that be a better reflection of true ability, instead of 1 or 2 lucky playoff wins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man
    I actually like Natacha's idea of artistic score out of 100. Then they could have personal bests for artistry as well. I just think artistic score has to have some kind of limit, but it doesn't need to be 6.0.
    Quote Originally Posted by enlight78 View Post
    This is what CoP already has except it is broken down into five categories.
    No! Program Components is not an artistic mark! It merely contains SOME artistic elements, which have been very poorly shoehorned into a point-based system. There is NO balance between technical and artistic marks under CoP.

    That said, it would still be possible (if desired) to have a point-based breakdown of a 10.0 artistic mark. For instance, you could have 5 categories (5 categories actually based on artistry, which PC is NOT) each with a maximum of 2.0. I don't think it's necessary or a good idea, though.

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