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Thread: The Short Program jumps

  1. #46
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    So have the judging sheet for the tech elements shown on the jumbotron while the scores are being announced for Worlds and any competition in a big enough arena to have a jumbotron. Have the announcer list any elements that got no points (Flatt's last spin, for example)

    That might help.

  2. #47
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    From the perspective of skating experts, the scoring system is just as it should be. If you do a bunch of Choctaws and rockers and the other guy doesn't do a bunch of Choctaws and rockers, then you deserve more points than the other guy.

    But the audience, which has no clue what the skaters are doing with their feet, just sees a whirling mess. Then at the end some meaningless numbers go up on the board.
    I think this is the biggest problem = what is difficult isn't necessarily crowd pleasing and what scores points isn't necessarily asthetically pleasing (the gathering flowers, etc) nor is it a skill that should be rewarded. Yes, a step sequence should include difficult turns, but the seizure movements, not so much. Most of the bullets make sense:
    1) Variety (complexity for L4) of turns and steps
    2) Rotational turns covering at least 1/3 of the step sequence (eg, twizzles, double turns, and loops) and must go in CW and CCW
    3) Quick changes of rotational direction (eg, quick rockers in opposite directions)

    I think there should be a bullet for speed/flow, a bullet for edge control and ice coverage, a bullet for originality and a bullet for "fit" with the music versus the body movement one (ugh). But this comes from me, an old school skater who still does figures to get the feel of turns for MIF tests (thank you, coach) to pass the turn related moves like the brackets in the field.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    I think there should be a bullet for speed/flow, a bullet for edge control and ice coverage, a bullet for originality and a bullet for "fit" with the music
    Those are all bullets for the grades of execution.

    Because they're qualitative rather than either/or, they're rewarded at the discretion of the judges' subjective evaluations.

    For levels that affect the base mark, the aim is to include features that the tech panel can decide is either present or absent. Skaters do their best to make sure that what they're attempting to do to earn the bullet point

    I think the following changes to how step sequences are scored would address the problem of too much gratuitous upper body movement:

    *Revise the scale of values so that for all levels improving the GOE by 1 would be worth at least several tenths of a point more than increasing the level by 1

    *Encourage judges to be even more assertive about rewarding the qualitative criteria such as speed/flow, edge control, originality, and musicality with positive GOEs and penalizing the absence of those qualities with negative GOEs even when no actual errors are present

    *Give more than four options of features for step sequences, so that it is possible to achieve level 4 without the upper body movement feature; my suggestions would be
    -split complexity of steps and turns into two separate features
    -add a feature for extended passages on one foot including turns in both directions
    (any other suggestions? maybe use of levels defined in some way that including both shoot-the-duck/hydroblading positions and extended half jumps like split jumps would be a feature)

  4. #49
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Yes, a step sequence should include difficult turns, but the seizure movements, not so much. Most of the bullets make sense:
    1) Variety (complexity for L4) of turns and steps
    2) Rotational turns covering at least 1/3 of the step sequence (eg, twizzles, double turns, and loops) and must go in CW and CCW
    3) Quick changes of rotational direction (eg, quick rockers in opposite directions)

    I think there should be a bullet for speed/flow, a bullet for edge control and ice coverage, a bullet for originality and a bullet for "fit" with the music versus the body movement one (ugh). But this comes from me, an old school skater who still does figures to get the feel of turns for MIF tests (thank you, coach) to pass the turn related moves like the brackets in the field.
    I'm not an old-school skater - I'm barely a skater of any kind - but I've watched enough to know what isn't working, and seizure and/or windmill step sequences are not working.

    My post focused on speed and the annoying upper body movement requirement, but I agree with flow, ice coverage and maybe edge control. Not so re fit with the music and originality, they seem too subjective, and should probably be left for the GOE. But having more ways to earn high levels should encourage more originality and greater innovation.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly
    *Revise the scale of values so that for all levels improving the GOE by 1 would be worth at least several tenths of a point more than increasing the level by 1

    *Encourage judges to be even more assertive about rewarding the qualitative criteria such as speed/flow, edge control, originality, and musicality with positive GOEs and penalizing the absence of those qualities with negative GOEs even when no actual errors are present

    *Give more than four options of features for step sequences, so that it is possible to achieve level 4 without the upper body movement feature
    How are speed and ice coverage subjective and qualitative? They don't seem to me like difficult things to measure and assess. Leaving them to the discretion of the judges ensures that they will be less valued than the actual level requirements; even if your first suggestion (which I like) were enacted, it's still easier for a skater to guarantee levels, which are more objectively called, than high GOEs - which are subjective, as you note, and at the discretion of the judges. We know that's the case, because they already are bullet points for GOEs, and we've all seen what the step sequences actually look like. IMO, it's time to re-think what should be features for levels and what should go under GOE.

    Here are the ISU bullet points for step sequence GOEs, taken from communication 1505 (June 2008, I'm sure it was just an update):
    1. good energy and execution
    2. good speed or acceleration during sequence
    3. good timing according to the music
    4. highlights the character of the program
    5. superior control and commitment of whole body to accuracy of steps
    6. creativity and originality
    I would like to see most of these stay as GOE bullet points - energy, control, commitment, accuracy, timing, "highlighting character" and creativity/originality. I'd like to have speed, accleration and ice coverage become additional features for determining levels.

    Are you suggesting sort of a combined steps/moves in the field sequence?
    Last edited by Buttercup; 04-14-2009 at 03:30 PM.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    How are speed and ice coverage subjective and qualitative? They don't seem to me like difficult things to measure and assess.
    How do you propose to measure them?

    Maybe sensors or radar guns of some kind could tell us exactly how fast the blades are moving across the ice. I don't know if appropriate technology currently exists or would need to be developed.

    Keep in mind that you need to measure not just the time it takes for a skater to get from point A to point B, but also the length of the actual path that s/he travels to get there -- in general, skating prefers deep curves to straight lines, and on circular or serpentine sequences there will be lobes curving on either side of a the theoretical rink-width-diameter curve.

    This is also why it would be incorrect simply to time how long it takes a skater to complete a circle or a straight line from end to end. Obviously it would be easier to complete the path in less time if one is doing fewer steps and turns and/or traveling on shallower lobes.

    If humans assess speed and ice coverage by watching, they can only estimate based on the visual impression of speed across the ice or size of the curves. Different people's perceptions may vary, although where there are significant differences between skaters watchers should be able to agree on who was faster or who had a bigger pattern. Unlike with compulsory dances, it probably won't be possible to use the tracings on the ice to gage the latter. Even with CDs it's not always obvious by the end of the second warmup group after the resurface.

    How could you set a criterion to determine whether the skater does or does not meet the "speed" or "ice coverage" bullet point?

    If you're just relying on humans watching and estimating, they're also going to have to estimate whether each skater achieved "enough" speed or ice coverage or not, since human brains don't have a set representation of X miles per hour permanently fixed within them.

    If you set a bullet point criterion of X miles per hour and had some way to establish whether each skater achieves it, should X be the same for a 4'6" 70-lb novice lady and a 6' 170-lb senior man?

    Even if you set a different value of X for each level of competition and each discipline, what happens when you have a 4'6" 70-lb 13-year-old junior competing against a 5'8" 130-lb 18-year-old junior in the same event? For the same level of technique, the taller skater with larger muscles will achieve more absolute speed and larger curves. For the same absolute speed and lobe size, the smaller skater will be demonstrating superior technique.

    So how do you decide when each has achieved enough to qualify for the bullet point? That's not a decision that can be easily quantified.

    I'd like to have speed, accleration and ice coverage become additional features for determining levels.
    As I said, I don't see how you can quantify what would be sufficient speed or ice coverage.

    Acceleration might be something that the tech panel can look for and agree whether or not it is present, as they do with acceleration in spin rotations and as with the determination of "quick changes between steps and turns" feature for step sequences.

    Are you suggesting sort of a combined steps/moves in the field sequence?
    Well, in the long program I would like to see a field moves sequence as another option.

    In general, whether that occurs or not, we have seen half jumps and low moves or brief spread eagles, etc., incorporated into step sequences in the past and some skaters still use some, but they don't add to the level, unless they contribute toward the variety of "steps." If there are any such moves that can be considered worth rewarding, maybe defining a way they can contribute to the level of step sequences would be a good way to reward them.
    Last edited by gkelly; 04-14-2009 at 04:56 PM.

  6. #51
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    speaking of measuring elements and the front loading of programs, it doesn't take much to realize that it's not necessary to be first among the SP finishers. It does matter total points earned by the SP finisher which he brings with him at the start of the LP. In Tokyo 2007, Dai and Stephane did not carry enough points into the LP. C'est domage.

    Once those triple triple combos for the Ladies and the 3As for the Men are scored in the Short Program, the PC scores are a done deal.

    Who gets low PC scores once the arsenal has been completed?

  7. #52
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    Here's one example [of unpopular and confusing judging under the 6.0 system]:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xj9lRYH8As (program starts about 2 minutes in)

    vs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsFI2VdiJFs

    Many fans thought then and judging from the youtube comments still believe that Butyrskaya wuz robbed at that event. I thought Slutskaya was enough better overall to deserve the win, but mixed ordinals were not surprising...

    We could say that we disagree with the results, that, for instance, we would have had Butyrskaya enough higher and Slutskaya enough lower on the other components to give Butyrskaya a higher total overall, but at least we would see where she lost points. More important, Maria would see where she lost points and know what she needed to fix to make that potentially a winning program.
    I think this last comment is the most telling one. I agree that the CoP has many advantages for the skaters. I especially think that it is a great improvement over having thousands of little girls in tears because "my mom said I did better than Suzy; the judges just hate me for no reason!"

    With the CoP not only can they say, oh boy, I got a new personal best! but also they get a road map for how they can get even more points next time.

    Now we turn to the spectator who has just shelled out his hard-earned entertainment dollar to see the competition. Here are a few possible feelings that a spectator might take away -- all of them good, in my opinion.

    1. This is a stupid, crooked sport! I am never going to watch it again! (But you know you will.)

    2. Maria was robbed! Booooooo! But that's OK, just wait till the Grand Prix Final, we'll show 'em!

    3. In my opinion Maria should have won. She did two triple Lutzes and a trile-triple combination. Irina was too cautious. But I can see where some of the judges might have gone the other way.

    4. That was a fine competition. I sure wouldn't want to be in the judges' shoes to have to decide between the two.

    5. Go Irina!!!!!!!!!!

    I think all of these, even the first, are emotionally satisfying at some level.

    What is not emotional satisfying is the attitude, "our technical specialists just evaluated a long checklist of components, levels, and bullets, and our computer says 152.34 for Slutskaya, 149.83 for Butyrskaya. Your job (the spectators') is to sit on your hands and let us experts tell you what's what."

    You can't even boo the judges anymore -- what's the point of booing a computer?

    [That having been said, I have to add that I am finally getting used to the new system enough that it is exciting to me to watch the kiss and cry, knowing that the skater needs 110.28 points in the LP to take the lead, OK, here it comes...aw, she only got 108.16.]

    Edited to add: PS. And Merry Chrstmas back to Elvis Stojko and Jenny Kirk .
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-14-2009 at 07:41 PM.

  8. #53
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Yes, a step sequence should include difficult turns, but the seizure movements, not so much. Most of the bullets make sense:
    1) Variety (complexity for L4) of turns and steps
    2) Rotational turns covering at least 1/3 of the step sequence (eg, twizzles, double turns, and loops) and must go in CW and CCW
    3) Quick changes of rotational direction (eg, quick rockers in opposite directions
    Actually, rules #2 and #3 are a problem, IMO.

    A skater shouldn't have to fill a large portion their of their step sequence with rotational turns (in both directions!) and be forced to be constantly jerk themselves in different directions. You can do difficult step sequences that are more appealing without these rules.

    If a skater wants to do a plethora of turns, cool. It can look good. But every skater shouldn't be doing it. In the actual World, not just the World of "the rules", it's not a requirement for a beautiful and difficult step sequence.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    In the actual World, not just the World of "the rules", it's not a requirement for a beautiful and difficult step sequence.
    So what does make for a difficult step sequence, in the world of actual skating, that does not include a plethora of turns?

    Exactly what constitutes enough difficulty is up for discussion. Many difficult step sequences designed under a different year's rules don't match the exact combination of different turns and steps they would need to qualify for a higher level this year. So obviously there's nothing inherently universal about the specific rules in use this year, and I for one would like to see them revised for a few reasons.

    What makes one step sequence more difficult than another? What makes a step sequence enough more difficult to be worthy of a higher base mark? Is it possible (or desirable) to have a "difficult" step sequence that does not include a variety of turns in both directions on clear edges? How about quick steps -- should those be one option? should quickness be required?

    If the rules don't require jerking but audiences perceive the skaters have chosen to "constantly jerk themselves in different directions," does the fault lie with the rules (and if so, how should they be changed?)? with the skaters' execution? with the audiences? with judges who reward jerky execution just as much as smooth execution of similar skills?

    How else could difficulty in step sequences be defined?

    It's a lot easier for easier step sequences to look beautiful. That's true of most things. Grades of execution and program components are where the beauty would be rewarded.

  10. #55
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    There are no meaningful definitions, imo, for step sequences. Who among skaters can repeat a step sequence in both directions, as one sees in stage dancing? (Except Yagudin doing a Henie toepick romp.) Figure Skaters know their basics and tricks travel all to one side only. The few who used to do both side skating did the weaker side very gingerly.

    How often, I have seen a reasonable good step sequence performed to one side but not the other! Well, never!

    The entire PC scores, imo, should be given an opinion score by each judge and be done with. Checking off the bullets tell us nothing when the audience is cheering the skater on.

  11. #56
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    If the rules don't require jerking but audiences perceive the skaters have chosen to "constantly jerk themselves in different directions," does the fault lie with the rules (and if so, how should they be changed?)? with the skaters' execution? with the audiences? with judges who reward jerky execution just as much as smooth execution of similar skills?
    I think it is the concept of the CoP itself. If you give someone an extra tenth of a point for switching back to the other edge, then switch back to the other edge he or she will, jerk or no jerk.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-15-2009 at 06:37 PM.

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