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Thread: PCS practice, disagreement, and discussion thread

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    PCS practice, disagreement, and discussion thread

    Let's see how well a disparate group of fans agree or disagree on how to use the PCS numbers and how they apply to some specific performances.

    Here are three good programs from a competition judged under the old 6.0 system. So there's no right or wrong in terms of the program component scores, no official panel to compare our scores to.

    Christopher Bowman

    Todd Eldredge

    Mark Mitchell

    (One of the reasons I chose these programs was that they were available on youtube. If anyone can find Paul Wylie's program, or, hey, Michael Chack's, please add a link.)

    Don't worry about the technical elements, except insofar as they influence your PCS. Don't worry at all about who won or should have won or would win under IJS.

    Let's just focus on the program component scores. How would you score each of these performances in Skating Skills, Transitions, Performance/Execution, Choreography, and Interpretation? Please explain your reasoning for your scores.

    Detailed program component explanations

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    ...or, hey, Michael Chack's, please add a link.
    Youtube Chacked him.

  3. #3
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Alright, I'll give it a try - but I am a layman, so beware.

    Bowman

    • Skating Skills: Those are average. Especially the basic skating quality is not too good (I mean points 1 to 3 of the list), I also don't think that there was much variation in use of power and speed. He doesn't seem to cover much ice, either. There was quite a bit of multi-directional skating though, and not too much 2-footed skating. 6,5
    • Transitions: there were lots of transitions in my opinion. Apparently he didn't need big set-ups for jumps, there was a beautiful Ina Bauer before a 3T, nice steps inbetween the 3A and the 3F at the beginning; beautiful, relatively fast and very musical steps before the 3S. He used spirals at several points during the program, split jumps etc. 7,5
    • Performance/Execution: Definitely good in this area, if I break it down he could have worked on carriage and clarity of movement. The other aspects of the performance were excellent though. 8,0
    • Choreography/Composition: It suited the music, it was well thought out, the elements were quite well distributed. The ice-coverage, as mentioned above, was not really good though. And my biggest problem with this program are those stops. At the beginning he is in the middle of the ice for quite some time, doing some movements. There is another major stop in the middle and 4 minor stops throughout the program. That for sure has something to do with his showmanship, Yagudin also had loads of stops in his programs, but it was sometimes distracting here. The music cut didn't help
      7,5
    • Interpretation: This was excellent, even during the stops that bugged me, he expressed the music through his body positions, he was fully committed to the music, the choreography. The effortless flow over the ice was not really there. 8,0


    Eldredge
    • Skating Skills: His basic skating seems to be very good, very fluid over the ice, great speed, too. But he doesn't really make much of it. It's difficult to judge multi-directional skating, because there is not much multi-directional skating here. 7,5
    • Transitions: Holy jumps set-ups! His transitions into his jumps are stroking, lots and lots of stroking. Before the spins he did more, often included some moves in the field, tried to express the music a bit. He had some attempts at transitions towards the end, exactly that jump he turned into a Double. But the stroking is great. 6,0
    • Performance/Execution: Above average. He has good posture, fluent powerful skating. The clarity of movement was there, apart from some sloppy jump landings. I don't really see a style though, or a distinctive personal involvement into the skating. He could have done so much more in that department. 7,0
    • Choreography/Composition: There was some choreography. I personally loved the opening movements, very original. Also, as I already said above, some sections, especially before the spins, were kind of beautiful and well choreographed. The Russian split jumps towards the end were great, too. But overall I would say that it just wasn't enough. There was not much variation in the movement, so much stroking - as the announcer said, everything was very straightforward, and it's a shame if that means rather unimaginative and boring. 6,5
    • Interpretation: There is a basic musicality to his skating, but he didn't make much of it. The music was, especially during the jumps, nothing but a pleasant background. The simple steps towards the end were well-done and on the beat of the music. 6,5


    Mitchell
    • Skating Skills: Great speed, solid edges, good use of one blade. Definitely lovely to watch. And I can't think of anything else to write. Maybe he could have been more patient, the stroking looked a bit frantic at times. 8,0
    • Transitions: There are beautiful transitions in this program, sometimes very simple, but always connected to the music. Before the big jumps though, he needed nearly as much set-up as Eldredge. Was he a consistent jumper? I loved the Ina Bauer into the spiral into the 3S, very elegant, very beautiful. There were also great steps into another jump towards the end. 7,0
    • Performance/Execution: He certainly wasn't a showman, he seemed very immersed into the music at times. But that can also build a connection to the audience. He shines in clarity of movement, great extension, great body-awareness (beautiful Camel position). The posture during the stroking could have been a bit better though. 8.0
    • Choreography/Composition: The program becomes more beautiful with every minute. That means that there is a certain imbalance. As I said before, the long set-ups he needed for the big jumps take aways from the balance the program could have had. What fits here is especially well, is the expression "Unity" from the explanation of PCS. The majority of the choreography seems to belong together, it is original, very well to the music and it keeps going throughout the program. He has few stops in between, the ice coverage is excellent. 8,0
    • Interpretation: Fantastic. He is fully committed to the music, to the choreography, to his vision of the program. I think some of the original movements in the program have their origin in his musicality, he expresses the music with his entire body and moves in ways no other skater moves - because of that. It sometimes doesn't even look very balletic or "pretty", but it reflects the music so well. 9,0


    Are those ISU-guys kidding? No person can judge all this in a matter of 8 minutes! This took me 40 minutes to write!

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    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Difficult game, gkelly!

    I don't know how much effort you want us to put into it. I could put in a very rough draft of what I'd submit (e.g. I just finished watching the Christopher Bowman one and it felt mediocre to me) but I'd feel more comfortable going by a standard of excellence and then judging-down from it (which I'd need more time to do.) Besides, I'm a layman...so very layman. LOL I'd feel bad to offer my ill-qualified touchy-feely scores next to others who may have spent more time working on theirs (like Medusa ) but I would do it in a few days

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    Take your time.

    It'll be interesting to see if we generally agree or have different opinions.

    I'll try to find my scores from when I practice-judged these programs a year or so ago. Otherwise I'll do it again. But I already read Medusa's comments and that gave me at least one more point to think about in terms of transitions that I don't think I took into account when I did them before.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Take your time.

    It'll be interesting to see if we generally agree or have different opinions.

    I'll try to find my scores from when I practice-judged these programs a year or so ago. Otherwise I'll do it again. But I already read Medusa's comments and that gave me at least one more point to think about in terms of transitions that I don't think I took into account when I did them before.
    But having Medusa's post will that now influence your scores and force you (even subconciously) to mark within her "corridor"?

    I'm joking but there is an element of truth behind it and does highlight how marks can end up being similar - the judges all talk of course so there will always be influences behind a score.

    Ant

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    But having Medusa's post will that now influence your scores and force you (even subconciously) to mark within her "corridor"?

    I'm joking but there is an element of truth behind it and does highlight how marks can end up being similar - the judges all talk of course so there will always be influences behind a score.

    Ant
    I think medusa hit the nail on the head with this comment:

    "Are those ISU-guys kidding? No person can judge all this in a matter of 8 minutes! This took me 40 minutes to write!"

    I suggested in a previous post that why limit the tech callers to jumps?
    Why not have the entire judging panel based on specialists concentrating only on certain elements and aspects of a program? Some might say because that is not the way in has been done in the past. I would say CoP is not the way it was done in the past either. With a new system I think they could have also done more to revamp the whole concept of judging.

    We already see that many dispute the pc scores and these judges are responsible to decide so much in a very short time.

    To take your time judging the videos here is OK and valid as gkelly suggests.
    Wouldn't it be interesting to try this again next week, but with the same time limit the judges have?
    Last edited by janetfan; 11-03-2009 at 07:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    But having Medusa's post will that now influence your scores and force you (even subconciously) to mark within her "corridor"?
    Yeah. As I recall my ranges were pretty similar to Medusa's, for similar reasons. But doing it again I would be influenced by her comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan
    Wouldn't it be interesting to try this again next week, but with the same time limit the judges have?
    Should we choose one of the events at one of the upcoming Grand Prixs? Do people have access to watching on TV or online (live or "on demand")? Try to do it in real time before the marks are announced?

    Maybe we should choose the final group of the men's or ladies' long programs, to have a manageable number of skaters?

    Or would it be better just to find a group of 3 or 4 programs from an old competition?

    We can take shorthand notes during the programs. It's the typing up reasoning in sentences afterward for posting that's most time consuming, though. Judges don't have to do that.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    I'm definitely interested in having a go but we have no live or on demand feeds in the UK (that i know of!).

    I just have one more question (without having read the link to the explanations), is it still the case that the mark you give for each of the PCS is supposed to a percentage of total time the skater exhibited the qualities covered by the category?

    I seem to remember hearing that was the exlpanation behind the mark and wonder if that's still the case?

    Ant

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    We can take shorthand notes during the programs. It's the typing up reasoning in sentences afterward for posting that's most time consuming, though. Judges don't have to do that.
    Thanks for the very concise explanation to my post from yesterday. I didn't answer but I wanted to say I read your message a couple of times and agree with most of what you said. I appreciate that you take the time to provide such well thought out responses and for me most of your posts offer great insight. It is also very nice that you present your views in a style that is non-confrontational and easy to understand.

    Just now, your thoughts about trying this again already sent an emotion through me, something like "I will show them. If that Miki shows me something FAR from her BEST this weekend I will mark her accordingly."

    I feel a little silly wanting to hold up judges to such a high standard, one with no emotions, and that is always 100% correct (and will match my own views )

    Thanks again for your informative and fair minded posts gkelly. I have learned alot reading them.

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    I have heard judges refer to percentage of time as a guideline for marking. It's not mentioned in the component explanation document that I linked.

    Personally I don't think it makes sense to take that as the only way of thinking of these criteria, because many of them are matters of quality or degree, not just yes or no. So even if you can say "yes" for a certain criterion 50% of the time for two different skaters, that doesn't mean they both deserve 5.00 for that component.

    But for something like interpretation, especially, it might make sense to consider how much of the program the skater was actively interpreting the music vs. skating to it as background.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think this is an impossible excercise for anyone whjo is not a trained figure skating judge. (But I guess Medusa just proved me wrong. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I'm definitely interested in having a go but we have no live or on demand feeds in the UK (that i know of!).
    Are you able to watch programs on youtube after the fact? It seems that most of the important GP performances have been getting posted there.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Just now, your thoughts about trying this again already sent an emotion through me, something like "I will show them. If that Miki shows me something FAR from her BEST this weekend I will mark her accordingly."
    Since janetfan wants to try this with Miki this weekend, should we agree to do the final six ladies' LPs from NHK, or as many of them become available on youtube for anyone reliant on that source?

    If we're ambitious, we can try doing it real time while watching live or watching a recording afterward without knowing the results.

    If that's not convenient, still feel free to play along. Just let us know if you were influenced by already knowing the results, or if you replayed the video several times before coming up with your scores.

    It should still be a fun and informative exercise.
    Last edited by gkelly; 11-05-2009 at 09:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Bowman

    • Skating Skills: Adequate edges, but his quick and precise toepick work is notable. 7.5
    • Transitions: Quite good. Lots of flowing, difficult movements before and after jumps. Not too long of a setup before any jump. 7.75
    • Performance/Execution: He has excellent energy. There is crispness in his movement. He is comfortable on the ice and takes RISKS in his movements. 8.25
    • Choreography/Composition: Interesting and well-layered. 7.75
    • Interpretation: A little big of the mugging to the crowd/judges was perhaps not the best reflection of the music, but the character of the music was brought out quite well overall. 7.75


    Eldredge
    • Skating Skills: Solid edges. Able to gain speed across the ice fairly easily. 7.5
    • Transitions: Not many, although he at least has fairly short setups into a couple of this jumps. 6.5
    • Performance/Execution: It's a pretty comfortable performance and he has good posture but there could have been more enthusiasm and style. 7.25
    • Choreography/Composition: Nothing truly spectacular, but there are some well placed elements and an attempt at a unified idea. 7.0
    • Interpretation: There definitely could have been more nuance. In terms of bringing out the character of the music, this was too vanilla. 6.75


    Mitchell
    • Skating Skills: He builds speed effortlessly with his blades and has lovely, deep edges. 8.0
    • Transitions: Mixed bag. Some of the jumps have long setups, others flow out of natural movements. 7.25
    • Performance/Execution: The way he holds his arms can be a little annoying. When he goes into the 3Flip, it looks like he is pretending to be a muppetmaster. He lacks command of the ice as well. 7.25
    • Choreography/Composition: It's a well thought-out program with a clear concept. 7.75
    • Interpretation: The movements are interesting but they don't necessarily always reflect the music. 7.25



    So, on the "artistic" mark, I call it as #1 Bowman, #2 Mitchell, #3 Eldredge.

    Bringing the technical merit into play drops Mitchell below Eldredge for me overall (Bowman stays #1). Mitchell's jumps are tiny. Eldredge at least had a good 3Axel and completed two of them, whereas Mitchell only did one.

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    I have never actually posted here, but I think that some people are misinterpreting what PCS's actually are supposed to be. Here's a general meaning of each one, taken directly from a judges seminar I attended last week.

    Skating Skills:
    -Balance/rhythmic knee action/precise foot.
    -Effortless glide.
    -Cleanness, sureness of deep edges, steps, and turns.
    -Power, energy, and ability to accelerate (not necessarily go fast all the time!).
    -Multidirectional skating.
    -One foot skating.
    -Equal technique of all skaters (in pairs/dance).

    Transitions:
    -Variety
    -Difficulty
    -Intricacy
    -Quality (including unison in pairs and dance)

    Performance/Execution:
    -Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement.
    -Carriage (upper body especially).
    -Style.
    -Clarity of movements.
    -Variety.
    -Projection.
    -Unison and “oneness" (in pairs and dance).
    -Spatial awareness between skaters (in pairs and dance).
    -Ability to change holds (in pairs and dance).

    Choreography/Composition:
    -Purpose (idea, concept, vision).
    -Proportion (too much time on transitions, sacrificing elements?).
    -Unity.
    -Pattern and ice coverage.
    -Phrasing and form.
    -Originality of purpose, movement, design.

    Interpretation:
    -Effortless movements in time to the music.
    -Expression of music style, character, and rhythm.
    -Hitting nuances in the music.
    -Using other skaters to demonstrate character of music.

    In general, your marks will not vary more than 1 point at the very max (ie: 3.0 and 4.0) - but in general, no more than 0.5. It is impossible, for example, for a skater to have poor skating skills and great choreography. A skater with poor skating skills simply will not cover the ice, etc. as well as a skater who does have stronger SS.

    Just my two cents.

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