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Thread: Is the so-called “skating reputation” ruining Skating?

  1. #1
    Meanwhile in a parallel universe .... theresa's Avatar
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    Is the so-called “skating reputation” ruining Skating?

    As an avid figure skating watcher, I love to watch all the disciplines (Men, Ladies, Pairs, and Ice Dance) and enjoy all types of performances from the veterans to even the “newbies”. Overall, I am ok with the the CoP replacing the 6.0 system and I feel that is has improved skating in various ways.

    My only concern is the method of judging based over a skater’s reputation. It is upsetting to see skaters such as Suzuki, Kozuka, and even Abbott not get their due from the judges and it seems that all of this stems from the PCS scores. There have been a lot of complaints about Yu-Na and Plushenko being over-scored. A lot of talk has revolved around the “Russian factor” with scores and this shows from Worlds where Domnina/Shabalin won. Many fans, including myself, were upset over the whole Davis/White ordeal and how their PCS scores from the judges brought them down and led for them to not even medal at Worlds.

    In my opinion, the TES scores don’t really lie. If anything the whole PCS component really makes me wonder as skating fan, if judges are basing it off a skater’s “reputation” and not from what they are really seeing.

  2. #2
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Well, really nothing has changed here. In the past even under the 6.0 system judges often based their marks and ordinals on a skaters "reputation." Judges often watch skaters on their practices and follow their track record through the year. If they are impressed by a certain skater and want to see them progress they will give them some lee way. It's sort of the old "earn your way up" idea. That has not totally disappeared with the new marking system.

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    The King has arrived - no questions! plushyta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theresa View Post
    .... There have been a lot of complaints about Yu-Na and Plushenko being over-scored....
    Same as and for Lysacek, and Joubert, and Chan.... and so on, and so on...

  4. #4
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theresa View Post
    In my opinion, the TES scores don’t really lie. If anything the whole PCS component really makes me wonder as skating fan, if judges are basing it off a skater’s “reputation” and not from what they are really seeing.
    As Ladskater noted, reputation has always affected scoring. Reputation, of course, is earned the hard way, with strong performances and good skating over extended periods of time. Also, it is possible for a skater to skate a performance that's weak in the jump department but still shows good skating skills, transitions and musical interpretation, and it's also possible for skaters to have great technical content and decidedly unimpressive choreo, interpretation and even basic skating skills. Skaters up from juniors often have a lot to work on in this respect, and it is something that can be developed over time.

    I have no problem with seeing a gap between the TES and the PCS if the skating warrants it. I do agree that some skaters are criminally underscored on the PCS - usually ones who are unknown or who have been inconsistent in the past.
    Quote Originally Posted by plushyta View Post
    Same as and for Lysacek, and Joubert, and Chan.... and so on, and so on...
    Plushyta, I'll tell you who's overscored on PCS: the skaters each of us doesn't like. Our favorites are never given high marks they don't deserve!

  5. #5
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Before we go too far beating up on the program components, I thought it might be well if we went over what they are, particularly for dance, because that's where the rules are less intuitive:

    Quite often, people don't know the actual rules in the different PCS scores components, and therefore become upset about stuff that really doesn't quite work that way. Fans are not wholly to blame. PCS component score rules are changed, just as TES rules are changed, and it's not like someone at the start of the TV coverage gives you a recap of the 29 pages in this calendar year for ice dance, for example. So just to give any discussion of the Worlds 2009 FD, ISU 1522 would have been the governing document, and ISU 1567 was not yet in effect.

    ISU communication 1522, p. 33-35 has the chart for PCS for dance. (These were updated in August 1988.)

    Let's take a look at the description for a typical range of winning PCS marks for last year, just to get an idea of how this could work. The chart has a lot of other ranges, but usually people are disputing about couples that got a top PCS score and shouldn't have, or about couples that should have gotten a top PCS score. Unfortunately, judges seldom vary more than a point between PCS components. The most variation I've noticedthis year is 1.75 for a single judge to vary in components. So anyway, that's why I want to look at a typical top score range for PCS:

    Adjustments to PCS are also documented in Isu communication 1567, from this year. We'll get there later on.

    Common misapprehension one: There is nothing about carriage and toe point in skating skills. You will note that a team that has good skating skills is one that has strong smooth, edges and is precise, with two strong partners. It is interesting that Interesting is also a quality in skating skills. Those sexy crossovers and progressives just don't make it

    Skating Skills for 8.25-9.00

    - strong, sure, fluid edges
    - supple knee action
    - stylish, precise, interesting & neat
    steps/turns
    - ease in accelerating even during
    difficult steps
    - always multidirectional
    - broad skill range for both,
    Note that linking footwork is also graded on being FAST (ice coverage) as well as difficult.

    Linking Footwork/Movements for 8.00 to 9.25

    - difficult, varied, sequences of
    edges/steps/turns/holds for both
    throughout
    - one move flows easily into the next
    - superior ice coverage
    The place that carriage is covered in not in skating skills, it's in performance and execution. And a team's mediocre carriage may be offset by the fact that they project strongly. When I think of a team that projected strongly, I always think of Kylova & Ovsiannakov skating to Carmen. Note there appears to be no penalty at all for Over The Top Projection. There is no explicit reward for subtle & nuanced.

    Performance/Execution for 8.25-9.00


    - coordinated movements- excellent
    matching
    - superb carriage & lines
    - effortless change of difficult holds
    - project strongly
    Timing is key to ice dance, and a dance with no strong rhythm may actually be penalized. Fans may not be aware when appealing skaters have lousy timing, but it will definitely affect PCS scores. For a good interp/timing grade, skaters must have perfect timing as well as portray the character of the dance. Note that the skaters are expected to produce understandable choreo here. A dance should not require a set of program notes to be understood by either judges or audience.

    Interpretation/Timing component for 8.25-9.0

    skaters and music meld – internal
    motivation
    - very good range of interesting
    movements/gestures
    - excellent ability to relate as one to
    reflect music/theme
    - excellent and understandable
    expression of the music’s style and
    character
    - timing: 100% correct as above
    - music selection: 100% as above
    Three things to notice here:
    1. Again, understandable choreo is stressed. Your nuanced, abstruse program is not encouraged. It may be downgraded.
    2. Innovation is stressed. If a team is using the same lifts as everyone else, it would be bad, for example.
    3. The music should not be one tempo


    Choreography Component for 8.25 to 9.00

    - superior choreography-clearly
    understandable
    - variety of innovative moves that
    develop theme
    - change of pace/tempo incorporated
    with ease
    - excellent use of music /space
    /symmetry
    This year, adjustments may be made to PCS in ISU Communication 1567 (p. 13). There are both extra rewards and extra penalties that judges may use to adjust PCS components:

    http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=1442

    The Referee may advise the panel if music is without beat (FD): the judges must reflect this under Interpretation/Timing.
    In the Skating Skills component, stumbles outside the element are penalized:

    Outside of Required Elements:
    - Skating with hand(s) on ice at any
    time including during introduction
    and/or conclusion
    by one - 0.5 per each
    by both - 1.0 per each
    - Loss of balance or Stumble:
    by one - 0.5 per each

    In the OD, penalties may be assessed in the Linking footwork/Movements component. Note that straying apart on twizzles and midline not touching sequences can be severely penalized, and penalized multiple times:

    requirements
    - Loop on center line
    - Cross center line
    - Too far apart on permitted
    separations
    - 0.5 per each
    - 0.5 per each
    - 0.5 per each
    by both - 1.0 per each
    And again in both OD and FD, there are stiff penalties for excessive posing in the Performance/Execution PCS component. Also, transitional lifts and spins & extra sets of twizzles may be rewarded 0.5 each, but only if they reflect the character of the dance:

    - Extra or too long stops - 0.5 per each
    FD
    - Excessive use of stops/standing - 0.5 per each
    - Separation in the beginning longer
    than 10 seconds - 0.5 per each
    - Separations more than 5 sec. - 0.5 per each
    - Couple remains on the place at
    the beginning of the program longer
    than 10 sec - 0.5

    OD & FD
    - Additional permitted elements
    (e.g. Lift(s), Dance Spin, Set of
    Twizzles) which are not performed
    for the Level – reflect character of
    the music/dance + 0.5 per each
    And under the timing component, in the OD, there is an additional fine for not having a strong rhythm, right from the beginning of the dance

    OD
    – Introduction without
    beat/melody longer
    than 10 sec. – 0.5
    Finally, PCS scores may be dropped as well as GOE of elements affected, for falls and hands down situations.

    Technical panel takes automatic deduction from total score: - 1.0 for every fall of one and - 2.0 for every fall by both partners;
    If the fall causes interruptions to the program that exceed 5 seconds and part of the program was missed, the Referee additionally applies the
    following deductions: - 1. 0 for 6-15 seconds interruption, - 2.0 for 16-30 seconds interruption etc.
    In addition with falls – judge’s scores in some or all Components may also need to be reduced as well if a fall affects the rest of the program or
    part of the program.
    So on to further discussion:

  6. #6
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    My main problem with the PCscores is that I do not understand how they arrived at the final numbers.

    Here is an example of the PC details for the Men's GP Final

    1 Evan LYSACEK USA 159.60 75.60 84.00 8.40 8.10o 8.50 8.55 8.45 0.00 #5
    2 Jeremy ABBOTT USA 158.73 82.13 77.60 7.75 7.60 7.75 7.65 8.05 1.00 #2
    3 Nobunari ODA JPN 155.71 77.71 78.00 8.05 7.30 8.00 7.85 7.80 0.00 #4
    4 Johnny WEIR USA 152.75 77.25 75.50 7.70 7.20 7.70 7.45 7.70 0.00 #3
    5 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 134.65 53.25 82.40 8.45 7.90 8.05 8.3b 0 8.50 1.00 #6
    6 Tomas VERNER CZE 122.15 52.15 71.00 7.25 6.85 6.95 7.35 7.10 1.00 #1


    I'm not concerned about the results, but can not understand how the actual scores came about. What is the guide for a judge to give Lysacek 8.40 for SS and Takahashi 8.45?

    I presume those numbers are the sum of the protocol numbers but then how does a judge come up with the breakdown of SS? Does each bullit have a separate value?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I'm not concerned about the results, but can not understand how the actual scores came about. What is the guide for a judge to give Lysacek 8.40 for SS and Takahashi 8.45?
    No judge can give 8.40 or 8.45 as a mark. Those are averages. The individual judges only have the option of 8.00, 8.25, 8.5, 8.75, etc.

    So what those scores mean is that, after the random selection and trimming the high and low scores, of the remaining marks probably more judge gave Takahashi 8.5 or 8.75 instead of 8.25 compared to Lysacek.

    I presume those numbers are the sum of the protocol numbers but then how does a judge come up with the breakdown of SS? Does each bullit have a separate value?
    Probably different judges have different mental formulas for how to come up with a single SS mark for a skater. They're all looking at the same things, but they might prioritize them slightly differently.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Probably different judges have different mental formulas for huow to come up with a single SS mark for a skater. They're all looking at the same things, but they might prioritize them slightly differently.
    Are there limits to what judges can come up with? I've never noticed a 10 and I vaguely remember a 9. (forgot who though).

    And the difference between an 8 and a 7 is strictly part of the judges' prioritizing?

    If there is talk about revising the CoP, I think this area could be reviewed.

    What follows is an idea - not a suggestion

    Wouldn't it be more logical to give each of these gradings from 1 to 10 a guide to its levels? For example: Of the 5 bullits in the SS, skater "A" did not show 2 of the bullets, therefore his Level drops to a 6 or 7. The hundreths of a point would show how well the skater performed what bullets he did use.

    Maybe the Tech Panel could wear two hats and become a PC Panel as well. The Panel could decide what grade level should be judged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Are there limits to what judges can come up with? I've never noticed a 10 and I vaguely remember a 9. (forgot who though).
    The scale is from 0 to 10, where 0 would be a nonskater who can barely make it around the ice on two feet without holding onto the boards and 10 is the best possible execution of all the bullet points for that component.

    So you could think of 7 as quite good, 8 as very good, 9 as excellent, etc.

    And the difference between an 8 and a 7 is strictly part of the judges' prioritizing?
    Possibly. Or some judges might tend to mark a little higher or lower across the board.

    I'd say it would be more that difference between 8 and 7 is in the actual skating. But say all the judges agree that this skater's skating skills belong somewhere between 7 and 8. Each judge might perceive slightly differently just how much closer this skater is to 8 than to 7. Or one judge might prioritize absolute speed/power and another might give more weight to the amount of multidirectional skating.

    Wouldn't it be more logical to give each of these gradings from 1 to 10 a guide to its levels? For example: Of the 5 bullits in the SS, skater "A" did not show 2 of the bullets, therefore his Level drops to a 6 or 7. The hundreths of a point would show how well the skater performed what bullets he did use.
    So how would this work?

    Keep in mind that almost all skaters show all the Skating Skills bullet points to some degree. It's not so much a question of "yes or no" but rather "how much" and "how well."

    Maybe the Tech Panel could wear two hats and become a PC Panel as well. The Panel could decide what grade level should be judged.
    The tech panel has enough to do identifying the elements.

    So you could bring in a second tech panel and call them the PC tech panel.

    And then you could just send the judging panel home.

    The main thing that the judges do is evaluate the components. (They also evaluate the quality of the elements, but that just takes a couple of second for each one. Might as well give that task to a tech panel as well.)

    So you might as well call this PC tech panel a "judging panel" instead.

    Maybe the panel that determines the PCS, whatever you call it, could use more explicit guidelines pegging specific levels of execution to specific numbers.

    That kind of thing is hard to put into writing, though. "Very good" might mean something slightly different to you than it does to me.

    But if we both watch a lot of skating together and compare our scores after the fact, we'll probably come to a general agreement that particular performances showed skating skills somewhere in the 7 or 8 range. Exactly 7? Exactly 8? Just about halfway in between? Closer to 7? Closer to 8? That we each have to determine for ourselves. It's a judgment call.

  10. #10
    The King has arrived - no questions! plushyta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Plushyta, I'll tell you who's overscored on PCS: the skaters each of us doesn't like. Our favorites are never given high marks they don't deserve!
    Then should not lead to further polemic

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There have been 2 tens given-and both were given for the first time this year. One judge gave V&M a 10 for the performance and execution PCS component, AFAIR, at Skate Canada (and yes, before you ask, there was a Canadian judge on the panel, but it is impossible to know who gave what.

    The other 10 was also at Skate Canada and was given to S&S in pairs.

    PCS components this year have been significantly higher in dance than before for most teams--it appears to me that the ISU has a made a decision that some 10's in Vancouver would be a good way to excite the public, in the same way that Nadia Comaneci's first 10's in gymnastics were a huge news story, not to mention the huge number of 6.0's given to T&D in 1984.

  12. #12
    Dedicated follower of the black line Wicked's Avatar
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    I don't see how to take reputation out of the scoring of any sport where the marks are subjectively scored by judges. They're only human, and any time you leave things to a human to figure out you know they'll get all screwed up!

  13. #13
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The scale is from 0 to 10, where 0 would be a nonskater who can barely make it around the ice on two feet without holding onto the boards and 10 is the best possible execution of all the bullet points for that component.
    gkelly, in this document, do the numbers 75%, 50% and 25% refer to anything? (other than the fact that 7 and 8 are about 75% of the way between 0 and 10, and 5 is halfway up the scale, duh. )

    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/...-0-file,00.pdf

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    I think it's supposed to be the percentage of time during the program that the bullet points are met.

    But that doesn't really make a lot of sense.

    On Skating Skills, one skater might have so-so quality on all of the bullet points all the way through the program. Another skater might have excellent crossovers but not much multidirectional or one-foot skating. So those percentages don't really give much guidance on how to balance out those two skaters.

    On Interpretation, one skater might be using music with very obvious rhythm or phrasing (e.g., a march) and time the movements to the musical phrases all the way through in a very general, superficial sense, with no subtlety. So the answer to "how much of the time" would be close to 100%, but "how well" would be so-so.

    Another skater might have much more complex music and use it in a very detailed nuanced way during the transitions and step/spiral sequences, but pretty much ignore the music during the spins and jump approaches/exits. So then the answer to "how much of the time" would be more like 50%, but during that 50% of the time the "how well" is very well indeed.

    Maybe both those skaters deserve approximately 5s for those components. I can't see giving the former skater 9+ just because of the amount of time when the quality isn't very good.

    At best, that's one guideline for judges to keep in mind, but it can't be the only one.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    There have been 2 tens given-and baloth were given for the first time this year. One judge gave V&M a 10 for the performance and execution PCS component, AFAIR, at Skate Canada (and yes, before you ask, there was a Canadian judge on the panel, but it is impossible to know who gave what.
    Can we conclude that venue + native judge could show favoritism? But there are no more ordinals so it might be a leave-it-alone.

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