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Thread: Should the ISU have separate scoring systems for men and women?

  1. #106
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think there is a constant by-play between: "This is the best skater. Therefore we will give her the most points."

    And: "This skater earned the most points. Therefore we will crown her the best skater."

    I really do not see how it could be otherwise in a judged sport, no matter what the scoring system.
    Think of Patrick Chan with a clean program (two 3A's but no quad) and who would beat him under the current system? Possibly a clean Dai or Jeremy both with quads, but who else?

    Patrick is skating for the system and scores points like crazy. Some fans may prefer Johnny or Joubert - but I am not sure if their best performance could beat Patrick's best performance.

    When asked last summer who he worried about the most at the Olympics Evan mentioned Patrick. He said many could win or make the podium but I remember if was not Plushy Dai or Joubert Evan singled out. It was Patrick.

    If Patrick did skate his best program and won by scoring the most points many fans would still think Plushy, Dai, Jeremy, or others are better skaters. Would they be right? Or would the system be right?

    As it stands, Evan is the Olympic champion - and I know many fans don't consider him the best skater.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think there is a constant by-play between: "This is the best skater. Therefore we will give her the most points."

    And: "This skater earned the most points. Therefore we will crown her the best skater."

    I really do not see how it could be otherwise in a judged sport, no matter what the scoring system.
    Well, that is true.

    With 6.0 judging, it would be possible for judges to decide in advance who they believed (or wanted to believe) was "the best skater," even when others were close in overall skill level, and then see what they expect to see and score accordingly.

    Of course, the astute and honest judges would be paying attention to everything that all the skaters did in their programs and weigh all the details against each other to make appropriate decisions for each competition.

    With IJS, the judges are forced to evaluate each element individually, and they're supposed to break down the program components into five independent categories, although some judges do a better job of separating them than others (and some performances demand more separation between them than others).

    If several skaters in the field are close in overall skill level, then all that can be known in advance is that one group of skaters has the ability to medal if they deliver the goods in competition, another group is not quite at that level but on a good day could overtake better skaters having a bad day, and another group does not have the skills to place well in that field no matter what.

    In some eras, there is one skater whose skills and consistency stand out so far ahead of the rest of the field that they are always favored to win and usually end up deserve to.

    If all knowledgeable observers can agree that the top group of skaters is the top group -- but how they will actually place in any given event depends on how they each perform that day then a good scoring system should be calibrated so that those skaters end up in the top ranks in some order. A good scoring system will balance all the relevant strengths with appropriate rewards and give all these skaters a chance to win medals by maximizing the rewards they can earn with their strong skills.

    A skewed scoring system would overvalue a small subset of skills to the point that only the skaters who excelled in that particular subset of skills could have a chance to win, regardless of their weaknesses or their rivals' strengths in other areas.

    If there is an exceptional standout skater that all knowledgeable observers agree is head and shoulders above the rest of the field, then the scoring system should be calibrated so that that skater will have an appropriate advantage, although enough mistakes from that skater combined with good performances from one or more of the next-best skaters could prevent the favorite from winning sometimes.

    How many points does the favorite have to give away not to win? Casual viewers might believe that a performance with one fall should always lose to a performance with no major visible errors, but in reality it's more complicated than that.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think there is a constant by-play between: "This is the best skater. Therefore we will give her the most points."

    And: "This skater earned the most points. Therefore we will crown her the best skater."

    I really do not see how it could be otherwise in a judged sport, no matter what the scoring system.
    Can the judges ever just go by the second principle? Can't there be a difference between "the best skater" and "the best skater at that particular event"?

  4. #109
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    why dont ladies ( 4 min lp) skate as long as the men ( 4 30 min lp) ?? i dont understand the rationale?

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    My first post to GS is a long one and is about a subject I feel very strongly about – CoP and the relative value of different jumps.

    First, I don’t believe in using different scoring for men and women. There is a difference in the elements performed by men and women, due mostly to physical abilities, but since men compete against other men and women against women, there is no reason for and "special treatment" for women (I do not much like "ladies", I think 'women" is more in tune with other sports).

    I do accept the factoring of women's PCS, placed in order to have the PCS of the same scale as the TES. Remember than not only are women, for the most part, not doing the most difficult jumps/combos, but they also have one less jumping pass and a shorter free program (4 minutes compared with the men's 4.5), so their TES is bound to be lower.

    Secondly, I do not believe in combining the Flip and Lutz, and I especially do not believe in doing it only for women – sure, lots of women flutz, some of them lip, but then a number of men also flutz (our current world champ has been known to do so) or lip (our current olympic champ has done so in the past).

    I do think that triple Axles and quads are undervalued. I don't care about the specific percentage, but the increase in value from 2A to 3A and from 3T (or 3S) to 4T/4S is not in tune with the increase from 2T to 3T and the rest of the triple jumps. I think a 3A should be worth anything from 8.5 to 10.0 points and a 4T anything from 11.0 to 15.0 (depending on the final value of the 3A). This is not about determining a winner, necessarily, but about properly awarding difficulty and risk in a scoring system that awards ANY effort, including a 1T…


    Yes, I think the value of the 3A should be raised for men, also. Of the 24 men who skated a free program in Vancouver, who are arguable 24 of the best skaters in the world (add in another American or two, a Japanese and Frenchman), only 20 did one clean 3A and only 10 (!) landed 2 3As in their free program. So even for men, a 3A is not a given and a second 3A or a quad is certainly not the norm.

    I understand some people's concerns about giving even more point value to the jump elements in the program. My response is that (1) under 6.0 (from 1991 when figures were dropped) the outcome of a competition was pretty much determined by jump content (specifically triple count, I don't think anyone ever won by adding 2T-2T), (2) that jumps already are the largest part of the TES score, but the PCS is not as connected to jump content as the second mark was under 6.0, and thus the effect of the jump is limited and finally, (3) going back to worlds 2008, even with a 3A worth, say, 10.0 and a 4T worth 15.0, Buttle would still have won the LP over Joubert (under 6.0 it would not have happened), only by a smaller difference.

    Yes, Plushenko would have won in Vancouver, but then Evan's win had more than a few people scratching their heads. Yu-Na would still have won, but the point difference between her and Mao would not be so high, thus acknowledging the difficulty of Mao's 3 3As competition.

    Also, to counter the higher value given to the biggest jumps I would suggest dropping one jumping pass from the free program, or maybe changing the rules a bit so that a skater may decide to replace one jump element with a spin or step/spiral sequence. If the value of a 2A is lowered back to 3.0, or even 3.0, and the value of level 4 spins/steps is raised by a couple tenths, skaters would not be losing points by switching elements, they could play the system to their individual strengths, and we would have more variety.

    Anna

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by annamac View Post
    My first post to GS is a long one and is about a subject I feel very strongly about – CoP and the relative value of different jumps.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    (from 1991 when figures were dropped) the outcome of a competition was pretty much determined by jump content (specifically triple count, I don't think anyone ever won by adding 2T-2T),
    Perhaps not, but arguably Oksana Baiul won by adding 2A-2T, since she had no triple combos.

    Also, to counter the higher value given to the biggest jumps I would suggest dropping one jumping pass from the free program, or maybe changing the rules a bit so that a skater may decide to replace one jump element with a spin or step/spiral sequence.
    Yes, I'd definitely like to see some flexibility there. The best jumpers could get all their triples into fewer jump passes by doing 3-3 or 2A-3 combos and then show that they're not all about the jumps by doing more of the non-jump elements. The skaters who don't have many triples but are good at other elements could do the jumps they can do and then use another spin or step sequence to earn more points than they could with another double jump. And the average senior jumpers could use all the jump passes to get in all their triples.

    If the value of a 2A is lowered back to 3.0, or even 3.0, and the value of level 4 spins/steps is raised by a couple tenths, skaters would not be losing points by switching elements, they could play the system to their individual strengths, and we would have more variety.
    I'd rather raise the value of the level 4 elements than lower the value of the 2A, especially if you're raising values of harder jump elements.

  7. #112
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Welcome, annamac, Thanks for joining us. Post often, post long!

    Can the judges ever just go by the second principle? Can't there be a difference between "the best skater" and "the best skater at that particular event"?
    I think it is really hard. The judges are only human. They will tend to see what they expect to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan
    Think of Patrick Chan with a clean program (two 3A's but no quad) and who would beat him under the current system? Possibly a clean Dai or Jeremy both with quads, but who else?

    Patrick is skating for the system and scores points like crazy. Some fans may prefer Johnny or Joubert - but I am not sure if their best performance could beat Patrick's best performance.
    I do not understand the scoring for men's PCSs at all. If we look at 2009 Worlds as a typical example, here are the component scores for the top three in the LP. (SS, Tr, P/E, Ch, Int), Total)

    Lysacek: _7.70 7.70 8.10 7.80 8.10 79.00

    Chan: ___7.70 7.45 7.60 7.70 7.80 76.10

    Joubert: _7.80 7.50 7.65 7.70 7.75 76.80

    As we see, in transitions Brian ("What transitions?" - E. Plushenko) Joubert scored slightly higher than Patrick (Happy Feet) Chan., and equal in choreography. Joubert would have beat Chan overall except for losing 6.30 GOE on two Axel jumps, which are usually reliable elements for Joubert.

    So yes, I think it is quite possible for a skater like Joubert to score higher than the busy point-savvy Chan. Plushenko would have beat Lysacek at the Olympics if he had been able to do a second quad.

    Lysacek clobbered the field in Performance/execution. I was worn out just watching him. But was his exhausting musical interpretation better than the more subtle Chan's? The judges thought so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taan
    why dont ladies ( 4 min lp) skate as long as the men ( 4 30 min lp) ?? i dont understand the rationale?
    I think the rationale is that men supposedly have greater stamina than women. (Something about lung capacity and efficiency of oxygenating muscles ?)
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-20-2010 at 10:03 PM.

  8. #113
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    I think the rationale is that men supposedly have greater stamina than women. (Something about lung capacity and efficiency of oxygenating muscles ?)
    Mathman, I think that was the rationale, but it doesn't really hold water.

    Consider that women compete effective in "ultrarunning" (100 mile runs) where they also race against horses:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont..._Endurance_Run

    The women's record is slower than the men's record, but they can go the distance. I think they could skate for 4 and a half minutes.

    The actual reason may be that there are more women competitors than male competitors and to give the umpty 'leven women skaters in some competitions each a chance to skate, a shorter LP lets more kids compete.

  9. #114
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    The difference in program length has been around for a long time; in fact, it used to be larger -- men used to skate for 5 minutes.

    I'm guessing that the reasons were based on unsubstantiated sexist assumptions about stamina, or else on the fact that men could do more (double) jumps than women without getting as tired and because the jumps came easier to them.

    I think the men's program length was shortened to 4:30 ca. 1981(?). By that time, the top men were doing lots of triples and most women only a few triples if any, and by the 1990s most competitive men were doing triple axels and some were trying quads. So it may have made more sense to continue to give them more time to do more jumps.

    And now that there are limits on the total number of jump passes, it may seem to make sense to give men more opportunities to jump since they're more likely to be attempting triple axels and quads.

    What that doesn't take into account is that men are also more likely to do 3-3 (or 4-3) combinations and to fulfill their axel requirement with a triple axel, so on average they don't actually need more jump passes to get in all their triples.

    More women than is currently the case would be capable of doing seven triples plus a double axel if they had an extra jump slot to fit it in.
    And if they don't have all the triples, they could use another slot to include in an interesting way a double from the takeoff they can't do as triple.

    But they would need as much time as the men to be able to include as many elements.

    A whole extra 30 seconds would also allow for more in-betweens such as edge work or Ina Bauers, etc., without having to rush so much from element to element.

    Or posing on two feet if they really need a rest to get through 4:30. Which is also the case for the men.

  10. #115
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    I wonder when we talk about Men's skating and Ladies skating if we forget that there is more than a gender difference.
    At most major ISU events the majority of the Men are typically several years older than the Ladies - many who are still teenagers.

    I mention this because stamina can play a role if we compare 24 year old Evan and 16 year old Mirai.
    At 16 or maybe even 18-19 Evan did not have the stamina he has now. Mirai will most likely develope better stamina in the next few seasons.

    In the demanding CoP era I wonder if ISU has considered the age differences between the typical Men and Lady competitors and has held off adjusting the program durations.....

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