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

  1. #91
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    No, the opposite. I do not think the judging system should be used to encourage or discourage anything. I think it should be used to determine who skated the best.

    Raising the value of the 3A is a reflection of the fact that this jump deserves a big reward because it is a hard jump for women to master.
    Then how do you explain the fact that Mao Asada can do a 3A but has trouble with the 3Lz? You seem to be determining general "difficulty" by observing that the fewest women have done the 3A (compared to other triples, and 3-3 combinations.) What I am saying is that maybe more women could have been able to do it (hence it may not be or seem so difficult after all) if only they had more incentive to do it. Men do it to compete with other men--coincidentally, many of the men who push the technical in jumps are criticized for lacking artistry. Unfortunately, in the course of history, deficiency in perceived artistry seems to have hurt women a LOT more even if they were technically stronger, which is a trend you found less with the Men's competition (in my viewpoint.) Maybe this discouraged women from pushing the sport in that direction, even if the 3A is not as difficult as you claim it looks to be.

    I like your point about what you think the purpose of the judging system ought to be. I do like that, I was looking at it from an incentives perspective but that is better. Maybe what is "good ladies skating" is supposed to be different from what is "good men's skating"... I hate that thought.
    Last edited by prettykeys; 04-19-2010 at 08:11 PM.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    I have a problem with several lines of logic presented in this thread, which I'll have to go back to address...but it's all an interesting brainstorm. One way to consolidate these two seemingly contradictory positions is that maybe Mathman is trying to create more incentive for women to specifically try/do the 3A...I am still unsure about the sort of the reasoning that states, "many men do quads and even more do 3A's, so it's easier for them to do those than for women, so women should get higher rewards for doing those types of difficult jumps relative to the men"...because it confounds motivation with capability. I feel that part of the reason we don't see more women doing 3A's is because there hasn't been as much incentive for women to do them (which I suppose Mathman's suggestions are trying to fix.) Some ladies here and there tried it in their younger years, succeeded, and used it to their advantage in competitions.
    Yes, and more tried it in their younger (or not so younger) years, did not get it consistent or rotated enough to try in competition, and chose to focus on jumps that they could actually land when it counted.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29SMYaEwGyM

    I can name other skaters who had tried them in competition, tried them in practice at competitions or otherwise in the presence of the media, or told the media they could land them.

    But how many women were able to include them in their programs successfully over the course of several years? Really only Ito, Nakano, and Asada, and in the IJS era the latter two have often had them downgraded.

    Harding was the next-most consistent, and she only ever landed four in competition, all during the calendar year 1991.

    No matter how strong the incentive, most women who try to master 3A will not succeed, because motivation is not enough to make something happen if the physical capability is not there.

  3. #93
    can't come down to Earth prettykeys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    No matter how strong the incentive, most women who try to master 3A will not succeed, because motivation is not enough to make something happen if the physical capability is not there.
    I'm not convinced about that... part of why I'll be keeping my eye on Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Mishin is apparently teaching it to her and she is practicing it...if she's able to get it consistently under his tutelage and keep it, I think it'd be a more difficult argument to say that it's a brilliant coincidence his single female protege was able to get it because she has the rare physical capability...rather than it being a combination of her talent and his coaching.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    No, the opposite. I do not think the judging system should be used to encourage or discourage anything. I think it should be used to determine who skated the best.
    How do we know who skated best without judging system already? If we change judging system, we may have different best skater. Who is the REAL best skater?

    My point is that you seem to imply there is an objective best skater and judging system should be made to select that one. But, practically, each judging system has its own best skater. Choosing a judging system is determinging what kind of skater we will call the best.

    If the 3A base value is 15, Mao would be the best skater. If 4t base valu is 20, Plushenko would be the best skater.
    Last edited by cosmos; 04-19-2010 at 09:34 PM.

  5. #95
    Custom Title bekalc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    I'm not convinced about that... part of why I'll be keeping my eye on Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Mishin is apparently teaching it to her and she is practicing it...if she's able to get it consistently under his tutelage and keep it, I think it'd be a more difficult argument to say that it's a brilliant coincidence his single female protege was able to get it because she has the rare physical capability...rather than it being a combination of her talent and his coaching.
    Elizaveta though IS an amazing talent. Mishin wouldn't be devoting so much of his time with her if she wasn't. I'm not saying Mishin's coaching isn't helping, because he is probably the best jumping coach in the world. But Mishin has had other female skaters train with him and his wife, who cannot jump like that. And I believe he has another 11/12 year old female prodigy coming up too.

    Raising the value of the 3A is a reflection of the fact that this jump deserves a big reward because it is a hard jump for women to master.

    Raising the value of the "Newjump with clear outside edge take-off" from 6.0 to 6.5 likewise rewards those few (as I still maintain -- but thanks for all the videos ) ladies who can do it.
    But its not rewarding those who have mastered both the 3lutz and the 3flip, I very rare feet. And your forgetting there's more to the lutz than an outside edge. There's also the counterrotation.

    Not to mention once again, I really don't know any skater who is doing 2 3flips and 2 3flutzs and no other triples. Most coaches teach the other triples before the harder toe jumps. For example look at Christine Gao. Yes she flutzs, and she doesn't do a 3loop regularly. But she changed her short program to a 3toe/3toe and a single 3flip. And does a 3toe/3toe, 2 3flips, and just the one flutz. And she gets hit pretty hard by it. I'm not seeing her getting huge amounts of points for flutzing. Besides there is more to the 3flutz than the edge.

    I could see the argument for new rules mandating even more severe penaltiies if someone's 3lutz or 3flip, is indistinguishable from each other. But it seems to me most flutzers now feel that its better to do a double axel than two 3flutzs.

    And I just feel its unfair for you to be arguing to reward a hard edge jump. But not rewarding those who can do both hard toe jumps correctly. And there are girls like Yu-na who has worked hard to do this, Kostner, Rochette who can.
    Last edited by bekalc; 04-19-2010 at 09:57 PM.

  6. #96
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rettykeys
    I feel you are somewhat cherry-picking your responses to me rather than addressing all the relevant points in my posts…
    The points that I don’t kvetch about -- that means that I agree with you and have nothing to add.

    … such as that proposed explanation (2A still being a required element in ladies FS competition)
    I do not believe that this explanation is correct, but I do not really know why I don’t think so. (You mean the SP, right?) When the first version of the CoP came out the double Axel was pegged at 3.3 points. Later it was raised to 3.5. This was at least a year before the triple Axel was raised from 7.5 to 8.2.

    There was some discussion at the time about why the ISU did this (the raise from 3.3 to 3.5), but I don’t remember what the reason was. It seems possible that the rationale was to encourage triple-triples by giving the skater the option of doing a double Axel with the extra pass and coming out ahead (although an extra 0.2 points hardly seems worth the effort.)

    The later raise in value of the triple Axel was, I am pretty sure, in response to widespread feeling that triple Axels and quads were undervalued in relation to their difficulty.

    Anyway, I didn’t comment about your proposed explanation because I do not know whether it is correct or not.

    …how the theoretical 3A value boosting and follow-up boosting of PCS, steps, spirals, etc. amounts to merely downgrading the relative value of all the other jumps…
    I made no proposal about boosting PCS, spirals, etc., for woman’s skating, and I would be opposed to doing so.

    That was the argument that I made against raising the values of triple Axels and quads for mens skating – that other things would have to be raised to keep pace, so why bother?

    Your percentages, in my book, don't "prove" anything…
    Agreed. As I believe I mentioned in post 66 above.

    As far as I can see there is no formula for assigning base values to elements in figure skating that has greater intrinsic mathematical merit than another – or than none, for that matter.

    Then how do you explain the fact that Mao Asada can do a 3A but has trouble with the 3Lz?
    I cannot explain this. I think it is unusual. Somehow, as a pre-teen, Mao was able to train a triple Axel, while at the same time learning a faulty Lutz technique which later came back to haunt her when the ISU tightened up on edge calls.

  7. #97
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    (continued...sorry about the back-to-back posts, but how else can I get around the rule about only five smilies per post?)

    Quote Originally Posted by prettykays
    You seem to be determining general "difficulty" by observing that the fewest women have done the 3A (compared to other triples, and 3-3 combinations.) What I am saying is that maybe more women could have been able to do it (hence it may not be or seem so difficult after all) if only they had more incentive to do it.
    Maybe. But I don’t think so. The triple Axel scores more points than any other triple, plus it’s intrinsically a cool thing to do. Why wouldn’t little girls try to do it if they could? (OT. I saw Yukari Nakano AND Ludmilla Neledina land back to back triple Axels in the same competition, 2002 Skate America, right in front of me. They finished 7th anfd 5th. Michelle skated like and won. Well, actually, it was the short program where she slkated like two 's. In the LP she only skated like ) Joubert won for the men, after Yagudin withdrew injured – it was the first time anyone had ever heard of Joubert in America.)

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmos View Post
    How do we know who skated best without judging system already? If we change judging system, we may have different best skater. Who is the REAL best skater?

    My point is that you seem to imply there is an objective best skater and we know who the best skatets are and what makes them the best. Now let's refine the scoring system to make it come out that way.judging system should be made to select that one. But, practically, each judging system has its own best skater. Choosing a judging system is determining what kind of skater we will call the best.
    When they first started working on the CoP, my understanding is that they looked at a bunch of old competitions where the question of "who is the best skater" had been decided by time-tested ordinal judging. Then they broke it down as to just what it was that the best skaters were doing that made them the best. Then they tested the provisional new system against the old and tinkered with it until they arrived at a system where the already acknowledged best skaters actually got the most number of points.

    For instance, in one initial version quads were so highly scored that Tim Goebel, with three quads in the LP, would have won the 2002 Olympics over Yagudin and Plushenko. So they fiddled with the scoring system until Yags got back on top.

    So I think it is not impossible to approach the problem from the direction of, first decide what the "correct" values ought to be, where "correct" means, "the best skaters win."

    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc
    But it's not rewarding those who have mastered both the 3lutz and the 3flip, I very rare feat.
    I agree with that. The proposal for the Newjump replacing the Lutz and flip does threaten to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    The point is to stop rewarding skaters who ['i]don't[/i] have both a Lutz and a flip by pretending that they do. Maybe there could be a second bonus of some sort for skaters who exhibit both edges in their two allowed attempts (?)

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    Does that mean that any scoring changes in June will have to keep Lysacek the winner of this years Gold? Like if they increased quads which Plushenko did two of the new score of it could not make him the winner of gold? So what did Lysacek do that they would also increase the value of? Level 4 spins? Instead of 10 percent bonus after halfway point 12% 15%?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    When they first started working on the CoP, my understanding is that they looked at a bunch of old competitions where the question of "who is the best skater" had been decided by time-tested ordinal judging. Then they broke it down as to just what it was that the best skaters were doing that made them the best. Then they tested the provisional new system against the old and tinkered with it until they arrived at a system where the already acknowledged best skaters actually got the most number of points.

    For instance, in one initial version quads were so highly scored that Tim Goebel, with three quads in the LP, would have won the 2002 Olympics over Yagudin and Plushenko. So they fiddled with the scoring system until Yags got back on top.

    So I think it is not impossible to approach the problem from the direction of, first decide what the "correct" values ought to be, where "correct" means, "the best skaters win."
    Thanks for correcting my English, mathman.

    Well, then, we don't have to change the system, I believe, because the best skater (YuNa Kim) wins under current system.

    But, some people think that Mao is the best skater and she has to win. (IMO, this is the background motivation for all these disputes over the scoring system here)

    Same argument again. Who is the best skater?
    Last edited by cosmos; 04-19-2010 at 11:53 PM.

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    I would hope, and I do believe, that in making these decisions the aim is to determine what is the best skating and how to reward that, with individual skaters and their performances at prominent competitions to serve as examples.

    E.g., Do we want the difficulty of the jump content completed to be valued so much that it will always determine the outcome of the events? Do we want the difficulty plus quality of the jumps to be the deciding factor, with non-jump skills serving only as tiebreakers? Or do we want jumps to count only for part of the results, with skating skill, spins and other elements, and presentation/artistry to play a significant role as well?

    Also, under any judging system sometimes two or more skaters can equally lay claim to being "the best skater" of the era or at a given competition. Which of them actually wins each time will depend both on exactly what they execute that day and also on how that particular panel of judges evaluates it.

    An international panel isn't going to design a judging system specifically to always give wins to a specific skater; they'll try to reach a consensus on how much to reward various kinds of skating skills. There might be some politics involved with representatives of federations with medal contenders wanting to value their compatriots' strengths more highly and to undervalue the rivals' strengths, but they also have to know that a few years down the line their federation may be promoting a skater with different strengths.

  11. #101
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    Does that mean that any scoring changes in June will have to keep Lysacek the winner of this years Gold? Like if they increased quads which Plushenko did two of the new score of it could not make him the winner of gold? So what did Lysacek do that they would also increase the value of? Level 4 spins? Instead of 10 percent bonus after halfway point 12% 15%?
    I doubt that the ISU will make any major changes this year.

    There is, however, a certain sentiment that skaters like Plushenko and Joubert are more the standard of what men's figure skating should aspire to than Lysacek and Chan, and that quads should be more highly valued.

    We'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmos
    Well, then, we don't have to change the system, I believe, because the best skater (YuNa Kim) wins under current system.

    But, some people think that Mao is the best skater and she has to win. (IMO, this is the background motivation for all these disputes over the scoring system here)

    Same argument again. Who is the best skater?
    Again, I do not expect any major changes.

    The great majority of judges, officials and skating insiders believe that, yes, Yu-na Kim is the best skater. There does not seem to be much controversy about that, except on fan boards.

    We can easily see that this is what the skating establishment thinks by looking at the GOEs that Kim gets on almost every element, and by the fact that the judges give her uniformly high PCS, rain or shine, good performance (TEB) or bad (Worlds).

    Even so, some people think that a triple Axel is pretty cool and maybe deserves a few tenths of a point more. I do not think this will happen this year, but it might happen farther down the line.

  12. #102
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The great majority of judges, officials and skating insiders believe that, yes, Yu-na Kim is the best skater. There does not seem to be much controversy about that, except on fan boards.
    I don't think there is much controversy about saying that Yuna was the best skater at Olympics, and this includes fan boards.

    However, I think it is not just on fan boards but also some television commentators as well as former skaters who would dispute a scoring system that always puts Yuna above the rest no matter what.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    I don't think there is much controversy about saying that Yuna was the best skater at Olympics, and this includes fan boards.

    However, I think it is not just on fan boards but also some television commentators as well as former skaters who would dispute a scoring system that always puts Yuna above the rest no matter what.
    Wait a second - what just happened at Worlds? The judges placed Mao ahead of Yuna.

    Doesn't placement depend on how the skaters perform at a given event?

    I don't think it is an accurate statement to say the judges always place Yuna first "no matter what."

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Wait a second - what just happened at Worlds? The judges placed Mao ahead of Yuna.

    Doesn't placement depend on how the skaters perform at a given event?

    I don't think it is an accurate statement to say the judges always place Yuna first "no matter what."
    Apologies for not utilizing precise language. I was referring to the free program. With her short program, it was so utterly disasterous that there was no way she was going to place first. Even then, she sure did place quite well for what she did.

  15. #105
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    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.

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