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Thread: What, besides jumps, varies from competition to competition?

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    What, besides jumps, varies from competition to competition?

    I am trying to figure out what the judges are looking for so I understand the sport better, so I ask this question:

    What, besides the jumps, varies from competition to competition?

    Does a skater exhibit better edges at Skate Canada than at Skate America? Or, assuming the music is the same, will he or she interpret it better at NHK than at Cup of China?

    I know jumps are made or missed, and occasionally a spin or footwork is messed up, but what about those other skating skills?

    It seems to me that a skater who is considered to have deep edges, a good line, and great speed and other "skating skills" now has such an advantage that there is little competition any more, or at least they are practically guaranteed a win over certain people, regardless of jumps landed or falls. If these skills don't vary that much, then, for example, Caroline Z will never beat Carolina K. Even if CZ skates clean (I know--out of my mouth and into God's ears) and CK makes a few major mistakes. Because CK is always faster, with better lines, etc. (I'm not sugesting that CZ should have beaten CK in any particular competition, I'm just u sing them as extreme examples on the slow/fast continuum).

    Am I correct? Or do these skills vary more than I think from time to time?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    This is a great thread!

    There has been a lot of criticism this year of "reputation judging." Maybe it's not so much that a skayer has a reputation for skating fast and having good choreography. Maybe he really does skate fast and have good choreography. So he starts every competition with a bunch of PCSs in the bank no matter how he skates otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    I am trying to figure out what the judges are looking for so I understand the sport better, so I ask this question:

    What, besides the jumps, varies from competition to competition?

    Does a skater exhibit better edges at Skate Canada than at Skate America? Or, assuming the music is the same, will he or she interpret it better at NHK than at Cup of China?

    I know jumps are made or missed, and occasionally a spin or footwork is messed up, but what about those other skating skills?

    It seems to me that a skater who is considered to have deep edges, a good line, and great speed and other "skating skills" now has such an advantage that there is little competition any more, or at least they are practically guaranteed a win over certain people, regardless of jumps landed or falls. If these skills don't vary that much, then, for example, Caroline Z will never beat Carolina K. Even if CZ skates clean (I know--out of my mouth and into God's ears) and CK makes a few major mistakes. Because CK is always faster, with better lines, etc. (I'm not sugesting that CZ should have beaten CK in any particular competition, I'm just u sing them as extreme examples on the slow/fast continuum).

    Am I correct? Or do these skills vary more than I think from time to time?
    What an interesting thought! Is FS just an entertaining passtime as Pagaents are with the talent segment of showing off one's content of program to music?

    Skating Skills, seem to me to cover all the elements and how each are perfmormed. It also includes how well a program of elements if presented to music. For me, SS is part Tech, part PC.
    Because of Skate Canada, it has become a source of discussion because of how Falls are treated in judgement. Some are happy with a Fall just getting a -1 deduction. Others see a Fall as a grave error in skating skills. There is nothing official on this and the matter is in limbo.

    There have also been discussions with wildly opinions on whether a Quad should be included in the Men's LP. Those in favor of the Quad could be happy with it's base value being raised. In the recent Skate America, two extremely talented skaters who have demonstrated skills in executing quads but did not do them during the competition. However, an old timer, some consider a 'has been', did show a quad in the same competition.

    Some results in FS will never be understood. There is improvement for skaters. Caroline has indeed upped her speed. How much speed is required to satisfy that facet of Skating Skills? If there is a race for speed, I agree Carolina has more of it than Caroline but how important is that? Flatt falls somewhere in between the two on speed.

    I think Skating Skills are in the eye of the beholder based on bias. Anyhow, the topic will fade away as soon as we find a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    What, besides the jumps, varies from competition to competition?
    Pretty much everything.

    Skating Skills vary the least, and it's a lot more likely that you see someone like CK have an off-day where she skates more like CZ, but there's still an enormous amount of variation in how any given skater should be scoring in their PCS from competition to competition.

    However, that's not how the judges score PCS, they score based on reputation.

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    you can ask the ISU for the Component DVD´s they are using in seminars. There a various exemples of a skater doing a program on a good day and doing a program on a bad day. Of course there is a difference in every skating in the components although it may not be so obvious like missed or landed jumps. but a skater who usualy gets around 7 in skating skills will likely not go down to 4 but perhaps 6,25 or up to 7,75 if he is really fast with deep edges on a good day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by euroskate View Post
    but a skater who usualy gets around 7 in skating skills will likely not go down to 4 but perhaps 6,25 or up to 7,75 if he is really fast with deep edges on a good day.
    Yeah. That would give a range of 1.5 between the same skater's best day or worst day, but they'd usually fall somewhere in between.

    The skater might raise his/her average from one season to the next by making significant technical improvements (or artistic improvements and just getting a better program and music s/he relates to better, in the PE, CH, and IN components), and for a young skater by maturing physically in ways that enhance the power on the ice. Or they average might go down if they grew or were injured in ways that interfere with optimal technique.

    And then of course, different judges use numbers a little bit differently, so the skater could perform the same but get different marks from a different panel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    Pretty much everything.

    Skating Skills vary the least, and it's a lot more likely that you see someone like CK have an off-day where she skates more like CZ, but there's still an enormous amount of variation in how any given skater should be scoring in their PCS from competition to competition.

    However, that's not how the judges score PCS, they score based on reputation.
    I have moved my own post from another thread and added to it:
    The judges study each skater at each competition, plus all of the skaters are a known factor.
    It is not just reputation. Judges don't just see skaters for the first time in the competition. They attend the practices to familiarize themselves with the programs and the content. You will see them sitting in one area of the seats usually near the VIP section of the stands at practices.
    This is standard procedure. The skaters and coaches know it. Sometimes you put a big jump out in practice that isn't ready for the program yet just to let the judges know you have it or almost have it and that you are in that 'league'.
    Judges also meet with skaters and coaches to give them advice and pointers for improved scores. They may even go as far as suggesting music changes etc. This happens in monitoring sessions at their rinks, at meetings, and even less formally in the hotels after the competion is over. Coaches can arrange these meetings and there is more formal structured monitoring throughout the year for national and potential national level skaters. Before and during the actual duration of the competition however, judges will not speak to skaters or their coaches, even in the hotel.
    For every skater at every competition, a program content sheet must be handed in at registration outlining the elements of the skater's programs, right down to the exact time they occur (ie. 3A at 39 seconds). Nothing in the program comes as a surprise to any of the technical panel or the judges. They really know what they are looking at and can really tell who, for example, is improving their speed or edges.
    This is all normal and part of skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trains View Post
    Lots Of Stuff
    Yeah, trust me, I know all about monitoring sessions and winning practice. It doesn't logically follow in any way that reputation scoring simply doesn't exist, or that most judges even mark the PCS correctly. No one is suggesting there's anything ethically wrong with the judges forming opinions of skaters beforehand, it's inevitable and probably beneficial to some degree. But skaters with big reputations still often get credit for skating skills they don't have, transitions they don't do, performance ability they don't show (no one who is staring down at the ice through half of his program deserves in the high 8s for P/E), etc etc. Plushenko is an obvious, glaring example of this, but another one that I don't see mentioned a lot would be Mao Asada's relative lack of transitions in her programs last season. They were very empty compared to most of her serious competitors, but you'd never know it looking at her scores. Miki Ando, too.

    On the other hand, lots of other skaters don't get credit for all the things they do on the ice until they "break through" for whatever reason, even if their skating hasn't changed at all or has even gotten worse. Sometimes you see things like Brian Joubert's average score for Transitions going down this season, the one time he actually has programs that do include some.

    None of your wall of text actually provides any arguments or counterexamples to the contrary. If you refuse to believe that reputation scoring exists, and insist that the judges absolutely all know what they're doing across the board, please explain the Skating Skills scores of Plushenko, Lysacek, Joubert, Weir, Oda, and Kozuka in the Vancouver Olympics, given their actual performances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by euroskate View Post
    you can ask the ISU for the Component DVD´s they are using in seminars. There a various exemples of a skater doing a program on a good day and doing a program on a bad day. Of course there is a difference in every skating in the components although it may not be so obvious like missed or landed jumps. but a skater who usualy gets around 7 in skating skills will likely not go down to 4 but perhaps 6,25 or up to 7,75 if he is really fast with deep edges on a good day.
    Interesting comment. If skaters can have a good day and then a bad day, why do we have to use Reputation to score a top skater on what he has shown in previous comps? Why not just go back to the 6.0 system and forget about judging what is seen on the day of competition only?

    Apparently, many judges will do what they please with the components.

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    Sadly doubleflutz, I agree with you completely. I just thought it might be helpful to show more of the process in judging a competition, to give a frame of reference for the marks that are awarded. But we are dealing with human beings after all, and the skaters you mentioned definitely got the benefit of the doubt big time.

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    Hmm. Never for a minute did I think that Carolina, Patrick, etc. actually didn't have the most beautiful lines, stroking and edges, although I couldn't really tell. It's interesting to hear that some think that "skating skills" means rewarding the favorites.

    This makes me sad. It seemed a few years ago that they weren't doing this as much, and you did see some interesting results. Now it's the same thing as 6.0--it's sort of predetermined who could win (or a few people who could win) and their actual performance that day just sort of determines that order.

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    I think that there is an inherent skating quality about each skater (ESPECIALLY dance teams) that is what it is. This is a somewhat known factor ahead of time and easily observable to the judges, that really doesn't change that much in relation to the other skaters they are competing with. The competition result is this quality order adjusted by what the skaters do on the day in the competition. And sometimes even a good skate for one skater compared to a mediocre skate for another is just not enough to make up the difference. Not everybody is equally talented even at the world level.
    Some are just great fundamental skaters, and they have their day.
    Some are good at being consistent and they have their day.
    Some get really lucky and they have their day.
    But the odds are that the great fundamental skaters will have more good results than the rest. Their bad days are good and their good days are excellent.

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