Seeing that I survived, maybe, my first post, I now venture with my thoughts on the scoring system. COP is not perfect, never will be but I think it's a huge improvement over the 6.0. (How did somebody even come up with the number 6.0 anyway?) If a brand new system of scoring figure skating were to be designed from scratch today, wouldn't it be insane to decide to let judges slot over 20 skaters over hours of skating into places with fixed numbers, not just current placements subject to subsequent performances? Judges had to judge a skater in comparison to not only those before him/her but also those have yet to skate? With no real explanation/accounting required? It was scoring by impression and reputation, something amature watchers, aka fans, could do and therefore relate to and felt they understood. It was enpowering to the fans, an equalizer of experts and laypersons. It was also prone to festering corruption and politicking so a more accountable way had to be established for a highly technical sport which is also a very esthetic performing art.
I like COP which I find very educational for a geek and knowledge junkie like myself. There is something to refer to, or should be referred to, for debates , and it explains why marks are given for each element, with the tech panel independent of judges, and now with the aid of ultra slow motion videos available to judges. There will always be reasons to tweak the scoring, not just to improve the fairness and adapting to changes in the development of the sports, but also to utilize it as a policy tool, which unfortunately as for any law making government, can be too reactionary. So changes were made to accommodate charges of Jeff Buttle doing quads with little chance of landing them. Then with complaints of few skaters attempting quads with too high risk with insufficient rewards, changes were made again, resulting in new, or renewed, sets of complaints. But we - skaters, officials and fans - have to abide by existing rules and skaters doing the best accordingly should be rewarded accordingly.
Now, the PCS. The inherent problem lies in its similarity with the 6.0. It has guidelines but no tech panel, thus more subjecting to subjectivity, and it has set ceilings, making it necessary to score by comparison and unfortunately possibly resorting to reputation. However, such pre-judgements are likely to be more correct for somewhat preditable program componants than for high risk elements.
Then of course the big issue to viewers is that of the visible and not so visible errors. Falls are obvious and jarring for all to see, yet there should be a judged difference between the quality of a jump resulting in a fall after a difficulty entry and full rotations, thus qualified as the jump it is supposed to be, and a fall after a long stalking and being under-rotated. There are even different falls, ugly and quick recovering, uncontrolled and controlled as a way to prevent injury. (A forced jump and a forced landing can seriously injure a skater, which is the worst to happen.) OTOH, under rotated and wrong edged jumps can be so pretty and enthusiastically cheered by fans, yet they are rightly disqualifying of the element. These were not of concern in the 6.0 and unfair to technically superior skaters.
All in all, I still give the judges their dues as trained experts judging the skaters live in person, with rules and guidlines, as well as with technological aids these days. I'm glad I can scrutinize their opinions nowadays with the protocols made available to all. I wouldn't argue about their judgements without at least first looking at the detailed scores, in context of a competition and in comparison with relevent competitors.
I believe all athletes want to do their best and be chanllenged to achieve highest level possible or even not yet possible. The mourning for the demise of quads and digression of figure skating was indeed premature. It has become more multi-faceted and technically demanding. There is simply a transition period for switching of scoring system. The COP system has brought about some applaudable scenarios, among which are the opportunities for young talents to rise quickly, already evident in Ice Dance, and the different processes young skaters can progress and develop their various skills at different and individualized rates. It's exciting now that many COP babies are coming of age. Patrick Chan is the most precocious COP baby and unfortunately has to bear the brunt of much misdirected angst about the new system. But controversies aside, he's still extremely exciting as still developing and a work in progress, as much as he has achieved at his very young age.