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Thread: How strict are judges in lower level events?

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    How strict are judges in lower level events?

    So I've never been to a Novice level competition or Sectionals or Regionals. So I don't really know what the judging is like there. I'm wondering how strict the judges are on edge calls, under rotations and the like. Were chronic flutzers at Sr level flutzing their single lutzes too? And were they called on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    I'm wondering how strict the judges are on edge calls, under rotations and the like.
    US Regionals are quite strict, even for Juvenile and Intermediate. It's pretty new, though, and they definitely weren't for a long time. Smaller competitions aren't always as strict.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Good question and I'm glad to hear Doubleflutz's answer.

    Personally, I hope they continue to be strict (but fair, hopefully) and it'll be so interesting to see what the elite skaters are like 10 years from now - maybe we will see fewer flutzes and URs.

    Would that mean fewer attempted triple lutz and triple-triples?

    Perhaps but I would prefer it that way - it would make the few ladies doing a true 3lz-3t truly special - like Yuna

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    Novice is the lowest of the elite levels (that can qualify for Nationals). You won't see single lutzes there, at least not on purpose. (Sometimes they pop their doubles.) You will see wrong edge takeoffs and underrotated doubles (from the weaker novices) and double axels and triples (from the better but not best jumpers). And they will be penalized. Lots more -GOEs and downgrades on those jumps at novice level than at junior or senior.

    Juvenile and intermediate are what I call the "subelite" levels in the US. They are judged under IJS. Mostly they're doing double jumps, but the weaker jumpers who can't do all the doubles up to lutz may use some intentional singles to fill their jump slots. Double axels are allowed, and triples are allowed in intermediate, but they're rare. Downgrades and -GOEs (for incorrect takeoffs as well as other problems) on double jumps are pretty common at those levels. They see where they lose points so they know what they need to work on.

    Juvenile is usually the level where skaters start doing double lutzes and is also the point where they start getting detailed feedback on their elements in competition in the current scoring system.

    In the 6.0 system, which was still in place when some of today's seniors were coming up through the middle levels, the skaters didn't get detailed feedback on their elements in competition. So the judges might have been strict on poor jump technique, but the skaters never knew what they were rewarded or penalized for. They only knew the results, and sometimes the actual scores.

    If an intermediate short program got scores like 2.6/3.0 for what the skater thought was a clean program, she could be pretty sure there were some technical deductions there, but she wouldn't know what for. (Intermediate is the first level with short programs.)

    The levels below juvenile in the US are still judged by 6.0.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Novice is the lowest of the elite levels (that can qualify for Nationals). You won't see single lutzes there, at least not on purpose. (Sometimes they pop their doubles.) You will see wrong edge takeoffs and underrotated doubles (from the weaker novices) and double axels and triples (from the better but not best jumpers). And they will be penalized. Lots more -GOEs and downgrades on those jumps at novice level than at junior or senior.

    Juvenile and intermediate are what I call the "subelite" levels in the US. They are judged under IJS. Mostly they're doing double jumps, but the weaker jumpers who can't do all the doubles up to lutz may use some intentional singles to fill their jump slots. Double axels are allowed, and triples are allowed in intermediate, but they're rare. Downgrades and -GOEs (for incorrect takeoffs as well as other problems) on double jumps are pretty common at those levels. They see where they lose points so they know what they need to work on.

    Juvenile is usually the level where skaters start doing double lutzes and is also the point where they start getting detailed feedback on their elements in competition in the current scoring system.

    In the 6.0 system, which was still in place when some of today's seniors were coming up through the middle levels, the skaters didn't get detailed feedback on their elements in competition. So the judges might have been strict on poor jump technique, but the skaters never knew what they were rewarded or penalized for. They only knew the results, and sometimes the actual scores.

    If an intermediate short program got scores like 2.6/3.0 for what the skater thought was a clean program, she could be pretty sure there were some technical deductions there, but she wouldn't know what for. (Intermediate is the first level with short programs.)

    The levels below juvenile in the US are still judged by 6.0.
    Heh. I didn't know novice was considered elite. I thought elite-senior was the same thing. I meant "senior" skaters in my post. But in any case, if the judging is getter stricter on technique at the juvenile and intermediate levels, it would also be interesting to see if that leads to better technique at the lower "elite" levels 10 years down the line.

    Interesting point about the feedback under 6.0. But it seems to me (and it's just a vague recollection) that we did see a lot of correct triple lutzes back in the day... Tonya, and Midori and Nancy and Oksana.. So there must have been some motivation to get it right?

    I have wondered - and this is just a question - if the flutzing and Uring simply became more common as the jumps got more difficult for the women. This is not to say that a correct and fully rotated triple lutz-triple toe is not a reasonable goal... but as more ladies upped their technique I wonder if many of the less gifted jumpers were tempted to shrug off technique just to keep up. You know - maybe a lady just couldn't seem to achieve an outside edge triple lutz in practice or a fully rotated triple-whatever - and just decided to be satisfied with the flutz or a URed 3-3 because she felt that is what she had to do be remotely competitive...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Interesting point about the feedback under 6.0. But it seems to me (and it's just a vague recollection) that we did see a lot of correct triple lutzes back in the day... Tonya, and Midori and Nancy and Oksana.. So there must have been some motivation to get it right?

    I have wondered - and this is just a question - if the flutzing and Uring simply became more common as the jumps got more difficult for the women. This is not to say that a correct and fully rotated triple lutz-triple toe is not a reasonable goal... but as more ladies upped their technique I wonder if many of the less gifted jumpers were tempted to shrug off technique just to keep up. You know - maybe a lady just couldn't seem to achieve an outside edge triple lutz in practice or a fully rotated triple-whatever - and just decided to be satisfied with the flutz or a URed 3-3 because she felt that is what she had to do be remotely competitive...
    Essentially, I think that's true.

    My theory is:
    In the 1980s, if you had a really big, good double lutz you would try to learn the triple. Very few ladies succeeded.

    If the lutz gave you trouble, you didn't bother trying the triple. If it gave you a lot of trouble and you had easier triples, a good double axel, and good double flip and loop, maybe you filled up your program with those jumps and didn't even bother including double lutzes, except in years when it was required in the short program.

    As of 1990-91, when figures were eliminated, there were maybe 20 ladies in the world, plus or minus, who could do triple lutz, because they were among the few who had had good doubles in the 1980s and made the effort to learn the triple and were successful in that effort. (In addition to the big jumpers named above, that also included Kristi Yamaguchi who didn't have the greatest height or strongest takeoff edge on her lutz but was able to land the triple consistently because of good in-air technique.)

    Jumps were now becoming the deciding factor in who won competitions. And the skaters were no longer spending hours a day perfecting their edges on figure eights any more.

    The top ladies in the world in the immediate post-figures era were doing triple lutzes, and including difficult jumps was the way to get to the top. So getting all the triples up to lutz became the goal for skaters who aspired to senior international success. Many of the ambitious juniors ca. 1991 and 92 were trying it, and by 1993 they were moving up to seniors. By the mid-1990s, five different triples were expected for international senior and even junior medals.

    So the motivation was there to try to get those jumps, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, no matter what, even if one's double lutz technique was iffy. It was considered more valuable to do a so-so triple lutz in the short program than a decent loop or salchow. It was more valuable to plan five different triples, seven triples total with repeats, in the long program than to make sure the takeoffs were perfect on all those triples.

    In the 1980s only great lutzers did triple lutzes. In the 1990s, anyone who could rotate three times in the air was trying triple lutzes. Some did it right and many did it wrong.

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    I like Novice Level and do watch when I go LiVE to Nats. I think the judges should score according to the Rules of the Game. Why should they not? I'd even expect a score on a Spiral instead of a Move-In-Field. However, they do not get the hype a Senior Skater would so I just relax and look for talent. To my surprise there is talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Essentially, I think that's true.

    My theory is:
    In the 1980s, if you had a really big, good double lutz you would try to learn the triple. Very few ladies succeeded.

    If the lutz gave you trouble, you didn't bother trying the triple. If it gave you a lot of trouble and you had easier triples, a good double axel, and good double flip and loop, maybe you filled up your program with those jumps and didn't even bother including double lutzes, except in years when it was required in the short program.

    As of 1990-91, when figures were eliminated, there were maybe 20 ladies in the world, plus or minus, who could do triple lutz, because they were among the few who had had good doubles in the 1980s and made the effort to learn the triple and were successful in that effort. (In addition to the big jumpers named above, that also included Kristi Yamaguchi who didn't have the greatest height or strongest takeoff edge on her lutz but was able to land the triple consistently because of good in-air technique.)

    Jumps were now becoming the deciding factor in who won competitions. And the skaters were no longer spending hours a day perfecting their edges on figure eights any more.

    The top ladies in the world in the immediate post-figures era were doing triple lutzes, and including difficult jumps was the way to get to the top. So getting all the triples up to lutz became the goal for skaters who aspired to senior international success. Many of the ambitious juniors ca. 1991 and 92 were trying it, and by 1993 they were moving up to seniors. By the mid-1990s, five different triples were expected for international senior and even junior medals.

    So the motivation was there to try to get those jumps, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, no matter what, even if one's double lutz technique was iffy. It was considered more valuable to do a so-so triple lutz in the short program than a decent loop or salchow. It was more valuable to plan five different triples, seven triples total with repeats, in the long program than to make sure the takeoffs were perfect on all those triples.

    In the 1980s only great lutzers did triple lutzes. In the 1990s, anyone who could rotate three times in the air was trying triple lutzes. Some did it right and many did it wrong.
    Thanks, gkelly! This is what I have wondered... maybe the rules and the judging system needed time to catch up. I think many of the top ladies these days are frustrated by the sudden emphasis on edge calls and UR dings. I can understand - being trained one way and then realizing in your late teens that you have to redo everything.

    As a plain old fan, I can't claim that I'm at the point where seeing a flutz grates on me. I always look for it - but it doesn't bother me except that I happen to know it's wrong. Maybe the more I watch the more I will come to fully appreciate the difference.

    In any case, my piano and ballet teachers growing up were STICKLERS for technique. No way were I or my fellow students allowed to advance to the next level without mastering proper technique. It certainly grates on my to see a ballet dancer "falling out" of a pirouette (the equivalent of a UR jump I guess ) and such things are NOT NOT acceptable at the top levels of ballet. So deep inside, I don't understand why they should be at the top levels of skating either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    As a plain old fan, I can't claim that I'm at the point where seeing a flutz grates on me. I always look for it - but it doesn't bother me except that I happen to know it's wrong. Maybe the more I watch the more I will come to fully appreciate the difference.
    It only grates on me when there's a big song-and-dance number leading up to it. Not when it's done out of footwork real footwork, that can be lovely and is really hard, but I mean the shortened take-off approach + choreographic hijinks. It always gives me the impression the skater is trying to disguise the fact that they flutz, or just that their lutzes are kind of poo. Who was it that used to do hers off in a corner somewhere it would be harder for the judges to tell? Those kind of antics are just annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    Who was it that used to do hers off in a corner somewhere it would be harder for the judges to tell? Those kind of antics are just annoying.
    I believe it was Sarah Hughes. Gotta thank Robin Wagner for that bit of skullduggery...

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    The skaters know when they are flutzing right? Was there a lot of "Oh I flutzed? I had no idea!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Novice is the lowest of the elite levels (that can qualify for Nationals). You won't see single lutzes there, at least not on purpose. (Sometimes they pop their doubles.) You will see wrong edge takeoffs and underrotated doubles (from the weaker novices) and double axels and triples (from the better but not best jumpers). And they will be penalized. Lots more -GOEs and downgrades on those jumps at novice level than at junior or senior.

    Juvenile and intermediate are what I call the "subelite" levels in the US. They are judged under IJS. Mostly they're doing double jumps, but the weaker jumpers who can't do all the doubles up to lutz may use some intentional singles to fill their jump slots. Double axels are allowed, and triples are allowed in intermediate, but they're rare. Downgrades and -GOEs (for incorrect takeoffs as well as other problems) on double jumps are pretty common at those levels. They see where they lose points so they know what they need to work on.

    Juvenile is usually the level where skaters start doing double lutzes and is also the point where they start getting detailed feedback on their elements in competition in the current scoring system.
    I think you've missed the Juve-Nov recently. Juvenile Junior National medalists will have clean double Axels and the top Intermediates have up to three different triples. Novice ladies is often better than watching Regional level Senior ladies in that they have the bigger jumps and are less likely to wipe. The skater who won our Region had one of everything and a 2/3 (working on 3/3) and ended up 2nd at Sectionals! In fact, triples are now allowed in the Intermediate SP...and they are doing them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    I think you've missed the Juve-Nov recently. Juvenile Junior National medalists will have clean double Axels and the top Intermediates have up to three different triples. Novice ladies is often better than watching Regional level Senior ladies in that they have the bigger jumps and are less likely to wipe.
    I'm not just talking about the national or even regional medalists. I'm talking about the whole field.

    I guess you missed the qualifying rounds?

    Of course, the ones who will eventually make it to Nationals at junior and senior level will also do pretty well at the lower levels. Not that you can always predict which of the good juveniles will go on to elite-level success.

    For the original poster ...

    If you subscribe to IceNetwork, you might want to watch some of the lower levels from regionals to see what kind of skills the skaters have at those levels. I'd recommend an intermediate ladies' qualifying round from a large regional -- there's likely to be a large difference between the best and the worst skater in the group, to give you an idea of the range of ability found at that level.

    If you don't have a subscription and can't watch the videos, it would still be informative to look at some of the protocols. That will tell you what the skaters are attempting and how common it is for them to get < and << and e calls on their jumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    So I've never been to a Novice level competition or Sectionals or Regionals. So I don't really know what the judging is like there. I'm wondering how strict the judges are on edge calls, under rotations and the like.
    I think it's accurate to say that, in general, the technical panels at US Regionals and Sectionals appear to be getting stricter in recent seasons, as evidenced in the detailed protocols. I have links to results/protocols linked from each of the 9 Regionals pages at: http://unseenskaters.wordpress.com/regionals-entries/

    Were chronic flutzers at Sr level flutzing their single lutzes too? And were they called on it?
    2005 US Nationals was the last one judged under 6.0. Four of the 12 ladies from the 2005 Novice Ladies event are competing internationally for the US in the present day -- Rachael Flatt (1st in 2005), Caroline Zhang (4th), Ashley Wagner (7th), and Melissa Bulanhagui (8th). I'm pretty sure Bulanhagui never had a Lutz entry edge issue, while Flatt has worked to fix hers and both Zhang and Wagner are still trying to improve theirs.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 12-09-2010 at 10:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    Who was it that used to do hers off in a corner somewhere it would be harder for the judges to tell?
    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline
    I believe it was Sarah Hughes.
    I think most skaters do their triple Lutz in the "Lutz corner." (Note that Golden Skate has a subforum with that narme. )

    If the judges sit in the middle of the east side, then the two Lutz corners are the southwest and the northeast. I don't think it is to hide from the judges, though. It has to do with ice coverage. Someone explained it to me once, but I forgot the details. Something about the mechanics of the long lead-in and the counter-rotation for a widdershins jumper.

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