Question one: Why don't I view the judging at Skate Canada a farce.
Answer: Because it's been demonstrated time and time and time again that the way the judges marked Chan, they're marking all skaters. So you can argue that COP is a farce in general (which Hernando, I know you believe, and that's a different argument all together), but to specify that Skate Canada's marking was out of line (as a number of people, including people who seem quite knowledgeable) requires more than mere assertion. It requires people to look at the scores demonstrate that SC was in fact incomparable to any other event.
Point one: People have claimed Patrick Chan has been overmarked in Japan (WTT 2009), Canada (Olympics, Skate Canadas), Russia (CoR 2010), China (GPF 10) and Italy (Worlds 2010). These are the events that I can go look at the threads here, and come up with at least three people who believe this. He's always overmarked. If this is the case, why should SC be any different?
Point two: And this is the important one. PCS (where people complain the most) are not about the elements. Period. So, for Hernando, it's a demonstration of poor skating skills to fall on a step sequence. And I think we can all agree with that in general terms: step sequences are purely about blade to the ice (ie skating) and falls on them do not demonstrate good skating skills. However, for COP, it's a fall on an ELEMENT. So it doesn't matter if it's a jump, a spiral, a spin, etc. But just in case you don't believe me, lets examine this further.
Savchenko/Szolkowy PCS for the LP
8.57 8.21 8.57 8.79 8.89
8.50 8.04 8.57 8.50 8.64
8.54 8.32 8.64 8.57 8.75
8.18 7.89 8.36 8.32 8.39
Which PCS corresponds to the event where Savchenko lost the spin, stood around waiting for the element to be over, and went on skating? Can you tell? I can't and I just copied all these numbers over and should remember. (For those wondering, it's the third one).
Or, we can compare Mirai Nagasu's PCS in her programs at US Nationals. Now, lets be honest, PCS can differ from short and long, but go check out her scores (Here). I'll give you a hint. The one where she whiffed the spin was the one where she demonstrated better .... well, everything.
But, "ImaginaryPogue, Aliona didn't fall. Mirai didn't fall. She didn't resemble a human zamboni, so those numbers aren't applicable. Can you demonstrate that with falls?" I hear you ask. Lets find out.
The challenge here is to find performances with a difference of multiple falls. And while Chan reigns supreme in the difference (3 falls, 1 fall, no falls; 1 fall, 3 falls, no falls in international competition), he's not the only top skater with multiple falls.
Nobunari Oda, LP
7.96 7.14 7.43 7.50 7.11 SC
8.29 7.71 7.89 8.04 7.89 SA
8.14 7.64 7.68 7.93 7.93 GPF
Can you identify which belongs to Skate Canada, America (one fall each) and the GPF? Highlight beside the PCS to find out which belongs to which.
Daisuke Takahashi, LP
8.32 7.93 7.64 8.36 8.25 GPF
8.39 7.93 8.36 8.50 8.61 NHK
8.46 8.29 8.46 8.61 8.68 USA
8.29 7.82 8.43 8.32 8.57 4CC
Again, the variation isn't broad despite falls and/or multiple mistakes on elements.
Carolina Kostner scored better PCS at Euros where she had a fall than at the GPF where she didn't. Kanako Murakami scored only THREE POINTS MORE in her PCS for a clean skate vs one where she had three falls (USA vs NHK). Denis Ten scored higher for a skate with FIVE falls than he did with a skate that had three falls.
But here's the kicker, and perhaps my favourite
Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam SD: the marking at CoR was such that it led one of our most esteemed posters to mention: "Skate Canada marking not happening here," clearly agreeing with Hernando that SC was outrageously marked. But if we check the PCS, we see...
SC (no falls, major stumble on element): 5.79 5.75 5.82 6.07 5.54
CoR (one element fall, two other ded'tn):5.93 5.68 5.64 5.86 5.68
So, in Russia, a just-up-from juniors Canadian team scored virtually the same with a skate with considerably more flaws. In Russia.
Hernando, I know - "COP Voodoo." But it's not. It's looking at the numbers. It's not magic. It's not mystery. It's not speculation. It's not Skate Canada bribing the world to mark Canadian skaters differently than others. It's not witchcraft, zombiedom, vampirism, occultism, quantum math, theoretical physics, micro-epistemological calculus or any other dismissive name you want to label it (and will label it in the future).
You don't have to agree with it. I don't. I don't like the fact that PCS attempts to mark as if the elements don't exist (because elements are part of a program, so why shouldn't they be part of program component scores). I do think that a clean skate should be rewarded, and I'm not entirely convinced that COP does so properly. I'd like to see a broader range accepted within the PCS themselves and performance to performance, should it be so needed.
Your go: can you explain why Skate Canada's marking was a farce?