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Thread: 'ICE' ISU Open Pro-Am series planned for 2012 (Scott Hamilton's brainchild)

  1. #61
    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    [...]

    I think they could in fact do a very minimal modification of CoP scoring and still make it fair. If it is free skating only (as suggested in the ISU Communication), then they would not have to worry about Short Program requirements like a jump combination. An Axel requirement would not cause any harm -- do a triple if you can, otherwise a double.

    I agree with eliminating the levels for spins and footwork and allowing the judges to use GOE to reward the wow factor on these elemetns. Cut down the jumping passes to four for men and three for ladies, and shorten the program to the length of a typical popular song. (Four-and-a-half minutes exceeds my attention span anyway. )

    So here is the test. Would Sasha Cohen have a chance to beat Yu-na Kim in such a format? Suppose Yu-na did 3Lz+3T, 3F and 2A and Sasha did 3S, 3S+2T and 2A. Sasha starts to pick up ground with her I-spin and fan spiral. The five program component scores come in (no need to modify that part)...
    How are Sasha's jumps these days? Last time she competed at the 2010 US Nationals, her jumps were mostly two-footed. Some of the ICE eligible ladies haven't been competing in years. I remember Michelle Kwan did a 3Toe and 2Axels in the ATS LA show.

    The only woman from the earlier era who seems to have kept most of her jumps is Shizuka Arakawa (at least in exhibitions, I've seen her do 3x3's).

  2. #62
    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    They can only compete in comps sanctioned by the ISU if they want to maintain their eligibility.

    It's up to the ISU to decide whether they want to sanction any comps that use a different scoring system from that used in regular eligible competition.
    Thanks for the info! That's good to know that there is the possibility of show competitions that don't use the COP. Have there been ISU-sanctioned competitions that don't use the COP? I seem to recall there was some Japanese show competition where the results were determined by public voting. Would that count?

    If they don't have to use the COP for a pro-am, they really shouldn't. The COP requires too much commitment and investment, especially on the part of skaters who no longer compete. Besides, I would like to see skaters compete with programs that aren't the usual COP-fare.

    What I would really, really love is regular pro-am competitions where skaters have to use their show/gala program. I haven't worked out exactly how the scoring/ranking will be done, but there should be an emphasis given to entertaining/captivating an audience. Perhaps it would encourage some skaters to work harder on their show programs and come up with better stuff (looking at you, Yuna Kim), while rewarding other skaters who put their heart and soul into brilliant gala programs season after season (like Daisuke Takahashi).

  3. #63
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    About "sanctioning" events, the big deal to the ISU seems to be that the competition must be "conducted by ISU recognized and approved officials (referees, technical controllers, technical specialists, judges, competition stewards (i.e. people in charge of data entry and video replays), and others." (ISU Constitution, page 83).

    In other words, they don't want events that turn the "ISU brand" into a silly farce, like celebrity judges and audience voting.

    Here is the provision for ISU "Open International Competitions" (Constitution and General Rule, page 100):

    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vnavsite/pa...v-list,00.html

    Not much there, but in the paragraph preceding on "Medal Winners' Competitions" it talks about allowing different formats and technical requirements from the standard CoP.

    I do think that the ISU is fully committed to the IJS as the judging system for the sport of figure skating. So I think that the most likely modification would be something fewer jumping passes.

    I agree that the pro ladies are in a bind here. Even a just-retired skater like Rochette would have to make a big committment to keep the tech up. Kwan wouldn't do it (bigger fish to fry), and I doubt if Slutskaya would either.

    In the men, they could relax the "last ten years" rule and invite people like Kulik, Weiss and Eldredge -- oldies but goodies who can still jump.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-14-2011 at 09:41 PM.

  4. #64
    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    In the men, they could relax the "last ten years" rule and invite people like Kulik, Weiss and Eldredge -- oldies but goodies who can still jump.
    ^ Yours truly would love this! Duh!

  5. #65
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I do think that the ISU is fully committed to the IJS as the judging system for the sport of figure skating. So I think that the most likely modification would be something fewer jumping passes.

    .
    Can you give your reasons for this statement?

    Fear of IOC banning figure skating from the Olympics due to the continued excessive politicing from several key federations would certainly be a reason to keep the IJS with it's anonymous judging in place.

    Lack of public interest in the "sport" of figure skating should always be a concern for ISU because no matter how great they think the IJS is the public doesn't seem to buy it and thus the lack of TV revenues continues in many of the traditional major markets.

    Why would any organization remain dedicated to a system that a majority of the casual fans find so unattractive?

    Do some of you believe casual fans are not smart enough to smell the stink from the anonymous judging system?

    Until skating cleans itself up it will continue to be a fourth tier sport rarely shown on TV and barely considered more than a pageant in the eyes of many.

    Real sports typically have real and verifiable accountabilty.

    Darts yes, skating....hmmm, not so sure anymore.

  6. #66
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Can you give your reasons for this statement?
    Not really, it is just my reading of the ISU's words and actions.

    Every year the ISU conducts elaborate reviews of the judging system, but considers only inconsequential changes like raising the value of a triple Axel from 7.5 to 7.8 or tweaking the rules on under-rotated jumps.The CoP concept was in the works long before Salt Lake City and was the brainchild and intended legacy of Cinquanta and David Dore. Nothing that the ISU brass has ever said or done leads me to think that they believe that they are on the wrong track.

    Lack of public interest in the "sport" of figure skating should always be a concern for ISU because no matter how great they think the IJS is the public doesn't seem to buy it and thus the lack of TV revenues continues in many of the traditional major markets.

    Why would any organization remain dedicated to a system that a majority of the casual fans find so unattractive?
    I don't think the ISU sees it this way. I don't think they blame the scoring system for the decline of interest in skating.

    The ISU's response to declining interest has not been to change the scoring system, but to try various marketing ideas like the World Team Trophy, the Olympic Team Event, and now this pro-am concept, and by buffing up the Grand Prix and Four Continents in minor ways.

    Do some of you believe casual fans are not smart enough to smell the stink from the anonymous judging system?
    I think this is a separate issue from that of Code of Points judging versus ordinals or some other system. Under any scoring system you still have the choice of going anonymous or not.

    I believe that the ISU will drop anonymous judging (it has already been dropped in some of the lesser competitions and in some national competitions), but as for the CoP itself, I believe that, for better or for worse, the ISU is pretty well dug in.

  7. #67
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Not really, it is just my reading of the ISU's words and actions.

    Every year the ISU conducts elaborate reviews of the judging system, but considers only inconsequential changes like raising the value of a triple Axel from 7.5 to 7.8 or tweaking the rules on under-rotated jumps.The CoP concept was in the works long before Salt Lake City and was the brainchild and intended legacy of Cinquanta and David Dore. Nothing that the ISU brass has ever said or done leads me to think that they believe that they are on the wrong track.



    I don't think the ISU sees it this way. I don't think they blame the scoring system for the decline of interest in skating.

    The ISU's response to declining interest has not been to change the scoring system, but to try various marketing ideas like the World Team Trophy, the Olympic Team Event, and now this pro-am concept, and by buffing up the Grand Prix and Four Continents in minor ways.



    I think this is a separate issue from that of Code of Points judging versus ordinals or some other system. Under any scoring system you still have the choice of going anonymous or not.

    I believe that the ISU will drop anonymous judging (it has already been dropped in some of the lesser competitions and in some national competitions), but as for the CoP itself, I believe that, for better or for worse, the ISU is pretty well dug in.
    All good thoughts - but I would feel better (along with several hundred thousand/million fans) if we could see how the judges are voting.

    This system now feels like little more than a way for notorius Canandian judges to run rampant with unchecked cheating.

    And of course the trading off of votes is virtually undetectable which is probably part of the trade-off Speedy and the Canadian chooch made to keep in power.

    Why are you so trusting and accepting of a system run by CONFESSED cheaters??

    Perhaps your own sporting experience is so limited as to not think a better way exists.

    Believe me, it does and as long as the IJS refuses to be accountable to the fans the fans will LOOK ELSEWHERE for Winter Sports.

    NBC based it's winning bid on showcasing Winter sports and in every article I read Figure skating was NOT a factor.

    Don't expect to see more skating on US TV until the manipulation is greatly reduced.

  8. #68
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I have no idea that the ISU reviews the judging procedures every year. There is so much to revise the two prong scoring. Among the reasons for lack of interest in the Sport is the judging system. They have not changed that whatsoever. The complicated system has driven many a fan away from Figure Skating. I doubt anyone took the trouble to learn this current system except some fan fanatics.

    It takes a Panel of Three to advise the Judges what they've seen or should have seen.

    They have disallowed points for many jumps, i.e. Walley, One foot Axel, Inside Axel, etc. They insist on convoluted Spins, the footwork all look the same according to the system. Nothing original or innovative can be evaluated without a base value.


    Muscic permeates throughout a program, and how well the skater uses it is second only to the layout of the program. Some fans see a bit of artistry in the skaters' performances. They are the lucky ones. Others look for Sport but it must be understood.

    Can a revise Cop work better?

  9. #69
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    This thread has taken a different turn from the original question, which was "what minor modifications in the CoP would produce a format that works for a contest including both current eligibles and recently retired stars."

    As to the broader question -- just how bad does the CoP suck anyway? -- I think the position of the ISU is this. The purpose of the ISU is to govern the sport of international figure skating. It is not the ISU's job to stage Ice Capades and Disney on Ice.

    The basis of the CoP is that athletes earn points according to the difficulty and quality of various feats of agility, strength, training and talent. This (so the ISU believes) is more in keeping with the concept of sport than a system of ordinal placements based simply on "which performance did the judges like best."

    About the decline in popularity of skating in the U.S., I am far from an expert observer of social trends, but IMHO the choice of scoring system one way or another is way down the list of factors. For various reasons skating hit an unnatural peak in the mid-nineties and has been gradually subsiding to normal levels over the last fifteen years. Occasionally an Ice Princess like Peggy Fleming or Dorothy Hamill would come along and grab the public's attention, but that was about it.

    I guess I just can't get my Chicken Little worked up ("the sky is falling") over one judging system versus another.

  10. #70
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    ^^^
    I have no idea that the ISU reviews the judging procedures every year. There is so much to revise the two prong scoring. Among the reasons for lack of interest in the Sport is the judging system. They have not changed that whatsoever. The complicated system has driven many a fan away from Figure Skating. I doubt anyone took the trouble to learn this current system except some fan fanatics.

    It takes a Panel of Three to advise the Judges what they've seen or should have seen.

    They have disallowed points for many jumps, i.e. Walley, One foot Axel, Inside Axel, etc. They insist on convoluted Spins, the footwork all look the same according to the system. Nothing original or innovative can be evaluated without a base value.


    Muscic permeates throughout a program, and how well the skater uses it is second only to the layout of the program. Some fans see a bit of artistry in the skaters' performances. They are the lucky ones. Others look for Sport but it must be understood.

    Can a revise Cop work better?
    Yes, I think a revised CoP that is more fan friendly can work.

    At the moment 154 means nothing to casual (90%) of the TV fans.

    Some argue that 5.7 meanns nothing but they are either lying (sorry Pogue) to defend the CoP or just out of touch with what it means to be a casual fan.

    Comparitive scores with lower values (5.8 vs 154) are not just easier to relate to but when compared across a board of judges identified by their federation the difference is astronomical IMO.

    I have followed skating for many years and can see how the CoP (not the concept of "total skating" ) but the way it is presented to the public is the number one reason for the lack of interest in skating in USA and most of Europe.

    The system conceptually is better than 6.0 but the way it is handled with the casual fans is an absolute disaster.

    And that is why we don't see it on TV anymore although we can see enough Darts, beach vollyball, Nascar, etc to boggle the mind.

    Wondering just what it is that makes CoP skating SO OFFENSIVE for most viewers to watch

    Snobbery is not the answer because even snobs should hope to see a sport they love flourish and prosper as opposed to failing and dissapearing from TV broadcasts.

    So what is it about the CoP that is so offensive and TV prohibitive??

  11. #71
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Your last sentence is the crux of the matter. The popularity of the Sport has certainly diminished in America and maybe even World Wide except for Russia. Sad that the Jewel in the Crown of the Winter Olympics has been relegated to Late Night TV in the eastern USA. The blame can not be laid to NBC, but to the ISU which has done nothing about it. NBC picked up a new Snow Princess in Down Hill Skiing. NBC is a profit making organization and hires and fires based on that concept. It owes nothing to the uberfan who don't purchase any of their advertisements. The less than uberfan who enjoyed the spectacle of figure skating and understool the 6.0 system have dwindled in numbers, I had a tough time understanding Cricket until I went to a game in London with an English friend who gave me side by side plays.

    What is so uncomfortable about naming who the Judges are? If they have the power of their convictions, their names should be revealed. But the ISU does nothing at all about diminishing viewers to the Sport. It's complicated and many fans will not learn it, and therefore disappear from the TV set. Those cooked up summer cheesefests wont do it except for those who adore the figure skating artistry.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Wondering just what it is that makes CoP skating SO OFFENSIVE for most viewers to watch
    Snobbery is not the answer because even snobs should hope to see a sport they love flourish and prosper as opposed to failing and dissapearing from TV broadcasts.
    So what is it about the CoP that is so offensive and TV prohibitive??
    I have theories that I could expand upon at length, in another thread.

    In summary, I'd say that the casual fan -- someone who tunes in to watch skating on TV once every four year up to maybe four times in one year -- is not interested in skating as a technical sport and is not interested in putting any extra effort into learning more than what they can pick up through listening to TV commentary at the few competitions they watch months or years apart.

    They're interested in what they can see with their own eyes: Did the skater move gracefully? Did they express the music? Did they fall or make other obvious mistakes? Did they try the hardest jumps (according to the commentators) and did they succeed? Did they skate with confidence and (as far as can be told on TV) speed? Are they charismatic on the ice?

    Some casual fans may be most interested in enjoying the performances as dances; others may be most interested in the obvious athletic risks.

    It's possible to summarize those aspects of a performance into two marks for technical merit and artistic impression and to use them to rank skaters. It's often easy to have obvious rankings for small groups of skaters. If only 3-6 competitors per discipline are shown, even casual fans who can't tell an inside edge from a toepick can have an opinion on how to rank those skaters.

    If you only watch the top skaters and know that 6.0 (or 10.0) is the maximum score, then it's easy to use numbers in the 5.0-5.9 (or 9.0-9.9) range to rank those top skaters according to your perception of what is the possible best. Even casual fans can play along at home.

    Judges care about all those things too, so often the judges rankings match the rankings that a casual viewer would arrive at. Fans feel competent and knowledgeable at picking the winners.

    Judges also care about many more picky technical details and always have. So sometimes the results are surprising to casual viewers but fair to knowledgeable viewers.

    Or where there is room for disagreement, the controversies can be interesting especially where medal results are involved. It can be fun to second-guess the judges or debate with other fans.

    With the IJS, there are a lot of details reflected in the scoring protocols that are of interest only to participants and diehard fans. The casual fan's eyes would glaze over if television tried to show every score for every element and component, and it would take time away from showing more skating. So they just summarize the scores into one number that doesn't give much information. Since the details of how the numbers were arrived at aren't shown on TV, fans who learn about skating only through TV don't learn how to interpret those numbers and find them mysterious. Only a few will go beyond the TV coverage to come to websites like this, or attend live competitions in person, to learn about the sport at more than a casual level. TV networks need the eyes of the masses, not the dedicated few, so they tailor their broadcasts for the casual fan who doesn't want to have to study to enjoy watching the sport. But then they don't understand the scores so it's less satisfying then when they could come up with scores in the same range as the judges under the old system.

    That said, I watched the ladies short program from US Nationals on Ice Network with my 11-year-old niece who is only casually interested in skating, and over the course of ~20 skaters she got pretty good at predicting the final scores each skater would receive. Watching the whole field rather than just the top few gives a better context for understanding the final numbers. But it takes more time than the casual viewer is willing to invest.

    I think the TV networks should do a better job of pointing casual viewers to the information, and sources of information, that would allow them to become informed viewers and enjoy the kind of nitpicking over edges we engage in here. Most won't bother, but at least they'll have a better idea of the level of detail by which skating is and really always actually has been judged.

    And yes, I am a snob in the sense that I care about the details of skating technique that require more than a casual interest to appreciate. I think that the ISU should make its decisions based first on what best serves the athletes who devote their lives to mastering the sport, not for what is most fun for the once-a-year viewer to watch. (And no, I don't always agree with the decisions that they make.)

    I definitely don't want to see the sport centered around the athlete's control of blades on ice no longer exists at the elite level because all the elite skaters are coopted into performing casual fan-friendly entertainment programs instead.

    If pro or pro-am competitions can offer a venue for that kind of entertainment without replacing the serious sport, then everybody wins.

  13. #73
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lambel is making money with or without ISU approval. Good for him.

    The old fans of competitive cheesfests are really getting into this. They need a summer rush sitting in front of a TV set and oggling a somewhat competititve disson-like show without the holiday greetings.

    Unless there is a nice high compensation for entering this capade, I doubt top skaters present day or retired will go for it. Who will pay the airfare, lodging, local transportation, and food bills of those who give it a try? Someone like Javier Fernandez will need 3 round trip airfares. I don't know if the comps will run in consecutive weeks.

    I hope the logistics work out for all concerned. It's a nice summer repast. Will a network buy it?

  14. #74
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Unless there is a nice high compensation for entering this capade, I doubt top skaters present day or retired will go for it.
    I think it will take about $100,000 per skater to guarantee the kind of cast they are hoping for. We'll have to wait and see if the organizers can raise the money.

    Who will pay the airfare, lodging, local transportation, and food bills of those who give it a try?
    The company fronted by Hamilton and including the CEOs of the Goldwater Group and Red Brick Sports (Rob Dustin's company), in co-ordination with the three hosting National Federations. There is no ISU money involved.

    Someone like Javier Fernandez will need 3 round trip airfares.
    Fernandez does not qualify to participate under the propsed rules.

    I don't know if the comps will run in consecutive weeks.
    Yes.

    I hope the logistics work out for all concerned. It's a nice summer repast. Will a network buy it?
    I hope so, too. No dates have been set. One announcement said some time in the 2011-12 season and the other said it would be in 2012. I think they shoudl try for either Spring, 2012 after worlds or fall, 2012 before the Grand Prix.

    As for television contracts, that's the whole ball game right there. The team has a lot of television savvy (Dustin has worked for CBS on Olympic coverage, for instance). If the finale is in Japan, that should be the easiest to arrange, using IMG. A tougher sell in North America. Maybe Russia would be interested in hosting the European leg, especially if Plushenko or Gachinski participate.

    The venture will rise or fall with the TV contract, but I wish them well.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-16-2011 at 07:31 PM.

  15. #75
    Yuna's Ice Rink cooper's Avatar
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    if this is an IMG sponsored event.. i doubt Yuna will even participate or get the invitation.

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