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Thread: One Artistic, One Tecnical Program = Championship

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    One Artistic, One Tecnical Program = Championship

    OK...here's a suggestion, for what it's worth. Instead of judging competitive figure skating programs on both technical and artistic merit -- why not have two long programs -- one of which will be scored ONLY on technical content (what was actually completed) and another program which will be scored ONLY on artistic merit?

    The technical skate would be limited to a maximum of 1 quad, 5 triples, 2 combinations, 3 doubles, 3 spins, 1 combination spin, and one set of footwork. Jumps could not be repeated, even in combination. Perhaps this would inspire the skaters to pace themselves thru the program and deliver the elements cleanly. Granted, the programs would be packed!

    The artistic skate would be limited to a maximum of 4 jumps - triples, doubles, and one required single - and would include spins, footwork, and choreography. Maybe that would be too limited for the elite skaters.

    Oh well, it is just a suggestion. It might not be reasonable of feasible.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    A way to go even farther -- Joesitz is a big supporter of this idea -- is to have the technical program be just a sequence of technical elements, with no music and no performance aspect.

    About the scoring for the artistic program, it might not be necessary to have a fixed limit on the number of jumps. You could just say that jumps are scored not by technical difficulty but by how well they accent the music and support the choreography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverpond View Post
    OK...here's a suggestion, for what it's worth. Instead of judging competitive figure skating programs on both technical and artistic merit -- why not have two long programs -- one of which will be scored ONLY on technical content (what was actually completed) and another program which will be scored ONLY on artistic merit?
    This is more or less the way many pro competitions were structured in the 1990s (and before and a little bit after?).

    Then there were also the ISU-sanctioned pro-ams or interpretive competitions, most of which had a standard short program and an interpretive program similar to what you describe as the artistic program.

    The artistic-only program would never fly with the IOC as an Olympic sport on its own or as part of a combined championship. So if the ISU does want to go this route, it should be a separate series.

    I think that kind of format would be great for a competition circuit that serves a similar purpose: getting together former and/or current top skaters who have already proven themselves athletically, already made a name for themselves and developed a fan following, some of whom may be past their athletic prime but better than ever artistically. A good way for fans to see more of skaters they're already emotionally invested in -- it can probably attract more fans and therefore more TV and sponsorship dollars than pure sport -- therefore if sponsored by the ISU it can be a good way to bring in more money to fund all figure skating activities. For older skaters it can be a way to show how well they've kept up their athletic skills and how much they've grown as artists. For younger skaters it can be a way to stretch themselves artistically and develop presentation skills that will help them in standard freestyle competition if they also continue to compete on that track.

    Maybe it would be invitational only to skaters who had already proven themselves among the elite with ISU and Olympic medals. Or maybe it would be a whole track in which artistically inclined skaters could work their way up from junior level and below and there could eventually be a world championships of artistic skating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    About the scoring for the artistic program, it might not be necessary to have a fixed limit on the number of jumps. You could just say that jumps are scored not by technical difficulty but by how well they accent the music and support the choreography.
    Yeah. If we want to brainstorm we could discuss an appropriate way to score artistic programs, whether there should be more than one phase to an artistic skating competition, and what each phase should consist of.

    Maybe there should be some way for performing arts experts and/or audiences to participate in the scoring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The artistic-only program would never fly with the IOC as an Olympic sport on its own or as part of a combined championship.
    And that observation puts the stake through the heart of all our discussions about how to make figure skating more popular with audiences.

    No Olympic sport is popular (although a few popular sports have been added to the Olympics, like hockey and basketball). Skating does not seem able to sustain a pro circuit (somewhere between competitive skating and the Ice Capades), so...

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    The artistic side of skating is so subjective that competitions based on "artistic" merits would do nothing but create unhappy fans. The only aspect of skating that has any chance of being judged neutrally is the athletic side. I think the CoP makes a good effort at trying to confine the "artistic" side of skating as an "add-on" to the core athletics. In other words, the technical score forms the core of the judging to which an artistic merit bonus is then added. Competitions must be judged in a way that the majority of fans can agree with the results. While one hears lots of screaming about results on individual skater's fan sites, the "silent majority" of skating fans can normally recognize the "best" overall skaters I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    And that observation puts the stake through the heart of all our discussions about how to make figure skating more popular with audiences.

    No Olympic sport is popular (although a few popular sports have been added to the Olympics, like hockey and basketball). Skating does not seem able to sustain a pro circuit (somewhere between competitive skating and the Ice Capades), so...
    That is a good observation.

    I think to some fans skating is just as much of a sport as soccer, hockey, basketball, etc and I could even add gymnastics.

    But from an American perspective skaters like Peggy, Janet, Dorothy through to Michelle and Sasha were valued by fans in USA for the beauty of ther skating.

    This bit about the CoP suddenly making skating more like other sports has little appeal to a broad base of casual fans. Skating once was very popular because it wasn't like other sports.

    I don't think people ever tuned in to see Janet or Michelle, and I could add Randy and Tai, Scott and Brian B perform astonishing feats of athletic strength and skill.

    It is a bit of a paradox because top skaters do show terrific athletic skill but fans watched because of the artistry and music and never because they could make a spin turn 8 times or rotate a triple jump all the way as opposed to only two and 3/4 rotations.

    Spirals were loved when they flowed with the music and not because they were held for a length of time and in different and often unattactive contorted positions.

    Too much of what the CoP values so highly is of little interest to casual fans who used to watch Olympic skating and Pro skating events.

    I would be willing to bet that if 100 casual fans watched Sarah's Olympic LP and then Miki's 2011 Worlds LP they would prefer Sarah's skating.

    If they were to watch Mao's new exhibition they might sigh and wish they saw more skating like that as they wondered "where is Michelle these days?"
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-06-2011 at 07:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverpond View Post
    The technical skate would be limited to a maximum of 1 quad, 5 triples, 2 combinations, 3 doubles, 3 spins, 1 combination spin, and one set of footwork. Jumps could not be repeated, even in combination. Perhaps this would inspire the skaters to pace themselves thru the program and deliver the elements cleanly. Granted, the programs would be packed!

    The artistic skate would be limited to a maximum of 4 jumps - triples, doubles, and one required single - and would include spins, footwork, and choreography. Maybe that would be too limited for the elite skaters.
    The artistic program would be the perfect field for judges' cheating. Much better one than the current Program Components. Just a paradise for cheating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    The artistic program would be the perfect field for judges' cheating. Much better one than the current Program Components. Just a paradise for cheating.
    This was also said about compulsory figures. It is also said about anonymous judging and the PCS. It could be said about any part of skating regardless of the system.

    Believe it or not, Mishin has said he liked 6.0 better for judging presentation. He said it was not so easy to measure the artistic components separately and at times it was the effect of the whole program you felt in your heart.

    We could see this if we were to judge Yags and Chan using 6.0. Under that system Yagudin's artistry would be hard for Chan to match. Chan's programs might be more technical but they can't match Yags when it comes to creating that special intangible feeling.

    Call it soul or skating wih heart but Yags had more of it. The CoP not only devalues this but doesn't know how to "measure it."

    It is comparitive and what made skating special at times.
    You could love the Duchesnays or hate them. But you can't measure them.
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-06-2011 at 05:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    I would be willing to bet that if 100 casual fans watched Sarah's Olympic LP and then Miki's 2011 Worlds LP they would prefer Sarah's skating.
    Yeah, but a fairer comparison would be Sarah's vs Miki's SP. Miki's is superior, IMO, but watching Sarah reminds me how much it matters in this sport to be an adorable youngster. Some talk about skating as a beauty pageant, but youthful exuberance beats beauty. We can all think, "I too was young once...."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Yeah, but a fairer comparison would be Sarah's vs Miki's SP. Miki's is superior, IMO, but watching Sarah reminds me how much it matters in this sport to be an adorable youngster. Some talk about skating as a beauty pageant, but youthful exuberance beats beauty. We can all think, "I too was young once...."
    Fair points and someone like gkelly can come back with othe comparisons that might make a strong case for the CoP.

    Neither Sarah or Miki won the SP at the events I mentioned and I thought since they won with their LP that seemed like a fair enough comparison.

    And what of Mao's new exhibiton program? Do you think if enough former fans from USA saw that program (which is so remiscent of the best 6.0 skating) they would be impressed? Maybe enough to watch more skating this season in the hopes of seeing more beautifully expressive skating?

    Here is a refresher course for those too young to remember or who maybe have forgotten why skating became so popular in USA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCYCvsnkVbY

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Believe it or not, Mishin has said he liked 6.0 better for judging presentation. He said it was not so easy to measure the artistic components separately and at times it was the effect of the whole program you felt in your heart.
    No judging presentation in the current system is just the result of cowardness.

    I agree with Mishin's idea of judging the program as the whole artistic unit. The program is a picture on the ice. Judging separately right and left corners of the picture, or how the master used the light colors and the dark colors, or... Well,...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    A way to go even farther -- Joesitz is a big supporter of this idea -- is to have the technical program be just a sequence of technical elements, with no music and no performance aspect.

    About the scoring for the artistic program, it might not be necessary to have a fixed limit on the number of jumps. You could just say that jumps are scored not by technical difficulty but by how well they accent the music and support the choreography.
    With all respect to Joesitz, a technical program without music would be more or less a "test" of skating - sort of like taking a test to proceed to the senior level.

    Yes, I remember the pro-am competitions of the 1990s, which featured past champions and current champions in routines with a limit of three triples. That way, most of the skaters were at the same level, and it was very interesting to see how they performed and maintained their technical skills, a well as interpreted the music. IMHO, some of the professional skaters were better skaters after they turned pro - they still performed the technical moves, and their artistry was far improved, perhaps due to maturity and their exposure to performing before live audiences.

    Do you remember Paul Wylie's great program to "Why, God?" from "Miss Saigon?". STANDING OVATION, PAUL!!!

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    Again, I say artistic achievement is in the eye of the beholder, there is nothing objective about it. Silverpond loves Paul Wylie's program to "Why, God?" but someone else might find it boring. Who is to say which is right? Nobody can because there is no "right" here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    Again, I say artistic achievement is in the eye of the beholder, there is nothing objective about it. Silverpond loves Paul Wylie's program to "Why, God?" but someone else might find it boring. Who is to say which is right? Nobody can because there is no "right" here.
    That's what they have judges for. To decide what they think is better.

    CoP has tech panels. They make very subjective calls at times and we see many times we disagree with them.

    Scott showed instant replay to start of a show on NBC making the point that the tech panel, in a very subjective call was wrong. He said totally wrong and implied it was a political call.

    Maybe Scott was wrong. Who is to say. I think Scott was 100% correct and it was a political call, the type of which CoP makes all the time, according to skating legend Toller Cranston.

    Nothing wrong with arguing about judging as at least it shows there is still some life left in figure skating .
    And that some fans don't blindly follow or believe everything they see just because ISU wants us to think the way they do.
    Last edited by janetfan; 08-06-2011 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    Again, I say artistic achievement is in the eye of the beholder, there is nothing objective about it. Silverpond loves Paul Wylie's program to "Why, God?" but someone else might find it boring. Who is to say which is right? Nobody can because there is no "right" here.
    Respectfully, I disagree completely. It is undeniable that judging artistic merit has an element of subjectivity, but saying there is nothing objective about it is much too strong. As a (rather extreme) example, take these two programs:

    Yu-Na Kim, 2007 Worlds SP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bYtM0vmtkM)

    Evgeni Plushenko, 2001 GPF LP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztAA0GpCCKg)

    Both use parts of the same music (Tango de Roxanne), but I think we can safely and fairly objectively say that one program is superior to another on an artistic level. In Yu-Na's program, I see a coherent attempt to create a character/mood on the ice, and the moves are timed to accentuate the nuances of the music. The elements are integrated within the music and the program as a whole and seem to flow naturally from the notes.

    Plushenko's program? Just skip to the Tango de Roxanne portion to compare how he uses the music with Yu-Na. Here there is mostly wiggling, posing, and engaging with the music on a mostly superficial level.

    IMO, one can validly say that they PREFER Plushenko's program on a personal level, but saying that the artistic merit of Plushenko's program surpasses Yu-Na's is absurd.

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