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Thread: All Things Ice Dance: Canadian

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    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    All Things Ice Dance: Canadian

    Mods, I'm restarting this, but please amalgamate with the old thread if you prefer ( it's already quite long)

    After a number of very excellent and interesting posts on the Canadian Nationals Ice Dance competition threads and various post-competition discussions across other threads and forums ( which are bound to fade as successive competitions approach ), I felt I wanted to keep the discussion going , not only in light of the respective finishes at National's and the upcoming 4CC and World's, but in general as well.

    Here's a quote from one of ImaginaryPogue's posts on the Free dance thread that gets to the crux of the situation , for me. ( I've used bold text to stress what pertains to dance. The italics are 'Pogue's ) ..

    "b) In this case (G/P, Patrick Chan) there seems to be a more specific intent in the scoring, moreso than Nationals inflation. Plain-jane Nationals inflation - we saw that with Duhamel/Radford's skates. They'll be above 120 w/ a clean skate, but not that close to 130. You can even make the argument that Chan will break his own record with those skates (I'm not convinced), but there seemed to be a goal - get G/P on the podium, get Chan 300."

    It's like the old saying about Caesar's wife..not only must she be above reproach , she must be seen to be above reproach. As Caesar's wife , Skate Canada and this judging panel appear to make a great scarlet woman with a shady past.

    Even if there was no intent, the inexplicable , unbelievable bronze finish of G/P guarantees speculation and suspicion that somewhere , intent must have been at work ...or that this judging panel was particularly gullible and susceptible to hype. And if either possibility exists , what will it mean for our athletes going forward ?

    These athletes have all invested a great portion of their lives in the pursuit their sport ; their competitive careers are relatively short , and they risk career ending injury daily. As others have said before me , the very least they deserve is to be able to trust in fair judging and a fair competition. Neither the judging nor the competition schedule at Nationals this year afforded them that.

    If I was one of these athletes ( with the exception of G/P) I'd be very depressed about my prospects. Of course, I do hope to see them all emulate the attitude W/P displayed last year ..just work to perfect your own performance , so that you can't be denied . That's all they can do , after all ... even though that disgraceful 100+ score for G/P would seem to imply that there are no limits to the amount of preference or over-evaluation G/P will be shown , nationally. ( Unless there's a backlash , which I truly hope there will be )....I further hope that some of the annual changes in Ice Dance rules help prevent a repetition of what we've just seen.

    So, with this cloud over the scene, and despite it , what do we hope for some of these teams ? What can they do ? What should they do ? Just some initial thoughts...

    For R/H .. I would wish for them to get out from under. Change schools and continue to address their posture issues. Realize there's quite a bit of luck involved in their trip to World's ( see FD scores).

    For P/I .. I hope they are even stronger by 4CC. I'd wish for a different SD costume. It's a pretty dress, but because their SD is more restrained than most , it cries out for colour, just as the FD did. After being plagued by injury , do they need to rethink strength regimen ? ( I really don't know that much about their regimen ). I think they'd benefit from more of a group training environment, but don't know where that would be. They're already developing their own look and I'd hate to see that change. ( Progress, yes. Change , no. )

    For O/W .. keep going. Unlike NorthernDancers,( whose opinions I still respect ) I do see a lot more togetherness between them over last year,and particular progress for Thomas. Considering all they've had to contend with this year - having to be ready for Jrs. and Srs., and the G/P circus coming to town , I think they've done about as well as they could be expected to do. I hope they have a very respectable finish at Jr.World's. It's a deep field..but the GP, at both levels , can be fairly deceptive, so I wish them luck.

    Of course, that's not all I think or wish, but it's enough for tonight.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-03-2012 at 04:18 AM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    For non-dance fans, or casual fans, the reason that people find G&P's score of 100.76 seems highly inflated:

    http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2009/SEG009.HTM

    At the World Championships in 2009, the FD was won by Domnina & Shabalin with a score of 100.85, skating to Spartacus, second by Belbin & Agosto with 100.27 skating to Tosca, third by Davis & White with 100.03 skating to Samson & Delilah, V&M fourth with 99.98, skating to Pink Floyd.

    The GPF was won in the 2008/2009 season by Delobel & Schoenfelder with an FD of 95.75.

    Now travel to the 2011 Worlds: 3rd in the FD were the Shibutanis with 96.91

    Vanessa & Paul scored 90.12, and were ninth in the FD. Their best ever score was 91.47.

    In 2008, scores were higher, but a team could do 3 short lifts and one combo lift instead of 2 short lifts and one combo (or 2 additional short) lifts.

    So even if the score is determined by the better of a pair of dancers, rather than the worse of the two, and you allow for the usual nationals inflation, a stellar performance by a team when one is good and the other is clearly just trying to keep up should be in the 90 to 95 region at the highest even with national inflation, like Piper's previous partner Zach Donohue earned with his new partner, Madison Hubbell, at the US Championships, 94.04, to win 3rd place. (And Madison & Zach are on a similar level to each other, rather than one member of the couple being clearly weaker).

    Here's the protocols for Canadian Nationals.

    http://results.skatecanada.ca/2011-2...gesDetails.pdf

    You have G&P scoring in the mid 8's to 9's for PCS.

    One judge gave them a 9 for PCS in Performance and Execution. Here's the guideline for 9 to 10 for that component:

    �� move as one, superb
    matching
    �� elegant /sophisticated
    style
    �� refined line of body and
    limbs
    �� precise execution of body
    movements
    �� both spellbinding
    �� projection exceptional (to
    audience or in
    themselves if music
    requires)
    And a majority of judges gave them performance grades in the 8's where the guideline is

    �� coordinated movements,
    excellent matching
    �� superb carriage and lines
    �� effortless change of
    difficult holds
    �� project strongly
    How could you justify either of those when one partner is visibly weaker than the other, and a great deal of the dance was hand in hand (which is not a difficult hold).

    I have no idea why the judges scored it that way, but the inflation was really difficult to justify IMO, and was not fair to Ralph & Hill and Paul & Islam, or for that matter to Weaver & Poje and Virtue and Moir, since G&P should not have been that close to them.

    But most importantly, it was not fair to Poirier and Gilles, because how will they know they need to improve during this hiatus before they can compete internationally? Did it help Crone & Poirier when they were overhyped last year, when their coach was claiming they were superior to D&W ? How could it not be a huge letdown to finish 9th and not know what you had done wrong in your training?

    Does anyone here think that score inflation of more than a point or two serves any team well? If so, I hope you will tell us.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-03-2012 at 06:30 AM.

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    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    doris..you're a gem.

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    Such scores for G/P are also jarring to me because they have ZERO international experience. So you can't even have reputation judging this time around. At least with C/P, they came off a solid GP season with a bronze at the GPF.

    There was quite a bit of score inflation at U.S. nationals but really the inflation was across the board with H/D receiving scores that the Shibs have been receiving in international competition. It seem that G/P were the only ones to benefit from score inflation at Canadians — even the top two pairs didn't get such a boost or benefited from repetition scoring.

    I personally think this pair has a lot of potential, but I would have ranked them behind R/H and P/I. In fact if I had a toe-to-toe battle between G/P and H/D in the U.S., I would choose H/D — they have actual programs with dancing as opposed to flashy programs with a bunch of tricks.
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 02-03-2012 at 12:52 PM.

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    Custom Title dwiggin3's Avatar
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    Apparently, I'm behind in Canadian Dance since I did not know that P. Gilles (Piper Gilles, part of the trio of Gilles' from the US) was not only dancing, but in Canada . Did I miss something? I thought she was a singles skater for the US....would someone far more aware clarify things? Thanks.

    Okay, it was Alexe who skates singles.

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    While I agree that G&P were overscored at Canadians, I would disagree that they should have been behind the R&H or P&I. P&I were said to be very slow and given the amount of training time they've lost to injury this season, that's hardly surprising. Everyone who was there has commented on how much speed G&P had and that was evident, even on TV. And while I would agree that their FD is more a collection of tricks than an actual dance, I would remind you that the same could have been said about any number of World/Olympic Champions. This was a difficult and entertaining program. Yes it had some rough edges due to the newness of the team, and yes it was over-scored, but I believe the placement to be correct.

    To which I would add this disclaimer: I have known Paul Poirier since he was 9 years old and I am not the most unbiased poster when it comes to his skating.

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    Sorry, but I’m having trouble following the logic of using the results from international panels to prove that G&P were over-scored. It has been stated repeatedly in posts from across all four skating disciplines, that the scores from national championships are inflated. Comparing national to international scores, therefore, really is like comparing apples to oranges. For example, there have been several references to Crone & Poirier’s best-ever free dance score being 91.47. This is not true and using it for comparison to Gilles & Poirier’s score is very misleading. While it may be their highest score from an international panel and work well to support the over-scoring argument, C&P actually scored 98.41 in the free dance at last year’s Canadian championship.

    Additionally, I see no relevance in trying to compare a score from a 2008/09 international panel to a score from a 2012 national panel. To do so would require a fair bit of “guess-timating” – trying to assess how a current program might have fared under a different set of rules, or vice-versa. This could be quite subjective, in my opinion.

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    Sure, but it's telling that a team that had been together for ten years (Crone/Porier) and were better matched technically scored less than a team that had been together a few months, had one skater demonstrably weaker (which should mean a hammering on PCS) and are really just beginning to gell (Gilles/Porier). Additionally, even when looking at currently competing teams, only seven others have broken 100 at their own Nationals. Those seven are in the top eight for season best this season. G/P simply aren't in that league.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    And do you feel that being overscored by some 10 to 15 points at Nationals actually does a team any good? For example, last year did it help Crone and Poirier, or did it contribute to their breakup?

    Last year, at Canadian, Crone & Poirier scored about 164.21. At Worlds, they scored 151.13 That would be about 13 points of score inflation. (And they didn't fall, or do anything so badly as to cause that score differential. In two programs, their one large error resulted in a level 2 for twizzles in the short program, which would account for about 3 points). They were 8th in the FD without any significant errors).

    Meanwhile Weaver and Poje scored a total of 160.32. At Canadians, the scored 163.38, about 3 points of score inflation.

    3 to 5 points is fairly typical inflation for a nationals. 10 to 15 points isn't.

    Last year's rules were very similar to this year, especially for the FD's so FD scores should be pretty comparable.

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    But I think the larger argument has involved considering G/P's score inflation alongside the scores of the teams around them -- those above and those below. It's more difficult for me to see V/M's 111.61, W/P's 106.26, P/I's 89.18, or R/H's 88.59 as being inflated on anything like the same level as G/P's breaking 100 with their skate.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Me either. There might be 3 points of inflation in the other team's scores. Maybe. I see more like 10 to 15 points in G/P, especially their PCS should be lower. (I can't put it more precisely than that, because I'm just watching streaming video, and there are limitations in how well you can judge speed and timing with streaming video.)

    That does not mean G&P won't develop into a team that deserves high scores. It just means that I don't think they are there yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue eyed birds View Post
    But I think the larger argument has involved considering G/P's score inflation alongside the scores of the teams around them -- those above and those below. It's more difficult for me to see V/M's 111.61, W/P's 106.26, P/I's 89.18, or R/H's 88.59 as being inflated on anything like the same level as G/P's breaking 100 with their skate.
    Fair enough, but my point was about the relevance of using international scores to prove a point about national scores, especially when international results are so often used to discount the validity of national results. How many times have you read a post that states Skater X was over-scored at home, but could never expect the same numbers from an international panel? I just don’t see how the tables can then be turned to use the international scores to justify a point about over-scoring at nationals.

    To answer your question Doris, while I agree that over-scoring does not help the skaters, I do not think that it was a contributing factor in the break-up of C&P. I firmly believe that their Worlds placement was a result of other problems within the partnership, rather than the Worlds result causing the split.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13KJC13 View Post
    Fair enough, but my point was about the relevance of using international scores to prove a point about national scores, especially when international results are so often used to discount the validity of national results. How many times have you read a post that states Skater X was over-scored at home, but could never expect the same numbers from an international panel? I just don’t see how the tables can then be turned to use the international scores to justify a point about over-scoring at nationals.

    To answer your question Doris, while I agree that over-scoring does not help the skaters, I do not think that it was a contributing factor in the break-up of C&P. I firmly believe that their Worlds placement was a result of other problems within the partnership, rather than the Worlds result causing the split.
    The problem, in my view, with this inflation is that it gives people the perception of "oh wow! They're already at this elite level and they've only been together for a few months."

    I think people here are questioning whether the scores truly reflect their current skill level. It's not unheard of for a team to get on the podium on their first try. H/D did it in the U.S. after all. But with those two it was VERY close. They definitely had competition with G-S/K and C/B. Also they were far distant from No. 2, the Shibs.

    Some questions:
    Is G/P really 15 points better than R/H or P/I? Is what they're bringing to the ice really that much better than the other two pairs?

    The second question is: Are G/P already at the skill level of the Shibutanis/B&S(Russia)/C/L (Italy)? According to their scores, they are on the heels of W/P so does that mean they're at the heels of the other teams that will likely be in the final group at Worlds? The way this team is being hyped you think that would be the case...

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    skating philosopher
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    Per IP's earlier post here are the other members of the 100+ Nationals FP club (and their ISU season's best ranking and score)

    Davis/White — 114.65 (1.)112.38, GPF)* (USA)
    Virtue/Moir — 111.61 (2.) 112.33, GPF)* (CAN)
    Weaver/Poje — 106.26 (4.)99.83, GPF) (CAN)
    Shibutani/Shibutani — 106.23 (6.) 95.02, GPF) (USA)
    Péchalat / Bourzat — 105.44 (3.) 101.01, GPF) (FRA)
    Cappellini / Lanotte — 101.30 (8.) 93.47, European Championships) (ITA)
    Bobrova / Soloviev — 101.24 (5.) 97.79, Cup of China) (RUS)

    The ranking/score does not account for ISU scoring error.

  15. #15
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    You raise some excellent points , Mrs .P

    13kjc13 .. I don't understand what you don't understand. People see Skater X being overmarked to an outrageous degree.. well beyond what we normally expect from National inflations ( which we know happen, but many of us disapprove of , to begin with ). This obvious anomaly means our national scores have been thrown completely out of whack, and can't provide us an accurate measure. When trying to project what our teams' reasonable expectations are internationally.. who will be in contention with what other teams for what range of finish at World's and looking ahead to next year's competitive season .. where else should we look but to international scores to try to make some sense of it , if our own scores can't be trusted ?

    Even though overscoring ultimately may not help the skaters who have been overmarked when they reach the international scene, it can certainly hurt those they've been unfairly marked ahead of , in perception . In the case of R/H and P/I , Canada is saying , "Look, skating world , we're sending these 2 couples , but you don't need to take them too seriously, since we have someone much better at home.".. I think there's still enough subjectivity in the system for perception to count for something , to the detriment of these 2 teams.( Not to mention the fact that it unfairly tarnishes the accomplshments of V/M and W/P . )

    And if we look further down the ranks, it may be that O/W were really harmed, beyond just perception , by G/P's egregious overmarking... Given that O/W's FD was scored in the same ballpark as R/H and P/I.. and if G/P actually deserved to be in the ballpark with R/H and P/I..where does that leave O/W ? In the SD , G/P were given phenomenal scores right out of the gate , and if their SD inflation was anything like their FD inflation , that means that O/W were denied the chance at a fair fight for that coveted 5th place spot. This was exacerbated by the artificial split in the competition. Who knows what difference that delay might have made to either competitors or judges ? It certainly meant that none of the second flight teams got any TV exposure. It may mean that at least one team who deserves to be seen as "in the mix " somewhere, is being entirely overlooked. ( Maybe more than one.. how can we be sure ?)

    If this kind of over inflation occurs , how can the other teams be sure that deflation of marks is not possible as well ? It just creates doubt everywhere.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-04-2012 at 05:44 PM. Reason: wording ; clarity

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