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Thread: Skaters/Judging experts on GS - Question

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    Skaters/Judging experts on GS - Question

    I see lots of suggestions on how to improve, or change drastically, CoP. I have often thought something was lost when they got rid of figures. I'd hate seeing a Trixie Shuba situation again, but if this is first a sport, then could they somehow have the SP done with no music, with all the skaters doing exactly the same requirements? They seem to do that in ice dance. In singles, I'd have different expectations for men than women. But would it be possible to have the technical skate with identical requirements? No music to emotionally manipulate the judges or fans. Mastery of all the triples for ladies, Quad needed for men. I haven't thought this out in detail, but I would favor a technical skate with judging like in CoP with some changes as to how jumps are rewarded. In ladies, I'd like to see double axel and all the triples the goal, spiral sequences, footwork sequences etc. If all skated the exact requirements, how long would be fair. Could top athletes do a 4 minute technical skate, then two days later a free program?

    I am just wondering if there could be a system that had a Tech program where the requirements were exactly the same for every skater, in the same order. I am thinking only from a fan point of view, where all is explained by the commentators, what they are doing, explaining the points possible as they go along. As skaters or as fans, how do you think this would go over. The free skate would be scored so that originality, choreography, line, musicality, interpretation were very important. I have not thought about what each portion should be worth, but it seems , then only a certain number of skaters who scored ? would get to the free skate. Maybe the top 18. This is very vague and general, but do you think such an idea would kill the fanbase left, or draw viewers who could see exactly what they were viewing and understand the difference in ability easier? This might be a crazy idea, and that is why I have addressed it to people who know much more about the scoring of skating and those who have skated, to see things change radically. I would still watch, and often have watched a skate without the music to see how much the music is affecting me, as oppsed to the actual skating. I see on Youtube that when people cannot use the music originally skated to, they often, and seemingly easily find a piece of music that fits very well. All those montages are amazing.

    So if this is a horrible idea that would never work, please be nice. I don't learn anything from the roll your eyes icon. If this is a sport first and not an art, then how do you change the sport to reflect that? Thanks for entertaining the idea if you would be so kind.
    Last edited by skateluvr; 02-29-2012 at 09:06 PM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    They seem to do that in ice dance.
    ??? if you're thinking the Short Dance it's more like the short program... done to music with required elements, just like an SP. The compulsaries were the Ice Dance version of Figures, but they at least had canned elevator music playing.

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    But the short dance still has a compulsory section that's the same for all competitors.

    I'm torn about a technical only program. I do like the idea of comparing apples to apples and having skaters prove their technical chops before they have a chance to seduce me with their choreography, presentation and artistry. I don't like the idea of the points from a round like this carrying over, but having it be a medal round in itself. Kind of like in gymnastics you qualify to compete for the individual all around medal by your performance in the team competition (I think that's right). Here skaters would qualify to compete for a free program medal by doing well in the tech program. I worry a bit that the sport might become too technical and lose some of the magic that made me fall in love with skating in the beginning. Thanks Michelle Kwan! (she's a tough mark to set a standard by, IMHO)

    I wonder how many fans would watch these segments. We probably would, but we're not a good cross section. Also I wonder how much institutional inertia there is that would be resistant to a radical overhaul of the whole system. CoP changed the the way the sport was judged, but much stayed in place -SP, LP, Zayak rule.

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    Yes, I know the compulsories have music. It seems a lot of CoP enthusiasts say this is a sport. But then they say falling on jumps (Chan) is ok because his skating skills are so good. Speed, transitions, jumps with difficult entries. Clearly Daisuke would not be the success he is without the idea that people feel he skates with a uniquely pleasing style and call him an artist. people expect him to finish second to chan and he seems to have done that this season. I guess my question is, what would make people want to watch figure skating? What set up would draw and keep fans? What is most important toward this goal? Should skating, and hence the teaching at every level be apprached as a sport first and an art second? CoP enthusiasts seem to feel this way.

    Having had years of 6.0 to study, and relatively few years of CoP, what would make the sport challenging to skaters, incorporate both sport and art in that order, but be much more understandable to the viewing public? I would love to see skaters have to do exactly the same elements, show mastery of the same things. Certain spins, spiral sequences, the same footwork in a musicless technical program. Jumps would be very important, most important in this idea. Partial credit, no credit for falls, could all be worked out. I just want to know if skaters here, wehave a few, and people who are avid fans plus understand the current scoring ( the past was quite simple under 6.0) could see if such a radical change would make this a sport where the commentary explained as it went along.

    Ice dance is only recently on my screen as I can honestly say the years of horrible dances, costumes, hair, etc passing as "art" in Europe and Russia were not my taste. I can only point to the Russian ice dancers who won bronze undeservedly and somewhat offensively to some with the horrid costumes. But the same dance with same moves are done in compulsory was my point, and one can compare icedancers on basic skating skills easier. 9How they decide the winners even now is mysterious to me.) But for the sake of my question,
    1) Should FS try to reform and promote itself as sport first?

    2) What could be expected technically in mens and ladies (different expectations values for me between men and ladies elite skating)

    3) If they really promoted this nas sport first, would they lose many fans who watch it because of the artistic beautiful side of the sport? 9Ladies, pairs and ice dance moreso than mens)

    I personally love it because of the artistry, the beauty, so I am not one to truly feel it is a sport more than an art as good presentation (carolina) would get my attention over triple jumping (Irina).

    The discussions over CoP have to start with an agreement that this is first a sport (is it?) and secondly presentation of the skills matter. I see different people value different things. It is way too subjective still to be taken seriously as a sport by the masses. Other sports (other than gymnastics) are not performed to music with costumes, makes up etc.

    My idea of a technical program is exactly the same elements, plain costumes, skating dress or simple black outfit. No music. So we are not judging music chosen (like or dislike), choreography, costumes, physical beauty. In the free skate, there would be music, choreography, individual moves, choice of spins, footwork, placement of jumps. Of course people will still evise their free skate to what the system rewards but it would be a free skate, not a technical program.

    Can anyone see this? Would you watch? More importantly, would it bring people to the sport so it does not die, or until the next skater gets clubbed?

    There are many questions here, and since people are not happy with CoP (no man who falls three times in the freeskate should get a gold medal-I don't care if he levitates off the ice between jumps-no one gets this outside of CoP buffs. Mens skating is where jumping (well) is showcased. I'd love to see the same skills set done by whever they might televise. maybe we'd see the top 8 skaters. Maybe only the top 16 go on to a free skate. Because really, do people in the seats at Worlds really want to watch skater number 24 from Ecuador?

    No, becuase below the top 10 or 12, they just aren't "elite."

    Figureskating needs to be rescued from the hands of a few elite people. I truly think people on this board have the skills and talents to devise ( just for fun or for real) a system that will allow skaters to develop skills and artistry and be rewarded for it. Fairly.

    But even on this board amongst say 6-7 fervent posters/IJS mathematicians, there is not a vision concretely, or consensus of the basic question, how sport and art are to be valued and therefore judged. If a speed skater runs the ISU, I would think the direction is "sport." It is not a sport if falls aren't important and the winners are doing less technically demanding programs (in ladies for example) than 20 years ago. Mao and her triple axel is an anomaly and not one I'd support in the tech program for women. This is a radical departure from what is now.

    Any feedback appreciated. 9I guess it must be "unworthy" as there isn't much feedback. I wish I could write better, but there are reasons why organization is difficult. My questions are sincere, my concern is about making the sport accessible to fans, first and foremost, otherwise it continues to be a shrinking club, niche Olympic sport. I want it to flourish.

    What is the first step? To me sport or art. Sport is what the masses want. We can sneek the art in while they are watching and understanding the sport part and understand the judging, i,e why the Frenchman got gold, while the guy from Germany the silver, the Spaniard got bronze.

    It would be nice to see for the purposes of learning leadership from a couple GS moderators (I nominate Mathman and Doris) as leaders in a special forum where we start from scratch. How this can be done on the computer, I am not sure. But you are smart, savvy students of skating and the current and past systems. I get frustrated reading the same arguments in every thread, and it usually boils down to in depth discussions of protocols, and math. Is there any sport on earth with a judging system so few people can or want to understand? yet I believe there is a big audience for skating we have lost. In America we have lost it due to lack of a consistent lady, and I feel, total confusion re judging.

    I don't mean to make work for any overworked mod, but this board is unique. Ask a question, and someone knows the answer. Always. It would be great to see all the bickering channeled and actually improve on the IJS which is too complicated.

    I would love to watch technical programs from the top 6-8 men as I have described. Then freeskates where there is much more freedom. They could be worth 50 percent each.

    Again, this just came to me as a general sketch. A lot of the scoring could be the same, though I would not reward too much footwork (busyness) in the free skate, and would rework how falls on jumps particularly are scored. I leave that to the math people who know all the base values etc. CoP is a work in progress. But it seems to have forgotten the fans (the majority) in its design. JM poor opinion.

    Sorry for overly long post, again, I apologize for my poor organizational skills here. (Brain injury) So I am asking many questions, but a bit repetitively and tangentially. I hope disabled people are valued too.

    I am I think the 99% of fans who really enjoy skating over many years but find the IJs way to complicated, and in some cases, counter productive to what figureskating is all about. I can accept that sport and technical prowess must be promosted over art is that is what long time skaters/judges etc feel is the direction they want to take. I don't see it as understandable by the vast majority of people who could become fans and bring it back to mass audiences. I think it's either change or just accept that its an every 4 year sport. Since I love it, I want to see it become very popular again. And I want to understand the judging much more easily.
    Last edited by skateluvr; 02-29-2012 at 11:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    But the short dance still has a compulsory section that's the same for all competitors.
    yes, but it can be incorporated when and where-ever in the program they see fit, just like the SPs in singles. They have required elements everyone must do, just not in teh same order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I see lots of suggestions on how to improve, or change drastically, CoP. I have often thought something was lost when they got rid of figures. I'd hate seeing a Trixie Shuba situation again, but if this is first a sport, then could they somehow have the SP done with no music, with all the skaters doing exactly the same requirements? They seem to do that in ice dance. In singles, I'd have different expectations for men than women. But would it be possible to have the technical skate with identical requirements? No music to emotionally manipulate the judges or fans. Mastery of all the triples for ladies, Quad needed for men. I haven't thought this out in detail, but I would favor a technical skate with judging like in CoP with some changes as to how jumps are rewarded. In ladies, I'd like to see double axel and all the triples the goal, spiral sequences, footwork sequences etc. If all skated the exact requirements, how long would be fair. Could top athletes do a 4 minute technical skate, then two days later a free program?

    I am just wondering if there could be a system that had a Tech program where the requirements were exactly the same for every skater, in the same order. I am thinking only from a fan point of view, where all is explained by the commentators, what they are doing, explaining the points possible as they go along. As skaters or as fans, how do you think this would go over. The free skate would be scored so that originality, choreography, line, musicality, interpretation were very important. I have not thought about what each portion should be worth, but it seems , then only a certain number of skaters who scored ? would get to the free skate. Maybe the top 18. This is very vague and general, but do you think such an idea would kill the fanbase left, or draw viewers who could see exactly what they were viewing and understand the difference in ability easier? This might be a crazy idea, and that is why I have addressed it to people who know much more about the scoring of skating and those who have skated, to see things change radically. I would still watch, and often have watched a skate without the music to see how much the music is affecting me, as oppsed to the actual skating. I see on Youtube that when people cannot use the music originally skated to, they often, and seemingly easily find a piece of music that fits very well. All those montages are amazing.

    So if this is a horrible idea that would never work, please be nice. I don't learn anything from the roll your eyes icon. If this is a sport first and not an art, then how do you change the sport to reflect that? Thanks for entertaining the idea if you would be so kind.
    First and foremost, why do we need a radical change? Second, why do we need to go into extremes?
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 03-02-2012 at 12:10 PM.

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    Well Bluebonnett, lots of people seemed confused if its and art or sport primarily. The judging system in way too complex and we have lost many fans. people do not understand-no time-no desire to read rules books. 6.0 was understandable. CoP was supposed to stop bias or outright cheating. It can't. FS is dying as a world sport. We get no coverage. We must ask why?

    Asking opinions on a truly technical program, like figures were. Does it have merit? Might it work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Well Bluebonnett, lots of people seemed confused if its and art or sport primarily. The judging system in way too complex and we have lost many fans. people do not understand-no time-no desire to read rules books. 6.0 was understandable. CoP was supposed to stop bias or outright cheating. It can't. FS is dying as a world sport. We get no coverage. We must ask why?

    Asking opinions on a truly technical program, like figures were. Does it have merit? Might it work?
    Was figures the reason to make figure skating alive a generation or two ago? I don't think so. If the figures didn't make it alive, tech programs won't either. Figure skating is not dying. It's dying only in US. And no scoring system could prevent it.

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    I disagree, it is also dying in Europe. And it could be revived. School figures helped skaters learn skills that they used in every skating skill. People don't watch what they don't understand. Of course the scoring has affected the viewership. People hate confusion. Simplicity is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I disagree, it is also dying in Europe. And it could be revived. School figures helped skaters learn skills that they used in every skating skill. People don't watch what they don't understand. Of course the scoring has affected the viewership. People hate confusion. Simplicity is needed.
    It is well alive in Japan and probably in Korea too. Can you believe that Mao can get the rating , something like close to 30 %, when she skates a big event like world? I guess it is all about having a star skater, somebody that all of the nations fall in love with. Yna is the one and also Michell in the one too. Yet this judging system is not helping at all. They need to seriously punish big mistakes like a fall and stop nit picking something that you need slow motion to see clearly. Just so stupid!!

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    Originally, the SP specified all the elements year over year when it was first introduced (except the "other half" of the jump combination). I think Genki has it right - need someone with star power in the major players and the "big mistakes" that the casual fan can pick out need more punishment than the small mistakes. I proposed a percentage reduction of TES for falls (so the harder your program, the more costly a fall is) and an automatic 0.25 deduction per fall from the PE mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I disagree, it is also dying in Europe. And it could be revived. School figures helped skaters learn skills that they used in every skating skill. People don't watch what they don't understand. Of course the scoring has affected the viewership. People hate confusion. Simplicity is needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by genki View Post
    Yet this judging system is not helping at all. They need to seriously punish big mistakes like a fall and stop nit picking something that you need slow motion to see clearly. Just so stupid!!
    Russia will be revived by Sochi Olympics. The rest of the Europe is more or less the same unless some skaters in Europe step up. looks like Kosner alone doesn't help much. Fernandez made Spain interested in it. Why do people continue to blame CoP solely while bypass or ignore the American commentators and medias' huge contributions in diminishing this sport?

    Does this sport need to go more sporty in order to show it's a sport? Why can't it remain an artistic sport like it is now?

    People won't watch it because it's "old fashioned and boring", because it doesn't fit the fast changing pop culture and the young generation's shorter tempers in general. The culture made this sport dying, just like the reason the classical music is dying in western world. No scoring system could revive it. And the people who are serving as the messangers of this sport have clearly made it die sooner rather than later. Unless figure skating changes its original face, like Lysacek and Belbin had pushed it a few years ago - to go hiphop, swing, rock'n roll or something modern, it's hard to attract the younger generation's attentions.

    To remain as a sport means to remain technical. To loosen up or go simple means to be more subjective and more artsy.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 03-01-2012 at 11:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Well Bluebonnett, lots of people seemed confused if its and art or sport primarily. The judging system in way too complex and we have lost many fans. people do not understand-no time-no desire to read rules books. 6.0 was understandable. CoP was supposed to stop bias or outright cheating. It can't. FS is dying as a world sport. We get no coverage. We must ask why?
    The question of Sport or Art is not new to the COP era of skating - it has constantly been asked throughout every era, changing the sport drastically in order to try to answer a (IMO at least) pointless question seems a little overkill.

    The judging system is not complex - i don't understand why people think it is. There is a scale of values setting out the points that elements get, there is GOE to mark how well the element is done and then there's 5 PCS scores that mark the presentation side. The judges mark these and point total drops out of the end. The winner has the most points. That's not complicated. If you want to get into the ins and outs of it all then it takes time to read it, but really only us hardcore fans really care about that, the rest of the world is satisifed with the description I just gave. I think 6.0 was much more complicated to work out mathematically - certainly the final results and the flip flopping that used to occur was more baffling to the average person than a point total.

    Again - as to cheating - I don't think it was ever intended to stop it, it was intended to dupe the IOC to think that it had stopped cheating to stop FS being kicked out of the Olympics. In reality I think it probably does stop more blatant cheating than 6.0 ever did just because it is much more difficult to manipulate - the judges are inputting so much more information that it takes much more work to try to influence an overall result than it ever took under 6.0.

    Does COP need changing? I think we will be able to argue this til the end of time. There will always be ways the system can be improved, and it will no doubt go through a number of changes as the years go on. That's a good thing. Does it need some radical re-invention of the wheel change? I'm not so sure it does, and even it it did undergo such a change I don't think it would necessairly increase the viewing figures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    if this is first a sport, then could they somehow have the SP done with no music, with all the skaters doing exactly the same requirements? They seem to do that in ice dance. In singles, I'd have different expectations for men than women. But would it be possible to have the technical skate with identical requirements?
    It would be possible. Whether it would be desirable is another question. If we figure out what it's trying to achieve, then we could figure out what would be the best way to achieve that.

    Mastery of all the triples for ladies, Quad needed for men.
    This is not realistic at all. The majority of skaters who compete at the senior level cannot do all these jumps. If you're only watching the top 6 or top 12 in the world, even top 24, it may seem as though almost everyone can do almost all these jumps (and that the women are only leaving some out because they only get 7 jump passes). But once you get beyond the top level, you find a lot more men who can't rotate quads at all, quite a few who can't rotate triple axels, 99.9% of women can't rotate triple axels, many senior-level women can't do triple lutz, flip, and/or loop, and any skater at any level may have a pet peeve jump that they can't really do even though they can do harder ones.

    They can work on it in practice, they can attempt it in competition if required, but if you required all skaters to attempt jumps they can't do, you'd see a lot more messy performances. Of course, if you want to use that as a way of weeding out all but the best, most well-rounded jumpers, that could be a good approach. But it would also weed out some better skaters who aren't quite the best jumpers. And then you have a skater like Mao Asada who can do a jump almost none of her competitors can do (3A) but struggles to complete a correct 3Lz and is less consistent with some easier triples than some harder ones.

    If we want to start with a technical program, one question is whether it should
    1) allow each skater to show his or her hardest or best skills along with some required skills
    2) require every skater to show the exact same elements

    These goals are more or less mutually exclusive.

    If you require the same elements from everyone, then you have to keep the requirements at a level that all senior level skaters can be expected to accomplish. And that wouldn't leave room for the hardest skills of the best skaters.

    Or you can require jumps that only a handful of the very best jumpers in the world can do and turn competition into an exercise in frustration for all the hundreds of other skaters in the world who want to compete to the best of their own ability, not be forced to fail at matching someone else's skills.

    With jumps, a better compromise would be to require, say, at least a double jump from every takeoff, but skaters who can do triples and quads could substitute those instead.

    The competition format for including six or more jumps would have to be different from the current short program. If it also includes spins and steps, it wouldn't be so short.

    I haven't thought this out in detail, but I would favor a technical skate with judging like in CoP with some changes as to how jumps are rewarded. In ladies, I'd like to see double axel and all the triples the goal, spiral sequences, footwork sequences etc. If all skated the exact requirements, how long would be fair. Could top athletes do a 4 minute technical skate, then two days later a free program?
    Something like that might be feasible.

    I am just wondering if there could be a system that had a Tech program where the requirements were exactly the same for every skater, in the same order.
    Absolutely not with triple jumps. As noted above, not all senior skaters can do all triple jumps. Of those they can do, some may need to use one specific setup to get a certain jump to work, whereas others who have more complete mastery of the jump can do it from multiple entries. (E.g., some can do triple salchow only from back outside three into forward inside mohawk; others only from forward outside three; others can do both and more unexpected entries as well)

    And then you also have to take into account that a minority of skaters jump and do most other quick rotational skills clockwise instead of counterclockwise like the majority. So if there were a set program, they'd have to do it in mirror image.

    I am thinking only from a fan point of view, where all is explained by the commentators, what they are doing, explaining the points possible as they go along. As skaters or as fans, how do you think this would go over.
    Probably boring for casual fans and fans who love artistry; informative for fans of athleticism and/or technique who want to understand the results or understand the skills

    To really break it down, it might make more sense to have a skaters perform individual skills in isolation. But then it would take longer to hold the competition.

    Also, for fans attending the event live there would not be commentators while the skaters are skating -- it would distract the skaters. Maybe there could be an option of commentary in earbuds, but probably not in a language that every member of an international audience could understand.

    The free skate would be scored so that originality, choreography, line, musicality, interpretation were very important.
    I.e., all those things would be more important than what the skater does technically?

    That, I think, is a bad goal for skating-as-sport. Those qualities are all enhancements of the basic techniques, evidence of sufficient mastery to go beyond the basics. But the basics have to be measured as well.

    Even in a "free" program we don't want to allow, say, a skater with barely senior-level basics and less difficulty but great charisma and inventive choreography well designed to cover up her weaknesses to prevail against a strong athlete with good technique and good difficulty.

    In world championship, Olympic-style sport, I mean.

    If the ISU wants to start a separate artistic competition track and/or to allow other promoters to develop such a track and allow skaters to go back and forth between different kinds of competition, that would be great.

    If this is a sport first and not an art, then how do you change the sport to reflect that? Thanks for entertaining the idea if you would be so kind.
    At this point I think it's more important to change the education of the audiences as to what the sport is about (and give them somewhere else to go if they want to watch skating for the aesthetic experience only).

    I think that the program where skaters are supposed to demonstrate a full range of technical skills, including combinations and connections between elements, to music, with well-constructed programs (i.e., something like the current long program), should be the highest pinnacle of the sport that earns the most prestigious medals.

    If there's an earlier phase of the event, it could be in short program format or something else.

    A competition where artistry is paramount and technical skill and technical content exist only to serve the artistry should not be part of Olympic-style sport. But it should exist in some form, whether under ISU control or not, because there are lots of fans and lots of skaters who prefer to focus in that direction.
    Last edited by gkelly; 03-01-2012 at 10:53 AM.

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    Another problem with a tech only portion for fans is that many have no idea how a toe loop is different from a lutz, or even what an inside or outside edge is. Even those that know may not be able to identify them as they are watching. It's not like diving where the different dives really do look different and it's more intuitive to understand what's harder (ie layout vs pike vs tuck)


    Overall I prefer to continue to tweak CoP. To me the easiest way is to dramatically increase the points available to win or lose in GoE. If your base value is 75, maybe you could win or lose 30 point on GoE and then get another 75 or so in PCS. This will reward skaters that do everything at the best quality, and at the highest level they can. Even though this seems to give more subjective discretion back in the hands of the judges, its parceled out over so many elements it would be hard to vote with your bias without being noticed. If I understand a post from skatinginbc on another thread, humans are more reliable judging quality than judging quantity (simplified - lol) -

    ETA IE: That was a:
    Great, very good, good, average, poor, very poor, horrible triple loop
    is more reliably judged then:
    That was a completely fully, almost fully, not quite fully, slighty under, very under, rotated rotated triple loop.

    It seems like the first is subjective and the second objective, and of course both should be judged and we want the 'correct' answer for each.
    Last edited by ivy; 03-01-2012 at 10:51 AM.

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