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Thread: Skaters/Judging experts on GS - Question

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    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
    i.e., +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3

    is more reliably judged then:
    That was a completely fully, almost fully, not quite fully, slighty under, very under, rotated rotated triple loop.
    Well, there's more to great vs. good vs. flawed vs. failed than the amount of rotation.

    Right now the rotation is determined by three sets of human eyeballs with access to slow-motion replay
    Someday maybe it could be measured with sensors

    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.
    Yup.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    i.e., +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3
    Strange as it seems, I think most people can distinguish more confidently between "good" and "very good" than between +1 and +2.

    Someday maybe it could be measured with sensors.
    When that happens I believe that we will get an unwelcome surprise.
    ________

    The idea of a short program featuring technical elements only is sort of like figures, right? You demonstrate your skills in isolation, then in the free skating you put those skills to the service of a performance.

    With that in mind, I have a question about competitions in school figures. There are lots of individual figures that skaters had to master, right? But then in the competition only two or three are selected.

    Did the skaters know in advance which figures they would have to do, or was there some sort of random draw just before the competition? Were some skaters good at tracing some particular figures, but not so good at others? Did skaters go around saying, "I got my iron cross!" like skaters nowadays say, "I got my double Salchow!"?

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    Of course both are being judged now, and I listed 7 levels for a reason , but so many more points come from what you do vs how well you do it. I think the the 'how well' should be much more highly valued then it currently is. It seems we can actually reach a reliable agreement about how good or bad an element is while exactly what it is less reliably agreed upon. Seems counter intuitive I know.
    Last edited by ivy; 03-01-2012 at 04:56 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Strange as it seems, I think most people can distinguish more confidently between "good" and "very good" than between +1 and +2.
    Yes, but computers can average the number versions more easily.
    Interpreting scores is just a matter of translating the numbers into the qualitative aspects they represent, reversing the process the judges went through to award them.

    The idea of a short program featuring technical elements only is sort of like figures, right? You demonstrate your skills in isolation, then in the free skating you put those skills to the service of a performance.
    Depends how it's set up. A "program" is not "in isolation."

    With that in mind, I have a question about competitions in school figures. There are lots of individual figures that skaters had to master, right? But then in the competition only two or three are selected.

    Did the skaters know in advance which figures they would have to do, or was there some sort of random draw just before the competition? Were some skaters good at tracing some particular figures, but not so good at others? Did skaters go around saying, "I got my iron cross!" like skaters nowadays say, "I got my double Salchow!"?
    First of all, Iron Cross was not a school figure -- it was what was called a "special figure" or "fancy figure" -- these things were never part of the world championships. They were competed at some competitions in the early 20th century, including the 1908 Olympics:
    http://winter-olympic-memories.com/h...figure_msp.htm

    These are not what we're talking about when we talk about "school figures."

    The school figures all consisted of two tangent circles (a figure 8) or three circles, most with turns or loops at specific points on the circle. At the senior level all the two-circle figures were performed with the skater performing both circles on the same foot (with a change of edge to change circles) before changing foot to trace over the circles again.

    A few of the years on that Olympics results site show drawings of the figures used at that year's Olympics at the bottom of the page under "Detailed Results" link. For example
    http://winter-olympic-memories.com/h...igure_w_ex.htm
    http://winter-olympic-memories.com/h...igure_w_ex.htm

    In 1972 there were six different figures skated; in 1980 there were only three. You see they have numbers like 20b or 41a. (41 is the highest number)

    Here are the US rules for school figure tests and competitions.
    http://skating.zachariahs.com/USFSA_CompFigures.pdf
    I believe these rules are still in effect within the US but rarely called into use.

    You can see the diagrams at the end of the document, and the lists of numbers and starting edges in the middle.

    My understanding is that the list of figures in use for each level (e.g., junior vs. senior) and discipline (men's vs. ladies' singles) was published in advance for each season and skaters had to practice all the ones on the books for that year. For those figures that can start on either foot, there was a draw at the event for which foot to start on. Back in the earlier part of the 20th century, they had six different figures and started on each foot in competition, for a total of up to 12 figures before they got to any freeskating. (In the earliest years of the sport, most of what constituted freeskating was just different combinations of the same edges and turns, outside the context of the circles.)

    Yes, some skaters were better at some figures than others.

    The figure patterns are not really a case of "I got" a skill -- either having it or not. Just getting back to the same starting point on one foot and then the other foot, for an 8 shape perhaps with some distortions, would constitute "having" the easiest figures. But doing it well enough to pass a test or get a good score in competition is another story. After that, the skater might need to learn to do the turns (and edge changes) at all before they could do them on the circles and get back to the center on one foot. So at what point do you "have" something -- when you can do the turn, or when you can do the whole figure?

    Forward outside three turn is one of the very first skills a skater learns once she moves from learning to glide on one foot at a time into learning to figure skate. So if a beginner can turn from forward to backward on one foot does she "have" those turns? She might say so. But it'll be many more hours on the ice, maybe a year or more, before she can do Fig. 7a and get back to the center, on each foot, with something resembling a circle on each. (BTW, that particular figure, not so much the three turn as the transition between feet at the center, was what got me so frustrated as a kid I ended up quitting at a low level.)

    With the more advanced turns, there might be a feeling of breakthrough the first time the skater actually succeeds at making the turn it correctly.

    The only edge from which I can make a loop consistently and on both feet is the back inside. The other counterclockwise ones I can do inconsistently, and the other clockwise ones not at all.
    It did feel like an accomplishment the first time I could make a loop on each of the edges I can now do at least sometimes.

    A couple weeks ago I was fooling around with back inside loops in footwork. A more advanced skater/coach passed by and remarked, somewhat impressed, "You have loops?" I answered "Back inside" to clarify that I only really "have" one kind, which I think is the easiest kind outside the required patterns. But I certainly don't "have" Fig. 17a.
    Last edited by gkelly; 03-01-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    It seems we can actually reach a reliable agreement about how good or bad an element is while exactly what gets is less reliably agreed upon. Seems counter intuitive I know.
    I think that is quite correct. And the thing we can do best of all is to decide which was better, this one or that. This is why ordinal judging continued in use for so long in spite of opportunity for abuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    http://winter-olympic-memories.com/html/results/jp_3d/s04_london/s04_figure/s04_figure_msp.htm
    The Russian judge was named George Sanders?

    The school figures all consisted of two tangent circles (a figure 8) or three circles, most with turns or loops at specific points on the circle....

    ... But I certainly don't "have" Fig. 17a.
    Wow, what a great post. Thank you for taking the time to supply all these details.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    It's not an art contest or an audience pleasing contest. Audiences who want to watch skating competitions that put art or entertainment first and technical skill second should watch a different kind of event.
    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    a lot of CoP enthusiasts say this is a sport...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?
    I've said it all along: If skating is not about artistry, they should turn the music off. They can have a technical competition, which those audiences who prefer artistry or entertainment don't need to watch. It could be fun. I might watch it once in a while. I imagine it would look like a hurdle race, where several skaters race at the same time from one end of the rink to the other performing straight line footwork. Or they may draw figure patterns and mark the start points for a jump/spin on the ice. It's gonna be fun, just like dog hurdling.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 03-01-2012 at 01:17 PM.

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    gkelly....thanks for all that detail about school figures and your experiences with them...so very interesting!

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatinginbc View Post
    I've said it all along: If skating is not about artistry, they should turn the music off. They can have a technical competition, which those audiences who prefer artistry or entertainment don't need to watch. It could be fun. I might watch it once in a while. I imagine it would look like a hurdle race, where several skaters race at the same time from one end of the rink to the other performing straight line footwork. Or they may draw figure patterns and mark the start points for a jump/spin on the ice. It's gonna be fun, just like dog hurdling.
    How cheeky you are. The tech program would only be half. But it would weed out the ones without good skills. Maybe only 18 in the world go on to the free program. Think of all the money saved in costume, music, choreography. Coaches still needed, but skating as we know it happens in the free skate. I think it could be very interesting. Golf quiet commentary, explanation throughout to tv auidence. The same thing people are hearing on earbuds in arena. I do think it could still be about athleticism/artistry but design competitions with audience appeal/understanding more in mind. Skating is always changing, Ice dance wasn't even a "sport"until the 70's. They can leave ice dance alone, but I think changes to singles and pairs would bring back audiences. There is no pro skating competition left.

    There is an audience that is being neglected. If the scoring system is more accessible/understandable it will help. Those who say it is not way to much for people to grasp don't understand the state of math proficiency in America. But thanks G kelly so much for all your explanations and thinking about this. I learn so much from your posts. Are you a former skater or judge or some skaing insider? Or just Dick Button incognito! You are quite a historian!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    How cheeky you are. The tech program would only be half. But it would weed out the ones without good skills. Maybe only 18 in the world go on to the free program.
    So is this plan only for Worlds? Or for all senior level competitions, including those that allow skaters to qualify for Worlds and those that stand alone?

    Do these other competitions allow the top X skaters to skate a free program if they're the best X at that event? All of them if it's a small event? Same format but different top standard depending whether we're at Four Continents or Nebelhorn or the senior competition at Latvian Nationals?

    Or no one ever gets to compete a free program anywhere unless they are in the top 18 in the world?

    Think of all the money saved in costume, music, choreography. Coaches still needed, but skating as we know it happens in the free skate.
    That sounds like you want the free skate to be accessible only to a very elite few. No point in even choreographing and practicing one unless you have already qualified to compete at Worlds and have good reason to expect you'll make the cut for the final?

    There is an audience that is being neglected. If the scoring system is more accessible/understandable it will help. Those who say it is not way to much for people to grasp don't understand the state of math proficiency in America.
    The math isn't that important. Understanding the kinds of skills that are being judged is where better fan education is needed IMO. In many ways I think the TV networks have done more harm than good in shaping audience's understanding of what this sport is about, at least in the US.

    But thanks G kelly so much for all your explanations and thinking about this. I learn so much from your posts. Are you a former skater or judge or some skaing insider? Or just Dick Button incognito! You are quite a historian!
    Ha. I'm just an adult skater, club volunteer, amateur historian, amateur advocate for understanding the sport from the inside out, etc.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Think of all the money saved in costume, music, choreography.
    But they would still have to bring a costume, just in case. They might accidentally make the cut for the free skate!

  11. #26
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    I mean MM, the saving in the Tech program. Basic costumes only. This means no one skates in a 13,000.00 Vera Wang and the next lady has a homemade dress. Since everyone is doing the same program, they don't need to pay the choreographer, etc. So cut the costs of elite skating 40 percent More regular folk get to play the game. In the free skate, all is allowed. Vera Wang and everything!
    ETA I don't know how skating at the elite level could be smaller. I personally don't want to watch anyone who is 18th after the technical program. It would be dismal skating. In truth, unless it is someone in the US or someone I like, I honestly don't have much interest in 18-24. I don't have the time or the patience anymore. Life is too short to watch bad skating. Sometimes I wonder if those pro competitions in the late 90's where Katarina skated for the money in the same dress 4 times a season helped kill skating in general. I think the only people wanting to see this are the people who can attend Worlds and big time competition. It costs so much, I guess, people settle in.

    I just had a general idea of a totally different goal for each program that would some how satisfy the sport people who want to see 3 quads from the men and the dance lovers who want to watch an Adam Rippon or Jeremy Abbott. All the particulars would be for people who actually skate/ judge. How it would all work in practice I don't know, so gkelly. All high level competitions would be set up this way. In skating in the US, the commentary has been so bad that new people must be very confused. I do not learn anything from Scott/Sandra. Actually Dick Button is pretty much the only commentator I always wanted to hear, no matter what he said.
    Last edited by skateluvr; 03-01-2012 at 10:27 PM.

  12. #27
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    Gkelly, thank you about the school figures! You could write a book about History of Fs!

    If I changed anything in skating it wouldnt be neither the short program, the long or the costumes because all of them I think are a part of fs we love. And I wouldnt want a competition with no music, it would kill the audience more. But I would change the levels requirements, if a pair skater didnt have to do a lift and grab their foot akwardly and look like they have lumbago, or if a skater didnt have to do a step sequence of going back and forth for a minute or spin with an orange put on their nose (level 5 spin) they would have time to be more artistic. I think this is what makes ugly programs. Yes there are skaters who do great spins and great footwork but these people would do it anyway under any rules. The rest are trying to catch up and do ex. painful donut spins and ugly step sequences to get the levels.
    Or if some elements had only Goe and no levels, I can see already how the choreo sequence let some skaters do more free stuff and look like they enjoy it.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I mean MM, the saving in the Tech program. Basic costumes only. This means no one skates in a 13,000.00 Vera Wang and the next lady has a homemade dress. Since everyone is doing the same program, they don't need to pay the choreographer, etc. So cut the costs of elite skating 40 percent
    OK. But remember, if the tech program is a prechoreographed program in which everyone does exactly the same skills, it will not be the chance for the best skaters to show the hardest skills that only they can do. So the free program would be the place for the skaters who can quads or Biellmann spins or spread eagles to show their stuff.

    More regular folk get to play the game. In the free skate, all is allowed. Vera Wang and everything!
    ETA I don't know how skating at the elite level could be smaller. I personally don't want to watch anyone who is 18th after the technical program. It would be dismal skating.
    Well, you don't have to watch them.
    But the format has to allow for them to compete, and to be prepared to compete in the free program if they qualify. Which probably means skating free programs at their national competitions and fall competitions and maybe Euros/Four Continents if they can be top 18 there but only 30th at Worlds.

    Even the elite skaters have to go through a period of not being one of the best before they become the best. It's not unknown for a skater to be outside the top 18 one year and on the podium the next year.

    And quite often there are skaters who are wonderful to watch but who don't have the skills (e.g., 3A for men) to make top 18, or who had a bad day in the tech program.

    Some fans do like to watch the larger field. And the skaters themselves want to compete, their friends and families want to watch them.

    I'd rather come up with a format that maximizes participation. TV broadcasts geared toward fans who only want to watch the best don't have to show the whole event. Less-dedicated fans who attend in person can show up late, or tune in late if they're watching via a media source that does cover the whole thing.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatinginbc View Post
    I've said it all along: If skating is not about artistry, they should turn the music off. They can have a technical competition, which those audiences who prefer artistry or entertainment don't need to watch. It could be fun. I might watch it once in a while. I imagine it would look like a hurdle race, where several skaters race at the same time from one end of the rink to the other performing straight line footwork. Or they may draw figure patterns and mark the start points for a jump/spin on the ice. It's gonna be fun, just like dog hurdling.
    I don't think anyone has ever said that skating is not about artistry. All people have said and have been continuingly saying was skating is not ALL about artistry and skating is a sport first, a special sport. Why should we choose either this or that? Can't we have both?
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 03-02-2012 at 12:19 PM.

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    This non-skating expert wants to have her five cents worth of say.

    First and foremost, thank you to gkelly for your ever patience in trying to ‘educate’ us on the fs rules. I find your comments highly valuable .
    Skatelurv, I agree with Bluebonnet as to why should drastic changes should not be made to fs judging to make some fans happy. I have never heard that a certain sport is changed to make fans happy or attract fans. If non-playing fans like certain sports, they will educate themselves regarding the sport in order to enjoy the game.
    I enjoy watching fs then (6.0 era) and I still enjoy watching fs now. As a non-skater, the difference then was ‘you play safe and don’t fall’ and now ‘stretch yourself to maximise points’. In fact, technically, I find the current marking system, encourages risk simply because the higher the risk, the higher gain.

    As for fans who know skating well, I am certain they will have no problem in understanding the rules. If we change the rules to suit the fans we will forever be changing the rules to suit each changing generational taste. Let fs remain a sport as it is otherwise it should have no place in the Olympics as gkelly pined.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly
    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.
    Gkelly has made some good suggestions in another thread http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...he-Judge/page7 to cater to different type of fans. Personally, I would prefer to pay to watch top class competition rather than a skating show, the latter being more fun than exciting. It is just so much more interesting when athletes stretched themselves to be the best . Each time I watched the display of skills of highest level, I always get this feeling …”wow I wish I can do that too”!

    I don’t understand why the decline of fs in some countries is constantly being linked to the judging rules. The reasons are more multi-faceted than just the judging rules fault. I know of some sports which declined in their country of origin. The English invented badminton, dominated the game for a while but now the top players are mainly from Asia. See link here re. possible decline of the badminton in England: http://www.badminton.me.uk/problems.html . Whilst not everything stated here is true or applicable to fs (perhaps a proper research can be conducted to as accurately pin point the slide of some sports), it always come back to the same question .... ie. how increase the no. of people interested to play and stay on to enjoy the sport for the sheer love of it? The more players the more likely a winner will emerge in future.

    Unfortunately, I do think that having a ‘star power’ in the sport helps to elevate the sport in the country. Hence it becomes a vicious cycle when the country runs out of winners. I won’t be surprised if S Korea produces a Yuna-like winner in fs again in another decade.. The Yuna craze will encourage many youngsters dream of being another Yuna in making, and the Koreans have a culture of determination and excellence in whatever they set their minds on.

    Enough said.. back to the experts like gkelly.

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