Well, the step sequence could be designed to include each turn in both directions so that everyone has to do both their good side and bad side.
But anything leading into or out of elements would have to be flipped for people who do the elements in the other direction.
I was thinking more along the lines of the SlSt Sequence in Junior MIF or the SeSt sequence in Senior MIF where it has to be skated in both directions.
The judging system has hurt the sport most where it most matters from a popularity point of view--in the ladies competition. Without re-hashing all the failings of COP, I would point to two of the biggest problems--anonymous judging and de-emphasis on artistry (ie, the second mark). The audience wants and should be allowed to know which judges gave which score. It provides accountability and in many cases, explains a lot more than detailed protocols ever could. The PCS mark in COP is insufficient to reward great artistic programs which necessarily have intangible elements. The performance and interpretation marks are just two of five(?) elements that the PCS mark rewards and some of those other elements, like skating skills and transitions are really technical elements. There should be no score for choreography because it really isn't the skater's work in most instances and the score shouldn't vary from performance to performance, yet it does. If it has to do with the interpretation or performance, that is where it should be judged. Include skating skills and transitions in the technical mark. Let the judges judge. And if Speedy or others think it isn't a sport if artistry is judged, remind him that it has been an Olympic sport for over one hundred years and is the biggest draw by far in the Winter Olympics.
The difference is that under CoP, there is no country given for your ranting. So you don't know where your fist should punch. As a consequence, the skater/skaters are used for the purposes. If people really need a punch bag that much, CoP should invent one, such as giving each judge a designated number or letter. No name and no country, but a specific number or letter to identify the judges. And they are kept secret which judge gets which number. So people could at least "throw eggs" to the specific number or letter. Satisfied.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 03-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.
Well, if having a target at which to throw eggs is key to the sport's popularity, then the sport itself isn't all that popular.
We never know which officials to blame for results we don't like in other judged sports. I doubt that those officials are any more or less corrupt in those sports than in figure skating, but the way the scores are reported don't encourage fans to single out scapegoats.
Mostly those other judged sports aren't as popular with audiences as figure skating is, except maybe women's gymnastics in the summer Olympics. But I don't think the reason is because we don't know who to throw eggs at.
If the skating itself doesn't attract audiences, then maybe it's not really an audience-friendly sport.
I think the reason figure skating is more popular with viewers than something like ski jumping or diving or even maybe gymnastics is because we can see the athletes' faces while they compete, and many of the moves and positions are of a sort we can imagine ourselves doing even if we don't actually have the skills needed to do so on or off ice.
And then, yes, there is the artistic component that can speak to audiences on a level mostly separate from the technical skills that make up the majority of the score.
If that alone isn't enough to interest audiences in the sport, if a fairly scored sport with judges everyone has faith in, is boring because the skating itself is boring, then maybe it's not an audience-friendly sport after all and will attract no larger audiences than those other judged sports.
For the sake of the athletes who devote their lives to getting the technique right, and in some cases enhancing the technical content with subtleties that could be considered "artistic," we want a scoring system that can best reward the skaters with the best overall mastery.
If that means no one to punch, that's just too bad for fans who would rather punch targets than enjoy the skating.
As for combining all the judges' scores into a final result, again I do not think that this is the kind of "complication" that turns people off. Judge number 1 ordered the skaters A, B, C, and judge number two had them B,C A, so somehow there is a formula to resolve the differences.
Figure skating is a complicated sport. When a score of 168.23 points comes up on jumbotron, the average fan hasn't the foggiest about what the skaker did to earn that particular number of points.
I grew up with the 6.0 system... I prefer the CoP for judging... but I miss the "Golden Era" of pro skating most of all.
Actually, I was leaning to 6.0 when CoP was first introduced. As the years go by, I've gradually started liking CoP. The more I study on it and understand it, the more I like it and accept it. I'd never want to go back to 6.0 ever.
I grew up with 6.0. I learned to understand it and appreciate its advantages and to live with its idiosyncrasies.
When in the late 1990s some fans (or Cinquanta) argued that it would be better to have a more objective system of adding up scores, I argued against a simplistic approach such as in pro competitions because of the possibility of unintended, counterintuitive consequences. (No point in getting into that now, because no one is proposing that now.)
About the possibility of giving points for each element, I was interested but as I tried to imagine it for myself I thought it would be too complicated.
Then the real IJS came along, and the details were very complicated, and in some ways became moreso over the years. So that will continue to be an issue for people who want to understand the details without a lot of work. Not that ordinals were always simpler.
But what I like very much about the IJS is the detailed protocols showing exactly how each part of the program was scored. Much more informative than mere ordinals or 6.0 scores.
I don't like anonymity under either scoring system, but I do like taking the focus off who gave what score and putting it onto the actual content of the skating that the scores apply to.
Interestingly, pro skating was not judged on a 6.0 scale. It was judged on a scale of 10, like gymnastics. I'm assuming that the producers of the programs felt that general audiences would understand a 10 as perfection much better than they would understand a 6.
Gkelly, I really love your point that one aspect that makes skating so appealing is that audiences (especially at home on TV) can see the skaters' faces. We feel much more connected to them personally, which adds to the emotional content of the program for us. The emotional and artistic elements of skating are part of what sets skating apart from other sports. If those things are taken away (because they can't be quantified for a judging system), skating may or may not become more of a sport, but it will certainly become less of a draw.
Last edited by Olympia; 03-02-2012 at 04:56 PM.