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Thread: Educating the public

  1. #61
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Nope. It was a really lovely program, choreographed by Jeff Buttle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypk-vv7VWZM

    I liked it too
    It was lovely. Patrick has beautiful skating skills and he is free only in his gala skates to show us he is trying and succeeding at being an artist. People just don't agree with the judging rules for jumps and his reign as judges favorite despite several mistakes in some programs. Judges favorite. I amazed at how man men MM listed who rotated and landed their quad and more. There are wonderful male skaters all over the world. Even us Chan fans get tired of overscoring. Performance at least 30 points better than Dai? I don't think so. Maybe that does not happen every comp. but still, people get so angry at the unfair judging and the judging rules, they fail to see Pat can skate beautifully outside the CoP parameters he uses to win. I will watch his gala skate again if available. Good stuff.
    Last edited by skateluvr; 04-05-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #62
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatinginbc
    The data show that 74.74% of the attempted quads during the 2011-2012 season were fully rotated, 16.84% underrotated, and 8.42% downgraded
    We probably should also take into account intended quads that are popped into doubles, etc., that do not show up on the protocols as quads.

    (74.74% x 25% x 10.30) +...
    One difficulty here is that under-rotating and falling are not independent. In fact, under-rotation is the primary cause of falls. (If you land with your foot turned 90 degrees sideways you are in big trouble. )

    A skater who avoids a fall only 25% of the time is not going to hit the average of 74.74% for full rotations.

    But anyway, the point remains that under the current rules a skater who can throw up any sort of reasonable attempt at a quad ought to do so.

    However, all of these suggested rules changes do not speak to the topic of this thread: How to educate the public to accept the fact that an element on which the skater falls ought to be awarded some points. I do not think that even the best educated casual fan or television viewer will ever go along with that.

    Gkelly has provided me with a very convincing argument, based on the fact that 99.9% of all skaters never reach the elite level, why skaters ought to be rewarded for completing the rotations regardless of what happens after. But of course children skating at a lower level do not skate before an audience at all, so it doesn't matter what the audience thinks.

    I am afraid that "what the audience thinks" is not foremost on the mind of the figure skating establishment. I do not think that "more education" will narrow the gap much.

  3. #63
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Educating the public in any sport is an ambitious project indeed. I think the CBC does a good job covering figure skating. Tracy, and Kurt do a great job as commentators. Tracy is the best at explaining ice dance. It's a funny thing, when figures counted the public did not understand the judging system at all. They would wonder how could Trixi Schuba beat the likes of a Karen Magnussen or Jantet Lynn when they saw the women's free skate. Of course, they could not appreciate that Trixi Schuba was a master at tracing figures. Only figure skaters themselves could know the difference. Now with the new judging system every element in the free program receives a grade. Again, the public does not appreciate the differences in how an element is executed from skater to skater. I am not even sure that people who don't skate or even catch the odd skating show are that interested in knowing a chocktaw from a mowhawk. It takes years of hard work to actually hone the skills of figure skating. It's great that there is so much information available through books, the internet and videos. Good topic!

    I would also add here that as far as judging figure skating goes, people will always argue about the outcome. How could a guy fall and still win? At least now skaters are rewarded as in the case of Patrick Chan for their non jump elements. It's not just about the jumps anymore. And as Patrick observed "defending his title was harder than achieving it the first time." I thnk his nerves probably had an effect on his skate. His program in the Gala was beautiful - he deserves his world title. I could also tell it was a Jeff Buttle program. My hats off to Jeff - he is a wonderful choreographer. Congrats to Patrick Chan.
    Last edited by Ladskater; 04-06-2012 at 03:49 AM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    We probably should also take into account intended quads that are popped into doubles, etc., that do not show up on the protocols as quads.
    No incident of "no score" and singling a quad was found in men's LPs during the 2011-2012 season. The frequency of doubling a quad was 5, with an average of 1.346 points earned, and the frequency of tripling a planned quad was also 5, with an average of 4.78 points earned. So we have:
    (1) Greater than opportunity cost (74%):
    Full rotation without fall ==> 61% (based on the judgment of the technical panel, therefore including the border-line "non-fall")
    Full rotation with fall ==> 10%
    Underrotation without fall ==> 3%
    (2) Lower than opportunity cost (26%):
    Underrotation with fall ==> 13%
    Downgrade without fall ==> 4%
    Downgrade with fall ==> 4%
    Popping/doubling ==> 5%

    Percentage for full rotation = 71%.
    Percentage for underrotation = 16%
    Percentage for downgrade = 8%

    Let Y = total deduction for a fall, and assume that the average GOE deduction for an underrotated quad without fall is -2 and for a downgraded quad without fall is -2.5.
    (71% x 25% x 10.30) + (71% x 75% x (10.30 - Y)) + (16% x 25% x (7.20 - 2) + (16% x 75% x (7.20 -Y)) + (8% x 25% x (4.1 - 2.5 x 0.7)) + (8% x 75% x (4.1 - 0.7Y)) + 5% x 1.346 = 4.1
    1.8283 + 5.4848 -0.5325Y + 0.208 + 0.864 -0.12Y + 0.047 + 0.246 - 0.042Y + 0.0673 = 4.1
    4.6454 = 0.6945Y
    Y = 6.6888

    To be really conservative, let's have a 6-point deduction for a quad fall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    One difficulty here is that under-rotating and falling are not independent...A skater who avoids a fall only 25% of the time is not going to hit the average of 74.74% for full rotations.
    A skater who can rotate the jump only 25% of the time and land upright only 25% of the time should not be encouraged to try it in a competition under any scoring system anyway. Shouldn't he be practicing at home till he can reach a satisfactory rate for rotation? The proper interpretation of my calculation should be: What should be the deduction for a fall in order to ensure a minimum of 25% success rate for landing even if a skater can hit the average rate for rotation? The answer is 6 approximately (or 6.6888 to be specific). And the proposed deduction will not discourage a skater that has a lower rotation rate as long as he can compensate it with a higher landing rate. For instance,

    Let total deduction for a quad fall = 6, full rotation rate = 50%, non-fall rate = 50%, underrotation = 28%, downgrade rate = 14%, and popping/doubling rate = 8%.
    (50% x 50% x 10.30) + (50% x 50% x (10.30 - 6)) + (28% x 50% x (7.20 - 2) + (28% x 50% x (7.20 -6)) + (14% x 50% x (4.1 - 2.5 x 0.7)) + (14% x 50% x (4.1 - 0.7x5-1)) + 8% x 1.346 = 2.575 + 1.075 + 0.728 + 0.168 + 0.1645 -0.028 + 0.1077 = 4.7902 > 4.1 (base value of 3T).

    That is to say, a skater who can fully rotate the quad 50% of the time and manage not to fall 50% of the time of his quad attempts can yield an expected value higher than the base mark of a 3T or 3S, even if the total deduction for a quad fall increases from the current -4 (-3 GOE and -1 mandatory deduction) to -6.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    How to educate the public to accept the fact that an element on which the skater falls ought to be awarded some points.
    The more education is needed for the public, the more we take the fun out of the sport.
    As a "casual" fan, I trust whatever the scores/levels the adjudicators assigned and don't care about the "black box" in TES because I acknowledge the limit of my technical knowledge. The presentation aspect (PE, CH, IN), however, is where the spectators feel they can understand and be involved emotionally and intellectually. In my opinion, there is no urgent need to "educate" the public. What is urgent for the ISU is to close the gap between the judges and the fans in the assessment of presentation.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-06-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #65
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    I fail to understand how any of you can post long lists of numbers in equations and tell the world "but the math is simple!"

    Of course, I assume all of you were taught to multiply in elementary school before anyone attempted to make you learn division, unlike me.

    As to "educating the public", one problem with that entire concept is that people generally turn on sports for relaxation and hobby. If they are made to feel that watching requires "education" in what really is a complex system, they are not going to be inclined to stay on that channel. And, yes, those are "casual" viewers. But the real money to support skating is in casual viewers not fans dedicated enough to be posting here or on other boards. There are not enough of us.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    I fail to understand how any of you can post long lists of numbers in equations and tell the world "but the math is simple!"
    Sorry for the numbers. Let me summarize my points with plain English:
    I propose a 10-point GOE system (-5 to +5). A quad fall will receive -5 GOE plus -1 mandatory deduction. Based on the math, the increased penalty will not discourage people from attempting the quads. Of course, skaters like Adam Rippon who has a near zero chance of fully rotating his 4S and 4Lz and who can hardly land upright will be discouraged from including them in competitions. And that's good, in my opinion. They should practice quads at home until there is some realistic hope that they can rotate and land them.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-06-2012 at 12:30 PM.

  7. #67
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    I don't think any amount of explanation is going to convince the casual fan that a difficult program with errors should beat a clean program that is beautifully skated. It's a bit like the uproar over S&P vs B&S; a lot of knowledgable fans thought B&S should have won despite the bobbles, whereas the masses were outraged that a program with visible errors would win.

  8. #68
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatinginbc
    Let total deduction for a quad fall = 6, full rotation rate = 50%, non-fall rate = 50%, underrotation = 28%, downgrade rate = 14%, and popping/doubling rate = 8%.
    (50% x 50% x 10.30) +...
    What I was trying to say is that these two 50%'s are not independent. The non-fall rate of 50% should be replaced by the "conditional probability that you will not fall, given that you achieved full rotation." This will be higher than 50%.

    The "conditional probability that you will not fall given that you under-rotated" will be corresponding lower.

    Anyway, your conclusion is that we can greatly increase the penalties for falls without thereby discouraging skaters from trying them, and we should.

    The other point of view is, never mind all these numbers, if you fall you have not done the element that you are being judged on, so you should get 0 points regardless of other considerations. The opposing argument is that if a skater completes the rotations that is better than nothing (a lot better than nothing) so you should get more than 0 points. According to the statistics that you (skatinginbc) have gathered , of the fully rotated quads only 14% result in a fall, So the 0 points rule would not affect very many skaters in any case.

    On the other hand, if a quad is both under-rotated and results in a fall, the skater did not do anything right. Why should the possibility of points even come into play?

    It think this (the 0 points for a fall rule) would make for a sport that is more honest (no, you didn't do it), more in line with what sporting events are all about (no points for an unsuccessful attempt), and more satisfactory to the audience (look, he fell down; he won't get credit for that element).

  9. #69
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    I fail to understand how any of you can post long lists of numbers in equations and tell the world "but the math is simple!"
    I think that the people (like me ) who are posting long lists of numbers are saying that the math behind the CoP is not simple at all.

    It is the people who support the CoP who say, "What's hard about the CoP? Just add up the points!"

  10. #70
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    Well, it's just arithmetic, but there are a lot of steps to arrive at the results, so it's not fun to delve into all the specific numbers unless you love numbers as much as I love skating.

    For casual viewers who just want to sit back and enjoy watching and then find out who won,

    Technical Element Score 63.29, Program Component Score 62.48, 1.0 deduction for the fall, for a total of 125.67

    is probably easier to understand than

    Technical Merit 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.7
    Presentation 5.8 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.7 5.8

    If you care how the numbers were arrived at, for the IJS version there are very detailed rules available, too much information for the casual viewer.

    For the 6.0 version, the answer is "the judges give scores out of a maximum of 6.0, defined as perfect and flawless."
    Easy to understand in theory, and easy to play along at home using whatever criteria you feel like using.
    But if you want to know what criteria the judges were using, how much credit the skater got for falling on a difficult jump or for doing especially difficult steps or fast and beautiful spins, the answer is "Who knows?"
    That won't satisfy fans who really want to understand the results.

    So we've got
    -Casual viewers, or even devoted fans who watch for reasons other than sport, who don't want to go to any effort
    -Fans who want to understand on a holistic level with just enough effort to have fun
    -Diehard fans who like to pore over rulebooks and debate details like flutzes and amount of multidirectional skating
    -People who have devoted thousands and thousands of dollars and years of their life to participate in the sport

    The middle two groups probably account for most posters on Golden Skate. But the money that funds the sport's activities really comes from the first group (the vast majority of TV viewers; without them, networks have no reason to buy broadcast rights) and the last group (remember, it's not a professional sport, even most of the successful competitors lose money to participate each year)
    Last edited by gkelly; 04-06-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  11. #71
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly
    For casual viewers who just want to sit back and enjoy watching and then find out who won,

    Technical Element Score 63.29, Program Component Score 62.48, 1.0 deduction for the fall, for a total of 125.67

    is probably easier to understand than

    Technical Merit 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.8 5.7
    Presentation 5.8 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.7 5.8
    I suppose I look at numbers differently than many people. But seeing a number like 63.29 just drives me crazy. This skater got twenty-nine hundredths of a point for something? Not twenty-eight hundredths?

    But, "The first judge gave her a 5.8. Yeah, that's about what I thought, too. Judge number three was little stingy." That is a lot of fun and very satisfying to me as a viewer.

    -People who have devoted thousands and thousands of dollars and years of their life to participate in the sport.
    It seems there ought to be some sort of compromise available so that the most talented and dedicated, at least, of the people who spend thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to participate in the sport have an opportunity to get some appreciation, either from dedicated local audiences or from the general public, and maybe even a chance to earn back a couple of bucks.

    I would make a distinction between recreation (skating and competing for yourself because you like it) and entertainment (skating in front of audiences for the pleasure of the paying customer.) Unfortunately. professional competitions have disappeared and show skating, in the U.S. anyway, is quickly following suit. Maybe the CoP system serves the needs of developmental and recreational skating very well but could be modified somehow at the elite level. (?)

    Paying audiences are our friends. We shouldn't treat them like a mere annoyance.

  12. #72
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    If I were Empress of the ISU, I'd try to get more people engaged in the sport on its own terms so that more casual viewers would turn into fans, more fans would turn into diehard fans, and more fans (diehard or otherwise) would turn into participants -- either as skaters or as officials and other volunteers.

    The ISU is in the business of administering sport at the highest athletic level and needs to maintain its sporting credentials with the IOC, and with the speedskaters who make up half its membership.

    Speedskaters certainly don't think in terms of entertainment value outweighing sporting value.

    For many figure skaters as well as many figure skating fans, entertainment and artistry are at least as important as technique and athleticism.

    Even if the ISU were to split and figure skating were to have its own international organization run solely by figure skaters, as long as it's an Olympic sport then the highest level of the sport needs to be focused on sporting values rather than entertainment values.

    The trick is to educate audiences (see thread title) to understand the sporting values at the basis of figure skating so they find them entertaining.

    Then there can also be other venues for figure skating that prioritize entertainment over technique. The Olympics and the world championships etc. run under the same format are not that venue.

    But figure skating for entertainment's sake is a good way to bring in fans, and money. The ISU would rather have that money for itself rather than leave the field to outside professional promoters who draw their top talent away from eligible competition.

    So I think they might do well to develop a separate competition circuit that would not be welcome in the Olympics but that would be welcome on TV and in big arenas. And let the skaters themselves choose whether to compete for top athletic honors, top artistic honors, or both if they can handle it.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    the "conditional probability that you will not fall, given that you achieved full rotation."
    A = landing outcome
    B = rotation outcome
    Since A and B are not statistically independent and therefore P(A∩B) ≠ P(A) P(B). But as we know P(Anot-fall ∩ Bfull-rotation) > P(Anot-fall) x P(Bfull-rotation), the actual expected value for a quad attempt is higher than my conservative estimate. Instead of proving X > Z, I proved Y > Z given that X > Y. It won't effect my conclusion, will it? (I mean the conclusion that a 6-point deduction is still able to keep quad attempts profitable, more so than doing a 3T or 3S).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The other point of view is, never mind all these numbers, if you fall you have not done the element that you are being judged on, so you should get 0 points regardless of other considerations.
    That made sense to me, but after listening to what skating experts had to say, I abandoned that idea already (months ago. ) . After all, skating experts are the ones who know skating well. If a great majority of them think it is wrong to negate the jump because of the fall, then their view must be taken. So I come to the compromise: A 6-point deduction for a quad fall. I did the math with a conservative intent to ensure what I proposed is within reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The trick is to educate audiences (see thread title) to understand the sporting values at the basis of figure skating so they find them entertaining.
    Education = Entertainment. I watch Canadian TVs and think they have the right amount of teaching/explanations. No complaint, good as it is. Strangely, despite the detailed explanations from those informative Canadian commentators, I'm still frustrated with the development of our sport. It is not something they can cure by educating the audience.

    BTW, I never enjoyed professional competitions and show skating. I found most of them boring. There were not enough technical contents in their programs, and the so-called artistic programs were not very artistic at all.
    Last edited by skatinginbc; 04-06-2012 at 04:20 PM.

  14. #74
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    Do those of you who are saying that show skating is the answer for the casual fan and totally separating the idea of the sport as entertainment from the sport as competition also think that everyone who watches the Super Bowl likes to count yards and debate play-calling?

    People do watch sports for entertainment/relaxation/hobby. All sports. Not just this one. My husband loves to go to live baseball games. Loves it. A couple of years ago, he asked me what the foul poles were for. Not kidding you. His understanding of the "technical" aspects of baseball amounted to "guy crosses home plate, run scores". But he enjoys sitting in the sun and watching. He has no desire to understand ERAs, batting averages or on-base percentages. That doesn't mean that there needs to be some kind of "show" baseball just for him. And he's the audience they need to keep the stadiums full.

  15. #75
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    So, do you think that they should get rid of foul poles since he didn't understand what they were for and were irrelevant to his enjoyement of baseball?

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