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Thread: Educating the public

  1. #16
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Personally, listening to David Kirby and others on the earbug during Nats really openned my eyes as to what was really happening between all those funny folk in the judge's section. This guy is so amazing that during performances he could explain exactly why this or that element got a level 3 or 4 and who was watching what and when during a performance in real time. I would love to see again dance performances with his commentary in the backround.
    Between performances he would take texted questions and answer them and explain the judging system in general. It was so interesting that I would have to turn off the bug during the perfomances of my favorite skaters to enjoy them. I would like to see the ISU put some of his earbug commentary from the Olympics with the performances on YOUtube or do a DVD that explained the sport in general.
    But while I think we here would all enjoy this kind of thing, I do wonder if mathman is right and most of the folks at home and at the arena are there for the beauty more than the sport. Nothing wrong with that....but many folk were wearing the bugs at Nats and when David asked us to raise our hands if we were listening to his channel, many did....

  2. #17
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    Here is an interesting article Judge For Yourself and printable Judge For Yourself 2012 Worlds which could help anyone understand single's skating.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 03-28-2012 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #18
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Thank you, Bluebonnet!

  4. #19
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    For starters, NBC needs to get rid of its lead commentators, neither of whom has the vaguest understanding of CoP and little interest in learning about it. Bezic quit choreographing for competitive skaters because she did not care to learn the new scoring system. And they need to stop cutting off Tracy Wilson every time she tries to explain the scoring. When errors occur, a quick "that will be a -1 on the grade of execution" would be in order for non-fall errors.

    CTV used to do a segment before the SP explaining what the required elements were, and what the judges would be looking for on each element. Something like that would be useful.

  5. #20
    Custom Title mmcdermott's Avatar
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    NBC has a remarkable ability to turn knowledgeable commentators into complete idiots (e.g. Elfi Schlegel in gymnastics - she was intelligent and not annoying when she worked for CBC). In general I think the NBC producers believe that people don't want to know about technical details, and it's too complicated to explain anyway, so they might as well not bother.

    I've been a skating fan for almost 25 years and I spent most of that time, until very recently, wishing I could tell the different jumps apart. It turns out that I needed to learn a bit about edges in order to do that. I think everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to technical knowledge. Sure, some people probably aren't interested at all but that doesn't mean you shouldn't help the people who are. More knowledgeable fans are going to be more dedicated fans.
    Last edited by mmcdermott; 03-28-2012 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #21
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    quit making out to be dumb, and not knowing anything about the sport. we do, we can read , we read rules, cant help it
    if you figure skating don't read rules, ignore rules to favor --politics and the ones you want and rig it to to keep the ones you want to win. inf favor skating , if you ignore ogm and skating
    vm and dw skated about alike so so should be comparable in other words no higher than 70. like d/w

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairly4 View Post
    quit making out to be dumb, and not knowing anything about the sport. we do, we can read , we read rules, cant help it
    if you figure skating don't read rules, ignore rules to favor --politics and the ones you want and rig it to to keep the ones you want to win. inf favor skating , if you ignore ogm and skating
    vm and dw skated about alike so so should be comparable in other words no higher than 70. like d/w
    I have no idea what this says.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I have no idea what this says.
    You're not the only one.

  9. #24
    Custom Title spikydurian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Here is an interesting article Judge For Yourself and printable Judge For Yourself 2012 Worlds which could help anyone understand single's skating.
    Interesting. Thanks.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmcdermott View Post
    NBC has a remarkable ability to turn knowledgeable commentators into complete idiots (e.g. Elfi Schlegel in gymnastics - she was intelligent and not annoying when she worked for CBC). In general I think the NBC producers believe that people don't want to know about technical details, and it's too complicated to explain anyway, so they might as well not bother.

    I've been a skating fan for almost 25 years and I spent most of that time, until very recently, wishing I could tell the different jumps apart. It turns out that I needed to learn a bit about edges in order to do that. I think everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to technical knowledge. Sure, some people probably aren't interested at all but that doesn't mean you shouldn't help the people who are. More knowledgeable fans are going to be more dedicated fans.
    It's not just NBC. ESPN has had similar struggles in certain sports including tennis. Mary Carillo, the best respected tennis analyst in US TV for the last 30 years, chose to leave ESPN because of the rah rah focus on hype over substance.

  11. #26
    Custom Title periperi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Here is an interesting article Judge For Yourself and printable Judge For Yourself 2012 Worlds which could help anyone understand single's skating.
    definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for links.

  12. #27
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    I watched the Short Dances last night with two people who are not skating fans and who know nothing about figure skating. Many of their comments were very interesting, and apropos to this discussion.

    One comment that really shocked me was when one friend said “This team is a LOT slower than the last team. I can read the signs on the boards and I couldn’t with the last team”. That’s how I gauge speed but I didn’t think that someone who doesn’t watch skating would pick up on this without prompting.

    The non-fans quickly picked upon things like how close together the teams were skating (most impressed with V&M) the matching lines of D&W & V&M, and that V&M did everything in perfect unison even when they weren’t even looking at one another. They were utterly blown away at the speed with which D&W and V&M moved, changed positions.

    What was even more interesting to me was that they noted that P&B were very sloppy with their feet and not nearly as precise or sharp the other top teams. They also noticed the lack of unison, and matching lines and couldn’t believe that they were ahead of Weaver & Poje.

    When my daughter and I both commented on depth of edge, they asked us what that meant and why was it important and we pointed out the lean in their skating. My daughter said that skating straight up and down is so much easier than skating with that deep lean into the ice.

    This is not the first time I’ve sat down with people who never watch skating and the one thing I’ve consistently noticed is that even people who have never watched skating can see which skaters are better, in a general way, and that it doesn’t take much to give them a rudimentary understanding of what is important in the judging. If only NBC would make an effort at it.

  13. #28
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I continue to believe that the main problem is not with educating the public about CoP but rather with some of the peculiarities of the system itself. Here is the most striking example.

    A skater goes up for his quad attempt, twirls in the air, and comes down with a splat. The commentator says, "They will have to review that in slow motion to see whether he got the rotations before he fell."

    What?! I just saw him fall with my own two eyes in real time, and so did everyone in the arena. There is nothing in doubt. Why do we need a replay of that failed attempt?

    Then the commentator says, "If he got the full rotations in before he fell, then he will get big points for that element."

    What?! Big points for what? Am I crazy, or did he just fall on his butt?

    So then the commentator says, "See, in the CoP you get big points for completing the rotations, even if you fall. It is really, really hard to rotate four times in the air, just like it is really, really hard for a high jumper to jump seven-and-a-half feet and knock over the bar set at eight feet. If you don't believe me, it's right here on page 168 of the ISU rule book. Now, don't you feel educated?"

    I think I'll switch over to golf.

  14. #29
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    The commentators don't say that last part. We say that here to explain the reasoning.

    Would you feel better if 1) the penalties for errors on high-value elements like quads were larger so that there would be little positive value left over after -GOE and fall deduction and 2) the commentators/educators said something like the following?

    "If you don't jump, you get no points. If you attempt a jump, you get points based on the difficulty of the takeoff and the number of times you rotate in the air. You lose some of those points if there are mistakes on the takeoff, the rotation (e.g., only 3 1/2 when you were trying for 4), or landing. The most severe penalties are if you underrotate by half a revolution or more and also fall. If the jump as a whole is better than just satisfactory, you get extra points."

    That pretty well explains what's being rewarded.

    Right now I think that severe errors on rotated quads are not penalized enough, so I'd like to change the scale of values to make a fall on a rotated quad equal to or less than the base mark of a triple from the same takeoff.

    Then the question is what should be worth more, a fully rotated quad with a fall or a downgraded quad without a fall?

    I think it depends on how badly failed the non-fall jump was, which can be reflected by the range of GOE and the fall deduction in addition to the lowered base mark.

    But I think that it's important to point out that in skating not even jumps are either/or elements. There's a range of quality to successful jumps, and there's a range of negative quality to failed jumps. There are different ways to fail that may occur on their own or all at once. The system needs to be set up to penalize compounded failures more severely than single failures -- e.g., it's reflective of what the skater actually did to penalize falling on a jump that wasn't even close to rotated and never came down on a back outside edge more severely than falling from the landing edge of a rotated jump.

    If you insist on viewing jumps as binary elements, all or nothing, then you miss the point. Open your mind to embrace the range of possible results.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    If you insist on viewing jumps as binary elements, all or nothing, then you miss the point. Open your mind to embrace the range of possible results.
    And as we have seen, with all or nothing scoring, the skaters will opt to NOT attempt the quads and go for something safer. The scoring for rotated but not landed quads exists for the purpose of encouraging skaters to take the risk.

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