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Thread: DiManno: Figure skating audiences alienated by esoteric judging system

  1. #16
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    She's also said the men watch figure skating to ogle skimpily dressed underage girls. .
    There are some men this is true of. Mostly though, quite a few like to ogle skimpily dressed girls, rather than underage girls. Otherwise, Las Vegas shows would not be so popular nor would strip clubs and the burlesque reviue. Likewise, the Rockettes, the cancan and the tutu would not have been invented.

  2. #17
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    Would it be that hard for television or ice network feeds to separate out the scores? Instead of one technical elements score, have it as: Spins, Jumps, Footwork, etc.
    And instead of "Presentation Score" (which is what it was called the other day, not "Program components" display separate scores for Choreography, Interpretation, etc.?

    And change the name of "Skating Skills" to edging and speed, or something more concrete? Those are a few simple changes that might take the bad taste out of some people's mouths when a falling leaf wins gold.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    Would it be that hard for television or ice network feeds to separate out the scores? Instead of one technical elements score, have it as: Spins, Jumps, Footwork, etc.
    It would be an extra step that the networks would have to take. The scoring program itself doesn't divide the elements that way, so someone else would have to take the raw data and crunch it through a different program.

    And then if the network makes a mistake in programming their unofficial computer and gives the wrong numbers, what do you bet fans will get confused or worse and blame the ISU for the network's mistake?

    And instead of "Presentation Score" (which is what it was called the other day, not "Program components" display separate scores for Choreography, Interpretation, etc.?

    And change the name of "Skating Skills" to edging and speed, or something more concrete? Those are a few simple changes that might take the bad taste out of some people's mouths when a falling leaf wins gold.
    Are you asking the TV/online networks to use different terminology than the sport itself uses? Or are you asking the sport to change its language to accommodate the viewers.

    The commentators could certainly use all those words and more to help make it clearer what the new words refer to.

    "Skating Skills" includes more than just edging and speed. It could be called the edges-speed-flow-acceleration-rhythmic knee action-one-foot skating-multidirectional skating throughout the whole program" mark, but that's not very convenient to say.

    At least not all at once. It would be great if the commentators would talk about all those things at some point over the course of each broadcast.

    Would something like "Basic Skating" convey the concept to viewers more easily than "Skating Skills"?

    Visible success or failure of the elements is really not a significant part of it, although not completely irrelevant either -- I think your objection is that nonskaters see failures on elements and think that means the overall skating skill is lower because the whole program is "skating" but they don't see the details of the non-element skating.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    "Skating Skills" includes more than just edging and speed. It could be called the edges-speed-flow-acceleration-rhythmic knee action-one-foot skating-multidirectional skating throughout the whole program" mark, but that's not very convenient to say.
    I vote to call it the "rhythmic knee action score."

    Visible success or failure of the elements is really not a significant part of it, although not completely irrelevant either -- I think your objection is that nonskaters see failures on elements and think that means the overall skating skill is lower because the whole program is "skating" but they don't see the details of the non-element skating.
    Untutored fans do not see the details that the judges are looking for, but I do think they can see and appreciate things like flow over the ice, speed, ice coverage, command of edges, cool turns , etc.

    I hate to use the same example over and over, but any fan seeing patrick Chan's exhibition number would immediately agree that he showed "skating skills" to die for.

    On the other hand, these skills were not nearly so much in evidence (to the casual fan) in his long program. There, he hit some huge stuff at the beginning, tapered off with flubs at the end. Overall, a B+.

    Are the fans wrong?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I vote to call it the "rhythmic knee action score."
    This actually wouldn't be a bad idea. It would explain a lot.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I wish they would somehow encourage more beautiful, held-out moves in addition to transitions. It just seems like the skaters feel like they always have to be doing something, which I guess they do because they will get lower transition scores otherwise. It's true the programs are more difficult now, and it's true that difficulty must be rewarded, but I wish they could somehow balance the difficulty with musicality. In particular, a few of the Russian girls do these hyper-flexibility moves that do not correspond to the music at all and just look like a point grab to me. If that's the future of the sport then I think audiences will continue to be alienated.
    I agree with this, I really didn't like the idea of removing the required spiral sequence out of both programs (although there are still a few skaters who do it), and like you said the skater needs to be doing something.. I liked it when back in the 80-90s where skaters took long stance pauses in their program - it went well with the music and it increased interest. My mom used to love watching figure skating when she was a child, and she loved the 90s when you can easily tell who would place first, second, third etc. But now she has lost interest in watching, and the reason was because she found it boring that everyone is skating the same, with overdone music (i.e. Patrick Chan keeping his LPs for 2 seasons, and using the same music this season as Joannie Rochette's LP in 2009, and Joannie Rochette's LP in 2010 was the same as Jeffrey Buttle's LP in 2006 - the only thing I don't approve about Lori Nichol (no offence, even though I know she wasn't Jeff's choreographer at the time)). I think it is a mixture of COP regulations on what is required, what is not, what scores as low transitions, etc, but what about the choreographers themselves? I know that they need to structure their programs around COP, but it is also their decisions on the overall program... I don't know really..

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Think of baseball, the way they tuck all kinds of abbreviations around the corners of the screens in live time. Serious baseball fans learn the arcane rules but they don't have to go look up the details of the game - they are right there.
    The learning curve for baseball is also high, but at least when you learn the rules you can enjoy applying them for 162 games out of the year, plus postseason. Here you are asking fans to understand a complex scoring system when there are maybe 3 televised events per year. And there always seems to be controversy with at least one of those 3.

    The scoring system has also made it harder to develop interesting rivalries because there is less variation in your score based on the actual performance, particularly for top skaters. We knew Chan or Kostner would have to have a meltdown to lose the title AND another skater would have to be perfect. These two conditions make it difficult to have much variation in the final result, and so there are fewer interesting rivalries.

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