Bona Fide Member
2011/12 - That was the season that was
With the end of the WTT, that brings the season to a close.
An interesting season, but the two factors to emerge from it for me are:-
- COP/IJS is damaging the sport. The marking system is in need of a complete overhaul
- TV coverage is at an all time low. The ISU simply must do a better job of promoting the sport to TV companies. Better TV coverage will in turn attract greater public interest. However, to garner greater interest from TV companies and the public in the first place, there needs to be an overhaul of the marking system.
The way forward? I think the ISU should hold a meeting during the off season to specifically look at the future of sport and to chart a way forward in terms of getting the sport back to where it was in the late 1990's in terms of public interest.
Last edited by Mao88; 04-23-2012 at 05:02 PM.
I don't know...the only way I think the aforementioned boldface scenario will actually occur is if:
Originally Posted by Mao88
a) the ISU holds every single event in Japan and pretends there's no other countries in the world, or
b) someone builds a time machine that will send us back to the late 1990s, or
c) Davis/White hire some unsavory thugs to whack Virtue/Moir's knees, or vice versa
Times have changed (hence option B). Moreover, the spike in public interest in figure skating during the late 1990s was in many ways bolstered by the Kerrigan-Harding affair in the US (hence option C). Now, only the Japanese seem interested enough in figure skating to consistently fill up arenas and attract sponsors with plenty of cash (hence option A).
Seriously. People, when you have five different ladies medalists in two years (Trenary, Cook, Yamaguchi, Harding, Kerrigan) followed by an Olympic gold medal (Yamaguchi) followed by the sport scandal of the decade (the whack) followed by the most dominant skater of our time (Kwan), popularity spikes in the USA.
evangeline, I think Chan's knees are perhaps the most at threat from unsavoury thugs.
I think the ISU could remonetize the sport, definitely, and that COP could be easier to understand and more respectful to the sport while not entirely dismissing it and/or the audience, though.
Based on the timeframe referenced, I assumed that the OP was primarily referring to American interests in figure skating. I do not think Americans are particularly concerned about the state of Patrick Chan's knees.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
But....just imagine if sweet and hard-working Meryl Davis or gallant and smiley Charlie White, gold medal hopefuls for the US' first Olympic gold in ice dance, is viciously whacked in the knee by an unsavoury character suspiciously smelling of maple syrup and Molson's Canadian beer mere months before the Sochi Olympics. The infamy! Oh, the humanity.....maybe it would even be enough to give figure skating a blurb on page 23 of Time or People.
Though I do agree with your point about making CoP more accessible. Results like the Great Booing at Nice only adds to the perception that the sport is beyond the understanding of mere mortals (and thus also beyond the attention of said mortals), or worse, completely crooked.
Last edited by evangeline; 04-21-2012 at 06:33 AM.
Interest was piqued in Rochette with her mother's unfortunate passing such that the Nagasu-was-robbed cries were very quiet. S/P were not Canadians to the US audience (as per Hamilton and Bezic), they were North Americans. The melodramatic possibilities are endless
What happened at Nice should be a wake-up call. The marking system may be black and white, but it is incomprehensible and legalistic. (Well, maybe it is grey.) It is NOT working for the benefit of the sport.
Originally Posted by evangeline
Great art expresses great meaning, but it only has value if that meaning can be understood. It seems that the present scoring system has taken the art out of the sport of skating. Too many of the winning skates are no picnic to watch. I understand what they were trying to do by preserving scores despite falls and by being precise about how scores are awarded, but maybe we should take the result as showing us that things have gotten out of hand. Technicians (won't name names) are basically figuring out formulas for skaters to skate to and calling themselves coaches.
I don't think that who the top skaters are will change if the scoring process changes, but I do think that they will skate differently, and:
I) over time, the public would take to the sport better;
II) a greater proportion of the skates would be better to watch.
The old scoring system was not that good either. It wasn't right that a whole performance could get wiped out of any value by one slip, but what is happened now is that the falls are almost part of the routine. Nevertheless, can't we take what we have learned from everything (both scoring systems) to make something better . . . something more simple and transparent and which forces the skater to do a routine that is not only great but understood and more enjoyable to watch (and which has a lot less *** contact on the ice).
Regarding another point raised, the state of commentary on the North American stations, especially the CBC, is really garbage. That includes you, Mr. Browning. It needs a complete overhaul. Perhaps the commentators could start by knowing a bit more background of the skaters who skate. Even google might help them. Perhaps the skating federations should get involved in prepping the station commentators better. (I sense from watching the various broadcasts on youtube that this is mainly a North American issue though.) The federations need to develop better relationships with broadcast media not just so that the sport is understood but so that it can grow in its presence.
As well, the skating federations in Canada and the United States need better PR and perhaps an advertising guru to get the sport out there and sell it better to create interest WITH THE PUBLIC. They need to be more pro-active than re-active.
I know that what I have written above is pie in the sky, but the only forces that skating has to act in its interest are the skating federations; they have to light the spark. Nice has to be as forceful a statement as any that the scoring system is not working and needs an overhaul. They also have to get the sport out there and sell it (something that they are either not doing or failing miserably at).
Before we change the rest of the world, we have to change ourselves. Then, we have to get others to join us.
(Regarding Japan, they seem to be doing everything right. I might add that their skaters are amongst the most entertaining to watch. Kudos to their skaters and their federation.)
One of my complaints with the COP is that skaters are not penelized for not demonistrating their ability to execute all the skating moves. Either more points should be awared for the ability to show a complete skate or points should be deducted for not executing all the jumps.
I too, was very impressed with the team from Japan. I loved how they were dressed for the team photo and they were very humble and polite to the audience.
Last edited by Vicky458; 04-21-2012 at 08:35 AM.
I agree. Every time I watch figure skating and someone else is around, they say "Oh, are the Olympics on? I didn't think that was on for another year or two..." or "I didn't even know this was on." Then, we watch it an almost everyone enjoys it.
Originally Posted by phaeljones
But, point being, it's never on T.V. anymore, and even when it is, no one knows. There is a lack of knowledge among the general public, even those who might be casual fans, as to when, where, and even how to watch it (ie CoP).
Can I also say that the price for tickets to the events are kind of crazy, especially since half of the arena is usually empty when it's in the US/Canada? If the price were reduced I think more people may make the trek to be in attendance, and our arenas wouldn't look quite so sad.