# Thread: Identifying Turns and MITF from the Sine Qua Non thread

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## Identifying Turns and MITF from the Sine Qua Non thread

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Originally Posted by dorispulaski
A discussion in the Sine Qua Non thread evelved into some interesting technical description and video clips that are helpful for learning how to identify the different turns and steps. The start point I picked is somewhat arbitrary, but don't be discouraged. I learned a lot from gkelly's posts!.

Originally Posted by Mathman
It might be better to show transitions that are not a lead-in to a jump. In this example the audience will be more interested in the jump than in the fine points of the entry.
Fair enough.

By the way, if you back up to the previous element, a triple Axel, Scott says about the rotations and the landing -- three and half rotations; he just barely made it." I thought it was perfect. Maybe the tiniest of a few degrees rotation on the ice, but basically right on the money. Am I wrong?
Looks rotated to me. At full speed in the program, it's clear that the axel loses speed, some of which he gets back with the double toe. That's not evident in the slow motion because you can't see how much more speed he had on the entrance compared to the landing. That's probably what Scott was referring to.

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Originally Posted by Mathman
...I don't think anyone would want to buy a ticket to a gala held after a private competition.
Probably why they don't have their way

I forgot to mention, other sports may also have "close calls" ie. the puck hitting the goal post, the basketball bouncing on the rim and falling off the wrong side. Close-calls illicit ooohs of excitement. Figure Skating does not have close-calls, but does have the opposite ie. falls and stumbles etc. Perhaps not as exciting, since I assume everyone feels bad for the skater (unless you are bias against, or indifferent).

All the ideas you have been discussing are good, but they appear to be aimed at casual fans with some basic knowledge. In some cases, I think it may be necessary to go even further back to raw basics.

When I was at a hockey game with my brother and his wife, the wife mentioned it was difficult for her to "get-into" hockey because she did not understand it. As an example, she commented how the whistle just blew and the game was stopped, yet she had no idea why. I responded by telling her it was an "off-side" call. Her response was, "yeah, what is that". I think it is the same with Figure Skating.

Before I became interested in Figure Skating, I had heard the terms "Lutz", "Axel", etc. and knew they were jumps. I knew a double was the number of rotations in the air, although it was not obvious from the name that a double axel was actually 2.5 rotations. I had no idea what the differences were between the jumps. To the new casual viewer, they all look alike (jump up, rotate, land). It was not until I made the effort to search the internet that I learned the differences. Even then, reading the descriptions wasn't clear (that site had too much technical details, and was difficult to follow). I had to read the descriptions several times in some cases. Most casual viewers would not make that type of effort, and would go through life blissfully ignorant and uninterested. The same sister-in-law also mentioned to me on a different occasion, that she wouldn't know the difference between a Lutz and a Flip (she chose those jump names randomly). What is a Mohawk? Is that a type of haircut or a native Indian tribe? Like my brother's wife with hockey, it would be difficult for people to become interested in Figure Skating if they do not have a clue.

Occasionally there are trade shows held for cars, home products, hunting & fishing, wine & cheese. I don't know if there are similar sport trade shows, where local skating clubs can put on exhibitions, and give a brief basic "skating-for-dummies" demonstration between the performances. Perhaps the indifferent can be turned into casual fans, and the casual fans may become avid fans.

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Originally Posted by gkelly
To reach general audiences who wouldn't even call themselves skating fans, short educational segments on TV broadcasts would probably read the most people at that level of interest.
When I attended the Summer Olympics in London, before each event they showed an event guide on the screens in the arena. It was fairly basic, but it described format, scoring etc. For example when we saw the Rhythmic Gymnastics they described the 4 apparatus and basic skills that would be performed, the area of the floor, how many judges there were, what the judges were looking for etc. It was particularly helpful in the sports that we knew little or nothing about. Perhaps if they aired something like this at the beginning of a broadcast it would be helpful to the casual fan...most especially at the big competitions like Olympics, Worlds and Nationals.

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Originally Posted by gkelly
To reach general audiences who wouldn't even call themselves skating fans, short educational segments on TV broadcasts would probably read the most people at that level of interest.
CTV used to broadcast a segment at the beginning of discipline's SP setting out the 8 required elements and what the judges were looking for on each. They would also have fluff pieces showing how to identify jumps, and again what the judges are looking for. For a while they also had Jean Senft doing a judge's segment, but I don't remember much about them.

When CoP was introduced, they spent time at the beginning of each broadcast explaining how it worked. Tracy Wilson and Debbie Wilkes took the ISU technical specialist training to help with their commentary. Big difference from what happened in the US where the commentators still don't seem to have a clue about the scoring.

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About educating viewers, it's a tough sell any way you look at it. As much skating as I have watched live and on TV, I still generally can't tell one jump from another. Unless the announcer says, here comes a triple flip. Then I nod sagely and say, yup, that was a triple flip -- note the three turns entrance and the inside edge take-off. (Everybody say, ooo, an expert in the house! )

Is it possible to teach such a numbskull the difference between a counter and a Chocktaw?

In this video (its creator is in the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of fame, in the same class as Paul Wylie), is it possible to identify the particular turns and movements in the first 20 seconds? (Serious question.)

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Originally Posted by Mathman
Is it possible to teach such a numbskull the difference between a counter and a Chocktaw?
Yes, because a counter is a one-foot turn and a choctaw changes feet at the same time it changes direction.

Being able to distinguish between counters vs. rockers or brackets, or choctaws vs. mohawks, would be trickier.

But none of these turns should be introduced in a first lesson on element recognition. Should I suggest a possible format for teaching turn recognition?

In this video (its creator is in the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of fame, in the same class as Paul Wylie), is it possible to identify the particular turns and movements in the first 20 seconds? (Serious question.)

There are some recognizable three turns there, but some of the other steps are just simple strokes or two-foot nothings, at least nothing that real skaters on blades would be likely to do or give names to.

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Here's a good place to start online for recognizing steps and elements: http://www.sk8stuff.com/m_recognize.htm

What I'd like to do is put together some scripts for potential video segments explaining the basic skills to nonskaters.

The time-consuming part would be finding clips to illustrate each point. If we were really a network producing these segments for broadcast, we'd just take a camera down to a rink and get some skaters to demonstrate each one.

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MM, pick a program, post the youtube and what section you want identified, and one of the skaters here can identify the steps and turns for you....I typically catalog them as I watch.

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Originally Posted by mskater93
MM, pick a program, post the youtube and what section you want identified, and one of the skaters here can identify the steps and turns for you....I typically catalog them as I watch.
I will take you up on that!

Here is Mao Asada, Grand Prix Final short program just skated. Staring at about 2:12 she does ??? then a short bacjward spiral (?) then a couple of ???, then a triple loop.

Gkelly beat me up about saying that skaters twitch back and forth. The last moves just before the jump are what I was referring to. The average viewer who is not watching her feet just sees a saucy swish of the backside.

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To me this looks like a series of one-foot turns into the jump. Mao's transitions are more varied, but are they harder than Ashley's? Does Ashley get any credit for the stag jump right after the triple loop?

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Originally Posted by Mathman
Here is Mao Asada, Grand Prix Final short program just skated. Staring at about 2:12 she does ??? then a short bacjward spiral (?) then a couple of ???, then a triple loop.

Starting at about 2:12 she does a brief Ina Bauer on inside edges, then I wouldn't even call it a spiral because of the upper body position -- I'd just say a backward free leg extension -- and then three choctaws and a mohawk, change feet, into the triple loop.

Gkelly beat me up about saying that skaters twitch back and forth. The last moves just before the jump are what I was referring to. The average viewer who is not watching her feet just sees a saucy swish of the backside.
The reversing choctaws are not especially deep here, the way ice dancers do them in the rhumba, but nice and light and fairly quick. This move, reversing back and forth between forward and backward, is on the junior Moves in the Field test in the US test system -- compare to the "choctaw" link I gave in post #54. So it's a fairly advanced sequence of steps to do on clearly recognizable edges, but since that's the only really difficult step in this series leading into the loop, and it's not particularly closely connected to other steps or turns or to the jump itself, I wouldn't say the preceding steps part of this element is especially impressive by world-class senior standards. It is certainly much more nicely performed than would be typical on the junior moves test, or by mid-level skaters who frequently stick one set of small, usually shallow or flat, reversing choctaws before their double lutzes as nominal transitions.

Originally Posted by Mathman

To me this looks like a series of one-foot turns into the jump. Mao's transitions are more varied, but are they harder than Ashley's?
This is a series of traveling three turns. Essentially two double threes -- which is an intermediate-level move. I would say that that particular variety (back outside and forward inside in the skater's preferred direction) is the easiest -- i.e., I can do them, with much weaker quality, in my direction into a single loop. What's difficult is getting enough power for a triple without an extra push from the other foot onto the takeoff edge as is typical of most loop entrances.

Does Ashley get any credit for the stag jump right after the triple loop?
Sure, for the transitions component. Nice seamless connection between the solo triple jump and the step sequence. Not really close enough to the jump to count as part of that element.

I wouldn't say that either skater's steps-before-solo jump is especially impressive for difficulty at world-class level. The quality is appropriate for that level.

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Thank you, gkelly. I think this is something I could get into, as a spectator.

According to the CoP guidelines, the four bullets for transitions are variety, difficulty, intricacy, and quality. So, what I am hearing is that as far as variety and difficulty are concerned, an intermediate skater can do pretty much the same as what the world champion can do, and a novice can do it pretty well. (I am not entirely sure what "intricacy" comprises apart from variety and difficulty.)

So the big difference between a novice getting a 3.5 in Transitions and a world champion getting 8.5, is in the quality. By this I suppose we mean things like security and pureness of edges, speed, integrity of whole body movement, seamless transitions between transitions , matching of movement to choreography and music -- that sort of thing?

(Mohawks and Choctaws -- change feet. Counters and rockers -- same foot. Right? )

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Originally Posted by Mathman
Thank you, gkelly. I think this is something I could get into, as a spectator.
I hope so.

According to the CoP guidelines, the four bullets for transitions are variety, difficulty, intricacy, and quality. So, what I am hearing is that as far as variety and difficulty are concerned, an intermediate skater can do pretty much the same as what the world champion can do, and a novice can do it pretty well.
Well, not necessarily. Some transitions that some top senior skaters could not be done by someone who is not a top senior skater, but the examples you happened to choose are not especially difficult for skaters at that level.

Yes, the quality matters a lot.

Also, senior skaters will be doing those transitions in and out of triple jumps, whereas intermediates and novices will mostly be doing doubles.

(I am not entirely sure what "intricacy" comprises apart from variety and difficulty.)
As I understand that criterion, it's how closely the transitional moves are connected to each other or to elements, or how closely the elements are connected to each other.

E.g., Ina Bauer, bend the forward knee further and lift the back foot off the ice, swing it through to jump (see the first transition in the link below) would be a more intricate entry into a double axel than Ina Bauer, crossover, hold back outside edge, and step forward to jump (usual axel setup). The Ina Bauer itself might be just as good or better quality in the second example, but the connection would not being very intricate.

official ISU explanation

So the big difference between a novice getting a 3.5 in Transitions and a world champion getting 8.5, is in the quality. By this I suppose we mean things like security and pureness of edges, speed, integrity of whole body movement, seamless transitions between transitions , matching of movement to choreography and music -- that sort of thing?
Yes, quality will be a big part. But 8.5 is a very good transitions score -- even a world champion is not likely to deserve that unless he or she is using more difficult connections (i.e., more difficult, and more of them) than an average novice. But the difference between a world champion earning 8.5 and a novice doing similar numbers and types of steps similarly connected to the elements will most likely be quality. Still, if a novice is doing that much, her Transitions score could well be higher than 3.5.

(Mohawks and Choctaws -- change feet. Counters and rockers -- same foot. Right? )
You got it!

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Originally Posted by gkelly
!!!

Why don't they show videos like that on TV at the start of competition broadcasts?

Second, why isn't there a Shen and Zhou channel -- all Shen and Zhou, all the time?

Patrick Chan 2012 Grand Prix Final SP. Before his solo quad, he does a few turns and things, but to me they are too far away from the jump to count as transitions into the jump. It looks like he just does one simple turn to get into position to the jump. Does this satisfy the short program requirement?

On the other hand, starting about 2:20 he does quite a lot leading up to his triple Lutz/triple toe attempt. Do you think that he planned a 4T+3T at the beginning and transitions into a solo triple Lutz, but he couldn't pull off the second jump of the quad combo and had to improvise?

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Originally Posted by Mathman
!!!

Why don't they show videos like that on TV at the start of competition broadcasts?
Well, if TV networks are going to show official ISU training materials, they'd need to make some kind of deal about the rights.

The segments are mostly too long to fit into broadcasts aimed at general audiences. But 1-minute excerpts would be useful. I think the ISU should make the videos for sale (on disks or as online content) for reasonable prices to interested fans and give them to the media for educational purposes.

Patrick Chan 2012 Grand Prix Final SP. Before his solo quad, he does a few turns and things, but to me they are too far away from the jump to count as transitions into the jump. It looks like he just does one simple turn to get into position to the jump. Does this satisfy the short program requirement?
Barely.

In the negative GOE guidelines, there's supposed to be a reduction of -1 for -2 for "Break between required steps/movements & jump/only one step/movement preceding jump" but the final GOE does not need to be negative. Still, +2 does seem too high.

(If there are no preceding steps, the GOE reduction is -3 and the final GOE must be negative.)

On the other hand, starting about 2:20 he does quite a lot leading up to his triple Lutz/triple toe attempt. Do you think that he planned a 4T+3T at the beginning and transitions into a solo triple Lutz, but he couldn't pull off the second jump of the quad combo and had to improvise?
Seems likely . . . and based on what he did at his previous GP events this fall, that does seem to be the case.

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