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Thread: Sine qua non: Elements and Quality

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    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.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZnHBWYwSfg#t=2m12s
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    How about this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hXcbgqsq8Q#t=2m0s

    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.

  2. #62
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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? )

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    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!

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    !!!

    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?

    Thank you so much. What about this one?

    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?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePHUy8yU-gU#t=1m7s

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    !!!

    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.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    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.
    When judges take tests to become ISU or international judges, are they required to be able to do commentary like the narrator of this video, naming every move in real time?

    I think the ISU should make the videos for sale (on disks or as online content) for reasonable prices to interested fans...
    Either that or get them for free from Youtube.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    When judges take tests to become ISU or international judges, are they required to be able to do commentary like the narrator of this video, naming every move in real time?
    I don't know what their tests are like. If I ever get a chance to talk to an international judge, I'll try to remember to ask.

    Either that or get them for free from Youtube.
    Well, yeah, these days that's bound to happen either way. But it took a few years and can't be advertised except by word of mouth.

    If the ISU wants to build a knowledgeable audience, they would need to advertise the existence of the information to casual fans (including those who watch TV and don't read websites like Golden Skates). I'm just thinking how the ISU might be encouraged to try to spread that information.

    Of course, they could just make the videos readily available on their website along with the PDFs of the rules. Or on their youtube channel along with the JGP performances.

    The trick would be convincing them that it's better to invite audiences in to understand what skaters and judges understand, rather than just tell them to enjoy the pretty skating and the exciting jumps and not worry their pretty little heads about the technical details that decide the results.

  8. #68
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    I love this thread - this thread and others like it (such as some of the threads Doris developed about dance last year) are so educational. I really appreciate it!

    This may be an inappropriate place to ask this question, so I apologize in advance if it is, but is there an easy way to print a thread? For someone like me, a thread like this would be easier to study more closely with the videos and so forth if I had a printed copy in front of me.

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    I echo the thanks for the teaching on this thread!

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The trick would be convincing them that it's better to invite audiences in to understand what skaters and judges understand, rather than just tell them to enjoy the pretty skating and the exciting jumps and not worry their pretty little heads about the technical details that decide the results.
    Michael Weiss just made me mad on the NBC coverage of the Grand Prix final. When Hanyu popped his 4S into a 2S Weiss said, he will only get about a point for that instead of about 10 points. Is the audience so dumb that they would not understand if he said that Hanyu will get only 1.3 points instead of 10.5?

    Also, these guys are commenting to tape after already having seen the competition, right? So Michael should have been prepared to discuss why Chan didn't get credit for the 2A+2T, without fumbling around with an explanation which, if you didn't already know the answer, was not of much use to the viewer.

    Likewise Scott Hamilton could serve the viewers better if he would not simply exclaim, "oh that's so hard" every few seconds. Why can't he explain, at least in the replays, exactly what the skater is doing that makes it hard, naming and describing the moves? It is not much help when he continually says, "in this new judging system every little thing the skater does counts!" Why not show us some of those things that count for so much in the IJS. Why not say, "This turn with change of direction leading into this jump is called a Mohawk. This ups the difficulty of the jump and will be reflected by an extra point in the grade of execution."

    As for those viewers who don't want their pretty little heads worried, such expert commentary would do no harm. They would just go on enjoying the jumps and the pretty skating as before.

    OK, one more question, if I may.

    In the instructional tape for Transitions, in the program of the skater who didn't have many, at one point the narrator says, "crossunder, followed by crossover, followed by cross-cut." I always thought that "cross-cut" was just the Canadian way of saying crossover. (It's cool when the British commentators call a triple Rittberger/triple cherry flip combo.)

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma View Post
    I love this thread - this thread and others like it (such as some of the threads Doris developed about dance last year) are so educational. I really appreciate it!

    This may be an inappropriate place to ask this question, so I apologize in advance if it is, but is there an easy way to print a thread? For someone like me, a thread like this would be easier to study more closely with the videos and so forth if I had a printed copy in front of me.
    You have to do it one page at a time. Use your mouse to highlight the part of the page you want to print.
    Either use Edit, then Copy from the IE toolbar, or just hit Ctrl-C

    Open up a Word Pad document. Use Paste-Special-text to paste it into WordPd (this gets rid of everything but the text stuff).

    If you save as an RTF file, and then reopen it, the links are preserved, and will work when you click on them.

    And, of course, you can print the page too.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-11-2012 at 06:08 AM.

  12. #72
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michael Weiss just made me mad on the NBC coverage of the Grand Prix final. When Hanyu popped his 4S into a 2S Weiss said, he will only get about a point for that instead of about 10 points. Is the audience so dumb that they would not understand if he said that Hanyu will get only 1.3 points instead of 10.5?

    Also, these guys are commenting to tape after already having seen the competition, right? So Michael should have been prepared to discuss why Chan didn't get credit for the 2A+2T, without fumbling around with an explanation which, if you didn't already know the answer, was not of much use to the viewer.
    Although I did not see NBC's GPF coverage on Sunday, my strong hunch is that it was recorded "live-to-tape" -- which would mean that Weiss was commenting in real time to the competition as it unfolded. (Same concept as NBC's tape-delayed coverage of the Olympics with real-time commentary, for example.)

    A major advantage of live-to-tape production is preservation of the spontaneity/suspense/unpredictability of competition, which I think most sports broadcasters believe is paramount.
    If some super-important "breaking news" update had come to light after the event was recorded, but before the taped coverage had aired, then they would have had to squeeze in a live or taped insert.
    Hard for me to think of something that would rise to that level in coverage of figure skating -- maybe if a skater/pair/couple in the top three had been found guilty of doping [although come to think of it, I have no idea how long it takes for doping samples to be definitively analyzed ].

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Michael Weiss just made me mad on the NBC coverage of the Grand Prix final. When Hanyu popped his 4S into a 2S Weiss said, he will only get about a point for that instead of about 10 points. Is the audience so dumb that they would not understand if he said that Hanyu will get only 1.3 points instead of 10.5?
    Probably not. Maybe they were also figuring in that the GOE would be affected as well so the actual amount lost was only approximate.

    Why not show us some of those things that count for so much in the IJS. Why not say, "This turn with change of direction leading into this jump is called a Mohawk. This ups the difficulty of the jump and will be reflected by an extra point in the grade of execution."
    I agree in principle, but that's a bad example. (See below)

    In the instructional tape for Transitions, in the program of the skater who didn't have many, at one point the narrator says, "crossunder, followed by crossover, followed by cross-cut." I always thought that "cross-cut" was just the Canadian way of saying crossover. (It's cool when the British commentators call a triple Rittberger/triple cherry flip combo.)
    I've usually heard "cross cut" as an alternate term for back crossover. The "crossunder" term would mean that it was the back foot doing all the work, and by "crossover" he may have meant that only the front foot was working on that specific stroke. Usually there are at least two parts of the whole crossover/cross cut where the skater is pushing to gain power.

    Rough relative difficulty of turns and other transitions:

    According to when various turns are introduced in the US Moves in the Field tests, and before that on the figure tests, and my own experience, I would roughly classify the difficulty of the turns as follows:

    Easy: forward three turns, forward inside mohawks, back outside mohawks (usually just called "step forward")

    Advanced beginner: backward three turns, forward outside and back inside mohawks, backward choctaws in isolation, edge changes, cross rolls

    Medium: double threes/traveling threes; single twizzles, brackets, loops, forward choctaws

    Difficult: counters, rockers, multi-revolution twizzles

    Advanced: combinations of turns and/or steps with quick changes of rotational direction, changes of rhythm, multiple turns on the same foot; especially any sequence of moves that incorporates all of the above

    Along the way, the average skater, or actual individual skaters, will find some turns significantly easier clockwise vs. counterclockwise, or forward vs. backward, or inside vs. outside edges. So a lower-level skater might be able to one or more of a certain kind of turn, but not from all 8 different starting edges. Also they might be able to do the turn recognizably but not hold the exit edge. At an advanced level, you would expect the edges to be clear even when the skater quickly moves on to the next step.

    Difficulty of the types of steps and turns aside, I would say that the factors that make an entry into a jump difficult would be quick rhythm of steps without a break, multiple one-foot turns, quick change of rotational direction right before takeoff, quick change from a body position in which the center of balance was in a very different position from where it needs to be for the actual takeoff

  14. #74
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    Thank you Doris! This helps a lot (including the paste special - I never knew what that meant/did!!!).

    And even if 'rough' this description of relative difficulty of steps is both interesting and incredibly helpful for learning more about this! Thanks gkelly!

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