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

  1. #16
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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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.)

  2. #17
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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

  3. #18
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    gkelly, you are doing a great job explaining this so far. I would put loops in the difficult column because skaters typically get 1 or 2 in their natural rotational direction somewhat easily (usually forward outside, back inside), can learn a couple of the others with a fair amount of work (forward inside in normal rotational direction, back inside in non rotational direction, forward outside in non-rotational direction, back outside in normal rotational direction) and struggle with the non-rotational back outsides and forward insides, especially (this comes from experience working on the current Novice test and watching others learning the new Junior move and having been introduced to the back loops at the same time as learning the Novice forward loops).

    MM: the things that make some turns more difficult than others are the precise placement of body position that's required to make the turn happen cleanly along with quickness.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    I would put loops in the difficult column because skaters typically get 1 or 2 in their natural rotational direction somewhat easily (usually forward outside, back inside), can learn a couple of the others with a fair amount of work (forward inside in normal rotational direction, back inside in non rotational direction, forward outside in non-rotational direction, back outside in normal rotational direction) and struggle with the non-rotational back outsides and forward insides, especially (this comes from experience working on the current Novice test and watching others learning the new Junior move and having been introduced to the back loops at the same time as learning the Novice forward loops).
    Fair enough.

    I'm still working on trying to get backward threes up to test standard for prejuvenile or adult silver. But I try to learn whatever harder turns I can, for fun and possible use in programs, not that I expect ever to pass tests on them.

    I can do back inside loops in both directions pretty consistently, forward outside in the good direction getting to be better than 50-50, forward inside in the good direction maybe 25% of my attempts, back outside good direction usually makes the loops but completely loses speed. I don't think I'll ever get the other three (bad direction) at all.

    And I like forward rockers better than brackets or counters. The backward ones are all pretty much stops, no flow on the exit edge.

  5. #20
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    Suppose a TV network is going to make a series of educational segments to introduce viewers to the basic techniques that underlie the sport and the technical values that are being judged.

    For every concept that is introduced in these introductory overviews, there would probably be a brief video clip a couple seconds long illustrating exactly what the narration describes. I can't edit that finely using type and youtube links, so I'm going to post the first segment with only a link to a still picture. Let me know if you want links for specific concepts, cued up to what would be the few seconds used in a TV segment.

    For later segments that focus on specific moves or groups of moves, I'll give links that you might want to watch at more length.

    Other skaters: Please suggest edits if you think I got something wrong or didn't explain clearly.

    * * * * *
    First segment: Blades are the basis

    The sport of figure skating is based on all the different ways that the human body can manipulate a pair of narrow blades fastened lengthwise along the bottom of the foot.

    Figure skating blades are sharpened with two edges, one toward the inside side of the foot and one toward the outside with a narrow hollow running between them. Most of the skills that make up the vocabulary of skating moves are based on gliding forward or backward on one edge at a time, which produces a curved movement over the ice. These curves, and the curved tracings that the blades carve into the ice itself, are also referred to as “edges.”

    Gliding on two feet at the same time in most cases removes most of the challenge of maintaining balance that the sport is based on. Gliding forward or backward on both edges of the blade at the same time results in straight-line motion. Blades moving sideways across the ice act as brakes, slowing or stopping the gliding motion. Stepping or hopping on the serrated teeth (toepicks) at the front of the blade allows for staccato motions in contrast to the basic gliding motion. Such moves can all be used in skating programs for choreographic effect. But the fundamental techniques of figure skating consist of gliding on one edge at a time and transitioning from one edge to another.

    Harnessing speed and centripetal and centrifugal forces allows skaters to control their balance on the thin blades in positions that often cannot be sustained while standing still, on or off the ice.

    Two edges on each foot (inside and outside) times two feet (right and left) times two directions of travel (forward and backward) yields a total of eight different edges: right forward inside, right forward outside, left forward inside, left forward outside, right backward inside, right backward outside, left backward inside, left backward outside.

    Each curve travels in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Just as most people are right handed and a minority left handed, most skaters have a clear preference for rotating counterclockwise and a minority prefer clockwise. This preference is trivial in simple glides but becomes more significant when quick rotation (as in spins and jumps) or turns requiring tricky shifts of balance are involved.

    Balance Glide Flow Edges Curves are all words that describe the fundamentals of good skating that the sport has always held among its highest values.

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