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Thread: Quality vs. Quantity?

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    Quality vs. Quantity?

    From the Alissa thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Skaters with better technique do tend to last longer in this sport. But in addition to technique, I would add that not pushing yourself beyond your limit is another way to stay healthy. Alissa was trying to be competitive and I really admire that, but given her technique, the fact that she's never been a strong jumper, and her age, I think training those difficult combinations was unnecessary and ultimately the cause of all of her problems. If she'd just tried to maximize her points doing what she did well (maybe adding another triple or a sequence or something) she may have avoided some of these injuries.

    That's why I don't get why people fuss about Carolina Kostner not doing certain jumps. She's "old" by skating standards and she already has knee issues. In order to keep competing, you have to do what you're able to do and do it well. Granted Carolina's much more of a natural jumper with better technique than Alissa, but the same principle applies. Do what you can do without pushing yourself too far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I think what bothers people about Carolina is that she was winning medals and competitions outright with what something is "less challenging" content. I don't think anyone would make a fuss if she wasn't medaling or winning.
    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    I agree: as a skater, I know how frustrating injuries are and not being able to be competitive just because your body it's not all right when you're trying to do your best is an awful feeling, so I agree that pushing yourself beyond your limits is a thing that no-one should do, especially if you are 20+ which (for the Ladies figure skating standards) is an "old" age. And, if you're doing what you can do well, why you shouldn't win against people who try more difficult elements but make a lot of mistakes? Figure skating is an artistic sport, so the presentation of your program (and this includes your technical elements) should be one of the most important things: quality agains difficulty, what counts more? My answer is: quality. (I know this is off-topic, so I don't want to start a discussione about this! )

    All season long, there's been debates whether X skater should win with Y number of triples. Some say....that should have a bigger factor while others say the quality of the jumps or non-jump elements made up for that gap.

    So quality or quantity. Does one have more clout over the other? Or are they equal? Also another way to say this is as FSGMT said: quality vs difficulty?

    Everyone has a different view on this, so let's talk about it.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I for one rea;;y appreciate a performance that presents the full complement of triple jumps in a well-balamced program. If you are the champion of the world in your sport, you should be able to do a triple Salchow. You should be able to do a layback spin. Etc.

    One disadvantage, IMHO, to the add-up-the-points scoring system is that it allows and even encourages a skater to neglect part of the skating repertoire. You get more points if you do 2 Lutzes and 2 flips, so why train a loop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I for one rea;;y appreciate a performance that presents the full complement of triple jumps in a well-balamced program. If you are the champion of the world in your sport, you should be able to do a triple Salchow. You should be able to do a layback spin. Etc.

    One disadvantage, IMHO, to the add-up-the-points scoring system is that it allows and even encourages a skater to neglect part of the skating repertoire. You get more points if you do 2 Lutzes and 2 flips, so why train a loop?
    For some skaters, certain jumps have the tendency to aggravate an injury. The loop is one the more injurious variety, particular on the hips. The difficult toe jumps like Flip and Lutz can also some cause problems for skaters. Avoiding these things is hardly "neglect." If Carolina was avoiding the Lutz last season because it aggravated some injury, we have no basis to judge her. I suspect it was both to make her content easier and to avoid ending up like Czisny.

  4. #4
    I think there has to be a balance. I don't want a perfectly skated program with all single jumps and basic spins/footwork to win, but neither do I want a triple/quad, level 4 element skate that is sloppy and has falls to win.

    I think the debate comes in as to what is a considered a balanced program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
    If Carolina was avoiding the Lutz last season because it aggravated some injury, we have no basis to judge her. I suspect it was both to make her content easier and to avoid ending up like Czisny.
    She was firstly avoiding both lutz and flip in the 2010/2011 fall season because she was recovering from a knee injury. For that cautious strategy she didn't need surgery on her knee, but it took more time to have the lutz back.

    I like when skaters take some risks with more difficult element, but I love consistancy more. Anyway, I think that CoP prefers quality to quantity, as a more difficult element, if not perfectly executed, is not rewarded as a less difficult one perfectly executed. I like it that way, I would just encourage variety more.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    CoP definitely prefers quantity over quality right now, as far as the tech mark is concerned. Except in those cases where a skater does "too many" combinations and then suddenly loses a ton of points for it. *sigh*

    Since so much of the +GOE marks for jumps is related to simply putting "transitions" before/after the jump, that is in fact a mark influenced by QUANTITY, not purely quality.

    Quality vs difficulty is a different discussion. Difficulty is not quite the same as quantity, especially because the current scoring system of figure skating does NOT properly reward difficulty a lot of the time. Doing a 3Toe+2Toe+2Toe combination in worth more points than doing a Triple Lutz, for example. Very few female skaters can consistently perform a +1 GOE Triple Lutz, but pretty much everyone can do a 3Toe+2Toe+2Toe. Quantity over difficulty. The system is skewed. A 3Lutz+3Toe combination for ladies in the SP is worth only 1.9 points more than a 3Toe+3Toe. That's not enough, especially since it's easier to get +GOE for a 3Toe-3Toe.

    Another example - footwork. The current scoring system very much rewards quantity. How many turns and steps can you cram into the sequence? Doing a footwork sequence with less turns and steps, but HARDER turns and steps FAST across the ice, is not something the scoring system currently values. And then with spins, it's all about hitting a specific number of "difficult" variations. The actual difficulty of those variations is not rewarded as much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Difficulty is not quite the same as quantity, especially because the current scoring system of figure skating does NOT properly reward difficulty a lot of the time. Doing a 3Toe+2Toe+2Toe combination in worth more points than doing a Triple Lutz, for example. Very few female skaters can consistently perform a +1 GOE Triple Lutz, but pretty much everyone can do a 3Toe+2Toe+2Toe. Quantity over difficulty. The system is skewed. A 3Lutz+3Toe combination for ladies in the SP is worth only 1.9 points more than a 3Toe+3Toe. That's not enough, especially since it's easier to get +GOE for a 3Toe-3Toe.
    Precisely the reason why the level of Ladies field is so low. Risk is not rewarded, so why to bother. Pretty much the same can be partly said about Men, where quad combo is getting rarer and rarer, especially in SP. Because 4T-3T & 3Lu gives the same points as 4T & 3Lu-3T, while a combo quad is much more difficult to perform, especially with +GOE, than a lutz combo. Very few athletes now put a quad combo in SP (Plu, Dai, Chan, Javi, Menshov). Yuzu for example doesn't bother to challenge it neither in SP nor in FS. Why to risk if CoP is so flexiable to customers' needs . The point is we, the audience, are losing the difficulty in this sport and together with it- the core of the sport, which is always been about risk, challenge and achivement.

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    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    I think that there is a difference:
    -in Ladies, at the moment, quality is more rewarded than quantity (or difficulty): since most of the top ladies are doing almost the same jumps (3T+3T in the SP, 6/7 triples in the FS with repetitions of toeloop and lutz or toeloop and flip using the 2A+3T combo), the GOEs and the Step Sequences at level 4 are what determine the high TES, and then there is the PCS that is often used by the judges to change the results (but this is not what we're talking about...)
    -in Men, there was a "female" (using Plushy's words! ) period, between 2008 and 2010, when quadless programs won 4CC, Worlds and Olympics (Buttle, Lysacek, Chan...): in those years, except some skaters like Joubert or Plushenko, all the top men were trying 3F/3Lz+3T, 3A and 3F/3Lz in the SP, and a FS with two 3As and two 3lzs, sometimes trying one 4T; since 2010, when the ISU changed the value of the quad, almost all of the top men are attempting at least one quad in both the programs, and we're seeing every season that the difficulty of the male programs is increasing: a lot of skaters that last year were trying "just" one quad (Hanyu, Takahashi, Kozuka, Amodio) are now attempting one quad in the SP and two quads in the FS. At the GPF, we didn't see a clean FS, and I think that this is because the difficulty is so high that skating cleanily is a really tough job...

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    So what we're saying is that skating was better off when judges actually had to evaluate skaters rather than just adding up numbers....hmmmmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    I think that there is a difference:
    -in Ladies, at the moment, quality is more rewarded than quantity (or difficulty): since most of the top ladies are doing almost the same jumps (3T+3T in the SP, 6/7 triples in the FS with repetitions of toeloop and lutz or toeloop and flip using the 2A+3T combo), the GOEs and the Step Sequences at level 4 are what determine the high TES, and then there is the PCS that is often used by the judges to change the results (but this is not what we're talking about...)
    I agree with Blades of Passion and Let'sTalk on this. Risks and Difficulties are not nearly rewarded enough. Not just in the COP elements, but also in choreography content, and music choices and interpretations. A skater that perform to a difficult music choice that doesn't have steady tempos makes choreography and movement expressions certainly more challenging, and judges's ability to read these interpretations harder than a conventional format. Did you get quality and quantity mixed up? You assume quality is only accurately in the levels and GOEs (but given how many judges went crazy GOE happy at NHK these days despite sloppy jumps, I think this system is not working as it should), but instead it should be more on the whole balance of skating skills which include quality in jumps, and variety of skills and control of pacing through out the entire performance. Not just really slow in first half killing time for the half way 10% variety.

    Quality for me includes difficulty, rarity, higher risks of that element and superior execution. If it is rewarded properly, the gap between an A grade 3Lutz3T should be more than an A grade 3T3T. For mens, they got it right, but the COP's biggest mistake is to apply the same standard for the men for the ladies, when ladies compete on different elements all together.
    Last edited by os168; 01-17-2013 at 10:22 AM.

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    Quantity is mostly taken care of by the well-balanced program rules (and short program required elements).

    The criteria for the Transitions component are Variety, Difficulty, Intricacy, and Quality. I think those can all apply to whole programs as well.

    In general, I would say that there should be a balance among all these aspects, but that Quality should be paramount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    -in Men, there was a "female" (using Plushy's words! ) period, between 2008 and 2010, when quadless programs won 4CC, Worlds and Olympics (Buttle, Lysacek, Chan...):
    "Female" period hasn't gone anywhere in Men. So what that they now put one/two quads. We have zamboni winner or that kid who can't barely finish the prog. It's not a problem. CoP will "fix" all gaps and find the ways to cover the holes: GOE for executed elements and PCS, mostly. Brian Juobert is probably wearing here a Halloween costume "CoP in Men's skating" and smiling grotesquely: http://twitpic.com/bvgdvn

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    Since so much of the +GOE marks for jumps is related to simply putting "transitions" before/after the jump, that is in fact a mark influenced by QUANTITY, not purely quality.
    That is a great point (although transitions before a jump do increase the difficulty).

    In the olden days the most important determinant of the quality of a jump was the flowing landing edge. This was a symptom that every else was pretty good, too, becuase you are not going to achieve a beautiful landing if the take-off is wonky, if you are tilted in the air, if you do not complete the rotations, etc. Top skaters used to do a little brief spiral at the end of their jumps (if they were able) just to say to the judges, "See that edge? What do you think of that!"

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    The bullet points for positive GOE on jumps are:

    1) unexpected / creative / difficult entry
    2) clear recognizable steps/free skating movements immediately preceding element
    3) varied position in the air / delay in rotation
    4) good height and distance
    5) good extension on landing / creative exit
    6) good flow from entry to exit including jump combinations / sequences
    7) effortless throughout
    8) element matched to the musical structure

    http://www.usfigureskating.org/conte...02012-2013.pdf

    1, 2, and 5 could be considered "transitions" before or after. 1 and 2 could be different ways of stating the same thing, although there could be some entries that qualify for one and not the other; it would be rare that a judge would award both bullet points for the same jump. 5 would also cover what Mathman is talking about,

    If you do all the other bullet points but neither 1 nor 2, and not 5 or only the "good extension" part of it, then it would be possible to earn enough bullet points for +2 or possibly even +3 GOE without any transitions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That is a great point (although transitions before a jump do increase the difficulty).

    In the olden days the most important determinant of the quality of a jump was the flowing landing edge. This was a symptom that every else was pretty good, too, becuase you are not going to achieve a beautiful landing if the take-off is wonky, if you are tilted in the air, if you do not complete the rotations, etc. Top skaters used to do a little brief spiral at the end of their jumps (if they were able) just to say to the judges, "See that edge? What do you think of that!"
    ITA with you here Though I really like the intricate entrances we are seeing with COP and I like that they are rewarded but alot of the time skaters have weak landing , barely hit a landing postition and quickly do a transition like a little counter rotational hop or a rocker or counter and this jump ends up getting positive goe because of the transitions coming out of it. I love strong landing positions that are held for a second like what MK used to do out of her double axel circa 1995

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