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Thread: All Around Skating In Cop

  1. #1
    Keeper of the Kweens OGM. MK's Winter's Avatar
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    All Around Skating In Cop

    I know that there has been a lot of debate concerning COP. After watching Nationals I started to do some thinking. To me COP has diminished skating s ability to create all around strong skater who can be technical as well as artistic.

    Before I start getting poked with pitchforks let me explain. Skaters today stop doing certain jumps, Yuna and Mirai the salchow, Carolina Kostner's watered down jump arsenal last season ect. I feel there are moments when skaters are too focused on bonus points instead of the artistic elements of their programs.

    I also began thinking of when the last time was when the US sent a team to Worlds where 2 skaters were actual medal threats. I went back and compared today's ladies competition to the Ladies event in 96. Here's the jump content of all the medalist from both events:

    1996 Nationals

    Gold- Michelle Kwan
    Short: 3 Lutz 2 Toe, 2Axel and 3 Toe
    Long: 3 Lutz 2 Toe, 3T 3T, 2A, 3F, 3L, 3Loop, 1A

    Silver- Tonia Kiatkowski
    Short: 3Lutz, 3T, 2A
    Long: 2A, 3Lutz 2T, 3F, 3T 2T, 3Lutz, 3Loop, and 3 Toe

    Bronze- Tara Lipinski
    Short: 3Lutz 2 Loop, 3F, 2A
    Long: 2A, 3F, 3Lutz 2 T, 3Loop, 3S 2L (fall), 2A half loop 3 Sal, 3T

    2013 Nationals

    Gold: Ashley Wagner
    Short: 3Flip 2Toe, 3 Loop, 2A
    Long: 3F 2T 2T(tano), 2A 2T, 3S, 3Loop, 3Lutz(fall), 3Loop(fall), 3F

    Silver: Gracie Gold
    Short: 3Flip 3Toe(fall), 3Lutz, 1A
    Long: 3Lutz 3T, 2A 3Toe, 3Loop, 2A, 3Lutz, 3F 2T 2T, 3S

    Bronze: Agnes Zawadzki
    Short: 3T 3T, 3Lutz, 2A(fall)
    Long: 3Lutz, 3T 3T, 2F, 2A, 3S, 3Lutz(fall), 2A 2T 2loop

    Gracie is the only one out of all six with the most difficult jump content but the overall field in 96 was pretty great in the all around deliverance of their tech and artistic content while this years Nationals was either a splat fest in the short or long. I don't know if its nostalgia or what but to me competitions used to be nail biters I don't feel that way now, no particular skater seems to grab me. Lutzes would be in twice in programs now your lucky if you can get one with most (Yuna and Gracie omitted of course). Any thoughts on this?

    I apologize for any errors, I typed this out on my IPhone

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    1. Why did you go back to 1996? USA won two medals in 2006.

    2. You typed this on your Iphone? Major major props.

    3. Yuna does the salchow; she skips the loop.

    4. Michelle Kwan didn't do the salchow in 1996, according to you. Nor did Tonia K.

    Generally, the exactitude of COP has made the jumps more ornery. At the last Olympics, very few skaters did takeoffs from all edges correctly (Rochette was one).

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    Keeper of the Kweens OGM. MK's Winter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    1. Why did you go back to 1996? USA won two medals in 2006.

    2. You typed this on your Iphone? Major major props.

    3. Yuna does the salchow; she skips the loop.

    4. Michelle Kwan didn't do the salchow in 1996, according to you. Nor did Tonia K.

    Generally, the exactitude of COP has made the jumps more ornery. At the last Olympics, very few skaters did takeoffs from all edges correctly (Rochette was one).
    1. I was watching Tonias long program and that's when I got to thinking. Great moment for her too

    2. Thanks for the props but that's where I knew typos would come into play which launches me into question 3 Kwan did have a salchow and Tonia did not but each jump was show cased for the most part and looking back at their skates I see a more well rounded programs than I do now. Not a lot of room for error as there seems to be now. That's what I wanted to get out as well but a 2 year old trying to swat the screen can distract my train of though and don't be like me and sleep in your contacts for two days, your eyes won't like it:(

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    Michelle did a Salchow. (She did eight jumping passes.)

    Even Kristi attempted a Salchow in every performance. I guess her pride made her do it, even though that was her nemesis jump. She did land one in 1992 Nationals, though.

    Michelle's hardest jump was the loop. In 1993 she did all the triples except that she did a double loop. The first triple loop she landed in major competition was 1994 junior worlds. After that she presented all five triples and a double Axel in every performance for a decade.

    In the 2003-04 season her damaged hip was bothering her to the point that the loop was becoming a problem. Her solution was to rework her program to put the loop first to get it out of the way while she was fresh. She finally had to drop the 3Lo from her program in her last year of skating, 2004-05 (Bolero). Quite a bit was made of this at the time. There was concern that young skaters would say, see? Michelle Kwan doesn't need to do all the triples, why should I?

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    MK's Winter...

    a) When you say "well-rounded" what do you mean? If you mean an equal emphasis on the technical aspect of the sport and the artistic/performance aspect, than I'll agree with you. The fact is, the two program/two mark system explicitly made both sides equal (except for tiebreakers). TES and PCS do not - I'd argue that the sport is now 70% technical, 30% artistic.

    b) But within those molds, I think there is as much, if not more, brilliant skating as before. That not everyone loves it doesn't strike me as being any different than in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    1. Why did you go back to 1996? USA won two medals in 2006.
    At Worlds, Kimmie Meissner did 3F+3T, 2A (the year before she had a 3A, sort of ), 3Lz+3T, 3Lo, 3Lz. 3S, 2A+2T+2Lo. This was CoP, of course.

    By the way, I was just looking at this on You-Tube and the announcer said, "there ought to be a bonus for skaters who do all the triples."

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    [QUOTE="ImaginaryPogue;704897"]MK's Winter...

    a) When you say "well-rounded" what do you mean? If you mean an equal emphasis on the technical aspect of the sport and the artistic/performance aspect, than I'll agree with you. The fact is, the two program/two mark system explicitly made both sides equal (except for tiebreakers). TES and PCS do not - I'd argue that the sport is now 70% technical, 30% artistic.

    Exactly this. I really miss that even divide. It just seems that watered down technical content is being highly rewarded. Figure skating is jumps, spins, spirals, footwork and artistry. I feel like code of points just breaks down a program and just because 3 or 4 jumps are executed perfectly, it doesn't make a skater well rounded. COP doesn't view the whole picture...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK's Winter View Post
    Exactly this. I really miss that even divide. It just seems that watered down technical content is being highly rewarded. Figure skating is jumps, spins, spirals, footwork and artistry. I feel like code of points just breaks down a program and just because 3 or 4 jumps are executed perfectly, it doesn't make a skater well rounded. COP doesn't view the whole picture...
    I see your point, and I'd of course like to see the women trying all the different triples, but the way the scoring is set up you don't really need to. You can replace any problematic triple with a 2A and lose just a couple of points, so there is more incentive to improve the PCS areas rather than put in the work to have the full arsenal of triples. Until the most artistic skater in the world also has the full range of triples I don't think we'll be seeing many competitors trying all of them.

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    [QUOTE=MK's Winter;704916]
    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    MK's Winter...

    a) When you say "well-rounded" what do you mean? If you mean an equal emphasis on the technical aspect of the sport and the artistic/performance aspect, than I'll agree with you. The fact is, the two program/two mark system explicitly made both sides equal (except for tiebreakers). TES and PCS do not - I'd argue that the sport is now 70% technical, 30% artistic.

    Exactly this. I really miss that even divide. It just seems that watered down technical content is being highly rewarded. Figure skating is jumps, spins, spirals, footwork and artistry. I feel like code of points just breaks down a program and just because 3 or 4 jumps are executed perfectly, it doesn't make a skater well rounded. COP doesn't view the whole picture...
    Of course, I think the only way this is true is if you assume the sole province of technical content is within the jumps. Some of footwork these people are doing is nutsy hard. Some of the transitions defy belief (though that's more in the men, but recent bete noir Kaetlyn Osmond has already become known for her transitions into and out of her elements). Indeed, a skater with lesser jumps/choreography won't get by with just three or four perfectly executed jumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Of course, I think the only way this is true is if you assume the sole province of technical content is within the jumps. Some of footwork these people are doing is nutsy hard. Some of the transitions defy belief (though that's more in the men, but recent bete noir Kaetlyn Osmond has already become known for her transitions into and out of her elements). Indeed, a skater with lesser jumps/choreography won't get by with just three or four perfectly executed jumps.
    Exactly.

    Just looking at technical content, we can say that the jump content is well balanced if all six jump takeoffs are included (preferably all triples, or double axel for a lady or quad instead of triple salchow, or even toe loop, for a man). And if the jumps are well distributed throughout the program both in time and in placement on the ice.

    But that alone does not determine that the technical content of the program as a whole is well balanced.

    Does the skater have top difficulty or top quality in the jumps but weak or very basic spins and steps?

    Is the spin content well balanced? Does the skater do both forward and backspins equally well? Does s/he truly fly into the flying spin(s)? Does s/he demonstrate the ability to start a spin from both a forward and backspin entry and to change from back to forward as well as forward to back? Does s/he give equal weight to upright, camel, and sit positions (and their variations) in both quality and time spent in the positions?

    Is the skating content in the steps and transitions well balanced? Does the skater turn in both directions or almost always in the same direction? Does s/he include backward as well as forward one-foot turns? How many turns does s/he include other than threes, mohawks, and the occasional unhighlighted choctaw?

    If you compare the non-jump content of the 1996 programs to IJS programs, I think you'll see a big difference in favor of the recent programs being more well balanced in those areas. Kwan was considered especially strong on transitions at that time, before she started watering down her in-between content to maintain more speed. But how would you compare her transitions to this year's programs from Osmond, or Wagner, or Kostner?

    We won't even talk about the step sequences. The expectations were very different then, so almost no one was trying to include the variety of skills that are now required even for level 2.

    In any era, of course, there will be skaters who are much better at some skills than others, so there will always be some skaters with "unbalanced" programs in that sense. They can only do what they can do. Although the rules and expectations affect what kinds of skills they focus on training.


    The balance between technical merit and presentation/artistic impression (6.0 terminology), or between technical elements and program components (IJS terminology) is another question, though, and has nothing to do with variety of jump takeoffs.

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    Gracie is not a medal threat at the moment. She needs work on her artistry and projecting to the audience and using her arms more gracefully and skating with the music not through the music. But she doesn't need much to be a future World champion. Her jumping display Saturday night was the best since Tonya Harding in 1991.

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