Bona Fide Member
Scoring the short program
Is it good or bad that under the current judging system a skater can be so far ahead after the short program that the long program is irrelevant? Was it good or bad under 6.0 judging that “you can’t win in the short program, but you can lose?”
No matter which side we take, there will always be particular competitions where the final outcome is unsatisfactory for one reason or another.
There is also the question, what do the fans think who see one skater thoroughly outskate another, yet the better performance loses because of something that happened a couple of nights ago (the short program, school figures, etc.) Or do we not care what the fans think?
Here is my solution. Let the short program be a separate competition by itself. This is a competition of, by, and for the skater’s. Fan can come and watch (for free) if they want. The reward for winning would be a big trophy, the respect and admiration of your fellow skaters, the beaming pride of your parents, advancement in cred and rep from the skating establishment, etc. If you think about it, this is all skaters get from winning a big competition anyway. Maybe a cash prize could be offered if the whole event is sufficiently in the black.
Rankings in the short program could still be used for seeding the long, or as a qualifying event in the case where not everyone makes the free skate.
Then two days later comes the big whoop. The free skate, winner take all. This is the event that is televised and promoted. The audience sees the best performance rewarded with a gold medal and the title of champion of that event. The runner-up gets the satisfaction of saying to the winner, ”Oh yeah? If you’re so great why did I clean your clock in the short program?”
What do you think?
Last edited by Mathman; 01-28-2013 at 04:06 PM.
Eh...It's probably not good to have the casual fans tune into watch some one loose the long and still win the comp. It is pretty to understand intellectually that you've started watching a third of the way through the competition, but it's harder to understand emotionally.
I'd be fine if the sp scores didn't carry over and maybe you got a separate medal for that portion. Though then I'd want it to be more distinct then the LP. How about you must perform 1 of each kind of jump. If you can't do a triple, do a double, no repeats. More clear requirements on spins and footwork. Overall more technical content required and PCS less emphasised. GoE becomes more important.
After the 'tech competition' top 12 or 18 move onto 'free program' with no score carry over
The SP seems rather unnecessary now that it is essentially a shorter LP. With transitions being judged, jumps preceded by steps are common in the LP. There is no specific deduction (that I'm aware of) for an omission in the SP; if you single the 2A, you would get the same number of points for that jump in both the SP and the LP.
What are the purposes of having more than one phase of competition determine results?
1. To measure different sets of skills in each phase
2. To cut the field to a manageable size
3. To reward consistency across more than one performance
Under the current rules, the differences in skill sets between the short and long programs are minimal -- there are very few skills that are required in the short program that aren't also required, de facto if not de jure, in the free skate. So from that point of view, it would be logically defensible to use only the free skate.
Some competitions are large enough to need 2). But it can also be served by use of qualifying rounds using the same program as the final round. Although I suppose it would be easier to get audiences to watch an earlier round that's different from the final at least in costumes and music if not in function.
So ultimately the best argument for keeping two phases of competition as they currently exist would be 3). Is it enough of a reason?