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Thread: Time for New US World Selection System?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    Until recently, I would have agreed. However, lately, the judging of the ladies' event at Nationals seems nearly as subject to politics and favoritism as any committee possibly could be.
    For myself, I always have the same exact same feeling immediately after Nationals. This year, Caroline Zhang should have won, with Jasmin Saraj second. Booooo!

    But then...are the results really all that outlandish? Wagner screwed up big time. Sure enough, she got nailed on TES, scoring 14 points below Gold and also behind Hicks, Gao, Siraj, Cesario, Wang, and Zhang. Despite technical mistakes, Wagner got solid scores in skating skills, transitions, presentation, etc. -- but then again, she was better than the other girls in these areas.

    Zawadski was terrible in the free skate -- fairly, she finished 7th behind Gracie, Ashley, Courtney, Christina, Jasmin, and Samantha. She did place above Caroline , but objectively speaking Caroline has many weaknesses -- she can't get first just because I like her the best!

    Christina Gao skated well, but on replay not quite as well as she had in her two Grand Prix events earlier in the season. She deserved -- and got -- higher PCSs than Hicks, but Hicks out-pointed her in TES to take the bronze.

    Gold gave an astonishing display of pyrotechnics and deserved a big score. This overcame a disastrous short, but that's how the points added up.

    So...I don't know. I am not nearly so outraged as I was (and usually am) on the day of the competition.

  2. #17
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    It doesn't have to be a big 'conspiracy' like judges meeting beforehand, or somehow rigging the competiton. But in general there might be some favoritism towards certain skaters due to their reputation, potential, or performance during the season. If such skaters mess up, it seems like they are treated more generously or given the benefit of the doubt compared to less favored skaters who mess up. I don't think this is completely outrageous to suggest; I have seen many posters here say, as if it were fact, that Rachael Flatt was favored at one point and scored especially well nationally because of it, and Ashley Wagner said something like "I think my good season might have helped me here" in an interview after she won Nationals.

    But like Mathman said, perceptions of unfairness might just be that, perceptions, and sometimes the scores and placements become more clear with time. It doesn't help that I don't think of the official COP program components and things while I'm watching a competition, and I can't recognize underrotated, but seemingly clean, jumps. I tend to weigh skaters' performances by the balance of technical content and presentation in their programs along with cleanliness and consistency in the short and long programs. So it's unsatisfying for me when the podium skates don't match those ideals, like Agnes' multiple errors across both programs, Ashley's major errors in the long program, and Gracie's poor short program (though I thought her long program deserved to make up for it!). Some of the skaters who skated lights out before them or met my ideals better probably just didn't have various things like the best skating skills, the best packaging, the best reputation in their favor, etc.

    As for the actual thread, I think it would be a good idea to base the world team on more factors than just Nationals, though I agree flexibility in weighing the factors is better than a strict formula. Waiting for 4CC's results could be just another factor to consider, it doesn't have to become more important than Nationals placements or other considerations.

  3. #18
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    No matter how the US World team is selected, there will always be disgruntled fans who are mad that their favorite skater didn't get the nod.

    Most countries use their Nationals as the selection criteria (or did, until the ISU minimums entered the picture). Canada and Russia are some of the only major federations who waffle and add other post-Nationals criteria. I don't see why the US needs to follow their example.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by avalyn View Post
    It doesn't have to be a big 'conspiracy' like judges meeting beforehand, or somehow rigging the competiton. But in general there might be some favoritism towards certain skaters due to their reputation, potential, or performance during the season. If such skaters mess up, it seems like they are treated more generously or given the benefit of the doubt compared to less favored skaters who mess up.
    I think there probably is some of this reputation effect -- judges expect certain skaters to do well and they see what they expect to see and score accordingly.

    BUT I also think that oftentimes skaters who earn high scores even with mistakes earned those scores on the basis of better skating skills, more difficult and complex programs, better quality on the successfully completed elements, etc., and that judges are rewarding what the skaters actually did on the ice, penalizing the mistakes and rewarding all the good qualities.

    But observers who judge the success of a performance primarily by counting the mistakes and counting the jumps landed might disagree that that skater was better in areas that they don't find obvious or of interest. So they assume that the judges are scoring the skater's reputation rather than their actual skating that day.

    Since we can't really read the judges' minds, it's hard to tell when the judges were being more accurate than we were at evaluating the overall package of skills demonstrated in this competition and when they were overly influenced by expectations really got this one wrong.

    When it comes to comparing a stronger skater with a few obvious mistakes vs. a less strong skater having a good day, there's always room for disagreement as to which should come out ahead. Under 6.0, each judge had to decide how to rank them, and they didn't always agree with each other let alone with the fans. Under IJS, they just have to mark each element and each component and can only guestimate what that will do to the final results.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    Until recently, I would have agreed. However, lately, the judging of the ladies' event at Nationals seems nearly as subject to politics and favoritism as any committee possibly could be.
    Lately??? It has always been this way. Perhaps you are too young to remember.

  6. #21
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    Just because your favorite was not selected for Worlds does not mean the Judges got it wrong.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley View Post
    Just because your favorite was not selected for Worlds does not mean the Judges got it wrong.
    AMEN!!!!!!

    I realize everyone is probably having a good ol' time discussing how poor Gao got left off the team, how Gold didn't deserve it (I guess blowing the roof off the arena didn't count) etc. etc. I could go along with including other competitions with National placement for 2nd and 3rd (when possible) but the point made about the GP assignments would negate that. And I do agree that some GPs are harder than others and you have to consider are you skating against another country's A team or B+ team - so therefore the competition wouldn't be equal. (for example, if I were a skater I'd rather compete against Fumie Suguri than Miki Ando or ___________ fill in the blank from the Japanese team)

    And the part that I always stumble over is the intangible factor of skating. The "it" factor, if you will! For example, I think Gracie has it and Christina doesn't. Is it just my preference? Probably. Maybe. But should who goes to Worlds and/or the Olys depend on 2 skates? SP and LP? See I still happen to think Jeremy Abbott is wayyyyyyyyyyy far more rounded than Max Aaron. But......Jeremy blew his long program and Max didn't! Anyway you look at those who are chosen you can come up with an inconsistency, and unfairness, a bias, and maybe more luck than the next guy.

    If you wait to discuss second and third placements then you're dealing with politics. I can see where individual skaters could have lobbyists for their fate. That whole thing just smacks of not-so-good.

    I say leave it the way it is.
    Last edited by noskates; 02-12-2013 at 08:02 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    No matter how the US World team is selected, there will always be disgruntled fans who are mad that their favorite skater didn't get the nod.

    Most countries use their Nationals as the selection criteria (or did, until the ISU minimums entered the picture). Canada and Russia are some of the only major federations who waffle and add other post-Nationals criteria. I don't see why the US needs to follow their example.
    Most? I'd be interested in actually checking it out.

  9. #24
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    I think a little more flexibility would be useful. For example, had Miner and Abbott finished the other way around (Abbott 2nd and Miner 3rd) I'd like to see some kind of provision to not send Abbott and send Miner instead, because let's face it, Abbott's blown enough chances on the World stage.

    But otherwise I'm a huge believer in that your Nationals results stand with very few exceptions. I still think what the Russian Fed did to Menshov was criminal - he earned his spot at Euros to fight for Worlds. The Russians also have another problem this year in that, thanks to Plushenko and Gachinski, they had three spots for their men at Euros, but thanks to Voronov and Gachinski, they only have one at Worlds. There was always going to have to be some kind of awkward faff around but they made a worse mess of it than they should with their stupid political decision to send Kovtun to Euros over the 3rd and 4th placed finishers.

    I have a hard time believing a lot of people would have been happy if Dornbush had been chosen to go to Worlds over Abbott or Farris if there was a third place...


    Another flaw in your proposed system, btw, is that it doesn't take Junior Grand Prix or other events of that nature into account. Farris and Kovtun blew the JGP apart this year, but according to your new system, would have no credit in selections for post-Nationals championships (except, presumably, Junior Worlds).

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    I like Nat'ls and 4CC being used. Not sure about the GP series.

    What I like about using 4CC is that:

    -It rewards skaters doing well at the end of the season
    -It uses an international panel, more like Worlds
    -It makes 4CC more important

    Of course any skater can do great at 4CC and tank at Worlds - there are no gaurantees.

    To me the bigger problem is tying Worlds to the nationality of the skater. I want to see the top 30 skaters (or 40, or whatever number) at Worlds - regardless of where they are from.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Cool!

    The biggest question I have is the use of the standard deviation. Consistency by itself is not especially to be valued unless you are consistently good.

    Interesting, though, how consistent Wagner's scores have been, considering that she has mixed some really good skates in with some bad ones this season.
    I see what you mean because you can score low and still have a high standard deviation thus making the deduction at the end less. Thus let's say someone like Caroline Zhang although she scores relatively low, she wouldn't get as much docked thus she could overtake someone like Gold in this system.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    So this doesn't account for events such as Nationals and 4CC? Another thing is that certain GP events are way harder than others. For example, Gao would have easily placed top 3 at Skate America, but it would have been difficult for her to place top 3 at TEB.

    At SA: Wagner 188, Gao 174, Sotnikova 169, Marchei 159
    At Rostelcom: Korpi 177, Gold 175, Zawadski 166, Murakami 166
    At NHK: Asada 185, Suzuki 185, Nagasu 176, Li 174
    At TEB: Wagner 190, Tuktamysheva 179, Lipnitskaia 179, Gao 165

    Also, does this bear in mind that Gao was actually a replacement for Lipnitskaia who withdrew at the GPF? I technically wouldn't count her 3-point bonus for having made the GPF (where she performed poorly anyways). I also wonder how the results would look if you dropped each woman's poorest showing (so Gracie's SC skate, Gao's TEB skate, and Mirai at CoC). It would certainly benefit Gold, whose SC performance skews her off the World team. Then again, it wouldn't take into consideration Gao beating her at 4CC either.

    They really should do the whole - winner goes to Worlds and the 2nd berth is decided at 4CC. Gao deserves to go, but I think if they skated their bests, Gold has more potential to place higher.
    It counts Nationals, but in the scheme of the whole equation it really is negligible if you are consistent. I agree that certain GP events are harder than others but there wouldn't be a way to count the difficulty unless we wanted to use rankings for skaters to calculate the "difficulty" in the scheme or world skating ranks. I actually agree that the 2nd berth should be decided at 4CC and it should be a competition between the 2nd,3rd, and 4th place finishers at nationals. However, is it too late in the season to deem a world team?

    I agree with everyone's sentiments on politicking and favoritism, it certainly skews the picture. But in a way, those who are being politicked in favor of during the GP stage are more likely to get a favorite boost at world ie wagner and her zero 3-3 or even 2A-3T programs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley View Post
    Just because your favorite was not selected for Worlds does not mean the Judges got it wrong.
    I agree with this statement as well. I just wanted to point out that this issue extends beyond this year though. How did Czisny and Flatt end up splattering their way to worlds their respective years? Is it possible to mitigate these splatfests from US skaters by taking into consideration consistency over a long period?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    I like Nat'ls and 4CC being used. Not sure about the GP series.

    What I like about using 4CC is that:

    -It rewards skaters doing well at the end of the season
    -It uses an international panel, more like Worlds
    -It makes 4CC more important

    Of course any skater can do great at 4CC and tank at Worlds - there are no gaurantees.

    To me the bigger problem is tying Worlds to the nationality of the skater. I want to see the top 30 skaters (or 40, or whatever number) at Worlds - regardless of where they are from.
    I don't like the idea of granting 4CC more influence over the selection of the World team. It's too close to Nationals. It works against the athletes in terms of affording them the chance to be in optimal condition. Besides, I think the decisions at Nationals already factor in a lot more than just the skating taking place.

  13. #28
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    Huh - that is quite a complicated system - just one more thing to turn off more people from the sport. Remember not everyone are die hards or blowhards. I also don't like former olympic medallists guaranteed a spot at nationals. I don't think they deserve that special treatment 4 yrs later.

  14. #29
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    It's interesting to me that for the ladies, they overlooked the steady, consistent skater (Gao) in favor of one that was inconsistent but has higher scoring potential (Gold), however in the men's event, the steady, consistent skater (Miner) is on the team despite popping open a 3a at Nationals, and neither of the guys who are more inconsistent but have higher scoring potential (Abbott and Dornbush) are on the team.

    To further mix things up, seeing the scoring of Han Yan makes me wonder if Farris, who is not really inconsistent but rather just unknown/inexperienced on the senior international stage, could have ended up being the top placing American at 4CC, or at least gotten component marks showing he could outscore Miner or Aaron with clean skates. It's too bad Rippon is injured but of that group of 6 his scoring potential is likely the lowest anyways due to his content. Jeremy has always been unreliable and Max showed why he should be on the Worlds team, but in some ways I feel like 4CC made an argument that Dornbush might be the better option for the 2nd spot than Miner, and if Farris had been given a 4CC spot instead, I feel the same argument could maybe have been made.

    In some ways I think sending 2 newbies, or a newbie and someone like Dornbush who has the potential to do very, very well due to his content and strong PCS, might have been the smarter option. The international judges in general seem to have responded favorably to young up-and-coming skaters, rewarding them with high PCS even when they make mistakes as we saw with Kovtun and Yan. Miner doesn't really have anything on Farris except being 4 years older and getting presumably higher PCS, quad is about the same consistency wise and 3a and spins arguably not even as good as Farris, but what I'm saying is, had he been sent to 4CC, maybe we would have seen Farris get higher PCS than Miner in which case he might be the smarter one to send to Worlds, or Dornbush who is a star when he delivers, because I think those 2 have the most potential to become medal contenders in the future so they should really be getting out there now.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 02-14-2013 at 01:48 PM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    It's interesting to me that for the ladies, they overlooked the steady, consistent skater (Gao) in favor of one that was inconsistent but has higher scoring potential (Gold), however in the men's event, the steady, consistent skater (Miner) is on the team despite popping open a 3a at Nationals, and neither of the guys who are more inconsistent but have higher scoring potential (Abbott and Dornbush) are on the team.
    But in this case, as in almost all cases, the skaters who are on the world team are the skaters who finished first and second at Nationals. The judges didn't choose the team -- and neither did the technical panel -- they just scored what the skaters did during their two programs. The numbers added up and produced results.

    So the judges had zero reason to think about scoring potential or consistency. They didn't know when they assigned scores for the long program who the numbers they had control of and the numbers they didn't have control of would combine to put into second place overall.

    And, of course, the panels for the men's and ladies' events were not the same people.

    And then the International Committee -- not all of whose members are judges or technical specialists and certainly not on the panels at Nationals -- decided to send the silver medalists to Worlds because that is what they have traditionally done and there was not a compelling reason to break tradition. (The gold medalists were guaranteed assignment to Worlds by rule.)

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