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Thread: Time for New US World Selection System?

  1. #31
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Most? I'd be interested in actually checking it out.
    That would be interesting. I imagine that for the majority of ISU members there is not much of a choice to be made at all. They have one skater who is the best, and that's the one they send.

  2. #32
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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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.
    If you are going to add additional criteria, it needs to be clear to the skaters who are going. For example, after Nationals was over, Gracie Gold was given a 4C's berth and a Worlds' berth. Christina Gao was given a 4C's berth and was told her season would be over unless the unforeseen happens and there's a need for the second (third?) alternate to go to Worlds. This information changes how you train for that 4C event (like it or not, this is true as a skater cannot be at 100% peak for EVERY event) - if it's part of the selection process, it means you have to be full, ready to go for that event. Also, if a skater has to peak for Nationals and then peak for 4C just a week or two later and then peak again for Worlds, the chances for injury increase.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    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.)
    Fair point, I just more mean, if the Nationals was judged by an international panel, I'm curious if the results would have been different. Yes Miner was 2nd, but I think a case could be made for Farris placing 2nd instead and under an international panel I think it very well could have happened, as Miner had a huge 8 point PCS margin over Farris in the FS and I highly doubt that kind of disparity would show up internationally. Further, I don't think he was penilized enough for the 1a (it would have been different if he had gone for 2 quads or fallen on a fully rotated 3a, IMO) and I'm a bit skeptical how in 2 days, Josh went from getting +2s and even a +3 on his 3f to getting edge calls on both the ones he did in the FS. I mean, after seeing Han Yan beat Nan Song handily despite Song skating a cleaner overall competition makes me wonder if any disparity between Miner and Farris PCS would exist, and if it did, if Farris would have the edge and not Miner. Dornbush didn't skate very well at US Nats so it's a bit irrelevant, but he is held in good stead internationally and at his best would likely outscore both Aaron and Miner. The same idea goes for the ladies. Christina Gao's performances at US Nats under an international panel would have likely relegated her to 3rd place, maybe 2nd, but certainly ahead of Zawadzki and Hicks, but again PCS at nationals were all funky so that she wound up 5th.

    BTW, this is not me trying to kick Gracie and Ross off the Worlds team, I just sometimes question the judgement of the judges at Nationals.. Also, I think our odds for 3 spots might be better in both disciplines if Gao and Dornbush/Farris were on the team instead, which would increase everyone's odds of making the team next season anyways. If the current team delivers it will be fine and is unlikely to make much of a difference. I do worry a little with Ross though in the SP, he hasn't skated a clean short all season and with the depth of this field, I'm a little worried he'll wind up out of the top 12 after the SP which will make it a lot harder to pull up because I don't think he'd be getting the PCS he'd get if skating in the penultimate or ultimate warmup groups (we saw that with Kozuka last year who skated in the 2nd warmup and was criminally underscored in PCS for the FS after putting out quite a decent skate). If Ross just focused on doing a clean SP without the quad for Worlds, I'd feel a lot less worried.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 02-14-2013 at 06:56 PM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    If you are going to add additional criteria, it needs to be clear to the skaters who are going. For example, after Nationals was over, Gracie Gold was given a 4C's berth and a Worlds' berth. Christina Gao was given a 4C's berth and was told her season would be over unless the unforeseen happens and there's a need for the second (third?) alternate to go to Worlds. This information changes how you train for that 4C event (like it or not, this is true as a skater cannot be at 100% peak for EVERY event) - if it's part of the selection process, it means you have to be full, ready to go for that event. Also, if a skater has to peak for Nationals and then peak for 4C just a week or two later and then peak again for Worlds, the chances for injury increase.
    Now, that's a point I hadn't considered, and it's very important. A skater might not realistically be able to peak for both Nationals and 4CC and then be expected to peak again for Worlds. (Gee, I hope that explains Daisuke at 4CC.)

  5. #35
    I got your program components right here. Pepe Nero's Avatar
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    What a thought-provoking post, Willdu. Thanks for the thought you put into your model you suggested. It's super interesting. Hard problems demand difficult, sometimes complicated solutions. The thought that "Oh, no; it's too complicated. (I don't understand it; actually, I didn't take the time to read it.)" is the kind of thinking I hope USFS and the ISU would ignore.

    But, as long as we're talking hypotheticals and ideals, I'd want to go somewhat further. Qualification for the World Championships should have nothing to do with nationality. All skaters who earn qualifying scores in sanctioned competitions should be invited to Worlds regardless of the country of their citizenship. I'd be fine with allowing all countries' national champions to go, too, regardless of earning qualifying scores. But no one should be prevented from competing at Worlds because they are from a country with a deep field.

    In other words, I don't think how countries select who goes to Worlds should even be an issue.

    I sincerely think the U.S. would have had 4-5 women in the top 20 at Worlds each year for the past several years if not for nationality restrictions. Japan too. Russia more recently.
    Last edited by Pepe Nero; 02-15-2013 at 02:38 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Nero View Post
    But, as long as we're talking hypotheticals and ideals, I'd want to go somewhat further. Qualification for the World Championships should have nothing to do with nationality. All skaters who earn qualifying scores in sanctioned competitions should be invited to Worlds regardless of the country of their citizenship. I'd be fine with allowing all countries' national champions to go, too, regardless of earning qualifying scores. But no one should be prevented from competing at Worlds because they are from a country with a deep field.
    This is very hypothetical, and it has nothing to do with how the US (or any other country) chooses its team, but rather with how the ISU structures its championships to begin with.

    How many entries should there be at Worlds (or Junior Worlds, or Euros/4Cs)?

    Should there be qualifying rounds as part of the championship itself, or should the cuts to make a reasonable-sized field take place in other locations at other times?

    If there are qualifying rounds, does everyone need to participate or do some skaters get direct entry to the main event?

    If everyone participates, do the scores or placements from the qualifying round count toward the final results?

    What constitutes a reasonable sized field?

    Who pays for what? We know for a fact that the ISU and the local organizing committee cannot pay for a week or more worth of ice time and room and board for hundreds of officials, competitors, and coaches. So how much do they ask federations or individuals to pay for their own participation?

    Do we want a separate thread to try to come up with a plan that would work in theory (even though we know the ISU isn't going to read a thread on Golden Skate and suddenly decide to adopt it)?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Now, that's a point I hadn't considered, and it's very important. A skater might not realistically be able to peak for both Nationals and 4CC and then be expected to peak again for Worlds. (Gee, I hope that explains Daisuke at 4CC.)
    The problem is they are peaking during the GP series, then skating worse at Nationals, then even worse at Worlds.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That would be interesting. I imagine that for the majority of ISU members there is not much of a choice to be made at all. They have one skater who is the best, and that's the one they send.
    The USA is the only major federation which uses only the results from Nationals to pick their Worlds teams. Canada, Russia, France, China and Japan all use other competitions to finalize decisions (4CC or Euros usually), with Japan guaranteeing a spot to anyone who medals in the GPF. Most countries only have one spot on their national teams so the champion goes. I'm not sure what Germany does, but they're the only other major European skating power.

  9. #39
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Further, I don't think [Ross Minor] was penilized enough for the 1a...
    I am curious as to what the penalty should have been, in your view. He got 1.1 base value (instead of 8.5) and 0.09 GOE. Do you think that international judges would have lowered his component scores as well because of this pop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    The USA is the only major federation which uses only the results from Nationals to pick their Worlds teams. Canada, Russia, France, China and Japan all use other competitions to finalize decisions (4CC or Euros usually), with Japan guaranteeing a spot to anyone who medals in the GPF. Most countries only have one spot on their national teams so the champion goes. I'm not sure what Germany does, but they're the only other major European skating power.
    In the case of Russia, Canada, and France, they do not seem to have any well-defined and consistent procedure for selecting the world team. To me, it seems like they just play it by ear each season and send the person that, for whatever reason, they think has the best chance to do well.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    In the case of Russia, Canada, and France, they do not seem to have any well-defined and consistent procedure for selecting the world team. To me, it seems like they just play it by ear each season and send the person that, for whatever reason, they think has the best chance to do well.
    Yes and that's where things can get political. I like the Japanese idea of guaranteeing a spot to someone who medals at the GPF, or even the points system proposed here, rather than the committee decisions.

    I intensely dislike the notion that it all comes down to one competition. Anyone can have a bad competition, or an injury can end your season at Nationals. If you pick up a cold or the flu on the plane there, that could do it. I have also noted that judging at US Nationals can get very political, with the "right" skaters getting the "right" medals to give the USFSA the team it wants, and that's not right either.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I am curious as to what the penalty should have been, in your view. He got 1.1 base value (instead of 8.5) and 0.09 GOE. Do you think that international judges would have lowered his component scores as well because of this pop?



    In the case of Russia, Canada, and France, they do not seem to have any well-defined and consistent procedure for selecting the world team. To me, it seems like they just play it by ear each season and send the person that, for whatever reason, they think has the best chance to do well.
    I just think a score of 170 is pretty spectacular and therefore should not be handed out for a skate with a big pop on an intended 3a. It would have been different if he was trying 2 quads and two 3a or something, or if he had fallen on a fully rotated 3a, but idk, popping an intended 3a into a single is a pretty big deal and the fact that he was still 2nd in the FS with that kind of error does make it seem a little bit like reputation judging. I'm fine with Ross getting a slight PCS edge to Farris especially where it's Nationals as he does have more speed and maturity, but as far as jumps go, Farris rotated all of his and landed all but one, and his jumps were of better quality that night compared to Ross, really they were gorgeous, including both of the 3a, so it just doesn't seem quite right that given all that, he came out 5 points behind Miner with the 1a for that program, and 86 is too high in PCS for Ross - i'd understand maybe if he was perfect, but he wasn't and some of his jumps weren't landed so well either but it seemed like that didn't get accounted for in the GOE. I think Ross going to Worlds is probably the right call, but I do think Farris deserved to place ahead of both he and Jeremy in the FS at Nationals - overall, the placements among those 3 is a toss-up. And this is similar to the Gao situation as well relative to Gold, Hicks, and Zawadzki.

    So basically, I think if USFS wanted to select the teams that had the best chances to place the highest at Worlds and get 3 spots, they'd focus less on Nationals being the be-all-and-end-all of the decision and factor in international events more, and if they did that, I feel like the placements at Nationals might be a little more objective/fair as opposed to questionable because it allows for a skater who places say 3rd or 4th at Nationals due to illness or having a flukey bad skate to be sent to Worlds regardless.

    So for the ladies, if USFS thinks Wagner and Gold are the best team to send, they could justify that selection by saying Ashley has been by far the strongest US lady internationally all fall and really since 4CC last year, and by saying the strength of Gracie's FS at Nationals makes them believe she's a good 2nd candidate because she showed she's capable of racking up a huge score when she delivers. In this situation, Wagner could have been given a lower FS score and Gold a lower SP (and maybe FS too) score, their placements would necessarily be 1 and 2, and someone like Gao could have wound up on the podium where she belonged. Now, if the judging at Nationals stayed the way at was, or even if it was more objective, to get an idea of who should go to Worlds with Wagner, it would have made sense to have 4CC as a skate-off between Gold, Gao, and Zawadzki - given the outcome: Gao continuing to show consistency and strong scores, while Gold showing her inconsistent fall outings to be more telling of what we can expect from her internationally than her sterling FS at US Nats, and Zawadzki showing the same inconsistencies we've seen all season coupled with much lower PCS than she received at Nationals, the decision for Worlds would come down to Gao vs. Gold. Gao deserves the spot IMO but a case could be made either way given Gold's more difficult content and thus potential to score higher. However, if that was to be a deciding factor, they could have said to Gao and her team that they wanted her to try for tougher content at 4CCs and see how she faired - if she tried 7 triples in the FS and upgraded her SP combo to 3f-3t or something and the result was basically the same, then well, more reason to give her the nod, if not, send Gold.

    With the men, if they wanted to use Farris having skated as a junior internationally all season as a reason for his not being considered for a spot on the Worlds team and just being sent to JW then they could have just said that instead of conveniently having him place 4th so as to avoid even addressing that issue by placing Miner and Abbott ahead of him in the FS at Nats when they really didn't deserve to. So that's one argument. But again, if they want to have the best team at Worlds, they should have sent Miner and Farris, or Dornbush if they did not want to throw Farris in the mix, to 4CCs and wait until those results were in to make the final decision. Ross was given the benefit of the doubt at Nationals when he popped open his 3a because he's known as the Steady Eddie, but then after 4CC, we see him have problems in the SP again and pop a 3a in the FS again. Had Farris been sent, would he skate a clean SP and skate very well in the FS like at Nationals, or would he struggle a bit more due to the nerves and the pressure of the situation? The PCS scores should also have been noticed. If Farris came out ahead of Miner at 4CCs with two solid skates and was not significantly behind Ross in PCS, well then, he might be the smarter pick. Or take Josh out of the equation and put in Dornbush - he wasn't great at Nationals, but he beat Ross handily at 4CC and does plan more difficult content and is more consistent with his quad which maybe gives him an advantage. Like Gracie vs. Christina, it's a tough call, but could be made either way.

    The issue is more USFS should just say we're sending so and so because we think they'll make the strongest team, or because 4CC was the deciding event and _ beat _ there and therefore earned a World's birth. Russia has the system right honestly. Finagling Nationals results so that the top 2 end up being the skaters USFS wants to send to Worlds does not need to happen to necessarily send those 2 skaters to Worlds. Plus how many times has using questionable Nationals results to decide international assignments blown-up in their faces in the past? Quite a few...
    Last edited by silverlake22; 02-18-2013 at 02:48 PM.

  12. #42
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I am curious as to what the penalty should have been, in your view. He got 1.1 base value (instead of 8.5) and 0.09 GOE. Do you think that international judges would have lowered his component scores as well because of this pop?
    No, it didn't disrupt the program, so it should not have lowered his component scores, or if it did, not enough to make an overall effect...

    Silverlake, you have your favorites and are crying foul for them like a good fan, but I'd like to SEE the proof (and everyone else's who is crying foul) that people were held up/down. Especially on the Men's side, I don't have a horse in the race (yet, as the horse I have chosen is still working on some things technically to be in that top group) and can be more objective. This is how I saw it:

    1) I don't see that USFS felt Max Aaron was "the man" because he has the most consistent quads and "had" to make the World team. His quads have been consistent for awhile (at least since last season) and he didn't even get a host pick for SKAM much less any love to get a GP event via politicking elsewhere. I believe in his case, the judges called it like they saw it (he was the best overall at Nationals). Ross Miner has very strong skating skills, transitions, and choreography. He had one mistake (popped Axel) that he was dinged for on the TES side (7.4 points differential) but it didn't affect the balance of the performance nor was it totally disruptive and jarring (like a zamboni-fall would have been). Miner is ahead of Farris at this time in their careers on PCS because his edgework is stronger and ability to generate power is better. While he might not be everyone's cup of tea style-wise, he does have wonderful bi-directional skating, power, and edge quality and it is currently superior to every other competitive American man not named Jeremy Abbott as this was an area the Miner focused on coming through the ranks. Farris was also scored behind Abbott at Nationals when Abbott did not skate well on the technical side and while I think a case could have been made for Farris to be 3rd on the strength of his TES, the judges in the arena felt differently. I am sure live in the arena there is an utter reason why Farris is quite a few points behind Miner on the PCS side that you aren't picking up from TV.

    2) People have been complaining about Gold's PCS at Nationals and Gao's placement, but Gold's international scores aren't that far off from where they were at 4C she scored high 50s for a near meltdown in the LP. Gold completely brought it at Nationals in the LP and had been punished in the SP for the fall and the singled jump (9th with lower than expected PCS due to the deflated skating that came with the mistakes). Her GOEs in the LP mostly revolved around her explosive jumping ability (68% of her GOEs came on jumps) and her PCS score ticked up a bit higher than she has gotten for some of her better skates because she got the "big tricks, clean program" PCS bonus which seems to be becoming more and more common (see Max Aaron at Nationals and Kevin Reynolds at 4C). Gao doesn't get great explosion on her jumps like Gold, Hicks, and Zawadski, and consequently she has to play a lot of catch up when they land their big ticket items and get big GOEs for those items. FWIW, Gold had a 6 point TES BV advantage over Wagner, 11 over Zawadski, 5 over Hicks, and 6 over Gao. 6 points on PCS is a lot to make up if your name isn't Yuna Kim, Mao Asada, or Carolina Kostner...

  13. #43
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    I suppose you are right. Maybe I am a bit biased because I like Christina and Joshua's skating very much, and have yet to really "get" that of Ross. I like Gracie too but I don't understand her PCS marks, maybe if I saw her live I would but I do think you are right about the lights-out skate with really difficult content bonus, and for the "wow" factor alone I do sort of get it and accept that. I guess I more just wonder why PCS differences between some skaters are not as pronounced/if at all internationally but only Nationally? For example, internationally Gao and Gold are pretty even on PCS and Zawadzki a bit lower, so at Nationals, Gold is a bit higher for the reason you explained okay, but why is Zawadzki who made errors in both programs getting a comfortable PCS margin over Gao who skated an overall cleaner event? And for the men, Farris is quite close to Miner, Dornbush, and Rippon internationally PCS wise, so I guess I question the scores of Miner when again at Nationals, Dornbush, Rippon, and Farris all got pretty comparable PCS while Ross is a significant jump ahead of them and didn't have a lights-out skate with huge content could explain such a PCS bump. Does this make sense?

  14. #44
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    IMHO the current judging system lends itself to suspicions of politics, favoritism, and bias, even when none exists.

    In days of yore I could almost always pick the winner. This skater skated the best, and the judges usually agreed. Once in a while two skaters both skated well, I liked skater A but the majority of the judges liked skater B. OK, it's a judged sport.

    Now we often see a skater win with many visible mistakes. What the...? So we examine the protocols. Aha! the tech guy called an under-rotation. I look at the video in slo-motion, protractor in hand. It looks good to me. The tech guy must be a crook.

    The judges gave my girl a 6.25 in Choreography. What are they smoking? She obviously deserved a 6.75 -- just read the bullets for this component and you will see I am right. This would have put her in the lead. Must be a conspiracy.

    (By the way -- I am not making this up -- there is a thread in the Four Continents folder where three knowledgable posters are arguing about Mao's triple Axel. They all are looking at the same videos, slo-motions, stop-frames, and pictures. One says that she is clearly going forward on her take-off. One says that she is clearly going backward. One says she is clearly going sideways. So far no one has claimed that, no, she is clearly upside-down.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    IMHO the current judging system lends itself to suspicions of politics, favoritism, and bias, even when none exists.

    In days of yore I could almost always pick the winner. This skater skated the best, and the judges usually agreed. Once in a while two skaters both skated well, I liked skater A but the majority of the judges liked skater B. OK, it's a judged sport.

    Now we often see a skater win with many visible mistakes.
    But there were plenty of times under 6.0 when a skater with visible mistakes won over a skater with fewer or no visible mistakes. This was often attributed to reputation judging. And the times when mistakes weren't a factor but we disagreed with the results were often also attributed to politics.

    It's no different with PCS in the current system. If you're inclined to believe judges are honest but sometimes disagree with you, you can believe that under either system. If you're inclined to believe that judges ignore the rules and the skating and just give the win to whoever they like better, you can believe that under either system as well.

    With IJS, sometimes the protocols will show that the judges "liked" your preferred skater better in terms of PCS and/or GOEs, but the base values as called by the technical panel gave the other skater the win.

    So then do you transfer your distrust of officials to the technical panel instead?

    What the...? So we examine the protocols. Aha! the tech guy called an under-rotation. I look at the video in slo-motion, protractor in hand. It looks good to me. The tech guy must be a crook.
    You're free to believe that the tech guy is a crook if it makes you feel better. Other more likely explanations are that the tech panel was correct (as seen from their angle) and you're incorrect, or else that they just made an honest mistake.

    The judges gave my girl a 6.25 in Choreography. What are they smoking? She obviously deserved a 6.75 -- just read the bullets for this component and you will see I am right. This would have put her in the lead. Must be a conspiracy.
    Again, this says a lot more about fan paranoia than about the system itself. There's nowhere in the rules that details the difference between 6.25 and 6.75, any more than there was a rule about when to give 5.6 vs. 5.7 under the old system.

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