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 07:56 PM.
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 03:38 AM.
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)?
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.
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 03:48 PM.
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...
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?
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.)
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?
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.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.
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.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.