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Thread: Figure skating is dying, and judges can't prop it up

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    Figure skating is dying, and judges can't prop it up

    A tiny arena, not even 7,000 seats in all, unable to be filled to capacity for any single event until more than halfway through the competition. In ice-crazy Canada. Eleven months before the Winter Olympics.

    A sport adrift, its president not even bothering to cross the Atlantic to attend what is not only the most important competition the International Skating Union annually holds, but also once was one of the most revered and most-watched of any world championships in any Olympic sport, winter or summer.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...it-up/1995027/


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...92G0I220130317

    Glitzy Gala cannot hide figure skating warts
    With a scoring system that is harder to understand than the theory of relativity and offers about as much transparency as a Papal conclave, figure skating still struggles to connect with the average fan, particularly in North America where their numbers are on the decline.

    That confusing system allowed Canada's Patrick Chan to claim a third consecutive world championship title on Friday despite hitting the ice more times than a toddler learning to skate.

    The routine was so dreadful that Chan spent the next two days apologizing profusely to fans for his performance but he certainly did not apologize for the win.

    "I deserved it," declared Chan. "It's totally understandable that people have their doubts.

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    canada's minister of state for sport bal gosal saw things very differently tweeting: "is it me, or is @skatecanada's @pchiddy (chan) getting better every time he skates?"
    lol.

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    Ethnocentric article, IMO. Look where most of the medalists and winners come from, and you'll see FS is as popular there as ever, if not more so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    Ethnocentric article, IMO. Look where most of the medalists and winners come from, and you'll see FS is as popular there as ever, if not more so.
    Burying your head in sand is going nowhere. I sensed that even South Korea is less crazy about FS these days than just two 2 years ago.

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    Yes you prove my point, that's because Yuna left competition. They had nobody else to win anything. If you took a competition to Korea last year vs. Yuna ice show, which do you think Koreans would rather attend? Foreigners they don't know and don't really care about? Or someone they do know? It's the same in the U.S. Most Americans don't care about sports where Americans aren't dominant. Soccer(futbol) and F1 racing are not popular at all in the U.S. despite having very large international interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    Yes you prove my point, that's because Yuna left competition. They had nobody else to win anything. If you took a competition to Korea last year vs. Yuna ice show, which do you think Koreans would rather attend? Foreigners they don't know and don't really care about? Or someone they do know? It's the same in the U.S. Most Americans don't care about sports where Americans aren't dominant. Soccer(futbol) and F1 racing are not popular at all in the U.S. despite having very large international interest.
    Nonsense. American women are now a dominant force in gymnastics, but the rise in popularity had nothing to do with any American. 1972: Olga Korbut in Munich. 1976: Nadia Comeneci in Montreal. They inspired a generation of young girls from the big city and the farmland to tumble their way across America. Before them, gymnastics wasn't even popular enough to be a boutique sport.

    They were foreigners. Even worse... COMMUNISTS! And at the height of the Cold War, at that.

    Somebody at USA Gymnastics had the vision and gumption to capitalize on those moments and shift the athletic landscape in America. It's not the American sporting spirit that is lacking, but the leadership necessary to revive the sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suzukifan27 View Post
    Burying your head in sand is going nowhere. I sensed that even South Korea is less crazy about FS these days than just two 2 years ago.
    Absolutely...where are all the yuna ubers...seems like hundreds were everywhere 3 years ago. Yuna herself didn't seem all that thrilled. Yes it is ethnocentric...that is the point. CANADA! LAND OF WINTER SPORTS ESP HOCKEY/FS! They have Chan, Osmond, Virtue Moir GOOD PAIR TEAMS! dumb cap key. Anyway, 7,000 is very small. Ten years ago CSOI I'm sure could sell that easily.

    The scoring may be producing some interesting skaters but clearly it's an issue for 6.0 fans of many years. Not televising it is crazy here in US. I looked but found nom NBC coverage, but I'm away so, maybe I missed it? I found nothing on NBC website. Anyone know if next weekend there will be some coverage? At least gold medal ice dancers? It is dreadful...can't grow new fans without TV coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Absolutely...where are all the yuna ubers...seems like hundreds were everywhere 3 years ago. Yuna herself didn't seem all that thrilled. Yes it is ethnocentric...that is the point. CANADA! LAND OF WINTER SPORTS ESP HOCKEY/FS! They have Chan, Osmond, Virtue Moir GOOD PAIR TEAMS! dumb cap key. Anyway, 7,000 is very small. Ten years ago CSOI I'm sure could sell that easily.

    The scoring may be producing some interesting skaters but clearly it's an issue for 6.0 fans of many years. Not televising it is crazy here in US. I looked but found nom NBC coverage, but I'm away so, maybe I missed it? I found nothing on NBC website. Anyone know if next weekend there will be some coverage? At least gold medal ice dancers? It is dreadful...can't grow new fans without TV coverage.
    Right. Too bad USFSA went down to the crossroads and sold its soul to the devil (Universal). Short term greed for a long-term decline in the sport. It's not the only reason the sport is dying here in the US, but it's a significant one.

    I mean, are there NO successful business and marketing professionals working for USFSA?! Broadcast the major competitions for free!! Promote the heck out of the skaters - get them out on the talk show circuits! In fashion magazines! Gracie Gold is made for US media with her youth, All-American beauty, athleticism and soaring success!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Absolutely...where are all the yuna ubers...seems like hundreds were everywhere 3 years ago. Yuna herself didn't seem all that thrilled. .
    You're absolutely right. Yuna ubers used to be atrocious on various forums. They're now gone. I don't even think South Korean media hyped this event that much. It is dying in South Korea as well. Japan might be the next. China? Never popular there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suzukifan27 View Post
    You're absolutely right. Yuna ubers used to be atrocious on various forums. They're now gone. I don't even think South Korean media hyped this event that much. It is dying in South Korea as well. Japan might be the next. China? Never popular there.
    You're living in your own imaginary world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suzukifan27 View Post
    You're absolutely right. Yuna ubers used to be atrocious on various forums. They're now gone. I don't even think South Korean media hyped this event that much. It is dying in South Korea as well. Japan might be the next. China? Never popular there.
    I disagree and agree. Those Yuna ubers are absolutely back and South Korean media annoyingly hyped this event (at least after Yuna's almost perfect SP). But true, it is dying because Yuna's retirement is coming closer. Most of them seem to love figure skating with Yuna and not FS itself. I don't think they would keep watching it when they don't have Yuna (or at least another potential medalist) on the ice.

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    Ya'll just need to ignore it. aftertherain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    Ethnocentric article, IMO. Look where most of the medalists and winners come from, and you'll see FS is as popular there as ever, if not more so.
    Quote Originally Posted by suzukifan27 View Post
    Burying your head in sand is going nowhere. I sensed that even South Korea is less crazy about FS these days than just two 2 years ago.
    South Korea is/was "less" crazy about it because Yuna left. Let's face it, she made figure skating there. Without her, Korean Figure Skating is pretty much nothing. Her ice shows are continually sold-out every year. Then she came back and competed in Nationals in South Korea for the first time in a million years, which made people relatively more accessible to watch her compete rather than going through the fuss of going overseas.

    Figure skating in Japan still seems pretty strong to be honest--men's and ladies' mostly. I get a sense a lot of Japanese FS fans like Davis/White and the Shibutanis because both of those pairs take part in Japanese ice shows in the off-season.

    You can blame the IJS all you want, but it's not the only reason why skating is on the decline in "Western" countries. Part of it is the lack of strong female solo stars, changing attitude as a society towards female roles in sports, the economy, and many others.

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    I do think it would help if mistakes were more penalized. I do think there is room to perform at higher level of difficulty and make some small errors and outscore a clean skate at lower difficulty, but the point in the article about a competitor falling all over the place and still beating a clean skate is a valid point. People not familiar with FS will see that and be turned off by it. Scoring needs some reforms not complete overhaul IMO.

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    I agree with aftertherain. Yuna is a poor example. South Korea wouldn't even be a blip on the skate radar without her. I think there are several reasons why the sport isn't as popular in the US and I don't think the judges are the main factor. The first is lack of television coverage in the US and the lack of promotion by the USFS. The second is the lack of skating stars since Michelle Kwan.....that points back to the first reason I cited. Third, the scoring system to the casual fan is like reading sanskrit. It makes little or no sense and the broadcasters dont' even understand it. I can see why the 6.0 system had to be overhauled. But basically they went from a motor scooter to a Rolls Royce. The new scoring system has impacted choreography (how many ugly positions are possible in a sit spin?) and the need to get those extra points in the second half of the program by throwing the big jumps has ruined quite a few otherwise wonderful programs. As far as filling seats in an arena....have you looked at the price of tickets these days? It's insane. And add travel and lodging and food on to that and not many people can afford to go to too many competitions. I mentioned this in another thread some days ago but the ticket price for the 2014 Nationals Exhibition show is $200!!!!! How many families could afford to take children to that show? How many couples could go to that show? How many West Coasters can afford to attend Nationals in Boston with ticket prices sky high! I think Canada was smart not to book a huuuuuuuuuge arena and have it half empty. God forbid anyone should look at WHY it's half empty.

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    I didn't bother to read these articles, but obviously, figure skating is very strong in Japan and Korea, and is getting increasingly popular in China and other parts of Asia. So if figure skating is "dying," then it is only "dying" in the US primarily, as many have already said. Plus, with rising stars like Gold and Osmond, I think the public interest in figure skating in US and North America will start to rise back.

    All in all, as far as ladies figure skating is concerned, I think with the current level of talents we have around the globe (basically the Top 10 ladies at this year's Worlds), the sport is in a better shape than it has ever been in terms of quality standpoint.

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