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Thread: Plushenko: Chan Does Not Deserve World Title

  1. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    IMHO, here are the major problems with the IJS.
    Under 2013 rules, and especially as it affects the elite men's competition.

    It would be possible to preserve the concept of a code of points but assign the points in different ways that would avoid these problems, and no doubt encourage different ones.

    1. A skater can win the competition in the short program, robbing the long program of any interest or purpose.
    That is true.

    It is also true that a skater can win from 4th or 6th or 7th place without worrying about what order the other skaters she beats finish the long program in -- if she beats the short program leader in the long program by more than the leader beat her in the short, then she wins.

    The fact that former tends to happen more often than the latter indicates that the balance between points available in the short and points available in the long is not currently calibrated to make the long program worth more. I think the main reason because although there are more opportunities to make mistakes in the long program, there are also more opportunities to make up for them with other skills.

    If TPTB agreed that long programs should be more do-or-die, then it would be possible within the existing general framework to change the balance of elements between short and long programs and to change the severity of the penalties for failed elements in the long.

    2 The risk-reward ratio is out of balance. Risk-reward ought to go like this. If you take a big risk and it is successful, you win. If you take a big risk and you fail, you lose. You should not be able to take big risks, fail repeatedly, and win anyway.
    This is primarily true for the elite senior men, under the current scale of values, because triple axels and quads still earn significant points even when failed. When successful, they earn even more points, easily mitigating any points lost to mistakes on elements that started out with lower values to begin with.

    This was less true ca. 2010 and before, and it remains less true in other disciplines and at lower levels.

    3. The three performance components should not be tied so firmly to skating skills. If a skater exhibits fine blade work, deep edges, excellent speed, and busy feet, then that skater deserves strong SS and TR scores. If that same performance is marred by many flaws, then that skater's artistic components should tank appropriately.
    Again, it would be possible -- although difficult in practice the way judges are currently assigned and trained -- to rewrite the criteria for Performance/Execution, Choreography, and Interpretation to disregard the quality of the skating and/or to penalize visible flaws more explicitly.

    Personally, I think there is plenty of room within the existing general framework for improvement in the way the criteria for these components are written and the ways judges are trained to score them.

    But I would be surprised if the ISU decided to rewrite the criteria for these components so thoroughly that actual skating skill would be completely irrelevant to these components, since they are after all part of a skating contest, not an interpretation-through-movement contest that just happens to take place on an ice surface with blades on the feet.

    I also think that even if the rules were rewritten to explicitly encourage judges to penalize visible errors that interfere with appreciation of the performance, that would end up including some kinds of technical weaknesses that judges find disruptive but most viewers don't pay attention to in addition to those that fans tend to dwell on long after the skater and the judges' minds have moved on.

    E.g., if a skater is breaking forward at the waist with each stroke and scratching on the toepicks while skating backward, the effect may be so much like nails on a chalkboard to the judges that they would penalize heavily under PE even without falls and stumbles. Whereas nonskaters might be more bothered by a fall or two in an otherwise well-skated program and, if watching on video, might not hear the scratching at all.

    I.e., I do think it would be an improvement to explicitly encourage judges to reflect errors in these components. But I don't think that people whose prime interest is to evaluate skating and people whose prime interest is to enjoy error-free programs will always have a meeting of the minds on how much it is appropriate for a skater's artistic components to tank.

  2. #332
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    As a fan of FS after a loooong career in skating of 17 years, I agree with Plushenko that Chan doesn't "deserve" a world championship with that kind of performance. However, SOMEONE has to be crowned the champion if a competition takes place, so......

    I would like to agree with Plushenko with different words .... In 2013, Patrick Chan's World title was won with an UNINSPIRING performance. Dare I say, a FORGETTABLE performance?

    His title in 2013 will mean as much as Vladimir Kovolev's world title in 1977 ... who you say? When you say?

    EXACTLY. Chan's performance and win has inspired NO ONE, including the fans.....

    So I agree with Plushenko, but his statement is rhetorical only.

  3. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    E.g., if a skater is breaking forward at the waist with each stroke and scratching on the toepicks while skating backward, the effect may be so much like nails on a chalkboard to the judges that they would penalize heavily under PE even without falls and stumbles. Whereas nonskaters might be more bothered by a fall or two in an otherwise well-skated program and, if watching on video, might not hear the scratching at all.

    I.e., I do think it would be an improvement to explicitly encourage judges to reflect errors in these components. But I don't think that people whose prime interest is to evaluate skating and people whose prime interest is to enjoy error-free programs will always have a meeting of the minds on how much it is appropriate for a skater's artistic components to tank.
    Haha! Great example! So PE does reflect it's value under the umbrella of SS, therefore, CH and IN must be considered in similar fashion. They are probably not interpreted by the judges exactly like how they are interpreted on a stage performance.

    Do you think, gkelly, with your expertized views, that the judges should give away this way of judging, and go with the more generic interpretation on PE, CH, and IN?

    If the answer is no, then there is only one way to overcome this conflict - to educate the public. In the meantime, it's equally important that the public should be willing to be educated.

  4. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Haha! Great example! So PE does reflect it's value under the umbrella of SS, therefore, CH and IN must be considered in similar fashion. They are probably not interpreted by the judges exactly like how they are interpreted on a stage performance.
    Nor were they intended to be, given the way the criteria are written.

    Do you think, gkelly, with your expertized views, that the judges should give away this way of judging, and go with the more generic interpretation on PE, CH, and IN?

    If the answer is no, then there is only one way to overcome this conflict - to educate the public. In the meantime, it's equally important that the public should be willing to be educated.
    This question is very interesting to me.

    In general I am very much in favor of educating the public in a variety of ways, starting with TV commentators who discuss skating skills with as much rigor as they analyze jumps, in an objective, balanced manner.

    I think that there are ways of looking at performance that judges, and the people who write the official criteria, could learn from nonskaters who have a lot of experience with performing arts, as practitioners, trained critics/theorists, and spectators.

    So I do think skating and skating judging would benefit from more public dialogue rather than keeping the decisions within a closed judging community. I'd like to brainstorm about possible ways to do this, in both directions.

    But I don't think that a rubric that ignores skating technique in favor of only things everyone can see, e.g., "no falls is always better than any falls," would be appropriate.

  5. #335
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    I think I would rather see two program components instead of five. I think that Performance and Execution, Choreography and Composition, and Interpretation are so intertwined that it seems foolish to do the same thing three times.

    Similarly with Skating Skills and Transitions.If you have good skating skills but don't display those skills in in-between moves, then what are the judges scoring? (It is interesting to me that Transitions are almost always the lowest of the five component scores, for every skater across the board. I think it is because this mark is the most objective of the five.)

    But now, on the issue of whether good Skating Skills should automatically guarantee good performance components, I think that is more true of "skating skills" with a small S than with Skating Skills as defined by the IJS bullets. Obviously you have to be able to skate well in order to carry out your choreography and to interpret the music. but you also have to able to skate well to execute a triple flip.

    If "Skating Skills" meant "skating skills," then that would be the only score that would be required -- whoever skates the best wins.

  6. #336
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    That is true.[That a skater can be so far ahead after the short program that he/she can't be overtaken.]

    It is also true that a skater can win from 4th or 6th or 7th place without worrying about what order the other skaters she beats finish the long program in -- if she beats the short program leader in the long program by more than the leader beat her in the short, then she wins.
    Actually, the difference between factored placements and add-up-the-points may not be as extreme as it seems intuitively (to me). Here are the results using factored placements for the mens and ladies at 2013 worlds.

    The names are listed in the order in which they finished under CoP scoring. Lowest factored placement wins under 6.0.

    Chan 2.5
    Ten 2.0
    Fernandez 5.5
    Hanyu 7.5
    Reynolds 8.5
    Takahashi 10
    Aaron 10
    Mura 10.5
    Jpubert 12.5
    Brezina 14

    Kim 1.5
    Kostner 4
    Asada 5
    Murakami 8.5
    Wagner 8.5
    Gold 9.5
    Li 10
    Osmond 12
    Sotmikova 13
    Tuktamysheva 14

    So besides two ties, there is perfect agreement between the two scoring systems except for Chan versus Ten.

    The fact that former tends to happen more often than the latter indicates that the balance between points available in the short and points available in the long is not currently calibrated to make the long program worth more. I think the main reason because although there are more opportunities to make mistakes in the long program, there are also more opportunities to make up for them with other skills.
    In addition to the number of points available, I think there is a greater spread in points from best to worst in the short program than in the long. A mistake on a jump in the short program is very costly, relative to the skaters who go clean.. And I think, although I have not examined this statistically, that the judges are more likely to mark skaters down in program components in the SP for technically flawed performances.

    As for total amount of points available, her is how it worked out for the top ten men in aggregate.

    Short program. Total TES = 438.72. Total PCS = 400.96
    SP times 2.......Total TES = 877.44. Total PCS = 801.92

    Long program, Total TES = 806.54. Total PCS = 805.54

    So the PCS are following the 2 to 1 ratio between LP and SP pretty well, but there are definitely extra points available on the technical side in the short program.

    In itself, I don't know whether that's good or bad. Psychologically, if I were in second place after the short because the other guy nailed his quad toe/triole toe, his triple Axel, and his triple Lutz out of steps, I would have no beef. But if we were even in tech and the judges gave the other guy an insurmountable 7 point advantage because he was oh so pretty and musical, that would make me mad (even if he really was oh so pretty and musical. (Give him a two-point advantage and let me fight for it in the LP.)

  7. #337
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    In general I am very much in favor of educating the public in a variety of ways, starting with TV commentators who discuss skating skills with as much rigor as they analyze jumps, in an objective, balanced manner.
    That would be very cool, to try to educate the public as to what constitutes good skating. It would certainly add to the viewers enjoyment and perhaps get them to see that it's not all about the jumps.

    Dick Button did this as a commentator. He was constantly pointing out whether a skater had a good free leg position on her layback, whether she was low enough and had a straight back on her sit-spin, whether her speed was up to par, and even whether she was projecting to the audience. To that, it would be great to add detail about what steps and turns skaters were doing, both in their footwork sequences and throughout the program.

    Educating people about skating is great. That is not the same as trying to educate them about the scoring system. That's not nearly so interesting or important, IMHO.

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    ^^^ I thought Dick Button was a fantastic commentator. When I was growing up, he was the only source of knowledge about a sport that I was fascinated by.

    Today's commentators are poor in comparison.

  9. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That would be very cool, to try to educate the public as to what constitutes good skating. It would certainly add to the viewers enjoyment and perhaps get them to see that it's not all about the jumps.
    Exactly. If all commentators ever talk about is jumps and artistry, then it's understandable if fans think that's all that counts or should count and become confused when someone wins who had neither the best jumps or the best artistry -- which happens often under either judging system.

    Dick Button did this as a commentator. He was constantly pointing out whether a skater had a good free leg position on her layback, whether she was low enough and had a straight back on her sit-spin, whether her speed was up to par, and even whether she was projecting to the audience.
    He occasionally talked about skating skills in a general manner -- referring to speed (as you note) or praise deep and steady edges (without really explaining what that meant) or back in the 80s when commenting on compulsory dances at the Olympics he would explain about how to compare the size of the patterns as a reflection of speed and depth of edge.

    Everything else that you mention is about form or presentation, not blade-to-ice skills. I think presentation/artistry was very important to Mr. Button, even more important than to judges. Ditto Peggy Fleming. With preference for a classical style. So their commentary often tended to dwell on fine points while sometimes ignoring other qualities that were just as important or moreso.

    I think Button also appreciated good skating skills, but that either he or his network producers thought that viewers wouldn't care or wouldn't "get" it from watching on video (skating quality is much easier to appreciate live). So there was comparatively little discussion about what the blades were doing outside of jump takeoffs and landing.

    Still, there was a lot more from Button than from, e.g., Scott Hamilton.

    To that, it would be great to add detail about what steps and turns skaters were doing, both in their footwork sequences and throughout the program.
    Agreed. An occasional mention of an isolated turn during a program, especially anything other than a three or mohawk after viewers have learned to recognize those basics. Whether as a jump entry or as a means of transitioning from forward to backward skating or vice versa. Then viewers could rewind and see what was different about the less common turn.

    And short (1-minute or less) TV spots about different turns, to be played during warmups, etc., during live broadcasts, or as time filler in a tape-delayed broadcast package when there's a minute or two of extra time available but not enough to include another whole performance.


    I'll get back to your earlier post about Skating Skills vs. "skating skills" a little later when I have time to answer in detail.

  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Under 2013 rules, and especially as it affects the elite men's competition.

    It is also true that a skater can win from 4th or 6th or 7th place without worrying about what order the other skaters she beats finish the long program in -- if she beats the short program leader in the long program by more than the leader beat her in the short, then she wins.

    The fact that former tends to happen more often than the latter indicates that the balance between points available in the short and points available in the long is not currently calibrated to make the long program worth more. I think the main reason because although there are more opportunities to make mistakes in the long program, there are also more opportunities to make up for them with other skills.
    Really? I'd say that the latter happens much more often, as evidenced by movement in the standings that don't necessarily reflect the placement. And both happened at this year's Worlds with Chan building an insurmountable lead after the SP. I think it's wonderful that skaters like Fernandez/Hanyu were able to pull up to 3rd and 4th. There have been other examples as well where skaters have pulled up or even won - e.g. Reynolds at 4CC, Sandhu many times after a poor SP. I think the opposite in that the long program is calibrated such that it mitigates the results of the SP.

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    My issue is that PCS scores are impactful enough to negate technical performance. When clean skates (Murakami/Osmond SP, Ten's LP, Canadian pairs' LPs) are losing to technically poor performances by comparison (Kostner's SP, Chan's LP, Germans' LP), invariably the giant PCS advantage is at fault. In the SP it's less apparent because of the 0.8/1.0 factors, but in the FS with the PCS factored by 1.6/2.0, it's even more apparent.

    Say a men's skater has a PCS advantage of 1.00 across all 5 categories over another skater in both the SP & FS -- that's 5 points higher PCS in the SP, and 10 points higher PCS in the LP. So automatically, the lesser PCS skater theoretically has a 15 point disadvantage (which they could make up if, say, they were allowed 2 extra jumping passes and did a 3A & 3Z) . Where skaters are separated by a 2.00 PCS advantage, that works out to a 30 point PCS disadvantage overall (which could be negated if the lesser skater was allowed 3 more jumping passes and executed 3 quads).

    In the case of the ladies, a 1.00 PCS advantage across all categories equates to a 12 point disadvantage over SP+FS (so a lesser skater could make it up were she given two extra jumping passes and landed two 3Z's). For a 1.50 PCS advantage which equates to an 18 point disadvantage, the lesser skater would need to get three extra jumping passes and land all 3Z (or be given 2 extra jumping passes and land a 3Z+3T and 2A+3T) to make up the difference between them and the superior skater.

    I know some skaters are vastly better than others, but that's a ridiculous discrepancy.

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    So what's the solution?

    In the first place, "technically poor" does not always mean visible errors or failed elements. Sometimes skaters lose out technically because they water down their jump content or have less jump content planned to begin with, because they don't plan or don't attain higher levels in the spins and steps, and/or because small errors lead to negative GOEs or generally lower quality limits positive GOEs even for successful elements.

    But in those cases, the skaters are likely to earn lower PCS as well, with a few exceptions.

    The real problem is when a skater has higher quality in most elements and in basic skating and in most presentation criteria but also makes significant mistakes. We want those mistakes to be more costly, relative to the advantage in PCS.

    Possible solutions that have been proposed, each of which has recommendations for and against:

    *more punitive -GOE values
    *no point value for elements that are not completed (e.g., jumps not landed on a running edge)
    *larger fall deductions
    *increasingly large deductions for subsequent falls
    *written guidelines, whether general or detailed, instructing judges to lower certain program component scores in response to certain types of errors

    Any combination of the above would be possible, although the first and second are mutually exclusive.

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    I think the solution would be not as wide a spread for PCS, or have the element values increased proportionally such that they have more impact.

    As an example of this discrepancy, look at the World Team Trophy men's results. Chan/Takahashi/Abbott scored 6-11 points higher PCS than Menshov who was clean -- and with errors at that. Extrapolated over the course of the competition (and this is even lower since the other 3 did poor SPs) Menshov's PCS disadvantage is 18-33 points.

    Obviously they are much better skaters, but Menshov really should be leading. And he really has almost no chance in the freeskate to win, since Chan/Takahashi/Abbott will be likely to already score 12-22 points higher PCS in the FS than him.

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    They should create different factors of PCS within the slots. Maybe skating skills is 2.3 to 1.7 for Performance or 2.3 for transitions 1.7 for choreography.

  15. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    They should create different factors of PCS within the slots. Maybe skating skills is 2.3 to 1.7 for Performance or 2.3 for transitions 1.7 for choreography.
    Perhaps. I feel some would protest that it benefits some skaters more than others. Really what needs to happen is that errors should be reflected in PCS much more. That a skater like Chan, Hanyu, Takahashi, Asada, and Kostner have a "set" PCS range that will never waver significantly enough to affect results no matter how well or poorly they skate is wrong.

    The problem is a skater who gets 40 points of PCS when they skate cleanly and a 37.5 points when they skate poorly is the equivalent of giving 5.9 artistic impression for a flawless skate and a 5.8 artistic impression for a skate with a few falls, just because the rest of the program is executed well.

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