Fixed base scores for elements
One of the biggest irks about the scoring system is about levels and doing everything to achieve these levels. I really like that over the last couple of seasons more elements instead of being given a level have a fixed base score and are only evaluated for execution. In singles, skaters have the choreographic step sequence and in dance they have the choreographed lift.
Should more elements have a fixed value in the future.
Maybe one of the spins in singles can have a fixed value. And in pairs there can be a fixed base value for a 'choreographed pair lift' and spins or the death spiral. For dance, maybe replace one of the step sequence for a 'choreographed' step sequence with some parts in dance hold and some not touching. Maybe in the future they can replace the 'choreographed lift' in ice dance with a creative element (it could be a dance lift, a dance spin, twizzles, hydroblading etc.) with a fixed base value for more variety.
Bona Fide Member
Yes, I think that spins and steps, in single skating, and death spirals, in pairs, should have a fixed base value (with strict requirements in order to receive, for example a minimum total number of revolutions to be performed in all the three basic positions for a CCoSp), but without the level features, and be judged only with the GOE, but with different requirements: for example, the variety and the difficulty of the positions in the spin should be one of the things to be considered in the GOE... But I think that things like this won't happen, because the level are the real innovation of this IJS...
I think the levels are important because it mitigates the subjectivity of what a good spin or good footwork should or shouldn't be. I can picture a top skater doing an easier spin/footwork than a "lesser" skater with a harder/better executed spin but still getting higher bonus. You see it in the ChSp1 all the time... where a junior skater incorporates more difficulty into their ChSp1 but won't ever score as much or higher than a top skater who "performs better" even with an easier sequence. I'm okay with the ChSp1 and a bonus being added, because it mitigates ANOTHER minute-long footwork sequence. It's like the first sequence shows what the skater is technically capable of, and the second shows how well they can "perform".
At least levels force everyone to increase the difficulty of their elements... having a base value would be a bad idea because it essentially negates the benefit of trying intricate positions. Why risk a flying change of foot or an edge change, or even a Biellmann, if you can get high marks for a basic camel-sit-change-sit or a fast layback.
Way back in the late 1990s, I tried to imagine what a points-for-elements scoring system for skating might look like.
I didn't anticipate the invention of the technical panel. I just imagined that judges could give deductions for errors on elements and could also give bonus points for extra difficulty OR for extra quality (or both).
Maybe make the GOEs range from -5 to +5.
In theory, I think it could work to move the responsibility to rewarding difficulty in these elements over to the judges. But it would make the rewards for difficulty more subjective and less consistent than they are now, and it would also make it harder to tell exactly what a skater is being rewarded for.
So I think that, given the system currently in place, it would probably be best to rejigger the scale of values such that it's always more valuable to raise the quality by by one GOE step than to raise the difficulty by one level, and to encourage judges to use the positive GOEs freely for well-performed simple elements.
Then it would become better strategy for skaters to choose, for example, to perfect level 2 elements instead of aiming to achieve level 4 at the expense of quality.