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Thread: Fixed base scores for elements

  1. #46
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    The discussion of spins is interesting, especially reading everyone's thoughts on the layback.

    I think some of the same critique might translate to footwork as well. I get it... I really do... that today's footwork is far more complicated, risky, and difficult. Still, I miss a good solid piece of footwork that goes well with the music. For example, one of my favorite footwork sections comes from Robin Cousins' Olympic SP in 1980.

    The skate overall was joyous, and I think it was skated to the soundtrack of a movie that was 10 years old or so at the time... not sure about that... but I do know it wasn't some overly emotive, agony-on-ice dramatic performance to tragic music. It was lighthearted and joyously skated.

    Back on topic: Watch the whole thing, but especially his diagonal footwork sequence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsCa9xlpMOE

  2. #47
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Skating is a subjective sport, but the objectivity of levels and points for more difficult jumps mitigates this subjectivity from having as much influence on the results as it already does.
    I am not advocating going away from a TES or base values for jumps, though. It sounds to me that you just like the leveled elements, and that's fine. I don't - most of what is rewarded for leveled spins is about flexibility which will lead to more injuries long term and most of the step sequences are just cut and paste between programs these days (same between the SP and LP for the same skater) and don't really add any value other than gathering points in programs. I have explained why I advocate going away from leveled elements and somewhat how I would. There's just as much subjectivity to (questionable) leveled elements as there would be or is with all things with a fixed value, this is not an opinion, it is a fact. The tech panel has nearly as much subjectivity and bias in how they call things or what they review as the judging panel. The same thing happens in my other sport of dog agility. If a judge is familiar with the handler-dog team, they know what is a likely issue with the team and will watch more closely for it and are more likely to call that fault. For example, the dog has to touch at least one foot in the yellow on the downward part of the dog walk (ramps up and down with a parallel to the floor section) or A-frame. For the judges that see my dog and I fairly often (some of them also show their dogs and we see them running the weekends they aren't judging), they know my dog has running contact obstacles and he's nearly 100% on hitting the yellow on the A-frame and about 95% on the dog walk (occasionally skips past the yellow by a couple inches depending on my placement in relation to where he is and how hard I am pushing/calling). If he's running straight on the dog walk and he's close to hitting the yellow and it's maybe questionable (hits a foot in right at or near the beginning of the yellow zone), they are likely NOT to give us a fault for it because he's known for having reliable running contacts. As a contrast, another dog is known locally for "launching" off either contact obstacle from a foot or less above the yellow zone more than 50% of the time. In this case, unless the judge sees the dog run all the way down without question or the handler does a sit or down in the yellow zone where it's completely obvious to everyone that the dog got it, the judge is more likely to call the fault on the obstacle if it's questionable and one foot hits right at or slightly above the contact zone. Sometimes you get a gift, sometimes you are perplexed because you got a fault (and you missed the mistake while running) and two different dogs could run that obstacle exactly the same way but one gets faulted and one doesn't. It happens and it's the subjective nature of the sport.

  3. #48
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    I think some of the same critique might translate to footwork as well. I get it... I really do... that today's footwork is far more complicated, risky, and difficult. Still, I miss a good solid piece of footwork that goes well with the music.
    This is one of the reasons why casual fans are leaving the sport....This is why I advocate a BV for each type of spin and step with no more levels - so we can get some performance aspect back into this sport.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    This is one of the reasons why casual fans are leaving the sport....This is why I advocate a BV for each type of spin and step with no more levels - so we can get some performance aspect back into this sport.
    Unfortunately, that would sacrifice difficulty -- and make it easier for the judges to reward top skaters and hold down less popular skaters.

    Although it's no surprise that difficulty comes at the expense of performance and vice versa. As somebody who likes to see the sport progress technically I'm okay with the former. I think plenty of skaters have shown that they can perform high difficulty but maintain a good level of performance. I think programs with greater emphasis on performance should be saved for exhibitions.

  5. #50
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    The sport IS progressing technically, with or without IJS forcing rules. This past season, we saw multiple skaters trying more than one quad in a program in men and multiple ladies going for 3+3. I don't see most of the spin positions that are regarded as "difficult" as "progressing the sport technically" and that is where we disagree, nor do I see a step sequence which fullfills the requirement for a L3 or L4 but takes a long time to accomplish and could be put to any music in the background as progressing the sport. I see many of the spin positions as performed these days that are regarded as difficult as looking strained, painful, messy, and downright ugly depending on the skater performing them. Yes, SOME skaters make the difficult positions look easy, flawless, and in some cases awesome, but most do not. They could continue to do these positions in my alternate universe to achieve GOE.

    Judges ALREADY reward top skaters and hold down less "popular" skaters, there is just an "appearance" of objectivity with IJS, where people can point to the protocol and say "see, it was fair" to justify any result that they agree with and they can point to a protocol and say "that was overscored" with any result they disagree with. If this is true (and it is, otherwise there wouldn't be pages and pages on Chan didn't deserve his win, Kostner didn't deserve her silver (multiple years), Murakami was cheated, Nakano was cheated (last quadrenium), and so on), then your comment about "make it easier for judges to reward top skaters and hold down less popular skaters" by changing spins and steps to fixed base value is a non-argument.

    I am not advocating going back to 6.0, I AM advocating that there needs to be a bit of a swing back to make programs more interesting and have more aesthetic value and to do that, skaters need to NOT be thinking about checking off boxes in their heads that they are achieving levels on their spins or "enough" difficulty/variety in their step sequence but are only presenting a program that the choreographer and coach has drilled into their heads with no regard to their delivery. I enumerated some of my thoughts specifically about what my requirements would be, so it's not like I am advocating going back to the early/mid 90s for the quality of some of the spins or steps or the 70s for the jump difficulty.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    The sport IS progressing technically, with or without IJS forcing rules. This past season, we saw multiple skaters trying more than one quad in a program in men and multiple ladies going for 3+3. I don't see most of the spin positions that are regarded as "difficult" as "progressing the sport technically" and that is where we disagree, nor do I see a step sequence which fullfills the requirement for a L3 or L4 but takes a long time to accomplish and could be put to any music in the background as progressing the sport. I see many of the spin positions as performed these days that are regarded as difficult as looking strained, painful, messy, and downright ugly depending on the skater performing them. Yes, SOME skaters make the difficult positions look easy, flawless, and in some cases awesome, but most do not. They could continue to do these positions in my alternate universe to achieve GOE.

    Judges ALREADY reward top skaters and hold down less "popular" skaters, there is just an "appearance" of objectivity with IJS, where people can point to the protocol and say "see, it was fair" to justify any result that they agree with and they can point to a protocol and say "that was overscored" with any result they disagree with. If this is true (and it is, otherwise there wouldn't be pages and pages on Chan didn't deserve his win, Kostner didn't deserve her silver (multiple years), Murakami was cheated, Nakano was cheated (last quadrenium), and so on), then your comment about "make it easier for judges to reward top skaters and hold down less popular skaters" by changing spins and steps to fixed base value is a non-argument.

    I am not advocating going back to 6.0, I AM advocating that there needs to be a bit of a swing back to make programs more interesting and have more aesthetic value and to do that, skaters need to NOT be thinking about checking off boxes in their heads that they are achieving levels on their spins or "enough" difficulty/variety in their step sequence but are only presenting a program that the choreographer and coach has drilled into their heads with no regard to their delivery. I enumerated some of my thoughts specifically about what my requirements would be, so it's not like I am advocating going back to the early/mid 90s for the quality of some of the spins or steps or the 70s for the jump difficulty.
    Well, there's also the school of thought that difficulty doesn't have to look ugly. I think everyone would have to agree that spins and footwork are much more difficult than in the past... I don't think it's necessarily the sport progressing technically (since jumps are usually the measure of that), but it's certainly more challenging than doing a simple sit spin for 6 revolutions and that's your spin. I think IJS kinda makes spins go overboard, hence why the suggestions about a technical spin and a "choreographed" spin (or artistic spin or whatever) is interesting. I would just hate for spins to regress to what they were before the IJS, since a lot of skaters tended to be "lazy" in their spins, and I'd rather see a prolonged spin with difficult positions and intricate footwork instead of 10 seconds of end to end turns and call it a day.

  7. #52
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    Also, skaters these days have to take enough risks these days. Some of those spin positions can really mess up your back and hips!

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    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.
    I wish this suggestion would somehow find its way to the door of the ISU technical committee because as of now I really can't think of a better solution to the difficult-over-quality problem we have.
    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Give me the step sequence Yagudin performed in his Winter program or Michelle Kwan performed in her EoE program over some of the L3 and L4 step sequences which meander around the rink these days.
    To be honest I don't know if they are the best examples. Michelle IMO had pretty simplistic steps for most part of her career that just were not good enough vehicles to make a case for her skating ability and while Yags had crowd-pleasing steps, the toe stomping didn't demonstrate any skating-related ability other than quickness of the muscles. IMO there have been more innovative pre-IJS steps that actually utilized different edges of the blades and different directions of turns yet still maintained the necessary musicality and flow.

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