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Thread: Fixed base scores for elements

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Because many skaters look like they are struggling to achieve levels in spins, some positions are down right UGLY and should never have been conceived of, and spins no longer match the musical phrasing of a program, people are doing whatever position for whatever timing required to satisfy the requirements of the spin and a lot of times, they no longer make sense in the program. As it is, most of the skaters at the top echelon of the sport are getting level 3's and 4's so it's really based upon the judges' discretion anyway.
    I meant this in reference to the comment that GOE isn't being used properly. Of course there are a lot of cases where GOE isn't being used properly but a fixed value with GOE would give the judges even more leeway.

    The top skaters are getting level 3s and 4s because everyone has to in order to get those points. If it was a fixed level with just GOE, you can bet top skaters would reduce the difficulty of their other elements. Lower skaters would have to keep their difficulty in order to be on par with the top level skaters. A low-difficulty element performed by a top skater can score as much as a high-difficulty element from an "inferior" skater. Also, top skaters will be deducted far less severely than inferior skaters (we already see that with top skaters getting -1's and -2's when they fall; the same courtesy isn't extended to lesser skaters even if those skaters met all the other GOE requirements of the jump).

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    The top skaters are getting level 3s and 4s because everyone has to in order to get those points. If it was a fixed level with just GOE, you can bet top skaters would reduce the difficulty of their other elements. Lower skaters would have to keep their difficulty in order to be on par with the top level skaters. A low-difficulty element performed by a top skater can score as much as a high-difficulty element from an "inferior" skater.
    Yes, this is true.

    Suppose that there are no levels and that all rewards for both difficulty and quality are left up to the judges' GOEs.

    Skaters who can perform simple elements with good quality will earn points that way. If they can earn the full range of positive GOE (currently +3) purely on quality, they won't need to add any difficulty.

    Some skaters with good but not great quality will also add some extra difficulty so they can get extra points both ways and have a chance of +3 or at least +2.

    Skaters who struggle with achieving enough quality to be rewarded (speed, positions, centering on spins; speed, edge quality, musical expression on steps) even when they keep the elements simple may strategize that even with unleveled elements they're more likely to increase GOE by doing clearly more than the bare minimum of difficulty. They wouldn't be guaranteed to be rewarded in the same way that they are guaranteed to earn levels if they execute the features, but they might consider it a better bet for earning points.

    Also, top skaters will be deducted far less severely than inferior skaters (we already see that with top skaters getting -1's and -2's when they fall; the same courtesy isn't extended to lesser skaters even if those skaters met all the other GOE requirements of the jump).
    It all depends on the quality of the jump. Even top skaters get -3 for most jumps with falls. But if there were enough good qualities in the rest of the element (e.g., difficult entry and/or air position, good speed, good height, and of course full rotation; and especially when there's an excellent first jump in a combo or sequence followed by a fall on the last jump), then -2 or -1 can be justified. And it doesn't have to be a top skater in the sense of being an all-around top skater with top skating skills as well as top-level jumps and spins and presentation -- a top jumper can earn -1 or -2 for a failed jump even with mediocre scores in other areas.

    So, similarly, an excellent spinner who rarely wins medals because of mediocre basic skating and/or jumping could earn higher GOEs for simpler spins, or spins with errors in a small part of the spin, than a weaker spinner (who may actually be a stronger skater) doing harder spins or comparable difficulty without visible errors.

  3. #18
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Assume that there will continue to be a score for each element, but that levels and features could be taken off the table completely.

    What would be some good rules or guidelines to provide appropriate scoring of the following pre-IJS laybacks?

    Dorothy Hamill

    Dianne DeLeeuw (note that she did her jumps and all her other spins counterclockwise, but for some reason she chose to do her laybacks clockwise -- should that be reflected in the scoring somehow?)

    Kristi Yamaguchi

    Oksana Baiul

    Nathalie Krieg

    Tanya Street

    Lucinda Ruh

    Angela Nikodinov

    Sarah Hughes

    Irina Slutskaya

    Sasha Cohen

    Yukina Ota


    Which do you enjoy most and why? Which do you think should score highest? Are your criteria for answering both questions identical?


    Would some of the dissatisfaction with the current state of ladies' laybacks be mitigated if switching to a Biellmann position after at least 8 revolutions were no longer allowed in the short program?
    My guidelines would be:
    -elegance of the position, judging how parallel to the ice your shoulders and your back are;
    -ability to centre the spin quickly;
    -high number of rotations in a good position;
    -speed throughout the spin (possibly with an increase).
    Basing on these, this would be my ranking:
    1) Nathalie Krieg (not the best position, but the speed is absolutely outstanding!)
    2) Dorothy Hamill
    3) Yukina Ota
    4) Dianne de Leeuw
    5) Irina Slutskaya
    6) Sasha Cohen
    7) Kristi Yamaguchi
    8) Lucinda Ruh
    9) Sarah Hughes
    10)Angela Nikodinov
    11) Oksana Baiul
    12) Tanya Street (not really a "layback")

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    I agree with those criteria, and I would add leg position as well since many skaters tend to arch, but don't have the leg raised above the hip in an arabesque position (which is really hard to do if you lack hip flexibility).

    I'm curious as to where Caroline Zhang would fall in that list: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhf7WSUsGE Same with Nagasu, Czisny, and Lipnitskaia.

    Also wondering where Daisuke's and Rohene Ward's would fall under those.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I agree with those criteria, and I would add leg position as well since many skaters tend to arch, but don't have the leg raised above the hip in an arabesque position (which is really hard to do if you lack hip flexibility).
    Wait. Above the hip? No, that's impossible. Once you get in the layback position the best you can achieve is straight out from the knee, right?

    Trying to rank these (much less give cogent reasons fir my ranking) is reason number 3295 why I am not a figure skating judge. These are all wonderful. My favorite to watch was Kristi. Reason: she had the best music. Her clip was the only one that I watched all the way through the rest of the program, because I wanted to hear the rest of the song. And I'm glad I did, because of her double Axel at the end.

    I thought Dorothy Hamill was the best.

    Krieg would be the hardest to score, for me. It's kind of funky, but that can be good or bad. Is she climbing a rope or boxing with God? Very cool, anyway.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-23-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  6. #21
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    I'm just looking at these particular clips; for some of these skaters we could find other examples with greater or lesser overall quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I'm curious as to where Caroline Zhang would fall in that list: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQhf7WSUsGE Same with Nagasu, Czisny, and Lipnitskaia.
    I had deliberately chosen examples all from before IJS so that they would not include Biellmanns (and none of them would be more than level 2). There seems to be a glitch with the link to the Lucinda Ruh example that I chose, which wasn't her best layback ever in any case. Should I choose a different clip for her?

    I also wanted an example of Slutskaya doing the sideways twist instead of the haircutter, but I couldn't remember which competition(s) she did that at.

    Anyway, I think I would consider the quality of the spinning (speed, centering, finding the "sweet spot" of the blade) before the position. Beyond that, I know what looks more or less attractive to me, but it's hard to quantify that quality and not dependent on choosing or eschewing the classic attitude position.

    With no levels, how should added difficulty figure into the scoring (e.g., see Yamaguchi's "level 2" example with sideways position, basic attitude, and then haircutter)?

    Of the links I posted, I'd only give +3 to Krieg, but most of the others would be positive, either +2 or +1.

    The Zhang example CanadianSkaterGuy posted looks like a definite +3 to me and it also has all those extra features for a higher level.

    Also wondering where Daisuke's and Rohene Ward's would fall under those.
    Specific clips, please?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post


    Which do you enjoy most and why? Which do you think should score highest? Are your criteria for answering both questions identical?


    Would some of the dissatisfaction with the current state of ladies' laybacks be mitigated if switching to a Biellmann position after at least 8 revolutions were no longer allowed in the short program?
    Yes. First, it makes all layback spins look far too similar. It's also way too demanding and unfair towards less flexible skaters. It's far more difficult for a non-flexible skater to get a level 4 layback spin than a flexible skater, since they likely have to achieve a far more difficult feature (the acceleration feature). Michelle Kwan was at a significant disadvantage under the early version of CoP because she couldn't attempt the Biellmann, likewise Rachael Flatt and Joannie Rochette couldn't get level 4 laybacks; Akiko Suzuki forces herself into a dreadfully ugly Biellmann to get a level 4.

    I enjoyed Natalie Krieg and Yukina Ota's laybacks the most, because of their speed, back position, and how their arm movements matched or accentuated the music. Surprisingly, I didn't enjoy as much these particular examples of Angela, Sarah, and Sasha's laybacks even though I do like their laybacks--when I've seen them perform their laybacks within their programs, the speed of their spins didn't matter as much. Looking at their laybacks in isolation for the purpose of this exercise, I enjoyed the faster spins that were more directly matched into the music.

    I'd prefer it if there was a cap on levels somehow so that we don't see all skaters attempt so many features per spin, which makes the spins so drawn out and kind of an ordeal since let's face it, most skaters don't spin like the Swiss. Right now, senior ladies attempt 3 spins that can each be a maximum of 4 levels = 12 maximum spin levels to be attained. Why not have the cap be at 10 levels, so that perhaps two of the spins can be level 4 spins while the third a simple level 2? Or just one be a level 4 spin, the other two level 3 spins? There's nothing wrong with a beautiful level 2 layback spin, and nothing wrong with a beautiful level 4 layback spin. There should be room to reward both based on the skater's strength and strategy. Instead most everyone feels compelled to go for the level 4 spin, regardless of how well they can do it, and for the most part, it doesn't enhance the performance. The spin requirements of today are far too demanding, and maybe the spin requirements of 6.0 were far too weak, but there is a middle ground that could be found. Much as they un-leveled the spiral sequence, I think they should consider taking away a few levels from the spins.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    There seems to be a glitch with the link to the Lucinda Ruh example that I chose, which wasn't her best layback ever in any case. Should I choose a different clip for her?
    Yes, I think so: she's in 8th place in my ranking, and that is not the position she desrves, because her spins were usually far better than Yamaguchi's for example!

  9. #24
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    OK, try this one for Lucinda Ruh

    Hopefully the clip will actually start where I told it to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Yes, this is true.

    Suppose that there are no levels and that all rewards for both difficulty and quality are left up to the judges' GOEs.

    Skaters who can perform simple elements with good quality will earn points that way. If they can earn the full range of positive GOE (currently +3) purely on quality, they won't need to add any difficulty.

    Some skaters with good but not great quality will also add some extra difficulty so they can get extra points both ways and have a chance of +3 or at least +2.

    Skaters who struggle with achieving enough quality to be rewarded (speed, positions, centering on spins; speed, edge quality, musical expression on steps) even when they keep the elements simple may strategize that even with unleveled elements they're more likely to increase GOE by doing clearly more than the bare minimum of difficulty. They wouldn't be guaranteed to be rewarded in the same way that they are guaranteed to earn levels if they execute the features, but they might consider it a better bet for earning points.



    It all depends on the quality of the jump. Even top skaters get -3 for most jumps with falls. But if there were enough good qualities in the rest of the element (e.g., difficult entry and/or air position, good speed, good height, and of course full rotation; and especially when there's an excellent first jump in a combo or sequence followed by a fall on the last jump), then -2 or -1 can be justified. And it doesn't have to be a top skater in the sense of being an all-around top skater with top skating skills as well as top-level jumps and spins and presentation -- a top jumper can earn -1 or -2 for a failed jump even with mediocre scores in other areas.

    So, similarly, an excellent spinner who rarely wins medals because of mediocre basic skating and/or jumping could earn higher GOEs for simpler spins, or spins with errors in a small part of the spin, than a weaker spinner (who may actually be a stronger skater) doing harder spins or comparable difficulty without visible errors.
    Are you advocating for the elimination of the technical panel?

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    I agree with the criteria, but I don't see how Lucinda Ruh wouldn't be called the best on that basis.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...Xa0-DEg#t=115s

    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    My guidelines would be:
    -elegance of the position, judging how parallel to the ice your shoulders and your back are;
    -ability to centre the spin quickly;
    -high number of rotations in a good position;
    -speed throughout the spin (possibly with an increase).
    Basing on these, this would be my ranking:
    1) Nathalie Krieg (not the best position, but the speed is absolutely outstanding!)
    2) Dorothy Hamill
    3) Yukina Ota
    4) Dianne de Leeuw
    5) Irina Slutskaya
    6) Sasha Cohen
    7) Kristi Yamaguchi
    8) Lucinda Ruh
    9) Sarah Hughes
    10)Angela Nikodinov
    11) Oksana Baiul
    12) Tanya Street (not really a "layback")

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKonas View Post
    Are you advocating for the elimination of the technical panel?
    I'm not necessarily supporting the concept of fixed base scores for elements; just thinking through the implications of what has been suggested in this thread.

    But IF all elements had fixed base scores and there were no such thing as levels, the role of the technical panel would be greatly reduced.

    They'd just have to identify what each element was, whether it met the very minimum requirements to count as what it was intended. The only real area of potential controversy would be jump downgrades. Otherwise, if everything had a fixed base mark, you could just have one person naming each element for the computer.

    Is that really what this thread is proposing -- no levels for any elements? If so, then should judges reward difficulty in the GOEs, or should the scoring system ignore difficulty entirely when it comes to spins and steps?

    I think some posters have suggested that one spin per program would not have levels, and someone suggested a cap on the number of levels allowed across the program that would require some elements not to be level 4. So in those cases, the tech panel as it currently exists would still be needed.

  13. #28
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    I advocate doing away with levels entirely as programs have lost their connection to the music because step sequences and spins no longer match the musical phrasing due to their requirements. Also, much of what is rewarded with higher levels is for people with extreme flexibility, which not all skaters have and GOEs aren't used properly by most judges anyway. Yes, I would do away with the tech panel, maybe just a data/video operator who inputs what the element is. We used to have 9 judges on a panel and that is expensive enough to import. Now, there's 7 judges, a TC, a TS, an ATS, a DO, and a VRO + the expensive system per panel and the results aren't any less controversial.

    As it is, the top skaters get rewarded in the current system with higher GOEs than lesser known skaters for the same (or in some cases LOWER) quality (either this is true or many of today's highest level of skater have the greatest spins, which I don't really believe), so I don't understand the argument that levels should be kept to "help" the lower ranking skaters because if your name isn't Yuna Kim or Patrick Chan or (fill in the blank with well known top 10 Senior or Junior phenom), then you are probably going to get 0s or +1s no matter how great your spins are. I am not advocating going back to some of the really craptacular spins of the 90s that some skaters presented in programs where positions were barely held for a revolution as I think you'd have to hold a similar standard regarding establishing position for minimum revolutions, etc for the data/video operator to ratify it met the requirements for a given spin, but I'd rather see a spin that flows with the music as opposed to against it. Same goes for step sequences. I see a lot of skaters who get level 3s and 4s on their step sequences but they CLEARLY are struggling to get the turns and steps chosen for that step sequence to be clean (think rockers that look like 3 turns with a change of edge or twizzles that look like double 3s or Choctaws on a flat) that seem to be interminable in terms of the time they take up in the program. These step sequences also don't match the phrasing of the music in many cases (although Asada's short program steps this past season had magnificent use of music) and skaters are turning, bending, reaching, lunging, etc with no regard to what the music is "saying". Skating is a performance sport which makes it different than running or swimming or pole vaulting and more than a cursory nod to the performance aspect needs to be made to re-attract an audience in North America (along with a strong leading lady). One of the things about some of the greatest skaters in history is how they brought their selected music "alive" with their programs and brought some personality to those programs and this seems to be lost in the changing of positions to achieve levels and zig-zagging across the ice in a step sequence.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Specific clips, please?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uYKF00PC7o&t=2m28s (although I appreciate his originality in attempting this, there's practically no back flexibility... this LSp4 got more points than many other female skaters who actually achieve the layback position http://www.isuresults.com/results/gp..._FS_Scores.pdf... seems more like a well-executed upright spin)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eck09NPwYjk&t=6m10s (this is a much better layback and I would rank it higher than some of the women on that list... excellent back position, in general, not just for a guy!... a shame about the rest of the FS though... he was so talented)

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    I advocate doing away with levels entirely as programs have lost their connection to the music because step sequences and spins no longer match the musical phrasing due to their requirements.
    So technical content should not matter at all? Should double jumps have the same base marks as triple jumps? Should step sequences (or whole programs) with no clockwise turns at all and no turns other than threes and mohawks start with the same base marks as sequences full of deep edges and varied, difficult turns? The only thing that should matter is musical phrasing, technical content be damned?

    If we want skating to be a sport in which difficulty counts, then difficulty needs to be rewarded. We can debate what would be the best way to reward it -- whether either/or features as determined by a separate technical panel are the right way to go, or whether it would be more appropriate to leave it up to individual judges in some way (and what that way might be). But if you don't reward it at all, then you lose

    We also want quality to count. How can that be balanced with difficulty? Can the scoring system build in bigger rewards for adding quality than it does for adding difficulty? Can it make sure that very difficult elements performed very well will earn the highest technical scores? Or do we want a sport in which the best skaters in the world execute the exact same elements as the intermediates, just with higher quality?

    And we also want artistry to count, to sum up various aspects of performance that make skating special among sports and friendly to audiences who don't know or care much about technical details. But I think in the sporting context that should be the icing on the cake -- not the cake itself. In a show-skating context, the priorities would be reversed.

    Also, much of what is rewarded with higher levels is for people with extreme flexibility, which not all skaters have and GOEs aren't used properly by most judges anyway.
    I'd rather rewrite the rules for features to give more credit for blade-based skills and less for flexibility skills than to give up entirely and refuse to reward difficulty at all.

    As it is, the top skaters get rewarded in the current system with higher GOEs than lesser known skaters for the same (or in some cases LOWER) quality (either this is true or many of today's highest level of skater have the greatest spins, which I don't really believe),
    I do not see that this is true. I see high GOEs for good spinners at all levels.
    Yes, there may be some psychological halo effect that the skaters with the best skating and the best jumps and the strongest federations behind them also get benefit of doubt when it comes to scoring their spins.

    I'm sure you can find examples of spins by elite medalists that you believe are overscored, or spins by skaters who are much better at spinning than anything else that you believe are underscored. But in my experience these are more the exception than the rule.

    Claiming that GOEs "aren't used properly" implies that judges almost always get it wrong. I disagree -- I see most GOEs as defensible, with occasional exceptions. It's just that the exceptions are so much more interesting to talk about.

    If we assume that there is a "proper" way to judge (GOEs, or PCS, or 6.0 scores) but that judges almost never do it right, then why bother to hold competitions at all?

    so I don't understand the argument that levels should be kept to "help" the lower ranking skaters because if your name isn't Yuna Kim or Patrick Chan or (fill in the blank with well known top 10 Senior or Junior phenom), then you are probably going to get 0s or +1s no matter how great your spins are.
    1) Define "great." Maybe your definition and the current rules are not operating on the same understanding. In that case, of course the judges will get it wrong according to your mental definition, because those aren't the rules they're working with. So first we need to come up with a working definition of what should be rewarded.

    2) Show some examples of IJS spins that have been improperly marked on GOE in your opinion.

    3) If we believe the existing GOE guidelines are appropriate but there a large percentage of spins have not been scored according to those guidelines, then the judges need to be better instructed.

    Or if most spins have been marked appropriately according to the existing rules, but the results are still unsatisfying to a significant number of skaters, coaches, judges, and other stakeholders in the sport, then the rules should be changed. But to what? What do we want to reward? How can we write rules that will encourage all the things we want to reward, without putting undue importance on flexibility positions, changes of position, etc., without undervaluing skills that are harder to quantify, but without overacting by refusing to reward the quantifiable skills either?

    but I'd rather see a spin that flows with the music as opposed to against it. Same goes for step sequences. I see a lot of skaters who get level 3s and 4s on their step sequences but they CLEARLY are struggling to get the turns and steps chosen for that step sequence to be clean (think rockers that look like 3 turns with a change of edge or twizzles that look like double 3s or Choctaws on a flat) that seem to be interminable in terms of the time they take up in the program. These step sequences also don't match the phrasing of the music in many cases
    Again, I think the goal here is to reward technical content, to reward technical quality, and also to reward phrasing to the music and other artistic qualities. But in skating-as-sport, the artistic qualities can't take precedence over the technical the way they would in shows.

    From a sporting point of view, I would want to make sure to reward variety and difficulty of turns and to reward clean edges and turns. These are the fundamental skills of figure skating -- more important than jumps and spins. There needs to be some method built into the sport to make sure that skaters develop these skills and demonstrate them in competition.

    Originally, there was a whole separate phase of competition for skaters to demonstrate precise edge work on circles, with no music or artistry. That phase is not going to come back.

    So how can rewards for those skills be built into the context of competition programs in such a way that using those skills for artistic purpose is worth even more than just doing them because they're required, and that doing fewer turns well is worth more than doing more of them barely adequately?

    How do we make it worthwhile for all skaters to develop good basic skating skills with appropriate difficulty for their skill level? To demonstrate the ability to execute those skills to music? And -- incidentally from a sporting point of view, but valuable from a marketing point of view -- entertain audiences while doing so?

    Right now, for senior long programs, we have two sequences, one focused on technical content and the other focused on choreography to the music. It's relatively new -- should that approach be pushed further, with bigger rewards for skaters to use their Choreo sequences to artistic effect, and bigger rewards for greater quality of edges and turns without too much business in the leveled sequences? How can that approach work at lower levels that only have one step sequence for points?

    Would different rules for short and long program allow one program to focus more on difficult content and the other more on aesthetic effect?

    Should there be different ways to define extra points for difficulty in the leveled step sequences to make sure that all skaters demonstrate a minimum level of steps and turns? And then give options for whether to add more steps and turns, more full-body movement, deeper more sustained edges, extended positions and glides on edges, quick footwork, and/or detailed rhythmic connection to the music and thematic choreography to earn additional points?

    Should there be more explicit ways built in to reward variety of steps and turns in the program components (Skating Skills and Transitions) so that skaters can be appropriately rewarded for demonstrating those fundamental skills throughout the whole program rather than cramming them all into a single step sequence?

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