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Thread: CoP question: what level is this spin?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    CoP question: what level is this spin?

    Last edited by Mathman; 05-07-2013 at 06:02 PM.

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    Why do you ask?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    To me, this looks like a modern type of combination spin. She does four distinct positions, camel, sit, sort of a lay back, and upright. She does not change foot and as far as I can tell she does not change edge. She does not do eight revolutions in any position, although she comes close in the layback position with about six. Is that just a level 1?

    It would be easy enough for her to put in another couple of revolutions in the third position. Would this be enough for a level 2 in modern scoring? Is her third position really a layback or it it a variation in upright position? This spin seems pretty good to me -- without counting features I would put it on a par with what modern ladies are doing.

    I think I know that answer to the second question. Only the first two Axels count, so she would get (1.1+1.1) x .8 (seq) x 1.1 (second half) = 1.94, before GOE. If I were a judge I would count the rest as making a big contribution to choreography and P&E. Nowadays someone could do, say, four double Axels in a row. That would be cool and should count toward performance/execution, along with split jumps. For one thing, it shows great stamina to have that much left at the very end of a program. Depending on the music (note the rim shots interposed in the video ) it could count toward interpretation, too.

    I just thought that this whole performance from the 1940s was within striking distance of being CoP-worthy -- minus the triple jumps.

    By the way, here is an interview with the performer (Belita) years later, in which she talks about meeting Hitler at the 1936 Olympic games, among other topics.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxll8MqoMI
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-07-2013 at 10:36 PM.

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    The first spin is a level B. Not even a level one.

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    On the Ice sarukou's Avatar
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    Who cares about the level! It was a beautiful spin. The simplicity in the positions was quite refreshing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarukou View Post
    Who cares about the level! It was a beautiful spin. The simplicity in the positions was quite refreshing.
    Well the thread is " what level is this spin"

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    Well, these are show programs, on small ice surfaces with audience only on one side, so even by 1940s standards the program layout and technical content would not be considered "well balanced" according to expectations for competition programs long before there were explicit definitions of what constitutes well balanced.

    On the other hand, the artistic aspects of the performances are far above what would be expected in competition.
    In particular, the movement is so specifically choreographed to the music that I suspect that the music was specially composed or arranged to match the choreography.

    So if these performances were being judged on PCS by IJS competition rules I would expect the Performance/Execution and Interpretation scores to be especially high.

    As for the spin, yes, I think it would be level 1. Now that there's a distinction between "basic" level (level B, with no features) and level 1 (with 1 feature) the question is whether this spin has any features at all. Would the tech panel consider that arched-back upright position a difficult variation of an upright spin? Or would they just consider it a simple variation of a layback? I don't know.

    How about the grade of execution?
    Of the eight bullet points
    1) good speed or acceleration during spin
    2) ability to center a spin quickly
    3) balanced rotation in all positions
    4) clearly more than required revolutions
    5) good position(s) (including height and air position in flying spins)
    6) creativity and originality
    7) good control throughout all phases
    8) element matched to the musical structure
    I think it definitely qualifies on almost all of them except 4), and 2) might be mitigated by the fact that she did lose the center at the end of the spin. Still, I think there's a strong case to be made that it qualifies for +3 GOE. My guess is that in practice it would probably get more +2s.

    For levels, I'd look instead at this spin from the second program. It looks like she does just have two revolutions on each edge in the camel position, as well as two difficult variations. So that one could potentially be level 3.
    But it travels more and catches on the toepicks, so I probably wouldn't give more than +1 for the GOE.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    What struck me about these old videos from 70 years ago is that, to me, it looked like the spin elements were pretty much the same as what skaters are doing now, perhaps minus changes of edge. Especially when compared to the progress in difficulty in jumps. This skater did not do any doubles. So when we talk about the technical advances in the sport, it seems like we mostly mean more revolutions in jumps.

    I have the same question about footwork and transitions. As far as I know, back then there was not a specifically designated "footwork sequence." But did the skaters still demonstrate all the steps and turns that we see today, or has this aspect of skating also advanced in modern times?

    I think the biggest single difference between 6.0 judging and CoP is that in 6.0 pretty much the entirety of the first mark was, how many difficult triples did you land successfully. As a non-expert, I figured that spins, steps, spirals and moves in the field were judged more on how pretty they were and contributed to the second mark more than to the first. The IJS addresses this question very specifically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    What struck me about these old videos from 70 years ago is that, to me, it looked like the spin elements were pretty much the same as what skaters are doing now, perhaps minus changes of edge.
    Change of edge in camel spins was an established skill -- you can see Belita do it especially in the 1943 combination I linked to directly.

    In other positions it was less common. I don't think I'd ever heard of or seen an edge change in a layback until it became clear that that would add a level under IJS. (I mentioned this to an old-time skater the other day and she couldn't even imagine how one could change edge in that position. I referred her to Daisuke Takahashi for a good example. }

    Especially when compared to the progress in difficulty in jumps. This skater did not do any doubles. So when we talk about the technical advances in the sport, it seems like we mostly mean more revolutions in jumps.
    Again, I don't think we can use show programs to draw meaningful conclusions about how the competitive sport was practiced or judged.

    Here's a whole competition program from about a decade later. That might be a better point of departure for a discussion of competition trends.

    I don't know what the judging guidelines for freeskating were at the time, but I gather that the various criteria that are now listed in the Skating Skills and Transitions components would have made up at least as large a portion of the Technical Merit mark as the (then double) jumps and spins.

    I have the same question about footwork and transitions. As far as I know, back then there was not a specifically designated "footwork sequence."
    Not in the 1940s, or 50s as in my free program example.

    When the singles short program was introduced in the 1970s, there was always a step sequence required. With the introduction of well-balanced program rules in the late 1990s, it came to be required in long programs as well.

    But did the skaters still demonstrate all the steps and turns that we see today, or has this aspect of skating also advanced in modern times?
    Until 1990, the skaters were absolutely required to demonstrate mastery of the various one-foot turns, but the strict requirements took place in a completely separate part of the competition, on circles, with judges standing on the ice nearby and then examining the prints.

    So they definitely had the skills to do rockers and brackets and loops, etc. And in the days when they didn't need to waste a lot of time setting up triple jumps, that was a large part of the technical content that they showed off during the freeskating programs.

    Steps and field moves and half-revolution jumps were more freeskating-only.

    But I think it was all part of well-balanced technical content.

    I think the point of freeskating was to demonstrate a variety of different possible ways to get from one edge to another (or back to the same one), with creativity and difficulty and quality in the variations and the ways they were combined.

    Jumping up and rotating in the air is one way to get from one edge to another. And once you start rotating more than once, the part in the air adds a lot of difficulty. But there are other things you can do in the air (e.g., full split) that also add difficulty and wow factor, which might make the half-revolution jump comparable in difficulty to a double jump of the same takeoff.

    And single or half jumps involving counterrotation in getting from the takeoff to the landing edge (e.g., walley, lutz) also show additional difficulty.

    One counterrotated half-revolution turn on the ice (including choctaw, if you want to call that a step a la IJS terminology) is generally more difficult than a single-revolution jump with natural rotation.

    It's a lot harder to quantify the difficulty of how turns and steps are combined, because the possibilities for combinations are practically infinite. So I think judges just used their own sense based on knowledge of what they had done themselves as skaters and what they've watched skaters pick up easily or struggle with, include in their programs or avoid, over years of judging.

    As triple jumps became more common, though, they were so much more difficult than any other single element in the program that they became defining factors for freeskating results in the 1980s, and then in the 1990s freeskating was all there was, and more skaters were doing more and more triples, so at that point they became the most important determinant of technical merit.

    Which meant that skaters in the 90s and early 2000s spent most of their training time and program time on jumps and less on blade-to-ice skills. So there were senior-level skaters who never even learned much less included skills that had been expected of all senior competitors in the figures era.

    I think the IJS step sequence level rules were designed to ensure that skaters put those skills back in their programs before they were lost for good. The way the rules have been written, that has focused on getting as many difficult turns and steps and other ways of adding difficulty all into a single sequence. Could there be a better way to reward those skills within the IJS framework spread out across whole programs?

    I think the biggest single difference between 6.0 judging and CoP is that in 6.0 pretty much the entirety of the first mark was, how many difficult triples did you land successfully.
    That was true in the triple jump era, but I don't think jump difficulty was really a primary determinant of technical merit until the 1980s, although gaining importance during the 70s.

    As a non-expert, I figured that spins, steps, spirals and moves in the field were judged more on how pretty they were and contributed to the second mark more than to the first. The IJS addresses this question very specifically.
    I think that originally spins, steps, spirals, etc., were all judged as part of the technical merit based on their respective difficulty and quality, same as jumps. But since they were almost never as difficult as a triple jump, the more triple jumps skaters did and the more judges relied on those jumps to measure technical content, the less impact the rest of the technical content had. If a non-jump move was obviously especially difficult, judges would take note of it. Or if the non-jump content was especially simplistic. But there wasn't much room to distinguish between above-average adequate vs. below-average adequate.

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    I think for the layback position to count as a feature you have to do a sideways position as well. ????

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    2 I thought?

    1 - Difficult variation: headless upright
    2 - Holds it for 8

    I'm probably wrong though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8ingcoach View Post
    I think for the layback position to count as a feature you have to do a sideways position as well. ????
    Doing a layback with both sideways and backward arch (for 3 revolutions each) is ONE possible feature for a higher level. It's not a required feature.

    All that matters in this case is whether the position is considered a "difficult" variation or not. I think this example is debatable -- I don't know what a real-life technical panel would decide on that point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffionhanathomas View Post
    2 I thought?

    1 - Difficult variation: headless upright
    2 - Holds it for 8

    I'm probably wrong though!
    In theory yes, but I've never seen a skater actually get credit for a headless upright as a difficult variation and most were better than the one executed here, however I loved the camel position! so extended!

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    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Absolutely gorgeous lines! Her extension and pointed feet are swoon-worthy!!

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    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8ingcoach View Post
    The first spin is a level B. Not even a level one.
    If the spin has no change of foot and encompasses all three basic positions for at least 2 revolutions (camel, sit, upright) it should be a level 1, even if there are no features in the spin positions

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