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Thread: Junior pair skating elements/difficulty

  1. #1
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    Junior pair skating elements/difficulty


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    Hello everyone!

    Hope I'm in the right section. If not, then please move this thread where it belongs. Thanks.

    So. First things first. I'm trying to write a novel about figure skating. I've been following competitive figure skating for some years, but I still need your help, please.

    There are two characters who are a pairs team. They are juniors, but competing their last season in juniors due to the partner's age. They are pretty good and normally belong in the top three in the JGP events. Naturally, they qualify for the Final.

    Now, junior pairs routines (as in, element set & levels) are almost identical on that level. I've studied protocols from the past three seasons' JGPFs, and top 5 usually have little differences where elements and levels are concerned.

    The question is: what kind of risky thing my characters could do (preferably in FS) to gain advantage in the Final? Something they could have probably already tried in practice, as an experiment of sorts, but were strictly prohibited from trying to pull off in competitions? Not overly fantastic, though. Just a believable edge.

    Thank you in advance. And sorry for bother, if any.

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    Any of the most difficult moves that the most ambitious seniors are doing in freeskates (that might not be allowed in senior or junior short programs):

    throw triple axel
    throw quad (probably salchow, possibly toe loop)
    quad twist

    Those are risky moves that would guarantee a higher basic mark if completed (but possibly at the expense of grade of execution)

    They could already be doing one of the hardest lifts allowed (level 4 axel lasso or reverse lasso) -- adding an even more difficult/riskier variation wouldn't get them any more points.

    They could connect their moves together in difficult ways in hopes of earning higher GOE and higher Transitions score, but those aren't guaranteed; the scores would be up to each judge individually.

    The could attempt harder side-by-side jumps or jump combination. But if they can both do, say, triple lutz-triple toe combination or triple axel, we'd wonder why they aren't competing in singles, where those moves would not make them stand out except for the 3A for the girl.

    So I'd say go with the throws or the twist. If you want to surpass what any senior pairs have done in real life, make it a quad loop, flip, or lutz throw.

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    Bona Fide Member cathlen's Avatar
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    Gkelly covered everything I guess. If you want them to do elements others don't do, then SBS 3F is not done by any current senior teams. If it supposed to be elements that aren't allowed in SP then quad throw or twist would be the best. Eventually, SBS 3T-3T (only Stolbova/Klimov are doing it internationally currently, whereas quad throws and twist were succesfully performed by few teams). Any harder combination would inidicate lady could as well be a single skater as gkelly mentioned
    Last edited by cathlen; 05-27-2017 at 01:34 PM.

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    Thank you, gkelly and cathlen!

    I didn't say they were to be doing this risky thing consistently. I'm still not decided whether they will be able to pull it off, tbh, or if they will risk and fail. Besides, there is always the execution level, where you can do a cheaper element to + and get more for it than for a more expensive element done to -.

    The idea is not to make them win. The idea is to make them attempt something crazy, and devil may care. They are young, they are self confident, they had stuff happening to them recently and they still ride on that adrenaline. Won't be telling more, sorry, as I'm still writing it.

    I think that I like the throw 3A idea, thanks. The girl is rather small, the guy is rather strong, he should be able to throw her high enough.

    And just out of curiousity: why do you imply that a technically developed girl would be better off in singles? The same set of skills will make her an average singles skater, but an oustanding pairs skater. So why would she want to go to midfield when she could be winning?

    Tarasova has been complaining non-stop about pairs coaches who should all have a separate jumps coach to teach their teams jumps. Also suggested that Perm based groups should definitely invite Andrei Griazev back to be their jumps coach, that he would definitely accept if they provided him accomodations. She certainly didn't advise that so the athletes could up and go to singles when they have the jumps?

    Also, what if the girl simply likes skating pairs more? Or will every girl want to go to singles anyway?

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    Bona Fide Member cathlen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verlioca View Post
    Thank you, gkelly and cathlen!

    I didn't say they were to be doing this risky thing consistently. I'm still not decided whether they will be able to pull it off, tbh, or if they will risk and fail. Besides, there is always the execution level, where you can do a cheaper element to + and get more for it than for a more expensive element done to -.

    The idea is not to make them win. The idea is to make them attempt something crazy, and devil may care. They are young, they are self confident, they had stuff happening to them recently and they still ride on that adrenaline. Won't be telling more, sorry, as I'm still writing it.

    I think that I like the throw 3A idea, thanks. The girl is rather small, the guy is rather strong, he should be able to throw her high enough.

    And just out of curiousity: why do you imply that a technically developed girl would be better off in singles? The same set of skills will make her an average singles skater, but an oustanding pairs skater. So why would she want to go to midfield when she could be winning?

    Tarasova has been complaining non-stop about pairs coaches who should all have a separate jumps coach to teach their teams jumps. Also suggested that Perm based groups should definitely invite Andrei Griazev back to be their jumps coach, that he would definitely accept if they provided him accomodations. She certainly didn't advise that so the athletes could up and go to singles when they have the jumps?

    Also, what if the girl simply likes skating pairs more? Or will every girl want to go to singles anyway?
    Because singles earn more. And it's less dangerous. No girl with all triples (minus 3A of course) and 3-3 combo would decide she'd rather do Pairs if she's competetive as a single skater. And if she got 3Lz-3T she on the level of World medalists, it's matter of consistency and good execution only. It's financially much more worthwhile (and safer). In GP series singles earn excatly same as Pairs teams and ID teams, but Pairs and ID need to share it, so girls receive only half of what singles do. Look up money prizes, you'll understand why technically developed ladies won't switch to Pairs easily

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    Ah, I see. The money again. Everything they touch, rots. :/ Why don't ISU arrange everything so that every athlete is compensated fairly. I imagine it would serve for a more even development of all diciplines of figure skating, not only singles. It's like team diciplines are less deserving. That's not fair, imo.

    Well. That probably means that TAT can keep dreaming. I don't see why somebody would want to put a special effort into improving jumps in pairs teams if that would mean possible loss of all the hard work altogether. That's a shame. I personally love pairs more.

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    Only a tiny minority of skaters can earn more in prize money than they spend in training expenses. (In countries where the training expenses for any promising young skater are paid by their government or their skating federation, then individual skaters and their families may not be out of pocket. In individualist capitalist countries the best Olympic hopefuls can often get grants to cover many of their expenses after they have proven themselves at the highest levels, but in most countries it takes years of expensive training paid by the families to get to that point.)

    Competitive figure skating for the most part is not a way to earn money. It started out as a strictly amateur sport, and even now the vast majority of skaters, even those competing at Worlds, are losing money to pursue their dreams. It's not really a professional sport in the same way as popular team sports or even heavily sponsored individual sports like tennis or golf.

    And there are some women who have had some success as singles skaters but really love pairs and prefer to focus their efforts there at least as much for self-satisfaction as for hopes of financial payoff. Among current competitors, Meagan Duhamel and Ashley Cain come to mind. Kristi Yamaguchi, of course, most famously made the opposite choice.

    And pair teams where both partners were strong singles skaters do try to push the limits on side-by-side jumps to give themselves an advantage over the other pairs they compete against.

    The thing is, that jump content that would be risky and impressive for a pair (e.g., 3Lz+3T) would usually be ho-hum in a singles context.

    I understood from your initial post, perhaps incorrectly, that you wanted a move that would be physically risky for anybody to do, not just something that's common among senior pairs or singles skaters but unusual in junior pairs. That's why I recommended moves that only a handful of senior pairs have attempted -- or none yet.

    E.g., triple axels have been rare among ladies' singles skaters, but it's been almost 30 years since the first successful attempt in competition, about a dozen ladies during that time have attempted it in competition and at least half a dozen who succeeded at least once. None of them, of course, were pair skaters. (That doesn't include Yamaguchi, who tried to learn triple axel as a singles skater to keep up with two of her top competitors who could do it, but never got it close to competition ready.)

    Throw triple axel has been attempted in competition by fewer than half a dozen pairs ever so far. And it's more dangerous for the lady because the falls from being thrown will be much harder.

    So if you want something dangerous and almost never attempted by anyone before, go with the throw 3A or a throw quad, or maybe quad twist (which is at least as dangerous for the man -- getting whacked by the lady's elbow on her way down can cause concussions).

    If you just want something that is dangerous and unusual for this pair but wouldn't be surprising from a top senior pair or from a singles skater, then you have a lot more choices.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I understood from your initial post, perhaps incorrectly, that you wanted a move that would be physically risky for anybody to do, not just something that's common among senior pairs or singles skaters but unusual in junior pairs. That's why I recommended moves that only a handful of senior pairs have attempted -- or none yet.
    Not quite. I'd like something that juniors don't do. Not because it's prohibited, but because they can't yet. Basically, I want something difficult that top seniors might be doing. Or singles, for that matter. Something very difficult, but not [almost] impossible. Risky here means both physical risk (they are not as strong yet as they tend to somewhat arrogantly think) and competitive risk (doing this difficult thing might help them gain advantage over their opponents, but a failure will probably land them on the last place).

    Hope this clears things up a bit.

    As far as I see it, 3A is difficult for ladies because of the number or rotations. Hence, you need a better height to be able to make them all. I suppose, it might be easier for a junior pair if the guy can throw the girl high enough. She should be a bit lighter than adult ladies, so it should be easier.

    If I'm oversimplifying this, please advise. Thank you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verlioca View Post
    (doing this difficult thing might help them gain advantage over their opponents, but a failure will probably land them on the last place).
    There are very few elements that produce this either-or scenario - in fact, I can't really think of any, not in a proper event with eight or ten teams and a range of skill levels. Maybe if they aborted a twist without ever getting in the air, that could give them a massive hit, but they still might not be last, depending on everything else.

  10. #10
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    Junior pairs usually have rather tight results, except for the 6-th participant. In such case every mistake matters. Especially since they are still young and might lose spirit and will to fight as a result, which will lead to more mistakes. We've seen plenty of examples.

    Anyway, that's not really important. I want them to try to fly. That's the idea.

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    Just missing one element won't put them in last place if they're otherwise good enough to challenge for medals (assuming, as karne says, a reasonably sized field).

    However, if they miss an element early in the program in a way that not only loses all credit for that element but also puts them behind the music, injures one of them, etc., so that they miss more elements, that could put them in last place.

    For example, suppose they fall on the twist, the girl gets up right away and continues the program but the boy is dazed and takes a lot longer to catch up. The next move is supposed to be the lift but they're so far apart at that point of the music that they just fake it (boy lifts his arms holding up air and does the rotations, girl does a spiral position toward him), and they're still out of synch for the side-by-side jumps. Almost humorous how disastrous it is with one missed element causing the next element or two to be missed as well.

    Another way that kind of thing could happen might be if one seems hurt after the big failure so the other waits for the partner and audibly asks whether they're all right to continue, they skip another whole element while deciding whether to continue, but then get back into the program well enough to complete the rest of their elements.

  12. #12
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    *scratches head*

    It's JGPF. 6 teams. Yes, they are good enough to challenge for medals. However, that's not the point! Where they end up is not the point of the story. They had unpleasant stuff happening to them recently. They thought the coach was trying to break them up, because they disobeyed his directions at one of the previous events and then failed spectacularly. Then they accidentally learned some things that put a whole different spin on what they thought to be going on. Now they are still riding on that adrenaline, and I want them to try to fly. Do something crazy. As in, people do not often experiment at important events by trying to do something ultra C they don't have nailed, so doing it is probably crazy and risky. Not the "nobody has ever attempted it" kind of crazy.

    So far, I'm with 3A. But that's got to be very difficult, since few senior teams do it. So maybe something else? A singles level side-by-side jump?

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    Well, if there are only 6 teams of similar skill level, then yes, an element that fails badly enough to earn 0 points, or next to nothing, could make the difference between 1st and 6th.

    But if this team is not likely to win without this element -- i.e., at least one of the other teams is consistently better than them in program components -- then the element needs to be worth a lot more point than what the other teams are doing. So that means the elements discussed above, where number of rotations drives the base value.

    And you want something that will lose all or most of its points if it goes wrong. E.g., downgraded jumps or twist to lose most of the base value, plus one or both of the partners falling to guarantee -3 GOE and at least a fall deduction or two.

    Or side-by-side jump/jump combination where one of the partners pops or doesn't do the jump.

    If you want it to be something that the two of them risk failing together, rather than being risky for each of them individually, then stick with the rotational pair moves (twist or throw jump).

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    I was also thinking of side-by-side jumps as having the possible worst outcome on the element: if one person singles and the other falls, the net score can actually be negative. But if you're thinking of the bad element spilling over into the rest of the program (causing the following element to be missed or them to be behind for the rest of the program), the pairs elements are riskier.

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    Junior pairs tend to be rough. It takes years for them to be refined. I would say the side by side elements are harder to control than others.
    Last edited by Ender; 05-30-2017 at 04:34 PM.

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