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Thread: NYTimes Pre-Olympic Article on CoP for Figure Skating

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    NYTimes Pre-Olympic Article on CoP for Figure Skating

    Interesting article today in the NY Times about the CoP:

    [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/sports/olympics/despite-revamped-system-for-judging-figure-skating-gets-mixed-marks.html?hp"]http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/sports/olympics/despite-revamped-system-for-judging-figure-skating-gets-mixed-marks.html?hp[/URL]

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    I think there are some (or many) adjustments that could be made to CoP, but this point that keeps getting repeated by US media ...

    The current scoring system, which scrapped the familiar 6.0 method in favor of a code of cumulative points, has left skating incomprehensible for many casual fans. Where 6.0 was once a universally understood measure of perfection, a number like 212 means little to many people.
    Is completely wrong. Clearly the scoring is so incomprehensible that Asian and Russian fans hate figure skating, and the popularity has plummeted there too.

    Wait, what?

    The lack of popularity has nothing to do with the scoring system. It's because the American and Canadian singles are mediocre. Only Chan is big time and when he wins he's often doing it by falling all over the ice. Casual people have no interest in watching their nation's skaters have no chance at podiums.

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    The figure skating scoring system has been used for 10 years now. You get points for the tricks you do and the highest score wins. Not that hard to understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    Interesting article today in the NY Times about the CoP:

    [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/sports/olympics/despite-revamped-system-for-judging-figure-skating-gets-mixed-marks.html?hp"]http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/sports/olympics/despite-revamped-system-for-judging-figure-skating-gets-mixed-marks.html?hp[/URL]
    Why wasn't the cheating judge mentioned at the beginning of the article banned permanently? That is what needed to be fixed and what the scoring system, apparently, has not been able to do.

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    What I think can get confusing is PCS and trying to quantify so many subjective measures. Under 6.0 you had one score that was used for "artistry" but with PCS there is so much more math involved for these things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ven View Post
    I think there are some (or many) adjustments that could be made to CoP, but this point that keeps getting repeated by US media ...



    Is completely wrong. Clearly the scoring is so incomprehensible that Asian and Russian fans hate figure skating, and the popularity has plummeted there too.

    Wait, what?

    The lack of popularity has nothing to do with the scoring system.
    This.

    I'm not a skater, just a skating fan. I can't tell a triple salchow from a triple flip. But if there was ever a scoring system in any sport that made absolutely no sense to me, it was the old 6.0 system. As far as I (or any of my friends and family) could ever tell, results were based on who the judges liked better, not necessarily who skated better. There was no transparent method of rewarding difficulty. And using ordinals to determine results? Idiotic. If they had had totalled up the judges' scores (like they did in the pro competitions), that would have made at least a bit of sense, but ordinals? One person could be leading, and then someone else would skate who ranked BEHIND them and a second competitor, but all of a sudden the person who had been ahead of the second person was behind them based on how a third skater (who ranked behind both of them) skated? Talk about incomprehensible! And because of the ordinals, if someone was head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the short, but then in the FS they came second on a virtual tie, they wound up in second place overall, even though any rational person could see that over the course of the competition they had been the best skater overall. That always left me scratching my head.

    Now the judging makes sense - especially to an outsider to the sport. Like in several other sports, people are rewarded for a combination of the difficulty they do, and how well they execute those elements. That's rational. That I can understand. PLus, the COP has actually helped me understand figure skating better. I can tell from looking at base values that not all triple jumps are equal; a flip is considered to be a more difficult jump than a toeloop. And a lutz is even more difficult. I also now know that the artistic score is not based just on entertainment value, but that there are specific factors that judges look at. (And trust me, to most 'casual fans', artistry = entertainment). Since the COP came in, I understand the sport better, and that has greatly increased my interest in it. So I get really annoyed when I see/hear people talking about how the COP has driven casual fans away from figure skating. All the (Canadian) casual fans I know (i.e. the ones who mostly just watch during the Olympics, or maybe Nationals or World Championships some of the time) find this scoring system to make much more sense than the old one.

    What HAS made the new system incomprehensible to skating fans in the US is the fact that it wasn't ever explained to them. As a Canadian, I have access to both Canadian and American tv stations. When the COP first came into effect, the Canadian figure skating commentators tended to explain the components of the system, whereas the American commentators just kept criticizing it. So because the 'experts' were telling them the system was bad and incomprehensible (and made no attempt to explain it), many Americans became convinced that it was inferior and incomprehensible.

    Granted this system isn't perfect. Instead of dropping random judges' scores they should simply drop the highest and lowest like they do in many other sports. That discourages people from high balling or low balling too much strategically, because if they're out of line with others their scores won't count. And the judges shouldn't be anonymous. But overall, to someone who is just a fan of the sport and not a figure skating insider, the COP makes a heck of a lot more sense than the 6.0 system ever did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fallingsk8er View Post
    The figure skating scoring system has been used for 10 years now. You get points for the tricks you do and the highest score wins. Not that hard to understand.
    I agree. By now, people know that they don't need to fully know the mechanics of IJS but they can just go with the flow.
    The general public are not fully oblivious. They know a good performance when they see it and they can put it together if they were marked fairly or not.

    Skating is star driven. Skating in Nth America needs a star (preferably a lady) that can be the best in the world.

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