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Thread: Missed and inconsistent underrotated or downgrade deductions but wheres the debate?

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium sowcow's Avatar
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    Missed and inconsistent underrotated or downgrade deductions but wheres the debate?

    .
    Hi all -

    I am a fairly new member to this forum. But, as a result of the engaging, insightful, and provoking opinions expressed by many of you here (...and sparked by the highly motivational Olympic climate) I now find myself transitioning from a ...
    background 'lurker' to an active 'participant'!


    A bit about me: I am a former skater, proudly triple 'Gold' (which also makes me ... ̶g̶'Old') who competed at the novice & junior levels at Canadian Nationals in both singles & pairs. Suffice to say I know my way around a triple jump, and have scars that prove intimate knowledge of the perils of throw triple twists gone awry - OUCH!

    Hopefully I can add to the interesting conversations here at GoldenSkate!

    Cheers,
    Steve





    ...and with that said, let me dive right into it!!

    I admit I was somewhat surprised by the intensity of the Julia Lipnitskaya 'flutz' debate...

    While I personally believe it was a flutz, nevertheless, if I was the Technical Specialist at the event and only had the fuzzy, low-quality, tiny video replay as provided, I could NOT say for certain it was an edge violation (and would rule accordingly, giving the benefit-of-the-doubt to the skater).

    Interestingly, many seem to dismiss off-hand the fact the Technical Panel had at their disposal slow-motion HD footage from several (up to 6?) different camera angles. So, on a (borderline) questionable call such as this, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, I believe you have to trust the call made by the Technical Specialist.

    More puzzling however is why such a raging debate ensued over a questionable flutz (which, even if penalized would have made NO difference whatsoever in the overall results) when more obvious unpenalized jump violations occurred in the same competition having a substantial impact in placements!


    Case-In-Point:

    Event: 2014 Olympics
    Discipline: Figure Skating Team Event (Ladies Short Program)
    Skater: Mao Asada, JPN
    Element: Triple-Loop~Double-Loop (3L-2L) combination jump


    ANALYSIS Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8GH_rtoNc


    Here's a regular slow-motion capture of the jump combination. Below is a copy & paste of the YouTube video description/explanation:



    An example of under-rotated jumps that are not being penalized or downgraded:

    On jump landings, up to a 1/4 turn on the ice is permissible (and no "under-rotated jump" or "downgraded jump" deductions will be applied to the base value for that element). This is clearly defined in the Technical rules.

    Cheating on the 'take off' edge of a jump is far less common, and (to my knowledge) no formal Technical penalties/deductions are defined.

    The Loop is an edge jump, and so it is natural to curl/rotate the edge right at the point of take-off. If you examine the groove in the ice made by the blade on take-off, most people will find a 1/4 turn before the blade actually leaves the ice surface. As with jump landings, I would argue that up to a 1/4 turn on the ice at take-off is acceptable.

    However, at the 2014 Olympics (Team event, ladies short program) Mao Asada clearly goes well beyond a 1/4 turn on her take-off and landing on both the triple loop (3L) and double loop (2L) in this combination jump. Nevertheless, the Technical Panel credits her for completing a successful 3L-2L combination jump; with NO "under-rotated jump" or "downgraded jump" penalties/deductions.

    Mao finished 3rd in the event segment (and Japan was awarded 8 points); but she was followed very closely by the American & Canadian competitors. If this 3L-2L combination had been appropriately downgraded to a 2L-1L, Mao would have dropped to at least 5th position.

    1 LIPNITSKAYA Yulia RUS 72.90
    2 KOSTNER Carolina ITA 70.84
    3 ASADA Mao JPN 64.07
    4 WAGNER Ashley USA 63.10
    5 OSMOND Kaetlyn CAN 62.54
    6 MEITE Mae Berenice FRA 55.45
    7 ZHANG Kexin CHN 54.58
    8 POPOVA Natalia UKR 53.44
    9 WEINZIERL Nathalie GER 52.16
    10 McCORKELL Jenna GBR 50.09

    What are your thoughts on the consistency and/or applicability of "under-rotated jump" or "downgraded jump" penalties/deductions? What about cases where a skater cheats on the take-off edge?


    While the severity of the under-rotation charges can be debated, nevertheless even the most forgiving evaluation cannot justly claim this to be a true 3L-2L jump combination.

    So why did this vastly more evident and erroneous decision by the technical panel (to not apply the appropriate deductions) not stir any debate? [...especially as it DID have a significant impact on overall results!] Did everyone miss it? Or choose to ignore it?

    Why such outcry over (alleged) 'missed' deductions for Julia's 'flutz' without so much as a whisper over the more severe & impactful (and unpenalized) 'under-rotations' by Mao? Perhaps Julia just got swept up in the growing speculation and accusations of RUSflation**? Or perhaps it's a defensive reaction to the vast momentum this 15-year old 'dark horse' has seemingly acquired? Or is Mao so loved she can do no wrong? Or...??

    Food for thought ...

    Steve

    ____________________

    **RUSflation: The (alleged) inflation of scores given to Russian skaters when competing in Russia. [Similar to CANflation: the (alleged) inflation of scores given to Canadian skaters when competing in Canada; although not to be confused with CHANflation: the (alleged) inflation of Patrick Chan's scores always & everywhere].



    NB - To be clear, the motives behind this post are twofold:
    (1) To illustrate and provide an example of the negligence of a Technical Panel to apply appropriate deductions; AND
    (2) To point-out and question why debate over less important, less evidenced, and less impactfull examples of Technical Panel errors, often trump more important, evident, and impactfull examples (even within the same competition).

    Disclaimer:
    This article was spurred in reaction to the Julia Lipnitskaya 'flutz' debate. The decision to use Mao Asada's 3L-2L as example was because it clearly illustrated both points above (and was NOT motivated or designed as an attack on Mao Asada).
    .

  2. #2
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    That's kind of CRAZY! I'm sorry, I haven't looked at the protocols- what did she get credit for? It really was a double-single! Interesting post, thanks. Would love to see more...

  3. #3
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    Wow you seem to really know your stuff Steve! I am so impressed. Mao, Suzuki and Takahashi are all toast this Olympics - I know this in my heart but Julia's flutzing does not bother me. It is her overscoring - her jumps look limited - like a joke to my untrained eye. When Gold jumps it's huge - and Mao has such a beautiful spring when she is on. The problem is that judges have to be swayed at least a little by the emotions of the performance and by the reactions of the crowd. Mao has made us all fall in love with her over and over again for so many years. How could we not have a stronger emotion towards her than we do for a fifteen year-old that just burst onto the scene? We forgive her the shortcomings because our hearts cannot bear see the pesky underrotations your trained eye see.

    Quote Originally Posted by sowcow View Post
    .
    Hi all -

    I am a fairly new member to this forum. But, as a result of the engaging, insightful, and provoking opinions expressed by many of you here (...and sparked by the highly motivational Olympic climate) I now find myself transitioning from a ...
    background 'lurker' to an active 'participant'!


    A bit about me: I am a former skater, proudly triple 'Gold' (which also makes me ... ̶g̶'Old') who competed at the novice & junior levels at Canadian Nationals in both singles & pairs. Suffice to say I know my way around a triple jump, and have scars that prove intimate knowledge of the perils of throw triple twists gone awry - OUCH!

    Hopefully I can add to the interesting conversations here at GoldenSkate!

    Cheers,
    Steve





    ...and with that said, let me dive right into it!!

    I admit I was somewhat surprised by the intensity of the Julia Lipnitskaya 'flutz' debate...

    While I personally believe it was a flutz, nevertheless, if I was the Technical Specialist at the event and only had the fuzzy, low-quality, tiny video replay as provided, I could NOT say for certain it was an edge violation (and would rule accordingly, giving the benefit-of-the-doubt to the skater).

    Interestingly, many seem to dismiss off-hand the fact the Technical Panel had at their disposal slow-motion HD footage from several (up to 6?) different camera angles. So, on a (borderline) questionable call such as this, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary, I believe you have to trust the call made by the Technical Specialist.

    More puzzling however is why such a raging debate ensued over a questionable flutz (which, even if penalized would have made NO difference whatsoever in the overall results) when more obvious unpenalized jump violations occurred in the same competition having a substantial impact in placements!


    Case-In-Point:

    Event: 2014 Olympics
    Discipline: Figure Skating Team Event (Ladies Short Program)
    Skater: Mao Asada, JPN
    Element: Triple-Loop~Double-Loop (3L-2L) combination jump


    ANALYSIS Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR8GH_rtoNc


    Here's a regular slow-motion capture of the jump combination. Below is a copy & paste of the YouTube video description/explanation:





    While the severity of the under-rotation charges can be debated, nevertheless even the most forgiving evaluation cannot justly claim this to be a true 3L-2L jump combination.

    So why did this vastly more evident and erroneous decision by the technical panel (to not apply the appropriate deductions) not stir any debate? [...especially as it DID have a significant impact on overall results!] Did everyone miss it? Or choose to ignore it?

    Why such outcry over (alleged) 'missed' deductions for Julia's 'flutz' without so much as a whisper over the more severe & impactful (and unpenalized) 'under-rotations' by Mao? Perhaps Julia just got swept up in the growing speculation and accusations of RUSflation**? Or perhaps it's a defensive reaction to the vast momentum this 15-year old 'dark horse' has seemingly acquired? Or is Mao so loved she can do no wrong? Or...??

    Food for thought ...

    Steve

    ____________________

    **RUSflation: The (alleged) inflation of scores given to Russian skaters when competing in Russia. [Similar to CANflation: the (alleged) inflation of scores given to Canadian skaters when competing in Canada; although not to be confused with CHANflation: the (alleged) inflation of Patrick Chan's scores always & everywhere].



    NB - To be clear, the motives behind this post are twofold:
    (1) To illustrate and provide an example of the negligence of a Technical Panel to apply appropriate deductions; AND
    (2) To point-out and question why debate over less important, less evidenced, and less impactfull examples of Technical Panel errors, often trump more important, evident, and impactfull examples (even within the same competition).

    Disclaimer:
    This article was spurred in reaction to the Julia Lipnitskaya 'flutz' debate. The decision to use Mao Asada's 3L-2L as example was because it clearly illustrated both points above (and was NOT motivated or designed as an attack on Mao Asada).
    .

  4. #4
    Tripping on the Podium sowcow's Avatar
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    .
    Here are the Result Details:

    https://app.box.com/s/ckq1in6311q4l7ck24j2


    ...and the Protocols (for Mao Asada only):

    https://app.box.com/s/nck5h8wzame08p2iktly


    [edit] I should have also added the legend for the Protocols (as there is an 'x' marked beside Mao's 3Lo+2Lo jump combination; however, an 'x' in this case represents "credit for highlight distribution, base value multiplied by 1.1")

    https://app.box.com/s/uf74ahuejg74g2aeim52




    . I
    Last edited by sowcow; 02-10-2014 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Added the Legend for Protocols

  5. #5
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    And the judges would definitely have access to the video in slow-mo, that you provided, right? Because I'm really pretty shocked. I really appreciate you doing these posts.

  6. #6
    I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!! Frenchie's Avatar
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    She certainly should have gotten some deduction(s) for that combination.
    Thanks for posting the slow mo video, I hadn't seen it in such detail before.
    About the angles showcased with coloured lines: Regardless of what is stated in the rules, I believe most Technical Panels effectively use the direction of the skater skating before the Loop as the starting angle of the rotation and not the angle of the blade as it completely leaves the ice. But this has been debated before, as the rulebook says otherwise.

    Not long ago, when Mao Asada would get no deduction for such jumps (or a < when I saw a <<), and I'd see clear slow mo's of it, I'd be very annoyed by it. So I guess it's not that shocking to me anymore, which obviously still doesn't make it right.
    Here, firstly I didn't see any clear slow-mo close enough to make a judgement, and secondly, I have this gut feeling that she -as well as others- is going to get low-balled in many aspects of her marks enough as to lose out to the -truly impressive- local hero anyway, so I kinda have a hard time getting too emotionally invested in Mao's < problem this time around... She did rightfully get a << call on her 3A attempt, so that's at least something, I guess...

    But certainly, the Loop debate should be whether it should have been a < in both cases (if you start with her general gliding direction) or a << in both cases (if you start with the angle of the blade as it leaves the ice). No deduction at all seems just wrong given what I saw in the slow mo.

  7. #7
    ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
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    You don't start counting the rotation from the moment the blade fully leaves the ice. In figure skating, everything should be done off edges and curves and edges and curves are what should give the skaters the momentum for the lift-off, instead of relying on strength alone. So it's only natural that some pre-rotation always happens on the jumps. It's not wrong and it's not a mistake. It's a natural and intrinsic part of the jumping technique. On the edge jumps, and the loop in particular, up to 1/2 pre-rotation is to be expected. The jump doesn't start when the blade fully leaves the ice, it starts when you step into it. All of this is why technical panels only consider pre-rotation if it's particularly egregious and they don't watch it in slo-mo. What they do look for is whether the landing is backward.

    Whilst I am very grateful for the slo-mo recordign that you have provided Sowcow, in the analysis video, you indicate that Asada has already landed (the red line) when what I see is that she's still in the air. It's hard to see because of the angle and everything being white but a good way to determine that is to look whether a skater's weight is fully over the blade of their landing foot yet, giving that 'grounded' effect (I don't know if any of you have any clue what I mean but it's hard to express this better ).

    Asada definitely under-rotated both her 3loop and her 2loop but by the time her blade touches the ice, she is less than a quarter short and I agree with the technical panel that an 'under-rotation' ('<') deduction was not appropriate. Still, the jumps were cheated and the judges should have deducted that on the GOE (-1 for under-rotation less than 1/4).

    In the judges' defense, they can't watch jumps in slo-mo (only the technical panel can). So they can say that since they can't be 100% sure, they have to give the skater the benefit of the doubt. But both the 3loop and the 2loop landings were slightly 'hooked.' There was this noticeable loss of flow as the blade landed and it was quite scratchy as well. All those are signs of a cheated jump. They also give judges reason to lower GOE because of poor landing quality. So sorry but the 'benefit of the doubt' excuse doesn't fly at all. Even if you were wrong and the jump wasn't cheated, the fact that the landing lacked flow and was a little scratchy alone also justifies taking off -1.

  8. #8
    Custom Title prettykeys's Avatar
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    It seems to me simply that the technical panel decided use very, VERY lenient standards in general.

    Of course, that's a disservice for those skaters who have good technique and usually clean landings...but who cares, as long as certain others are boosted, right?

  9. #9
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    To respond to the question in the thread title, "where's the debate?" I think we are just all worn out.

    Four years ago we had thread after thread linking to you tubes of Kim and Asada (and to anyone else that had both enthusiastic supporters and detractors), where partisans would post super slow motion and stop frame videos, complete with protractors superimposed, to prove that the skater they hated most missed her rotation by 94 degrees in stead of only 84 as declared by those lyin', cheatin' tech specialists.

    To me, as an amateur observer, it looks like every jump is both pre-rotated and under-rotated. Mao actually leaves the ice on her triple Axel facing straight backward, for instance. But the expert skaters on the board say, no, that's OK. -- it's all in the mechanics of the jump. (As in Ziggy's post above.)

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