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Thread: Technology to Measure Figure Skating: Imagine

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Funny enough, back them I brought up Simon Cowell and Lady gaga as one of the PCS judges, it will bring great audience to this sport. People love to hate him, and bad decisions will certainly means he get hated rather than the skaters. Plus imagine how your program will look if you know lady gaga is on the panel. :P
    We all need to see this. How about the short dance will not be to set dances, but to music from Gaga's albums or one of her influences (e.g. Madonna, Blondie, Kylie)?

    I'm only half-joking when I say I want to petition this to the IOC, but they'll probably think I've lost my mind.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by anyanka View Post
    We all need to see this. How about the short dance will not be to set dances, but to music from Gaga's albums or one of her influences (e.g. Madonna, Blondie, Kylie)?

    I'm only half-joking when I say I want to petition this to the IOC, but they'll probably think I've lost my mind.
    May be they can consider bring it to the PRO-AM series. The sport need more character building, fun, piazzas, bolder and more creative ideas to liven it up from all the Carmens, Swan Lakes, Scheherazades. It need stars. It need to be relevant to a younger audience. It need a heart defibrillator.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by usethis2 View Post
    I am torn on this issue. Lowering the impact of PCS can be done in several easy ways; getting rid of the multiplier (x1.6/x2.0 for women/men); merging current 5 sub-sections into 2 or 3; simplifying the scores and reducing the range of score. (e.g. 1~5 in incremental of 1) The benefits are obvious. Judges will have less room to manipulate, the sport will advance quicker than before since skaters will spend more time on improving technical skills. Plus the skaters may need to worry less about their self images as long as they have technical skills…
    The funny thing is that one of the reasons why the CoP was invented is that 6.0 had become, basically, nothing but jumps. The CoP, in contrast, emphasizes a "balanced program." It gives points for spins, blade-to-ice skills, "in-betweens," and other skills that had become mostly throwaways in terms of winning a medal. Land the jumps, look pretty = 5.8, 5.9.

    As far as balance between tech and performance, the old 6.0 split was 50-50. Now it is 70-30 in favor of the tech side. I suppose we could go to 80-20. I do think that combining the three "performing arts" scores into one would be an improvement. (But this would kind of go against the ISU's position that choreography, interpretation, etc., have a firm objective basis that can be spelled out in the rules.)

    An added bonus is that forums like GSF could become a less heated place with more civilized manners among the members.
    R-i-i-g-h-t.

    On the other hand, there will be losses. The biggest one, I see, is the individuality of the skaters. As of now we recognize skaters of now and the past for whatever the quality they gifted us with their performances. Some may have medaled or some may have not. Nevertheless we have some fond memories of our favorite skaters. Loss of individuality will essentially render skating lifeless. Skating can become like gymnastics or even swimming, where everyone wear same thing for the most efficiency to achieve technical elements. There may not be any memorable program but simply medalists and winners in each competition.
    This is the whole thing right here.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    As risk of sounding like a total luddite, I think there actually should be LESS technology at the judging booth, not more. I feel that replays and other judging tools have given judges (well, the technical panel) way too much power.

    I love technology and feel it has a role in skating (namely in improving skaters during practice), but think judging should be done more in real time.
    I think that's the wrong view of technology. Having humans use replays to double-check things like UR and edges is the technological equivalent of having pencil and paper so that people can double-check calculations done by another human (i.e. "I think that may have been under-rotated, let's double-check and see if it really was"). The purpose is more to have calculators do the calculations directly. That way as long as the calculator hasn't been tampered with, and as long as it's programmed correctly, it can be done in real-time (or near-real-time, depending on how long it takes to process the data) and you can be assured of a correct answer.

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    You are all bringing up great material to read and digest but I’m here to express a radical view

    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Depends if this sport is going to be pure sport, or it is still going to be half artistry (I hope for the latter).

    If it is pure sport, then yes. Speed, Height, Distance, Trajectory, power, centering, coverage etc in performance should be measured and accounted for with raw data to support human judgement. They should be used as reference points since your speed, power at various part of your program MUST and SHOULD reflect upon the music and choreography intentions. A skater is likely to skate slow during slow sections, fast and sharp under more exciting sections etc.

    However as long as the sport has artistry involved, human judgement are absolutely necessary.
    Sure that human judgment is necessary but why should it be the judgment of a handful of individuals? If I get it right, the artistry means being creative, entertaining, touching and capable to appeal to us general public. The often conservative taste of judges doesn’t support it at all. Why don’t we leave it to the common sense and taste of skaters? Despite that they wouldn’t be rewarded for that in terms of medals, they know very well that they can be rewarded in terms of show ticket sales if they prove that they can be also great artists.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    It can be but no one is going to be popular (in a sport that is) without a distinguished accomplishment.

    How to be popular with the public is another subjective territory that figure skating cannot afford to sink into. Skaters might as well just skate to the best of their ability and come up with programs that reflect their talents. Film and music studios spend millions/billions trying to figure out what will appeal and rock the public, and they still can't figure it out.
    Of course they should sink into that with their teeth and everything they have! There’s only one way how to find out what will appeal to the public: risking and trying. Being dependable on judges’ decision keeps skaters from risking and finding new artistic solutions.
    The placements and medals would still be there to form distinguished accomplishments. Of course there would be situations when less accomplished but more attractive skaters will still get better contracts (think about Anna Kurnikova) but that would happen without mutual accusations and complaints about cheating. Wouldn’t it be worth it?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I am 100% with Mrs. P and instead of using more technology I really would prefer that the judges simply explain their marks in little 3-4 sentence minimum explanation next to each mark. So if they want to cheat(abuse interpretation of rules)we can see how they can explain it and the system will slowly adapt to correct itself. I think transparency is the key. I'm not old but certainly a fuddy duddy in this regard.

    Judging the actual speed and spin-rate is fine for practice but this isn't a race or a dunk contest. The judges need to be concerned with the effectiveness of the speed of skating and spins in relation to the program at hand. Not the speed itself. Great idea for a thread but I just so happen to disagree. Sorry.
    It's not an exclusive either-or thing. I think it's better to use technology when appropriate and humans (i.e. subjective judging) when appropriate. For example with current technology using computer programs to evaluate artistry wouldn't be feasible. But some of the judging criteria can be objectively measured, or reduced to physical quantities (such as depth of edges, rotation of jumps, etc.). Those should be done by technology. Others that are more subjective (choreography, interpretation, etc.) should be done by judges -- with explanations for each mark. The explanations not only serve to see if the judges are performing their role correctly (i.e. for other experts to evaluate expert opinion, and make adjustments to the judging criteria as needed), but also to give feedback to skaters as to what is considered "good" in figure skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    Sensors could detect which edge the skater is currently skating on. This could either be done by measuring the pressure on each edge, or by measuring the angle of the skate to the ice. The latter is probably better as it also allows for measuring how deep the edge is when the skater does footwork, etc. Either way, having an objective measurement for this would eliminate inconsistency in judging flutzes etc. Can you imagine if rather than arguing whether or not each jump was flutzed we could directly say "the skate was X degrees from vertical when it left the ice"? Also for footwork and such, rather than just saying "hey that looks pretty deep."
    That tech exists today, it's used in smartphones (to determine whether you're holding it vertically or horizontally) an could be refined and applied to a skating boot w/wireless communication to the tech panel's computer.

    I think the main problem would be developing all of this tech (time it would take to break out of experimental stage and the cost to actually implement it) and glitches, like the boot sensor failing to record data, or failing to transmit it (where does that leave the tech panel? how to score fairly in the event of a serious glitch?).

    I also think some posters have a good point that less technology is better, and I would give a variation on that and say that technology is not always the best way to try to solve a problem.

    Case in point: the flutz and the stepsequences. You could spend millions of dollars to research, develop, and implement the use of the technology described above, and for what? To settle a matter of edge calls, which usually amount to between -.5 and -1.0 in GoE, or to settle the matter of L3 vs. L4 stsq, which is only a difference of -.6 ?? It's just not a wise investment.

    Now, if they decided that they wanted to redefine the standards, so that a flutz had a costlier penalty, and the point difference between L3 and L4 was more significant - that would be a reason to spend the money to develop better technology. Unless and until they get the ISJ sorted out so that it's more logical and rational with regard to skill/error valuation, I don't see a good reason to put money into new technology. As it is, I think the ISJ is still very new, and it's going to take time for them to streamline it, but ultimately, the more logical and rational the rules are, I think the more understndable and fair the scores will be.

  8. #38
    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    Anna, your idea is akin to the pro-skating competitions in the 90s, i.e. World Professional Championships. I'm not adverse to it but it will be radical to promote a sport without specific numbers at the Olympics. Would be it Olympic-sanctioned? I don't know. I'm sure some of the sleuths on this forum will find out.

    Furthermore, you still have to find a way to make it figure skating and not speed/spin/jump-skating.

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    Well, just as you pointed out (smartphones) and others in previous pages, it doesn't necessarily have to be spending $$$$$$$$ R&D for figure skating. But it's about rather importing already developed technology. Technology becomes quite cheap once mass produced. (again, see smartphones) Whether incumbent power players want to give up their influence by adopting new tech is a wholly different story..

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Watch this and tell me we wouldn't see more of the same with your proposed technological fixes.

    http://youtu.be/B9dsRFarP1A

    There is a reason the crowd boos in the end. This skate was friggin amazing and arguably deserves higher marks. I really wish spins of that caliber could get higher scores because to some its more impressive than the jumps. It's much easier to trademark a spin with individuality in relation to a jump which is performed nearly identical from one skater to the next. Sometimes I wish the judges would see the overall scope of things when awarding scores. Radar guns and lasers can't do that and likely will serve to limit individuality while potentially eroding the whole artistic side to our favorite skaters.

    I'm afraid an unintended consequence of this would be skaters like Yuna and Caro becoming a thing of the past. While I adore the younger skaters coming up with a clear focus on the technical aspect, I still love my classic graceful skaters. That would be quite sad if up and comers eventually phased that part of skating out as a result.

    I started a thread celebrating videos like this so check it out if you like and share your own obscure videos that people may not have seen before or just enjoy the ones posted.

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...ionship-Videos

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna K. View Post
    Sure that human judgment is necessary but why should it be the judgment of a handful of individuals? If I get it right, the artistry means being creative, entertaining, touching and capable to appeal to us general public. The often conservative taste of judges doesn’t support it at all. Why don’t we leave it to the common sense and taste of skaters? Despite that they wouldn’t be rewarded for that in terms of medals, they know very well that they can be rewarded in terms of show ticket sales if they prove that they can be also great artists.
    I think there is a problem here. There aren’t any ice shows any more, to speak of. For the few that remain, what draws audiences is not how artistic they hope the skaters will turn out to be, but “Is there a headliner with an Olympic gold medal?”

    In the good old days, in the United States anyway, there were Las Vegas type reviews like Ice Follies and Ice Capades. These were popular and lucrative (at least for the owners). Skaters’ motivation for trying to win some kind of amateur title was strictly the hope of getting a spot in the chorus line.

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    @Vanshilar: You exampled many possibilities which I find all sound and encouraging. As for detecting the number of rotations, visual inspection may be enough as long as take-off and landing angles are automatically determined by machines. (it's easy to tell double and triple jumps apart) I also agree that the cost may not be the biggest hurdle due to bureaucracy and power involved. There is also a slight chance that audience may not agree with machine's readings if a skater excel at cheating, but with large screens and realtime slow-mo videos that can be overcome.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Anna, your idea is akin to the pro-skating competitions in the 90s, i.e. World Professional Championships. I'm not adverse to it but it will be radical to promote a sport without specific numbers at the Olympics. Would be it Olympic-sanctioned? I don't know. I'm sure some of the sleuths on this forum will find out.
    Well, we see many sports and/or disciplines that become Olympic-sanctioned after they become popular with the public. So the success goes first.
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Furthermore, you still have to find a way to make it figure skating and not speed/spin/jump-skating.
    I think that still having a piece of music to interpret is THE way. Plus, machine-tested synchronism would also add to technical difficulty, like playing piano with a metronome.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think there is a problem here. There aren’t any ice shows any more, to speak of. For the few that remain, what draws audiences is not how artistic they hope the skaters will turn out to be, but “Is there a headliner with an Olympic gold medal?”
    In the good old days, in the United States anyway, there were Las Vegas type reviews like Ice Follies and Ice Capades. These were popular and lucrative (at least for the owners). Skaters’ motivation for trying to win some kind of amateur title was strictly the hope of getting a spot in the chorus line.
    However, we want the ice shows back; or, at least sold-out sports events - don’t we?
    I think what is really necessary is a brand new concept of figure skating, like, “modern” skating instead of “classic” format that we have. Claims like the use of advanced technologies, honest and high-level sports competition, and full artistic freedom in contemporary music and style choice might get the attention that figure skating needs so bad.
    As the events would be “only sport”, then naturally shows should follow where skaters would show wholly their artistic side

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    Someone has mentioned it earlier (sorry I forgot and I am on mobile) that if figure skating wants to truly be more a sport than a presentation, then it should throw away the pretense of the latter because it wastes everyone's time and life. Why would anyone create new program under such a system? Just keep using one program with the same music (or without) for the entire career and you are set. No reason to learn new music/choreo, let alone perfecting one. This is a serious proposition. We should not cheat on athletes' lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Artistic skaters do not continually get high marks no matter how poorly they perform. They get high marks when they perform well.
    Explain Takahashi getting the #3 and #2 PCS marks in the Olympics and the #12 and #13 TES marks. At Worlds he got the #2 and #4 PCS marks and #6 and #13 TES scores. Plushenko at Russian nationals got the best PCS and 95 points at that, when he obviously had terrible TES marks. The Germans ended up getting high PCS marks after their 2013 Worlds FS to hold onto silver, Chan ended up getting high PCS marks with his 2013 Worlds FS to hold off Ten, Kostner was 2nd thanks to PCS after the fall in her 2013 Worlds SP over a clean Murakami and Osmond. Even Lipnitskaia with only 3 triples in her CoR FS was given sufficient PCS - a personal best! - so that she would still win over Kostner. Same with B/S getting higher PCS than W/P in spite of a fall. Asada was given sufficient PCS to defeat a much superior Suzuki at 4CC 2012.

    The point being, PCS marks are a "safety net" for artistic/popular/home ice skaters, and it's appalling that skaters who are skating much cleaner and with greater difficulty are still be held back and held behind. It's so incredibly silly that skaters like Kim/Asada/Chan/Hanyu/Kostner have a 15-point PCS advantage over some skaters -- the equivalent of 4 triples (and even if a popular skater bombs, their PCS advantage becomes 10 points, so like 2 triples)... and there's nothing that most skaters can do about it, no matter how much they might improve or how clean they skate.

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