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Thread: Playing the game of COP: A case study.

  1. #1
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Playing the game of COP: A case study.

    Per Weak Ankles post in the GP thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    The name of the COP game is POINTS.

    The person who racks up the most points WINS.

    It doesn't matter in the long run HOW you rack up those points.

    Risk/reward. Quality/quantity. Different strategies. Same goal: rack up those points.

    Anyway, I was sort of reluctant to do this because I don't want to start another flame war, but I thought this would be a great study since there is a control (U.S. Nationals judging) and it involves two very awesome free skates.

    So I present to you: Winning at COP, an academic case study. Again the purpose is to discuss the scoring/strategy. No slamming either of the skaters. No conspiracy theory. Just looking at the protocols.

    So here are the two programs we'll be


    Jason Brown FS, 2014 U.S. Nationals (182.61; 89.27/93.34)

    Jeremy Abbott FS 2012 U.S. Nationals FS (183.35; 88.29/95.06)

    I picked these two programs because they were the winning skates for that year's segment. The scores are nearly identical. Also there is a distinct difference. Jeremy got a ratified quad; Jason did not.

    In addition, this discussion will strictly be on the TES side of the board. PCS is hard to compare because it is two competition. TES isn't perfect either, but at least we can look at BV and get a general idea of how they stacked up.


    Base value.

    * The overall base value was nearly identical. Jason edged out with 72.87 v. 72.08 for Jeremy (-0.79)

    * Jeremy had a higher jump base value, 58.21 vs. 56.77 for Jason (-1.44 points)

    * But Jason also had a higher BV as far as jumps after the halfway mark, 34.87 v. 32.81 (-2.09 points) for Jeremy. That is due to Jeremy making two mistakes - doubling a 3S, and underrotating a 3L -- in his second half. That narrowed the difference in jumps BV.

    * Those two errors from Jeremy resulted in a loss of 4.87 points in BV. Jason's UR 3A in the first resulted in a loss of 2.5 points.

    * Jason had a higher BV in non-jump elements, 16.10 vs. 13.90 (-2.20 points) for Jeremy. Both had level 4 footwork, but Jason had all level 4 spins, while Jeremy got all level 3s.

    +GOE

    * Jason had the highest + GOE overall by a hair with 16.40 vs. 16.21 for Jeremy (-0.19)
    * Jeremy had the highest +GOE in jumps with +9.42 vs. 8.27 for Jason (-1.15)
    * Jason had the highest +GOE in non-jump elements with 8.13 vs. 6.75 for Jeremy (-1.38), which led to the overall edging.
    * Both had negative GOE. Jason lost -1.00 in GOE due to the UR 3A. Jeremy lost 0.90 due to UR 3L.

    Overall
    * Jason edged out Jeremy in overall TES, but only by a hair (+0.98 point)
    * Jeremy received higher PCS (+1.72 points) enabling him to get the overall total segment score, again by a hair. (+.74 points)


    Conclusions?
    * Between the lost BV/GOE on two errors (doubled jump/UR loop), he left 5.77 points on the table. Jason on the other hand lost 3.5 points with one jump error.
    * Jason also made up some the jump deficiency for not having the quad, by having a strong second half and also by maximizing his points in non-jump elements. However this strategy requires him to skate a clean or nearly clean program. If he botches both axels, he's toast.
    * For Jeremy, a quad and two solid 3A, including one in the second half, gave him breathing room for a few mistakes. However, if he makes too many mistakes on other jumps, he loses any advantage he has with the quad/second-half 3A.

    So there you have it folks, two different strategies that when implemented well can have similar results (winning the FS at U.S. Nationals). I hope this sheds some useful light for everyone.

    I think this also shows the different strengths and qualities of both skaters and why both should be considered great as well.

    And finally, what happens when combine those two strategies? (a quad + a strong, clean second half?) Here you go.
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 06-29-2014 at 02:14 PM.

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Good post!! I like the hint of Yuzuru at the end

    I like that its possible to use multiple strategies and it allows skaters of different strengths to be competitive. People tend to get caught up and favor one aspect of scoring like Quads,Artistry, Skating Skills,Interpretation, etc...and treat it as the only way to measure skaters. I like different skaters for using their strengths and attacking their programs in the best way they can. Not exactly like whoever the current #1 is.

    I prefer CoP simply because we know why someone is getting the scores they are. There is no way everyone is ever going to be satisfied with all judges or a scoring system for that matter and to some degree it is sort of a popularity contest with the reputations and politicking just as much as 6.0. At least now we see why things are scored and can understand to some degree what and why it's happening. This is a great advantage for skaters looking to improve.

    Re: Jeremey vs Jason

    Hmm...I think I prefer Jeremy **when he is on** because Jason to me is kind of more like watching an entertainer than an athelete to some degree but I certainly respect his game and can see why people are drawn to it. His biggest strength is his appeal and endearing performances . It's working

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    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Except for the too little deduction on the fall and the PCS inflation, I prefer CoP because at least we know which mistake costs how many points. So when a skater single a loop, she will know exactly how many point she will lose and what she could do to make up for that.

  4. #4
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I almost don’t want to play. Jeremy brought tears to my eyes; Jason made me jump up and shout. Jason’s performance was worth the price of admission all by itself. Jeremy’s is what figure skating is all about.

    OK, so much for 6.0. On with the CoP.

    In general, I think that a clean program with a quad will always have the upper hand. If you do a couple of quads and a triple Axel right off the bat, that will percolate in the judges’ minds and add points here and there to your scores throughout.

    This, however, assumes that you can actually do a quad. I begged Jeremy all season last year: Just leave out the stupid quad and you might win something. If you fall on your quad and then give up, or if you barely eke out the quad but then flub everything else – no, that’s a bad strategy. (By the way, in this 2012 program of Jeremy's, justly praised for its choreography, I noticed that the "choreography" of the first minute mostly just consisted of setting up for the first three jumping passes.)

    As for Hanyu, he does not have a CoP strategy problem. Being markedly more talented than either of the two Americans, he can spot them a fall on a 4S and still win.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-29-2014 at 03:31 PM.

  5. #5
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I almost don’t want to play. Jeremy brought tears to my eyes; Jason made me jump up and shout. Jason’s performance was worth the price of admission all by itself. Jeremy’s is what figure skating is all about.

    OK, so much for 6.0. On with the CoP.

    In general, I think that a clean program with a quad will always have the upper hand. If you do a couple of quads and a triple Axel right off the bat, that will percolate in the judges’ minds and add points here and there to your scores throughout.

    This, however, assumes that you can actually do a quad. I begged Jeremy all season last year: Just leave out the stupid quad and you might win something. If you fall on your quad and then give up, or if you barely eke out the quad but then flub everything else – no, that’s a bad strategy. (By the way, in this 2012 program of Jeremy's, justly praised for its choreography, I noticed that the "choreography" of the first minute mostly just consisted of setting up for the first three jumping passes.)

    As for Hanyu, he does not have a CoP strategy problem. Being markedly more talented than either of the two Americans, he can spot them a fall on a 4S and still win.
    Yes, a clean program with a quad will have the upper hand. The five people ahead of Jason in Sochi, all either:

    1.) Did a clean quad either solo/combo.
    * Liebers - 4T-3T (15.69 points)

    OR

    2.) Had a sizable PCS cushion
    * Fernandez scored 86.98, .98 points below Jason. His TES was 1.52 points below Jason's, but his PCS was 2.5 points higher.
    * Takahashi scored 86.40, .40 points below Jason. His TES was 3.65 points below Jason's, but his PCS was 4.04 points higher.

    OR

    3.) Both
    * Hanyu - 4T (13.16 points) -- 6 points PCS cushion.
    * Chan - 4T-3T (16.40 points) -- 6.57 point PCS cushion.

    As for the people below him:

    7.) Joubert - Did a clean 4T-3T (14.69 points) vs. Jason's clean 3F-3T (9.36 points). But he had a level 3/2 spin (Jason had all level 4s). Brian had a higher BV (by 3.30 points). But Jason had higher +GOE (7.69 for Jason, 4.11 for Brian, difference of 4.11 points. Quality over quantity won here.
    8.) Yan - Messed up his quad, had a slight mistake on the 3Z-3T and lost a level on a spin/step.
    9.) Ten - Messed up his quad. Everything else was great, so that kept him within striking distance.
    10.) Majorov - Got the quad (10.73 points). But lost a level on two spins. Plus much lower PCS than Jason.

    So Jason had some help in Sochi SP. He skated clean while the guys below him did not. That's why this isn't the most effective strategy if you want to win, because you're gambling on the fact that others will make errors. And in Sochi, some did not.

    However, Jason, unlike the others listed above, made his debut internationally this season (Han, also, but he got a little baby step by doing 4CC last year). I think the goal was to make a positive first impression. And Team Brown clearly felt that meant skating a clean, well-choreographed program. So with that consideration, he achieved that goal, along with getting a GP medal, a spot on the Olympics, a OBM in the team event and the opportunity to skate among the top skaters in the final group of the OG. Not bad for Year No. 1.

    RE: Jeremy v. Jason. I think one can appreciate the fact they bring different strengths to the table. As a result, they will attract a different subset of fans. So you really don't have to choose. This is why I picked these two programs. I felt Jeremy's 2012 Muse program was a pinnacle in his career, as 2014 Riverdance was for Jason.
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 06-29-2014 at 04:04 PM.

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    I want you to do my taxes!!

  7. #7
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    As for Hanyu, he does not have a CoP strategy problem. Being markedly more talented than either of the two Americans, he can spot them a fall on a 4S and still win.
    Talent yes. But strategy is also key here. One thing I credit Orser for is greatly improving his stamnia. He used to run out of steam at the end of his programs (see Skate America 2012. What a hot mess).

    Consider his FS from 2012 GPF; when he won a bronze medal:

    4T
    3A
    3F
    3Z
    ---
    3A-3T
    3Z-2T-2T
    3L
    3S

    Total jump BV: 64.95 (33.35 in second half)

    Now compare it with FS from 2013 GPF:

    4S
    4T
    3F
    ---
    3A-3T
    3A-2T
    3L
    3Z-1L-3S
    3Z

    Total jump BV: 74.72 (48.62 in second half).

    With this newer layout, he does a whopping 7 triples in the second half, vs. five triples back in 2012. The second quad + a much tougher second half, gained him nearly TEN POINTS in his overall jump base value. So the -4 he loses in +GOE/fall penalty for botching the 4S, is only 5 percent of his overall base value in this program. That's nothing!

    Here is Jason's layout:

    2A
    3A-3T
    3A
    --
    3Z-1L-3S
    3F-2T
    2A
    3Z
    3Lo

    Total jump BV = 59.17.

    Jason is doomed from the start. He is already behind Yuzuru by 15.55 points, or 21 percent of Yuzuru's BV. And if Jason falls on his 3A, he loses 7 percent of his BV. If he URs it, that percentage goes up to 12 percent!

    So yes Yuzuru has more natural jumping ability than Jason, but Orser has also helped him sustain these tougher programs.

    Actually, 2014 Jason Brown could have probably competed with 2012 Yuzuru Hanyu. Their jump BV were not that far apart and Jason could have made up with it his non-jump elements. In essence, Jason, at least as far as technical arsenal goes, is about 2 years behind. The key this quad is whether Jason can make up the gap. We shall see!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I want you to do my taxes!!
    Mr. P does the taxes at our house. I have considered accounting, however, if I ever wanted to start a new career...hehe.
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 06-29-2014 at 04:25 PM.

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    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    I think what Mathman wanted to say is, Yuzuru and his coach have a good CoP strategy. And of course which coach doesn't try to help his student with tougher program? and they surely both believe Yuzuru can do it, or else Orser would never let Yuzuru get away with a program that himself doesn't believe in.

    Anyways, it's not Orser who decided the final layout for Yuzuru, it's Yuzuru himself. He said he use the calculator to add the two 3A combinations to the second half of the program. Orser did try to persuade Yuzuru to use 2 quad toe loop in stead of a 4S but Yuzuru insisted on it. He could have a cleaner, less risk program and score higher with two 4T but he wanted to do the 4S, stubborn as hell.

    As for Yuzuru's stamina, it's his problem and he has to overcome it by himself, Orser can not skate the LP for him. I don't know what Orser did to Yuzuru, but it's true that his health has improved quite well despite the disappointing performance at worlds 2013 and 2 GP that year (both as runner-up). But I guess we should give that credit to Yuzuru's mother as well. She cook for him and take care of him almost every move. Not to mention maybe his body is adapting quite well to the training environment in Canada.

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    Custom Title Coltrocks12's Avatar
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    You guys killed it with the math. I am not that talented.

    As to what I would like to see as a fan is them to at least attempt a quad. I understand Evan in 2010 took his out because of an injury but he had landed them in previous years. I think if Jason is ever going to win at the world level he will have to be able to land at least one quad in the program. I would like him to build the rest of it like he already does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post

    Anyways, it's not Orser who decided the final layout for Yuzuru, it's Yuzuru himself. He said he use the calculator to add the two 3A combinations to the second half of the program. Orser did try to persuade Yuzuru to use 2 quad toe loop in stead of a 4S but Yuzuru insisted on it. He could have a cleaner, less risk program and score higher with two 4T but he wanted to do the 4S, stubborn as hell.
    I can imagine when Yuzu will show to Brian idea of LP with 3 quads for the first time. Mr Orser will tell " OK, so you will do two quad toes and quad sal". Yuzu:" No,no I will do quad toe, salchow and the loop" Orser:


  11. #11
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    I think what Mathman wanted to say is, Yuzuru and his coach have a good CoP strategy. And of course which coach doesn't try to help his student with tougher program? and they surely both believe Yuzuru can do it, or else Orser would never let Yuzuru get away with a program that himself doesn't believe in.

    Anyways, it's not Orser who decided the final layout for Yuzuru, it's Yuzuru himself. He said he use the calculator to add the two 3A combinations to the second half of the program. Orser did try to persuade Yuzuru to use 2 quad toe loop in stead of a 4S but Yuzuru insisted on it. He could have a cleaner, less risk program and score higher with two 4T but he wanted to do the 4S, stubborn as hell.

    As for Yuzuru's stamina, it's his problem and he has to overcome it by himself, Orser can not skate the LP for him. I don't know what Orser did to Yuzuru, but it's true that his health has improved quite well despite the disappointing season at worlds 2013. But I guess we should give that credit to Yuzuru's mother as well. She cook for him and take care of him almost every move.
    But part of COP strategy is, as you pointed out, the ability to do a program.

    Yuzuru, I feel had some raw talent. You could see that back in 2010. But consider the fact he had struggled to keep his 2012-era programs at one time (see 2011 Cup of China). 2012 Worlds, was one of the first times, we really saw all that come together.

    Anyone can pencil a tough program, what I think what makes Yuzuru (and his team) special is the ability to execute it day after day.

    My understanding is that Yuzuru can do the 4S but for whatever reason has a mental block in competition, right? (I felt that way about Jason's second 3A this season).

    Quote Originally Posted by Coltrocks12 View Post
    You guys killed it with the math. I am not that talented.

    As to what I would like to see as a fan is them to at least attempt a quad. I understand Evan in 2010 took his out because of an injury but he had landed them in previous years. I think if Jason is ever going to win at the world level he will have to be able to land at least one quad in the program. I would like him to build the rest of it like he already does.
    No doubt! Another thing to point out regarding Team Brown's strategy is that it's a long-tail one. I've mentioned this before. Rather than emphasize on the one thing EVERYONE MUST HAVE (quad), they choose to sell themselves on several special items, like flexibility, spins, tano-style jumps, interesting transitions.

    But ultimately, he still needs the quad, because that's what ultimately wins the prize. However, adopting this strategy in the meanwhile, is not a bad one while you're trying to get the one-must have...
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 06-29-2014 at 04:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post

    My understanding is that Yuzuru can do the 4S but for whatever reason has a mental block in competition, right? (I felt that way about Jason's second 3A this season).
    Seeing the difference between his practice and his competition I?m pretty sure that was the problem...

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    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    But part of COP strategy is, as you pointed out, the ability to do a program.
    Yuzuru, I feel had some raw talent. You could see that back in 2010. But consider the fact he had struggled to keep his 2012-era programs at one time (see 2011 Cup of China). 2012 Worlds, was one of the first times, we really saw all that come together.
    Anyone can pencil a tough program, what I think what makes Yuzuru (and his team) special is the ability to execute it day after day.
    My understanding is that Yuzuru can do the 4S but for whatever reason has a mental block in competition, right? (I felt that way about Jason's second 3A this season).
    I think every skater has one or two mental block. Maybe Jason's is the same as PChan's 3A. It's not just they can't do it, they can do it quite well and they have both the technique and strength to execute it, but it is the mental block in their mind that couldn't be easily removed. However, last season was Jason's debut to senior so I have high hope for him to improve his axel.

    The problem with Yuzuru is he is stubborn as hell. No matter how many times he might fall, he insists on trying the jumps. and now he is landing 4loop in practice. I am afraid he will add 4loop as the 3rd quad in his next LP. his 4loop is quite beautiful, though. I only hope he stays healthy. those medals don't worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post

    Here is Jason's layout:

    2A
    3A-3T
    3A
    --
    3Z-1L-3S
    3F-2T
    2A
    3Z
    3Lo

    Total jump BV = 59.17.
    So... Of course it is important for Jason to get the quad. BUT if he doesn't trust it or for other reasons can't do it, he should do something like this:

    2A
    3Lo
    2A
    --
    3A-3T
    3A
    3Z-1L-3S
    3F-2T
    3Z

    That would add to the base value some extra tiny points. But obviously this is much harder to execute and probably would not be worth it. And yes, one needs to also execute the plan, not just write it down.. :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by HanDomi View Post
    I can imagine when Yuzu will show to Brian idea of LP with 3 quads for the first time. Mr Orser will tell " OK, so you will do two quad toes and quad sal". Yuzu:" No,no I will do quad toe, salchow and the loop" Orser:


    That is exactly what will happen!!

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