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Thread: The COMPLETE Guide to Fixing the Scoring System and Improving Ice Skating

  1. #31
    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    I still don't understand ISU's reason for rewarding a fall with so many points. It's like they are encouraging the skaters jump as much as they can.

    What about stumbling and put your hand on the ground or 2 foot? How many deduction it would be?
    For a non-skater, especially the most casual fans who don't pay much attention to CoP (if any), the apparent lack of penalties for falls is the most frustrating thing. To them, a fall = fail, pure and simple.

    I do understand and appreciate the idea of trying to reward a skater for attempting and at least partially completing a difficult jump, but still get annoyed that falls aren't penalized more heavily. At some point, IMO it gets to be kind of like some kids' events where everyone who competes gets a ribbon or something just for showing up. As in, what's the value of a prize for coming in 10th out of 15? Just trying to represent the viewpoint of the "average" fan.

    On another matter, this somewhat-above-average fan would like to nominate BoP for ISU President.

  2. #32
    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    Ah, I mean there should be more details guidelines about PCS just like TES, because at the moment, it's so vague and subjective. PCSs raise up then fall down without any reasonable explaination at all.
    Ah ok. I don't think they can be like TES though. In the end there are some subjective matters involved like intepretation and also choreo, choice of music etc.

  3. #33
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    For a non-skater, especially the most casual fans who don't pay much attention to CoP (if any), the apparent lack of penalties for falls is the most frustrating thing. To them, a fall = fail, pure and simple.

    I do understand and appreciate the idea of trying to reward a skater for attempting and at least partially completing a difficult jump, but still get annoyed that falls aren't penalized more heavily. At some point, IMO it gets to be kind of like some kids' events where everyone who competes gets a ribbon or something just for showing up. As in, what's the value of a prize for coming in 10th out of 15? Just trying to represent the viewpoint of the "average" fan.

    On another matter, this somewhat-above-average fan would like to nominate BoP for ISU President.
    The funny thing is, the new edge calls rules are somewhat too harsh comparing to the deduction for the falls. People can have wrong edge but stay on their feet, to me it looks much better than take off on the right edge but fall on your butt.

  4. #34
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    Falls

    The penalties for falls and other obvious errors could be larger and/or more explicit. BoP has suggested some possibilities, and we've discussed other potential options in previous threads.

    Suppose the result of a fall on an element is 0 points for the whole element, regardless of how difficult the element was or how much of the element was completed. Suppose even an otherwise great level 4 spin or step sequence, or quad-triple-triple combination, with a fall at the very end would earn 0 points.

    Falls on elements would then end up being more costly the more difficult the element.

    So a skater who tries something really hard and falls in the attempt would be taking a risk and probably lose placements when the risk doesn't pay off.

    A skater who tries something really hard (such as a 4-3-3 combo) and completes the element successfully, or close to it, without falling, would be heavily rewarded for that risk. But he might fall elsewhere in the program, maybe a couple times, and lose fewer points than the skater who fell on the big trick.

    Whatever the fall rules, sometimes skaters who fall a few times will come out ahead of skaters who fall once or not at all. Maybe because the one who fell a couple times completed significantly more difficulty in all the other elements. Maybe because all her successful elements were of high quality and another skater didn't fall but also only barely squeaked out all the elements with barely acceptable quality or subtle errors.

    If casual fans are just counting falls without understanding relative difficulty and relative quality of the successful elements, they're going to be confused. In addition to adequate penalties for falls, it's important to make it clear what's being rewarded and what's being penalized -- in the scoring system itself, which the protocols do, and in the TV commentary, which the ISU has little control over but is usually the only source of knowledge for casual fans.

    PCS

    These are all the scores for global aspects of the program as a whole, rather than for individual elements.

    How could the rules/guidelines for scoring these aspects and reporting those scores be improved to reflect differences that knowledgeable audiences see from one performance of a program to another, or between different aspects of the same performance?

    I think we all want PCS scoring to be better, but it's a lot easier to say "It should be better" than to make concrete suggestions to help it get there, including defining exactly what "better" would consist of.

    So who has some specific suggestions? Change the rules? Change the judges' training? Change the way the scores are reported so audiences have more insight into where the numbers come from?

  5. #35
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Falls

    Whatever the fall rules, sometimes skaters who fall a few times will come out ahead of skaters who fall once or not at all. Maybe because the one who fell a couple times completed significantly more difficulty in all the other elements. Maybe because all her successful elements were of high quality and another skater didn't fall but also only barely squeaked out all the elements with barely acceptable quality or subtle errors…
    I think that the CoP has posed for itself a conundrum with no solution. IMHO no point system, however excellent, however rich in detail, can resolve questions of this sort in a way that is both consistent and appropriate to every combination of circumstances.

    In ordinal systems it was the responsibility of the judge to decide the proper balance between difficulty and successful execution and to judge the extent to which a fall marred the effect of the program as a whole. Judges might disagree, but I never felt that such disagreement compromised the judging system or even that it was a negative feature of the system.

    As for the audience, whatever the rules say some viewers will think, "He fell, how can he win anything?" and others will say, "Oh, too bad about the fall, but it was a great performance even so."

  6. #36
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    If it were valid in Sochi, the Olympic champions would be Volosozhar/Trankov, Sotnikova, Ten.
    Well, if this system was in place, programs would be constructed differently, performed differently, and rewarded differently. This system would have separate PCS judges, better training of judges, and judges being selected by a universal standard of peer-review. Yu-Na or Kostner most likely would win (assuming everyone else besides Sotnikova still made a lot of mistakes) because the system would allow them more artistic freedom and they would really be able to show that strength...and get rewarded for it!

    If everyone skated exactly the same, Hanyu would still be the winner because everyone made a lot of mistakes over the course of the competition but he dominated in the SP and still did enough in the LP. Sotnikova would not win because she gave up more points in the SP with her easier jump combination, she would not have received a free pass on her flawed 3Lutz+3Toe in the long, her footwork sequences would have scored lower, and her PCS would not have been quite as high. This guide doesn't cover improvements for Pairs and Dance programs (although the judging improvements would be universal), but given better scoring systems there, V/T would still win - there's really no debate about that - and the battle for Dance Gold probably would have been closer.

  7. #37
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    PCS

    How could the rules/guidelines for scoring these aspects and reporting those scores be improved to reflect differences that knowledgeable audiences see from one performance of a program to another, or between different aspects of the same performance?

    I think we all want PCS scoring to be better, but it's a lot easier to say "It should be better" than to make concrete suggestions to help it get there, including defining exactly what "better" would consist of.

    So who has some specific suggestions? Change the rules? Change the judges' training? Change the way the scores are reported so audiences have more insight into where the numbers come from?
    I suggest all three of those things in the guide. Plus, judges should be selected from an "academy", wherein the quality of their judging is itself reviewed by the skating world and judges are selected for competitions based upon their individual merit, not just because they were appointed by a country and their name was drawn out of a hat.

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    Here's what you have to say about PCS in your "Guide":

    *The program component judges are necessary for this aspect of programs to be judged accurately; the program needs to be looked at on its own without being influenced and distracted by also scoring technical elements at the same time. Judges need to start separating the 5 program components properly; it would be perfectly fine for a skater to receive a '9' on skating skills but a '6' for interpretation (or vice versa), if that's what happened in the performance. Judges need to examine choreography not for how many transitions are in the program, but based upon the actual intellectual concept, visual appeal, and cohesiveness of the movement itself. There will no longer be a "judging corridor" that judges must worry about. All program component judges must have a firm mathematical understanding of what their scores mean (ie - you can't just say "this skater had better transitions" and score them .25 higher in that component. There must be a clear differential between the scores given to each skater for each performance, if that is what the performances merit).

    *All judges must have extensive historical training. A trained judge will have watched hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of high-level performances across a wide spectrum of decades. This basis is absolutely necessary for having an objective opinion of what constitutes good figure skating in the many different forms it can take.
    That's a fine overview. Now let's discuss how judges should separate the 5 component scores properly -- what does "properly" mean in this context?

    How can we tell from the outside, looking only at their final numbers, whether someone is using the proper process?

    Let's say I'm a judge who wants to be trained to do a better job of identifying and evaluating all the different component criteria and translating those evaluations into numbers. Do folks here want to talk about that process in more depth?

    Shall we make a separate thread to get specific about PCS, to separate that discussion from all the nitty gritty technical details?

  9. #39
    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    I suggest all three of those things in the guide. Plus, judges should be selected from an "academy", wherein the quality of their judging is itself reviewed by the skating world and judges are selected for competitions based upon their individual merit, not just because they were appointed by a country and their name was drawn out of a hat.
    2 questions:

    (a) Who would evaluate the judges and what would be the qualifications for "judging the judges?"

    (b) In a scenario where judges are chosen based on merit, what would be the response to a federation that might complain that its judges are never chosen or not chosen frequently enough?

    Just playing devil's advocate here -- I like the ideas but can imagine allegations of bias from countries who might feel their judges aren't given "equal time."

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    As per a few posts above, a fall shouldn't completely negate an element. Skaters will be far less likely to attempt greater difficulty. I mean, a fully landed quad with a fall shouldn't receive less points than a level B scratch spin. That makes no sense.

    The system BoP, while rather thorough, is unfortunately just logistically a nightmare even if it's more accurate. I also think it doesn't reward quality elements as much as it should. You'll get a lot of skaters avoiding levels because the GOE really isn't worth it going from a level 3 to a level 4 spin.

    Also given the reduction penalty is 0.5, and given the scores, a fall on a 4S (after -0.5 and -2.3) would be worth 8.0 points, which is just 0.5 lower than the base value of a clean 3A -- a 4S with -3's as in a severe error without a fall gets the BV of a 3A. I'm all for rewarding quads and pushing for difficulty, but that doesn't seem right. The current system drops GOE a full 3 points.

    A fall on a 3A would be worth 6.2 points, which is 0.5 greater than the value of a normal 3Z with +0 GOE... and worth about the same as if the 3Z got close to perfect grade of execution. I think a +2 worthy triple lutz should score higher than a fall on a 3A, shouldn't it? Especially when you claim this system is to penalize errors more?

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    I'm pretty sure that's the GOE for a -1. A 4S fall would get less than 4 points.

  12. #42
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    You've misread what was written, CanadianSkaterGuy.

    The -GOE listed is for each individual increment. -1 GOE on a 4S is -2.3 points. -3 GOE is -6.9 points. As I stated on the previous page, a fall on a 4S would be worth 3.4 points. It's currently worth 6.5 points, so that's a huge difference. A fall on a 3A would be worth 2.6 points (it's currently worth 4.5).

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I also think it doesn't reward quality elements as much as it should. You'll get a lot of skaters avoiding levels because the GOE really isn't worth it going from a level 3 to a level 4 spin.
    You seem very confused about something here. Quality and level are two different things. Quality spins are very much rewarded under this system, more so than they ever have been actually. This system is also MUCH more about using spins as effective choreography, rather than as stand-alone elements which break the flow of programs.

    Did you mean to say that skaters would avoid levels because the base values aren't worth it? That's entirely the point. Skaters should be focusing on the quality of a spin rather than how many difficult variations they can do in a spin. A skater who can do a Level 2 spin with +2 GOE (aka, the kind of excellent but "simple" layback or camel spins we used to see but never do anymore) should be getting more points for it than a skater who can do a Level 4 spin with 0 GOE (aka the "complex" but mediocore spins we see these days).

    Spins should be primarily about their speed, centering, body line, and how the positions of the spin interpret the music and create interesting shapes. Contortionist elements are secondary. Anyone who can do those types of positions with excellence (such as Julia Lipsnitskaya) would still be rewarded for it. Any spin that is truly worth of +3 GOE is always going to have some kind of special features like that anyway, because it shows an actual special skill the skater has that other people don't. We don't need to see everyone doing an average Beillman spin just because they can. These things should only be included in programs if the skater is truly superb at it and/or if it serves a real purpose within the program.

  13. #43
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    2 questions:

    (a) Who would evaluate the judges and what would be the qualifications for "judging the judges?"

    (b) In a scenario where judges are chosen based on merit, what would be the response to a federation that might complain that its judges are never chosen or not chosen frequently enough?

    Just playing devil's advocate here -- I like the ideas but can imagine allegations of bias from countries who might feel their judges aren't given "equal time."
    (a) Peer review -- others who have passed through all the training -- and anyone who is voted upon as a skating expert. For example, Kurt Browning or Nobu Sato. These people have dedicated their whole lives to the sport and are very much aware of how it works in the present. Anyone who is qualified should be able to call for a judge to provide reasoning for the scores they gave. This reasoning would be written down and stored on a website that everyone qualified could access. People would then vote upon whether or not they think the judge did a good job. The highest scored judges would be selected for the most important events. Lower scored judges would be selected for less important events. Some judges might receive too many votes of no confidence altogether and not be allowed to participate in judging international competitions, for a period of at least a couple years at which time they could re-submit themselves.

    (b) Yes, I can definitely see some federations not being pleased that they don't get to have as many judges at top competitions. In which case I would say "tell your judges to educate themselves better." If a large number of people, who thoroughly understand the judging system and have spent their whole lives involved in figure skating, think that you are not a good judge...then guess what, you probably aren't.

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    Thanks for clarifying.

    As much as you think skaters will turn their attention to quality of spin, I still think it would be the same old with skaters contorting into Biellmanns to get the level, though as I mentioned, some will avoid attempting more complex spins and simply get the base level. A level can be assured (assuming the tech spec calls it appropriately), higher GOE certainly cannot be assured. Some judges might even give lower-than-ideal GOE if the spin is simpler. It's the reason skaters do the extra positions in the first place, even if SEVERAL of their positions aren't particularly aesthetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    For a non-skater, especially the most casual fans who don't pay much attention to CoP (if any), the apparent lack of penalties for falls is the most frustrating thing. To them, a fall = fail, pure and simple.

    I do understand and appreciate the idea of trying to reward a skater for attempting and at least partially completing a difficult jump, but still get annoyed that falls aren't penalized more heavily. At some point, IMO it gets to be kind of like some kids' events where everyone who competes gets a ribbon or something just for showing up. As in, what's the value of a prize for coming in 10th out of 15? Just trying to represent the viewpoint of the "average" fan.

    On another matter, this somewhat-above-average fan would like to nominate BoP for ISU President.
    Yeah, but that's the casual fan. In that case, Yan Liu should have come top 5 in the Olympics where she was the only one to do 7 triples, and Natalia Popova top 5 at Worlds if we went by lack of errors and number of triples landed. Eventually you have to go to the quality of artistry which the casual viewer doesn't exactly confer to as well as the diehard skating fan who understands what makes a good skater.

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