Figure skating as a sport started in 18th and 19th centuries when it was technically impossible to measure the speed or get other characteristics of an object that moves freely instead of making a certain distance. It has all changed today. So, can FS finally benefit from the technology progress?
Please, think about it as an alternative imaginary event and say how you would like it. Would you find it interesting to watch? What would you change/invent if you had an opportunity to develop it?
I’ve been thinking about it for a while and that’s how far I am by now:
Like several members of this forum have also noted, sensors in skates would be a good technical solution. They would bring all information that we otherwise get from the marks on the ice – this is all about footwork, under/over-rotations, edges, and similar – to the computer. This would be incredibly interesting material for analysis if nothing else. The computer could also detect if moves have been done in sync with the music.
It is less clear if the upper body movement should be also measured. I’d say yes: there are some strictly physical aspects of body movement – like, jump heights – that makes sense to measure by technical means. Also, it matters if the body moves with music too, not skates alone.
Then, there’s the most interesting part: what to do with all technical data when they’re gathered? Should the computer count the points brought in by every element like it’s done under CoP? Or, should it simply rank skaters after comparing their data?
Above everything: would the work that technology does be sufficient to measure figure skating? I’d say yes, it would. We talk about human factor; then, why don’t we trust this factor instead of using it as an excuse? Skaters are not stupid. The competition is their star moment. They should know: if they won’t look attractive or entertaining during those few minutes when all eyes are on them then there will be no contracts, no shows, and no future career. Despite that there would be no human judges to impress by costumes and choreography the public would be still around and that's what really counts