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Thread: Pairs Make Painful Transition to COP?

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Pairs Make Painful Transition to COP?

    This year I have been stunned by a number of confusing occurrences in the GP pairs events. It started with Skate America. Why were the world champions, Totmianana and Marinin, struggling with a different lift entrance, and falling disastrously? Why were Obertas and Slavnov also struggling with lifts?

    Referring to the protocol detail sheets didn't help. There were all those arcane
    abbreviations, and they didn't seem quite the same as last year's. I wasn’t terribly surprised at that fact. After all, last year’s World’s was judged on 6.0, so the pairs had probably not made a full changeover to COP friendly programs. I realized that I really wanted to understand COP for pairs before I watched the GPF and World’s.

    When I downloaded the seven ISU documents, describing COP for pairs, and skimmed through them, it seemed that many of the pairs were deliberately not taking advantage of COP in one way and another, and that the lifts had indeed changed a lot since last year.

    Then I downloaded all the details sheets and went through them to determine who is doing the best element of each type. Again, there were a number of surprises. And so I thought I would write down what I found out for anyone else who has had some confusions with the pairs, how they were doing, and how pairs were being scored under COP. At this time, I am just going to post about the lifts. Later, I will write about the other elements if anyone seems interested.
    There’s a lot of detail here, but I hope you’ll take the time to follow along, because after all, I am a relative dummy about this stuff, and I want to be sure that the experts will make any corrections.

    Under COP, I had become very confused by the lifts. I thought I knew what a lasso, platter,and star lift looked like, but when I reviewed the detailed scoring sheets, the abbreviations had nothing to do with the names that I knew for the lifts. When you talk about pairs, you need to know that the biggest chunk of available points in the event is for the lifts. Pairs do one lift in the SP and three lifts in the LP, and the total base level available is 23.5 points in the total SP+Lp score. That’s more than any other category of elements. With +3 level GOE, this can be as much as 34.0 points (which of course, has not yet occurred).

    Under COP, the lifts are grouped by the way the skaters enter the lift. These groups determine the number that starts the acronym description of the lift.

    LIFTS
    • Group1 Armpit Hold Lifts. You will not see any of these because they are worth at most, for an 1Li2 lift, done with a +3 GOE level, 2.7 points.
    • Group2 Waist Hold Lifts- Berezhnaya and Sikuralidze used to do a lovely platter lift. This is an example of a Group 2 lift. You won’t see any of these any more either, except in exhibitions. They are worth at most 4.0 points for a 2Li3 lift with +3GOE.
    • Group3 Hand to Hip Lifts Balanced program requirements specify that a third lift may be done in the LP, provided it is a Group3 or Group4. For me, that’s a good thing because the star lifts are in this category. Maximum base score with a +3 GOE level for a Group 3 lift is 5.5 points Brasseur and Eisler did a great
      version of a one hand star where the only point of contact was Lloyd's hand on Isabelle's hip. We may yet see a one hand star again. Sale and Pelletier did a nice Group 3 lift in their Olympic Love Story program right after
      the 2A 3T sequence.
    • Group4 Hand to Hand Press lift type Lifts- These are exactly the same level of difficulty as Group 3 lifts, and get a maximum of base + GOE of 5.5 points. On the Skate Canada website, Group3 and Group4 are reversed, but the website has not been updated for this year’s COP changes. Unless you have a video clip of a 2003/2004 season program, don’t assume the detail sheets are right. Possibly Group3 and Group4 have been interchanged this year? Two typical Group4 lifts are the pressure lift and the hand to hand loop lift. In the pressure lift, the partners are facing each other, holding hands. The lady is skating forwards. She jumps straight up into the lift position. In the hand to hand loop lift, the partners are facing in the same direction. The men lifts the lady over his head. The lady takes off on one foot from a back outside edge, like a loop jump. . The last lift in Shen and Zhao’s 2004 LP is a 4Li2 lift.
    • Group 5 Hand to Hand Lasso Lifts-These work similarly to hand to hand pressure lifts,except that the lady makes one revolution on the way up, and the same is also generally true for the dismount. The lady takes off on a forward outside edge, like an axel, directly in front of the man. I believe that Wachsman and Waggoner did a regular Lasso lift in the 1988 Olympic SP. However, today, you can see one in Zhang and Zhang’s LP It’s their second lift, a 5Li2.
    • Group 5A Axel Lasso (Side by Side Lasso) Lifts-These work just like Lasso Lifts except that the lady makes one and one half revolutions on the way up. It is also known as the Side by Side Lasso. Gordeeva and Grinkov do a Side by Side Lasso Lift in their Olympic SP, March of the Toreadors, AFAIR. Today, for a relatively unadorned Side by Side Lasso, look at Inoue and Baldwin’s in their NHK long program. P&T and Z&S do better ones, but there are so many “ribbons and bibbons” on their lifts that it is hard to sort out the basic lift.
    • Group 6 (Last year, and now not used) One Hand Lasso Type Lifts. Last year any lasso lift where the man held the woman over his head by one hand was a Group6 lift. If you check out detail sheets from the Grand Prix last year there were a lot of these being done.


    Totmianana &Marinana did two 6Li1 lifts in last year’s LP, scoring 6.42 and 6.56 each for them at Skate Canada. They did no 5ALi entries to a lift last year. I wouldn't wonder if this is where the difficulty came for them this year. The one armed 6Li1 lifts fell back to 5Li 2, worth at most 7 or 6.5. Contrast this with the 5ALi3 lifts, which could be worth as much as 9.5 points. No wonder T&M, O&S, and other pairs who weren’t using the Axel entry to lasso lifts have been scrambling to catch up!

    After all, a pair can do THREE 5Ali3 lifts in a competition. And there is an additional whammy. GOE’s for 5Ali2 and 5Ali3 lifts can go as high as +3, but GOE’s for 5Li1 and 2 lifts go only as high as +1.5.

    Once I learned this, it was no surprise to me that Obertas and Slavnov and Totmianana and Marinin were both struggling with 5ALi family lifts at Skate America, when they were debuting their new programs. As we saw, that Axel entry is risky. Peter Carruthers said that the woman turning on the way up like that tends to act like a sail, and the weight falls preferentially on one arm for the man on the way up. It’s a legitimate choice to choose not to seek the highest point level here, but the penalty can be high.

    Scott and Dulebohn have also had trouble with their lifts, and I suspect they have been trying to cope with this problem as well. They failed* (correction per Pat) on a 5Li group lift in China and on a 5Ali family lift in Russia. Their planned lifts are (5Ali2, 3Li2, 5ALi2,5Li1)

    When you fall or fail on a lift entry, you get ZERO for it, so it’s worse than falling on a jump. Not to mention any possible injuries.

    Zhang and Zhang have two (5ALi2,3Li2,5Li2,5Ali2) and Orscher and Lucash (5li2,5Li1,5Li2,3Li1) and Don and Hunt (5Li1,5Li1,5Li2,3Li1)are not trying the 5Ali group lifts at all, and presumably are planning to make up the difference elsewhere. This is a maximum of 24.5 points from lifts for D&H and O&L.

    In some ways, the oddest choice has been made by Inoue and Baldwin. They do a nice 5ALi2 lift, and do one in both the SP and LP. They also do a 3Li2 lift in the LP, as required. What I can’t figure out is why they are doing a 4Li1 in the LP when they are capable of a much harder and higher scoring lift. This gives them a maximum with GOE +3 of 27.5 points from lifts. It seems that they are doing an LP typical of the old 6.0 system where repeating elements tended to be discouraged (you can see this by referring to the lifts done as shown by the detail sheets from last years GP series).

    The kings and queens of lifts are, of course, Zagorska and Siudek (5Ali3, 5Ali3,5Li3,4Li3) at NHK) and Petrova and Tikhonov (5Ali3, 5Ali3,5Li3,4Li3) Z&S scored 28.2 points from lifts alone at NHK. PetTik have scored 25.7 points. This is the hardest lift layout theoretically possible with the current version of COP. I predict that the ISU will be updating the lift section yet again soon.

    There are more to lifts than Groups, obviously. There are also Levels of Difficulty. Level One lifts are described as using ‘mainly Basic take off, hold and landing. Level Two and Three involve selection menus.
    For Level 2, you need to pick three from the list of:
    • Simple variation in take off
    • Simple variation in landing
    • One change of hold or of Lady’s position in the lift
    • Include a simple carry
    • Include a simple one-hand hold


    For Level 3, you need to pick four from the list of:
    Difficult variation in takeoff

    • Difficult variation in landing
    • At least 2 changes of hold or at least two changes of Lady’s position in the lift
    • Include a difficult carry
    • Include a difficult one-hand hold (counts as several features if repeated in the lift)
    • Changes of rotation by the man during the lift
    • Unexpected (without preparation) takeoff


    And you may ask, what are Simple and Difficult? The ISU has provided some examples.
    Simple Carry (one lift in LP only)– a 2 hand carry up to 3 seconds long with no
    revolutions by the Man.
    Difficult Carry (one lift in LP only)– at least one of the following features:
    • Man skates on one foot (O&S are trying this in the LP. He holds his foot like a heron in one lift.
    • Man performs crossovers
    • Man performs spread eagle or similar move


    Simple one hand Hold – lasts at least 3 seconds and/or one half revolution by the Man
    Difficult one hand Hold – Has at least one of the following: Lasts at least 5 seconds in a carry and or at least one revolution by the man.

    Simple takeoff variation: Could be a change of hand hold on the ascent of the lift, or some other easy thing.
    Difficult takeoff variation – Includes but is not limited to: Somersault takeoffs, dance lift going immediately into the Pair Lift takeoff without the lady touching the ice in between the 2 lifts, one hand take off.

    Simple Landing – Different landing foot or change of hand hold on descent
    Difficult Landing – Variations not limited to: Somersaults, different landing foot,
    variation in holds, partner positions and/or direction of landing, or one hand landing.

    Finally there are GOE definitions and deductions:
    I’m going to skip what makes a good lift…basically the levels are meets criteria, good, better, and best. However, the definition of what is bad,
    worse, and worst, is not wholly intuitive. Be sure to notice that bad footwork by
    the man can be punished as severely as bad positions by the lady.

    Bad (-1 level) minor problem in only one phase of the lift:
    Weak positions in air or on landing
    Weak turns by the man
    Reduced speed on landing
    Man exits on two feet
    Touch down with the free foot
    Partners bump on takeoff or landing

    Worse (-2 level) Minor problems in 2 phases of the lift (see Bad List) or
    major problem in one phase of the lift, as follows:
    Poor positions in air
    Poor or scraped turns by the man
    Lady collapses on her partner
    Poor landing with complete loss of speed
    Lady starts or lands on two feet.

    Worst (-3 level) Minor problems in 3 or more phases (see Bad List)
    or major problems in 2 or more phases (see Worse list) or any of the
    following totally dreadful errors
    Very poor positions in air
    Very poor, unsteady turns by the man
    Serious problems or struggling in the lifting process
    Fall
    Less than the required revolutions (two for the lady,
    one for the man)
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-07-2004 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Doris!! I am very impessed with your knowledge of the lifts in figure skating. I'm going to study this carefully for the Nats and Worlds.

    Otherwise I just look at Pairs as whether or not they have appealing lifts. (I guess I am too involved with ballet where the lifts are just part of the dance and not tricks.)

    I have noticed Shen and Zhao's inclusion of 'little' lifts in their routines which make for such wonderful musicality. LeeAnn is soooo good.

    However, I'll keep my eye on the Axel into Lasso Lift for all the teams; armpit lifts; waist holding lifts, hand to hand lifts; one hand lifts, star lifts, etc.

    Thanks again.

    Joe

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Joe, I love the little 'dance lifts' in the programs. They don't count as lifts, apparently. They go into the transitions score in the PCS components.

    Thanks for reading through all of that. I spent about a week going through all this stuff, and then thought, well for all that work, I probably ought to make a thread out of it.

    It was interesting for me to look at the 2002 Oly's programs...S&P's lifts are quite a harder than B&S's, which I hadn't really figured out before.

    I think I will do the spins and pair spins next.

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    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Doris...

    Thanks for taking the time to study all of this in the first place, and write such a detailed post with your findings. I will be printing this out for my own on-going study - I plan to have it handy to re-watch some GP comps on tape. It is very interesting to finally learn what elements are really more difficult than others.

    Thanks!!!

    DG

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Doggygirl, I hope when you've finished your tapes, you'll post your COP values for great pairs of the past! I find at this moment, I appreciate G&G's March of the Toreadors more than I once did, and B&S's Lady Caliph a little less.

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    Question - might seem dense

    If lifts are the greatest portion of points earning elements in a pairs program, how cum Dorota and Mariuz don't place hire than third? Yes, they have problems in their side by side jumps... but that shouldn't penalize them that much...

    Linny

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI
    [*]Group 5 Hand to Hand Lasso Lifts-These work similarly to hand to hand pressure lifts,except that the lady makes one revolution on the way up, and the same is also generally true for the dismount. The lady takes off on a forward outside edge, like an axel, directly beside the man.
    ....
    Scott and Dulebohn have also had trouble with their lifts, and I suspect they have been trying to cope with this problem as well. They fell on a 5Li group lift in China and on a 5Ali family lift in Russia. Their planned lifts are (5Ali2, 3Li2, 5ALi2,5Li1)
    Wow, thanks for a great summary and analysis! I had a comment and a question. First, I thought a lasso lift that was not an axel entry, did not have a forward takeoff by the lady. I was thinking usually the lady is skating backwards in front of the man. If she takes off forward, that would make it 1 1/2 revolutions ont he way up.

    Second, you're right that Scott & Dulebohn have had lift problems, but they did not fall. The lift did not go up due to a timing problem. They've been doing that lift (axel lasso) for a couple of years at least, but I guess stuff still happens.

    Pat

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Zagorska and Siudek

    Linny, You asked about Zagorska and Siudek:

    If lifts are the greatest portion of points earning elements in a pairs program, how cum Dorota and Mariuz don't place hire than third? Yes, they have problems in their side by side jumps... but that shouldn't penalize them that much...
    Another way to ask this question, is to ask what one poster on fsuniverse asked: With those skating skills, and low GOE on almost everything but lifts, why are they as high as third?

    Lifts are not the only elements, but they go a long, long way.

    He felt that the only thing they had going for them was the lifts. This is not quite true. They do quite well on the spin elements, as well. Their sequence is a problem. They do a 3T 2T in sequence. This nets the lowest base score of any of the top 10 or 15 pairs. (Lower even that a 2A2T combination, which I&B use, and which P&T used at NHK) If you look at their non lift elements, their GOE's are comparable to the American pairs.

    Here's what happened to them:
    Skate Canada, fifth in the short, due to losing 2 points on their SBS 3toes, -1.4 points on the throw triple loop, and getting +/-.2 GOE on the other elements. Also their PCS scores are in the 6.7 to 7.5 range (SCan)
    NHK, third in the short with only a slight point loss on the throw 3 loop, In the long, they lost -.8 on their sequence, -.7 on the 3S throw, -.24 on their step sequence (level1), and -.14 on their throw 3S. PCS, about the same as in Canada.

    So equally, you could say, why aren't they in 4th or 5th?

    I hope they will get better, and really skate well at Europeans.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Pat, You asked:


    I had a comment and a question. First, I thought a lasso lift that was not an axel entry, did not have a forward takeoff by the lady. I was thinking usually the lady is skating backwards in front of the man. If she takes off forward, that would make it 1 1/2 revolutions ont he way up.
    The way the Skate Canada documentation described it, the lady starts forward with an axel entry and goes around once and ends up facing in the same direction, which is one revolution. Whether they are skating forward or backward, if she ends up facing in the same direction, it's still one revolution, I think.

    However, mechanically, she probably just looks like she's stepping if he's skating backwards--it would take the speed out of the lift if she really took a step. I would think this would work better if both were skating forward, frankly.
    And the Skate Canada documentation may not be correct....I'll try to find corroborating evidence.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 12-07-2004 at 08:52 AM.

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    Very impressive, Doris. Lifts have always been somewhat of a mystery to me, so thanks very much for the detailed explanation.

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    Mystery

    With great respect to Doris, I'm going to say that her analysis actually added MORE mystery to me. Until now, I pretty much only noticed the positions of the lifts in the air. Now I find myself scrutinizing, trying to figure out the lift position...
    Linny

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI
    The way the Skate Canada documentation described it, the lady starts forward with an axel entry and goes around once and ends up facing in the same direction, which is one revolution. Whether they are skating forward or backward, if she ends up facing in the same direction, it's still one revolution, I think.
    Hmnn... I haven't read the SC documentation, and now I'm confused. The axel lasso lift that you described earlier does have 1 1/2 revolutions on the way up. The group 5 lasso lift that you describe above can't be taking off forward, or it would also be 1 1/2 revolutions. I think, anyway... I'll have to ask about this. In my original question to you, I meant that the man was skating forwards and the lady skating backwards in the non-axel lasso lift.
    Pat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Doris!! I am very impessed with your knowledge of the lifts in figure skating. I'm going to study this carefully for the Nats and Worlds.

    Otherwise I just look at Pairs as whether or not they have appealing lifts. (I guess I am too involved with ballet where the lifts are just part of the dance and not tricks.)

    I have noticed Shen and Zhao's inclusion of 'little' lifts in their routines which make for such wonderful musicality. LeeAnn is soooo good.

    However, I'll keep my eye on the Axel into Lasso Lift for all the teams; armpit lifts; waist holding lifts, hand to hand lifts; one hand lifts, star lifts, etc.

    Thanks again.

    Joe

    Paul Martini commented that Shen and Zhaos' lifts are not as good as other pairs. Actually, he noted that the Chinese teams period are weak at lifts - of course, their strength is the throws.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Lad-If anyone knows about lifts, it would definitely be Paul Martini! I still remember Martini and Underhill's wonderful performances at World's in Ottawa in 1984!

    From watching tapes, and reading over the scores for this GP series, certainly Zagorska/Siudek and Petrova Tikhonov have the best lifts. Shen and Zhao have not had their best fall series in general, even though they finished first in the events they were in. Shen and Zhao are doing 5ALi2 in the SP, and 5ALi2, 5Li1, and 4Li2 in the LP. The 5ALi2's are at the edge of the 1 or 2 level difficulty, because they are flopping back and forth from event to event. The best total score for an event for lifts that they have had so far is Cup of China, 23.0 points. Their GOE's are positive, seldom get to a complete +1.

    IMO Pang and Tong have the best lifts of the Chinese. They are doing 5ALi2 in the short, and 5ALi2, 3Li2, and 5Li2 in the long. At Trophee Eric Bompard, they scored 24.20 from lifts. She has great air position, and he has good skating skills, plus the lifts go up really quick because she is so light.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Lift Clips on Rinkside

    I have made a number of video clips of different teams doing lifts. Each is named by the designation the caller gave the lift. If you'd like to check them out, I'm on Rinkside as dorispulaski.

    If you have any problems downloading them, send me a private message, and I'll send them via email.

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