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Thread: Cop

  1. #1
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    Cop

    Okay something that was brought up by the commentators consistantly through Europeans was how a skaters program component marks were all very similar amd how the judges really are not utilising this scoring system to its full potential!

    For example, take Stephane Lambiel whose component scores ranged between 7.25 for program elements to 7.43 for skating skills in the free program.

    Now Stephane has IMO some of the best skating skills in the mens field at the moment, and regardless of the fact that he missed a couple of jumps, over all his skating skills were far better than someone like say Lindemann, who got a 7. Personally I don't think .43 reflects the difference in quality of the skating skills of these two, nor do I think that 7.43 reflects the quality of Lambiels skating skills overall. Personally I would be giving him and Plushenko at least high 8's to low 9's for SS.

    Then take the transitions score for which Lambiel scored a 7.29, again it to me it does not relect the difficulty and interesting choreography between elements. It is not as if Lambiel skates cross-overs between his elements. Again the same goes for Plushenko. A program packed full of footwork and difficult transitions scored only 7.89.

    And hypotetically should a skater have missed all of their jumps (not that I would ever want that to happen) but have good choreopgraphy, footwork, skating skills and interpretation one would expect that there would be a noticeable difference between the marks for performance/execution and say the interpretation mark. Equally for a skater with good tchnical skills but not so good choreography or interpretation should be getting bigger differences in the relevant scores.

    As it is we are seeing very little variation within individuals scores and very little difference between skaters scores, thus the individual strengths and/or weaknesses of skaters are being recognised neither in relation to their overall program nor in relation to other skaters in the field.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    This seems to be the major weakness in the CoP so far. The judges are using the "second mark" in the same way that they always have, simply to give the contest to the skater that they thought was best. Maybe it will get better as the judges gain experience with the new system.

    But I doubt it. Figure skating is unique in that it is both an athletic contest and a beauty contest rolled into one. Hence the two marks. No matter how you slice it, figure skating is a judged sport. The winner is the performer who best pleases the judges.

    Under the 6.0 system we often saw a contest decided by a 5-4 split. To me, that says that the winner was determined not by the performances but by the luck of the draw. An ever-so-slightly different judging panel might well have gone the other way. I have no reason to doubt that the same thing will happen under the new judging system, only it will be disguised a little in a maze of numbers.

    Mathman

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    diver chick - Good post. No matter how they change the judging, the subjectivity comes through. If a skater gets a 7 on excellent transitions and a skater with little transitions gets a 6.9, it just shows that the judge thought skater no.l was better but he's not going to give skater 2 a mark of 3.4 which is what he deserves. Why the judge put the scores so close can only be bias on the part of the judge.

    Sad, but there is nothing we can do about it. And this will not be discussed at the end-of-season meeting.

    Joe

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    It would seem that the judges are still using this system in the same way as they used the old system - designating marks simply as place holders. The only time I saw the new system work with anything resembling how it should was in the free dance when the French finished second in the free dance but again within their own component marks there was so little variation they may as well have not bothered and just given them an overall mark. (Although using the French may not be the best example in this instance as their program was equally strong for all aspects)

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    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    ITA that the component scores are a problem...

    As Diver Chick pointed out, I think the most glaring example of problems is when a flawed performance recieves similar marks across the PCS board, including Performance / Execution.

    Someone over at FSU made what I thought was a good suggestion, at least for starters (not that Speedy will ever here it or act on it!). The judging panel today has a huge task just determining all the technical marks as a program progresses. Why not split the panel in half, and have half the judges score technical, and the other half focus solely on the components. At least in theory, this would allow judges to become more specialized in keeping track of all the detailed criteria under COP on both the tech and components side.

    Oh, and as long as we're "wishing" for a new way to organize the panel we might as well "wish" for judges identities while we're at it.

    I do like how the technical side of the judging is working under COP.

    DG

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Doddygirl, that used to be a suggestion even under 6.0 system - separate the two panels. Other sports do it, and I would be very much in favor of it for FS.

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    The only thing I don’t like about the CoP is that we don’t get to know which judge gave what score. Actually I don’t think I have much complaints about the PCS, but since I’m just a viewer and have not experience of ice skating, I’m not sure of what would make better a skater over other one. The only information I’ve got is what the rule book says, so I’m trying to understand it as I watch some competitions on TV. Maybe we should talk about that a bit, and if some of the posters that have practiced the sport can give their view of what should we look in the different areas of the PC, I think it would help us a lot to get to understand this, rather than just say that the PCS only exist for the judges to play around with the positions. I know most people believe that, and with good reasons because of past issues in judging, but we should try to see beyond that, after all, it is not good to say that all judges are corrupted, I imagine there are good and bad judges, as in everything. Anyways, I’m getting OT here.

    This is the info we get of the PCS from the ISU website, I’m sure most of you have read this documents, but just to have the info handy, here it is. They define the PC as follow:

    1. Skating Skills:
    Over all skating quality: edge control and flow over the ice surface demonstrated by a command of the skating vocabulary (edges, steps, turns, etc), the clarity of technique, and the use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.

    Criteria:
    a)Balance, rhythmic knee action, and precision of foot placement

    b)Flow and effortless glide:
    b.1)Rhythm, strength, clean strokes, and an efficient use of lean create a steady run to the blade and an ease of transfer of weight resulting in seemingly effortless power and acceleration.

    c)Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps, and turns
    c.1)The skater should demonstrate clean and controlled curves, deep edges, and steps.

    d)Varied use of power/energy, speed, and acceleration
    d.1)Variety is the gradation – some of which may be subtle

    e)Multi directional skating
    e.1)Includes all direction of skating: forward and backward, clockwise and counterclockwise including rotation in both directions.

    f)Mastery of one foot skating
    f.1)No over use of skating on two feet.

    g)Pair Skating and Ice Dancing: Equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison.

    h)Ice Dancing: Compulsory Dance – Ice Coverage



    2. Transitions/Linking Footwork & Movement
    The varied and/or intricate footwork, positions, movements, and holds that link all elements. In singles, pairs, and synchronize skating this also includes the entrances and exits of technical elements.
    Criteria:
    a)Variety
    b)Difficulty
    c)Intricacy
    d)Quality (including unison in Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    e)Balance of workload between partners (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    f)Variety of Dance holds (not excessive side by side and hand in hand – Ice Dancing)

    Transitions can be short or long, including the use of blade, body, head, arms, legs as dictated by the music. (Minimum use of cross-cuts)


    3. Performance/Execution
    Is the involvement of the skater/couple/teams physically, emotionally, and intellectually as
    they translate the intent of the music and choreography.

    Execution: is the quality of movement and precision in delivery. This includes harmony of movement in Pair Skating and Ice Dancing.

    Criteria:
    a)Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement
    In all skating disciplines each skater must be physically committed, sincere in emotion, and equal in comprehension of the music and in execution of all movement.
    b)Carriage
    Carriage is a trained inner strength of the body that makes possible ease of movement from the center of the body. Alignment is the fluid change from one movement to the next.
    c)Style and individuality/personality
    Style is the distinctive use of line and movement as inspired by the music. Individuality/personality is a combination of personal and artistic preferences that a skater/pair/couple brings to the concept, manner, and content of the program.
    d)Clarity of movement
    Clarity is characterized by the refined lines of the body and limbs, as well as the precise execution of any movement.
    e)Variety and contrast
    Varied use of tempo, rhythm, force, size, level, movement shapes, angles, and, body parts as well as the use of contrast.
    f)Projection
    The skater radiates energy resulting in an invisible connection with the audience.
    g)Unison and “oneness” (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    Each skater contributes equally toward achieving all six of the performance criteria.
    h)Balance in performance (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    i)Spatial Awareness between partners – management of the distance between partners and management of changes of hold (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    j) The use of same techniques in edges, jumping, spinning, line, and style are necessary concepts of visual unison; both skaters must move alike in stroke, and movement of all limbs and head with an equal workload in speed and power.(Pair Skating)



    4. Choreography / Composition
    An intentional, developed, and/or original arrangement of all movements according to
    the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure, and phrasing.

    Criteria:
    Criteria:
    a)Purpose: (Idea, concept, vision, mood)
    To reward the intentional and quality design of a program.
    b)Proportion (equal weight of all parts)
    Each part and section has equal weight in achieving the aesthetic pursuit of the composition.
    c)Unity – purposeful threading of all movements
    A program achieves unity when: every step, movement, and element is motivated by the music. As well, all its parts, big or small, seem necessary to the whole, and there is an underlying vision or symbolic meaning that threads together the entire composition.
    d) Utilization of Personal and Public Space
    Movement phrases are distributed in such a way they communicate from every angle in a 360 degree skater-viewer relationship.
    e) Pattern and Ice Coverage
    Movement phrases are designed using an interesting and meaningful variety of patterns and directions of travel.
    f)Phrasing and Form (movement and parts are structured to match the phrasing of the music)
    A phrase is a unit of movement marked by an impulse of energy that grows, builds, finds a conclusion, and then flows easily and naturally into the next movement phrase. Form is the presentation of an idea, the development of the idea, and its conclusion presented in a specific number of parts and a specific order for design.
    g) Originality of Purpose, Movement, and Design
    Originality involves an individual perspective of movement and design in pursuit of a creative composition as inspired by the music and the underlying vision.
    h) Shared Responsibility of Purpose (Pair Skating, Ice Dancing, and Synchronized)
    Each skater has equal roles in achieving the aesthetic pursuit of the composition with equal steps, movements, and a sense of purpose in unifying the composition.


    5. Interpretation
    The personal and creative translation of the music to movement on ice. To reward the skater who through movement creates a personal and creative translation of the music. As the tempo binds all notes in time, the ability to use the tempos and rhythms of the music in a variety
    of ways, along with the subtle use of finesse to reflect the nuances of all the fundamentals of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, color, texture, and form creates a mastery of interpretation.

    Criteria:
    a) Effortless Movements in Time to the Music (Timing) Note: Timing is a separate component in Compulsory Dances.
    The ability to translate music through sureness of rhythm, tempo, effective movement, and effortless flow over the ice surface by: rhythmic continuity, awareness of all tempo/rhythm changes in a variety of ways.
    b) Expression of the music’s style, character, and rhythm
    Maintaining the character and style of the music throughout the entire program by use of body and skating techniques to depict a mood, style, shape, or thematic idea as motivated by the structure of the music: melody, harmony, rhythm, color, texture, and form. The total involvement of the body and being should express the intent of the music.
    c) Use of finesse to reflect the nuances of music.
    Finesse is the skater’s refined, artful manipulation of nuances. Nuances are the personal, artistic ways of bringing subtle variations to the intensity, tempo, and dynamics of the music made by the composer and/or the musician.
    d) Relationship between the partners reflecting the character of the music.
    Interpretive unison is an equal partnership with the same degree of sensitivity between partners not only to the music, but also to the equal understanding of the music’s nuances. There is an intimacy between the partners that is characterized by a feeling of “surrender” to the music and possibly to each other that creates an entity greater than the two of them.
    e) Appropriateness of music (original dance and free dance)



    OK, so there you have the definition. After reading them, I think this is probably the hardest part to set scores to, because in some parts there are technical things to watch (like the skating skills) but in others is how the skater plays a part in their program and how it reaches the audience (and the judges in the same way. We are all watching, but the judges are the ones giving the scores, that’s the difference).

    Now, about the meaning of the scores, here’s the scale from 1 to 10 and their meaining:

    1= Very Poor
    2= Poor
    3= Weak
    4= Fair
    5= Average
    6= Above Average
    7= Good
    8= Very Good
    9= Superior
    10= Outstanding

    In the same document, they include the characteristics of each PC:

    1.Characteristics of Skating Skills:
    a) Balance and rhythmic knee, action and precision of foot placement
    b) Flow and effortless glide
    c) Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps and turns
    d) Power/energy and acceleration
    e) Mastery of multi directional skating
    f) Mastery of one foot skating

    Pair Skating and Ice Dancing –
    g) equal mastery of technique by both partners shown in unison

    Ice Dancing –compulsory dance–
    h) ice coverage

    2. Characteristics of Technical Transitions:
    a) Variety
    b) Difficulty
    c) Intricacy
    d) Quality (including unison in Pair Skating and Ice Dancing
    e) Balance of workload between partner (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    f) Variety of Dance holds (not excessive side by side and hand in hand– Ice Dancing)

    3. Characteristics of Performance/Execution
    a) Physical, emotion, and intellectual involvement
    b) Carriage
    c) Style and individuality/personality
    d) Clarity of movement
    e) Variety and contrast
    f) Projection
    g) Unison and “oneness’ (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    h) Balance in performance (Pair skating and Ice Dancing)
    i) Spatial awareness between partners –management of the distance between partners and management of changes of hold (Pair skating and Ice Dancing)

    4. Characteristics of Choreography/Composition
    a) Purpose (idea, concept, vision)
    b) Proportion (equal weight of parts)
    c) Unity (purposeful threading)
    d) Utilization of personal and public space
    e) Pattern and ice coverage
    f) Phrasing and form (movements and parts structured to match the phrasing of the music)
    g) Originality of purpose, movement and design
    h) Shared responsibility of achieving purpose (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)

    5. Characteristics of Interpretation/Timing
    a) Effortless movement in time to the music (timing)
    b) Expression of the music’s style, character and rhythm
    c) Use of finesse to reflect the nuances of the music
    d) Relationship between the partners reflecting the character of the music (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
    e) Appropriateness of music (Original Dance and Free Dance)
    f) Skating primarily to the rhythmic beat (Free Dance)



    I think this definitely give us the info of the things to look for in a program, and I like that they are classified in different areas rather than just one general score like in the past. (for example, maybe a skater can have certain flaws in the Skating Skills, but that shouldn’t reflect on the interpretation or choreography if the skater can project better in those areas, IMO). In general, since these areas are very subjective to the audience, there will always be that question of wuzrobbed, but I don’t think that feeling will change, no matter what type of scoring they use.

  8. #8
    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Hikaru!!

    I definitely welcome this discussion. Like you, I've never been a skater - just a fan so there are definitely areas where I hope our REAL skaters can help educate us about the areas like skating skills.

    I too am trying to keep a positive outlook on COP, and hope that over time it becomes a credible judging system. That will be good for the sport.

    Here are some of the questions I have about the way the component judging has generally gone this year. Keep in mind that the part I don't really have "down" yet is the ability to look at skater A, then skater B, and say "Skater A should score 7 in Skating Skills, and skater B should score 5, and here's why."

    Mean time, all I've been able to grasp so far is looking at scores for a skater across different performances, and also across all the component areas in a single performance. I am having a hard time understanding why most of the time, it seems like skater's recieve similar scores across the board in a single competition. Is it reasonable to assume that a skater's Choreography is the same level of quality as their Skating Skills and Performance / Execution? (as an example) I question that part.

    It also makes sense to me that something like Skating Skills might be scored similarly for a particular skater across competitions, even though some overall performances are better than others. It seems like Skating Skills has to do with the foundation of skating, and I see it as possible that the basics could stay about the same even with a wide variation in the overall quality of a given performance.

    On the other hand, I question a score for Performance / Execution that is similar between 2 performances that are vastly different. How could Performance / Execution be deemed essentially the same between a good performance with all/most elements well done, and a different performance that might include falls or other serious mistakes that significantly take away from the overall picture?

    I'm seriously hoping this is more a matter of the judges being trained and learning this new system over time than the corruption theories floating about. However it's easy to understand some of the skepticism given Figure Skating's long history of suspect judging.

    At least now we have some details we can look at. So at least if we think a score or placement wasn't fair, we can nit pick it right down to what EXACTLY we think wasn't fair. Hopefully the ability to scrutinize the judging in this manner will have a positive impact over time.

    Ever Hopeful

    DG

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    Hikaru,

    I think you may have missed the point of what I was saying slightly. My post was not a question of who wuz robbed or who got shafted by the judges - it was more an observation that the judges are not using the new system to it's full capacity.

    For example lets take two components, transitions, linking footwork, and movement for one and then execution for two and present a hypothetical situation.

    Skater A and skater B both have very difficult footwork sequence in their programs, equally so. Skater A skates his with great execution, deep, clean edges, good deep knee bends etc basically fulfilling the criteria for both one and two.
    Skater B on the other hand is sloppy and slow and makes it look like hard work so essentially he fulfills component one (transitions etc) but has not fulfilled component two (execution)

    In my mind that would leave scores of something like
    Skater A getting marks at around high 8's, low 9's for a very good selection of transitions etc as well as getting similar marks for execution. Skater B on the other hand would get similar marks for transitions etc but possibly marks in the high 6's low 7's because his execution was not up to scratch.

    At the moment what we are seeing are scores that do not accurately reflect these differences IMO and I would like to think that it has more to do with the judges trying to get used to the system and less to do with them resisting change and simply continuing along their merry way, but I am yet to be convinced I'm afraid. Maybe Worlds will be different because to be fair it was the first time the COP was implimented in a competition of this size.

  10. #10
    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Diver Chick...

    Very well put. I'm hopeful right along with you - it's definitely not there yet. Like you, I hope we will see improvement by World's and continued improvement by the Olympics.

    DG

  11. #11
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I see the technical part of the scoring as biased as the component part. The Technical Assistant has the power to downgrade jumps. Will he/she? or will he/she let some jumps go beyond 'attempts'. The assistant caller could object but will he/she? Will the referee object? No, no one is going to interfere with the Technical Assistant. The name of the Tech Asst., is not a secret. Let's look at how well he does his job. The GoE of the elements is also very subjective. Those points add up!!!

    As to the Component Scores, they have been subjective from day one and there is little anyone can do to take out the subjectivity. It's easy enough to keep a favorite of a judge from falling not too far behind a skater who demonstrates beautiful skating. The judge can just say 'but I gave so and so the higher scores'. yeah!

    The idea of two separate judging panels may help in this subjective sport. They would have to be judging at the same time. And yes, Speedy won't get involved. His problem now is to bring in more money for the ISU.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diver chick
    In my mind that would leave scores of something like
    Skater A getting marks at around high 8's, low 9's for a very good selection of transitions etc as well as getting similar marks for execution. Skater B on the other hand would get similar marks for transitions etc but possibly marks in the high 6's low 7's because his execution was not up to scratch.
    .
    I'm sorry, but I think now I am even more confused! I understand your point that the marks seem to be in a same around the same level, maybe some decimals of difference, yes? Maybe that has something to do with the trimmed mean, and of course we cannot see the full difference. Now, to follow your example, if we are comparing 2 skaters, maybe skater A is better than skater B, but is his footwork good enough to get a high 8? or is it that he should get a high 8 compared to what skater B did, which was not so good? That's where I didn't understand what you meant. If you could clear this up for me, I would appreciate it.Thanks

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    Hopeless fan Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Hikaru...

    Are you looking at the actual score sheets? There you can see each judges score (though not their identity) for each of the 5 components. This is before the trimmed mean calculations come into play, if I understand that correctly.

    Using the example of the Performance / Execution component. Irina has a good skate (her personal best total FP score) at Cup of Russia. All level 2 & 3 on her non-jump elements, and she completed 6 triples, including a 3/3/2, and two 3/2's in combo. Her only negative GOE was on her 3F.

    Her Performance / Execution score in total was 7.65. The range of scores for this component among all judges was 7.0 to 7.75.

    Her Performance / Execution score from European's with a much lesser overall performance (at least on the jump side) was 7.21. The range of judges scores for this component was 6.75 to 8.0.

    Is a total difference in score for this component of 7.65 v. 7.21 appropriate given the difference in overall Performance / Execution of the program? I'm at a big disadvantage here, since I haven't seen it, and there seem to be some mixed reports in terms of the overall impact the mistakes made on the program.

    Now that I looked at it though, it is interesting to note the variance of high / low for this component between a solid performance and a weak one. On the surface it appears that maybe the judge in European's giving her a 6.75 was at least trying, whereas maybe the judge giving this an 8.0 was trying to prop.

    Mean time, I continue to find it interesting to dig into and discuss the details!!

    DG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikaru
    I'm sorry, but I think now I am even more confused! I understand your point that the marks seem to be in a same around the same level, maybe some decimals of difference, yes? Maybe that has something to do with the trimmed mean, and of course we cannot see the full difference. Now, to follow your example, if we are comparing 2 skaters, maybe skater A is better than skater B, but is his footwork good enough to get a high 8? or is it that he should get a high 8 compared to what skater B did, which was not so good? That's where I didn't understand what you meant. If you could clear this up for me, I would appreciate it.Thanks
    Hikaru,

    I think there are two seperate issues here!

    One: That a skaters PC marks don't vary hugely across the different components which is not always reflective of a performance as a whole. For example Lindemann has very good technical ability and so would got marks in the 7's for that. However his transitions and footwork are not on the same level as his jumping ability and yet his skating skills and transition marks are not reflecting this because they are only .01-.5 different than his technical marks. In other words the judges appear to be saying that his artistic ability is on par with his technical ability. For a skater like Evgeny Plushenko, whose technical and artistic ability are on a similar plane these small differences are not so out of place.

    Two: The skaters marks are not reflective of a skaters ability as compared with other skaters in the field. For example for Lindemann and Lambiel to be getting skating skills marks that differ by mere decimals seems to me to be absolutely ludicrous given that Lambiels skating skills are way up on Lindemanns.

    As I understand it this new system is supposed to allow skaters to be judged against themselves rather than against their competitors - marks based on what they did and not what they did compared to others, so point two may not be something that can be addressed by the COP, although I think it should be.

    Hopefully I have made it a bit clearer what I meant.

  15. #15
    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Hi Doggygirl and diver chick! :)

    OK, I think I'm getting the point on the difference of the mark. I actually hadn't checked the men's score at Euros, 'cause I was checking the ladies' score. There was one judge that did give Irina like 8.00 and the rest of the marks I believe were either 7.50 or 7.75 (from te top of my head). Now in this case, if the scores given by this judge had been taken into account, and if his were the highest ones, because of the trimmed, his would have been eliminated for being the highests, compared to what the other judges gave.

    For the men, I really need to see the sheets of scores, and the programs of course lol! I hope they show Lambiel's too, because usually when I see euros they cut many skaters off. However I usually don't give my opinion on the PCS because since I'm like no expert, I don't think I'm qualified to say why a skater should get this score and the other that one (I'm like Doggygirl on this one), 'cause I feel I could be bias toward the skaters.

    For me though, the skating skills reflect how the skater uses the blades and how they control it to perform the elements, how the also use their body as well to control the elements and such (I'm not sure if this is the correct interpretation but that's the idea after reading the definition of the PC). So in this case I think it definitely connects with how well the skater performed the elements on the program, or how bad they did it, whichever the case is. I am gonna check the scores now. Thanks for the explanations, I think I'm getting to grasp the knowledge

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