# Thread: IJS point system and robots

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## IJS point system and robots

We are starting to figure out this point system. My daughter is at the intermediate level and did her first 2 IJS competitions these past few months. All these girls, about 60, had programs that were almost exactly the same. They did the same spins and jumps and just about in the same order. We are starting to figure out why.

Before we started IJS, my daughter was doing this really cool spin, camel, doughnut, Biellmann, change, sit, I spin. Turns out she got a level 3. Everyone else did a death drop, pancake 8 times around, clam 2 revs and got level 4. So the name of the game seems to be doing whatever is easiest to get a level 4 spin.

We had a critique and they told us that even though her spins we awesome, she was working too hard and not doing the things that get the points. You have to do this before that and 8 times around without changing. So even though you went 21 times around on each foot you did not stay in one position for 8 revs. Even though you did 4 difficult variations you only get credit for 2...

I understand that the point system is supposed to eliminate subjectivity, however, the way it seems to be working is that we could just put robots out there and count points. Not sure what can be done about it.

Guess we need to get this program to fit the template that gets the points so she can look like all the others...

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Originally Posted by Sk8tr321
Before we started IJS, my daughter was doing this really cool spin, camel, doughnut, Biellmann, change, sit, I spin. Turns out she got a level 3. Everyone else did a death drop, pancake 8 times around, clam 2 revs and got level 4. So the name of the game seems to be doing whatever is easiest to get a level 4 spin.
But those wouldn't meet the same spin requirement. The first would be a combination spin and the second would be a flying spin. (In intermediate the third spin is optional.) So it would be possible to do both those spins in the same program.

We had a critique and they told us that even though her spins we awesome, she was working too hard and not doing the things that get the points. You have to do this before that and 8 times around without changing. So even though you went 21 times around on each foot you did not stay in one position for 8 revs. Even though you did 4 difficult variations you only get credit for 2...
That's true. The rules are pretty specific about which combinations of features will earn the highest levels.

Once you understand the rules for earning levels, though, a skater with a lot of different spinning skills can plan all the spins to earn level 3 or level 4.

If you don't have lots of different spinning skills, then you have two options:

-Perfect the skills you do have. Rely on quality to trump difficulty. Plan a simpler spin spin and execute it really really well. A level 2 spin with +2 grade of execution will be worth the same or more than a level 4 spin of the same kind with no pluses. Also, making the spins look sharp can help the performance/execution component score, whereas complicated combination spins that look sloppy will likely hurt that score.

-Develop more skills. E.g., not just difficult variations of positions, but also holding positions for 8 revolutions, backward entry or difficult flying entry, spinning in both directions, changing edge, etc. If you want to get all your spins up to level 4, you'll a variety of different ways of earning levels.

At intermediate level, you're better off choosing only one of those approaches and sticking to it for a couple of years. It's hard to improve quality at the same time that you're adding difficulty.

I understand that the point system is supposed to eliminate subjectivity, however, the way it seems to be working is that we could just put robots out there and count points. Not sure what can be done about it.

Guess we need to get this program to fit the template that gets the points so she can look like all the others...
Originality is supposed to be rewarded in the choreography component. So if you're really doing something that no one else is doing, there are other places to reward it besides in the technical score.

But if you're just combining some of the same kinds of skills that others use but in ways that don't fit the technical panels checklists as well, the judges won't reward it because they're looking at element quality and overall program construction and execution, not keeping track of what levels the spins or steps are.

There's a limited amount of room for creativity and individuality in earning higher levels on those elements, as determined by the technical panel. There's a lot more room for them in the areas that are scored by the judges in the program components. But those areas are also more subjective.

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Not precisely on topic, but...

I greatly enjoy reading your posts, gkelly. You are a tremendous asset to this board.

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You are correct I compared the wrong two spins. She will need to change her flying camel to a death drop to get the points of everyone else. It is hard to get a level 4 in a flying camel. My feeling is that she needs a coach that knows how to "work the system"

What we did was purchase to results from her whole group and the DVD as well. We went home and were quite amazed at what others were doing to get level 4 spins. She can do those spins no problem . Most were a lot easier than what she was doing.

We also noticed that just about every skater did the same spins and jumps and just about in the same order. While we want to get her score up it would be nice if she did not have to skate this same program but she needs to reduce the risk. She can change to more sit spins since it is so so much easier to go eight times around, change an edge, and vary positions than in a camel but you get the same levels.

It seems like you should only have to go 6 times around in a camel for the level. Due to physics it is hard to go 8 times around in a camel but she can easily go 20+ times around in a sit...

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Originally Posted by Sk8tr321
You are correct I compared the wrong two spins. She will need to change her flying camel to a death drop to get the points of everyone else. It is hard to get a level 4 in a flying camel. My feeling is that she needs a coach that knows how to "work the system"

What we did was purchase to results from her whole group and the DVD as well. We went home and were quite amazed at what others were doing to get level 4 spins. She can do those spins no problem . Most were a lot easier than what she was doing.

We also noticed that just about every skater did the same spins and jumps and just about in the same order. While we want to get her score up it would be nice if she did not have to skate this same program but she needs to reduce the risk. She can change to more sit spins since it is so so much easier to go eight times around, change an edge, and vary positions than in a camel but you get the same levels.

It seems like you should only have to go 6 times around in a camel for the level. Due to physics it is hard to go 8 times around in a camel but she can easily go 20+ times around in a sit...
If she can get into a donut position after just one or two revs on her flying camel, that should help speed up the spin and make it easier to hold for 8 revolutions. If she can do the flying camel from "stars" (also known as toe Arabian), then that counts as a difficult entry and brings it from a level 2 to level 3. All of this stuff is available in these documents (see pages 5 & 6 for level features), so you can read it yourself and discuss the various options with her coach:
http://www.usfigureskating.org/Conte...omm%201557.pdf

And don't forget, sometimes a level 3 of one type of spin is worth more than a level 4 of another type of spin, so you'll want to look at the scale of values as well: http://www.usfigureskating.org/conte...809-SP-SOV.pdf

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Actually, a well executed camel spin can go 8+ times around. More than 10, maybe not so much.

Vlaurend and gkelley are both correct - you have to read the rules and play within the parameters to get your points. If your coach is not conversant in IJS, either she/he needs to get there or will be dropped by higher level students; you need to do your own research if you adore this coach or you need to add a second coach who is able to play the point game.

There are also certain bullets that getting credit for is next to impossible such as clear increase of speed. Pick bullets to go after that are clearly defined and are attainable for your skater.

For a good reference for a L4 flying camel, go watch Rachel Flatt's programs.

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Originally Posted by mskater93
Actually, a well executed camel spin can go 8+ times around. More than 10, maybe not so much.
...

For a good reference for a L4 flying camel, go watch Rachel Flatt's programs.
Thanks for all your help everyone.

She can go 8 sometime 9 or 10 times around in a camel but that is hard to do. It is so much easier to do in a sit which is why everyone at her level is doing it.

She really needs perfect is her layback. She can nearly do a pearl up to a Biellman like Caroline Zhang but not consistently (a bit risky). In the rule document there is something confusing. What is SP and what does this mean?

"Biellmann position after layback spin (SP – after 8 revolutions in layback spin)"

We think she needs to do Layback 4 revs, side 4 revs, haircut 3 revs (or pearl, she can almost hold it) up to Biellmann 3 revs. If she gets that smooth would that be level 4?

Thanks

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Originally Posted by Sk8tr321
Thanks for all your help everyone.

In the rule document there is something confusing. What is SP and what does this mean?

"Biellmann position after layback spin (SP – after 8 revolutions in layback spin)"

We think she needs to do Layback 4 revs, side 4 revs, haircut 3 revs (or pearl, she can almost hold it) up to Biellmann 3 revs. If she gets that smooth would that be level 4?

Thanks

SP stands for short program. When a layback is required, the skater must hold the layback( or sideways leaning) position for 8 revolutions before they go up into the Biellmann.

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Originally Posted by uss8
SP stands for short program.
Yes.

When a layback is required, the skater must hold the layback( or sideways leaning) position for 8 revolutions before they go up into the Biellmann.
Actually, that's only true for junior and senior level.

If Sk8tr321 is interested in rules for the US intermediate short program, then the layback and/or sideways position only needs to be held for five revolutions before the skater can get credit for a Biellmann position.

http://www.usfigureskating.org/Conte...ication_54.pdf

We think she needs to do Layback 4 revs, side 4 revs, haircut 3 revs (or pearl, she can almost hold it) up to Biellmann 3 revs. If she gets that smooth would that be level 4?
That's three features: change between back and side positions, difficult variation, Biellmann variation. Three features = level 3. If she can also clearly increase the speed with any of those position changes, that could be a fourth feature for level 4.

It's hard to keep track of all the details since they're not all neatly collected in one place.

The Technical Panel Handbook (this is an ISU document focused on junior and senior levels) is a good resource for what the technical panel takes into account. But then the ISU and USFS put out additional clarifications during the season.

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Ah, but clear increase of speed is near impossible to get called at that level. I would recommend 8 in layback, 3 in side, 3 in haircutter, and 3 in Bielman for a L4

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Originally Posted by mskater93
Ah, but clear increase of speed is near impossible to get called at that level. I would recommend 8 in layback, 3 in side, 3 in haircutter, and 3 in Bielman for a L4
BTW, in order for the haircutter to count, she needs to make sure it is done in a layback position, not with the torso upright. Sounds like that would not be a problem for her.

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And that the foot is no more than a fist difference from the head

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OMG I KNOW!

I hear that they're going to replace 5 of the judges with robots for the Olympics as a cost-cutting measure!

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Just my two cents from a fan perspective, but cookie cutter programs get very boring after a while. I don't want to see six, eight, ten, fifty skaters or teams do the same moves in the same order. I'm not monitoring a test session for god's sake! Isn't this sport supposed to be about creativity and expression? I thought that was supposed to factor in to the score and the making of the program. But that's JMO.

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You have to follow the rules to get your features, though, and there are some that are MUCH easier to achieve than others (which is why you see them repeated in program after program). For example, the difference between a L3 and L4 change combination spin is 0.5 points at base value. When you are talking about a program that achieves on average 25-30 points TES and the gradiation is very minimal between skaters, that 1/2 a point can make a HUGE difference.

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