Ideas for how to rescore figure skating?

lzxnl

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There has been some unrest on the forums regarding what figure skating has become about. While I don't agree that we should curb technical and athletic advances in the sport, I do believe that figure skating should be judged in a more balanced fashion to give more incentive to train other areas of skating too. Possible proposals:

1. More levels for spins/step sequences, and make them actually worth something. 5 points for a change foot combination spin vs 13 points for a 4Lz. Hmm. I wonder what I'm going to work on. Also, I feel spins have stagnated. Increase their base values, or add more levels for more kinds of features. For instance, require more positions, more speed or more rotations for higher levels. Something to set the spinners apart.

Similarly, make it more damaging to miss your levels on the step sequence or spins. Skate Canada, for once, made it more interesting in this category. We could have more levels here too, and make the highest level step sequence worth 6 or 7 BV. Then, you could easily lose 3 or 4 points on a step sequence because levels and GOE.

And the choreo sequence judging is so strange. Skaters get a free +4 points on average compared to how much work they need for other elements. Although I wouldn't mind a second step sequence either.

2. PCS. Right now, you can skate robotically with fairly large disconnect with the music and still score 85% in PCS (applies to both men and women). Putting your heart and soul into a performance might get you to 90. (Jason Brown). Is that fair? PCS should be scored over a wider range so that different varieties of skaters can all compete. AND, although this won't be implemented, please have a separate judging panel for this. Set the scale so that a 70/100 PCS in junior men means something different to 70/100 in senior men, so that you're not constrained to fitting in the entire spectrum of skaters on a single scale.

What does everyone else think? Please refrain from discussing things like body types and age limits here. My focus is on the judging itself and encouraging other forms of figure skating skill, not excluding certain skaters. It's more constructive to create a system where skaters with diverse skills can all compete with each other.
 

cake

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I agree about raising points for spins and steps (increase base value). Not many skaters can do quads, but also not many skaters can do great spins and step sequences. Also something should be done about GOE calculation. The way it is done now, the amount of GOE a skater can earn even on mediocre quads is insane. But even on the best spins a skater can barely earn one point in GOE. So even if judges want to reward great spins and steps, the GOE is limited. So maybe we should think about giving a fixed amount of GOE regardless on which element it was earned.
 

Mishaminion

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PCS will never really change, even if it was "overhauled" it would be open to exactly the same flaws as it is now and as it was under the 6.0 system.
Because it's largely subjective, it isn't the same as the set values TES has.
 

NaVi

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This is a comment for another thread but now I think it's more apt here.

Fiddling with the PCS multiplier is not going to work. Better PCS judging processes/guidelines is not going to work(though I support reforming the categories). Giving out "artistic" rewards is not going to work. More points for spins/steps would only nibble at the issue and frankly I wish both(or at least spins) were judged strictly on GOE. The only thing that will work is to create two figure skating standards... one for men without quads/women without 3A or quad and then an uncapped standard. Trying to equalized or balance between the two is a fool's errand.
 

YuBluByMe

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What if level four spins and step sequences were double the amount of their current base value and 50% of the BV is lost with each level lost? So level 3 spins will be what is now LV4 and Level 2 will be half of that. For example, a LV2 CCoSP4 will be 1.75 points and a LV1 will 0.88 points. An example of the new scoring system:

CCoSP4/FCCoSP4: 7
CCSp4: 6
FCSp4: 6.40. A perfect spin gets 9.60 points.
LSp4: 5.40. 8.10 for a perfect layback.
StSq4: 7.80. The perfect step sequence will be 11.70 points. That’s more than a 4Lz at base value.

PCS is currently scaled on a 7-10 scale, not 1-10. 8 and above is outstanding. 6 & 7 is above average. 5 is average. Anything below 5 is poor. I really don’t know what can improve the PCS scoring since judges will just push whatever button regardless of what’s actually put on the ice and regardless of any rule change. Short of capping PCS further or a buzzer, preferably loud enough to wake up Elvis, should sound every time a judge is out of line.

And yes, I suggested all of this (well, not the buzzer) directly to the ISU last year. I’m going to keep trying.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

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I would only extend ladies' pcs to 50/100 same as men. Now we have the tech limit in ladies of 100 - if it is matched by pcs limit of 100 we shall have balanced scores.

I am not excited about proposals in OP. But no matter what changes are made the judging should be as transparent as possible and tech/judges should be accountable for their work. And all the changes should increase tranparency and accountability.

The biggest potential threat to objectivity stays not with the judges. There are 9 of them from different countries. This together with discarded highest and lowest scores reduce biases. But also those whose scores have big deviation from the mean can be punished. And this is also an important factor.

I don't see the same situation with the tech panel. To whom are they accountable? Is there a committee who discuss their decisions after competition and punish them if they decide that decisions were wrong? I have not heard of it.

My "favorite" competition this season: Skate America. The composition of tech panel in ladies:

Laimute KRAUZIENE Lithuania
Kerstin KIMMINUS Germany
Gilberto VIADANA USA
Myriam LORIOL-OBERWILER Switzerland

For me this panel looks very imbalanced. And I did not agree with some of their decisions. Therefore, I would be against giving panels like that more leeway in setting the levels. Especially with step sequence. At Skate Canada Sasha lost almost 4 points on steps in 2 programs to both Rika and Zhenya. That's the value of a well-executed double axel. But unlike jumps where we at least can do slo-mos, jump-a-matrons, etc. to discuss edge and UR calls, here we are at full mercy of those tech people. Giving them even more power, increasing the weight of steps? I am totally against that unless it comes with accountability to public: the statement after each performance why the levels were reduced for us to decide if it was a valid reason and to compare with those who received the maximum level. We need less subjectivity in figure skating - not more.
 

Pantsu

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I'm so pressed. My faves can't win. Therefore ISU should change the rules
 

cake

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This is a comment for another thread but now I think it's more apt here.

Fiddling with the PCS multiplier is not going to work. Better PCS judging processes/guidelines is not going to work(though I support reforming the categories). Giving out "artistic" rewards is not going to work. More points for spins/steps would only nibble at the issue and frankly I wish both(or at least spins) were judged strictly on GOE.

May I ask why you want spins/steps to be judged strictly in GOE? Do you want them to be judged more strictly than jumps or am I missunderstanding?
 

shyne

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Instead of changing the rules, why not enforce them correctly and make sure all skaters are judged fairly?
b/c that's not the case here.
 

TontoK

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I'm not necessarily a proponent of changing the rules.

I do think the rulebook should be applied differently.

This weekend I watched a skater in a flying camel spin. The spin was wobbly, transitions between positions noticeably labored, and it traveled quite a bit.

That spin was marked L4 with a generous GOE. It didn't make sense at the time, and it doesn't now.

If the goal is to make such nonsense have an even greater scoring impact, then count me out.

Here's an experiment for you: The next time a favorite makes a significant error at the top of the program, watch the Levels and GOE for the remainder. I think there is often some gamesmanship.
 

NaVi

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May I ask why you want spins/steps to be judged strictly in GOE? Do you want them to be judged more strictly than jumps or am I missunderstanding?

My issue with spins is that they've become very rote and unmusical. They force the skater to just sit stationary for too long which I don't think audiences like. TBH, in my ideal world spins as a whole would be judged collectively and spins functioned more as little music visualizations that could be broken up in more variations than 3 individual spins.
 

lzxnl

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I would only extend ladies' pcs to 50/100 same as men. Now we have the tech limit in ladies of 100 - if it is matched by pcs limit of 100 we shall have balanced scores.

I am not excited about proposals in OP. But no matter what changes are made the judging should be as transparent as possible and tech/judges should be accountable for their work. And all the changes should increase tranparency and accountability.

The biggest potential threat to objectivity stays not with the judges. There are 9 of them from different countries. This together with discarded highest and lowest scores reduce biases. But also those whose scores have big deviation from the mean can be punished. And this is also an important factor.

I don't see the same situation with the tech panel. To whom are they accountable? Is there a committee who discuss their decisions after competition and punish them if they decide that decisions were wrong? I have not heard of it.

My "favorite" competition this season: Skate America. The composition of tech panel in ladies:

Laimute KRAUZIENE Lithuania
Kerstin KIMMINUS Germany
Gilberto VIADANA USA
Myriam LORIOL-OBERWILER Switzerland

For me this panel looks very imbalanced. And I did not agree with some of their decisions. Therefore, I would be against giving panels like that more leeway in setting the levels. Especially with step sequence. At Skate Canada Sasha lost almost 4 points on steps in 2 programs to both Rika and Zhenya. That's the value of a well-executed double axel. But unlike jumps where we at least can do slo-mos, jump-a-matrons, etc. to discuss edge and UR calls, here we are at full mercy of those tech people. Giving them even more power, increasing the weight of steps? I am totally against that unless it comes with accountability to public: the statement after each performance why the levels were reduced for us to decide if it was a valid reason and to compare with those who received the maximum level. We need less subjectivity in figure skating - not more.

Do you want to remove judging anonymity? I'm for that too. However, what about my proposals are you not excited about? Please share your thoughts.

I agree on accountability for tech panels too. There should be a post-mortem done on a random selection of programs in each discipline to ensure that the judging was actually performed fairly. This would also give the 'morticians' more time to look at each element and apply guidelines properly.

What if level four spins and step sequences were double the amount of their current base value and 50% of the BV is lost with each level lost? So level 3 spins will be what is now LV4 and Level 2 will be half of that. For example, a LV2 CCoSP4 will be 1.75 points and a LV1 will 0.88 points. An example of the new scoring system:

CCoSP4/FCCoSP4: 7
CCSp4: 6
FCSp4: 6.40. A perfect spin gets 9.60 points.
LSp4: 5.40. 8.10 for a perfect layback.
StSq4: 7.80. The perfect step sequence will be 11.70 points. That’s more than a 4Lz at base value.

PCS is currently scaled on a 7-10 scale, not 1-10. 8 and above is outstanding. 6 & 7 is above average. 5 is average. Anything below 5 is poor. I really don’t know what can improve the PCS scoring since judges will just push whatever button regardless of what’s actually put on the ice and regardless of any rule change. Short of capping PCS further or a buzzer, preferably loud enough to wake up Elvis, should sound every time a judge is out of line.

And yes, I suggested all of this (well, not the buzzer) directly to the ISU last year. I’m going to keep trying.

I agree with the concept, but there are a few considerations here. Firstly, if you make the gap between level 3 and level 4 too great, that is a little too punishing. Secondly, if you try to compensate by increasing the separations between the lower levels to make the gradations somewhat uniform, the base values at lower level competitions might be quite imbalanced. This was one reason behind having more levels, but I agree that the highest level step sequence/spins should probably be closer to the values you suggest.

This is a comment for another thread but now I think it's more apt here.

Fiddling with the PCS multiplier is not going to work. Better PCS judging processes/guidelines is not going to work(though I support reforming the categories). Giving out "artistic" rewards is not going to work. More points for spins/steps would only nibble at the issue and frankly I wish both(or at least spins) were judged strictly on GOE. The only thing that will work is to create two figure skating standards... one for men without quads/women without 3A or quad and then an uncapped standard. Trying to equalized or balance between the two is a fool's errand.

My point about PCS was to fully utilise whatever existing scale they have. Women right now are essentially judged from 50-75 in the long. That's a terribly narrow range. I was suggesting we find a way to make more use of the numbers we DO have available to us. Give out more 3s and 4s out of 10, for instance.

I'm so pressed. My faves can't win. Therefore ISU should change the rules

My favourites are Yuzuru and Rika. Under the current rules, both of them can indeed win (Rika was never going to win without a 3Lz under Sasha really bombed, Rika and Sasha both going fully clean are about equal). Your argument is invalid. I'm talking about how all the other elements are worthless in comparison to jumps. As much as I love Yuzuru's programs, the fact that his 4T-Eu-3F was worth more points than all of his spins put together says something about how 'balanced' figure skating programs are right now when it comes to scoring. Figure skating is supposed to be jumps, spins and footwork. Spins and footwork aren't worth a third as much as the jumps right now.
 

ancientpeas

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I would like to be the sole arbitrator of what is and is not the appropriate PCS marks for every skater. I'm sure you will all be very happy with each and everyone one of my decisions.

But seriously..

My number one issue is that I do think the step sequences are under valued. They take up a lot of time and energy for the skater but they do not receive many marks. I'd like to see them get more marks. I love a good step sequence and honestly so do the audiences (more so than spins it seems).

Also a skater can have great skating skills and be a cruddy performer and interrupter of music and visa versa. Often the marks don't reflect that.
 
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cake

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I'm not necessarily a proponent of changing the rules.

I do think the rulebook should be applied differently.

This weekend I watched a skater in a flying camel spin. The spin was wobbly, transitions between positions noticeably labored, and it traveled quite a bit.

That spin was marked L4 with a generous GOE. It didn't make sense at the time, and it doesn't now.

If the goal is to make such nonsense have an even greater scoring impact, then count me out.

Here's an experiment for you: The next time a favorite makes a significant error at the top of the program, watch the Levels and GOE for the remainder. I think there is often some gamesmanship.

I agree the judging is often flawed and spin levels are often given out generously (same goes for jumps especially for skaters with "great names"). Still I think really great spins should have more "earning power".
 

koatcue

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Also, I don't remember people rioting about Yulia's underscored spins if comparing to others. There was no outcry then as a desire to rescore great spins and make them count more, especially comparing to other elements. I find it lame when people want their favourites to win that badly and no matter what. It's easier to make some other rule really than to try to besten yourself
 

samkrut@mail.ru

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Do you want to remove judging anonymity? I'm for that too. However, what about my proposals are you not excited about? Please share your thoughts.

Sorry, I did not understand. What anonymity are you talking about? Judges are not anonymous since a couple of years now. As for your proposals I am particularly against: "More levels for spins/step sequences, and make them actually worth something".

I could agree with spins. There is Yulia's layback spin and there is Sasha's layback spin. Both got level 4. But Yulia's Bielman was a masterpiece and Sasha is just average. Can you accomodate this in levels rather than GOE? I don't know. May be it makes sense to introduce level 5 for unique spins or superbly executed spins because I do not always agree with level 4 on spins.

I am totally against step sequence level and weight increase. And the reasons I explained in the previous post.
 

ancientpeas

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Also, I don't remember people rioting about Yulia's underscored spins if comparing to others. There was no outcry then as a desire to rescore great spins and make them count more, especially comparing to other elements. I find it lame when people want their favourites to win that badly and no matter what. It's easier to make some other rule really than to try to besten yourself

I think it was less about Yulia's underscored spins but that other spins were overscored. When you could only go up to 3 it was more difficult to distinguish. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone like Yulia's spins weren't part of the reasoning behind the plus 5 GOE. But judges can get a bit nutty sometimes and just get carried away and give a plus 3 to something that should only be, in my opinion, a 1 or 2.
 

TontoK

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I agree the judging is often flawed and spin levels are often given out generously (same goes for jumps especially for skaters with "great names"). Still I think really great spins should have more "earning power".

To illustrate your point, I want to pick out a skater that I don't dislike, but I'm also not a mega-fan of. Bradie Tennell.

I think her artistic ability is improving, but she's not one of the all-time greats, and her components are scored fairly accurately, IMO.

But I think her spins are wonderful. Fast and well-centered. Good crisp positions. Interesting variations. Musically appropriate.

They are scored about the same as a typical skater in her "scoring range." This is not right.
 
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