Multiplicative PCS scoring?

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
Yes. If you have GOES and also a PCS multiplier it seems like that's double dipping on the quality side.

On the other hand, it would force skaters to pay especial attention both to the quality of each element and to the the overall quality of the program, rather than just piling on the tech willi-nilli.

I think that this is the motive behind the ISU's continuing struggle to define what the Short Program is supposed to do. Rules like "Ladies cannot include a quad, but instead are judged by the quality of their triple jumps" speaks to this question, but is heavy-handed. Maybe a subtle change in the scoring rules would accomplish the goal without the need for arbitrary rules that are hard to explain or justify.

It might even mitigate the rancor of the debate about age limits.

Actually, though, it is trickier that that. GOEs are about quality but also about objective technical features like height of jumps. PCS include SS and TR which lean more toward the quantitative side, but even the qualities that go into Performance, Composition and Interpretation have quantifiable aspects. As unfashionable as it might be to say so, I am actually pretty well satisfied with the current scoring method and I think that the ISU has done quite a good job of juggling the myriad aspects of the sport.

Thanks for explaining so clearly. I think too that the ISU has a decent system on hand - it's the way it's used that I'm often left confused by and why I keep saying "maybe it's best if we went back to ranking" (again, partly since fewer numbers than now). But of course even that is susceptible to corruption, much like now, and much like this method probably will be. I guess the system isn't really the problem, because suppose Trusova WEREN'T getting 100 TES and 68 PCS for what she delivered...?
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
I think that this is the motive behind the ISU's continuing struggle to define what the Short Program is supposed to do. Rules like "Ladies cannot include a quad, but instead are judged by the quality of their triple jumps" speaks to this question, but is heavy-handed.

Well, that's not really what the rule says.

There are rules for what required elements are required or permitted in the short program for each discipline. The men's SP currently allows 2 quads. The ladies' SP currently allows none. But the minimum requirements are the same.

In all disciplines the quality of the elements (GOEs) are important.

In practice, the high value of elements such as quads may de facto mean that just getting them done at all earns more points than doing lower value elements well. But that varies for the men's SP from year to year depending on how the Scale of Values is set up in terms of both base values and negative and positive GOE values, and also in terms of how many skaters at the top and almost-top levels are including multiple and difficult quads, vs. skaters who are maximizing points without quads (e.g., Jason Brown at 2019 Worlds).

Maybe a subtle change in the scoring rules would accomplish the goal without the need for arbitrary rules that are hard to explain or justify.

The simplest way to increase the value of PCS relative to base values would be to increase the PCS factors.

If top ladies are including jump content including quads comparable to almost-top men, then giving ladies the same multipliers as the men would make the two disciplines equivalent in emphasis.

If women are consistently doing lower jump content then the men, for any given percentile of jumping ability within their respective disciplines, then giving women the same multipliers as the men would make PCS comparatively more important in the ladies' than in the men's discipline.

For both disciplines, jump content has increased significantly in the past 15 years, but PCS multipliers have not changed. If the goal is for approximately equal numbers of points to be available for PCS as for TES, then raising the multipliers for both disciplines would achieve that.


PCS include SS and TR which lean more toward the quantitative side,

They're not really quantitative, at least not as they are currently evaluated. When we start measuring speed and jump height/distance, and maybe other aspects of skating skills such as edge depth or ice coverage, with instruments rather than the human eye and incorporating those measurements directly into the scoring, that would make Skating Skills quantitative.
If we start counting the numbers of difficult turns and clockwise vs. counterclockwise turns throughout the program similar to what's done in step sequences, counting the numbers of difficult field moves or whole body movements, or direct connections between elements, etc., and incorporating those counts directly into the scores, then that would make both the Skating Skills and Transitions components more quantitative.

As long as evaluation of those components is done by human perception and human decisions about how to weight 4 or 6 different bullet points in the same component against each other, as long as the word "quality" appears in the guidelines for both and "quantity" in neither, I'd say those components remain qualitative rather than quantitative.

However, I would say they are primarily technical components, as opposed to the more "artistic" components of Performance, Composition, and Interpretation.

As unfashionable as it might be to say so, I am actually pretty well satisfied with the current scoring method and I think that the ISU has done quite a good job of juggling the myriad aspects of the sport.

A skating program is an extremely complex object to evaluate. Any set of rules/guidelines will inevitably do a better job of capturing some of the aspects and a less good job capturing others. There can always be tweaks and readjustments. There are certainly some specifics I'd want to tweak here or there, but I agree that in general the system as it currently exists does a reasonably good job of capturing most of what it needs to.

Thanks for explaining so clearly. I think too that the ISU has a decent system on hand - it's the way it's used that I'm often left confused by and why I keep saying "maybe it's best if we went back to ranking" (again, partly since fewer numbers than now). But of course even that is susceptible to corruption, much like now, and much like this method probably will be. I guess the system isn't really the problem, because suppose Trusova WEREN'T getting 100 TES and 68 PCS for what she delivered...?

As always, it's best to identify first what the problem is to be solved, and then to propose a solution that would address that specific problem without unintended negative effects elsewhere in the system.

If one particular skater is the "problem" then be careful about how the proposed solution would affect the rest of the field as well.
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
If one particular skater is the "problem" then be careful about how the proposed solution would affect the rest of the field as well.
One skater - or any skater - is not the problem. It's the way the judging goes that is the problem. I guess I don't see a way for it to be fixed though. Judging by reputation and popularity - that's true for most art, which is after all a part of skating.
 

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
One skater - or any skater - is not the problem. It's the way the judging goes that is the problem. I guess I don't see a way for it to be fixed though. Judging by reputation and popularity - that's true for most art, which is after all a part of skating.

We can't say judges are always going for reputation and popularity, even less in COP system of judging. If they were, then youngsters/first time seniors and skaters from Kazakhstan would never win a medal.
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
We can't say judges are always going for reputation and popularity, even less in COP system of judging. If they were, then youngsters/first time seniors and skaters from Kazakhstan would never win a medal.

Happily, I didn't say that judges always go on reputation and popularity, then.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
We can't say judges are always going for reputation and popularity, even less in COP system of judging. If they were, then youngsters/first time seniors and skaters from Kazakhstan would never win a medal.

I am reminded of Philippe Candeloro's famous quote: "Of course we make deals with other federations. If we didn't, France would never win a medal."

Or Tatiana Tarassova, who said about the ladies event at the 1998 Olympics: "Why didn't frank Carroll just slip us a bottle of vodka. What did we care which American girl won?" :)
 

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
I am reminded of Philippe Candeloro's famous quote: "Of course we make deals with other federations. If we didn't, France would never win a medal."

Or Tatiana Tarassova, who said about the ladies event at the 1998 Olympics: "Why didn't frank Carroll just slip us a bottle of vodka. What did we care which American girl won?" :)
To me, this is more about an Ego, than a real 'judges' deal :biggrin:
 

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
I am sure she was joking.

Which doesn't change the fact that skaters are there who are judged and not their coaches and federations (or TV networks). But it's fine to present themselves like they are having a lot more to do with it, even with a joke....
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Well, that's not really what the rule says.

There are rules for what required elements are required or permitted in the short program for each discipline. The men's SP currently allows 2 quads. The ladies' SP currently allows none. But the minimum requirements are the same.

Still, it is the bolded part that is currently the lightning rod for discussion and dispute. There is no controversy about the requirement of 3 spins, etc.

They're not really quantitative, at least not as they are currently evaluated. When we start measuring speed and jump height/distance, and maybe other aspects of skating skills such as edge depth or ice coverage, with instruments rather than the human eye and incorporating those measurements directly into the scoring, that would make Skating Skills quantitative.

There are a lot of things that I would regard as quantitive in principle and potentially measurable. School figures, for instance, could be quantified by some kind of instrument that would measure the geometric perfection of the circles.

On the other side of the equation, to me, are things that cannot be objectively measured even in principle. The timing of a jump to the structure of the music, for instance. To one judge the jump might seem perfectly in support of the musical phrasing, while to another it might strike a discordant note.

As always, it's best to identify first what the problem is to be solved,...The simplest way to increase the value of PCS relative to base values would be to increase the PCS.

This is certainly the case. If you want the PCS to be higher, just make them higher. (We would still want to be careful, though, about the effect for all skaters, not just those at the world championship level.)

However, to me this multiplying proposal goes beyond the question of the relative balance between TES and PCS. I think that some sage figure skating philosopher could raise the issue, what is the value of technical virtuosity if there is no music. Maurice Revel criticized his most famous work, Bolero, on these grounds: "My masterpiece?Boléro? What next! Sadly, there is no music in it."

By the same token one can raise the question, "A series of jumos? Sadly, there is no skating in it."

Or in the words of Duke Ellington, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing (doo-wah doo-wah doo-wah doo-wah)."

The effect of the multiplying method is savagely to reduce the tech total if the skater is unable to make a satisfactory program out of the elements, however awesome they may be in their own right. To me, this is an interesting thought. (But then again, it is a sport. :) )
 
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Mooooo24

Spectator
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Ok this proposal is a disaster waiting to happen and would give high tech girls a massive advantage:

Quad teeny bopper with 7.5 PCS

100 TES × 0.75 = 75 points for PCS

Normal skater with 7.6 PCS

75 TES × 0.75 = 56.25 for PCS

So the second skater would get nearly 20 points lower for PCS despite being given the exact same marks for the components. Totally insane!!!!!!
 

Skatesocs

Final Flight
Joined
May 16, 2020
Ok this proposal is a disaster waiting to happen and would give high tech girls a massive advantage:

Quad teeny bopper with 7.5 PCS

100 TES × 0.75 = 75 points for PCS

Normal skater with 7.6 PCS

75 TES × 0.75 = 56.25 for PCS

So the second skater would get nearly 20 points lower for PCS despite being given the exact same marks for the components. Totally insane!!!!!!

? That's already going to happen with those numbers, isn't it?

In the ladies field, the first would add up to 160, the second to 135.80. It decreases the gap slightly, in fact.

Oh I see what your mistake is: the product isn't the new PCS, it's the TSS.
 

Sam-Skwantch

“I solemnly swear I’m up to no good”
Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
Did the OP really just one post and chill on us? I think I’ve read this thread three times now and haven’t seen them weigh on the discussion since the first post. :scratch:
 

snowflake

I enjoy what I like
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Did the OP really just one post and chill on us? I think I’ve read this thread three times now and haven’t seen them weigh on the discussion since the first post. :scratch:

lzxnl 'loved to hear people’s comments' and will hopefully say ’thank you you for your input’ in the end :biggrin:
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Did the OP really just one post and chill on us? I think I’ve read this thread three times now and haven’t seen them weigh on the discussion since the first post. :scratch:

I think the OP is not especially advocating for or against the proposal, just throwing it out there for discussion.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Ok this proposal is a disaster waiting to happen and would give high tech girls a massive advantage:

Quad teeny bopper with 7.5 PCS

100 TES × 0.75 = 75 points for PCS

Normal skater with 7.6 PCS

75 TES × 0.75 = 56.25 for PCS

So the second skater would get nearly 20 points lower for PCS despite being given the exact same marks for the components. Totally insane!!!!!!

I do not understand the objection. Under the current method the first skater is ahead of the second skater by 25 points.

With the multiplication procedure the first skater is ahead by 18,75 points. No matter what system is used, the skater with 100 TES has an overwhelming advantage when the PCS are similar.
 

Skate88

Spectator
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Before my comment, I would suggest that if it is possible to find, anyone who wants to know what a spectacular single revolution jump looks like check out Robin Cousins. He did a DELAYED SINGLE AXEL that took your breath away. He travelled on the order of 19 feet horizontally and got tremendous height and appeared to float in the air. No one does this anymore. Yet it was one of the single most beautiful moves in skating and was difficult in a different way from multiple revolutions.
I have mostly lost interest after over 50 years of watching skating due to the absurd emphasis on the GYMNASTIC ability to rotate airborne. This is NOT skating. Rotating airborne is not a skating skill and furthermore it drastically favors a gymnastic body type over others. I like the jumps and have nothing against them but they should not ever outscore the ability to skate and all that entails. Watching young overly underweight girls win medals due to rotating off the ice 4 times ruins the sport for me. While I detested the 6.0 scoring system, and very much like the point system where value is given to all the many aspects of skating, I believe there is a fundamental flaw in the system in that it drastically over rates a gymnastic ability over all other skating skills. When I occasionally talk skating with friends who are not year round fans, the universal response bar none is - "it's all jumping " and a lack of interest. Jump combinations with difficult entries and exits and even more than 3 in a row - yet none a quad - would be incredible. I do not understand why skating has basically become entirely dependent on the ability to jump. Two other examples come to mind - the "skaters skaters", Janet Lynn, or Yuka Sato - They jumped beautifully but they were mesmerizing because of their fundamental edging and skating quality. I would watch them any day over the rotating phenoms with dog leg laybacks and lack of attention to fundamental things due to the scoring system forcing them to emphasize jumps over everything else. I fear things will not change because half the powers in skating push for more rotations as being the most important thing. Winning above all, even good skating.
 

Mooooo24

Spectator
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
No under the current system:
Quad teeny bopper (with 7.5s) = 100 + 75 = 175 total
Normal skater (with 7.5s) = 75 + 75 = 150 total
So quad teeny bopper wins by 25 points.

Under this insane multiplication system:
Quad teeny bopper 100 + {100×0.75=} 75 = 175 total
Normal skater 75 + {75×0.75=} 56.25 = 131.25 total

So in the multiplication system the teeny bopper wins by 43.75 points compared to winning by 25 points in the current system.

My point, which you seemingly missed, is that under the multiplication system two skaters could both get all 7.5s and yet get completely different PCS scores which is insane. In this example both skaters got 7.5s and yet one gets a PCS of 75 and the other gets a PCS of 56.25!
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
No under the current system:

Quad teeny bopper (with 7.5s) = 100 + 75 = 175 total
Normal skater (with 7.5s) = 75 + 75 = 150 total
So quad teeny bopper wins by 25 points.

Under this insane multiplication system:
Quad teeny bopper 100 + {100×0.75=} 75 = 175 total
Normal skater 75 + {75×0.75=} 56.25 = 131.25 total

I think that in the multiplication proposal under discussion there is no adding at all, just a total segment score.

Quad teeny bopper 100x0.75 = 75 total.
Normal skater = 75x.75 = 56.25 total

Don't add on the TES -- it has already been accounted for in the calculation. It would be, as you point out, quite wrong to include the TES twice, once at 100% and then again at 75%.

So in the multiplication system the teeny bopper wins by 43.75 points compared to winning by 25 points in the current system.

In the multiplying system the teeny bopper wins by 18.75 points, compared to 25 points by the current (adding) method. In other words, the teeny bopper still wins but the margin of victory has been nreduced by a factor of 75%.

The point of the multiplication proposal is not to increase the effect of high TES, but to decrease it in the case where the skater does an impressive series of jumps but does not weave them together ito make a satisfying program out of them.
 
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