Should the ISU Senior Grand Prix Go Virtual (and be announced NOW)?

karne

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It doesn't need to be live-streamed. You can start the video with a shot of the skater holding up a phone/labtop that displays the official world clock time (maybe even through a specific link on the ISU website for further foolproofing), and then keep that phone/labtop in frame of the camera to verify the skater's performance is taking place at the set time they have chosen to compete.

Oh, because there's no way that could be manipulated at all. :rolleye:



Again, you give each a competitor a set time that works for them, where they must compete and verifiably record their performance. After all of the competitors have done this and the performances have been sent to the ISU, then a time is set for judges to do their work.

Except I'm yet to hear of a secure, trustworthy way to "verify" that the skater a) only recorded once and b) skated at the time required, without live streaming.

Judges are normally traveling outside of their timezone and have to be "up at 3am" in another location from what they are used to, so it shouldn't be too hard for judges to arrange their schedule to judge an event from the comfort of their own home. Possibly the judging times could be staggered too though, it's not like their marks would be public until all of the scores are set, the judges themselves could be known only by the ISU as well, until the date of broadcast.

Judges travel to the timezone a few days in advance to adjust to the timezone (and attend practices). Judges are also volunteers and many have full-time jobs. Leave could be hard to come by for a lot of them.
 

itoja

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Why are people making this sound harder than it is. You just give the skaters an exact time they must perform and live record their performance at that time. Then the performances are submitted to a judging panel and the competition in full is broadcast online.

Also, LOL, what excuses will judges have now for their bad judging, since they are watching the performances the same as everyone else and won't even have the excuse of "well, from my perspective where I was sitting..." Yes, we definitely need virtual competitions to happen.

This. Thousand times this.

Judges travel to the timezone a few days in advance to adjust to the timezone (and attend practices). Judges are also volunteers and many have full-time jobs. Leave could be hard to come by for a lot of them.

:confused: Really? So they have no problems to take off a few days from their full-time jobs to go to the other hemisphere for their voluntary job, but it's impossible for them to sit before their computers at their own homes at, let's say 3 am?

Sorry, but to quote "someone" from the previous page:
... this comment is just plain stupid.
 

TallyT

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It doesn't need to be live-streamed. You can start the video with a shot of the skater holding up a phone/labtop that displays the official world clock time (maybe even through a specific link on the ISU website for further foolproofing), and then keep that phone/labtop in frame of the camera to verify the skater's performance is taking place at the set time they have chosen to compete.

Err, my thirteen-year-old great-nephew could get round that five times inbetween computer games.

Try harder. The ISU are responsible for running above-board (well, seemingly above board) and equitable competitions. They have to bear the work and expense of doing so.
 

karne

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:confused: Really? So they have no problems to take off a few days from their full-time jobs to go to the other hemisphere for their voluntary job, but it's impossible for them to sit before their computers at their own homes at, let's say 3 am?

Gosh, it's almost like there might have been some seismic shift in the world this year, that might make it more difficult to get leave!

And no, no judge should be expected to be judging at 3am. Why the hell should they?
 

Mathman

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I think this is a very promising idea. I believe that it will take several years for the sports and entertainment world to get back to normal after this virus thing is licked. Figure skating can get out in front of the curve. You can't have a virtual football game or tennis match. But skating, why not?

Skaters can do their individual things without other skaters sharing on the same ice and without a live audience. Our sport seems like it is made for this.
 

Blades of Passion

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Err, my thirteen-year-old great-nephew could get round that five times inbetween computer games.

How? It would require a big amount of visual effects work to completely and accurately fake an entire computer sitting in the frame of a continuous shot, logged into a water-marked website. How would a skater, or anyone for that matter, have time to come anywhere close to pulling off that level of deception? They would need to log into the website at the stated time of performance, clearly show themself next to the verification screen and in the camera's view for the entire duration of the video, promptly get on the ice to give their performance, and then upload the footage immediately after they are done performing. Where is the possible exploit?

Except I'm yet to hear of a secure, trustworthy way to "verify" that the skater a) only recorded once and b) skated at the time required, without live streaming.

Hmm, it seems you just don't want to hear one, for whatever reason.
 

eaglehelang

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We don't ask skaters to use the same brand/color of boots or blades or clothing.

Stadium environment is quite irrelevant in this setting (there would be no audiences and it could be mandated to use the same size ice surface), and ice is ice. This is actually another thing that's MORE fair, because who gets to decide what the ice temperature will be at a competition? I've heard of competitors going up to the rink manager and telling them to change the temperature to their own liking, and the rink manager can listen to whichever competitor they want. Why should some skaters have an advantage of getting to compete at an ice temperature they like more, while others don't get to.
<facepalm> Stadium conditions means the Temperature inside the stadium overall, quality of audio for skaters to hear their music.
If the stadium is hot, every competitor have to deal with it. If the music has echo(caused by stadium acoustics) every competitor has to deal with it. If the music is off halfway then come on again 10 to 15 seconds later, every competitor has to deal with it.

In other sports, even how strong is aircond wind blowing & direction of the wind effects a match, indoor match.

It's very inconsistent for skaters to compete in a different ice rinks with different ice conditions. If they skate at their home rink, of course its the best ice for them. A standard ice condition is every skater/pair need to skate through the same puddle of water on the ice, the same soft/hard ice that's prepared by the organisers.
In recent times, there have been comments on soft ice, ice conditions not conducive for edge jumps.

As far as I'm concerned, figure skating is to be conducted as a sport 1st, a sport 2nd, a sport 3rd. And that it should conduct its competitons by the standards expected of an Olympic sport.
In this aspect Winter sports still lags behind Summer sports.
 

eaglehelang

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It is telling that most in the thread cannot think of skating as an Olympic sport. But I guess when a lot of participants are diva artistes~, the culprit is the IOC.
I am very surprised that GS forumers would even think of suggesting a virtual competition. LOL.
Another 1st that does not happen with the other Olympic sports I follow. And they are having their Olympics in 2021, where Olympics qualifications is now.

I'm left wondering whether these other FS fans follow any other sports.
 

mrrice

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I see several problems with Virtual Events. First of all, where would you hold them? If they are held in various locations, how could they possibly be judged fairly. Most of us have been to a live event and know that there is no comparison between video and live performances.

At least here in Ca. all indoor public events have been cancelled. They have even cancelled football and soccer. The Rose Parade has been cancelled and that's purely outdoor event that was scheduled for New Years Day. Jan 1

I think it will be difficult for the ISU to get sponsors for an audience free event which means Judges would have to work for free. Not to mention the camera crews and commentators.
 

Supernovaimplosion

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I think the only way they could do it is like a school test, where skaters are assigned a time to skate that's appropriate to their timezone, and their performance is live so they can only do it once. Then after all the skaters have performed, the judges get together at the best time they can to score all the performances.
Theres still a lot of issues and no more live performances. Personally I don't think it's worth the effort.
 

eaglehelang

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I think this is a very promising idea. I believe that it will take several years for the sports and entertainment world to get back to normal after this virus thing is licked. Figure skating can get out in front of the curve. You can't have a virtual football game or tennis match. But skating, why not?

Skaters can do their individual things without other skaters sharing on the same ice and without a live audience. Our sport seems like it is made for this.

Sports that do not compete with opponent opposite them do not do this.

Gymnastics - Athletes must compete on the same exact appratus, same exact floor mat. If the the floor exercise mat is springy(this has happened multiple times) every competitor has to deal with it. Springy mats have caused gymnasts to go out of bounds, losing points.
If the vault is adjusted too high or too low or not sufficient mats, every gymnast had to deal with it. Case in point : Year 2000 Olympics.
For the men, if the adjustment for that particular pommel horse, parallel bars, rings are a problem, everyone has to deal with it.

Diving : Divers must compete on the same exact diving board, same exact swimming pool. How springy is the diving board effects the 3 meter dive. Wind conditions effect the 10 meter platform, hence they are concerned whether its indoor or outdoor pool pool.
Condition of water in the pool effects all divers. The cleanliness of the water was a concern in 2016 Rio Olympics.

Same goes with Rhythmic gymnastics and syncro swimming. Everyone has to deal with the same exact floor mat, the same exact pool temperature and conditions.
This havent take into account the overall temperature at the stadium. And for some sports, lighting is also important.
 

Ladskater

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I think this is a very promising idea. I believe that it will take several years for the sports and entertainment world to get back to normal after this virus thing is licked. Figure skating can get out in front of the curve. You can't have a virtual football game or tennis match. But skating, why not?

Skaters can do their individual things without other skaters sharing on the same ice and without a live audience. Our sport seems like it is made for this.

I agree Mathman. When you think about how individual figures were traced on Patch sessions, it seems logical. I think this would work!
 

karne

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I agree Mathman. When you think about how individual figures were traced on Patch sessions, it seems logical. I think this would work!

Ah yes, figures that, for competition purposes, were then judged by the judges standing on the ice. Some even getting down on hands and knees to examine them!
 

Mathman

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I see several problems with Virtual Events. First of all, where would you hold them? If they are held in various locations, how could they possibly be judged fairly. Most of us have been to a live event and know that there is no comparison between video and live performances.

At least here in Ca. all indoor public events have been cancelled. They have even cancelled football and soccer. The Rose Parade has been cancelled and that's purely outdoor event that was scheduled for New Years Day. Jan 1

I think that's the point. The alternative to some kind of virtual event is to cancel figure skating altogether.

Sports that do not compete with opponent opposite them do not do this.

True, they don't. They just cancel competitions altogether.

There are many problems with virtual events. That is why we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work to address them. We do not need to throw up our hands in despair. I don't think we should wait and say, we will not hold competitions until the world becomes a perfect place.

It would be better, yes, if there were no such thing as this virus. But it is what it is. Adapt or die.
 

Harriet

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The alternative to some kind of virtual event is to cancel figure skating altogether.

In the US, maybe. Other parts of the world have other options. And even if competitions are cancelled altogether in one place or another, or all, for a while - well, it's happened before. Two World Wars, remember? It will come back eventually, one way or another.
 

Jeanie19

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It's important to have some form of competition. Virtual competitions or some small competitions. Figure skating season as we know it, probably can't happen. But it doesn't mean throw in the towel and say see you next year. Think outside of the box.
 

eaglehelang

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True, they don't. They just cancel competitions altogether.

There are many problems with virtual events. That is why we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work to address them. We do not need to throw up our hands in despair. I don't think we should wait and say, we will not hold competitions until the world becomes a perfect place.

It would be better, yes, if there were no such thing as this virus. But it is what it is. Adapt or die.
For Olympic sports they are not cancelled.
Summer sports are having competitions starting Sept/Oct 2020. Sports that compete with opponents, which is supposed to be higher risk. Tokyo Olympics is next year, qualifications is now.

It is not the issue of in despair but fairness to all competitors. A serious competition/tournament needs to be done under the same venue conditions for all athletes involved. If not, it's called an exhibition, not a tournament.

In any case, its only temporary. After a few months sporting events will start again. Sports did not come to a standstill during H1N1 in 2009, it will not become a standstill cos of Covid 19
 

Blades of Passion

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It's very inconsistent for skaters to compete in a different ice rinks with different ice conditions.

It's really not. Every skater gets to pick the ice conditions they want, just like every skater gets to pick the boots and blades and costumes they want. Everyone has equal choice.

If the stadium is hot, every competitor have to deal with it. In recent times, there have been comments on soft ice, ice conditions not conducive for edge jumps.

Again, those conditions can favor specific competitors and those conditions can be dictated by specific competitors at the competition venue. Thus, how is it fair that certain skaters get to choose the condition THEY want (just because they are more famous or having a more influential coach/federation etc), while others don't get to? While I hope we can return to regular competitions as soon as possible, this is something about virtual competitions that really is more fair, and we should be pushing for virtual competitions ASAP to keep competitive skating going.

For Olympic sports they are not cancelled.
Summer sports are having competitions starting Sept/Oct 2020. Sports that compete with opponents, which is supposed to be higher risk. Tokyo Olympics is next year, qualifications is now.

In any case, its only temporary. After a few months sporting events will start again. Sports did not come to a standstill during H1N1 in 2009, it will not become a standstill cos of Covid 19

You don't seem to know what you're talking about: There is much discussion right now that the 2021 Summer Olympics might not be held at all, or will have to be done as a virtual competition. Covid 19 is a far bigger and longer-lasting problem than H1N1 was.
 

Mathman

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In the US, maybe. Other parts of the world have other options.

Well, we re not talking about one country's response response or another's to the medical crises. The question is what should the ISU do about the Senior Grand Prix this year?

We already have their answer at the junior level -- no junior Grand Prix. We already had their answer about the 2020 World Championships. No 2020 World Championships.

It's happened before. Two World Wars, remember? It will come back eventually, one way or another.

I, too, am optimistic that figure skating will return to normal one day and everyone will be happy.

Still, the question remains -- should the ISU consider organizing some virtual competitions this year, or should they just say, no, the problems are too big -- we'll just hunker down and wait it out?

To me, there is a middle path. The ISU could start with a few smaller events, like a challenger. Do the best they can, then evaluate the experiment to see whether it is worthwhile pressing forward or not. If it's a bust, well, no harm done and we are no worse off than before.

I have to say, though, that the one argument that is not very persuasive to me is, "What do other sports do?" There is no reason why figure skating has to sit back and let gymnastics or track and field take the lead. Why not us? :)
 
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yelyoh

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I think this could be done with some ingenuity. The sport is worth it and it allows those with creative thinking and the determination to make it happen rise to the top. Here's how I see it:
1. ISU picks a day for each event and a certain number of skaters and teams are permitted per country per event. Like it's always been but the skating will remain in the skater's rink or perhaps a rink nearby that can handle this event. If necessary one site within each country would be broadcast site. It would be rink in an area without high infection and one that can accommodate the skaters and technology.
2. Each skater/team will have their coaches and some combination of ISU and federation officials present in that rink. That's where it might make sense to limit the number of cities per country where these events can take place. Skaters might have to travel but within their country with appropriate precautions.
3. Most importantly, a quality videographer must be present to record the event and, ideally, do so live as a panel of judges in some location observe and score virtually. Videographers would sign an affidavit as to the validity and timeliness of the record. False representation would have stiff penalties.
4. Spectators may be allowed at a 25% capacity and maybe limited to family or friends with masks and distancing. This is optional. Wouldn't be that much different than the rinks from the past!
5. Is there a chance of cheating? Sure. But with possibly more than one skater participating at a specific rink, coaches, officials and maybe even a few spectators, I think cheating would be discovered quickly. And the penalty for that would be severe. I don't think many would want to risk.

People are starved for some entertainment. This might even revive figure skating! It's worth a try!

Thank you for that. Difficult? Yeah. Impossible? No.
 
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