11-25-2010, 07:26 PM
But the idea of rewarding them for having "complicated programs" that are so difficulty they are falling multiple times is wrong IMO. You should only get rewarded for things you actually DO in competition.
The thing is, judges are giving credit for things that the skaters actually DO. Just because a fan who hasn't spent years and years in ice rinks training how to execute, how to recognize, and/or how to judge those skills doesn't have the knowledge to recognize them doesn't mean that the skills aren't there, aren't difficult, or aren't important.
Suppose there are 100 important details about a given program (all elements and program component bullet points combined). A casual fan who watches on TV every now and then might recognize 4 or 5 of those things. A more enthusiastic fan who watches many times a year, occasionally attends live events, and reads FSU might recognize 10 or 20 -- and not always the same ones, especially if they're viewing in different conditions (live vs. video, and different angles and distances). So say there are 30 details that most serious fans can recognize. Does that mean that only those 30 details should count and the judges should just ignore all of the other 70 details, even if they, with their knowledge and their close-to-the-ice vantagepoint, can each see (and hear) most of them, and even if some of those details have always been really important in the definition of good skating?
As for giving credit for what skaters actually DO . . .
First just look at the jumps. Suppose that Skater A attempts 6 triples and as double axel, no 3-3 combination, and one of them has a bad landing (turnout, etc.). But he didn't fall.
Skater B attempts 7 triples and 2 quads, falls on three of the jumping passes, but still manages to complete 6 squeaky clean triples including a 3-3 combination.
So which of those skaters actually DID more in terms of jump content, even if the jumps with falls count for exactly 0?
Skater C does a CiSt in his long program that just barely meets the level 2 requirements and is scrapy and kind of slow with fairly shallow edges (he's lucky the tech panel was able to tell his choctaws from mohawks or rockers from threes), although he does a good job of interpreting the music. Then he does a straight-line ChSt that's fun and quick and really gets the crowd going, but there's hardly any difficulty in it at all -- wouldn't qualify for even one feature, much less the two needed to achieve level 2 if it were a sequence for levels.
Cool, his steps were fun to watch and help some of his component scores, but there wasn't a lot of content or quality there.
Skater D does a level 4 CiSt that goes well beyond the minimum necessary content to achieve that level, with deep edges and good flow, and pretty good musicality although not all fans enjoy his steps as much as Skater C's. Then he does a ChSt with enough content to easily qualify as level 3 and almost level 4, if there were still levels for the second step sequence, but oops, he pushes for an even deeper edge than normal on one of those choctaws and falls right near the end.
So, considering both the fall deduction and the -GOE, Skater D ends up with net negative points for the ChSt. But over the course of the two step sequences he DID a lot more difficult steps and turns with deeper, faster, more secure edges throughout than Skater C. Should it really be a problem if D ends up with more points than C for the two step sequences combined, at least before counting the fall deduction?
It's entirely possible that the skater with the more difficult program will still DO more difficult content even with a few falls.
So do you want skaters to be rewarded for what they do?
Or only for the things that they do that are obvious enough for you personally to see?
Or is what they don't do (falling) more important than what they actually do?
11-25-2010, 11:42 PM
There have been very few "clean" skates from any of the men so far this season, and frankly who cares when it's so early in the season and worlds is still a few months away?
Takaheshi had rust on him as did Joubert, Abbott, etc., there have been less than stellar skates from most of the top guys, given what they are capable of, but nobody is ganging up on them, the way they are taking pot shots at Chan who despite the falls has managed to look pretty darn solid in between them!
All I can say is Chan must have everybody who ain't a fan darn scared of his potential to win now, to have the haterz come out on the attack so early on in the Sochi cycle...
Chan's skating is sublime. I recognize though, that it is tougher for casual fans to really get his absolute wow factor, that is until one can experience him skating live, in person and compare him to his competition, trust me, you’ll get it then, esp., if you know anything about quality skating. There are certain skater’s that must be seen in the rink environment to best appreciate their special unique skating skills, some skater’s for a variety of reasons, simply do not translate properly, when viewing them on TV, or via a computer screen.
When the Chinese pairs first came on the scene, I thought, “what’s the big deal, why the buzz?” My first impression from TV was they were messy, unrefined, in certain elements, from what I was used to, so it was tough to understand the rather big marks. Then I saw them skate live, I was blown away by the high-flying twists and throws! I suddenly understood the WOW, the Chinese pairs did not just skate, they SOARED over, ZIPPED by the competition; the marks obviously were not out of line; Judge’s message was rec’d, seeing them live, the wow factor began to register in my brain, I got why they were being rewarded, the high flying reasons the marks were deserved became clear, esp., once I EDUCATED myself, I discovered pairs skating wasn’t all about the pretty, it was also about speed and distance traveled over the ice, number of rotations and how high, far, fast, the girl flew.
Likewise, Kostner’s speed across the ice, simply can’t translate on TV. My jaw dropped, when I finally saw her in person, she simply flew into her jumps and yeah, then I got why she was such a judge’s darling when she landed them, The other gals looked liked turtles to her hare. Hopefully, you get the idea that mostly, there is a valid reason for marks being given to a skater, and it’s not all a giant conspiracy to rob your favorite skater of what you feel they deserve.
Chan is a skater that you must see live, to truly appreciate his mastery of the blade. His type of skating isn’t really the casual fan friendly kind, you know the kind I mean; “the entertaining, come hither type,” that always elicits screams and giggles of delight from all the fan-girls!
Hey, being of the feminine gender myself, I have done my fair share of whistling and foot stomping over the years for the cutie pie’s showcasing this style of macho boy cheese, to get noticed. I agree, it’s fun to watch, but I try not to mistake it for quality skating that earns big points in competition, since it’s usually choreo done to disguise a lack of skating skills, or the kind of classic body line refinements, knee and blade action, judges value.
Chan hasn’t peeled off his shirt, shaken his booty, done hip thrusts, grabbed his man parts, engaged in imaginary swordplay, juggling, tight rope walking, or blown kisses, to legendary dance diva’s, to my knowledge. Perhaps if he did, or was considered super hot he would have more younger computer savy fans posting on FSU. Chan skates sophisticated, complex, and athletically demanding programs in order to score big points and probably has older far less vocal fans to defend him on internet forums. His COP rich kind of skating may not appeal to casual fan who’s looking to be entertained, caring more about skater’s looks, costumes, country of origin, and knowing little beyond a jump landed upright is good, but a fall on butt is considered bad. Hey we all started that way, but hopefully we become more educated, less emotional over time.
Chan has been progressing in terms of personality projection and demonstrating his musical interpretation; this year he is really doing more things right, than wrong IMO, even given the fact, he is introducing difficult new elements into his programs. It’s a steep learning curve, but I am pretty pleased with the progress being made. Yeah, he is going to fall and take the deduction. But, one of Chan's best qualities is that even if he falls, he's up very quickly and then goes on to attack his next bit of choreo, or element with added zeal, enough that a fall rarely, if ever disrupts the flow of the program and his overall superior performance quality.
Other skater's fall, and program quickly become a train wreck. . I think that happened to Chan only when he was injured, then it's true his falls left him dazed and stunned. It is those type of unexpected falls where skater loses confidence, focus and the entire program becomes a train wreck, you can tell the skater just wants off the ice, they go all spacey, skating soooo slowwww, or they pop remaining elements, it’s these disruptions that deserve to have a PCS drop. Chan has not done that, this season, the rest of what he did after a fall was still very, very good.
One of the big major differences is that Chan doesn't give up, slow down, or look sorry for himself, he simply springs up after Quad or 3 axel attempt, and carries on with the plan, sometimes with some extra fight for next element, so the performance quality does not drop off, plus he always has plenty of complex choreo, in between his jump elements, so there is actually something else for judges to give him points for, esp these days, when due to steep learning curve, some things are bound to go wrong.
I think he deserves every mark he gets, sometimes in the past even to point of feeling he's been underscored for what he did/does esp in comparison to others, who are just stoking arond tween tricks.
Chan is not the 1st skater to elicit lots of haterz on FSU for being so respected by judges. Lots of folks resented Buttle, Stojko, Orser, Browning, so Chan is in pretty darn good company. In their heyday, Joubert, Yags, and Plushy used to benefit from having a pretty big margin too, marks inflated to the point that the other guys entered were not skating for gold, but simply fighting for 2nd place. But knowing what I know now, I can understand why, these skater’s were simply that much stronger and taking bigger risks than the rest of the field was in those days.
The German Pair for example are racking of some pretty impressive margins themselves all while not being super clean, anybody on FSU giving them as much grief, as they are giving the still very young Chan?
Yuna Kim and Asada, also had some pretty huge cushions in this last cycle, anyone want to argue why other girls who landed all their jumps, still couldn't beat them, or even come close? That's just the way it is, some skater's are valued on a different level, maybe not always, but during specific peaks in an skater’s career, it's often true. Last season V&M and D&W were in a different class from rest of field, they were uber trained and loaded for bear and made it nearly impossible for the other dance teams to catch them. It's true that sometimes the marks reflect what a skater is capable of doing, or has done when he/she reaches peak fitness level, so that's also factored in subconsciously, maybe it shouldn't be, but that's also a part of skating, judge's are hedging their bets esp in short program stage, bunching all the contender’s pretty close together, this happens more during grand prix events than in say Worlds, but it’s kinda saying they believe in a skater's potential to work things out in the free, or later in the season, but this all evens out too over time, and usually the rankings are correct in the end. Certainly now judging is more fair under COP than under 6.0. A 6.0 Skater simply could not come from behind to win, the way they can pull up, and make podium now if they score enough points.
Every cycle, has one or perhaps 2 skater's, that are simply in a class by themselves, and this kind of quality skater be it an artist, or a technician type, or hopefully a skater who has it all, one that can only be beat, if the skater him/her self loses confidence and screws up enough to allow others to rise up to grab rare opportunity when meeting them, on one of their very bad days. That's the truth, it's how things work. It's always difficult for some fans to accept, that no matter how good a personal fav native son may skate, that there is an elite competitor who has a built in cushion, that usually keeps them on the podium despite a few glitches here and there because in grand scheme of things the skater is more talented; has better skills, or is just mentally a better competitor in a clutch situation, and able to better capitalize on other’s flaws.
Nowadays though, the clean or otherwise sparkling performances involving a personal best skate DO get rewarded, esp when the skater has a good quality overall package and those normally ahead of him have faltered. Ex. Both Buttle, Lysacek, have seized their glory moments and capitalized on skating clean, quadless, but still complex and well balanced programs.
It used to drive me crazy, but I am constantly learning even after so many years watching skating (I was drawn in seriously during the Toller Cranston era ) but have to say these days I feel COP judges get the rankings right, far more than they get them wrong. If I stop to think about it, on the rare occasion when I feel judges got it wrong, later I look at it via a replay with fresh eyes, controlling personal bias, seeking to understand why they marked the way they did, and by golly I usually come round to seeing why they were correct and understanding why my emotion and personal loyalties, expectations perhaps had got in the way of a proper evaluation. I urge you all to try this, go back a day or a few weeks later when you are calm and watch the skater again then maybe you’ll see why it was judged the way it was. In skating sometimes one’s first impressions are wrong having been influenced by emotion or personal expectations either pro or con.
This is a transitional year for Chan and he is sacrificing results now, in order to be joyful in Sochi. He must get comfortable with the big new Quad tricks, plus deal with fact he was not altogether comfortable with doing (2) 3 axels in a program, so this season esp., and maybe the next one, is going to be really, really, tough on him, and his fans, when things do go wrong, the media is going to be hard on him as will FSU seeing that majority here are not Canadian, or not specifically a fan of Chan. I expect lots of haterz to try to buzz kill him at least till he works it all out. Chan seems to be a fast learner and unlike other's who had luxury of learning under the radar, Chan is alone in the spotlight cuz Buttle, Sandhu retired while he was just getting his feet wet in seniors.
With Evan MIA in USA, it's a race to see who winds up as number 1, but most contender's have had some experience working in Evan's shadow, or maybe being #1 himself, so now it's a pretty level and experienced field, a couple of obvious front runner's sure, a new to seniors dark horse, or two, but no one fella has a lock on USA national title, for variety of reasons; injury, inconsistency issues, being quadless, coaching issues, just up from juniors, whatever, it's mostly a horse race with plenty of really good quality stallions, no one finding their inner Secretariat yet so it is more about timing to efficiently peak and then riding the perfect moment to victory when it count's in January, than any clear superior skating skills tween these 3 or 5 front runner's, as they all have some issues to overcome. Nobody is expecting a world gold this season from any of them, HOPING yes, EXPECTING it, no, top 5 result would be considered great given the deep men’s field.
Over in Japan, no one is going to take down Dai this season anyway, not without a complete and decisive victory from the guys chasing him at home, as benefit of doubt in a close contest always goes to world champ and Olympic medalist, and esp when worlds is on one’s home turf. Next year Dai may have to be ready sooner to fight the summer rust, but all that means is the guys chasing still have at least another year to learn under the radar.
In France, while the spotlight may be dimming for Joubert, it's still shining a nice bronze hue, thus allowing Florent and rest of guys in chase mode bit more time to grow and adjust to the glare.
The situation this season is just different for Chan, he is considered and expected to be a podium contender, even perhaps become World Champ NOW! He can't learn in the shadow's; he is Canada’s Champ and a world silver medallist, so he has to do any learning under a media glare, made extra bright from having hosted a home based Olympics. Not to mention, Chan being from a country where men's skating has a rich star studded history, with many CDN names in record books for their first's, and where male skater's are treated like rock stars. I am going to enjoy it when Chan has the last laugh and hopefully he never has to know about the mud flinging going on in these forums.
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