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gkelly
11-07-2011, 03:36 PM
I actually said the opposite, that those who agree with his wins tend to be more vocal and post more often. Also noticed that there is a strong Canadian bias with regard to his supporters, although are non-Canadian supporters as well. Of course, there's nothing with this - nationalism always plays a role in sports be they for Americans, Europeans, Asians etc. But it would be interesting to guage the non-Canadian perspective of Chan's scores for an unbiased point of view.

I don't think we can ever get an unbiased point of view. But nationalism is not always the key point of bias.

I will state up front that my biases are in favor of rewarding overall skating skills (of which I am extremely impressed by Chan's) and not overly penalizing falls compared to other kinds of errors and weaknesses. So I usually agree with his placements. Or, when he messes up more than someone who is a little better than him at several other areas as well and/or not too far behind on skating skills, I think there are arguments to be made in favor of more than one "correct" order of placement -- under 6.0 judging I'd expect mixed ordinals without any of the judges being "wrong."

When I watch lower level competitions, often there is one skater who is so far ahead of the rest of the field in basic skating ability that they can afford one or more falls against the next best competitor in the event. I see that at US regionals or club competitions or even Basic Skills competitions. That principle doesn't change at the highest of the elite levels where the next best competitor may also be one of the best skaters in the world.

PDilemma
11-07-2011, 04:15 PM
You know, I watch football with my dh, and I see touchdowns ruled against based on some slow motion replay that apparently shows the receivers toes were over the line. Then they go on and on about "in control" or other such garbage that I don't understand. The touchdown looked good to me in real time. How can people say it is sport when they are making calls like that? Now, of course, I only watch the Grey Cup and the Superbowl, but that shouldn't matter - I'm still a fan :)

I think we should apply similar rules to other sports. If Chan gets points for better falls than someone else's falls...why not apply this to every sport?

For football, they should start giving yards for quality passes that aren't caught. If the quarterback has great form and the pass was good, why should the yards be determined only based on the receiver catching it? That's not fair to the quarterback who has perfect form. (This will hurt some teams...my favorite team in particular is in big trouble because our QB throws off his back foot and his passes will have to lose yards for lack of form even when they are caught--but once it is adequately explained I'm sure the rabid fans around here will be just fine with it)

Baseball player hits a long fly ball to the wall and it is caught...an out, right? But what if he had a beautiful textbook swing and the ball sailed with that perfect arc? Why shouldn't he get credit for that? The announcers should be explaining that the quality of his out was stronger and so he gets a single.

Or basketball. Some guys just have a better lay-up form with better arms and more finesse to their leap. Who cares if it goes in the basket? Let's go ahead and give one point to quality form as opposed to someone else's missed basket without such good form which will get none. If sports columnists explain it clearly enough and educate the fans, people will understand.

A fall is a fall. It's pretty hard to explain it away. And a program with three or four falls should not be getting scores close to perfect in any category any more than a textbook pass in football that the receiver drops should get yards. It was flawed.

gkelly
11-07-2011, 04:38 PM
I think we should apply similar rules to other sports. If Chan gets points for better falls than someone else's falls...why not apply this to every sport?

For football, they should start giving yards for quality passes that aren't caught. If the quarterback has great form and the pass was good, why should the yards be determined only based on the receiver catching it? That's not fair to the quarterback who has perfect form. (This will hurt some teams...my favorite team in particular is in big trouble because our QB throws off his back foot and his passes will have to lose yards for lack of form even when they are caught--but once it is adequately explained I'm sure the rabid fans around here will be just fine with it)

Baseball player hits a long fly ball to the wall and it is caught...an out, right? But what if he had a beautiful textbook swing and the ball sailed with that perfect arc? Why shouldn't he get credit for that? The announcers should be explaining that the quality of his out was stronger and so he gets a single.

Or basketball. Some guys just have a better lay-up form with better arms and more finesse to their leap. Who cares if it goes in the basket? Let's go ahead and give one point to quality form as opposed to someone else's missed basket without such good form which will get none. If sports columnists explain it clearly enough and educate the fans, people will understand.

I know you're being silly.
Actually those examples would make perfect sense if the stated purpose of football, baseball, and basketball includes throwing, hitting, and leaping with good form. It would change the sports to make that be the case, but if those sports want to appeal to fans who are more interested in aesthetics than in points, maybe they should consider it. ;)

The comparison only holds up if the stated purpose of figure skating is to complete as many difficult elements as possible without falling down. Since that is not the case -- the quality of the skating has always been primary and will continue to be until there's a decision to change the name of the sport from "skating" to "elements on ice" or "standing up on ice" -- falls will continue to lose points but not to disqualify one from winning.


A fall is a fall. It's pretty hard to explain it away. And a program with three or four falls should not be getting scores close to perfect in any category any more than a textbook pass in football that the receiver drops should get yards. It was flawed.

But what if a team is so good that they can lose points for blatant mistakes and still gain enough points on other plays to win the game? The team with more such mistakes might still come out on top.

minignome
11-07-2011, 04:52 PM
Well, you could start by explaining things like better choreography, better transitions, better footwork, better technical skills (e.g. stroking), better performance quality, and better quality of the jumps that didn't end in falls. I don't think explaining any of that is "silly", or that any of those things are impossibly difficult for a non-skating fan to even begin to understand.

The thing is, if you want to increase the popularity of figure skating AS A SPORT, you shouldn't have to explain the results so often. This skater won because s/he did better things while standing upright even though they weren't upright as often as the silver medalist. Sports fans like objective measurements.

I do think that commentators need to do a better job of explaining skills and points. This is level 4 foot work and worth x points, while this is level 3 footwork so it only gets Y. Or, like gymnastics, the base technical value of skater A's long program is 70 while skater B only has planned 60. Giving objective numbers can help with the understanding.

Also, since speed is hard to judge on TV, give a side by side video of two skaters to show the difference. Show the difference between an 8 in skating skills and transitions vs. 9. Choreography, Performance and Execution, and Interpretation are always going to be fairly subjective, but the other 2 should be able to be explained.

museksk8r
11-07-2011, 04:59 PM
I unfortunately feel the same about Abbott and Oda - the moment has passed for their break-through. They are nice skaters which will keep improving but will probably never medal at Worlds let alone contend for titles.

The same was said about Joannie Rochette and Paul Wylie before their respective Olympic (and in Joannie's case, World) medals. Here's to hoping that Abbott and Oda and Verner have their moments as well! :)

VIETgrlTerifa
11-07-2011, 05:03 PM
The same was said about Joannie Rochette and Paul Wylie before their respective Olympic (and in Joannie's case, World) medals. Here's to hoping that Abbott and Oda and Verner have their moments as well! :)

I agree. Yeah, skaters will disappoint, but it's not unheard of that medals can happen or even titles. Probability may not be on your side, but skating results can sure be loopey sometimes.

PDilemma
11-07-2011, 05:04 PM
But what if a team is so good that they can lose points for blatant mistakes and still gain enough points on other plays to win the game? The team with more such mistakes might still come out on top.

And then the fans say..."man, that was a really sloppy crappy win, we got lucky". Believe me, I live in a football crazed state. And we've had a few of those wins in the last few seasons. And the fans say it. They don't say "but our team is so consistently superior that they always deserve to win even when they play like crap".

If a few of Chan's ubers could possibly admit--even just once--that falling in the middle of footwork, for example, is sloppy and he's lucky to win anyway. But, no, they have to tell us how divine and magnificent he is and how that sloppiness was actually delivered in a non-sloppy way and his falls are elegant compared to everyone else's falls and therefore he deserves such high scores.

Casual fans don't see it. And we do need to acknowledge that there aren't enough of us to make for high enough ratings to keep this sport on television, profitable and popular here in the U.S. The casual fans have to be drawn in. And no matter how many times it is explained to them, a fall is still a fall. And the sport is now claiming that this judging system rewards technical proficiency. Falling doesn't look proficient to the casual fan. Heck...I'm not a casual fan and I'm not sold on the brilliance of anyone's falls. They still look like falls regardless of how fantastic a skater's edges are. And the argument can be made that falling--especially on footwork means that there is at least a moment without blade control.

gkelly
11-07-2011, 05:05 PM
I do think that commentators need to do a better job of explaining skills and points. This is level 4 foot work and worth x points, while this is level 3 footwork so it only gets Y. Or, like gymnastics, the base technical value of skater A's long program is 70 while skater B only has planned 60. Giving objective numbers can help with the understanding.

Also, since speed is hard to judge on TV, give a side by side video of two skaters to show the difference. Show the difference between an 8 in skating skills and transitions vs. 9. Choreography, Performance and Execution, and Interpretation are always going to be fairly subjective, but the other 2 should be able to be explained.

Absolutely. These are ways to improve the commentary without changing the sport.

I also like Rock2's explanation about artistry (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3357773&postcount=41) in the Katarina Witt thread.

IceAlisa
11-07-2011, 05:10 PM
I also like Rock2's explanation about artistry (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3357773&postcount=41) in the Katarina Witt thread.
Thanks, that was well-expressed.

gkelly
11-07-2011, 06:14 PM
And then the fans say..."man, that was a really sloppy crappy win, we got lucky". Believe me, I live in a football crazed state. And we've had a few of those wins in the last few seasons. And the fans say it. They don't say "but our team is so consistently superior that they always deserve to win even when they play like crap".

If a few of Chan's ubers could possibly admit--even just once--that falling in the middle of footwork, for example, is sloppy and he's lucky to win anyway. But, no, they have to tell us how divine and magnificent he is and how that sloppiness was actually delivered in a non-sloppy way and his falls are elegant compared to everyone else's falls and therefore he deserves such high scores.

I can't keep track of which posters are "ubers" of which skaters, since I often don't read the single-skater or play-by-play threads.

Speaking for myself, I'm not attached to Chan as a skater, but I am attached to rewarding good skating skills and I am particularly impressed by his. I don't know if I'd be even more impressed or less so if I saw him skate live in the same competition with other medal-worthy guys.
I've only seen him live at Liberty, earlier in his career and very early in the competitive season (ditto Abbott).


Casual fans don't see it. And we do need to acknowledge that there aren't enough of us to make for high enough ratings to keep this sport on television, profitable and popular here in the U.S. The casual fans have to be drawn in. And no matter how many times it is explained to them, a fall is still a fall. And the sport is now claiming that this judging system rewards technical proficiency. Falling doesn't look proficient to the casual fan. Heck...I'm not a casual fan and I'm not sold on the brilliance of anyone's falls. They still look like falls regardless of how fantastic a skater's edges are.

True. But do you also see the fantastic edges in the rest of the program?
Falls are obvious without explanation. It would probably help to have commentary that points out especially deep and secure edges, difficult changes of direction, speed, on the one hand, and constant little balance readjustments, two-footed turns, simple turns, shallow edges, etc., on the other. Casual fans aren't going to notice those things unless they're pointed out. But it's hard to do that tactfully, espcially for skaters who have other good qualities -- or nationality -- that gives the commentators and fans good reasons to root for them.


And the argument can be made that falling--especially on footwork means that there is at least a moment without blade control.

Oh, definitely. Falling on footwork is going to lose that skater points in the step sequence score (negative GOE and possible loss of intended levels), and usually at least 0.25 or 0.5 (worth twice that in the long program after factoring) off the skating skills component compared to what would have been earned without the fall.

I haven't heard this discussed much lately, but the ISU does still have on its website the Program Components Overview (http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/fileurl/0,11040,4844-152077-169293-64120-0-file,00.pdf) document that defines the scores in terms of percentage of the program demonstrated.

I don't think percentage of program time is enough on its own to determine scores because it doesn't really distinguish between doing something pretty well for 75% of the time vs. doing it really really well for 75% of the time, for example.

But what if you have a long program in which 85% of the time the skating skills are outstanding, >10% they're good quality but simple, and <5% of the time (less than 13 seconds of a 270-second program) involves falls or stumbles, and recovery? That can still end up deserving a higher skating skills score than, e.g., a program in which 70% of the time the skating is good but simple, and the edges and speed in the step sequences are not so good.

kittyjake5
11-07-2011, 07:06 PM
Falling in Ice Dance seems to be penalized much more than the other disciplines. Natalie and Fabian who finished fourth at Worlds after a fall and Tanith and Ben who finished off the podium at Worlds in 2008. In B/A case Tanith I believe fell in the the CD. The final score was so close between B/A and K/S the Russian couple who took 3rd, that B/A fall was definitely a factor for them not medaling same for Natalie and Fabian who lost 8 points due to their fall.

jl22aries
11-07-2011, 07:28 PM
And then the fans say..."man, that was a really sloppy crappy win, we got lucky". Believe me, I live in a football crazed state. And we've had a few of those wins in the last few seasons. And the fans say it. They don't say "but our team is so consistently superior that they always deserve to win even when they play like crap".

If a few of Chan's ubers could possibly admit--even just once--that falling in the middle of footwork, for example, is sloppy and he's lucky to win anyway. But, no, they have to tell us how divine and magnificent he is and how that sloppiness was actually delivered in a non-sloppy way and his falls are elegant compared to everyone else's falls and therefore he deserves such high scores.

Casual fans don't see it. And we do need to acknowledge that there aren't enough of us to make for high enough ratings to keep this sport on television, profitable and popular here in the U.S. The casual fans have to be drawn in. And no matter how many times it is explained to them, a fall is still a fall. And the sport is now claiming that this judging system rewards technical proficiency. Falling doesn't look proficient to the casual fan. Heck...I'm not a casual fan and I'm not sold on the brilliance of anyone's falls. They still look like falls regardless of how fantastic a skater's edges are. And the argument can be made that falling--especially on footwork means that there is at least a moment without blade control.

I've been watching figure skating for such a long time that I really couldn't imagine the perspective of this "casual fan" you speak of, except to say that I've dragged a lot of "casual fans", or more accurately, friends of mine that know little to nothing about the sport and have caught glimpses of it only through channel surfing, and they CAN see differences in skating skills and quality of the skate. So I can't help but wonder what idiots you must take the casual skating fan for that you would describe them as you have here. Maybe some of these casuals have trouble with comprehending the system, or simply seeing differences in skating skills etc using their aesthetic judgements, but I have to hope that the majority are not that aggressively stupid.

minignome
11-07-2011, 07:36 PM
I've been watching figure skating for such a long time that I really couldn't imagine the perspective of this "casual fan" you speak of, except to say that I've dragged a lot of "casual fans", or more accurately, friends of mine that know little to nothing about the sport and have caught glimpses of it only through channel surfing, and they CAN see differences in skating skills and quality of the skate. So I can't help but wonder what idiots you must take the casual skating fan for that you would describe them as you have here. Maybe some of these casuals have trouble with comprehending the system, or simply seeing differences in skating skills etc using their aesthetic judgements, but I have to hope that the majority are not that aggressively stupid.

In person it is much more obvious. Watching on TV it is very difficult to determine speed, quality of edging, etc. So, for truly casual fans who are interested but don't have the opportunity to put their butts in the seats (lets face it, in the US it's a big country and with only a few senior level competitions it is an expensive proposition for the majority of the population to see it live), it is hard to explain with current TV coverage only.

nlyoung
11-07-2011, 07:45 PM
If a few of Chan's ubers could possibly admit--even just once--that falling in the middle of footwork, for example, is sloppy and he's lucky to win anyway. But, no, they have to tell us how divine and magnificent he is and how that sloppiness was actually delivered in a non-sloppy way and his falls are elegant compared to everyone else's falls and therefore he deserves such high scores.


I think you need to pay better attention to the commentary by many of the so-called "ubers". I would consider myself an objective observer with a pretty sound understanding of COP and I have seen far more Chan fans acknowledge that, indeed, he is lucky to win when he falls, but that it does come down to the math. If you understand COP it is obvious why he wins in these instances. You can argue that the system is flawed, but that won't change current results. There may be an argument to be made that his awarded components are still too high, but the truth is that his components DO go down for less than perfect skates. Just for example, compare his component scores for his World Championship skates last year to those awarded at Skate Canada. Yes, his Skate Canada scores are still high, but he was in fact dinged for a less than stellar skate... Often when Chan falls so do his opponents, i.e. everyone has errors... this is what makes it a sport! It would be boring if they all went out and put down clean programs each every time. Where is the suspense in that? It would be like the dance event before COP... ;)

jl22aries
11-07-2011, 07:50 PM
I think you need to pay better attention to the commentary by many of the so-called "ubers". I would consider myself an objective observer with a pretty sound understanding of COP and I have seen far more Chan fans acknowledge that, indeed, he is lucky to win when he falls, but that it does come down to the math. If you understand COP it is obvious why he wins in these instances. You can argue that the system is flawed, but that won't change current results. There may be an argument to be made that his awarded components are still too high, but the truth is that his components DO go down for less than perfect skates. Just for example, compare his component scores for his World Championship skates last year to those awarded at Skate Canada. Yes, his Skate Canada scores are still high, but he was in fact dinged for a less than stellar skate... Often when Chan falls so do his opponents, i.e. everyone has errors... this is what makes it a sport! It would be boring if they all went out and put down clean programs each every time. Where is the suspense in that? It would be like the dance event before COP... ;)

I can't rep, so I will quote and comment. I love posts like this. Informed, articulate, and respectful.