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MacMadame
11-07-2011, 08:55 PM
I love how the this mythical 'casual fan' always believes and reacts to skating exactly as they need to in order to boost the poster's arguments. ;)

As for the casual fans I know, they get Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan mixed up, think both are still skating and both won OGMs. They have no idea who Chan even is and are sure figure skating judging is all fixed so it doesn't really matter. Therefore, I don't really care what they think about CoP and would hope we aren't going to change the system based on their feedback. :lol:

Vagabond
11-07-2011, 09:03 PM
When I hear the term "casual fan of figure skating," I always think of this (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/system/images/content/articles/0000/0371/NewTeam_span3.jpg?1296594037) guy. ;)

mag
11-07-2011, 09:11 PM
I love how the this mythical 'casual fan' always believes and reacts to skating exactly as they need to in order to boost the poster's arguments. ;)

As for the casual fans I know, they get Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan mixed up, think both are still skating and both won OGMs. They have no idea who Chan even is and are sure figure skating judging is all fixed so it doesn't really matter. Therefore, I don't really care what they think about CoP and would hope we aren't going to change the system based on their feedback. :lol:

Exactly!

Hence my point about football. I'm a casual fan, football doesn't care (nor should they) whether I understand or agree with their rules. The difference is that they do explain the rules, show the slow motion replays, draw the lines on my TV screen in an attempt to get me to understand - or if I don't, at least I will know there is a rule and it is being applied correctly.

Figure skating could do the same thing. Rather than show the skater and coach waving and saying hello to everyone in the Kiss & Cry, walk to viewer through the slow motion replays, draw the lines on the screen to show how the jump is more than 1/4 cheated, show the number of rotations in a spin, show the pattern of the program on the ice and how sometimes skaters skate only in one direction. Obviously you can't do all of this for every skater, but a little bit for each one would go a long way to educating fans. It would also keep callers on their toes if they knew that the amount of under-rotation was going to be shown on the big screen for all to see. If you are going to downgrade that triple loop on the end of combo, you better make sure the under-rotation is there for all to see. Talk about the number of counters, rockers, brackets, etc that Chan or Takahashi does down one stretch of the ice, and how many some other skaters don't do. Show the pre rotation on Evan's 3A :shuffle: or the crappy landing positions on the 2010 version of Plushenko :slinkaway. Then people will get it.

Some announcers do a better job than others of pointing out errors, but there is still an aura of mystery around the scores. Maybe figure skating needs a post game show where experts pull the protocols of a few skaters and then battle it out over whether they thought the judges where right or not. Get Johnny, Elvis, Yags, and Lambiel to go through the top 3 at a men's FS event. You would have drama and conflict - just what TV viewers seem to like!

gkelly
11-07-2011, 09:41 PM
Figure skating could do the same thing. Rather than show the skater and coach waving and saying hello to everyone in the Kiss & Cry, walk to viewer through the slow motion replays, draw the lines on the screen to show how the jump is more than 1/4 cheated, show the number of rotations in a spin, show the pattern of the program on the ice and how sometimes skaters skate only in one direction. (etc.)

Here you're not talking about what "figure skating" (i.e., the ISU) can do, but rather what the TV networks can do. Specifically US networks, I expect, since others seem to do a better job of educating viewers.

So complain about the networks -- complain to the networks. Tell NBC/Universal Sports you want them to do a better job of explaining figure skating scoring to the viewers and to mention on TV where they can go online for even more detailed analysis (rules and protocols), which the ISU already makes available.

RoseAugust
11-07-2011, 09:59 PM
Ahh, casual fans. On Saturday my parents took their nap late because they were "watching the Olympics" on television. In fact, they were watching Skate Canada and they couldn't tell you who skated or who won. Casual fans...although admittedly old!

professordeb
11-07-2011, 10:07 PM
Here you're not talking about what "figure skating" (i.e., the ISU) can do, but rather what the TV networks can do. Specifically US networks, I expect, since others seem to do a better job of educating viewers.

So complain about the networks -- complain to the networks. Tell NBC/Universal Sports you want them to do a better job of explaining figure skating scoring to the viewers and to mention on TV where they can go online for even more detailed analysis (rules and protocols), which the ISU already makes available.

this ^^^
and a here here as well. Having watched most of my fs here in Canada, I have been very fortunate to have those doing commentary give explanations. Then I come here and get it explained even plainer along with where to go on ISU to really get the minute details. I've tried watching skating a few times on US channels and they seem to not feel the need to explain much of COP about why one skater scored better. Considering that the skating is being shown days (even weeks later) I would venture to guess that those doing commentary for the skating are doing it post competition? If so, then they would have access to the protocols and *could* explain it. Are the commentators in the US not understanding COP? Do they feel that their viewers are too dumb to understand it? This is why I would suggest that Phil (and others who cover FS in the US) do their fans and "casual fans" a favour and explain COP. I would venture that most people watching it aren't stupid - merely uniformed.

PDilemma
11-07-2011, 10:15 PM
Ahh, casual fans. On Saturday my parents took their nap late because they were "watching the Olympics" on television. In fact, they were watching Skate Canada and they couldn't tell you who skated or who won. Casual fans...although admittedly old!

Some friends of mine used to watch skating when they happened to flip by it on television and used to buy tickets for shows in the area. They don't anymore. Exact quote last fall during the GP: "It's just a bunch of people falling down and those are the ones getting the medals". They did not even watch the Olympics.

A couple who are friends of my parents-in-law watched when it was on, made no effort to find out when, loved Michelle Kwan's spirals and didn't know what the move was called. They no longer watch. CoP lost them. When they didn't know what the scores meant and people were skating sloppy and winning medals, they gave up. Exact quote: "I understood what six meant and it is pretty easy to see what a number means relative to six".

And the media can not really fix that. The system is too damn complicated. Those of us who closely follow have learned it; but if you're just looking for something to watch on Sunday afternoon, this much math is going to be a turn off and so are all the sloppy wins (even with explanations, because the explanations are not simple--there are proportions and percentages and words don't mean what they sound like they mean--example, "execution" doesn't really mean how well the program was performed, even though that is the obvious meaning). If the sport is to survive or thrive in the U.S, we need people to turn it on when they're looking for something to watch. They aren't. And now we're missing it or paying to watch it on a computer screen. Those two things are connected, believe it or not.

gkelly
11-07-2011, 10:15 PM
My impression is that historically US networks have tried to appeal to the lowest common denominator -- fans who haven't watched figure skating before, don't know anything but what the commentators tell them, and don't want to have to make any effort to enjoy the broadcast as simple entertainment.

Occasionally there have been efforts to be more informative, but rarely systematically.

For Universal Sports, I don't think they're aiming at casual viewers, so they should treat the viewers with more respect as sports fans. But for the NBC broadcasts, they probably do still want to focus on appealing to the casual channel flippers, figuring that those of us who are already fans will keep watching no matter how they package it.

However, that may no longer always be true if there are online viewing options that are more timely and/or offer more informed commentary (or no commentary, for those of us who prefer just to watch the program and hear the music and educate ourselves by other means). And treating casual viewers as intelligent and able to understand the sport as a sport will develop more devoted fans than just treating everyone as casual -- and destined to remain so.

Domshabfan
11-07-2011, 10:54 PM
When I hear the term "casual fan of figure skating," I always think of this (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/system/images/content/articles/0000/0371/NewTeam_span3.jpg?1296594037) guy. ;)

Booooo , you are insulting casual FANs now. He is no fan of figure skating

professordeb
11-08-2011, 12:12 AM
Some friends of mine used to watch skating when they happened to flip by it on television and used to buy tickets for shows in the area. They don't anymore. Exact quote last fall during the GP: "It's just a bunch of people falling down and those are the ones getting the medals". They did not even watch the Olympics.

A couple who are friends of my parents-in-law watched when it was on, made no effort to find out when, loved Michelle Kwan's spirals and didn't know what the move was called. They no longer watch. CoP lost them. When they didn't know what the scores meant and people were skating sloppy and winning medals, they gave up. Exact quote: "I understood what six meant and it is pretty easy to see what a number means relative to six".

And the media can not really fix that. The system is too damn complicated. Those of us who closely follow have learned it; but if you're just looking for something to watch on Sunday afternoon, this much math is going to be a turn off and so are all the sloppy wins (even with explanations, because the explanations are not simple--there are proportions and percentages and words don't mean what they sound like they mean--example, "execution" doesn't really mean how well the program was performed, even though that is the obvious meaning). If the sport is to survive or thrive in the U.S, we need people to turn it on when they're looking for something to watch. They aren't. And now we're missing it or paying to watch it on a computer screen. Those two things are connected, believe it or not.

yeah, the days of 6.0 were simple to understand when comparing one person/team to another. However, I was often left confused as to why someone won over another. In my eyes, they seemed pretty close and it just seemed that whoever was in favour at that time won. I couldn't understand how someone who fell still won over someone who didn't even earning a 6.0 for interpretation! There was seldom any explananation given, at least none that I found plausible. I remember plenty of discussions, especially in dance, about how one team was supposedly better than another. However, when I watched the FDs of the teams, I didn't see how you could compare one team to another. I mean, when one team seemed to be very theatrical, spent time posing for the judges or did some of their moves multiple times and they won over a team that moved and skated and danced, well I was left going ??? Some here tried to explain why that "dance" won but I was often still left wondering. This same type of thing happened in singles skating as well as pairs. Dare I think that if we had COP back in SLC that there would still be the arguing over the gold medal in pairs.

Yep, 6.0 may be easy to understand on how someone beat someone else but I was quite often left :confused: because I just didn't understand how the judged meted out those marks. Maybe it's because I'm a numbers kind of person but I like seeing how the skaters earned their marks. I will say there's room for improvement in COP but I much prefer - and understand - COP.

essence_of_soy
11-08-2011, 01:52 AM
For me, part of the problem getting my head around the system was that there were a million or so components too similar to tally for both TES and PCS, it was doing my head in.

I think that's why I liked the 6.0 system. There were two scores. One for technical merit. One for artistic impression.

UGG
11-08-2011, 03:34 AM
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.

Do you really think that "casual fans" who cannot tell the difference in the level skating skill etc... are stupid and idioitic?

I can tell you that someone like my husband would see no difference between Evan and Patrick and he is not stupid nor is he an idiot. He would think whoever did not fall should win. Lots of casual fans think that.

jl22aries
11-08-2011, 03:56 AM
Sorry UGG. Your husband sounds lovely.

mag
11-08-2011, 03:58 AM
Do you really think that "casual fans" who cannot tell the difference in the level skating skill etc... are stupid and idioitic?

I can tell you that someone like my husband would see no difference between Evan and Patrick and he is not stupid nor is he an idiot. He would think whoever did not fall should win. Lots of casual fans think that.

But do you think figure skating should be judged based on what casual fans think? Most casual fans can't tell the difference between an Ace and a slightly wide serve or a foot fault and no foot fault in tennis, but that doesn't mean the slightly wide serve or the serve with a foot fault should count. I don't understand what icing the puck is, but I'm not going argue that it shouldn't be called. In fact I can think of many hockey games where goals were disallowed and the other team won "on a technicality" where I didn't understand why the goal wasn't allowed. How are those calls any different than a skater getting points for superior skating skills or more complicated entries to jumps that the casual fan doesn't see or understand? Should hockey just say the winner is the one who scores the most goal even if those goals, under the current rules, shouldn't be counted?
Wait, as a Canucks fan maybe that would be a good idea :D

mag
11-08-2011, 03:59 AM
ETA my husband probably wouldn't see a difference either!