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IceAlisa
11-09-2011, 05:18 PM
Abbott and Takahashi touch me more emotionally, but Chan impresses me more with effortlessness and depth of edge. At least on video.

Yes, I was thinking of Abbott and Takahashi when I said as good as Chan or better in PE and IN.

BreakfastClub
11-09-2011, 05:27 PM
If I want to see the "performance" aspect of skating- well, that's what shows are for, right?

Have you ever seen a show program bring the house down like any of the clips I posted with the same raw emotion at the end? The thrill of doing your absolute best and pushing your limit under the stress of competition is what makes the performance aspect so compelling.

For this very reason, I've never much enjoyed show skating where skaters may play it safe with easier jumps or where it's not a big deal to miss something.

I've gone to multiple Worlds, 4CC, Europeans, GP, JGP and regional/sectional/local events live all over the world since the mid 90's (when I finally had money :)) and can recall so many amazing performances, sometimes from a skater who landed in 20th place but hit a personal best. For a couple of many many many examples, I still remember Karel Zelenka's 7 triple triumph at 2004 Europeans - it came out of nowhere and was incredible to see it happen. I still remember Johnny Weir's Liberty "f-you" performance in the summer of 2003 at Liberty. I still remember Alexander Abt's mind-blowing 2002 Euros performance where he for once really landed everything including a quad-triple and 8 triples and screaming "He did it! He did it! OMG OMG!" in the stands and it was so deafening, I couldn't even hear my own voice. Who cared that one of those 3axels was two-footed? (CoP cares! :P)

I've been to four real shows in my entire life: SOI twice in the late 90s, something IIRC that was called "Cook's Champagne" in Detroit also back in the late 90s, and another random show in Grand Rapids, MI in 2006 that happened to be in town when I was living there and missed live elite skating. The only performance I remember from any of these shows was Kurt Browning's Nyah. Brilliant.

There's nothing comparable to the energy and excitement of competition + performance. Freedom from nitpicking and paint-by-numbers code whoring is what enables that aspect. It's what makes (made? ;)) figure skating so unique among sports.

VIETgrlTerifa
11-09-2011, 05:42 PM
If I want to see the "performance" aspect of skating- well, that's what shows are for, right?

Um...no. People want to see something seriously on the line (a medal), the adrenaline rush, and the high performance aspect of competition. That's what makes figure skating so exciting.

Getting rid of the performance aspect in figure skating will ensure its demise.

mag
11-09-2011, 06:03 PM
... I've gone to multiple Worlds, 4CC, Europeans, GP, JGP and regional/sectional/local events live all over the world since the mid 90's (when I finally had money :)) and can recall so many amazing performances, sometimes from a skater who landed in 20th place but hit a personal best. For a couple of many many many examples, I still remember Karel Zelenka's 7 triple triumph at 2004 Europeans - it came out of nowhere and was incredible to see it happen. I still remember Johnny Weir's Liberty "f-you" performance in the summer of 2003 at Liberty. I still remember Alexander Abt's mind-blowing 2002 Euros performance where he for once really landed everything including a quad-triple and 8 triples and screaming "He did it! He did it! OMG OMG!" in the stands and it was so deafening, I couldn't even hear my own voice. Who cared that one of those 3axels was two-footed? (CoP cares! :P)....

You should have been at Canadian Nationals in Victoria when Chan skated. He skated after Sawyer to close out the night. Sawyer was amazing - brought the house down. Then Chan skated ... it was bar none the best live skating I have ever seen, and I wasn't a Chan fan at all until that night. But wait, two absolutely breathe taking, memorizing performances in row ... couldn't happen under COP, right?

Great performances happen regardless of the scoring system. Great skaters will develop, no matter what the scoring system. The huge advantage with COP, IMHO, is that at least now there is some quantifiable reason why one skater was placed over another. You may not agree with the placement or the score, but at least the information is available to anyone who wants to look at it. We can discuss the scores because we have access to the detail. We know whether deductions were taken for falls, under-rotations, etc. Will skaters still be held up and held down, yes! We are dealing with human judges. But again, IMHO, it is much more difficult to do and the proof of that is in the number of upsets that have happened. Just because you won last year doesn't mean you will will this year. Skaters no longer have to "wait their turn."

Figure skating is a sport. It is great if the audience gets a rush from the performance, but that is an extra. It should not be a phone in poll or applause meter to decide the winner.

BreakfastClub
11-09-2011, 06:06 PM
As I'm finally catching up on the GSD forum today - there's a parallel thread discussing the very thing I just typed an essay on last night:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/katarina-witt-wonders-where-the-emotion-has-gone/article2223365/

(http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=80933)

VIETgrlTerifa
11-09-2011, 06:14 PM
Figure skating is a sport. It is great if the audience gets a rush from the performance, but that is an extra. It should not be a phone in poll or applause meter to decide the winner.

Just because one argues performance and artistry are important doesn't mean people want to turn it into some sort of reality show or popularity contest. I think most people think the sport aspect is the most important part in order to keep skating in the Olympics, but I also think performance and artistry is more than something "extra". I think it's very integral to figure skating and without it, it loses it's identity in a way.

BreakfastClub
11-09-2011, 06:19 PM
You should have been at Canadian Nationals in Victoria when Chan skated. He skated after Sawyer to close out the night.

I wasn't there but did see it. Sawyer was amazing. :)


Great performances happen regardless of the scoring system.

My contention is that it's happening more infrequently and certainly much more infrequently among the lower ranked, perhaps less talented skaters.


at least now there is some quantifiable reason why one skater was placed over another. You may not agree with the placement or the score, but at least the information is available to anyone who wants to look at it.

Then why is anyone arguing over placements? Why is there discussion over whether Plushenko or Lysacek should have won gold? Why is there even discussion happening that Patrick shouldn't win with four falls but great edging?

If CoP is absolute and quantifiable, then how can anyone disagree with the result? ;)


Will skaters still be held up and held down, yes! We are dealing with human judges.

Agreed. But the argument for CoP was that the subjectivity and politicking was being removed. I'm not saying that skating isn't a subjective sport. I'm saying that you can't have it both ways. You can't claim out one end that your number-crunching scoring system is objective and quantifiable and then claim out the other end that judging will always be subjective. Based on research and knowledge of human cognitive processing, 6.0 - a ranking system - was a superior system. There were things that could have been done to shut down the cheating and politicking, but they chose to throw the baby out with the bathwater and overhaul the entire system, as consequence (unintended or not) overhauling the way skaters construct programs and perform.


Figure skating is a sport. It is great if the audience gets a rush from the performance, but that is an extra. It should not be a phone in poll or applause meter to decide the winner.

It is extra. It doesn't have to be there, I won't argue that. But if anyone wants to understand why it's popularity is declining not to "pre-1994 levels but literally to pre-1964 levels" I contend that's your reason. That's the argument I'm making here.

RD
11-09-2011, 07:16 PM
The scoring system MAY be to blame for part of the ratings fall for skating in North America, but I think it's far more complicated than that- many of the factors having nothing to do with skating at all.

You've got fragmentation of the media market (i.e. many more TV channels to choose from, more programming airing on dedicated channels), you've got the internet, mobile devices (alternatives to TV viewing)- basically every sport with the exception of the NFL has seen ratings drop over the years (look at MLB for example).

It doesn't help skating that the scoring system has changed, the NBC commentators aren't helping make it significantly clearer to the casual watcher, and- probably the biggest factor of all- there is no prominent American lady champion to market and draw in viewers. (Wonder why NBC went crazy over Cohen returning last year?) Yes, there is Olympic champion Lysacek and yes, we have ice dance world champions, but historically US viewers have not really cared about those disciplines as much as the women. It says a lot when NBC didn't even bother with the women at Skate America, choosing to focus instead on the ice dancers and men- says a lot about the state of US ladies skating.

On the bright side, however (and I think this is what many people neglect to mention), the expanded methods of consumption available today as opposed to 10, 20 yrs ago have allowed for coverage of more skaters, and more skatING, than ever before. Yes, you might have to shell out some $$ and watch it on a computer screen, but at least you are no longer restricted to what the TV network chooses to show. I think it's a great time for skatefans, actually.

gkelly
11-09-2011, 07:51 PM
How long would it take to explain why Daisuke only got 7.86 on his Transitions but Patrick got 8.54 on his Transitions, especially after you've rolled back 4 1/2 minutes of video and count that Patrick has more crossovers, power pulls or simple pushes and fewer difficult element entrires/exits.

Which competition was this?

BreakfastClub
11-09-2011, 08:26 PM
Which competition was this?

Any competition they've been in together in the last year or two? ;)

Seriously, I made those numbers up but if you must get literal, how about Skate Canada two weeks ago. Free Skate. Daisuke TR 8.18, Patrick 8.68. Explain away! :scream:

professordeb
11-10-2011, 01:04 AM
Any competition they've been in together in the last year or two? ;)

Seriously, I made those numbers up but if you must get literal, how about Skate Canada two weeks ago. Free Skate. Daisuke TR 8.18, Patrick 8.68. Explain away! :scream:

And in that comp, you believe that Chan had easier entrances/exits out of his jumps and more stroking around between elements? WOW, cause that's not what I thought I saw, but if you'd care to
1) count the strokes etc between elements for each skater
2) provide a description of what was easier/harder for each jump done by each of the skaters
and post all that in here, I'd be very interested.

lakewood
11-10-2011, 01:16 AM
On the bright side, however (and I think this is what many people neglect to mention), the expanded methods of consumption available today as opposed to 10, 20 yrs ago have allowed for coverage of more skaters, and more skatING, than ever before. Yes, you might have to shell out some $$ and watch it on a computer screen, but at least you are no longer restricted to what the TV network chooses to show. I think it's a great time for skatefans, actually.

Good point.

gkelly
11-10-2011, 01:18 AM
OK, I've counted crossovers as best I could.

Takahashi: 4 forward CCW, 13 backward CW, 1 backward CCW, total 18

Chan: 11 forward CCW, 2 forward CW, 2 backward CCW, 14 backward CW, total 28

You're correct, Chan did more crossovers.

I can go back and analyze the transitions in detail including every three turn and simple mohawk, but it might be fairer if I just try to transcribe the notes on transitions that I took the first time I watched the programs, when I wasn't trying to prove a point one way or another:

Takahashi:
pivot, clockwise toe turns, little steps
popcorn turns, torso movement
devil roll (cross in front) into 3S
Ina Bauer, torso movement
arm move, clockwise twizzle, big simple steps steps
traveling threes with free leg
simple steps
little steps, arm movement, clockwise (steps?)
popcorn turns into 3F
twizzle, hips
brief inside spread eagle

Chan:
two-foot moves, pivot, arm move, brief Ina Bauer, simple steps, clockwise edges
arm move, swing counter, little steps
Ina Bauer, rond de jamb with free leg, back rocker
mazurka
counter, etc., two-foot moves, pose, lunge, hop (hands down)
three turns, arm move, half-walley
outside spread eagle (with check mark for quality)
outside mohawk
pose, brief inside spread eagle, knee pose

In my practice judging on video, I gave them both 8.5 for transitions.
I'd give the nod for intricacy to Takahashi and for variety to Chan. I would have given quality to Chan except for that major stumble in the middle. Difficulty probably to Chan. YMMV

berthesghost
11-10-2011, 02:04 AM
On the bright side, however (and I think this is what many people neglect to mention), the expanded methods of consumption available today as opposed to 10, 20 yrs ago have allowed for coverage of more skaters, and more skatING, than ever before. Yes, you might have to shell out some $$ and watch it on a computer screen, but at least you are no longer restricted to what the TV network chooses to show. I think it's a great time for skatefans, actually.Yes. Better for the uber fans. Until their head in the sand approach means that there are no longer any comps for them to pay $$ to see our their super secret handshake only webpages. :lol:


It doesn't help skating that the scoring system has changed, the NBC commentators aren't helping make it significantly clearer to the casual watcher, and- probably the biggest factor of all- there is no prominent American lady champion to market and draw in viewers. (Wonder why NBC went crazy over Cohen returning last year?) Yes, there is Olympic champion Lysacek and yes, we have ice dance world champions, but historically US viewers have not really cared about those disciplines as much as the women. It says a lot when NBC didn't even bother with the women at Skate America, choosing to focus instead on the ice dancers and men- says a lot about the state of US ladies skating.
Maybe. Or maybe this is all twisted around. 94 oly skating was hot hot hot. 94 worlds Kwan and bobeck went as two nobodies and skated poorer than any of the recent teams, yet the camera followed them every where, help make them into stars, and when they started winning, we already knew them. Now Alissa wins SA, NBC doesn't even bother to telecast it, and it's all alissa's fault? I doubt it. The current us ladies may not be rock stars, but the lck of support for them is concurrent with a lack of interest in skating in general.

Cherub721
11-10-2011, 02:28 AM
It doesn't help skating that the scoring system has changed, the NBC commentators aren't helping make it significantly clearer to the casual watcher, and- probably the biggest factor of all- there is no prominent American lady champion to market and draw in viewers. (Wonder why NBC went crazy over Cohen returning last year?)

Actually I don't think those two issues should be viewed in a vacuum. I'm not trying to disparage the US ladies tradition, but a lot of it is based on that 6.0 "magic" of seeing a nice position on a spiral, a beautiful layback spin, and the sheer joy in a performance like Hughes at the Olympics. Under the CoP she would probably finish off the podium due to underrotated jumps. Kwan probably would struggle to get level 3 and 4 spins. Lipinski had small jumps and a flutz. Cohen adapted really well to CoP but was lucky in that she competed before they got hardcore about edge calls. Again it's that issue of the CoP missing the forest for the trees when it comes to the overall performance.