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Sugar
04-01-2012, 11:22 PM
DiManno: Figure skating audiences alienated by esoteric judging system
http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/1154963--dimanno-figure-skating-audiences-alienated-by-esoteric-judging-system
To hear skating autocrats tell it, the Code of Points system is the best thing since spandex.The reality is much different. The reality is a rink full of spectators booing Patrick Chan upon successful defence of his title Saturday afternoon. The reality is a fan base that can’t comprehend how Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir defeated defending dance couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The reality is collective befuddlement when marks are flashed on the scoreboard. I’ve covered figure skating for three decades and even I need remedial instruction on the eve of every major competition. It’s advanced math, it’s as arcane as the theory of relativity. Increasingly I’ve come to believe it’s a deliberately excluding — almost occult — contrivance.

aka_gerbil
04-01-2012, 11:26 PM
I see that the Rita Skeeter of figure skating coverage has weighed in again.

michiruwater
04-01-2012, 11:30 PM
I am a fan, and I can absolutely comprehend how Virtue/Moir beat Davis/White.

If you need remedial instruction on the eve of competition, a) you should start looking it up way before then, and b) you don't understand math period.

It's not that hard. Seriously.

berthesghost
04-01-2012, 11:42 PM
:lol:

Increasingly I’ve come to believe it’s a deliberately excluding — almost occult — contrivance. followed by a few rabid fans' snotty remarks on how skating is better than ever, as they sit in empty rinks watching comps that won't even be televised.

peibeck
04-01-2012, 11:46 PM
:drama: There are plenty of reasons to find fault with both CoP and the 6.0 system. But I don't blame the complexities of the judging system for finding Chan or Virtue/Moir's free programs exceedingly dull this season, no matter how brilliantly talented those skaters are. :P

shan
04-02-2012, 12:19 AM
Canadians were the beneficiaries of this new-ish system in Nice, our skaters coming home with two gold medals — dance and men’s — and a top-five finish in pairs.

:lol:

The Accordion
04-02-2012, 12:36 AM
The thing that gets me is all the people complaining that the audience doesn't get COP - and insinuating that it was somehow clearer for the audience under 6.0.

Maybe 5.7 out of 6.0 was easier for the average audience member to comprehend than the numbers are now - but the reasoning for placements was certainly not clearer to the average audience.

Don't get me wrong - I would never suggest that COP is perfect. I just disagree that it is more confusing to the audience now why certain skaters place where they do.

I may not always agree with the judging now - but at least if you want to take the time - you can see how the marking breaks down.

Check out judging under 6.0 and skaters could get anything from a 4.3 to a 5.3 from different judges and be placed all over the map when it came to ordinals. Not to mention people getting perfect marks for flawed programs and people with amazing artistry getting lower 2nd marks than people with very little but with a reputation or good jumps.

How is that any more clear?

And that is why there was booing under 6.0 too.

professordeb
04-02-2012, 12:55 AM
The thing that gets me is all the people complaining that the audience doesn't get COP - and insinuating that it was somehow clearer for the audience under 6.0.

Maybe 5.7 out of 6.0 was easier for the average audience member to comprehend than the numbers are now - but the reasoning for placements was certainly not clearer to the average audience.

Don't get me wrong - I would never suggest that COP is perfect. I just disagree that it is more confusing to the audience now why certain skaters place where they do.

I may not always agree with the judging now - but at least if you want to take the time - you can see how the marking breaks down.

Check out judging under 6.0 and skaters could get anything from a 4.3 to a 5.3 from different judges and be placed all over the map when it came to ordinals. Not to mention people getting perfect marks for flawed programs and people with amazing artistry getting lower 2nd marks than people with very little but with a reputation or good jumps.

How is that any more clear?

And that is why there was booing under 6.0 too.

^^This! What's mind boggling to me is if Rosie really has been around skating as long as she has and not bothered to figure out how COP is calculated -- that's just laziness on her part.

whoa
04-02-2012, 12:56 AM
You can't please everyone. I don't know how they even come up with generalizations like these - just because DiManno, after "three decades" of figure skating coverage, doesn't understand the system doesn't mean that general audiences don't either.

If I were an elite skater, I'd want to know exactly and precisely where I lost my points, which the COP attempts to do. The 6.0 maybe used easier numbers, but for me, I don't think it's transformed the sport as much as the COP has so far. I'd love it if the system wasn't anonymous, but that's probably hoping for too much.

The "math" isn't that hard. It's addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I assume you learn those skills in elementary school. People are less simple-minded that the media apparently assumes they are! If the audience comes to watch figure skating, I don't know if they'd stop going in droves just because they "don't get" the scores. Perhaps the progression of the COP system, the economic downturn, and the fluctuation in "star" competitors across all fields are factors to consider if looking at audience numbers.

Agree with The According above in saying that simpler numbers don't mean that the audiences understand the results any better. I'm sure the same questions of "I don't get how XYZ won. ABC was clearly better and sparklier" rise in either scenario.

I'm biased - I don't like ambiguity and want to know where I stand, which I think the jargon-laden COP provides. Welfare of skaters should come before that of the audience. If people want to boo, they've certainly got the right to. I just don't think we need to dumb down or ease the system just for their convenience, which might not even be true.

OldGuy
04-02-2012, 01:02 AM
Unfortunately, under the new system the audience boos the skater, whereas under 6.0 (and 10.0 before that) the errant judge was given the hard time. In my time I have seen some pretty raucous demonstrations over poor or unfair judging. In that respect I much prefer the older systems as I hate to see a skater embarrassed through no fault of their own.

aliceanne
04-02-2012, 01:08 AM
Ha ha! That's the first time I've heard sour grapes from the winning country. What a welcome home for the Canadian team.

yunasashafan
04-02-2012, 01:12 AM
It bugs me to no end when people say they don't understand the cop because it's all complicated math. Really?? It's simple addition, not differential equations, for crying out loud.

What can be complicated is figuring out the levels and the GOEs and the base values for each element. That was not easier under 6.0, in fact one could argue that the process to attain a "grade" for each element is much more transparent under COP (what did 5.7 mean, really?)

What makes COP harder than 6.0, IMO, is that it is an aggregate system where, to understand the whole, you need to have a grasp on the parts to see how they add up. The 'math' is not the culprit. You just need to know more about the scoring to understand the meaning of the number.

PS I am not trying to defend COP. I am just sick of all this "it's all complicated math" outcry

martyross
04-02-2012, 02:16 AM
figure skating is an extremely complex sport. it's not only jumping, or spinning, or doing a circular step sequence, and it's not only acting, making tv spectators cry, etc... obvious, no? hence you can't expect that judging it is simple, just give 5.6 or 6.0 and you're fine. this should be obvious too.
the present system is discussed and analyzed 1000 times on boards and valid points are made, and yet this article simplify things in a stupid, childish way. i would say, the present system may be not perfect. but in itself, it's only a method, an abstract structure made of multiple rules. it is the people who use it that are eventually to blame. if you sense that there are biased/corrupted judges, question their decisions, or maybe even the rules themselves, but do it with some knowledge of the sport, at least.
she doesn't understand the system? so why is she writing about it in a newspaper? it's like starting an article saying, "I don't understand politics, but i'm gonna writing about it. What i want to say is: no one understands politics". wow.
also, she's generalizing much just to prove her non-understanding right. "The crowd booed". does this mean that every single person in that arena booed? of course, Chan's victory was questionable. but maybe there were people in the arena who were fine with it. "the fan base" didn't get Tessa and Scott's winning? what fan base? the entire community of skating fans around the world?
so what's the point of this brilliant article? let's change a scoring system because Rosie Di Manno doesn't understand it or is not good at maths enough?

bbkenn
04-02-2012, 02:25 AM
:drama: There are plenty of reasons to find fault with both CoP and the 6.0 system. But I don't blame the complexities of the judging system for finding Chan or Virtue/Moir's free programs exceedingly dull this season, no matter how brilliantly talented those skaters are. :P

The problem with your statement is that it is entirely subjective. There are LOTS of figure skating fans, me included, that disagree with you.

bbkenn
04-02-2012, 02:27 AM
Ha ha! That's the first time I've heard sour grapes from the winning country. What a welcome home for the Canadian team.

Most Canadians knowledgeable with figure skating know she has a reputation for being an idiot and don't pay attention to what she says anyway. Maybe she's looking to relocate to another country where bashing skaters in print is common?