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ioana
04-23-2012, 07:46 PM
So since the ladies are not expected (really, not required) to do the quad, etc, they can demonstrate their mastery of the sport by doing the very elements you want eliminated, the layback, the spiral, etc.

But spirals and laybacks are more about extreme flexibility, especially under the current rules where Biellmanns or full split spins count as a feature. And some fans -myself included- feel this makes it harder for a more athletic, but not uber-flexible girl skater to get higher levels on these skills. Being given an option to do a different spin or MITF like spread eagles or ina bauers instead of spirals is a very good thing, IMO. Skaters who are flexible could still do those elements, but those who cannot (do them as well) wouldn't automatically start with a handicap because of it.

kwanfan1818
04-23-2012, 07:51 PM
I am not talking about accommodating a skater from anywhere, but about suggestions to eliminate requirements that have long been highlights of the sport. They showcase a skater's flexibility, control of the blade in COE spiral and mastery of complex positions during a spin (you have to demonstrate several for x number of revolutions to get a high level).
Mastery of complex positions, number of revolutions, etc. during a spin can be shown equally in any kind of spin.

I think that the flexibility in spirals and laybacks is fine and should be rewarded, but that it shouldn't be elevated over any of the other skills, and especially over form in general, proper jump technique, and use of proper edges.


There cannot be equality in what's accepted and expected from men and ladies competitors. So since the ladies are not expected (really, not required) to do the quad, etc, they can demonstrate their mastery of the sport by doing the very elements you want eliminated, the layback, the spiral, etc.
Many of the top Ladies are performing 3/3's in SP (now), with the trend going upward, and very few men are performing quads in the SP. Women's solo jump difficulty is close to par with the Men. The spiral is no longer a requirement for the SP and is considered in transitions.

Ladies can show mastery of the sport -- blade and body control -- in the FS by doing a circular step sequence and a straightline or serpentine sequence sequence as well as they can show it by doing a spiral step sequence. I don't think that women should have to display flexibility in lieu of harder jumps and jump combos, and that is what both spirals and layback spins require.

overedge
04-23-2012, 08:16 PM
No matter what you wear, there's always going to be someone calling into question your morals and character based on the clothes you wear. I remember there was some blog calling the costumes of figure skating scandalous and perhaps implying that figure skaters were no better than prostitutes. As an example, they put up a picture of Kimmie Meissner in her 2007 LP dress. Some people can't be pleased.

I think that was the same creepy weirdo who came on here a few times to argue that ladies should wear their tights pulled up over the panties of their dresses, rather than wearing the panties over the dresses. Its argument was "modesty" but it looked like this person had spent, um, a rather immodest amount of time thinking about crotchlines and bunched-up panties.

gkelly
04-23-2012, 08:34 PM
Mastery of complex positions, number of revolutions, etc. during a spin can be shown equally in any kind of spin.

But none other require the head to be off axis from upright (either back or sideways), which certainly challenges the balance more. However, can it be required in a way that doesn't demand flexibility?

I like to see the women who don't have the flexibility for catch-foot positions -- as well as some who do -- experimenting with backspin laybacks and forward outside edge laybacks. Never saw the latter at all before IJS came along.


I think that the flexibility in spirals and laybacks is fine and should be rewarded, but that it shouldn't be elevated over any of the other skills, and especially over form in general, proper jump technique, and use of proper edges.

Probably a moot point now that spiral sequences are reduced and purely "choreo." But I always wanted to see more edge-based features and a limit on the flexibility features.


Many of the top Ladies are performing 3/3's in SP (now), with the trend going upward, and very few men are performing quads in the SP. Women's solo jump difficulty is close to par with the Men. The spiral is no longer a requirement for the SP and is considered in transitions.

Ladies can show mastery of the sport -- blade and body control -- in the FS by doing a circular step sequence and a straightline or serpentine sequence sequence as well as they can show it by doing a spiral step sequence. I don't think that women should have to display flexibility in lieu of harder jumps and jump combos, and that is what both spirals and layback spins require.[/QUOTE]

kwanfan1818
04-23-2012, 08:49 PM
But none other require the head to be off axis from upright (either back or sideways), which certainly challenges the balance more. However, can it be required in a way that doesn't demand flexibility?

I assume you mean when skaters are using good posture ;)

Illusion and camel spin positions do this, as well as flying entrances, but that would required lifting the leg to at least 90 degrees or over the head. Skaters have taken their head off axis in SL and circular footwork by virtue of changes in body positions and in lunges, hitchkick's, etc., but it's more limited in use and duration, although it involves maintaining balance during (usually) faster direction changes and (usually) greater momentum.

A layback spin has higher base value than other (basic position) spins: if skaters want to show this particular balance challenge, they can opt for the higher-value layback. Not every Ladies skater has competitive technical content, with or without the spirals and laybacks (see Karademir, Tugba and Maxwell, Fleur), yet every one is required to show this characteristic. A Men's skater with 2A, 3T/2, and a solo loop isn't required to compensate for his lack of jump content by showing flexibility through a spiral step sequence and/or a layback spin (those slackers!). I don't see why Ladies should have to, either, if they have other and better elemental skills.

Ziggy
04-23-2012, 11:33 PM
I've never thought about the layback as breasts in the air. Interesting that you do.

I don't care about modesty but most laybacks look fugly. ;)

I'd just like to see the rules for men and women equal.

So giving the choice for men to do a spiral sequence in the FS and not requiring women to do laybacks and spirals if they don't want to.

misskarne
04-24-2012, 02:02 AM
So giving the choice for men to do a spiral sequence in the FS and not requiring women to do laybacks and spirals if they don't want to.

Oooooh, yes please!

On two fronts: I am as flexible as a brick and my spirals suck and my layback probably will too, but I could do steps :P

And I LOVE watching men do spirals. Plushenko's arabesque was to die for, it's a shame he never did it more often. Jason Brown has some very nice spirals and I think we would be surprised to see who else in the mens' field has nice spirals that they just never use.

IceAlisa
04-24-2012, 04:13 AM
But none other require the head to be off axis from upright (either back or sideways), which certainly challenges the balance more. However, can it be required in a way that doesn't demand flexibility?
Yes. See Kwan's crescent spin. She didn't have the most flexible of backs and came up with this creative solution.



I think that the flexibility in spirals and laybacks is fine and should be rewarded, but that it shouldn't be elevated over any of the other skills, and especially over form in general, proper jump technique, and use of proper edges. Why can't they all be rewarded? Flexibility is something I value because it helps prevent injury but more selfishly, it creates beautiful lines. I like beautiful lines. Otherwise I'd watch speed skating. It's like saying, lets eliminate flexibility in ballet and just have the jumps, jetes and fine pointe work. Where would ballet be?



Many of the top Ladies are performing 3/3's in SP (now), with the trend going upward, and very few men are performing quads in the SP. Women's solo jump difficulty is close to par with the Men.
I am sure you've noticed how much higher men's event totals are vs. women. Most top men's jump content is much much higher in difficulty than most top women. Should I do a layout of the current world champs? Kostner doesn't even do a lutz.


The spiral is no longer a requirement for the SP and is considered in transitions. That's too bad. OTOH, someone upthread had mentioned how ugly some of the spirals are so some competitors are better off.


Ladies can show mastery of the sport -- blade and body control -- in the FS by doing a circular step sequence and a straightline or serpentine sequence sequence as well as they can show it by doing a spiral step sequence.
They can glide on one foot across the diagonal length of the rink while maintaining a difficult balancing position and executing a COE while presenting the audience with an aesthetically pleasing picture? Spirals are beautiful, very hard to do so it looks good and therefore should remain a part of the sport. Can't do the full 180 extension? Do the catchfoot like Slutskaya, Wagner and Zahra Lari.



I don't think that women should have to display flexibility in lieu of harder jumps and jump combos, and that is what both spirals and layback spins require.Not in lieu but along with. If men can do spirals well, more power to them. Women who can do harder jumps and jump combos do them. Just look at Tuktamysheva. And Asada is still struggling with the 3 axel but she is trying, no one is holding her back.

AndyWarhol
04-24-2012, 04:46 AM
Yes. See Kwan's crescent spin. She didn't have the most flexible of backs and came up with this creative solution.

Why can't they all be rewarded? Flexibility is something I value because it helps prevent injury but more selfishly, it creates beautiful lines. I like beautiful lines. Otherwise I'd watch speed skating. It's like saying, lets eliminate flexibility in ballet and just have the jumps, jetes and fine pointe work. Where would ballet be?

I am sure you've noticed how much higher men's event totals are vs. women. Most top men's jump content is much much higher in difficulty than most top women. Should I do a layout of the current world champs? Kostner doesn't even do a lutz.
That's too bad. OTOH, someone upthread had mentioned how ugly some of the spirals are so some competitors are better off.

They can glide on one foot across the diagonal length of the rink while maintaining a difficult balancing position and executing a COE while presenting the audience with an aesthetically pleasing picture? Spirals are beautiful, very hard to do so it looks good and therefore should remain a part of the sport. Can't do the full 180 extension? Do the catchfoot like Slutskaya, Wagner and Zahra Lari.

Not in lieu but along with. If men can do spirals well, more power to them. Women who can do harder jumps and jump combos do them. Just look at Tuktamysheva. And Asada is still struggling with the 3 axel but she is trying, no one is holding her back.


^^^all of this.

MR-FAN
04-24-2012, 06:35 AM
Very inspiring indeed! If/when there's a video of her performing, I'm definitely going to check it out. Actually, at my rink here in Montreal, there's a youngish lady who competes wearing the hejab. Just a couple of weeks ago I attended the club end-of-the-season show, and she performed in a couple of the group numbers. Her costumes matched the other ladies except for the darker tights, and the hejab which matched the costume (along with an explosion of sequins :P) It surely grabs your attention and made her stand out!

Question for those of you who would know about this: Do middle-eastern/gulf countries not usually have female participants in such sports as swimming and track & Field? If so, I hope Zahra wouldn't get too much flack for her (very decent) costumes. It would be ironic if she's criticized from the countries that brought us belly-dancing :lol:

5Ali3
04-24-2012, 07:04 AM
That is great news! :respec:

Great that women can skate in trousers/unitards now, nothing stopping the costumes from being 'modest'.

Theoretically a hijab should not be allowed in ISU competitions though, given it's a prop isn't it (being detachable)?

I definitely do not want to discuss the political aspects of this (that's what PI is for), just making a technical point about the rules.

Skaters never cover their heads and only used hats and similar when they were explicitly allowed to do so given the Short Dance theme.

I imagine (and hope) that no referee would actually enforce that rule against a girl who chose to skate in a hijab, though.

I've seen several skaters in the U.S. compete wearing hijab: it's most certainly not a costume deduction, and a hijab is no more "detachable" than a skating dress is detachable - in the sense that they can both be removed - and is definitely less detachable than the hairpieces worn by many female skaters, which fall out with surprising regularity.

Also, before the rule change, there was no rule prohibiting women from wearing pants in competition: they just had to have something that could be considered a skirt over the hips. The young women who I've seen compete in hijab typically wore a dress-like long-sleeve shirtdress that extended over the hips, matching trousers, and a well-secured hijab that coordinated with the overall outfit. I saw young women compete in this ensemble before the rule change allowing trousers went into effect, and it was considered no different under the rules from a skater who wore black tights under a black dress.

The conversation has taken a turn away from discussing modesty, so I won't say very much, but I will note that it's interesting to read what others define as "modest" and the assumptions that are being made about what qualifies as "modest" for Muslim women; those assumptions strike me as being closer to what I would identify as "modest" in fundamentalist Christianity as practiced in the U.S. compared to moderate Islam, actually. FWIW, different religions - and different cultures and different individuals - have varying thoughts about what constitutes "modesty," which is generally about more than just clothing: it's about modest behavior, thought, deed, action. One non-Muslim friend of mine includes "no corporate logos" in her definition of modesty, while another who is Christian tries to avoid wearing neon colors and only wears skirts that fall mid-calf (her teen girls wear pants or skirts that fall around/below the knee). Another friend, who is Jewish and married, would never leave her house without her hair covered, but regularly wears tight clothing that I would never dream of wearing because my definition of "modest clothing" includes loose, layered clothing. There's a tremendous amount of variation among Muslims, both in the U.S. and in the most of the Middle East, about "modest dress." In my current community, it's very common to see hijabi women wearing brightly colored hijab that coordinate with their very-fashionable outfits, although there are also women who wear only solid, dark colors, typically the same color hijab->foot.

kwanfan1818
04-24-2012, 10:46 AM
Why can't they all be rewarded?
I don't know why you're convinced I think that things should be not rewarded or that they should be eliminated. There's a huge difference between rewarding something through incentives -- i.e. higher base values -- and requiring it. They can reward it all they want.


Flexibility is something I value because it helps prevent injury but more selfishly, it creates beautiful lines. I like beautiful lines. Otherwise I'd watch speed skating. It's like saying, lets eliminate flexibility in ballet and just have the jumps, jetes and fine pointe work. Where would ballet be?
Back to its roots: in the time of classical ballet -- i.e., Petipa and Ivanov -- there were no arabesques above waist height; to do so was considered anti-classical and out of balance and proportion.

You don't watch Men's or Ice Dance, where there are no spiral or layback spin requirements, because somehow both are like speed-skating? I would die a happy girl if there were Ladies who started skating like Takahashi, Kozuka, Chan, Ge, Abbott, Gachinski, Bourzat, Tkachenko (without the drama face), Soloviev, Tran, Buttle, and I'm I could think of more if it wasn't too late for :coffee:

A skater can show great flexibility in the context of transitions, step sequences, spins, and jump landings. Takahashi, Jason Brown, and Robin Szolkowy, Victor Pfeiffer, Misha Ge, Ilia Tkachenko, and the young Plushenko come to mind. If a Men's skater doesn't have flexibility, he can avoid it, but the 80% of the women who perform layback spins and spirals in a perfunctory way at best and :yikes: at worst are forced to do them to somehow compensate for having easier jump content :confused:.

The current judging also rewards flexibility and air position in spirals over stability, good running edge, and deep edges: Sasha Cohen was the poster child for that. But then it also gives high scores to skaters who jump with bent-over entrances and mule kicks if the jumps are considered difficult enough, and quad twists where the lady lands draped over the man's shoulder like a Girl Scout sash.


I am sure you've noticed how much higher men's event totals are vs. women. Most top men's jump content is much much higher in difficulty than most top women. Should I do a layout of the current world champs? Kostner doesn't even do a lutz.
Setting aside the two most obvious inequities in the scoring system -- the 80% factor penalty in Ladies PCS in both programs and the eighth jumping pass for men -- my point was that in the SP, not the FS, Ladies jump content is improving and starting to close the gap, in base score at least, and if the younger Ladies keep up their harder 3/3's (big if), the difference between their SP base scores and the average Men's SP base score will be between the 3A and the 2A.

Although there's a higher presentation standard for Ladies, they still must do 25% more to get the same PCS as a Men's skater -- which is about 10% of the total score, if TES and PCS are about equal for Men, which has been the IJS ideal. I think the PCS penalty is enough of a penalty for Ladies, without having to show hyper-flexibility. Should the Junior Men be forced to do layback spins and spiral step sequences because they have somewhat similar jump content to the Senior Ladies? (They both have 12 elements in the FS.) Carolina Kostner would have been JGPF Men's Champion, if her PCS hadn't taken the 80% factoring penalty.


That's too bad. OTOH, someone upthread had mentioned how ugly some of the spirals are so some competitors are better off.
So are spectators.

I much preferred Shizuka Arakawa's stupendous Ina Bauer to her fine spiral.


They can glide on one foot across the diagonal length of the rink while maintaining a difficult balancing position and executing a COE while presenting the audience with an aesthetically pleasing picture?
Not without changing positions, but in a step sequence, glide across at least half of the rink while maintaining difficult constantly changing balancing positions, constantly changing edges, turns on one foot, and spiral positions.

If the Men had to do the same, I might find it ugly, like I do with watching most male Pair skater perform them, but I wouldn't have a problem with the double-standard.


Spirals are beautiful, very hard to do so it looks good and therefore should remain a part of the sport. Can't do the full 180 extension? Do the catchfoot like Slutskaya, Wagner and Zahra Lari.
There's nothing to stop Ladies from doing spirals, and the ones that can do them well can continue to do them, even under the new proposal. (So can the ones who don't do them well.) They will have a choice, which I :cheer2: Now, if the ISU will only get rid of the required layback spin.


Not in lieu but along with. If men can do spirals well, more power to them. Women who can do harder jumps and jump combos do them. Just look at Tuktamysheva. And Asada is still struggling with the 3 axel but she is trying, no one is holding her back.
I have no problem with this, as long as the women aren't forced to do elements that Men aren't by the rules.

In the current system, Men are not forced to do any harder jumps than Ladies. If they need to do them to be competitive, they will. If Ladies need to do layback spins and spirals to be competitive, they will. Competition and results will drive them.

Ziggy
04-24-2012, 02:34 PM
The conversation has taken a turn away from discussing modesty

It should have never taken this turn in the first place, IMO.

This is not PI.

overedge
04-24-2012, 03:48 PM
Do middle-eastern/gulf countries not usually have female participants in such sports as swimming and track & Field?

There have been several Muslim women runners who have competed in the Olympics, like Hassiba Boulmerka from Algeria, but AFAIK none who have worn hijabs.

allezfred
04-24-2012, 04:07 PM
There have been several Muslim women runners who have competed in the Olympics, like Hassiba Boulmerka from Algeria, but AFAIK none who have worn hijabs.

That's not correct. Ruqaya Al Ghasara, a sprinter from Bahrain, worn a hijab at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.