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IceAlisa
04-24-2012, 04:58 PM
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. Because a few posters, including yourself, are clamoring for the elimination of the requirement.



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. So what? Why do you bring up the roots? Should I bring up the roots of figure skating where there were barely any triple jumps? Why is this relevant?


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 don't really watch dance but I do watch men's. The requirements are different because the a man's body and a woman's body are better suited for different things physically, no matter what they told you in your sociology class. Are you advocating for the same standards in every sport? The London Olympics are coming up, should all athletes be judged by the same standard? Why separate men's and women's events at all? Let them all compete en masse against each other.


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: I hope you find your happiness in other sources. Women are not putting a clean 3 axel in their program and you want several and a quad.


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. So why not in a spiral? Some of them do it. But because they carry a burden of expectation of much more complex jump content, they don't have to. As I've mentioned, the women who can do more complex jumps are numbered like Tukt and Asada whose 3 axel was MIA this season. No one is holding the women back from harder jumps. No one.


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:. Yes. They have to do something if they are not doing quads or 3 axels.


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. Really? I was under the impression that Zhang got penalized for the mule kick to the point that she had to relearn the technique. I wonder why she bothered if there was no penalty...Really, think about it.



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. Excepting when the men throw in a quad in the SP. Which they are doing.


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?

Why are you comparing junior and seniors? First the roots of ballet, now a different age category? They are junior for a reason, the expectations are lower.


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.
You keep saying that but it's totally divorced from reality. Yes, they are forced if they want to be on the podium. End of story. It's a de facto rule.

overedge
04-24-2012, 07:09 PM
That's not correct.

Which is why I said "as far as I know".

ioana
04-24-2012, 07:29 PM
Because a few posters, including yourself, are clamoring for the elimination of the requirement.

I could be misunderstanding something, but giving skaters a choice between a spiral sequence and MITF sequence is not the same as completely doing away with an element. I'm pretty sure we're still a long way away from having spirals and laybacks on an endangered species list when it comes to ladies programs...

IceAlisa
04-24-2012, 07:41 PM
I would guess that most skaters would choose a path of least resistance. It's a numbers game, why exert yourself without extra incentive?

agalisgv
04-24-2012, 08:21 PM
I could be misunderstanding something, but giving skaters a choice between a spiral sequence and MITF sequence is not the same as completely doing away with an element. Exactly

Skaters go after the elements and levels based on points awarded for such. The reason so many do catch-foot positions is because they are awarded more points/higher levels. Step sequences and spins are awarded different levels based on the difficulty involved. Presumably a good layback would be worth more than an upright scratch spin. So skaters looking to capitalize on points would do that (or some fugly catch-foot variation :yikes: ).

Personally I'd rather have skaters, both male and female, be able to craft programs that draw upon their strengths rather than impose some genderized notion of appropriate male/female skating. Let skaters choose for themselves how they want to express themselves artistically and aesthetically. This isn't the 1950's anymore, for goodness sake :P

Ziggy
04-24-2012, 08:47 PM
Personally I'd rather have skaters, both male and female, be able to craft programs that draw upon their strengths rather than impose some genderized notion of appropriate male/female skating. Let skaters choose for themselves how they want to express themselves artistically and aesthetically. This isn't the 1950's anymore, for goodness sake :P

Unfortunately skating is still very much stuck in the 1950s. :wall:

IceAlisa
04-24-2012, 08:55 PM
Skating is a judged sport, which means standards and requirements. If everyone did their own thing, there would no way to compare skateres' performances. And newsflash: most sports have women's and men's categories with different requirements, not just skating.

kwanfan1818
04-25-2012, 12:28 AM
Because a few posters, including yourself, are clamoring for the elimination of the requirement.
Surely someone who was born into the former Soviet Union can appreciate the difference between restrictions/requirements and options/incentives, no?


So what? Why do you bring up the roots? Should I bring up the roots of figure skating where there were barely any triple jumps? Why is this relevant?
You asked "Where would ballet be?", and I answered it: to the standards of Petipa, arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of all time, not to mention Anna Pavlova, Mathilde Kschessinska, Olga Preobrajenska, Pierrina Legnani and the generation of ballerinas before them: Grahn, Grisi, Cerrito, and Taglioni. The ballerinas of the Italian style moved more quickly and could do a lot of technical things that modern day ballerinas cannot, much more akin to skating skills and step sequences than spirals and laybacks.

Peggy Fleming was one of the most balletic Ladies skaters, and there wasn't a required spiral sequence in 1968. She added them, rarely lifting her leg above 95 degrees, as transitional elements.


I don't really watch dance but I do watch men's. The requirements are different because the a man's body and a woman's body are better suited for different things physically, no matter what they told you in your sociology class.

Or perhaps because the requirements are self-selecting, and the women who are successful are the ones who can meet the current women's requirements that emphasize flexibility at the expense of other skills?

Almost every especially flexible ballerina I've heard speak or write on the subject has said that flexibility is a trade-off with control and stability. Perhaps women with less flexibility could have as important an impact on other aspects of figure skating -- for example, stronger jumps and/or Chan-like edges -- if they weren't screened out by the flexibility requirements. They're athletes, not applicants to the Vaganova Academy.

Good form and technique within styles is common to most forms of movement, but figure skating is not ballet, and, IMO, should not be held to ballet standards or a ballet aesthetic.


Are you advocating for the same standards in every sport? The London Olympics are coming up, should all athletes be judged by the same standard? Why separate men's and women's events at all? Let them all compete en masse against each other.
Having the same rules and competing against each other directly are very different things.

Perhaps the best analogy to what I'd like to see in skating is diving (http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=300:d-3-competition-format&catid=84:diving-rules&Itemid=184). Men and women compete in the same categories (10m platform, 3m and 10m springboard, synchronized 3m springboard and 10m platform). The men do six dives and the women five, much like the Men's program is 30 seconds longer than the Ladies' programs. Both men and women are required to do one dive from each of the five categories, and the men chose a second dive from any category.

The men choose dives with higher degrees of difficulty, yet the women are not required to do stick to some category of girlie dives that required additional physical characteristics or, for the most part, better form, or be restricted from highest degree of difficulty dives. (These are restricted by age, not gender.) There are graceful men and women divers, and there are powerful, athletic men and women divers. All are expected to point their toes and hold their straightened legs together on entry.

Also, if there's a woman who can compete on all of the Men's apparatus and be the best all-around gymnast in those events or vice versa, I have no problem with them competing.



I hope you find your happiness in other sources. Women are not putting a clean 3 axel in their program and you want several and a quad.
You're talking to the wrong person here. I might clamor :mitchell: for the removal of gender-based restrictions and requirements in figure skating as well as changes to the Zayak rule to give skaters more options, but I've never been one to clamor for more rotations, and I'm the last person who would whine about Buttle earning a World Championship or Lysacek winning the Olympic gold medal without a quad and against men with them.


So why not in a spiral? Some of them do it. But because they carry a burden of expectation of much more complex jump content, they don't have to. As I've mentioned, the women who can do more complex jumps are numbered like Tukt and Asada whose 3 axel was MIA this season. No one is holding the women back from harder jumps. No one.
I simply don't buy your argument that Ladies should have other requirements because they don't carry the burden of more complex jump content. They already have the higher bar to clear with the PCS penalty and higher standards for the same PCS scores. In the FS, they're already skating a program that's 30 seconds shorter.


Yes. They have to do something if they are not doing quads or 3 axels.
Not buying it.


Really? I was under the impression that Zhang got penalized for the mule kick to the point that she had to relearn the technique. I wonder why she bothered if there was no penalty...Really, think about it.
Yes, really. Zhang got fine scores when she was landing her mule-kick jumps and under-rotations weren't being called by the technical team -- she was well-rewarded with one Junior World gold and two Junior World silvers despite her mule-kick -- and she didn't bother to change her technique until she could no longer land her jumps. Kanako Murakami, was second in the SP at Nice despite her mule kick, and even though, combined with her growth spurt, it is already interfering with her landings, she was fifth overall.


Excepting when the men throw in a quad in the SP. Which they are doing.
Some are.


Why are you comparing junior and seniors? First the roots of ballet, now a different age category? They are junior for a reason, the expectations are lower.

There are 15-20-year olds competing at Junior Worlds, and 15-20-year olds competing at Senior Worlds. (Sometimes, like Dennis Ten, they are competing at both.) The concession to their age is shorter programs and fewer elements in the FS, and a specific jump designated as the solo jump in the SP. However, if there is some absolute technical content that a skater should have to be able to do in order to not have to show flexibility skills, and most of the Junior Men aren't meeting that, shouldn't they have to display something else because, they're not doing twp 3A's and a quad or two quads and a 3A?

I suppose they are on their way to be Real Men, and because of this, they get to use their training time on harder jumps and don't have to compromise jumping ability with flexibility requirements.


You keep saying that but it's totally divorced from reality. Yes, they are forced if they want to be on the podium. End of story. It's a de facto rule.
It's an incentive. If they don't, then many times they aren't competitive, except when they are.

IceAlisa
04-25-2012, 12:50 AM
Surely someone who was born into the former Soviet Union can appreciate the difference between restrictions/requirements and options/incentives, no? :huh: A non-sequitur.



You asked "Where would ballet be?", and I answered it: to the standards of Petipa, arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of all time, not to mention Anna Pavlova, Mathilde Kschessinska, Olga Preobrajenska, Pierrina Legnani and the generation of ballerinas before them: Grahn, Grisi, Cerrito, and Taglioni. The ballerinas of the Italian style moved more quickly and could do a lot of technical things that modern day ballerinas cannot, much more akin to skating skills and step sequences than spirals and laybacks. However, ballet isn't there, thankfully and these days a ballerina without flexibility will not find a job.



Or perhaps because the requirements are self-selecting, and the women who are successful are the ones who can meet the current women's requirements that emphasize flexibility at the expense of other skills? Have you seen the movie The Social Network? If you have, you may recall that Mark Zuckerberg was accused of stealing the idea of Facebook and building the site himself. His defense: if they had invented Facebook, they would have invented Facebook. If the women could do harder jumps, they would. Are you seriously suggesting that the layback and spiral is what keeping Asada from landing her 3 axel? What evidence is there for this? Where is the quad from the not so flexible female skaters? Any woman who could bust out a 3 axel and a more complex 3/3 or even a quad, would do it. Again, see Tutkamysheva. If they could do it consistently enough to put into a competition, they would.


Almost every especially flexible ballerina I've heard speak or write on the subject has said that flexibility is a trade-off with control and stability. Perhaps women with less flexibility could have as important an impact on other aspects of figure skating -- for example, stronger jumps -- if they weren't screened out by the flexibility requirements. That's a theory for which I have seen no proof. Sasha Cohen is no proof because I believe all her problems were purely psychological. Also, see Kirov and Bolshoi schools of ballet where flexibility and control/strength are combined beautifully.


Good form and technique within styles is common to most forms of movement, but figure skating is not ballet, and, IMO, should not be held to ballet standards or a ballet aesthetic. Figure skating is a sport where a beautiful line is important. Again, flexibility not only helps achieve the aesthetically pleasing line but also helps prevent injury. Consider that.



Having the same rules and competing against each other directly are very different things. Again, this is divorced from reality.




Also, if there's a woman who can compete on all of the Men's apparatus and be the best all-around gymnast in those events or vice versa, I have no problem with them competing. That's nice but do they? Where are these women gymnasts who do rings and other traditionally men's apparati. Who is keeping them away from them? Don't tell me it's flexibility because male gymnasts are very flexible.




You're talking to the wrong person here. I might clamor :mitchell: for the removal of gender-based restrictions and requirements in figure skating as well as changes to the Zayak rule to give skaters more options, but I've never been one to clamor for more rotations, and I'm the last person who would whine about Buttle earning a World Championship or Lysacek winning the Olympic gold medal without a quad and against men with them. But that's history. Try to compete against Chan without a quad. Not. Going. To Happen. Takahashi landed two quads in his last competition, one in the SP. Please lets get back to real world.



I simply don't buy your argument that Ladies should have other requirements because they don't carry the burden of more complex jump content. They already have the higher bar to clear with the PCS penalty and higher standards for the same PCS scores. In the FS, they're already skating a program that's 30 seconds shorter. And that's a hard thing? A shorter program? I don't understand what you are arguing at all. You don't have to buy my argument. I don't insist on it.




Yes, really. Zhang got fine scores when she was landing her mule-kick jumps and under-rotations weren't being called by the technical team -- she was well-rewarded with one Junior World gold and two Junior World silvers despite her mule-kick -- and she didn't bother to change her technique until she could no longer land her jumps.
Care to mention her achievements as a Novice? Who cares what happened then? She got slammed as a senior and relearned the technique, therefore the incentive is there. That's proof right there.



Kanako Murakami, was second in the SP at Nice despite her mule kick, and even though, combined with her growth spurt, it is already interfering with her landings, she was fifth overall. Her "mule kick" is nowhere near that egregious as Zhang's was. You know what I really wish she got slammed for? Her poor posture. Murakami and Hanyu both.




There are 15-20-year olds competing at Junior Worlds, and 15-20-year olds competing at Senior Worlds. (Sometimes, like Dennis Ten, they are competing at both.) The concession to their age is shorter programs and fewer elements in the FS, and a specific jump designated as the solo jump in the SP. However, if there is some absolute technical content that a skater should have to be able to do in order to not have to show flexibility skills, and most of the Junior Men aren't meeting that, shouldn't they have to display something else because, they're not doing twp 3A's and a quad or two quads and a 3A? They are juniors, why are you applying senior standards to them again?


I suppose they are on their way to be Real Men, and because of this, they get to use their training time on harder jumps and don't have to compromise jumping ability with flexibility requirements. I am FAR from convinced that having a nice layback or a spiral impairs you jumping ability. What about Arakawa and her Ina? That required extreme back flexibility. Kwan's spiral was close to 180 although not all the way, but a lot higher than a lot of women today and she jumped fine. This is all conjecture brought up to serve a very strange agenda. Why are you on the rampage against flexibility? It prevents injury and looks good. All skaters, male and female should try to achieve it.



It's an incentive. If they don't, then many times they aren't competitive, except when they are. Again, try going against Chan et al without all the bells and whistles. Earth to kwanfan1818, please come back. I hope you are not coaching some young man, telling him he will be just fine without a set of complex 3/3s, 3 axel and a quad.

Since we are on the subject of ballet, flexibility and jumps, have you seen Natalia Osipova? Hardly an inflexible individual and someone who could easily get into the layback or spiral position. Have you seen her jump? Do you know they call her Natalia airlines?

Finally, Mayo clinic approves of flexibility:
Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/HQ01447/NSECTIONGROUP=2

seabm7
04-25-2012, 10:52 AM
What about Arakawa and her Ina? That required extreme back flexibility.

Wow, you have a very long list of reasoning. Well, I do not know much on flexibility, but I think one cannot use Arakawa as a proof.

I heard that two of her spine bones are shaped irregular, which allows the extreme flexibility. Her Ina Bauer is a unique case. That cannot be replicated or generalized to other skaters' situation.

allezfred
04-25-2012, 11:16 AM
Which is why I said "as far as I know".

Well now you know better. ;)

IceAlisa
04-25-2012, 04:45 PM
Wow, you have a very long list of reasoning. Well, I do not know much on flexibility, but I think one cannot use Arakawa as a proof.

I heard that two of her spine bones are shaped irregular, which allows the extreme flexibility. Her Ina Bauer is a unique case. That cannot be replicated or generalized to other skaters' situation.

I am sure many skaters can achieve that position if they want to, just look at Zhang's pearl spin--that's just crazy and awesome. IMO, Arakawa's Ina has to do with core strength as much as it does with flexibility. She not only has to achieve this position but hold it steady while she glides with her feet in sort of a 4th position--that's a feat of strength too. I would think she has abs of steel.

Sylvia
07-04-2013, 05:10 PM
Zahra Lari is pretty much the face of women’s figure-skating in the UAE at the moment. By no means a traditional sport in the country, she was the only female from the region to compete at the recent European Criterium Cup in Budapest, Hungary, where she took first place in the Interpretative C category in the 24th Sportland Trophy.

Indeed, she turned heads last year by being the first female figure-skater to enter an international competition wearing a hijab.

The 18-year-old is currently being coached at Zayed Sports City (ZSC) by Romanian Andreea Tuliga, who is also overseeing the development of other girls as young as four. Lari didn’t take up the sport until she was 12, but she is determined to make up for lost time.
New Q&A with Zahra Lari (June 27, 2013): http://www.sport360.com/other-sports/zahra-lari-uae’s-own-ice-princess

Videos of her skating and being interviewed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOVqh96PeQs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQaFwaQb0Ns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBqp0xcUIU8

SPORTLAND TROPHY, Budapest, Hungary
06-10. February 2013
International Figure Skating Competition
http://sportorszag.hu/index.php?page=competition&pw=9&lang=eng
Lari (spelled Lary in the results) won the Interpretative C event and finished 16th in Junior Ladies, 14th in FS landing a few clean doubles through Lz: http://sportorszag.hu/downloads/trophy2013/JUNIORLADIES_FS_Scores.pdf

RFOS
07-04-2013, 05:42 PM
Very cool, thanks Sylvia! :)

Eislauffan
07-04-2013, 11:13 PM
Interesting, thank you. Her English is really good. In the article, the author (obviously having no knowledge of figure skating) states that Zahra Lari "is the process of becoming a member of the International Skating Union (ISU). To compete in the Olympics or other major events, one must be a member of this. Her application is pending approval".
I wonder if he really means that she is trying to compete on the behalf of the ISU (as UAE is not an ISU member) or if UAE has applied for ISU membership.