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View Full Version : Monica Friedlander: "International Skating Union Now Officially a Dictatorship"



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giselle23
07-01-2012, 06:06 PM
Leaving aside the question of Patrick Chan's and Virtue/Moir's wins in 2012, I do think that the change in the judging system has hurt the sport. It may not be the only reason for the decline in the sport's popularity, but it is one of the reasons, in my opinion. Not only is it incomprehensible to a viewer who doesn't have the time or interest to study the protocols, it does take away some of the beauty of skating--substituting pretzel spins, labored footwork and other tricks included for no purpose other than to gain points. Regardless of the intricacies of the 6.0 system, the casual viewer could see which judges scored a skater high or low and knew that 5.8s and 5.9s were good scores and a 6.0 meant perfection. Couldn't the problem of under-rotations and wrong-edge takeoffs been fixed by adding a technical judge to the 6.0 system who would enforce mandatory deductions? It's just one thought among many that should have been considered instead of starting over from scratch, in my opinion.

hanca
07-01-2012, 06:17 PM
Leaving aside the question of Patrick Chan's and Virtue/Moir's wins in 2012, I do think that the change in the judging system has hurt the sport. It may not be the only reason for the decline in the sport's popularity, but it is one of the reasons, in my opinion. Not only is it incomprehensible to a viewer who doesn't have the time or interest to study the protocols, it does take away some of the beauty of skating--substituting pretzel spins, labored footwork and other tricks included for no purpose other than to gain points. Regardless of the intricacies of the 6.0 system, the casual viewer could see which judges scored a skater high or low and knew that 5.8s and 5.9s were good scores and a 6.0 meant perfection. Couldn't the problem of under-rotations and wrong-edge takeoffs been fixed by adding a technical judge to the 6.0 system who would enforce mandatory deductions? It's just one thought among many that should have been considered instead of starting over from scratch, in my opinion.

Oh please, not another discussion on ISU versus 6.0 judging system. I am sure there is plenty of threads on this forum discussing that. Just go through the archives. The horse is dead; let's move on!

Judge Dred
07-01-2012, 06:31 PM
:rofl: Holy f*ck how did you manage to find that? It is not even my Youtube account. A friend had videoed it and uploaded it.

I noticed from your reply to Friedlander that you said you were involved as a judge and administrator in Australia. Knowing that a lot of judges and administrators happen to be ex-competitive skaters, I googled your name to see whether you were as well. That came up. I'm very impressed, there were some good moves in that program

BreakfastClub
07-01-2012, 06:35 PM
Chan's skating skills are absolutely extraordinary. He builds speed very easily, there's hardly any cross-overs in his programs, everything flows together very well, he's got loads of freedom in his upper body movement, moves to the rhythm, I could go on and on.

You not finding his skating "artistic" doesn't change the fact that he ticks pretty much all the PCS boxes and his overall level of skating is second to none.

Yeah but... as one my my friends says, watching Chan skate is like having sex with a vibrator. Technically satisfying but unemotional.

There are still plenty of great artistic skaters today, but the creativity, excitement and energy is being lost in favor of ticking the boxes and trying things that are too difficult. I miss that program where a skater could celebrate standing up every jump and skating a "clean" program, even if a few jumps were wobbly or underrotated and then end with an exciting ripped scratch spin, rather than furrow their brow over every little lost GOE or level or potential downgrade and then have to end with a average spin full of labored positions to chase those coveted L3-4's.

Not saying I'd return to 6.0. In fact, hysteric articles with major errors like this one piss me off because they detract from intelligent discussion over what skating has indeed lost with CoP -- such as quick footwork that flies over the ice and beautiful spins held at length in one position -- and how to improve the CoP system to restore some of this things that separate skating as a beautiful and unique sport. The answer is not necessarily to go back to 6.0, but I would like to see footwork, spins and other non-jump elements freed from levels and rewarded way more for their quality and harmonious reflection of the music.

PCS needs to be re-thought and overhauled too. Five components - each with so many characteristics defined under them - is way too many for the human brain to cognitively process in such a short amount of time, and then load is compounded when having to to judge GOE on each element as well. Also, some of the the components are not discrete enough from each other. Aren't transitions kinda part of choreography? How is IN different from PE? That's what's not as clear as mud. I also question GOEs when I look at a protocol and too many instances of +/- 1 GOE of difference in elements. Sure once in awhile there may be disagreement or a judge misses something but this type of variation is all too frequent.

Friedlander is correct in that the ability to cheat is just as bad if not worse under CoP, and a lot of that is because it it's much easier to hide from the public behind all those sekret numbers. One judge can do a lot more damage by deliberately undermarking a skater under CoP (little less GOE here, .25-.75 less on PCS there), whereas at least in 6.0 they needed to have a block of 5 working together. ;) It goes without saying that sekret judging needs to go at the elite level and incompetent or corrupt officials need be policed and removed. This was not done under 6.0, which led to CoP where it still exists and still nothing is done.



I don't think there is any other skater competing right now who would be capable of executing Chan's programs. And if there is one (or more), why aren't they doing it?

Dai could (minus the two quads, though Dai would nail 2 axels instead) and he'd actually do the programs with flair. And no way could Chiddy perform Dai's programs, he doesn't have the same quickness to pull off the variation of rhythm in Dai's footwork or some of the jump entries.

There. I said it.
:EVILLE: :drama: :lol:

Triple Butz
07-01-2012, 06:44 PM
Whole post, especially the vibrator part.

:cheer::cheer2:

michiruwater
07-01-2012, 08:20 PM
I mean, I think the answer to the question is 'yes', but the article itself is a huge pile of excrement.

Plusdinfo
07-01-2012, 08:26 PM
One thing that sticks out: did the ISU had a big hand in the demise of professional competitions? I recall reading about that. If so, that's a big mistake. I loved much of what I saw in those, and even when I didn't love it, I watched.

Ziggy
07-01-2012, 08:30 PM
Leaving aside the question of Patrick Chan's and Virtue/Moir's wins in 2012, I do think that the change in the judging system has hurt the sport. It may not be the only reason for the decline in the sport's popularity, but it is one of the reasons, in my opinion. Not only is it incomprehensible to a viewer who doesn't have the time or interest to study the protocols, it does take away some of the beauty of skating--substituting pretzel spins, labored footwork and other tricks included for no purpose other than to gain points. Regardless of the intricacies of the 6.0 system, the casual viewer could see which judges scored a skater high or low and knew that 5.8s and 5.9s were good scores and a 6.0 meant perfection. Couldn't the problem of under-rotations and wrong-edge takeoffs been fixed by adding a technical judge to the 6.0 system who would enforce mandatory deductions? It's just one thought among many that should have been considered instead of starting over from scratch, in my opinion.

"When I was young, the world was a better place."

No it wasn't, it's just rose-tinted nostalgia.

It was the minority of skaters who had fast and elegant simple spins and entertaining step sequences and it is still a minority of skaters today who have fast and elegant difficult spins and entertaining complex step sequences.

The difference now is that they are difficult at least, instead of everybody doing three turns/toe-steps for their step sequences and two revolution "spins".

Not to mention the extreme frontloading of the programs, skaters being "locked" to their positions (particularly in Ice Dance but to an extent in other disciplines too), total lack of transparency (you had no clue why you were placed the way you were, deductions weren't applied and so on), etc.

And nobody needs to understand what all the numbers, protocols, etc. mean if they don't want to go into it. All a casual viewer sees is the total score. The higher total score wins. It's plain, simple and transparent.

If anything, 6.0 was much more incomprehensible and complicated because you could have a skater get placements all over the shop from 2nd to 9th or skater get seemingly high marks and place low or get a number of 1st places but somehow place lower because of how it was all weighed, etc.

But somehow everybody conveniently forgets about all these negative aspects of the old judging system.

---

BreakfastClub, obviously you do have a point about difficulty for difficulty's sake not being very aesthetically pleasing.

But again, it was always the minority of skaters who skated clean programs and showed fast, well-flowing footwork and it is the same today.

I agree that components in the current state are pretty much impossible to be judged correctly. I think that could be remedied if more specific and clear criteria would be developed. Some kind of checklist, some kind of simple way of weighing things... anything. There's nothing now, just a list of very loose and vague sentences.

And in Ice Dance, there's this huge detailed table that doesn't help either because what is somebody satisfies parts of the requirement for the 9 box but not others?

As for "secret judging", if judges' identity wasn't protected the politics would be far far worse. To give a simple example, a judge from a small federation would never have the guts to mark a strong federation's skaters harshly (even if they deserved it) because they would fear repercussions for their own skaters. That's what used to happen all the time backstage when judges weren't anonymous.


Dai could (minus the two quads, though Dai would nail 2 3axels instead) and he'd actually do the programs with flair. And no way could Chiddy perform Dai's programs, he doesn't have the same quickness to pull off the variation of rhythm in Dai's footwork or some of the jump entries.

Takahashi is much more subtle and nuanced in his interpretation of music and he really uses his whole body to express it. He is far better than Chan (or any other currently competing skater) in that respect.

But in pretty much everything else, Chan is superior.

I don't think that Takahashi would ever be able to skate Chan's programs. Look at how many crossovers he needs to build speed and how little transitions there are in his programs (in comparison to Chan).

Plusdinfo
07-01-2012, 08:33 PM
Yeah but... as one my my friends says, watching Chan skate is like having sex with a vibrator. Technically satisfying but unemotional.

:EVILLE: :drama: :lol:

That friend of yours should be a writer or a commentator (if he/she isn't already)! VERY accurate analysis!!!! I admire Chan's skating from a skating skills standpoint, but in terms of connecting to music, I find him often way below the best (Takahashi, Abbott, ...).

PinkFeathers
07-01-2012, 08:50 PM
Yeah but... as one my my friends says, watching Chan skate is like having sex with a vibrator. Technically satisfying but unemotional.

Yeah, and makes you fall asleep right after :slinkaway :rofl:

Aussie Willy
07-01-2012, 10:58 PM
I noticed from your reply to Friedlander that you said you were involved as a judge and administrator in Australia. Knowing that a lot of judges and administrators happen to be ex-competitive skaters, I googled your name to see whether you were as well. That came up. I'm very impressed, there were some good moves in that program
From a judging point of view, it is pretty crap actually. I have done better programs. Check out my Lola program on my Youtube channel (kwillyau).

spikydurian
07-02-2012, 12:02 AM
Oh please, not another discussion on ISU versus 6.0 judging system. I am sure there is plenty of threads on this forum discussing that. Just go through the archives. The horse is dead; let's move on!
Agree. But unfortunately, some people love living in the past. I am a casual fan and love to watch figure skating. I don't understand the rules so I take the trouble to learn. I don't expect the sports to accommodate my ignorance. If sports change rules to please fans, there will be never ending changes and turmoil. LET'S MOVE ON.

Maofan7
07-02-2012, 12:25 AM
Former world champion and Olympic silver medallist, Tim Wood (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXOUyvEpyYY), has responded to MF's article in the comments section to the article itself as follows:-


As a past world champion and Olympic silver medalist, it's apparant that no changes will be made until the sport is so badly damaged financially that they will have no choice but to change... I think it is about there. With the destruction of the skill level through the elimination of compulsory figures, combined with the corrosive and corrupt judging system, it's no wonder the public is walking away from the sport. Combine that with the growth of "so you think you can dance", "Dancing with the stars" and other dance tv programs, and you have a general public that has become much more sophisticated to "movement"... figure skating looks completely infantile in comparision..... tasts shift and people spend there money were there is excellence to view. Respectfully, Tim Wood.

julieann
07-02-2012, 12:43 AM
Combine that with the growth of "so you think you can dance", "Dancing with the stars" and other dance TV programs, and you have a general public that has become much more sophisticated to "movement"... figure skating looks completely infantile in comparision..... tastes shift and people spend there money were there is excellence to view

Ridiculous, I would hardly call DWTS 'excellence' and just because you watch SYTYCD or DWTS-both prime time shows, doesn't make you a dance/movement aficionado. People watch DWTS to see pseudo celebrity like Kirstie Allie fail, or other "celebrities" excel. If you can even call most of them celebrities.

I don't think the World medalist look infantile in comparison. The ISU needs to get it back on TV like it used to be so people stop thinking it's a once every four year sport.

Mathman
07-02-2012, 01:22 AM
A friend had videoed it and uploaded it.

That was great! Seriously. :respec:.