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



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Nomad
07-02-2012, 01:23 AM
Dancing with the Stars may have been a poor example, but shows like SYTYCD do expose the general public to a variety of dance genres and there are truly talented dancers competing on said shows. So I think Wood's point still has some validity.

giselle23
07-02-2012, 01:36 AM
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.

But the problem is, there are no more casual viewers.

Morry Stillwell
07-02-2012, 01:50 AM
But the problem is, there are no more casual viewers.

Then those that have graduated from the casual viewer class, wishing to be expert and understand what we judges must learn, it will be important to download IJS detail sheets. Then learn how to interpret them. When we come off a large IJS catagory, seldom do we know where we placed a large group of skaters. If you were to sneak into a off duty judges room you would see many judges pouring over the records book to see the detailed results.

Perhaps it would help Friedlander work through some issues also.:)

Mathman
07-02-2012, 01:59 AM
Then those that have graduated from the casual viewer class, wishing to be expert and understand what we judges must learn, it will be important to download IJS detail sheets. Then learn how to interpret them.

I think that is the problem in a nutshell.

For a participatory sport the IJS is good. For a spectator sport it is bad. Not many spectators will be interested in "graduating to the expert class and learning what professional judges must learn."

The ISU has made its choice and seems content to live with the consequences. So be it.

spikydurian
07-02-2012, 02:48 AM
The article is full of bias. It is clear that Chan is used as an anti-COP whipping boy for her own agenda. Never mind if there are others who have fallen and win medals too. And of course, itís easier to blame the rules rather than understanding and changing oneís training methods.

For those who have constantly posted that they find vibrators non-satisfying, we do get it. We are well aware of your seeexual preferences. Please do spare us the details of frequency, type and size as we have no desire to know more unless in cohort with you.;)



But the problem is, there are no more casual viewers.
Not true. Speak for yourself. :D

Zemgirl
07-02-2012, 06:02 AM
I never understood the argument that people don't watch skating because the IJS is too complicated for casual viewers to follow. At the most basic level, it's higher score wins; that's very easy math. If you want to learn more, there are plenty of resources - there's a lot to criticize the ISU for, but they make this information readily available and easy to find. That's not different than some of the most popular American sports: you can enjoy a football game without knowing everything the refs and players know, or you can geek out to your heart's content and really get into the strategy and the statistics. You can watch baseball for fun even if you don't want to read a box score (let alone understand the more advanced statistics) or learn how to identify pitches. And although the refs/umpires don't determine the outcome to the same degree as do skating judges, they can certainly affect it (e.g. overlarge or too small strike zone, decisions on close calls, penalties etc.).

It's not quite the same audience, but I don't think skating's decreasing popularity in the US is because oh noes, math is hard/rules are hard to follow. More like, it's a niche sport that had a (rather brief) surge in popularity, then people moved on the other things and the media market became increasingly fragmented. That downward trend began even before the IJS came in, and contrary to what Ms. Friedlander seems to suggest, it is not something universal.

MacMadame
07-02-2012, 06:08 AM
nevermind. I was being repetitive

allezfred
07-02-2012, 09:42 AM
I don't know a single skater or coach who would prefer to return to the previous judging system. Not one.



I think I read the Vandercorkells being quoted that they didn't like IJS, but that says it all really innit. ;)




It's not quite the same audience, but I don't think skating's decreasing popularity in the US is because oh noes, math is hard/rules are hard to follow. More like, it's a niche sport that had a (rather brief) surge in popularity, then people moved on the other things and the media market became increasingly fragmented. That downward trend began even before the IJS came in, and contrary to what Ms. Friedlander seems to suggest, it is not something universal.

This.

ItalianFan
07-02-2012, 02:49 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

OMG Aussie Willie is a girl??!!

hanca
07-02-2012, 03:22 PM
OMG Aussie Willie is a girl??!!

Not sure why, I also always imagined it to be a male. :lol:

Mathman
07-02-2012, 04:29 PM
I never understood the argument that people don't watch skating because the IJS is too complicated for casual viewers to follow. At the most basic level, it's higher score wins; that's very easy math. If you want to learn more, there are plenty of resources - there's a lot to criticize the ISU for, but they make this information readily available and easy to find. That's not different than some of the most popular American sports: you can enjoy a football game without knowing everything the refs and players know, or you can geek out to your heart's content and really get into the strategy and the statistics. You can watch baseball for fun even if you don't want to read a box score (let alone understand the more advanced statistics) or learn how to identify pitches. And although the refs/umpires don't determine the outcome to the same degree as do skating judges, they can certainly affect it (e.g. overlarge or too small strike zone, decisions on close calls, penalties etc.).

It's not quite the same audience, but I don't think skating's decreasing popularity in the US is because oh noes, math is hard/rules are hard to follow. More like, it's a niche sport that had a (rather brief) surge in popularity, then people moved on the other things and the media market became increasingly fragmented. That downward trend began even before the IJS came in, and contrary to what Ms. Friedlander seems to suggest, it is not something universal.

Great post!

Still, I find the self-congratulatory attitude of the ISU and the skating establishment to be a little bIt patronizing and annoying. The skaters like the IJS (check), skater's parents like the IJS (check), coaches, members of the ISU technical committee, and officials in national skating federations like the IJS (check, check, check). Everyone likes the IJS except the people.

So if you are a "people" and are not moved or inspired by the programs and performances that the IJS encourages and requires, skating insiders respond: "The only reason you don't like it is your own ignorance. If you were as smart as we are, you would love us as much as we love ourselves."

Zemgirl
07-02-2012, 05:25 PM
Great post!

Still, I find the self-congratulatory attitude of the ISU and the skating establishment to be a little bIt patronizing and annoying. The skaters like the IJS (check), skater's parents like the IJS (check), coaches, members of the ISU technical committee, and officials in national skating federations like the IJS (check, check, check). Everyone likes the IJS except the people.

So if you are a "people" and are not moved or inspired by the programs and performances that the IJS encourages and requires, skating insiders respond: "The only reason you don't like it is your own ignorance. If you were as smart as we are, you would love us as much as we love ourselves."
I agree that telling people "you should like it because we do" isn't a sound marketing strategy. But it is certainly possible to articulate why experts like the IJS and why certain skaters do well under it without being condescending. The system isn't that difficult to understand, at least at a basic level, and I don't think skating is struggling in the US because the IJS is too complex for casual fans to understand. I've watched skating events - on TV and even live - with friends who don't follow the sport, who wouldn't even know who Michelle Kwan is, and we're all from a non-skating country so not that many opportunities to be exposed to skating at any level. It didn't take them long to figure out what was going on and who was skating well. As with almost any sport, all it takes is someone to explain the basics, and from what I've seen and heard, American commentators have not done a great job of this.

But in the end, either people will want to learn more or they won't, and it can't be forced. The ISU can only do so much to make its product accessible and marketable, especially as it is dealing with a vastly different media market than the one that existed during skating's golden years. And there will always be those who believe that things were better in the past. I mean, look at baseball: interleague has been around longer than the IJS, and plenty of people still hate it (and rightly so, interleague sucks). Same with the DH. I'm sure some people will complain about college football going to a mini-playoff system. You can't please everyone.

pani
07-02-2012, 08:12 PM
Did you remember media wars when competitions was hold under old system? I remember. And remermber 2002 OG too.
I dont want support ISU, but dont like when people, who didnt know nothing anout sport, try to talk from all the World :)
Just feel sad, becasue Monica thinking she is "jourmalist".

Mathman
07-02-2012, 08:39 PM
Well, there are two approaches to marketing. You can offer a product and then try to make people like it or you can try to find out what people like and then offer it.

I agree with post 66 that the main reason for the general decline of interesting in figure skating in most of the world is...well, nothing really. Cultural drift. Changing tastes in entertainment.

I was watching TV with some friends and for some reason a rerun of an old production of "Romeo and Juliet on Ice," with Toller Cranston as Mercurio. was on. The reaction? Why "on ice?"

Amateur skating never commanded a big audience. But in 1950 the highest paid actress in Hollywood was Sonia Henie (who couldn't act a lick). From the 1940s through the 1970s shows like Ice Follies and Ice Capades were big deals. Later Champions on Ice and Stars on Ice ran tours with with 80 stops.

So I would say that professional skating entertainments is where the sport has essentially disappeared from the landscape. Maybe it is unfair to put the burden on competitive skating to make it popular again.

kwanfan1818
07-02-2012, 08:50 PM
Mathman, these are such important points. Henie's movies and professional ice shows were exceedingly popular during the time when amateur/competitive skating wasn't televised, and people went to see "The Olympic Guy" that they had only heard of or possible have seen news clips of in those shows.

The Henie movies came right out of the Busby Berkeley-Goldwyn Follies movies and their ilk. (George Balanchine made quite a living choreographing for Hollywood and suggesting camera angles for dance during that time.)

As much as I waited for "The Olympics people" and their solos with jumps during my family's yearly pilgrimage to Madison Square Garden for Ice Capades, it was the people dressed as characters or objects and the Carmen Miranda chorus lines that kept most of the audience happy.