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



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Mathman
07-02-2012, 08:53 PM
Just feel sad, because Monica thinking she is "jourmalist".

I think the part about why she doesn't like the CoP is legitimate journalism, although not everyone will agree with her position.

But I think she went off the mark when she called the results of 2012 Worlds a "scandal." Takahashi gave a crowd-pleasing performance. But Chan displayed marvelous skills and rolled up the points.

As for the dance competition, Davis and White have enthusiastic fans, as do Virtue and Moir. It is not a "scandal" if one team finishes first and the other second.

I used to think that the CoP should be adjusted to give higher weight to the aspects of a performance that the audience most appreciates. That way everyone is happy. :) But lately the criticism of the CoP has swung around the other way. Now people complain that the judges are putting too much emphasis on the Program Components, over-rewarding subjective factors like musicality and choreography. So it is kind of a no-win situation for the ISU.

Emdee
07-02-2012, 09:01 PM
I so agree with you Mathman.

For some its a scandal if the teams/skaters they dont want to win actually win.

kwanfan1818
07-02-2012, 09:08 PM
I used to think that the CoP should be adjusted to give higher weight to the aspects of a performance that the audience most appreciates. That way everyone is happy. :) But lately the criticism of the CoP has swung around the other way. Now people complain that the judges are putting too much emphasis on the Program Components, over-rewarding subjective factors like musicality and choreography. So it is kind of a no-win situation for the ISU.
There have been complaints from the beginning of CoP that components are used 1. Like ordinals 2. Inappropriately 3. Without variation 4. Within the corridor and 5. To prop up skaters on reputation.

The ISU has removed the number of technical elements, introduced non-leveled choreographic elements, changed the GOE scales, and made levels more difficult to attain, all of which lower the technical score. There have been offsets over the years -- the roller coaster of changing the base for quads and triples and, after a year or two of actually calling under-rotations, codifying the 70% values -- but not enough to offset the balance completely. The absolute weights for PCS haven't changed.

The biggest change in emphasis was when the judges were told not to cap the PCS scores, and we've seen more 9's and 10's among the top competitors, especially in ice dance.

VALuvsMKwan
07-02-2012, 09:44 PM
If you want the "publique general" to understand and follow the IJS, then...wait for it...

Why not display each competitor's scoring protocal either DURING or at least JUST AFTER each program, with all the TES elements described fully - not with the acronyms - and with possible values AND actual judged values, including GOEs, and then PCS?

Integrate the protocol availability with the broadcasts as each skater competes, and reference a link to a web area with complete protocols for skaters who have competed so far, so that viewers, if they care to, can track all scores via the web in real time).

Display them immediately in the arena as well.

Take away judging anonymity.

THAT is how scoring was done for each skater under modern 6.0 to the extent that scores were calculated - if you want an "apples to apples" comparison of 6.0 vs. IJS. You saw all scores and who gave what after each skater (until 2002). The only thing that wasn't display fully were ordinals by judge, and they should have been.

And - if you argue that the IJS scoring protocols are too complicated to do such reporting and displays - well, that reinforces many people's complaints about IJS and its ability to be understood easily, doesn't it?

The only way IMHO that the IJS is going to be really understood beyond the small coterie of insiders (judges, skaters and "fanatics" like some of us) is to put it out there with every major competition so that everyone has a chance to be educated on exactly how it works.

kwanfan1818
07-02-2012, 09:52 PM
I think what would be most helpful is, during Kiss and Cry, to show the top three skaters to date, with last name and score, so that the number that's flashed on the screen for the current skater has a context. I don't think most people care about the details.

julieann
07-02-2012, 10:35 PM
If you want the "publique general" to understand and follow the IJS, then...wait for it...

Why not display each competitor's scoring protocal either DURING or at least JUST AFTER each program, with all the TES elements described fully - not with the acronyms - and with possible values AND actual judged values, including GOEs, and then PCS?

Integrate the protocol availability with the broadcasts as each skater competes, and reference a link to a web area with complete protocols for skaters who have competed so far, so that viewers, if they care to, can track all scores via the web in real time).

Display them immediately in the arena as well.

I agree. I think they need to get rid of the kiss & cry and allow the competition to flow better and only show the complete scores if they are available, not just the total, but what would be shown on the protocol. In gymnastics they don't wait until the score is ready they move on. Now fans see that skaters got a 195 verses a 201 but at least they can see a difference. I like the idea of having more interactive on the internet too.

Aussie Willy
07-02-2012, 10:49 PM
What kind of bothers me with many of the anti-IJS articles coming out is they only seem to focus on the elite level of the sport, and even then it is not an insider's view, it is only from whatever barrow they want to push.

I would really like some of these journalists to head to a regular figure session or club competition and chat to some of the younger kids who are skating under this system and get their thoughts about it.

Cherub721
07-02-2012, 11:37 PM
I think what would be most helpful is, during Kiss and Cry, to show the top three skaters to date, with last name and score, so that the number that's flashed on the screen for the current skater has a context. I don't think most people care about the details.

I like that idea. I also find it helpful when they flash the skater's season's best score at the beginning and also tell us what number they need to beat to get into first - that way, the audience can at least figure out if that number is feasible for that skater.

Posting the full protocol information on the screen would be a turn off for many viewers, IMO. What the broadcasters might do, in controversial cases or for all the medalists in each competition, would be to break out the scores in smaller categories - X points for spins, X for jumps, X for footwork and spirals, and then the breakdown for each PCS. That would sufficiently demonstrate what qualities helped the skater win.

Another thing that could be improved in the US would be explaining when a skater placed high overall but actually lost placements in the free. The British Eurosport commentators always do a good job of saying "A is into first overall, but B is first on the night." I think the audience could accept and understand that the score is cumulative. What annoys the audience is when someone clearly has a poor skate and then goes right into first place without explanation that they are like 4th in the free.

Coco
07-02-2012, 11:46 PM
Yes, it kills me that they show each individual PCS mark, even though they've never been adequately defined for a US audience AND they are barely >.5 from each other.

Yet they never show "jumps," "spins," or "steps" as lump sums. That would make all the difference in the world, imo.

julieann
07-02-2012, 11:58 PM
Posting the full protocol information on the screen would be a turn off for many viewers, IMO. What the broadcasters might do, in controversial cases or for all the medalists in each competition, would be to break out the scores in smaller categories - X points for spins, X for jumps, X for footwork and spirals, and then the breakdown for each PCS. That would sufficiently demonstrate what qualities helped the skater win.

So you think the audience would hate seeing the protocols on the screen where they can clearly see a skater got a level 1 vs a level 4 that is worth more or someone did a double instead of a triple? I think they care about understanding what skaters got what scores than some people worrying about the anonymity of the judges.

Cherub721
07-03-2012, 12:17 AM
So you think the audience would hate seeing the protocols on the screen where they can clearly see a skater got a level 1 vs a level 4 that is worth more or someone did a double instead of a triple? I think they care about understanding what skaters got what scores than some people worrying about the anonymity of the judges.

Yes, I think some audience members would be turned off by that much information. If skater A's first spin was level 3 with positive GOE, second spin level 4 with negative GOE, and third spin level 3 with negative GOE, while skater B's first spin was level 4 with 0 GOE, second spin level 3 with positive GOE, and third spin was level 2 with positive GOE, then who spun better? It's too much information for a lot of people to absorb in the limited time that the broadcast has. A lot of people already complain that the new system is too technical and too complicated, and that would be an irritant for them.

The goal, IMO, is to get people enough information to allow them to understand the result, while allowing for the fact that people watch figure skating for entertainment and not to analyze details. For those who do love to analyze, the information is available online. I also think NBC's Olympic game for Vancouver (allowing viewers to live judge online) was a great teaching tool for interested parties.

bmcg
07-03-2012, 12:23 AM
I spent the last few days watching US Olympic trials. I watch gymnastics every four years so I don't understand the scoring system and I don't know enough (or anything really) about the sport to recognize on my own what elements they are performing or what their base values are. Yet I enjoyed watching the gymnastics competition this week and while the numbers that came up meant nothing to me I just trusted the commentators when they pointed out mistakes/deductions (which was enough to tell me it wasn't their best) and when they pointed out the more difficult routine. *IF* I want to understand it beyond a casual fan level then I will research a bit more into it. But I don't, I'm satisfied with what I saw and the explanations that were given and just enjoyed and marvelled at the talent and skill of the gymnasts I watched.

I don't think casual fans of figure skating are turned off by IJS. I think it's people who are a bit more into the sport and watch it in non-Olympic years. Casual fans don't need an instant printout of detailed scoring. They just need a decent educated commentator to say "while the crowd seems to have enjoyed that performance more I should point out that the other program had a much higher degree of difficulty, more complicated choreography and their command of the blade is second to none". It's a sport and there are rules in sports.

julieann
07-03-2012, 12:30 AM
Yes, I think some audience members would be turned off by that much information. If skater A's first spin was level 3 with positive GOE, second spin level 4 with negative GOE, and third spin level 3 with negative GOE, while skater B's first spin was level 4 with 0 GOE, second spin level 3 with positive GOE, and third spin was level 2 with positive GOE, then who spun better? It's too much information for a lot of people to absorb in the limited time that the broadcast has. A lot of people already complain that the new system is too technical and too complicated, and that would be an irritant for them.

The goal, IMO, is to get people enough information to allow them to understand the result, while allowing for the fact that people watch figure skating for entertainment and not to analyze details. For those who do love to analyze, the information is available online. I also think NBC's Olympic game for Vancouver (allowing viewers to live judge online) was a great teaching tool for interested parties.

You must not watch much professional sports.

Some may watch skating for "entertainment" value but we can't forget it's still a sport. We can't just rely on the drivel that the so-called commentators give during the skate and during the repay. Half the time they are aren't even talking about what they are watching. It doesn't have to be as complex as you described, remember you're not comparing skater A to skater B, just informing them why skater A may have received the score they got.

iggie
07-03-2012, 01:28 AM
the isu pdfs for scores are complicated to read. i had to turn here to ask for helping figuring out what it means. once you know what to look for and what everything means, it's fine but it's not something that makes immediate sense to someone new. the scoring at the 2010 olympics, however, was brilliant. it was clear, easy to understand and useful.

spikydurian
07-03-2012, 01:40 AM
I spent the last few days watching US Olympic trials. I watch gymnastics every four years so I don't understand the scoring system and I don't know enough (or anything really) about the sport to recognize on my own what elements they are performing or what their base values are. Yet I enjoyed watching the gymnastics competition this week and while the numbers that came up meant nothing to me I just trusted the commentators when they pointed out mistakes/deductions (which was enough to tell me it wasn't their best) and when they pointed out the more difficult routine. *IF* I want to understand it beyond a casual fan level then I will research a bit more into it. But I don't, I'm satisfied with what I saw and the explanations that were given and just enjoyed and marvelled at the talent and skill of the gymnasts I watched.

I don't think casual fans of figure skating are turned off by IJS. I think it's people who are a bit more into the sport and watch it in non-Olympic years. Casual fans don't need an instant printout of detailed scoring. They just need a decent educated commentator to say "while the crowd seems to have enjoyed that performance more I should point out that the other program had a much higher degree of difficulty, more complicated choreography and their command of the blade is second to none". It's a sport and there are rules in sports.

That's me too. :D