How do we make skating popular again?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by DickButtonFan, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Firefly123, just because you cannot do MITF doesn't mean that everyone else around you thinks the artistic aspect of the sport is bollocks (and in fact they are totally unrelated). In fact the vast majority of the most highly-regarded figure skaters in history were wonderful performers and the reason they were so popular was because they drew the viewer in through their emotions. Not because they could land a triple lutz. Which you would know if you got your head out of your arse for three seconds and thought of anyone else but you, which you clearly don't do.
     
  2. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Then why does it get such high TV ratings during the Olympics?

    This is not a "fact". If you can find a thread here about "skating isn't a sport", please link to it.

    You are the one who is confused. MITF (Moves in the Field) is not an "artistic element" . It's a test system with patterns of moves showing edge control/quality, among other things. Artistry is not part of it.

    And these mysterious "many" spectators may think the judging system is unfair because of the way it evaluates artistry or edge quality/control. But I would guess that the ones who aren't you don't think the system is unfair just because it evaluates those things....they probably think it's unfair because of the *way* it evaluates those things.
     
  3. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Actually, your intentions are quite transparent.

    There will always be threads on it. The truth is not everybody is going to get it. The same way many Americans don't get soccer. The reason why winter sports (like the X-Games, Skiing, Triathlon) don't get many viewers. If people don't understand it, they don't watch.

    You'll always find people who don't get whatever subject it is, especially on the internet. However, no matter how loud they want to scream, the truth is that figure skating is in no danger of being out of the Olympics (barring some incredible scandal, but the EVERY sport sport has a scandal in the Olympics nowadays. If it isn't judging scandals, it's drug scandals. If it isn't drug scandals, it's participation ones, etc.). Also the high ratings figure skating enjoyed (the Ice Dance Finals, for example, I heard won the ratings fight in its time slot) prove that people are still interested in figure skating and tuning in during the Olympics.

    In order to gain more fans, you don't go the opposite direction from your already established fan-base. You try to expand upon that same base and try to get those who would be already interested in it. You don't take basketball, and try to make it more popular by adding tackling to attract the NFL crowd.

    What you want is to retool this entire sport just so you can make it out to be what you, and a bunch of people who wouldn't be interested in this sport anyway, would respect. At the risk of sounding blunt, but those people don't matter much because they won't watch, no matter how much you try to change it. They've already made up their mind about it. The people you need to get are those who are open-minded about it.

    It may confuse "many spectators" including you, but figure skating is still a popular sport. More so than those sports that seem more athletic and "objective" from both the Summer and Winter games. What many skating fans are mad about is that it's not as popular was it was post-Whack but that's because of many other factors, not because the sport focuses on the "artistic" aspect.

    That's because despite the fact that figure skaters are required to pay attention to body line, detail, musical interpretation, MITF, and the audience/judges, they are athletes and many of them get into this sport because it is such an odd mixture. Jumps and spins are highly important in the scoring system. Just because they aren't the only aspect in a figure skating routine doesn't mean they don't play an important role.

    BTW, many dancers do say dancing is both an art and a sport, but the reason why do it is because they want to perform a piece or choreography for artistic merits. Figure skaters actually have competitions and win medals, so that's why they're focused on the calling it a sport and being considered athletes. One could argue it's an institutional thing. Plus, being in the Olympics, helps support that perception.
     
  4. Kwantumleap

    Kwantumleap Well-Known Member

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    I think it's very telling that it took a phenomenon like the Nancy Kerrigan incident to revitalize skating's fan base. Some activities just don't have big followings b/c they are geared towards niche audiences, like classical music, boxing, or soap operas. I also think skating is headed in the wrong direction with the current system. I used to be a big figure skating fan. I still watch every now and then, but these days I really could care less about the results and don't feel much interest in the competitors. I think it's a mix of the scoring system asking too much and the lack of big-name local talent in places other than Asia.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  5. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Why do you want to make this about me? This is not about me. YOU are making it about me so you can personally attack me. Which is interesting, (especially given how nasty you seem to be) :eek:....However, back to the point. I would thank you to leave off of personal attacks and address the issues I brought up which (despite your personal opinion of me) have merit and are relevant.

    As for "highly regarded" well, that is a matter of opinion. It depends on what you like...

    Um... Sorry. Was never "dawn in" by Pluskenko's 2006 Godfather. Were you? But that quad and 3axel. Nice.:D And Elvis Stojyko. Not all that artistic... But near the top because of jumps. Bonaly. Not on the top but very close. All due to her tech ability. I could go on.... :rolleyes:
     
  6. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    1. We need a female American superstar--on the level of Yu Na Kim. Skating may be hugely popular elsewhere, but the US market is the biggest. The USFSA needs to seek out talent, and provide financial support.

    2. Speedy needs to go--and there should be a separate federation for figure skating.

    3. The judging system needs to be easier to understand. Go back to 6.0 for the second mark.

    4. Make the free skate free--no three second holds for spirals, pretzel spins or counting the revolutions. No extra points for Biellman spins.

    5. Get a major network (not cable) to carry US Nationals and Worlds, at least. I liked the way it was done when ABC had the rights--more was shown on ESPN for the uber-fans with the main part of the competition in prime-time on ABC. Whenever possible, show the competition live in prime time (obviously not always possible with international events). Taped broadcasts will garner more interest from casual fans than live in the middle of the night or during the day.

    6. Get better commentators. Peggy, Terry and Dick were the best. If Dick can no longer commentate, Peter Carruthers, Terry and Peggy would be better than Scott and Sandra.

    Of these suggestions, I think No. 1 is the most important.
     
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  7. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    If this is true then why are you worried about it loosing popularity. Maybe they are watching to laugh. Or just from a sense of patriatsm to see if the USA will win. There could be a lot of reasons....

    No problem. Have fun. Don't have time to cite each individual board.

    Well, Elvis agrees with me. But then, he doesn't count.
     
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but who are the super stars of the sport? The ones who can jump, and capture the audience with their performance quality. Plushenko, though I don't personally get him, has a lot of fans because of his charisma and his jump quality.

    Kwan was the biggest American figure skater during her competitive days and it was a mix of her consistent jumping ability and her ability to set the arena on fire with her musical interpretation.

    Katarina Witt, for all of her theatrics, is still a big name for people who remember skating in the 80s. Kristi Yamaguchi was way more popular as a pro when she developed her artistic side.

    Kurt Browning, a household name because of his danceability. Scott Hamilton? Popular because he was able to entertain the audience?

    Why did Sale/Pelletier capture the audience in SLC? Not just because they were "clean" but they were able to interpret that dreck Love Story and make people think of Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw. Likewise, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze are popular with the skating fans because they were able to combine very difficult choreography with classical Russian style.

    Gordeeva/Grinkov? They were the Pairs team that captured casual audiences because of their connection with one another.

    You think any of those people would be as big if all they did around the rink was jump and spin? You'd be off your rocker to think that.

    ETA:

    Oh, look, I can google too!

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=o...=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=c401d881a5ff002f

    Guess what, figure skating has it's defenders too.

    As for Elvis, one can argue because he himself, like somebody who is taking this stance, focused on the aspects of the sport he felt most comfortable with, he would advocate that the sport go in a direction that would have benefited him when he was competing.

    For every Elvis, you can find many other skaters who feel otherwise.

    As for your reasons why people watch figure skating during the Olympics, that's all supposition. The fact is people watch it more than any other sport that is showcased in the U.S. You can't throw it all away based on guesses you can come up with without any real evidence to support it.

    Skating is as popular as many niche sports can be. What people (skating fans) want is to have figure skating enjoy the popularity it had after the Whack. The problem is that many things happened in society to change it. Cable/satellite television has many more channels to compete for interest. The internet happened and people find other things to occupy themselves with, there was an over-saturation of fluffy events/competition that were done to, guess what, expand our audience and all it did was isolate the core audience and failed to attract viewers who wouldn't be interested any way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  9. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    How early (what age/level) should financial support be provided? Who would decide if a young skater is "talented enough" to deserve the money and how many youngsters should be identified for such support?
     
  10. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    OK. Everyone. Calm down. I am just saying that I do believe that the reasons "casual spectators" do not want to watch figure skating and/or mock it are for the reasons I cited and that, personally (even though I skate), I feel the same way. If you think there is no problem and that the sport is doing fine then.....great.:) But why start this thread in the first place?.....And, btw, I don't appreciate the personal attacks.
     
  11. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    You have some unpopular opinions about skating. People are going to disagree with you. You need to separate "personal attacks" from the vast majority of people on here disagreeing with you. No one's attacking you. If you can't take the heat here, stay out of the kitchen. It just seems like there are so many parts of skating you don't like......pretty much everything except jumping. YOu hate artistry, you hate the costumes, you HATE MITF. We've read your previous threads about your own skating....so yeah, your intentions are pretty transparent. You can say they're not, but you're not fooling anyone.
     
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  12. falling_dance

    falling_dance D. Murakami's Newest Fan

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    Okay, but your initial post makes it seem that you're arguing that it's mainly or even exclusively the "artistic" considerations that account for skaters being able to fall but still finish ahead of those who don't.
     
  13. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    And your intentions (both you personally, Stormy and plural, collective) are also quite transparent. You know very well the difference between an opinion and a personal attack, so don't even try that one. And, yes, I can stand the heat.... So don't worry about it. ;)
     
  14. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Well, it would have to be, right? I mean unless they completed higher technical elements..... :confused:
     
  15. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    Everyone is being calm. You're the one who had the dramatically bold emphatics in your first post. And no one is attacking you, they're responding to your posts, here and elsewhere on the board. Considering they all say basically the same thing, that's pretty fair.
     
  16. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    In my case, I was using your personal experiences and defiance of the basics of figure skating as a reason why you personally want to change the sport so much or feel that the sport is ultimately flawed because it isn't what you want it to be.

    I wasn't attacking your character, but feel that you cannot separate your personal experiences from your personal opinions on figure skating. We call have a reason why we take the stance we do. I find that to be a valid point.
     
  17. SpiralGirl

    SpiralGirl Well-Known Member

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    Firely123, do you not consider gymnastics a "sport", and gymnasts as "athletes"?
     
  18. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    I am sorry to disagree with you, but yes they are. This discussion is about skating in general. It is not about my skating or my strengths/weaknesses. And many of the attacks are personal in nature and they are nasty. And you know it....

    I am telling you what I have observed and what I believe. You are entitled to disagree (without personally attacking me.) That is fair. I do think that the artistic component turns off a lot of the general public from figure skating. That is my own opinion. Yes, it is based in my own preferences, but it is also a valid opinion. If you have a different opinion, then fine. I'm sure it may be based on your own preferences and observations. That is life. :)
     
  19. igniculus

    igniculus Well-Known Member

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    The days of sparkly vampires are numbered. :EVILLE:

    Honestly, I don't understand why skating can't be more popular in the US. They have an olympic gold medalist again, who appears to be, by any means, not what the casual haterz of this sport think when they hear "men's figure skating". Tall and handsome dude, popular with many women (and I'm sure men too ;) ) and still no visible sign of a rising interest.
     
  20. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    Yes I do. And I think it would be great for figure skating to copy the model. There is only one artistic event (the floor exercise) which is incorporated into the score. The beam, valut and parallel bars do not use music and are judged on a tech component.
     
  21. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Celebrity, nowadays, is incredibly fleeting.

    Firefly123, you have no idea how gymnastics is judged. Beam and Bars are judged on things like composition and rhythm. Even Vault judging pays incredible amount of attention to execution and form. And it's not "parallel bars" it's Uneven or Asymmetrical bars.

    Gymnastics was way more popular with both the casual and core audiences before they tried to make it more "objective" and thus sucked the soul out of the sport. Compare the routines on beam and FX now to those being done in the 80s and 90s. Most people will tell you what they prefer.
     
  22. SpiralGirl

    SpiralGirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes but gymnasts still have to have great line and stretch, non? They're parts of skating that you obviously see no point in.

    They also have transitions in the beam and bar work. Again something in skating you disagree with.

    Personally I cannot understand how skating a 4 minute program and jumping triple jumps as well as interpreting music and "being artistic" is not athletic. Surely the sport would be NO MORE athletic were the artistry and musical interpretation taken out. Having athletic and artistic talent is thus simply more demanding of the skater.

    ETA: VIETgirlTerifa knows more about gym than I do, read her post!
     
  23. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    To be honest with you, I guess I can't really answer what is best. As you brought up before and I do agree, people are the sum of their personal experiences and those influence opinion. I do not like watching "artistic" routines. I don't like watching dance or opera. It is just not my thing. I would probably like the new direction in gymnastics....But if the numbers are down then yes, that is an objective observation, (though there could be many reasons for this besides public dislike of the new trend.)
     
  24. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

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    A compromise, then? Why not separate the two? One tech program and one artistic program, both to be scored and worth 1/2 of the total score. Throw out the short program alltogether.
     
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Not just public dislike, but the gymnastics audiences aren't enjoying elite level gymnastics much anymore either. They rather watch NCAA gymnastics, which is saying something.

    Your compromise doesn't make any sense though, because if you're going to have separate components but still have both programs count into the final score, then why not just have routines that combine both aspects?
     
  26. SpiralGirl

    SpiralGirl Well-Known Member

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    Because all skating fans love the sport the way it is, well except for you it seems ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  27. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    I don't have all the answers. But other sports--basketball, football, baseball--use scouts to find talent. Figure skating could do the same.
     
  28. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Or they had better technique on all the elements they completed, except whatever they happened to fall on.

    If we're talking about the US, regionals and Junior Nationals or sectionals pretty much serve that purpose, along with the bigger club competitions. The talented kids will make an impression and will be seen as being in the mix year after year at the middle levels.

    Those who actually medal at Junior Nationals, or qualify for Nationals in novice and especially junior, become eligible for envelope funding and international assignments.

    What more could be done, and where would the money come from to fund it? If there were more money available, wouldn't the best idea be to increase the number of skaters supported the amount of funding offered through those procedures?

    It's impossible to predict for sure whether a skater has or will have what it takes to reach the highest elite levels until they actually manage to land double axels or some triples and to keep that ability post-puberty. For most skaters it takes at least five years of serious training to reach that level.

    The training costs money. Attending out-of-town competitions costs money. Many clubs offer some support for their members who compete at that levels, but usually it's a drop in the bucket compared to the amount the skater has to invest to get to that level.
     
  29. falling_dance

    falling_dance D. Murakami's Newest Fan

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    Eys, and/or higher levels (in the case of spins, spirals, and steps).
     
  30. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    General thoughts on this thread, some of which have already been voiced...

    Who is the "we" who would make skating popular again? Fans? Governing bodies? Media? Skaters?

    Popular where? Should "in the US" be added to the thread title or initial post?

    Popular among whom? Potential participants? Potential diehard fans who would buy tickets to events and/or pay for TV or online video coverage? Casual fans who would tune in to watch advertiser-supported broadcasts in prime time?

    Is the goal to have the highest possible viewership for television broadcasts, regardless of the quality of the skating or the quality of the viewers' understanding of what they're watching?

    Or is the goal to have a coherent system of rules so skaters can know what to work on and expect to be judged fairly, and compensated fairly to the extent that they as individuals attract fans and sponsors to the sport, and knowledgeable media coverage so that fans can learn to appreciate competitive figure skating on its own terms instead of trying to understand it as if it were a pure artform or a pure technical contest?

    Is or should nationalism be important?

    Does "skating" include only competitive singles, pairs, and ice dance as they now exist, or should shows and entertainment-oriented pro competitions, or other disciplines such as synchronized skating or theatre on ice or school figures or elements contests that have or have had a following among participants but have never been widely popular as spectator sport also be considered?

    Of course all these interests overlap. There wouldn't be one simple answer. But it would be a lot easier to focus on meaningful changes if we know who would be making these changes and what purpose they're trying to achieve.