ISU Communication 1724: Singles and Pairs

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by 5Ali3, May 5, 2012.

  1. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

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    The ISU has published Communication 1724 - "Singles & Pairs Skating - Scale of Values, Guidelines for Marking Grade of Execution and Levels of Difficulty for 2012-13." I don't see a thread already - my apologies if I missed one.

    Changes to the SoV:
    - pending confirmation at Congress, a "basic" level has been added to every leveled element. I thought this was a good idea when it was hypothetical, but seeing the differences in base value between the LB (level B) and L1 (level 1) elements, I got a bad feeling in my stomach. When I thought about the potential consequences of LB element on tech panel reviews for Juvenile and Intermediate Pairs, my stomach sank.

    Changes to the LoD, Singles:

    - step sequences: the feature for a 1/3rd of a pattern on one foot is removed
    - spins: difficult variations (DV) now count as many times as they are executed, except that each "type" of DV can only be considered the first time that it is executed. For example, only one attempt - and only the first attempt - at a sit spin forward variation counts; only one attempt - and only the first attempt - at a sit spin side variation counts, etc.
    - all other spin features count once per program (and only for the first attempt, of course, except for 8 revolutions, which counts the first time that it is successfully performed)
    - clear increase of speed and jump on the same foot within a spin are no longer considered DVs but are now listed as individual features, meaning that they can only be counted once per program
    - "intermediate positions" are now named "non-basic positions"
    - the ambiguous language defining an upright spin as having a straight or slightly bent skating leg "that is not otherwise a camel" has not been clarified; thanks, ISU, thanks for nothing. :rofl:

    Changes of LoD, Pairs:
    Why do I fear that I should get something to drink before reading this?
    - twist: new feature of "man's arms sideways, reaching at least shoulder level after release of the lady." I think this is a great additional feature; we've been talking about it for a few years and I'm glad that it finally made it in. Plus, I assume that the ISU will be supplying every Pair TS and Pair TC with an extra pair of eyeballs to help catch yet another feature in the twist. Score! :rofl:
    - lifts: DV of position can only be executed once per type of lady's position. There are three ladies' positions: side (like a star); upright (like a typical press/overhead/lasso); and platter (like a, um, platter lift: lady's entire body is flat, either pointing down at the ice or up at the ceiling). In other words, that ugly DV where the lady grabs her blade in an overhead? Now it will only count once per program. (I know some people involved in this decision wanted it gone entirely, but this is certainly better than nothing.)
    - step sequences:
    (1) revised feature for upper body movement (at least 1/3rd of the sequence)
    (2) revised feature for crossing: "Changes of pos. (crossing at least three times while doing steps and turns) for at least 1/3 of the sequence, but not more than 1/2 of the sequence." I assume the new eyeballs that the ISU will be sending to the Pair TCs and Pair TSs will include some kind of electronic measure that will flash only when skaters cross at least 1/3rd but not more than 1/2 of a sequence. Alternatively, I assume they will be paying for therapy for all TCs forced to listen to the TSs argue whether skaters crossed for 1/2 or 51/100ths of a sequence. :slinkaway
    - death spirals: change of pivot position is gone! :D
    (1) oh no, features 2 and 3 only count in the low pivot position? Well, here's to another season of staring at pair boys' butts. :scream:
    - solo spins: DVs must be in basic positions (no more intermediate DV); jump within a spin and clear increase of speed are now separate features
    - pair spin: for the first DV bullet, two of the three DVs must be in a basic position; the third can be in a non-basic. For the second DV bullet, the additional DV must be in a basic position. Well, here's to another season of staring at pair boys' butts. :scream:

    "New" lift (announced earlier this season, included as "new" in 1724: I am incredibly grateful that the ISU recognized that what we all needed in life was another Group 5 lift: 5BLi (seriously, is the ISU turning into Sesame Street? "This season is sponsored by the letter B.").

    Finally, I am grateful to the ISU for giving us a logical communication number that slides right off the tongue. "But 1724 says..." is much smoother than the year of "But 16... 16... what's the communication number again? which communication? the one that you clearly haven't read because it contradicts what you're saying!"

    [Note: no alcohol was consumed before or during the writing of this post. I may, however, go cry into my pillow at the thought of an entire year of I'm sure they crossed for AT LEAST 101/200th of the sequence. No way: that wasn't more than 4999/10000ths!!!!!. :wall: <- these conversations, BTW, only take place when one is cold, in dire need of a bathroom, and the dance panel is busy eating all the chocolate cake. :shuffle:]
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for starting the discussion!

    There isn't a direct link, but here's where to find the communication for download: http://www2.isu.org/vsite/vnavsite/...3,4844-205151-222374-nav-list,00.html?id=1060

    Any chance any of these provisions won't pass the Congress? Still, good for the skaters and coaches to know as soon as possible what to start working on and what to stop working on.

    Oh, yes, it will complicate the review process, as most of these refinements always do. Not sure what the base values have to do with it.

    But I do think it's valuable to distinguish one successful feature from barely meeting the definition of the spin, at the lower skill levels.

    Is this one your little brother, 5ALi3? ;)

    Enjoy the butt staring. :D
  3. seabm7

    seabm7 Member

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    Thank you, 5Ali3. Your summary on the changes of rulings helps a lot!

    You can try this link to get the pdf file. But it takes some time to fetch it from the DB.

    http://isu.sportcentric.net/db//files/serve.php?id=3486

    By the way, Remark 3 says the spiral sequence for ladies/pairs is merged with the choreographic sequence. They require only one sprial for ladies/pairs. Is this a new development for coming year or has been there for a while? I got confused.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. Cant Skate

    Cant Skate Member

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  5. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness Yay, new board!

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    I'm still looking through new new SOV/GOE/Levels document, but it appears that the "new" lift originally designated as 5LoLi (loop lasso lift) for 2011-12 is now being called the "Backward Lasso Lift (5BLi)."

    Here is the description of both the backward lasso lift and the reverse lasso lift:

    The reverse lasso lift is considered to be the most difficult pairs lift (I believe). The reverse lasso and axel lasso both had the highest base value of all of the pairs lifts. In the 2011-12 season, the backward lasso lift (a.k.a. the loop lasso lift) had the same base value as the reverse/axel lasso (6.5 base value for a level 4).

    For 2012-13, the backward lasso lift will still have the same base value as the axel lasso (6.5 base value for a level 4) but the reverse lasso lift will now be worth 0.5 points more (7.0 base value for a level 4) than the axel/backward lasso lift.

    Volosozhar/Trankov do the backward lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=895Th1J8VkY&t=4m07s

    Evora/Ladwig did :)() the reverse lasso lift.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smW_CMH_0AU&t=3m31s

    There are now 5 group 5 (lasso) lifts.
    1. Toe lasso (5TLi) - 6.0 base value for level 4
    2. Step in lasso (5SLi) - 6.0 base value for level 4
    3. Axel lasso (5ALi) - 6.5 base value for level 4
    4. Backward lasso (5BLi) - 6.5 base value for level 4
    5. Reverse lasso (5RLi) - 7.0 base value for level 4

    FYI, a level four group 3 (hand to hip) or group 4 (hand to hand) lift has a base value of 4.0.

    On another topic, my favorite addition to the grade of execution (GOE) table is the new deduction for "Unaesthetic position(s), -1 to -3" for singles and pairs spins. There are actually a few new GOE deductions...more to come later ;)
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  6. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the examples, HisWeirness.

    The changes may not be perfect, but any reduction in blade grabs is good, and the one-footed step sequence feature was second on my list of scoring elements that needed to die.
  7. PinkFeathers

    PinkFeathers Active Member

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    "Unaesthetic position(s)" - Oh, will we finally see the buttspin go away? Nobody likes the buttspin :(

    I'm trying to read this, but it's like stereo instructions :scream:
  8. Cant Skate

    Cant Skate Member

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    Thank you for the links!
  9. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    I can also think of a particular female pair partner whose unstretched positions also personify this term and make me cringe. Take a guess! :p
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Probably not entirely, if skaters still think it's a reliable way to raise the level.

    But it gives judges a clear justification to award negative GOE if they think it's ugly, so if the skaters start losing more in GOE than they gain in base value, they'd be wise to rethink their strategy.
  11. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

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    I believe the only changes that depend on Congress approval are the replacement of the spiral sequence with the choreographic sequence, and the additional of the LB. The changes to the LoD and SoV are not subject to Congress approval, I believe, so skaters should feel free to start contorting themselves into as many difficult variations as possible in their spins. :shuffle:

    When I saw the SoV, with lower base values for LB elements compared to L1 elements, it made the hypothetical idea real. I'd also been thinking of LB in terms of singles, which has only four leveled elements per program; I'd forgotten that most elements in pairs are leveled - so "what the base values had to do with it" was merely that seeing the SoV made me reconceptualize my understanding of how LB would affect the actual process of tech panel work. I absolutely agree with your second point; with more time to think about it, I think LB elements will be a valuable addition to Juvenile and Intermediate Pairs - although I hope that USFSA continues to mandate that lifts at that level are either automatic L1 or no level (if the lift doesn't meet the basic requirements, such as when the boy picks up the girl and immediately puts her down without turning at all).

    You KNOW I'm going to be ticked if he gets that precious L4 before I do!

    This will be new this year, but it has to be approved by the ISU Congress first (in June). To predict based on past Congress decisions, I suspect this will pass, as any country that cares about this will save their "chits" for the more contentious issues (like age limits), and it will be impossible to make the speedskating countries interested. That's speculation, of course.

    The current/new SoV certainly considers 5RLi to be the most difficult pairs lift. I'm not sure that I agree - without having attempting two of the three, I speculate that the takeoffs of 5ALi and 5BLi are actually more difficult than 5RLi,, but 5RLi would be trickier to balance as the man rotates - except that most teams don't rotate 5RLi in the traditional Group 5 handhold.

    I can't figure out how to explain this elegantly - and I fully admit that I may be completely wrong - but in a 5RLi, if the team did not change handhold, the girl's weight would be slightly behind the boy: you really, really, really (x10,000,000) don't want the boy on his heels during a lift - this can end in not just a fall, but a truly nightmarish fall in which the momentum of the girl's weight would increase the risk of the boy's head hitting the hit, and in which the boy would have zero chance of protecting the girl, who would also end up predisposed to have her head hit the ice - and depending on which lift, would increase the chances that there would be blade-to-body contact when they hit the ice. Bad, bad, bad. "She got behind me" is one of the get-out-jail-free explanations for putting a lift down. [BTW, "she got behind me" doesn't mean that it was the girl's fault: this usually happens either because the timing on the takeoff was off, usually because both partners were off, or in practice because the boy is tracking an obstacle (i.e., another team or skater who looks like they might end up in the path of the lift): if the boy keeps looking at the potential obstacle (i.e., keeps his head facing the same direction) while his hips and shoulders and girl (i.e., heavy object with much momentum) keep rotating - the girl's weight is quickly going to get behind his center of gravity.] However, when you change handhold, you can get the girl's weight centered directly over the boy, which is the absolute safest place to be. As difficult as the takeoffs for 5ALi and 5BLi are, they end up with the girl's weight centered directly over the boy.

    Thanks for posting these videos and for an excellent discussion of the Group 5 Lifts, HisWeirness!
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I think it looks great when it's performed properly by somebody with good stretch and extension.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    I remember skaters showing all the different lifts to a friend who was preparing for technical specialist exams.

    They showed all of the lifts but then the coach had to step in to show the 5RLi because that was the one they weren't able to perform even off-ice.

    So according to them at least, it was by far the hardest.
  14. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this illuminating (and scary) paragraph. I truly do not know how the parents of pairs skaters cope. :eek: It also makes me realize how incredibly impressive E/L's lifts were technically, not just artistically.
  15. seabm7

    seabm7 Member

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    Thank you!


    I agree. A particular version of butt spin performed by @J_Butt (read "Jeff Buttle") looks crispy and nice.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  16. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

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    Is there no more SpSq in pairs? is it a CH sequence now? jw.
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Remark #3:

    Aesthetically speaking, this is great news, particularly with the Pairs men no longer having to attempt to match the womens' positions to gain levels, and for Ladies with limited flexibility who can do a single, short spiral element among the rest of the elements/contents of the choreographic sequence.

    I know Lakernik was complaining that the one-footed feature was painful to watch, but, if nothing else, it made the first half of the sequence shorter, since most skaters couldn't add endless sawing back and forth on one foot and had to maintain the momentum to gain the feature.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  18. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness Yay, new board!

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    Here are the remaining major negative GOE (Grade of Execution) updates.

    Errors for which final GOE must be in the minuses (restricted)

    1. For both singles and pairs, the deduction that previously stated "starting from wrong edge in F/Lz (sign "e"), -2 to -3" now states "severe wrong edge take-off F/Lz (sign "e"), -2 to -3."
    (F = Flip, Lz = Lutz)

    The GOE deduction for unclear edge take-off (sign "e") is still -1 to -2, unrestricted. Unrestricted means that the final GOE for the element does not have to be in the minuses.

    Errors for which final GOE is not restricted (unrestricted)

    The three changes below apply to pairs only.

    1. In lifts, "slight problems in the lifting process, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.
    "Serious" problems in the lifting process already results in -3 GOE, restricted.

    2. In death spirals, "any part of the lady's body touching the ice, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.

    3. In death spirals, "use of both arms of man/lady at the exit, -1 to -2" is a new unrestricted deduction.
  19. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

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    So am I correct in saying that in pairs all of the lifts can no longer end in blade grabbing?
  20. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me like they can grab away at the blade all they want but only the first time they attempt it will be considered for the DV rule.
  21. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

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    True, but hopefully it won't be worth it for them.
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I hope that hair does not count as "part of the lady's body" for purposes of this rule.
  23. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    That's worked in Ladies and Ice Dance when the incentives for blade to head and 24x7 Biellmanns were taken away.
  24. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

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    Well, no: technically, it's possible to get credit for blade-grabbing in all three lifts in a Senior Pair FS; it can be credited once per "type of lady's position" and there are three possible "lady's positions." Last season, the complaints about blade grabbing seemed to be centered on the overhead/lasso/press/"upright" position, in which the traditional position emphasizes the extension of the lady's free leg. Next season, skaters will be able to get credit for that DV once, but they could still get credit for blade grabbing in a star position and credit for blade grabbing in a platter position.

    After I posted yesterday, I remembered the original rationale for the differential in BV: it was originally considered that 5ALi and 5RLi had built-in difficult entries and simply could not be executed with additional difficult variations of the entry; therefore, the bonus for a single bullet of difficult entry was included in the base value of 5ALi/5RLi in order to avoid punishing teams who did those lifts. The spread-eagle entry into 5ALi was actually not-kosher-with-the-existing-rules in 2004*, and I recall an entire season of "is it or isn't it" debate back-and-forth between the ISU technical committee and the people who were actually on tech panels. IIRC, following a season with an unofficial clarification to allow the spread-eagle takeoff without calling the resulting lift as an illegal element, the rules were changed at the end of the season to allow the spread-eagle takeoff to remain within the spirit of the rules. I would not be surprised if the rationale for raising the base value of 5RLi followed similar logic, as it is almost impossible to do a difficult entry into a 5RLi.

    *Short version: men are allowed to rotate a maximum of three times in a legal lift: in a traditional 5ALi, both of the man's feet are facing forward and he gets three revolutions from there. If he is in a spread eagle position at the takeoff, he has one foot going forward and one foot going backward. In a technical application of the rules, when his backward foot releases and steps forward, that's actually his first 1/2 revolution. The clarification established that if a man has one foot going forward and one foot going backward, you count his rotations from the front foot.

    One additional short note: One of the flaws in IJS (IMHO) is that it attempts to quantify absolute differences in difficulty between various elements. In reality, however, various elements are differently difficult for different skaters. When you factor in the relative difficulty of the various features, it really muddies the idea of absolute difficulty. For example, a nice base-GOE LSp1 is more difficult than a base-GOE CSp1, but the opposite is true at L4. The SoV has become more nuanced over the years to reflect some of these, but it does not - and can not and will never - reflect the relative difficulty of various elements for particular teams. The first team that I saw perform a 5RLi was Hinzmann/Parchem; it was easier for them than a 5ALi because of Parchem's shoulder injuries. (FWIW, I once asked Parchem about the absolute difficulty of 5ALi/5RLi and he thought 5RLi was significantly easier, even without the effects of his injury.)
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I don't think it is entirely true that IJS "attempts to quantify absolute differences in difficulty between various elements". If it were true, then there would be more thought-out differences in base between, for example, 3T and 3S, 3Lo, and then again, especially given the amount of wrong edges called by the judges, 3F, and 3Lz. A 3A/3T would have more additional base than 3T/3T, not just the difference between a 3A and a 3T. A 2[x]/3[y] would have a higher base than a 3[y]/2[x]. Etc.

    The ISU seems to have attempted to come up with a formula that balances TES and PCS for Men and attempts to balance it for Ladies, and they've capped and tweaked the base values accordingly. The strength is enforcing a uniform value for all competitors, not internal algorithms by judges.

    Any judging system that assigns difficulty -- diving, snowboarding, gymnastics -- has to create the same values for all competitors. Within every system that does this are individuals for whom what is considered difficult is easy and vice versa.
  26. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

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    :wuzrobbed :wall:
  27. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    I don't like that the 8 rev feature for spins can only count once per program now. It was a good motivational feature for skaters to work on speed and control of spin positions.

    I guess with the DV feature capable of counting multiple times, we are back to a million DVs for each spin. At least there will be new DVs.