Janet Lynn on COP and the decline of figure skating

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Maofan7, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. jcopper

    jcopper New Member

    26
    2
    0
    Slightly off-topic, but this discussion has brought this question to mind a few times:

    Who are the latest male and female champion skaters (Worlds and/or Olympics) to have had any school figures training?

    I know they were eliminated in 1990, but didn't the federations have discretion on how long to keep them a part of national competitions for a few years after?
     
  2. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    7,677
    2,913
    113
    Chan did figures, but apparently he didn't know that is what they were called. He referred to them in an interview years ago as all those circles I had to do, or something like that.
     
  3. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    18,148
    2,174
    113
    So much of what I read here doesn't take into account that this system is used at all levels of the sport. Whilst the highest profile is what gets televised on TV, there are so many thousands more participants in the sport, whether they be kids or those competing in adult divisions, who really appreciate IJS for what it gives them. And that is they get detailed feedback via a protocol and can go away and work on improving their skating. Being able to give feedback to a skater because you can explain why they got a -1 or +1 on an particular element really helps them as well because they understand it.

    Thankfully I started judging when IJS came in. I used 6.0 and still do for beginner levels. But having to apply deductions and then do tally of how many deductions to take off a total score really did my head in. And I never had to judge large fields of Intermediate ladies where you would have to explain why you placed skaters in the positions you did. Actually judging an event of skaters who are all about the same standard is so much easier using IJS because you judge on what you see rather than trying to remember the 20 or so skaters that came before them and saying "which skaters were they better or worse than this one?" and then giving them the marks to fit in.

    The system, whilst the catalyst may have been a high profile event, has had greater ramifications throughout the sport as a whole. And that is where it is most appreciated.
     
  4. NorthernDancers

    NorthernDancers Active Member

    223
    62
    28
    Absolutely right on! Young and developing skaters had a really hard time with 6.0. With a report card under CoP, they have something tangible to understand why they placed higher or lower than another skater. More importantly, it reinforces a "competition against yourself" to work for continuous improvement from competition to competition. It's not always possible to compare scores exactly across competitions, but skaters now know when a lift is a higher or lower degree of difficulty and can track the technical progress. More tweaking needs to be done on PCS to better define and quantify, and perhaps reward, but in general all the skaters I know much prefer CoP over the old 6.0.
     
  5. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    18,148
    2,174
    113
    Thank you for saying this!
     
  6. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    4,878
    829
    113
    Hold on....what? I was told earlier in this thread that there is no math. ;)
     
  7. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    3,783
    1,725
    113
    While everything you say is true, I'm fairly certain there was a lot of talk at the end of 6.0 where many judges said that while yes the marks were place holders, each judge was very particular about giving out 6.0s. It seems there was a level of understanding amongst judges that 6.0 should only really be given in special circumstances which lends credence to it being "perfection". I remember there being circumstances where judges simply had to give a 6.0 because they'd boxed themselves in, one world championships where Stojko landed a quad (and I think stepped out of one earlier in the programme) ended up getting a 6.0 for technical merit from the (i believe) French judge, because the judge had left themselves with nowehere to go having given Candeloro 5.9, 5.9.

    If they were used simply as place holders all the time by the judges then we would have seen marks like the final worlds where 6.0 was used, and that never happened.
     
  8. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    8,830
    2,337
    113
    Thank you, this was exactly my point. Of course some 6.0's were as a result of judges boxing themselves in. Others, particularly in early years were politically driven and some just plain :confused: Pauline Borrajo's technical 6.0 for Denise Biellmann at the 1978 Europeans just because she attempted a triple lutz - so underrotated - was pretty laughable. But there have been many occasions, including the ones I pointed out where the judges awarded the 6.0 as a way of acknowledging that *something special* which would indicate that in those circumstances the 'perfect mark' of 6.0 was NOT merely a placeholder.

    There have also been instances where a performance was crying out for a 6.0 *coughJohnCurrycough* but for some reason - skate order or politiks they were never given but that's a whole other thread. ;)
     
  9. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

    9,159
    1,143
    113
    You are missing my main point, Midori and Tonya were exceptions to the rule. They were not the norm and I want to point out, both skaters were not consistently given the credit they deserved technically because of the old 6.0placement rule. The majority of the ladies skaters during this era 90% did not do 3lutz or 3toe-3toe combos in competition and consistently.

    Your statement is the reason we have issues with ladies splats and attempting jumps they can't do consistently or correctly.

    Most top ladies are not "doing" both flip and lutz. They are attempting them but they are not doing them correctly. They are doing flutzes, not the same. That's why they are underrotating the jump and not getting credit for it.

    Sarah Hughes would not win OGM now because of her flutz and her underrotating jumps. Which is right in my opinion.

    But we can debate this until the cows come home. You feel the athletes should be attempting jumps that they can't obviously land or do correctly for the sake of attempting a harder jump. I would like for you to explain why most of the ladies should do this?
     
  10. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    4,892
    585
    113
    this seems to go both ways.

    Caro is winning medals with 1988 jump content. Your "point" that it's unfair to compare a medal winner from today to the top skaters of the 80s doesn't make sense to me. Who cares that caro is doing harder jumps than the woman who finished 23rd in Calgary? The point is, she's a top level skater doing the same, or even less, tech content than the medal winners over 20 years ago.
     
  11. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

    9,159
    1,143
    113
    I don't think Caro's jump content is the same as 90% of the skaters in 1988.

    I've looked at the programs from 1988 and 90% of the ladies were not doing 3flip,3sach, 3loop and 3toe-3toe combos.
     
  12. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    3,783
    1,725
    113
    Except that you are wrong!

    The world medalists in 1988 were Witt, Manley and Thomas.

    Witt - had the 3T and 3S and her "big risk" was the 3 Loop which she doubled in the LP.

    Manley - attempted 3T, 3S, 3Lp and 3Lz, she didn't even attempt at 3F and at worlds two footed the loop and had no 3/3. So even if she had landed all the content, the lack of flip is comparable to Carolina's lack of Lutz, but she had no 3/3, so to my mind that's less.

    Thomas - Like Witt had 3T, 3S, and her big risk was the 3Loop also. She was attempting 3T/3T but not succeeding with it.

    Ito (who finished 6th at worlds) had an LP with all triple jumps attempted except axel (but she doubled the flip in the LP), she attempted (stepped out of)3T/3T, and landed a 2A/half loop/3S. (at Olys she landed all the content)

    Of those, the "medalists" did not have as difficult jumps as Carolina did in her 2011 worlds outing. The only one who had arguably harder content than Carolina is Ito, who came 6th, and we've already established she is the exception to the rule.

    1988 content was basically most skaters trying triple toe and sal, some skaters having one of loop, flip or Lutz to attempt, one (maybe two) skater with two harder triples and only one attempting all 5. Every single skater included intentional doubles of the jumps they didn't have as triples.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
    topaz and (deleted member) like this.
  13. ewdot2480

    ewdot2480 New Member

    174
    21
    0
    While I like scoring along with COP, it is much easier to follow the old system.

    I'm sorry, but getting a 5.7 basically means: you were not perfect, but pretty darn good.
    Or, you made no mistakes, but are somewhat lacking in edging/speed/spins, etc..

    By getting a 123.61, all it means is that "hey, they must be in first place because skater x got 119.08 about 45 minutes ago".

    You have no idea how they got to "123.61" whereas a 5.7 is much more understandable. You can reason a "5.7".

    As mentioned, I don't mind COP. I know the rules. But lots of skating fans who are never going to study up on the hundreds of rules/edge changes/sequences are going to appreciate the sport as much if they don't understand it.
     
    PDilemma and (deleted member) like this.
  14. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

    1,592
    155
    0
    Do you believe the footwork and spins she's doing are equal in technical difficulty to what the top laides were doing in the late eighties?
     
  15. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    12,553
    1,336
    113
    And in the latest years, Irina Slutskaya was herself surprised at her 6.0 in the SP at 2002 Worlds. lol
    http://youtu.be/2uIvHWQ7vyY?t=5m25s
     
  16. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    4,892
    585
    113
    :lol:
    Yes, I suppose I would be had I actually said what you erroneously thing you read.
     
  17. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    12,553
    1,336
    113
    Anyway, skating is not only about jump content. I don't care about jump content if basic skating is good.
     
  18. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    2,786
    370
    83
    This is such a silly argument. Would Caro's jump content be a standout in 1988? Not really, she'd just be a a little bit ahead of the curve, and she still would not have more content than Midori. Why not just move the date up to 1991 or 92? That's still twenty years ago, and those girls were attempting much more difficulty than Caro.

    That being said, I don't have a big problem with any of Caro's placements this year. While I would like to see her challenege herself more, if the other ladies aren't going to skate cleanly and with mature presentation that's not Caro's fault.
     
  19. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    10,988
    1,613
    113
    I like this. :)

    I think the reaction to COP is more deserving of blame than COP itself. Coaches, choreographers and skaters are so obsessed with the elements that have a prescribed base value, they've forgotten what skating is about. I don't think anyone can fairly say that COP doesn't reward "true" skating, because people haven't given it many chances to see what properly applied COP will do with great "old school" programs.

    As for COP encouraging 'easier' programs, I disagree. On paper, 7 triples sounds harder than 5 triples, but when you remember that the 7 triple program could include cheats, 3 flips (counting as 2 lutzes and a flip) and loads of crossovers with little to no penalty, it's not really easier, is it?
     
  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    10,822
    2,419
    113
    By what standards?

    Suppose you used to be a figure skating fan 10 or 20 or 24 years ago and you had a good sense of what the standards were then. But then you didn't follow the sport for a decade or more in the interim, or you only watch the Olympics, so you don't really know what kinds of content are expected.

    You tune in to the ladies' SP at the Olympics and the first program you see isthis.

    Or this (sorry, couldn't find the Olympic version online; this is cleaner anyway)

    Orthis Or [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAKpWxOW6Pw]this (couldn't find Olympic version online)

    What kind of numbers do you expect for those programs, watching with 1988 or 1994 eyes and allowing for the changes in short program requirements but not knowing how many skaters will take advantage of the options for harder content? Or watching with 2011 eyes not knowing how they actually placed?

    In 1998 we knew that first example was a potentially medal-worthy performance and worthy of 5.7s, but without the context of the state of ladies' figure skating in 1998 it could be worth anything. Only as you continue watching and get a feel for what kinds of performances earn what kinds of marks can you start to make sense of whether the jump content is high or low or average for that era, ditto the difficulty of the spins and steps, whether jump content tends to outweigh edges and speed or vice versa, whether artistic strengths or deficiencies (e.g., in carriage, extension, projection to the audience, program theme and construction, phrasing of the music) can outweigh any of the above.

    So the numbers that the judges put up, compared to the maximum mark of 6.0, tell us how they think this performance fits in compared to the rest of the field at that time, but they don't tell us why.

    So the every-4-years casual fans can only sit back and accept that one performance was pretty good, or mediocre, or great, or weak according to how far the judges' marks differ from 6.0.

    Or they could be told what the current IJS world record number is for that discipline and get a sense of how close or far the scores are from that number.

    Either way, the scores read quickly in the kiss-and-cry are not going explain the reasons.

    One advantage for the casual fan is that 6.0 always means "best we can expect in this discipline at this point in skating history" even though the best expected in different disciplines is different because the types of elements are different (or men do pretty much the same kinds of elements as ladies, but usually with harder jumps).

    For the more devoted fans, and for the skaters themselves, with IJS but not with 6.0 there is a place to go to find out the details of the scoring. It's just not convenient to present all that information in real time while the competition is in progress and the next skater is ready to start.

    As mentioned, I don't mind COP. I know the rules. But lots of skating fans who are never going to study up on the hundreds of rules/edge changes/sequences are going to appreciate the sport as much if they don't understand it.[/QUOTE]
     
  21. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    3,884
    168
    63
    I think there would be no talk about "decline in figure skating" if USA would have some successful lady skaters to win big international competitions. I don´t think that CoP is that difficult to understand, at least the basics. It is just a question of an attitude that prevents some people from even trying to understand it, IMO.

    Nowadays lots of skaters have really beautiful quality programs, the difference is that they are more difficult to skate than those in 6.0 era. During those days there were also lots of programs that were not quality programs, exactly the same as today.
     
  22. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

    3,818
    414
    83
    I would then ask, what if two skaters both got the same scores, does that mean they are equally good from the standard of 6.0? At the time of their marks flashing up, I have to try and figure out how many of each mark they got in technical merit and then do the same thing for presentation and then try and think how that compares to others who have skated. Most of the time, at least when I watch it on TV, the marks flash too quickly and I tend to have absolutely no idea how that skater did until their standing was eventually flashed up on the screen. To me, that's rather confusing. Occassionally those doing commentary would suggest what they might need to overtake the lead. They might even be able to give out where that particular is standing after they skated but darned if I could figure it out. I *always* had to wait for it to be shown on the screen.

    With COP, I know what the top 3 scores are to date. With wedgie data, it tells me what it needed for the next skater to overtake the lead. Even on TV here in Canada, we are told what kind of score is needed. We have also been fortunate to be told what kind of scores are considered good, excellent, outstanding in both short and free in all disciplines. I guess having commentators who have knowledge of these kinds of things and realize that their audience would benefit from it is a bonus - at least to those of us who like COP -- even if I think it still needs tweaking.
     
  23. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    4,892
    585
    113
    :lol:
    Now, if only flatt had won in Vancouver, all this talk of regression would go away and Evan wouldn't be accused of setting men's skating back 10 years, nor marlie ruining dance :p
     
  24. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    3,303
    477
    83
    Carolina Kostner receives so much chastising and insults for omitting the 3Lutz, yet it seems okay at large by many that Mirai Nagasu omits the 3flip and 3Salchow, that Yu-Na Kim omits the 3loop, that Miki Ando omits the 3flip, that Alissa Czisny omits the 3Salchow, that Mao Asada omitted the 3Lutz and 3Salchow for multiple seasons, that Ksenia Makarova omits the 3Lutz, that Cynthia Phaneuf omits the 3flip, and so on and so forth. I guess I just don't get the double standard. :confused::rolleyes::shuffle:
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  25. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    2,786
    370
    83
    If it makes you feel better, I've criticized all of them ;) I miss well rounded programs where skaters attempted all of the jumps, even if they weren't perfect.
     
  26. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    4,892
    585
    113
    :D
    I actually do miss wringing my hands and having trouble swallowing waiting to see if kristi could land that darn 3sal or if Kwan could do the loop, etc...
    And it is frustrating when caro leaves out her 3z and then still manages to botch the 3f, which is neither repeated nor in combo :rolleyes:
     
  27. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    3,821
    970
    113
    Dear Janet:

    You know I lurves ya. However, I do believe you're talking nonsense.

    This is what we used to get under 6.0: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj_S_QhT8fk

    This is what we get now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slgu228bf08&feature=related

    I know which I prefer. :p

    Best,

    Vaga
     
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    20,976
    3,868
    113
    emason and (deleted member) like this.
  29. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    18,148
    2,174
    113
    The system was not developed with skating fans in mind (which most fans seem to think it is about them). The system was developed in response to perceived corruption in the sport and the possibility it was going to get kicked out of the Olympics. And then in the end they came up with something which actually looks at the whole of skating rather than just jumps which is what 6.0 seemed to be about. I have no problem that it developed that way because they have come up with a better system. And it is a fairer system.

    Also was it fair to skaters to try and sum up their performances under just two marks? At least skaters get credit now whereas 6.0 was all about deductions. And it is a hell of lot more transparent than what it used to be.

    If anything IJS has pushed skaters to become more well balanced and pay attention to everything, not just be the best jumper which is what 6.0 encouraged.
     
  30. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    10,822
    2,419
    113
    I agree with all of this except the statement that 6.0 was all about deductions.

    In the short program there were mandatory deductions for various kinds of errors, similar to the negative GOEs now.

    In both short and long programs there were deductions for rule violations (e.g., illegal moves, illegal music, illegal costume, running over or under the time allowance, repeating too many triple jumps in the LP or repeating the same triple without a combination).

    But those deductions were not subtracted from a perfect 6.0, except for the very very best skaters in the world at the time who would have been worthy of 6.0 if not for those SP errors or rule violations.

    For the vast majority of skaters, the judges had to come up with a base mark that essentially represented in their minds "How good was this performance, on a scale of 0 to 6 where 0 is not skated, 3 is mediocre, 4 is good, 5 is very good, and 6 is perfect and flawless?"

    Then if they decided for each program that this skating overall, taking into account the basic skating and the difficulty of the elements and the success or failure thereof, was about halfway between good and very good, they could score 4.5 for technical merit. And if they thought it was better than that in presentation they'd give a tenth or a couple tenths more than 4.5 for the second mark, vice versa if they thought the presentation was not as good.

    Then they would take deductions if any deductions were warranted. In short programs, some usually were. In long programs, only rarely.

    But the skaters and the spectators never knew exactly which aspects of the skating each judge or the judges as a group considered in setting their base marks and which they ignored, and they didn't know exactly which deductions were taken. (Maybe some of the rule violation deductions like time deductions or illegal element deductions taken by the referee were publicized?)