PCS used correctly

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by gkelly, May 11, 2013.

What would it mean to score PCS correctly?

Poll closed Jun 10, 2013.
  1. Some judges do it right, too many do it wrong

    38 vote(s)
    43.2%
  2. No one official does it right, but it can be done.

    9 vote(s)
    10.2%
  3. The rules need to be written better.

    23 vote(s)
    26.1%
  4. Can't be done right, so don't do it at all.

    2 vote(s)
    2.3%
  5. Can't be done right, so just use one number.

    3 vote(s)
    3.4%
  6. Right vs. wrong is meaningless -- but there is better vs. worse

    13 vote(s)
    14.8%
  1. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Okay I watched it and without going into too much detail because I just don't have time, I totally disagree with you about the interpretation and choreography.

    Whilst you hated the music, you have to get rid of your likes and dislikes of that and judge what the skater did to it. I actually like the music so that is subjective. In the past I have given credit to programs where I didn't like the music but the skater used it and used it effectively. For me when the music changed tempo Brezina did as well by changing his movement. The more flowing parts of the music he was more fluid in his movement and not so angular. When it picked up tempo or changed character so did he. He also had energy when the music called for it and softness when it called for it. He was hitting nuances so there was some detail. Also the circular steps worked with the timing of the music - that was really great. The moments where he really lost the connection was more setting up the jumps at the beginning. Overall for me the program worked musically.

    As for the problems on elements, the program was not interrupted by them. Out of a 4 minute 30 second program, probably 10 secs at the most were affected by errors. It did not impact on the flow of the program and the way it worked. Otherwise he really did push the program to the end so deserves some credit for that.

    I don't really have a problem with the marks the judges gave. I would probably be sitting in the 7s on those components. Transitions would be low 7s for myself but mid-7s for the others. And I really like his skating skills - lovely flow and good speed. He moves very well over the ice.

    Skateboy I can't agree with you. 3.25 for Interpretation - sorry but that is way off the mark. You cannot let the fact you hate the music influence how you view the program. Others are going to hear the music differently from you. You and I obviously see the program very differently. But that is why judging is not an exact science and why you are never going to have a judging system that everyone can agree on. Because there is so much subjectivity in the way it is viewed.
     
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  2. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    No, that's ridiculous. But unfortunately scored that way.
     
  3. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate your input. We will have to agree to disagree. However...

    It's not the music I disliked per se, it was that there's very little in that music to be (or that was) choreographed. I'm sure we can agree that skating programs are quite complex. That music is not, which is why I think it does not make for a good competitive skating program. Almost none of the elements had a thing to do with what was going on in the music.

    As an example, imagine listening to just that music on its own, no skating. I very much doubt that, say, at the point where Brezina had big jumps, anyone would think, "ooohh, listen to that--what a great place for a quad sal combo!" The tricks were just thrown in randomly. That's not choreography or interpretation.

    I did mention the things I liked.

    My choreography and interpretation scores are low, precisely because of what you said: I feel that Brezina did very, very little with it. I can't see giving high 7s and 8s in comparison with, say, programs by Chan or Ten, who were scored about 1 to 1.5 points higher in each category. Sorry, there HAS to be a much bigger range between them. Very unfair to those who skate programs with actual attention to detail.

    Honestly, I believe there are too many details in IJS (especially when it comes to PCS) for a judge to consider with accuracy and fairness on one viewing, no matter how genuine the intentions of a particular judge. So the PCS scores have a certain sameness, irrespective of what the actual categories are supposed to critique. As a start, I would suggest combining CH/IN, but I think the system needs to be even more concise than that. There's simply too much flotsam, IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I have seen a number of skaters use that music over the years, including Joubert and Delobel and Schoenfelder and I think they did great programs to it. The music also had enough changes of tempo and character so the skater can demonstrate different styles which is something I would look for. I don't know how you can say when I am suggesting the things that I saw in the program backs up your argument that he did very little with it. It doesn't have to be in your face and it can be subtle. And the music doesn't have to speak "oh there should be a jump there" to suggest that it is not suitable for a skating program. Maybe it is music you wouldn't use and it doesn't create the pictures in your mind. Others would see it differently. However you have accept that not everyone is going to agree with your opinion.

    One of the tools that I use to evaluate components is this chart. It actually provides a better illustration to explain about components.

    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vfile/page/fileurl/0,11040,4844-152077-169293-64120-0-file,00.pdf

    At the end of the day I do understand why he got the marks he did. You asked me to look at a program. And I looked at the program on it's own merits without taking in to account any other competitors which is what you are meant to do when judging. Again it is about perception and how different people see things differently.

    Seriously if you are so passionate about this sport and the standard of judging, go and be a judge.
     
  5. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, skateboy.

    And I agree, programs that fans have already picked apart with high emotions about the results are not a good choice for analyzing dispassionately.

    I wish I had stopped and watched Brezina's program to form my own impressions before reading the rest of your post, so I could react only to the performance and not also be mentally mediating between your scores (with comments) and those of the judging panel. Oh well. I'll try to put them out of my mind and give some independent thoughts of my own, and then go back and address some of your points.

    Skating Skills
    Power and edge depth were good, not great. Filled the ice easily. He seemed well balanced over the blades and was able to move fluidly through his upper body. Some multidirectional skating -- he got the reversals of direction for the feature in the leveled step sequence but only one clockwise section in the choreo sequence; some simple clockwise steps preceding the triple flip and the triple lutz, occasional clockwise three or mohawk to get from forward to backward, along with one LFO rocker to get from forward CCW to backward CW; one big half circle of CW crossovers (between the first salchow and the first axel). There was a bit more time spent on two feet than I would like at this level, with several posing stops as well as some glides on two feet with upper body movements. But good job holding the exits of turns, including difficult turns in the step sequence, on one foot.

    (I only consider falls in relation to Skating Skills if the clearly result from a failure of skating technique -- e.g., loss of balance during steps or stroking. A fall on the landing of a jump often is a result of problems in the air, especially underrotation, so I think of that as related to jumping skills, not skating skills per se; it's penalized in the GOE and fall deduction, and if disruptive than I would also consider it negatively under Performance/Execution before the other components.)

    Transitions
    Variety: fine, not exceptional -- a fair amount of upper body, especially arm movements; clockwise toe turns (after the 3A); various threes, mohawks, choctaws both between forward and backward simple stroking and in the steps leading into the flip and lutz, as well as that one rocker outside the step sequence; two different kinds of spread eagle. There were some jump moves within elements (steps, sitspin) and poses, but none as highlight moves or entries/exits to elements.

    Quality: Everything seemed steady and controlled, but there were no Wow moments.

    Difficulty: Acceptable, nothing exceptional.

    Intricacy: Only simple stroking to set up most of the jumps, but at least he maintained the rhythm of the movement and didn't tense up to telegraph them; no long setups/telegraphing for the spins or step sequences either. As mentioned, some steps before the flip and lutz, turns exiting the first axel, but nothing difficult or notable directly connected to elements or direct connections from one element to another.

    Performance/Execution
    On the Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement and Projection criteria I thought he did fine but didn't stand out in those areas. Carriage was good -- relaxed and fluid, never hunched or stiff, fairly good alignment of the whole body over the blades, though not strong in a way that calls attention to itself. Clarity of movement ditto. He seemed comfortable with what he was doing, not making a statement about these qualities. There was clear contrast between the strong rhythmic and the more lyrical movement qualities, but without extremes in either direction.

    This would be the primary component in which I would consider the success of the elements, especially falls. There were three failed jumps and a loss of speed in the final spin; everything else was fairly strong.

    Choreography
    Purpose -- nothing gimmicky; general interpretation of the style and mood of the music
    Proportion (equal weight of parts) -- There was a bit of an overemphasis on setting up the big jumps at the beginning of the program, with not much else going on until those were out of the way (without as much success as would be hoped)
    Unity (purposeful threading) -- As I mentioned, I didn't love the number of stops in the middle of the program, but they were clearly choreographed to mark changes in the musical phrasing. In general the movements flowed continuously into each other with the exception of those stops and the recoveries from failed jumps.
    Utilization of personal and public space -- Filled the space well, but didn't call attention to it
    Pattern and ice coverage -- Filled the ice with ease, no problem using the sides and ends right up to the boards and all sections of the ice surface. The patterns were not especially intricate or original. Spins and jumps were distributed in different parts of the ice for the most part, but I did note that both quad attempts seemed to be on the same side of the arena with similar approaches, which is understandable but a minus for this criterion.
    Phrasing and form -- I thought the movements matched the phrasing well most of the time. The opening was strong with arm movements to the music, then he lost connection for most of the big-jumps section. I did think the first quad sal was planned well with the change of musical phrase, but because the jump failed it lost its effectiveness. The stops before and after the step sequence did a good job of punctuating those changes in the separate musical sections. There could have been more acknowledgment of the music changes before the lutz and before the last axel. Choreo steps and final pose after the last spin were well planned to the musical structure.
    Originality of purpose, movement, and design -- I would say that the purpose and design of the program were neither cliche nor especially original. There were some original movements or body shapes, notably the final upright position in the combo spin, and the hands clasped behind the knee in the second part of the change sitspin (too bad the spin was so slow at that point) as well as a few of the posing shapes.

    Interpretation
    Effortless movement in time with the music (timing) -- The movement looked fairly effortless throughout. Sometimes it was better timed to the music than others. The skating and upper body movements during the setup of the big jumps didn't have much direct connection to the music. Then he got it back with the first posing stop after the flying sit, continuing into the circular steps, which I thought did a good job of reflecting the rhythm. Also a good job with the legato section that included the 2A+3T, 3F, and 3Lo and various connecting moves in between and good job with the choreo steps.
    Those strong and weak sections of musical connection would also apply to the criteria Expression of the music's style, character, and rhythm and Use of finesse to reflect nuances of the music.

    I.e., I think this performance was stronger than what I consider just average senior level (5s) and not up to potential medal contention (8+) in the component areas as performed this day, even if the jumps had all been successful. I didn't see one component area that really stood out as much stronger or weaker than the others, so I would not have used an especially wide range for this performance. Maybe a low of 6.00 for Transitions and a high of about 7.00 for Skating Skills.
     
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The percentages are flat: they don't even take into consideration that for Senior Men at Worlds, the lowest average PCS was Justus Strid's 5.51. The lowest average PCS in the SP, where the field was 42% larger, was Ronald Lam's 5.33. Even last season, with very low TES minimums, the lowest average TES in the Preliminary Round was 3.37. This year, with similar minimum TES to last year's, the lowest 4C's SP/FS average TES were 4.77/4.40 and the lowest Euros SP/FS average TES were 4.27/4.31.

    In the Euros SP/FS,
    0-4.99: 9/30 (30%, with four qualifying for the FS); 1/22 (4.5%)
    5-5.99: 10/30 (33.3%, with nine qualifying for the FS); 10/22 (45.5%)
    6-6.99: 4/30 (13.3%); 4/22 (18%)
    7-7.99: 4/30 (13.3%); 3/22 (13.6%)
    8-8.99: 3/30 (10%); 4/22 (18%)

    0-4 didn't exist for championships this year, mostly due to the TES minimums. If the differences were compared on the meat of the curve, the 12% shrinks even more.

    Justus Strid's avg. FS PCS were 5.51. Dennis Ten's were 8.77, a difference of 3.36/PCS. That means that Ten component's were less than 40% better than Strid's without taking the distribution into consideration.

    Because of factoring, for Ladies, this means each relative inaccuracy is reduced by 20%, which also means that if Skater B is over-scored in relationship to Skater A, the gap between the skaters is further reduced by the .8 factor in both the SP and FS. For Men, in the SP it is the straight amount of the inaccuracy; in the FS, each inaccuracy is doubled.

    If a skater is receiving 7.5 in CH and 7 in TR, for example, where according to the PCS criteria the same program should have received 5.5 and 5, what incentive does s/he have to add content to earn those extra 1.6's (SP)/3.2 (FS) for Ladies and 2's (SP)/4's (FS) in Men? In fact, under current scoring, Mishin would be negligent for not stripping the difficulty and transitions from programs where they endanger the TES scores and risk fall penalties, since the hit in CH and TR is negligible. If programs received proper scores, then there would be points on the table to exploit that were worth the effort.

    If a skater is receiving 7.5 in CH and 7 in TR, for example, where according to the PCS criteria the same program should have received 5.5 and 5, then the relative scores between skaters is distorted, especially in the Men's FS.
     
  7. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I understand what these percentages are supposed to measure.

    If we understand 0 = not skating at all (clinging to the boards, or standing still for the entire duration) and 10 = best ever by the best skaters in the world, then in any given competition we would expect the range of scores used to represent only a subset of that full range. A competition with a large field that includes some of the best skaters in the world as well as others who barely qualify as senior level will have a larger range for the event as a whole than most competitions, but we still don't expect it to cover the full range of ability that the 0-10 scale is designed to cover.

    Looking at the actual scores, won't the percentages for a senior men's freeskate be taken out of 100 (five components with a maximum of 10, times the 2.0 PCS factor)? The difference between the best and the 11th-best freeskate at Worlds is not likely to be huge, given the hundreds of thousands of performances by skaters of all levels during the whole year that were worse than the 11th-best Worlds freeskate.

    If 12% intuitively seems like too small a difference, then what would feel appropriate? 20%

    That's a pretty big percentage, considering that even the 24th best freeskate at Worlds is still at a much higher level than what the majority of skaters who could never make it Worlds are capable of.

    How do you define what the program "should" have received according to the PCS criteria?

    Nowhere do the criteria specify specific numerical scores for specific levels of competence. It might be nice if they did, but no one -- in the ISU, or in this thread -- has ever written such detailed guidelines.

    It's all a matter of consensus developed across the skating community, subject to variation in how each individual judge tends to use the numbers available and what their points of reference are to anchor each of those numbers in their minds, along a scale where 0 is the worst skating/non-skating they have ever seen is 10 is the best, and 5.0 is average acceptable senior level, not necessarily good enough ever to compete at Worlds.

    Of course there's plenty of room for the consensus about what 5.0 or 7.0 or 9.0 represents to improve, for judges to reach better agreement about the best ways to use these numerical scales and to develop common points of reference.

    And there's much more room for fans to join in that consensus -- in large part by watching more skating at lower levels so there's a better recognition of how good a mediocre performance by world-class skater is compared to a good performance by a mediocre skater.

    Yes, I agree that judges should be given freedom, encouragement, and guidelines to use the five components more independently -- all the more to encourage skaters to use skills other than technical elements to earn points. But those are still primarily technically based skills.

    Do you care to define how we can recognize a program that "should have" received 5.5 and 5? What does 5.5 CH look like for a skater with world-class, potential medal-worthy skating skills, vs. 5.5 for an average senior skater, or 5.5 for an average novice skater with better choreography than technical ability?

    Could a skater with Skating Skills worth only 2.something, or less, ever deserve anything close to 5 for Choreography? What would that look like? Some of those celebrity skating shows, I guess.
     
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  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    PCS are defined as the % of the program that meets the values defined in the PCS criteria. The percentages show the relative excellence or lack there-of according to the scale.

    In a major championship, I would expect a cluster of scores like those at this year's Euros. However, the differences in scores are supposed to be absolute. Looking at the total scores at Euros, there were three skaters whose SP score was higher than the lowest FS score. That shows a huge gap in ability, whereas the PCS scores don't reflect that. A number of low-ranked technical skaters are given knee-jerk mediocre CH and IN scores, for example, mainly skaters who have less difficulty and do it well and a few skaters that have far above-average interpretive skills and are inconsistent and mistake-ridden but have far better ice coverage, choreographic patterns and nuance, unity than more competent skaters with relatively empty content.

    The current flat scale, created to cover all levels of skating, doesn't begin to reflect the difference between the average senior skater at the championship level, which is essentially everyone who makes at least Euros, where more than 1/3 of the skaters fell into the 4-5.99 range, most of them in the 5-5.99 range, and the best. Just like the mostly flat GOE scale and the -3 to +3 GOE limits don't reflect the curve, not the flat, it takes to go from one level to the other or the range of quality, which is why I wish the judges would have to check off attributes, not numbers, for elements, and have the computers (or manual calculators) do the score calculation.

    I disagree. I think there are significant differences in CH, TR, and IN among those who place in the Top 10, and those differences aren't reflected in the components. Tomas Verner is one of the few skaters who gets excellent PCS scores, even if he hovers around 18th place.

    I don't think I've ever seen Strid live, and I didn't see Ten's programs live this year after SA; based on the many championships I have seen, and taking the last five groups of the SP and FS into consideration only, I would say the top skaters with the full packages, not the ones whose CH and TR are over-scored given the criteria, are at least twice as strong in almost every component than the weakest skaters on average. The scale doesn't begin to cover the difference between average and outstanding, let alone perfect.

    From what I've seen of lower-level skating, there are the skaters who are of similar PCS ability than the lowest-ranked skaters at Worlds, but who don't have the technical content, and there are plenty of skaters who have beautiful skating skills, better to great choreography than the lower-ranked skaters at Worlds and some of the higher-ranked skaters, and better interpretive ability, but not the technical skills, and too often, I find them robbed and anchored to the difficulty of their technical content. They might not come close to beating the other skaters' TES with higher TES, but it's as if they're written off.

    You just wrote a whole post in which Brezina's PCS scores would have dropped significantly, especially given the FS factor. You defined how his program "should" have been scored based on the PCS criteria. It can be done.

    At minimum, this is in the Program Components Overview, which specify the percentage (25% from 2-3, 50% for 5, 75% for 7-8) and quality ("Very poor" to "Outstanding"), and that doesn't take any of the training/training documentation the ISU might have for judges' training.

    It would be very difficulty to get a 5 for CH with SS of 2, because the skater couldn't do much in terms of ice coverage and pattern, and while there might be some concept and some phrasing above the waist with the hands and arms, most skaters with 2 in SS constrain their upper bodies to maintain balance and don't have the facility to change directions and rhythm. Although, the way the criteria are written, the "Utilization of public and private space," which I think should be in IN, could impact the judges' scores.

    Of course, there's no way the current scales of IJS could be properly applied to celebrities without an audience uproar: now, they get angry at 8 of 10's: imagine the reaction to a SS mark of 2 on a scale of 1-10.

    Precocious small children with good rhythm might be able to pull off a 5 in IN the way the criteria are written: while there would be little finesse, there could be very high marks for rhythm and a good grasp of the musical style.
     
  9. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    And you asked me to provide an example of what I disagree with regarding IJS, so I accepted your challenge. And I appreciate your taking the time to offer your assessment and to provide the link pasted above.

    Your last sentence smacks of sarcasm and defensiveness. I'm obviously not going to "go and be a judge," as I have my own life and a full career. I am an avid FS fan, based on my former experience as a senior roller competitor.

    All of us FSUers are passionate about FS, each in our own way, otherwise we would not spend our free time here. And we all have our individual likes and dislikes, whether it be about a person in the sport, a certain program, results, IJS, 6.0, media coverage, etc. My goal is not, "I'm right and you're wrong, so 'neener-neener-neener.'" I'm adding to the discussion of this thread title, in my own way, as we all do. I enjoy reading the various posts to try and make sense of PCS, which is still mysterious to me (and other fans) in a lot of ways. That's all.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  10. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    No sarcasm intended. Seriously we need more judges in this sport. If people are that passionate about it and also want to learn it is an option.
     
  11. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    As a judge, you have obviously spent countless hours deciphering IJS and I respect your commitment.

    I'll give, concerning my very low choreography score, changing it to 5.00. ;)
     
  12. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the very detailed assessment, gkelly, much appreciated. The quote regarding falls and Skating Skills was informative and helpful.

    I would probably have less problem with the PCS scores that were given if they were within the range you've given (although I still think CH/IN should have been lower than the rest ;)). But they were quite a bit higher. In fact, less than three points (in total) away from Hanyu, whose program, IMO, is in an entirely different league from Brezina's.
     
  13. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The percentage of program time on that overview scale is one way of thinking of it. The same page also gives adjectives Very Poor, Poor, Weak, Fair, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Good, Very Good, Superior, Outstanding to correspond to 1-10.

    Personally I find the adjectives more useful than the percentages alone. I think a program that meets the criteria at a very high level for 90% of the time would be worth more than a program that meets the same criteria at a just-acceptable level for 100% of the time.

    But since there are multiple criteria within each component, each judge will have to balance them out somehow to come up with a single number for that component.

    Are you looking at total segment scores? Isn't a large part of that difference going to be attributable to skaters succeeding at landing triple axels and quads, vs. skaters attempting easier triples and not succeeding on all of them, independent of program component skills?

    Still, it opens up more space for reflecting differences between average senior, good, and great skaters at the top end of the scale than the 6.0 scale did using between 4.0 and 5.9.


    I agree that there are significant differences that should be better reflected in the PCS.

    So how could the numerical scale work to reflect these differences.

    Assuming that the system were set up to do so, and assuming that judges were doing the best possible job of scoring the best skaters in each component appropriately higher than the average performers in that component, it would then become even more possible for top skaters with strengths in all components to establish large leads based on PCS. And then there would be even more outrage when they make mistakes and still win, especially from people who see the obvious mistakes and don't see all the strengths.

    Still, getting an appropriate system and getting judges to use it as well as possible is definitely to be desired.

    By "technical content" do you mean elements, primarily jumps? Yes. But I think it's hard to deserve very high scores in the other components without strong technical skills in the areas measured under Skating Skills.

    Some of the effect you notice might be due to judges mentally -- perhaps unconsciously -- inflating PCS for skaters with harder jumps, and deflating them for skaters with easier jump content. But much of it also might be due to weaker skating skills. It's hard to say how much is appropriate and how much inappropriate without analyzing specific programs, and preferably having been there live.

    Well, that was my analysis of how I would have scored that performance based on that video. I don't claim that my numbers are the true correct numbers and everyone who disagrees -- whether official judges, or posters here who would score differently -- are incorrect because their numbers are different than mine.

    I'm mostly interested in the analysis and the adjectives, and then applying the appropriate numbers to match that assessment. I'd love to hear from others who are more knowledgeable than me or who noticed different things than I noticed about how they would assess the same program and what numbers they would come up with. If we get enough input from different points of view in this thread, at some point we could reach a consensus and some of us would adjust some numbers up or down -- "Yeah, now I see why you gave those scores. I didn't consider factor A or B, but now that they're pointed out to me I would score a bit differently next time."

    ISU judges should be going through similar process after their events.

    Yes -- or they could get up speed with simple crossovers and then glide on two feet to do the upper body choreography. But I still wouldn't think they could get anywhere near 5 or 5.5 that way.

    So if "Utilization of public and private space" were under IN, and skaters with weaker skating skills were unable to fill the space with confidence, then that component would be tied even more closely to the SS level. Which would contradict all the pleas to separate the various components more.

    Yeah, that's why those shows would never use the ISU's scale.

    But they do tend to have access to better choreography than a typical adult skater of comparable skill level. And many of the celebrities are professional performers in off-ice genres and can translate those performance skills to ice better than a recreational skater of that skill level.

    Well, we sometimes see talented juvenile skaters with skating skills in the 4s, so if such a skater also had talent and good preparation in performance aspects, a great program at that level might be worth 5s for CH and IN.

    But for an average juvenile with average juvenile skating skills, I doubt they could achieve that kind of success in the ostensibly less technical components.
     
  14. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    I think this lends itself to a discussion of "PCS used correctly."

    In the Skating Lesson's interview with Frank Carroll, he brought up something very interesting, regarding PCS scoring.

    He pointed out that, at 2013 Worlds, Denis Ten's PCS scores shot up considerably in his LP, in comparison to his SP just two days earlier. Frank's surprise had to do with the fact that, while Denis skated a good LP, his SP was actually better skated (I think most of us would agree with that). Yet, here were the judges PCS scores for Denis:

    SP:
    SS: 8.50 8.00 7.50 8.25 8.25 7.50 8.75 8.25 7.75
    TR: 8.25 7.75 7.25 8.00 8.25 7.50 8.75 7.75 7.75
    PE: 8.75 8.25 7.75 8.25 8.50 8.25 8.75 8.50 8.25
    CH: 8.75 8.25 7.50 8.25 8.00 7.75 8.75 7.75 8.00
    IN: 8.50 8.25 7.75 8.25 8.50 7.75 8.75 8.50 8.25

    FS:
    SS: 9.00 8.50 8.25 9.50 8.25 8.50 8.50 8.25 8.75
    TR: 9.00 8.25 8.50 9.25 8.00 8.00 8.25 8.25 8.75
    PE: 9.25 8.50 8.75 9.50 8.50 8.25 8.75 9.25 9.25
    CH: 9.50 8.50 8.50 9.50 8.50 8.50 8.50 9.00 9.50
    IN: 9.25 8.75 8.75 9.50 8.50 8.50 8.75 8.75 9.25
     
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I would be an extremely rich woman if I got paid for even half of what I did for skating (not just judging either).
     
  16. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    This is true of so many programs these days. We see way too many programs where you could dub in any random piece of music and it would still look the same.

    I think part of the reason there are so many fewer really compelling programs these days is that so many skaters are using music not really susceptible to great choreographic interpretation. They resort to this pointless music precisely to camouflage the skaters' inability to really use musical highlights - which is why it bugs me even more to see judges handing out marks in the high 7s and 8s for choreo and musical interpretation for these lame efforts.
     
  17. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Susan M!

    I loved what you said about "inability to use musical highlights." There are almost limitless music choices out there, so what's the point of using monochromatic music for a program featuring beautiful, spectacular and exciting elements of skating?

    As a professional musician myself (I hold a doctorate in violin performance and have worked as a soloist for years), and after years of study and detailed analysis of music, it bugs me to no end. But one does not have to be a professional musician to figure it out. All that's needed is a good set of ears.

    Some skaters (and choreographers) do manage it. I love how Patrick Chan (in his La Boheme LP this year) placed his quads at the beginning, right with the big climaxes of the music. Made perfect sense. Another example was Katarina Witt's Carmen, where her first combo was placed right at the top of the crescendo. There are other good examples, those are just off the top of my head.
     
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I can think of two, related, reasons why some skaters might not go out of their way to use interesting music.

    1) They're just not interested in music. They got into skating for athletic reasons. They never took music lessons or spent much time listening to music for pleasure away from the rink, so it's not especially meaningful to them. Skating to music is a necessary part of the sport, but of much less interest to them than the technical content.

    E.g., at a much lower level, I once new a woman who took up skating as an adult. She liked the feeling of gliding. She liked ice dancing because she enjoyed working on turns and edges more than she enjoyed jumps and spins -- in her 50s and not especially flexible, single loops and flips were the very limits of what she would ever be physically capable of jumpwise and not consistently. She had difficulty feeling the rhythm and staying on beat when she skated dances to music, but since she wasn't aiming to compete and usually practiced alone without a partner, it didn't bother her much that one of the most important things about ice dancing specifically was alien to her. She told me she had grown up without even a radio in the house, never listening to music for pleasure, so it just wasn't something that was meaningful to her.

    At the top competitive levels, some skaters get to that level because they like to jump and skate fast, and it turns out that they're good at those skills. The music part is just a distraction from what they really like about figure skating.

    2) Even for skaters who do like music and are interested in doing something artistic with their skating skills, using complex music and executing complex choreography in time with the music is a challenge that distracts them from, what they're doing technically. If they want to land their jumps, or execute a complicated series of steps, they need to time everything precisely to a rhythm that works best for their body doing that move, which may not always be consistent if their technique is still inconsistent. So they need to choose music that is composed just to fit their natural timing, at least for the hardest skills, and/or they may need to ignore the music when it doesn't match the timing of what they need to do technically. Bland music is easier to ignore.

    So we most often see even musically inclined skaters ignoring their music when it comes to the most difficult elements, or throughout the program when it is new and they're still thinking it through.

    Of course, because it is more difficult to execute these skills in time with music, the sport has chosen to reward doing so. And when that's done successfully, it's much more enjoyable for audiences. So the skaters who are generally considered great, and who earn the highest scores when they perform well, tend to be those who can execute difficult technique and interpret music at the same time. And if they can interpret complex music with complex skating technique and detailed use of the whole body, they earn the most appreciation from fans and judges who admire musical interpretation.

    But if they miss too many jumps because their attention is on the musical details at the expense of technical details, or if complex rhythms interfere with the natural rhythms of the technical skills, then they have to decide whether they'd rather focus on getting the technical points or on settling for an easier program or the likelihood of an error-filled program so they can connect with the music and the audience.

    Different skaters will make different choices.
     
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I can think of two, related, reasons why some skaters might not go out of their way to use interesting music.

    1) They're just not interested in music. They got into skating for athletic reasons. They never took music lessons or spent much time listening to music for pleasure away from the rink, so it's not especially meaningful to them. Skating to music is a necessary part of the sport, but of much less interest to them than the technical content.

    E.g., at a much lower level, I once new a woman who took up skating as an adult. She liked the feeling of gliding. She liked ice dancing because she enjoyed working on turns and edges more than she enjoyed jumps and spins -- in her 50s and not especially flexible, single loops and flips were the very limits of what she would ever be physically capable of jumpwise and not consistently. She had difficulty feeling the rhythm and staying on beat when she skated dances to music, but since she wasn't aiming to compete and usually practiced alone without a partner, it didn't bother her much that one of the most important things about ice dancing specifically was alien to her. She told me she had grown up without even a radio in the house, never listening to music for pleasure, so it just wasn't something that was meaningful to her.

    At the top competitive levels, some skaters get to that level because they like to jump and skate fast, and it turns out that they're good at those skills. The music part is just a distraction from what they really like about figure skating.

    2) Even for skaters who do like music and are interested in doing something artistic with their skating skills, using complex music and executing complex choreography in time with the music is a challenge that distracts them from, what they're doing technically. If they want to land their jumps, or execute a complicated series of steps, they need to time everything precisely to a rhythm that works best for their body doing that move, which may not always be consistent if their technique is still inconsistent. So they need to choose music that is composed just to fit their natural timing, at least for the hardest skills, and/or they may need to ignore the music when it doesn't match the timing of what they need to do technically. Bland music is easier to ignore.

    So we most often see even musically inclined skaters ignoring their music when it comes to the most difficult elements, or throughout the program when it is new and they're still thinking it through.

    Of course, because it is more difficult to execute these skills in time with music, the sport has chosen to reward doing so. And when that's done successfully, it's much more enjoyable for audiences. So the skaters who are generally considered great, and who earn the highest scores when they perform well, tend to be those who can execute difficult technique and interpret music at the same time. And if they can interpret complex music with complex skating technique and detailed use of the whole body, they earn the most appreciation from fans and judges who admire musical interpretation.

    But if they miss too many jumps because their attention is on the musical details at the expense of technical details, or if complex rhythms interfere with the natural rhythms of the technical skills, then they have to decide whether they'd rather focus on getting the technical points or on settling for an easier program or the likelihood of an error-filled program so they can connect with the music and the audience.

    Different skaters will make different choices.
     
  20. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I did not have time now to follow the thread with attention; I'll try to catch up. In the meantime, just out of curiosity, here is my take on Brezina's CH- P/E- IN ( I'll leave TR and SS for people better qualified). I'll be mild.
    P/E- 6. He came alive on step sequences; otherwise he was way too preoccupied with technique.
    CH- 7.00. Not bad. I dislike judging choreo anyway; I think it should be merged with TR and IN, in whatever categories apply to each.
    IN- actually, I'd give Michal 7.25 or so. He is very good at accentuating the beats in rhytmic sections ( as evidenced by my favorite program of his, Japanese Drums SP; much like Joubert, he excels at techno). So given the opportunity, his movements fit the music- in step sequences. They did in the slow section, as well, though there was no spark in the IN in the slow section, and more stretch in the slow section would be nice. IN was good when it was there; unfortunately it was there for about half of the program, perhaps less. Let's say it was episodic. I punished him more for that in P/E score; however, as P/E was broken into "here I come with steps" and "the rest", so was IN. Huge sections preceeding and following the jumps were just blank.

    Where the real problem, though, comes in, is when we compare Ten's and Brezina's scores; they are approximately 1 point apart in each of P/E, CH and IN; and that is where it becomes unfair. Watching them back to back, there is no comparison. One cannot get away from the RELATIVE value of artistic part of PCS; as much as scientifically inclined minds want to make them objective. If Brezina is 7, Ten should be 9.5. In fact, even without the relative criteria, Ten should be 9.5, 9.75 on that performance in P/E and IN. If my attention concentrates more on Brezina's arms, it concentrates on Ten's feet and their movement to music; and intricate use of blade to music is harder than arm waving. Ten's P/E was pretty close to perfect; one of those cases when a doubled jump has no negative effect. He was interpreting music from the moment he would land every single jump, immediately; and he would continue IN throughout the whole program. That's a rarity to be rewarded generously, IMO. So in my perfect world only on P/E and IN the difference between Brezina and Ten should have been close to 5 points, minimum. IF what Ten had done is 8.75, then what Brezina had done is 5:75- 6. Though I think 9.75 vs. 7.00 is closer to what happened on ice.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  21. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, but those skaters who chose not to bother effectively interpreting music should not still expect to get many points on the Interpretation of Music component. My beef is that they do. A skater with a big Skating Skills mark can get away with doing amazingly little music interpretation and still get a similarly good mark there. IMO each of these components needs to be scored on its own. Skaters who hide from any interpretive musical challenges should not be getting choreo and interpretation marks above about 5 or 6.
     
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    If they do next to nothing, yes, I agree, on interpretation.

    Or if they're interpreting every beat of music despite weaker skating skills, they should score much higher on IN than on SS.

    So what's needed is better education of the judges on how to identify where skaters are and are not meeting the criteria as written, and maybe rewritten criteria that are easier to identify. And explicit encouragement for judges to separate the IN mark from the more technical components. Perhaps change or loosen the way judges are evaluated to make it clear to them that they should not be worried about trying to stay in the same corridor on the IN mark as on the other marks.

    Aussie Willy has mentioned training that asked judges to assign the IN component score first instead of last. Maybe changing the order they're listed on the computer screen would encourage that.

    For choreography, as discussed a few pages ago, there are quite a number of criteria that are not directly related to the music, so the skater could still do well with some of those even if the moment-to-moment connection to the music is weak. So again, explicit encouragement to give very different CH and IN scores when the spatial and temporal layout of the program and the coherence of a concept behind it are much weaker or much stronger than the connection to the music.
     
  23. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. This is one of the problems many of us have with PCS and the way it is scored.

    Regarding the part I bolded, it seems to me that a skater that hides from any interpretive musical challenges should certainly not get CH and IN marks above 5.00 (which is "average," from 0 to 10) and, in fact, probably lower, as they would definitely be below average in those areas.
     
  24. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, but the opposite could be true as well: some skaters may simply enjoy the interpretive part of skating, feeling that the big jumps "are just a distraction" to what they're doing artistically. So they do a beautiful program with low technical content.

    Are they given above average marks for technical skills?
     
  25. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Well, define "above average" for technical skills.

    If the technical skating skills are high, they can score high in all components. If they're technically weak, or even only average, they won't do well in Skating Skills and will be limited in the difficulty and/or quality of their transitions.

    If they do easier triple jumps well, and level 3 and 4 steps and spins well, then they can earn technical element scores that above average for senior level, but they probably can't win medals, because those harder jumps are worth so much each.

    Medium jump content with good quality and components worked for Kostner a couple years ago.

    If they don't do triple jumps at all, they will not score well technically by senior standards. And internationally they can't stay at lower levels by the time they're over 19.
    That's where a separate form of competition -- for pros/older skaters past their jump prime, and/or for skaters who were always most talented or most interested in blade work and artistry -- would be useful.
     
  26. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

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    Let's not get pedantic. His point is obvious. Skaters who do not do difficult jumps don't get the points for them anyway, so why should jumpers who don't interpret music still get good scores on that Program Component?
     
  27. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly my point, thank you.
     
  28. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

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    This IMO is the biggest flaw of COP. PCS is still somewhat based on TES and some judges still do reputational judging. I would much rather see Lepisto medal the way she did in 2010 then Leonova medal the way she did in 2012.

    Time to allow the 5 PCS to vary and allow individual judges to judge outside the corridor. Judges should have to explain why their scores are outside the corridor.
     
  29. ciocio

    ciocio Active Member

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    Because it is easier to prove that someone didn´t land the jumps than he/she didn´t interpret the music at all.
     
  30. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    For those interested, here is an interview Alexander Lakernik, Chair of the Singles and Pairs Skating Committee, delivered to a reporter at the 2013 Worlds where he briefly discusses the IJS. My favorite part is where Lakernik says that listening to the judges explain their marks reminds him of the movie Rashomon by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa where several people were recounting the same story and while each of them was telling the truth, their versions were quite different from each other. lol

    http://www.openkwongdore.com/2013/05/13/episode-twenty-one-alexander-lakernik-and-steve-dong/