Team competition at Sochi

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by That Don Guy, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I didn't necessarily say it was a bad thing, but it changes the way we look at Olympic success in the sport. Swimming hands out zillions of medals, but figure skating only a few, so the figure skating ones are much harder to get, relatively speaking. Maybe making more FS medals available could have some benefits - encourage people to stay in the sport, encourage countries to develop teams in all disciplines, IDK. There are pros and cons. But I think it diminishes the impact of the individual medals, which take such a elite level of excellence to attain.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  2. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I was thinking about this and I feel like skating is a bit different because of that ranking system. In gymnastics, being selected for the team is a big deal because it means you bring value to the team in terms of your score somewhere, even if it's just one vault or one beam routine. In a swimming or running relay, your speed contributes to the team overall finish. Because the score is cumulative, everyone literally is contributing. In the figure skating competition, one can "contribute" pretty much just by existing (especially if there is no minimum score requirement, which I'm guessing there won't be for team, considering the federations already have been told they can send a skater in disciplines in which they didn't qualify on their own). You can theoretically skate an absolute crap program, finish last in the segment, and still earn the same points for your team as someone in another discipline who finished last in another segment with a great skate. In a gymnastics comp or a race if you absolutely bomb, you will drag the entire team down - if they do win, it's because everyone else made up for it.

    I still think this competition would work better using cumulative IJS points. I know that's imperfect too, because countries that happen to be stronger in higher-scoring events (like better men than ladies) will get an advantage, but since every country gets to compete one skater per discipline per SP/LP, it's fair overall.
  3. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    ^ There were times in which a gymnast wasn't used at all to win a competition under the 6-3-3 format. I think the Female Chinese team in 2008 was the first to do so. Thank goodness the Americans repeated that in 2012 because it was weird when a gymnast like Courtney McCool or Samantha Peszek won a silver medal without doing anything in the team final. However, I guess it matters that McCool's UB and VT scores contributed in the preliminaries at Athens for them to qualify for the team final and although Peszek's UB score was dropped in the preliminaries, she scored the same as Sloan whose score was used.
  4. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    ^^
    Good points!

    Someone remind me again, what was the rationale for adding this team event? So audiences can see the same performances twice, and controversy can be generated when the marking does or doesn't align, and skaters become fatigued before their individual events? :p
  5. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I'm sure it was with good intentions, but ugh, we'll hear about it all forever "POLL: If the team event had happened after the ladies final would Mao Asada have skated in the ladies final like she did in the team event and would she have beaten Yu-Na" :scream:
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  6. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I thought they added the team event so Plushenko can pass Dick Button as the best male skater, like, ever. Or maybe they want Tessa & Scott to kick over Grishuk/Platov. Or they really love Ross Miner and think he deserves an Olympic medal more than Kurt Browning.
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Takahashi/Kihara might be able to skate come kind of program as well by then. Although not sure if it would be the best idea to show the judges your Group 1 lifts. :p

    I don't like something so NOBODY ELSE SHOULD HAVE IT.
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  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Wouldn't that be the case with placement points to the extent that they are like ordinals, i.e., if you're second by a sliver or second by a canyon, you're still one point away from each of the skaters people in first and third (or a constant fraction)? Especially in the SP/SD, since points are cumulative, a bomb is huge, since last gets 1 point and first gets 10. In the FS/FD, last gets 6 and first gets 10. They other skaters have to make up the deficit for a weak link.

    I think you put your finger on it: they don't want Men's to skew all of the other disciplines. Just some quick and dirty calculations:

    Even if PCS weren't factored by .8 in Ladies, the Top 6 at Euros would have ranged from 221.24 - 173.45. The Men ranged from 274.87 - 211.88. Individual scores by placement gave a 15-29% advantage to the Men, and overall, there was a 244 point advantage, or 20% on average.

    Looking at the Top 10 from 2012 Worlds -- I know some countries had more than one, but the range should be somewhat similar,

    Total Men: 2410.64
    Total Ladies: 1677.95, 43.67% less than Men's
    Total Pairs: 1860.83, 29.55% less than Men's
    Total Dance: 1606.57, 50.05% less than Mens​

    They could do a weighting system and either create a multiplier for each discipline ahead of time, or, they could create a weighting algorithm that uses actual SP/SD results to balance the disciplines, but that could look ugly.

    In team sports, does a player have to play for at least a minute to get a medal? Or is being on the team enough to earn one?

    I read somewhere on FSU that the IOC came up with the idea of adding team events and asked the sports federations to propose something. The IOC chose two of however many entries, and figure skating is one of them. I can't remember the reason that they wouldn't let skating have separate medals for each segment, and one for the cumulative effort.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  9. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I would have rather they seperated the sp and fs but they won't. The IOC won't allow a cumulative medal, they have to skate to win so they would have to skate the short: get a medal. Skate the free: get a medal then skate the short and free for a cumulative medal. Some so-so skaters will become Olympic medalists in the team portion but that's the sport.
  10. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Yes, but I'm thinking along the lines of countries where there is a known weakness in one area. If Mao Asada bombs and places 5th when she could've been 1st, that's a big hit. OTOH, the Reeds would be expected to place 5th in dance, should Japan make the final, so there is no real impetus to skate well other than for personal satisfaction. The gap between them, RUS/USA/CAN/FRA is so large that it doesn't matter how well they skate. In the case of say a gymnast who is weak on floor, but still selected for the final, each tumbling pass she lands is contributing points to the team and each deduction is hurting the team (in the 3 up 3 count scenario). I find this to be more sporting and interesting than the idea that it doesn't really matter how she performs because she's getting a last place ordinal anyway.

    How does it work in gymnastics? I know it's not weighted, but does it turn out that some events score higher than others by their very nature? And the countries that happen to excel at those events are just lucky? Perhaps the advantage is not as much as your example of dance which is worth 50% less than the men, though. I wouldn't want the men's event to be the focal point of the team competition, but it would be more fun to have each jump, each spin, each edge call, each lift, each level really matter to the team's overall score instead of just mattering to the extent that it helps achieve a certain placement which contributes the ordinal to the team.
  11. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I don't really see the need for separate SP and FS medals, since both segments test the same skills (how well you can integrate jumps, spins, footwork, and other elements into a performance with choreography and music on the ice). It could have worked in ice dancing with medals for CD/OD/FD because the skills performed in each are subtly different. And I agree with the IOC, giving two medals for the same performance really doesn't make sense.

    Different medals for just jumps, just spins, just skating skills (figures), just interpretative/choreography would make more sense, but I don't think we'll see it anytime soon.

    The team event is of course testing the same skills as the SP and FS, which I find a little redundant, especially since they will be mostly skating the exact same programs (I could see someone like Lambiel switching it up, but probably not the current skaters). But there is precedence for this in gymnastics with both a team final and an all around final testing the same combo of skills.
  12. morqet

    morqet Active Member

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    I agree with you - I remember the WTT last year where Cynthia Phaneuf skated appallingly yet still won a bronze medal as part of the team, as the system of giving points for placements couldn't reflect the gulf in what she did & what most of the other ladies managed. It annoyed me at the time, but not that much because in the grand scheme of things WTT doesn't count for much, but it would be really depressing to think that someone could turn in a performance like that at the Olmypics and still come away with a medal.

    There are some events which tend to be higher scoring than others - vault is normally the one where it's easiest to pick up points, but equally it is possible for a country that is weaker on that one piece to make up that difference on other apparatus, like the GB team on Pommel Horse. The differences are single points or even just tenths. Not like in skating, where if you had cumulative points, there would be almost no way for a team winning ladies and dance to out rank a team winning men and pairs.
  13. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    From now on it will always be mentioned as being and individual medal vs. team medal. It will lose some luster. 'EP has won 3 Olympic individual medals and 1 team medal.'

    IMO Plushenko already surpassed Button simply because the sport had become much more difficult.

    Then maybe we should get rid of the short all together and just have one program.
  14. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

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    I think I will hold this "team" event in the same esteem in which I hold the World Team event; low priority and not worth the paper the rules are printed upon.

    I think one of the most stupid ideas this federation has come up with is having the team event before the individual events. As others have pointed out, this can open a whole can of worms and lead to not just headaches but possible migraines :D

    Has Speedy been talking Gary Betteman of the NHL on how best to screw over their product? Kinda seems that way to me.
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Why does it matter? Do all the gymnasts who win team medals perform well? Do all the competitors in show jumping and eventing, both human and equine? Is every member of every medal winning basketball, handball, water polo, soccer and field hockey team making an equal contribution? Of course not.

    I agree with those who think that having the team event before the individual events is unwise. But FWIW, I'm not sure that the blame for this lies with the ISU.
  16. umronnie

    umronnie Active Member

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    That's the way it's done in Gymnastic, right? Team competition comes before the individual all-around. Or was it just in London?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  17. morqet

    morqet Active Member

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    If a gymnast bombed like Phaneuf bombed, or a competitor in show jumping knocked down a ton of fences it would be highly unlikely that their team would be able to get on the podium, because they would make such a poor contribution to the cumulative score. Of course not everyone will make an exactly equal contribution, but you couldn't be that bad and still end up winning team medal.
    However, the way they're proposing to do the team event means there's no difference in the contribution between someone finishing last by 30+ points in one event, and a tight 5 way fight in another event with say no more than 10 points covering all the entrants. The last place finisher in both cases would add exactly the same number of points to their team score. A country which is strong in 3 events can get away with doing no more than bothering to turn up in the 4th. That doesn't seem right to me.
  18. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Another thing is let's say Canada places second to Russia in pairs by 30 points, and Canada also finishes second to the US in dance by .25 points. Is it right that Canada would receive the same amount of points for both finishes?
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    This. They really should use cumulative points.
  20. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    In dressage (and, I believe, in show jumping and three-day eventing), before London it was X equipages on each team, drop lowest score, X-1 counts. I always thought this was strange, in principle you could have a dressage team with one person placing 30th individually and still end up with a medal, if your team mates are doing well. I guess the principle is that anyone can have a bad day, and having only high scoring athletes will statistically increase your medal chances over having one average. In London, the dressage teams were 3 equipages only, a country could qualify a 4th, but their score never counted. Interestingly, the medals ended up going to the expected countries anyway, I don't think it actually changed the outcome.

    I think people maybe put too much stock on whether someone should be 'allowed' to be an Olympic medalist. In the end, I see a team medal as a award for a country. While the girls on the US women's gymnastic team are great, I don't see the medal won by these persons, but by the US. Of course it means a team member is a gold medalist, but to me being a medalist or no is not that big of a deal - being an Olympian in it self is impressive. I think the difference between the Olympics and World meets are that Olympics are much more about the total strength of the entire delegation.

    You can also say it is already unfair - whatever selection criteria JSF comes up with for the Olympic team will impact the top 4 JP men's chances of an Olympic medal much more than anything else.
  21. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Peszek (and I think McCool) got injured AT the competition after competing in team preliminaries. They did compete at the Olympics and contributed to the team score, and deserved the silver medal. I don't think this fact "diminishes" gymnastics in anyway, because a lower-ranked gymnast got a medal in the team competition. This happens during every Olympics! There's usually a couple of gymnasts that compete in all 4 and a couple that do only 1 event.

    Yes, there will be people saying the same about the skating event, if Rachael Flatt or someone ends up winning an Olympic gold because of the performance of Davis/White. It is what it is! Does anybody say that gymnastics is diminished because someone contributed one low score and they got a gold medal? Nope.

    I don't think so. I have seen multiple media mentions of "Olympic champion Jordyn Wieber", and Dominique Moceanu referred to as "Olympic gold medalist". These girls are not referred to as "Olympic team champion" or "Olympic team medalist." There is a book written about each member of the Magnificent Seven and in this book each girl's bio talks about her being an "Olympic champion." A gold medal is a gold medal. Most commentators are not going to clarify or get into it unless there is time to read more of the athlete's bio during a warmup.

    Dominique Moceanu fell on her butt twice in a row on the vault, Kerri Strug then fell once on her butt and once on one foot. I would consider that pretty much bombing the vault competition yet their other scores were high enough for them to be Olympic Champions.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  22. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Technically, Peszek didn't contribute to the team score as her UB score in preliminaries was dropped.
  23. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    That's not her fault though, that others scored higher. She competed in the Olympics as part of Team USA. Stuff like this is going to happen. That doesn't make gymnastics any "less than" another sport. Like what people are saying about figure skating because of the team competition.
  24. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    ^ That's true. Had Sloan scored .001 points lower, then it would have been her score that would have been dropped and not Peszek's...or if the UB line-up would've been different then Sloan's score would've been the one that dropped.

    However, it was strange when Alicia Sacramone got to be counted as one of the World champions in 2011 when she was on an entirely different continent getting surgery while Anna Li (who stood in Sacramone's place on the podium) was there, supported the team during the competition, and could have competed in preliminaries isn't counted at all. USAG said they wanted to reward Sacramone for her achievements for USAG by keeping her name in the official team. However, my cynical side thought that Marta and the other coaches (outside Anna's) were afraid that Li might have hit in preliminaries and thus would've most likely been on the final UB lineup, which would have been a gamble considering how inconsistent she can be. Easier to just leave her out altogether.

    I think it's just weird for team finals when you have one gymnast not competing on any event and still being rewarded in the medal-determining round, but then we give Superbowl rings to the entire franchise, not just the players who played on the field.
  25. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    This is actually something I really dislike about the "Team" competition. There will be members of Team USA, Team Japan, whatever, who don't get medals (because they aren't entered into that event.) So there is the 'team' and then there is the lesser team, the people who weren't in the team event. That has got to suck. I mean, I'm sure whatever US ice dancers go who aren't M/C know exactly where their place is in the heirarchy, but they are still part of Team USA, but not part of Team USA if they win a team medal.

    In gymnastics, in theory, everyone who is Team USA (or whatever country) wins the medal.
  26. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    The :EVILLE: part of me is looking forward to all of the :wuzrobbed :angryfire :mad: :argue: and :lynch: that the Team event will cause.

    :2faced:
  27. maharbabackward

    maharbabackward New Member

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    It doesn't make sense in figure skating because you qualify per discipline the amount of athletes or partners.
    So Canada may have three ice dancers, three men, two pairs, two ladies.
    Japan may have three ladies, three men, one pair of ice dancers, and one pair.
    Russia could potentially have three ladies, three dancers, three pairs, two men.
    US could have two pairs, the dancers, 2-3 ladies, and 2 men.
    Just theorizing on potential qualifiers during worlds. That doesn't make sense does it? So just having one from each disciple makes more sense.
  28. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't like the idea of a team competition at the Olympics at all. The way it is set up makes little sense to me.- that some countries will have to send teams that didn't qualify for the Olympics, that others may have to sit out entirely, that they are using ordinals so margin of win doesn't matter. The whole thing is a fluff competition, and it was a fun one. But I don't like it for the Olympics, and the marginalization of those who are TEAM (country) but won't be part of the team medal is another reason why.
  29. maharbabackward

    maharbabackward New Member

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    I think rules are rules. Just as long as the rules are placed before the competition, it is not unfair. Was it fair that Meryl Davis & Charlie White placed behind Virtue and Moir in 2009 despite winning two of the three portions? And by a mere 0.04 points? Yes! Why, because the rules stated that it was cumulative points received rather than placement in portions of the program!
  30. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    They also give super bowl rings to both teams and cheerleaders as well, you don't get one for playing you get one for participating. You get a trophy for winning.

    The catch is the NFL only allows a finite number of rings so they must choose who gets them and who misses out.

    Also don't forget one of Michael Phelps OGM was for a relay he never swam.

    It happens all the time in sports.

    But we are here to talk skating, so to bring gymnastic rules or any other sport is moot.
  31. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    :lol: re: board postings. But I was wondering about the impact of controversy on the general public and media. Not so good, if the differences in scoring of the two run-throughs of the programs that we'll see becomes controversial & not really understandable to the public at large. I think people who've followed the sport for a long time can often recognize differences in performance that the general public doesn't, and long-time followers often accept there's still subjectivity, and no perfect scoring system. It's not a can of worms I'd want to open up with all the Olympic media scrutinity though, if I were the ISU.
  32. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Also, a lot of the fairness issues, etc. that people have raised arise from the fact that skating has always been an individual sport, not a team sport, and the qualification and measurement systems reflect that.
  33. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    If they do, it greatly overweighs the results of Men's and underweighs the results of Dance, especially since there are relatively few -GOE scores and most of the Top Dance teams get consistently higher levels, and max out the technical, whereas in Men's, there is still a long way to go before men are doing two quads in the SP and four or more in the FS, and they have a much higher potential upside, given the value of quads. They've got the most number of elements, and their PCS get factored by 2 across the board.

    But in swimming or track, members of Team USA don't get medals for races in which they don't compete.

    I think the Team Event is stupid, but it's here.
  34. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    But those are not "the swimming Team event" or the "track team event" like this is the skating Team event. There are many relay races, where various teams compete- it isn't supposed to be representative of all the disciplines in the country (maybe the swimming medley is), I don't think they are even called team events, like the gymnastics team competition is, they are called relays.
  35. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    The athletes chosen to compete in individual figure skating events are no more or less Team USA than the entire US swimming or track contingent. They are a team for a specific event only, and I don't see why it matters whether the skating event is called "Team Event" or "Relay." There are a sub-group of athletes competing together in a specific format identified as "USA."
  36. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    That is a good point. Maybe they could factor it somehow then to bring all four events in line together?
  37. LKR

    LKR Active Member

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    The problem I'm having with the team event is that it seems like there is far too little differentiation between the first and last place long programs. I mean a 5th place long program out of five skaters still gets six points?!
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  38. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    They could, but they'd have to decide whether to do it before the event, based on the range of a lot of data they already have that isn't specific to that instance, or whether to come up with an algorithm that feeds data from that specific competition and creates a weighting on the spot.

    I think the public would be even more :confused: and :mad: by having someone who scored 275 points get credit for 225, after the weighting, though. The team scoring appeals more to the general viewer, because its easy, but if they hook viewers in at the beginning, if they don't explain why the scoring is different from individual events, the viewers are going to be :confused: and maybe :mad: (or, most likely, disappear again).

    And people want to go back to the OBO system ;)
  39. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Why are they having the team competition before the individual events anyways? Can you imagine if a big name skater gets hurts in the team competition. There will be hell to pay for Speedy.
  40. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    It's happened in the gymnastics team event.