Team competition at Sochi

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

  1. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    The World Team Trophy has also acquired the important role of paving the way to the new competition which will be held for the first time in Sochi in 2014. Its rules will be lightly different from the ones of the World Team Trophy and have been summarized by the ISU president Ottavio Ciquanta during a press conference in Nice, during the 2012 World Championships. This is What Cinquanta said:

    Ottavio Cinquanta - Nice 2012
    “We are ready to introduce the Team Event for the Sochi Olympic Games. It will last three days and it will involve ten different teams from ten different countires. These countries will be chosen according to the performance of their skaters during the 2012/2013 season.

    The competitions which will be taken into account will be the World Championships and the Grand Prix series (but not the final), the Four Continents and the European Championships if needed, and the Junior World Championships and Junior Gran Prix if necessary.

    The qualified countries will be announced at the end of the next season.

    The athletes who will represent their country will be one man, one lady, one pair and one ice dance pair. The skater who will end up first will receive 10 points, the second 9 points, the third 8 points and so on. According to the points gained by each country, the first five teams will qualify for the second part of the competition, the long program. At the end of the competition the first three countries will make the podium, the other teams will receive a diploma (except for the last two teams, which won't receive anything).

    The countries who will qualify for the long program will be able to change the skater who will compete in the long program. It is possible to substitute atlhetes for a maximum of two disciplines per team (man or lady, ice dance or pair). If a country which decided to use a substitution wins a medal, both the skaters who did compete for that country will receive the medal.
    If in a country only three disciplines qualify for the Team Event, the athlete who didn't qualify will be able to partecipate anyhow.

    The Team Event will start on the day prior to the Olympic Opening Ceremony, with the short programs. During the second and third day of the Event the athletes will perform the long programs.

    If during the Olympic Games the Team Event will be appreciated, it will be added to the following World Championships.”
     
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  2. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    The second *and* third day for the long programs?
     
  3. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I'm really shocked that the ISU would take WTT away from Japan, since Japan doesn't get every Worlds.
     
  4. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Thanks for this info. Hopefully the rules are 'air-tight' enough so that no substitution 'shenanigans' can occur.

    I think that Visaliakid provided answers above, i.e., issue with substitutions can occur between the short and long programs of the Team Event but only among skaters already in a country's pool of skaters for the traditional four disciplines. (In other words, Evan would still have to be one of the USA's skaters in the traditional Men's event. With all due respect to Evan, having seen the finals of the Sr Men at US Nationals, I think that the currently-competing US senior men can 'help Team USA' on their own.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  5. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    I wonder if that is to be read as they can't substitute both singles skaters, or both dance and pairs. Guessing it's just not artfully worded.
     
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Are they necessarily taking WTT away from Japan? Why can't that event continue even with the addition of a team event to the world championships, should such an addition occur?

    It's not as though no federations were allowed to hold international ice dance events after ice dancing was added to Worlds in the 1950s.
     
  7. patinage

    patinage Member

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    Here is the actual wording from Qualification Systems for XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi 2014:

    "The Skaters/Couples competing in the Free Skating must be the same as those having competed in the Short Program/Short Dance, however each Team has the option to replace up to two (2) entries (two Single Skaters or one Single Skater (Lady or Man) plus one couple (Pair Skating or Ice Dance) or both the Pair Skating and Ice Dance Couples) between the Short Program/Short Dance and the Fee [sic] Skating/Free Dance provided such Skaters/Couple is part of the accredited delegation on site of the OWG."

    So basically, up to two substitutions from any of the four disciplines.

    On a separate topic, I was wondering--will there be minimum scores in place for the Olympics?
     
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  8. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    The ISU with ambiguous language in the rules? Surely you jest. ;)
     
  9. patinage

    patinage Member

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    I wish the team competition wasn't making its debut at the Olympics. It should have had a test run at Worlds to work out any kinks.

    Murphy's law and ISU incompetency make it all too likely that something won't go as planned, some unintended consequence of the rules will rear its ugly head, controversy will ensue, figure skating will be made to look bad on the world stage yet again . . . and that's just me being optimistic. ;)
     
  10. IceIceBaby

    IceIceBaby Member

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    Yeah, or Japan could come up with something else. They seem to be the most innovative federation.
    What is the situation concerning this year's WTT so far, which countries are going?
     
  11. morqet

    morqet Well-Known Member

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    I think this is the current top 7 teams (6 places available), obviously you'd expect USA/Canada/China to pick up more points after 4 Continents.

    RUSSIA: 6,961
    USA: 5,008
    FRANCE: 4,856
    CANADA: 4,436
    ITALY: 4,119
    GERMANY: 3,237
    CHINA: 2,698

    JAPAN have 4,750 points, but no pairs team, so are not eligible.
     
  12. NMURA

    NMURA Member

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    As far as WTT is concerned, Japan is qualified automatically as a host country. I assume they will manage the 6th place in pairs automatically by just showing up at the arena.
     
  13. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I support a team medal, always have, but I do have my worries. What if this only lasts one or two Olympics? Some people will always have inflated medal counts. I know it's not that big of a deal but that bothers me for some reason.
     
  14. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The rules for participation for WTT are more stringent than they are for the Olympic event which, I'm guessing, would be the same for Worlds. I think it would be a hard sell to the Federations to have both a team event at Worlds and WTT with forced participation among the top skaters after Worlds. Right now, it's a team novelty. Not so much a month after Worlds.
     
  15. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    I think (maybe) I know what you mean. Right now, an Oly medal in FS is very hard to achieve, and must be done as an individual/partnership competing against the very best in your discipline. With the team event, a broader group of skaters will be able call themselves Olympic FS medalists, some of whom might not have been podium contenders in their own disciplines.
     
  16. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Should that matter? The weakest gymnast on a gymnastics team is good enough to be necessary for the team. In the final, the last place finisher gets six points for the team. A team medalist without an individual medal doesn't take away from the winner of the all-around.
     
  17. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it depends how much importance people put on having a team Oly FS competition at all - how important it is to claim to be "the best figure skating country". We haven't had that concept in FS before.

    If skaters who couldn't contend for the podium in their discipline will be able to say they are Oly figure skating medalists, I think it does devalue the Oly medals. Maybe the World medals will become more prestigious than the Oly ones, within skating circles.

    ETA: I recognize that for people knowledgeable about figure skating, an Oly team medal would not represent the same thing as an individual medal, but that distinction may be lost on the broader public and media. And legitimately, all of those people can call themselves Olympic medalists.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  18. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    I don't see those who earn an Olympic medal as part of a swimming relay team as devaluing those who win individual medals. Why would this be different?
     
  19. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I barely watch swimming. And gymnastics just sucks. I have no desire to see figure skating become either sport.
     
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    During Kwan's heyday, I remember imagining a team event, but based on discipline. Like every country would be allowed to have 6 skaters in each discipline and they add the top five placements of each team. Maybe 6 would have been too much and five would be better with the top 4 counting. Imagine a team of Kwan, Cohen, Hughes, Nikodinov, McDonough, and Kirk vs. Slutskaya, Butryskaya, Volchkova, Sokolova, Oblasova, and Nelidina vs. Suguri, Onda, Arakawa, Suzuki, Nakano, and Wakamatsu (Ando placed third at 2001-2002 Japanese Championships but was probably too young to compete at those Olympics), etc.

    I think the Russian Ice Dance teams and pairs would have dominated the team event if it was separated by discipline. I wonder if skaters would stick around longer or if it bolster participation if there was a team event that allowed skaters more opportunity to vie for a medal. Then it could be like gymnastics where the skaters in the top three, two, or one spot (depending if the ISU used the same qualifying slot procedure as they use now) of the team competition would then qualify for the individual competition.
     
  21. 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
  22. 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.
     
  23. 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.
     
  24. 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
     
  25. 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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  26. 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.
     
  27. 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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  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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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
  29. 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.
     
  30. 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.