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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    If the TR component really measures 50% the difficulty/complexity of transitions choreographed into the program and 50% the skater's innate* skating skills, which is already given 100% weight in the SS component, the scale is basically rewarding the innate skating skills 3 times as much as the actual amount and difficulty of the transitions in a program. It seems that the other 4 components have very significant overlaps with the SS component. If so, why have 5 components? This structure gives an illusion of 5 discrete aspects of skating that are being judged, when that is not true. Clearly skaters are judged primarily on their SS, but to what extent nobody can really tell because of all the overlaps and correlations.

    *By "innate," I mean a skater's mastery of the blades, to put it generally, that is relatively stable in any given season that is unlikely to be affected by jumps and spins.
    Yeah, you don't really mean inborn, because they're not born with skating skills . . . but whatever skills they've developed by the beginning of each season are not likely to show huge variances from one performance to another, regardless of mistakes on the risky elements.

    If the rules cannot clearly establish what attributes/outcomes are measured in the judging system and why, and how much each actually counts, it is not only the casual audience or the fans who are confused. Clarity is even more important for coaches, choreographers, and skaters.

    That is not to advocate for going back to the 6.0 system, which was hardly a model of clarity either. However, numbers alone do not guarantee accuracy, precision, and validity.
    I think the current rules are definitely a step forward from the 6.0 guidelines, but there's still a lot of room to make them even clearer.

    Especially the Transitions guidelines, which don't have any written expansions. All the rulebook says is to judge them on a scale of 1-10 on the basis of Difficulty, Quality, Variety, and Intricacy, without even officially explaining what each of those bullet points means.

    So what would be good solutions to address the problems that

    1) Transitions scores (and also Performance/Execution, Choreography, and Interpretation) appear to be too highly correlated with Skating Skills and not judged independently, and

    2) The official criteria for judging Transitions are very vaguely spelled out?

    One possibility would be to get rid of the separate score for Transitions, roll up most of it into Skating Skills and give a larger factor to that Skating Skills score, and also consider some of the variety and intricacy aspects of the transitions under Choreography.

    Another possibility would be to spell out the Transitions criteria more specifically so that judges would all be on the same page about how to judge them and skaters/coaches/fans would be able to read that page and know what to expect.

    I guess a subset of that would be to make a scale of values for (certain kinds of) transition moves.

    How could the Transitions criteria be written more clearly and objectively? Any suggestions?

  2. #22
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    I would recommend that the judging system be revised with the help of some psychometricians while involving many experienced coaches or athletes with a deep understanding of what figure skating should be about. Then determine how these ideals of figure skating should be measured with valid instrument.

    I would also recommend REDUCING rather than increasing the complexity of the scoring/judging system. Instead of adding to the judges' cognitive burden (especially those poor people who have to sit through 24 skaters in one Worlds competition, ugh), the system should SIMPLIFY. Have fewer, but better-defined criteria. Make the guidelines easier to remember, easier to apply, and clearer.

    Because figure skating is very complicated, paradoxically having more items on the list only makes a judge's judgment less accurate. For example, a judge is expected to assess variety, difficulty, intricacy, quantity, quality of all the transitional moves, all accurately and all in real time. Just for 1/10 of the total score. And judge 4 other components and GOEs at the same time. Are you kidding me?!

    The skating community has to really search their soul and decide what figure skating is all about. Set aside the endless circular bickering about whether Plushenko or Lysacek or Takahashi should have been the Oly champ. Stop trying to devise a judging system that, if applied backward, it would have given the OGM to a particular skater.

    I would suggest that the skating community think abstractly about what figure skating is all about, pick out the 3 most important and reasonably separate aspects (although total separation may not be possible). Create and validate a composite instrument that is able to measure these 3 components. Ensure the judging criteria for each component is clearly and simply defined with no more than 3 sentences. Train the judges well. Set up a system for monitoring and accountability to minimize cheating or gross negligence. Then set them loose. Allow judges to come up with a relatively holistic SS or IN/Performance score based on their below-consciousness summary impression.

    I personally feel the TES system is clear and sufficiently discrete among elements as to need no significant revision.

    However, I think the above-described revision for "the second score" will probably not be accepted. Muddledness, or the lack of clarity, has always been a part of figure skating as a judged sport. This historical lack of clarity may have had some interesting unintended consequences. But that's another topic altogether.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    I would also recommend REDUCING rather than increasing the complexity of the scoring/judging system. Instead of adding to the judges' cognitive burden (especially those poor people who have to sit through 24 skaters in one Worlds competition, ugh), the system should SIMPLIFY. Have fewer, but better-defined criteria. Make the guidelines easier to remember, easier to apply, and clearer.
    Do you volunteer to give it a try? In collaboration with other fans who have strong knowledge of psychometric criteria and/or of what figure skating values?

    Because figure skating is very complicated, paradoxically having more items on the list only makes a judge's judgment less accurate. For example, a judge is expected to assess variety, difficulty, intricacy, quantity, quality of all the transitional moves, all accurately and all in real time. Just for 1/10 of the total score. And judge 4 other components and GOEs at the same time. Are you kidding me?!
    I'm not sure that's true. If you reduce the number of criteria, you may get more accuracy and agreement in judging those criteria that are left, but you'll still have many other skating qualities that have historically been valued (but not quantified, especially under 6.0) that are not addressed at all in the official criteria.

    So either all the judges will just ignore those criteria that didn't make it into the official rules and things that used to be important will get lost, or they will let their gut feelings about those qualities and memories of when they used to matter color the way they judge the remaining criteria.

    The skating community has to really search their soul and decide what figure skating is all about. . . .

    I would suggest that the skating community think abstractly about what figure skating is all about, pick out the 3 most important and reasonably separate aspects (although total separation may not be possible). Create and validate a composite instrument that is able to measure these 3 components.
    OK. I'll give it a shot.

    I'll call them

    *Blade Skills
    Everything that's currently in the Skating Skills criteria, along with difficulty and quality of the connecting moves.

    *Performance
    Summarized as form (carriage and body line), relation to the audience, "attack" and overall impression of mastery

    *Choreography
    Design of the program in space and time; relation of the movement to the music in style and phrasing; originality and variety

    But mainly that's just rearranging the existing criteria and deemphasizing some of the vaguer ones.

    What would a validated "composite instrument" that is able to measure these 3 components look like? Can you offer some specific suggestions?


    Under that division, I would probably want the Blade Skills component to be worth the most, maybe equal to the other two combined, for a technical sport competition.

    But I bet a lot of fans who enjoy skating mostly for the artistry, especially those who watch only on TV where they can't see and hear the differences in blade skills and don't have the knowledge to tell a difficult skill from an easy one, would prefer for the Performance and Choreography components to be worth more.

    Ensure the judging criteria for each component is clearly and simply defined with no more than 3 sentences. Train the judges well. Set up a system for monitoring and accountability to minimize cheating or gross negligence. Then set them loose. Allow judges to come up with a relatively holistic SS or IN/Performance score based on their below-consciousness summary impression.
    And you're still going to have judges disagreeing with each other and fans disagreeing with some or all of the judges. And there's still no way to read judges' minds as to whether their scores are arrived at through honest holistic impression or through cheating or incompetence.

    So you'll still have fans complaining about results they don't like and accusing judges of dishonesty. The only thing you'll lose is complaints about the scoring pretending to be more precise than it really is.

  4. #24

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    GKelly!! thanks!!
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    to the idea of clearing up the guidelines for transitions. Although this would never happen, if a skater manages to skate a clean 7-8 triple program, possess excellent skating skills, good use of one-foot skating, but has no transitions or any difficulty in linking movements-> somehow I'm not sure if the judges would mark the TR score alone, accordingly. Although these kinds of extremes are rare, usually find the first 3 categories- most correlated in terms of scores. Of course having TR are related to SS, the converse may not be true. Same can be said for CH and SS.

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    I know, Gene Kelly. It's not easy. Greater clarify does not always give everything everyone wants. A vague system allows more room for ... various ideas and personal projections. It's kind of a philosophical question. That's why I sort of brought up the historical lack of clarity and its unintentional consequences, but could not go on.

    I completely agree with you about the "artistry" issue, which, if we are honest with ourselves, is practically (although not theoretically) unjudgeable. Even the current IN component is practically unjudgeable. I have become convinced that some people (skaters as well as judges, not to mention viewers) who can do or assess other aspects of skating well enough have a very hard time picking up details in music, from rhythm to phrasing. This may be an inborn trait, as Oliver Sacks pointed out. Is it fair to include musical interpretation as a component? Is it still figure skating if it's not included? Ah, the mind boggles ...

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallcolor View Post
    to the idea of clearing up the guidelines for transitions. Although this would never happen, if a skater manages to skate a clean 7-8 triple program, possess excellent skating skills, good use of one-foot skating, but has no transitions or any difficulty in linking movements-> somehow I'm not sure if the judges would mark the TR score alone, accordingly.
    What do you think the TR score alone should be, if marked accordingly?

    In what way do they have good use of one-foot skating but no transitions? In between the crossovers they do a lot of neutral one-foot glides on various edges, and simple threes to turn forward to backward, but nothing else?



    Now I'm wondering what much more objective, spelled-out guidelines for Transitions might look like.

    Everyone starts out at 0, or at a baseline equal to one-half or one-quarter of the Skating Skills mark.

    Add 0.25 for every element that's entered from other than the most common preceding edge or turn.

    Add 0.25 for every connection between elements with no more than 1 additional edge that is not part of either element.

    Add an additional 0.25 for every element entrance or exit that is especially difficult.

    Add an additional 0.25 or 0.5 to the above for exceptional quality and seamlessness.

    Subtract 0.25 for every second of telegraphing.

    Add points for highlight moves between elements that do not receive base values (nonlisted jumps; spirals, spread eagles, Ina Bauers, shoot-the-duck/hydroblades; turns and steps other than mohawks and forward threes outside the step sequence) -- 0.25 just for their existence if they're recognizable, with additional 0.25 increments for the difficulty, quality, and intricacy of each up to a maximum of 1.0 for any highlight move performed in isolation or 1.5 for any highlight move directly connected to an element

    Add 0.25 for variety if the skater uses three different categories of highlight moves (nonlisted jumps, glides, steps), and an additional 0.25 for three different kinds of elements within any of those categories


    Are guidelines like that more what people would like to see?

  8. #28
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    Sorry, I should have been a bit more clear-while moves in the field are marked as transitions, if the skater does a short sequence of one-foot glides, holding edges, but then proceeding with a series of crossovers, and say, the simplest entrances going into the jump. Or skaters who are able to do one foot turns/skating that relates to the choreography, but stalk the entrances going into elements (or, with considerable time to set up)?

  9. #29
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    I have given your challenges a little more thought, gkelly, and here are some very rough ideas:

    For the "second score", I came up with just two components/domains: 1) Skating Skills and 2) Choreography/Expression. To put them simply, SS = blade skills that are not accounted for in TES (i.e., everything in between that are not crossovers), which would include transitions; C/E = the "artistry" part, which would include interpretation of the music and creativity/vision/originality, the intangible stuff.

    Each of these two components are basically made up of two considerations: How difficult or how good is the "in-between" stuff built into the program by the choreographer? How well does the skater execute the choreography --- technically and artistically?

    *************

    In medicine (including psychiatry), psychometric instruments widely used to measure subjectively reported outcomes (e.g., physical function, quality of life, mood) by patients, caregivers, or clinicians, usually have several basic formats:

    1) a numeric scale (known as a Likert scale) using only integers: -3 to +3, or -5 to +5, or 0-5, or 0-10. (For example, -3=unable to function, while +3=no difficulty with movement.) Of course, FS judging would require more digits.

    2) a visual analog scale: The reporting/assessing person marks a point on a continuous straight line that is 10 cm in length, with 0 being the worst and 10 being health/normal. The placement of the mark is measured as x.x cm, as a reflection of how well or poorly a person feels or does.

    3) Dichotomous scale: yes or no. Yes = 1 and No = 0. Or Yes = 3, Maybe = 1, No =0.

    The scores of all questions can be simply added up, or weighted with different percentages and then summed up.

    The design of the questionnaire should be simple: easy to understand and easy to use by the person doing the reporting or assessment (patient, caregiver, or clinician). However, the validation is critical: Does the instrument measure what it intends to measure in the target population or circumstance? How sensitive is it? How specific is it? How consistent is it? Can the instrument maintain its ability to measure what it should measure across the spectrum, e.g., from juvenile to elite senior skaters? Can one judge use it consistently for different kinds of programs and skaters (intra-person validity)? Can different judges look at the same skater's same program and come up with very similar scores (inter-person validity)? These are the questions generally used to test for the sensitivity, specificity, and validity of such instruments.

  10. #30
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    You guys put very interesting points in this thread !

    As for my two cents, first of all I believe there are too many components in the current system, too many because it seems that judges have difficulty to separate them in their judgement, and also several that are so closely related that I don't see the point of keeping them separate.

    To explain it more precisely, here are the current components :

    Skating skills
    Transitions
    Performance
    Choreography
    Interpretation


    We can assume that these components include all the elements that actually make figure skating and that there is no other aspect to include in figure skating. Some elements that are not clearly visible through the components title are actually part of these components. Ex : capacity to move with musicality, carriage...


    So, some components that are judged separately are actually very related to each other and concern the same global skills :

    Transitions are very much a part of skating skills. The variation of connecting moves as well as their difficulty and quality of execution are directly linked with the basic skating skills. Indeed judges mark them very equally. And it's very difficult to make a clear difference between fluidity, speed and quality of connecting moves. Without skating skills it's impossible to have speed and fluidity. And there is always questions about how to judge speed vs difficulty. Actually in figure skating schools both aspects are taught simultaneously and no choice is recommanded between skating fast and doing hard moves. It's always "do both" ! So I don't see any reason to mark them separately in competition.
    To me SS and transitions should therefore be one component.

    As for the other criterias : performance, choreography and interpretation, if we keep them separate like today it would increase their relative value comparatively with the SS/TR component (since there would be only one mark given to the SS and TR criteria instead of two). And I dont think it would be good to decrease the SS/TR mark because this should actually be the main criteria, which is actually the case today.

    So, either I would regroup some components among the PE, CH and IN criterias, or I would factorize the SS/TR mark so that it reaches the right proportion within components.

    I actually think it's relevant to keep the PE, IN and CH components separate since I see pretty clearly the difference between them. For instance, Chan is a good exemple IMO : choreographically wise he shows interesting moves and variations of steps and upper body positions. His carriage and overall presentation are good. However I don't think his interpretation is good, he lacks charisma and is more like a "good student" who does what he has to do than a real actor or dancer who would put his soul into his program.


    To me the fairest and mathematically perfect choice would be to have the following components :

    Skating skills (SS + TR), factorized (ex : x1,3)
    Performance
    Choreography
    Interpretation

    But are judges always capable of making the difference ? Not always actually.
    I don't think they all have the knowledge and competencies to differentiate clearly all those aspects, especially in the context of a competition, while watching 20 or more skaters live and have to mark them quite fast. The experience prove that they indeed tend to give similar marks for all components.

    So, since I doubt of the possibility for judges to judge those criterias with clarity and knowledge of what they actually judge, I believe it would be relevant to simplify things and make components look like the following :

    Skating skills (SS + TR) -> everything relating to blades work, edges, speed...
    Performance / Interpretation -> everything relating to presentation, acting, musicality and overall personal implication.
    Choreography -> external input (choreographer) for making everything look like a whole, originality, accuracy of moves with the music choice.

    This way there would probably need no factorization for any of the component and it would simplify the cognitive aspect of judgement for judges without removing any aspect of the overall skating.
    As a result Chan would have the following evaluation under the current components :
    SS : excellent (what he gets today)
    TR : excellent (what he gets today)
    PE : very good (he gets too much today)
    CH : good (he gets a little too much today !)
    IN : average (he gets way too much today !)

    Under my new components it would give :
    SS/TR : excellent (which is fair for Chan)
    PE / IN : between average and good (which overall is fair : he looks good on the ice but not much)
    CH : good (everything is well put together, but still not making a big artistic impression)
    Last edited by Artifice; 11-25-2010 at 02:09 PM.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artifice View Post
    As a result Chan would have the following evaluation under the current components :
    SS : excellent (what he gets today)
    TR : excellent (what he gets today)
    PE : very good (he gets too much today)
    CH : good (he gets a little too much today !)
    IN : average (he gets way too much today !)

    Under my new components it would give :
    SS/TR : excellent (which is fair for Chan)
    PE / IN : between average and good (which overall is fair : he looks good on the ice but not much)
    CH : good (everything is well put together, but still not making a big artistic impression)
    When you say "average" do you mean 5 on a scale of 10?

    Average compared to his peers (top-10 Worlds competitors)? Average compared to all senior-level skaters? Average cmopared to all skaters at all levels?

    Since interpretation is not really directly related to skating ability, I suppose it's possible for a very musical lower-level skater to do a better job of interpreting the music and even of effortless music in time to the music (as long as they're not attempting more difficult content or more speed than they can accomplish effortlessly) than a skater with outstanding skating skills.

    So how could that be quantified on a 0-10 scale without being influenced by skating ability? Can we get musicians and dancers/off-ice choreographers to teach skaters and judges how to distinguish average (5.0) from above-average (6.0) from good (7.0) from very good (8.0) interpretation?

    Is that a topic for another thread?

    Can it even be discussed meaningfully in words or do you have to see it and feel it for yourself?

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    I would be very grateful to a person who attempts an objective analysis of TR of particular skaters, for ex. Chan, Kozuka, Abbott and Takahashi; and the underlying similarities and differences.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    For TR analysis of short programs, gkelly, may I suggest Adrian S... OK, sorry, not him --- it's just my uberdom talking. How about Kozuka's? Or Joubert's?
    A couple of requests for Kozuka, so see below. I'll try to get to the others mentioned, plus Oda who I think had a lot more going on in this year's SP than he had last year.

    Here you go:

    Kozuka 2010 Cup of China

    Two-foot posing and gliding
    Little hop and turning kick in place

    Crossovers and mohawks both directions into lutz combo

    Two-foot glides and turns with large upper body movements

    Stroking with a few simple turns and gestures into triple axel

    Step directly from landing into flying spin

    Toe half-pirouette, reverse half-lutz, waltz jump, mazurka, to stroking
    RFI counter to change direction

    Mohawks etc. both directions into flip

    Step forward, assisted inside three to camel spins

    Two-foot turns and backward running to set up straight-line steps

    Balance on toes, step forward, inside three to combo spin


    Looks pretty smooth and effortless -- doesn't seem terribly powerful and edges aren't especially deep

    OK multidirectional skating, could use more one-foot turns and highlights

    Not a lot of difficulty or variety in the connecting steps

    Credit for three different half jumps in a row (albeit small ones), in both directions, and for the direct connection between axel and flying spin

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    When you say "average" do you mean 5 on a scale of 10?

    Average compared to his peers (top-10 Worlds competitors)? Average compared to all senior-level skaters? Average cmopared to all skaters at all levels?
    I purposely used "average", "good"... scale so that we can focus on what I wanted to point in my explanation : the relative scale between components.
    It's "average" compared with "excellent" into this relative scale. I didn't want to distract the reader with numeric marks. And one should'nt forget that the scale I used is what is listed by the ISU in their detailed explanation of the components.
    You can replace with marks if you will, it won't change the idea of my explanation.

  14. #34

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    I think it does make a difference what the population pool is we're comparing against to take the average of. The ISU isn't very clear in their guidelines what they had in mind as the average. Do they expect the scale to be a bell curve, tapering to almost noone at both ends? Or do they mean it to apply to international competitors only?

    But anyway this thread isn't about Interpretation.



    Some more analyses of TR and SS.

    Feel free to point out some steps or arm movements, etc., I didn't mention that you think should count for something. Tell me my guesses from video about speed/power/edge quality are wrong if you were there live.


    Oda 2010 Skate America SP

    Two-foot turns, three, crossovers
    Reversing choctaws, then long back outside edge to set up triple axel
    Edge change and BI double three on landing

    Crossovers, broken up with mohawk, LBO counter, LFI rocker

    Mohawk entry to flip combination; backward edge pulls on landing

    Toe-assisted turn, RFI jumped three into flying spin

    Quick toe-assisted traveling threes
    Hops, crossing steps, clockwise three, falling leaf

    Outside and inside mohawks, falling leaf, clockwise mohawk, cross to lutz

    Step forward directly into combo spin

    FO three and one back crossover to pick up speed for straight-line steps

    Crossovers, spread eagle to inside Ina Bauer, traveling threes into sitspin


    Pretty deep knee bend and looks like good speed/power at the beginning; moderate edge depth, not especially precise

    Pretty good variety (a few difficult turns; half jump, eagle/Ina) and intricacy/difficulty (exits of first two jump elements, direct connection from lutz to spin); quality could be better




    Schultheiss 2010 Skate America SP

    LBI edge, RBI rocker to RFI bracket (on one foot, but not very clear edges)
    Cross to edge change, LBO three, squatting turn

    Crossovers, knee lunge, back three-mohawk, more crossovers with "step out," big forward inside three, choctaw-choctaw, cross into lutz combo

    Forward outside three, brief Besti squat, clockwise mohawk and cross-behind with nice rhythmic knees

    Simple stroking, back three-mohawk, long back edge into triple axel (hand down)

    Two forward inside threes to flying spin

    Clockwise traveling threes, quick rocker-choctaw to knee lunge with torso undulation, RFI counter

    Step to sitspin entrance

    Back inside-outside edge change to RBO rocker(? -- shallow edges, free foot down immediately after turn), small lunge

    Crossover, mohawk, cross, choctaw-choctaw, outside three to flip

    Two forward crossovers, LFI edge, RFI traveling threes with toe assists into combo spin

    Pose

    I think he's right into the circular steps once he gets going again, although it doesn't look like the circle fills the ice widthwise


    Power and edges so-so for this level

    Variety of turns/steps with some multidirectional but not great quality, no real highlights or intricacy

    Telegraphed axel

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    When you say "average" do you mean 5 on a scale of 10?

    Average compared to his peers (top-10 Worlds competitors)? Average compared to all senior-level skaters? Average cmopared to all skaters at all levels?

    Since interpretation is not really directly related to skating ability, I suppose it's possible for a very musical lower-level skater to do a better job of interpreting the music and even of effortless music in time to the music (as long as they're not attempting more difficult content or more speed than they can accomplish effortlessly) than a skater with outstanding skating skills.

    So how could that be quantified on a 0-10 scale without being influenced by skating ability? Can we get musicians and dancers/off-ice choreographers to teach skaters and judges how to distinguish average (5.0) from above-average (6.0) from good (7.0) from very good (8.0) interpretation?

    Is that a topic for another thread?

    Can it even be discussed meaningfully in words or do you have to see it and feel it for yourself?
    gkelly, thank you very much again for the detailed analysis of transitions. I will be pouring over it the whole weekend- need to take my time- so no comments about the main topic here.

    But regarding the quote above:
    IMHO, Interpretation should be judged as compared to all the skaters in a given competition.

    It is a very tricky question- how much attention the artistic component should be getting in a sport. But once the criteria exists, it has to be evaluated correctly- or it should be eliminated. It IS possible for a lower- level skater to show more musical/ interpretive ability than the skater with better set of skills. That skater could be rewarded in Interpretation but scored low on the skills that he/she is lacking, and the end result will be balanced.
    Interpretation often requires omitting a little difficulty to follow the arch of the music, and Interpretation cannot be judged on difficulty alone. A case in point- Shawn Sawyer, who lacks the difficulty of the very " top tier", and yet his Interpretation is on par with the very best ( and is not judged as such).
    Interpretation absolutely can be discussed in words, it is not a " feeling" issue, though feeling does some play a part in it. Any art has the element of the intangible, no getting away from it.

    I will try ( I might fail, and I need to find time) to describe some skaters concentrating solely on Interpretation. Watch me eat crow If I realize it cannot be done, I'll freely admit it
    I actually think dancers/ choreographers/musicians should be a part of the judging panel, provided they pass judging exams to make sure they understand the intricacies of the sport.

    Oy.
    Last edited by dinakt; 11-26-2010 at 06:25 AM.

  16. #36
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    Components theoritically allow a wide variety of marks, from 0 to 10. On the paper it is possible to give 2 points for SS and 9 for IN for a same skater.
    But in the reality of competitions judges tend to give all components to same range of marks.
    The reason is that they actually don't want to see the following to happen :
    Skater A : SS 2 + IN 9 = 11
    Skater B : SS 9 + IN 2 = 11
    This simplified exemple shows that at the end skaters A and B will end up with the same PCS, eventhough skater B is obviously a better skater than skater A in the sense of quality of skating.
    Figure skating being at first about skating, judges don't want to allow bad skaters to beat others with only a work on acting and doing the show on the ice. They want to see skaters at first.
    That's one reason why they try to keep all components around the same level for a given skater.

    The other reason being that judges want also to be able to calculate easily and quickly the total amount of points they give to skaters and the relative ranking they give to skaters comparatively to others. For that they can't give a large scale of marks for each skater, if so they would get lost in their rankings !
    Of course this reason is highly discutable...

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinakt View Post
    But regarding the quote above:
    IMHO, Interpretation should be judged as compared to all the skaters in a given competition.
    I will try ( I might fail, and I need to find time) to describe some skaters concentrating solely on Interpretation.
    Cool. Please start an interpretation thread.

    May I suggest choosing one short program from each warmup group at Worlds, so you can compare skaters in the same given competition but also include examples of skaters who will never get near the Worlds LP or the GP? They might be especially good at interpreting music, for their skating level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artifice View Post
    Components theoritically allow a wide variety of marks, from 0 to 10. On the paper it is possible to give 2 points for SS and 9 for IN for a same skater.
    But in the reality of competitions judges tend to give all components to same range of marks.
    The reason is that they actually don't want to see the following to happen :
    Skater A : SS 2 + IN 9 = 11
    Skater B : SS 9 + IN 2 = 11
    Remember that the IN component does include the criterion "Effortless movements in time to the music."

    A skater who deserves 9 for SS is likely to have the effortless part down, even if they don't pay any conscious attention to the music. At least some of the time the rhythm of their stroking or the placement of an element is likely to have some relation to the musical phrasing, unless they literally cannot hear the music even subliminally. The only situation I can imagine in which scores like Skater B's might be justified would be if B had practiced the program to music that suited his movement style, or to no music at all, and then was forced to compete using a completely different piece of music that worked against his natural movement phrasing and didn't try to adjust.

    Not saying it couldn't happen or scores like that wouldn't be allowed if it did. It would just be a once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances.

    Scores like skater A's might make sense in a skating with the stars kind of situation. Take a professional dancer or musician with little to no prior skating experience, give them enough months of intensive skating training to get their skating skills up to 2.0 level, and then give them a program suited to their skills that allows them to move effortlessly at that skill level and also to use their professional expertise to express the hell out of the music.

    Maybe a musical or dance prodigy who is performing professionally in that field and who also takes skating lessons and practices a few hours a week for recreation, to the point of competing at Open Juvenile (US) or Adult Gold level, with single jumps and the performance quality they bring to the concert stage, off-ice television performances, etc.?

    A skater who can't do better than 2.0 for skating skills isn't going to get near an international competition. I suppose a skater with 3.0 skating skills from a small country could get a JGP assignment and then spend most of their time between elements on two feet to showcase security and interpretation at the expense of the SS mark and only deserve 2.0 for SS that day.

    Figure skating being at first about skating, judges don't want to allow bad skaters to beat others with only a work on acting and doing the show on the ice. They want to see skaters at first.
    That's one reason why they try to keep all components around the same level for a given skater.
    Maybe.

    I would hope that if a skater gives an unbalanced performance that the scores would reflect that. A low score for interpretation if the rest of the program meets all technical the requirements and most PE and CH bullet points is not going to keep a good technical performance from placing well.

    The other reason being that judges want also to be able to calculate easily and quickly the total amount of points they give to skaters and the relative ranking they give to skaters comparatively to others. For that they can't give a large scale of marks for each skater, if so they would get lost in their rankings !
    Even if they keep the scores close together, it's still hard (I would say impossible) to figure out what scores they need to give to force a desired result. They never know what levels the spins and steps are called as. They may not know until after all the reviews whether the tech panel is going to downgrade a jump or throw out an element for rule violations, at which point they don't have time to recalculate their PCS.

    At best, if they want to cheat, they can be systematically generous with the skaters they want to help and stingy with those they want to hurt . . . or with the skaters they like and don't like, respectively. But they may end up being just as surprised by the official events as the fans.

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    My exemple of 2 and 9 points was a school case to point that if judges mark skaters strictly component by component totally independantly it can lead to a result that don't match what figure skating officials want, that is good skating at first.
    They don't want a showman to win over a much better skater.

    Chan is a recent exemple of that : his SS are great but there are several skaters who have better interpretation, still Chan get better IN marks because his SS sets a very high standard for the rest of his components scores.

    The goal in my demonstration is not to discuss wether skater A should be given 2 or 7 points, it's to show what can happen if components are judged totally independantly from each other. So, I used an extreme situation that in real competitions could happen and already happen in a smaller extent between points like 7 or 7.5.

    If it's not that easy for judges to create a ranking based on PCS among skaters under the current rules (still they can do it), it would be even harder and almost impossible to have any clue of the ranking they would create under a system where PCS are judges independantly.
    It's actually possible for judges to have an overall idea of who they put where in the ranking based on the marks they give.

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    I think scores as varied as 2SS/9IN are impossible. 9 in IN presupposes a complexity a skater with SS of 2 cannot reach. One has to have a variety of expressive means to be able to have a sophisticated IN. One does not have to be the absolute best SS to be the best in IN, but some correlation is inevitable.
    Take a piano competiton. A competitor is required to play several rounds with different requirements- etudes, polyphony, sonata form, a lyrical piece... The ones who play simple lyrical pieces beautifully but cannot handle the speed and precision of etudes are eliminated. The ones who have great technical ability but cannot follow polyphony, or those who play fast, but do not have a beautiful or interesting sound, are eliminated. The ones who get to the final round are- ideally- people who can handle it all. Now, when it comes to an actual winner- it becomes complicated as always. Should sloppy genius or self- assured- well- rounded technician get the prize, if an "ideal performer" is not present? The decision can go either way, and there are plenty of scandals and controversies. However you can be assured that nobody wins just becasue they can play faster than anybody else, or they can play a slow piece with the most beautiful tone but fall flat the moment some virtuosity is required.

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    I need some (or much) more time to catch up, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your posts, gkelly!!!

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