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  1. #21
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    Yes, agree, I may have rushed with assumption. What I meant, given all the sources including USFSA website and personal experience in the sport there are not many judges who was junior or senior level, national/international level competitors. Many judges are either former recreational skaters, adult skaters, parents of skaters and not too many even regional level skaters. It is not a bad thing because I do think it is fine for judging it is not necessarily to be a skater to judge. These people surely great enthusiasts of the sport and very knowledgeable and all of them earned their rankings hard way. I do think though that they are now burdened by responsibility to define and evaluate those fine and more technical areas of the performance where even technical experts will feel hard time. Judging transitions is becoming more similar like defining level of step sequences. And judges are now required to do it fast during performance.

    I have seen (and according FSU discussions many other fans saw it too) empty transition-less programs getting high transition marks just because it was high energy clever choreographed and cleanly executed program. And there are many complicated programs that get low transition mark just because skater did some mistakes on elements (well, except of PChan of course ) or lack in some other areas, like interpretation or choreo etc.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfahrut View Post
    Yes, agree, I may have rushed with assumption. What I meant, given all the sources including USFSA website and personal experience in the sport there are not many judges who was junior or senior level, national/international level competitors. Many judges are either former recreational skaters, adult skaters, parents of skaters and not too many even regional level skaters.
    I don't know about other countries, but of the US judges I know, most were indeed "regional level skaters" (competitive skaters at juvenile level or above).

    All the other categories exist too, but there's a big gap between "recreational" and international competitor. Lots of room for lots of judges who passed lots of figure tests in their day to fit in between.

    Dance judges are even more likely to have experience skating gold-level compulsory pattern dances.

    Plenty of opportunities for personal experience with three turns and even rockers in different body positions.

    Judges who get national and international competition appointments are more likely than local test judges to have had high level competitive experience themselves.

    I do think though that they are now burdened by responsibility to define and evaluate those fine and more technical areas of the performance where even technical experts will feel hard time. Judging transitions is becoming more similar like defining level of step sequences. And judges are now required to do it fast during performance.
    But judges were always supposed to evaluate the difficulty (and quality) of the connecting steps and step sequences and figure it into their 6.0 scores. Just look at all those occasions when the better skater with the lesser jump content ended up winning against a jumping bean.

    With IJS they're required to give a separate score for Transitions. But they no longer have to determine the difficulty of the step sequences, since there's a separate panel (who must have high-level skating experience) assigned to that task.

    Of course there are adjustments to the IJS rules over the years, and to the training, and different judges bring different levels of personal experience. There's always room for improvement.

  3. #23

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    A person's level of skating ability does not necessarily mean they will be a good or bad judge. I am an adult skater who has been skating for 17 years. Does that mean I don't know what I am looking at nor understand the sport? There are top coaches out there who have never stepped foot on the ice but still produce top skaters.

    In fact my musical background probably helps me just as much as my skating background when it comes to understanding components. But judging is probably more about watching a lot of skating and doing a lot of practise. And then listening to other judges and asking a lot of questions. Like anything you get better with practise. You may make some mistakes along the way but you learn from those too.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #24

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    I find it pretty appalling they use skaters still competing as exemples of what / what not to do

  5. #25

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    And yet those same skaters get discussed here non-stop about exactly the same things. Anything that was shown is already in the public forum. So I really don't seen any difference except the audience and the purpose. And the intent was a lot more analytical.

    When you have a skater like Chan who probably has some of the strongest components when it comes to skating skills and transitions, I can't think of anyone who is a better example to demonstrate those areas. Particularly when all they are really saying on the DVD is "arm arm feet body feet etc" to show what kinds of transitions he has and trying to help judges identify them and become better judges as a result. I know I found it most beneficial.

    It is also like on the ISU Ice Dance DVD. They have a very young Tessa and Scott doing the European Waltz. Apart from being very cute, it is used as an instructional DVD to show what to look for in the European Waltz.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  6. #26

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    interesting examples.

    It could be risky to show what or whom to see/not to see to the concerning people of the competition, who, in reality or in the future, will actually get to judge the skaters shown.

    conflict of interest, you might say.

    I think the panels who hosted this seminar should have paid more attention.

    There are plenty of skaters who are not competing in the scene with great skills/not so great skills.
    Last edited by l'etoile; 12-06-2010 at 08:15 AM.

  7. #27
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    It is educational to use current and retired skaters in ISU seminars. How else can the progression of the sport be tracked and improved upon. Judges have to judge what they see today. They need to see what is happening today and also need to see where the sport has come from (or in some cases needs to go back to perhaps). Comparisons have to be made. There are loads of judges who never saw for eg. Janet Lynn skate. They should and then consider those skating skills against contemporary skaters. The process of consideration and comparison will make them better judges.

    This is nothing new. The ISU have used film, video, dvd etc for at least 20 years, using contemporary skaters of the day as tools for judging seminars. The only difference now is that the occurrence of such seminars and their content is more transparent. That's a good thing in my opinion.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae35 View Post
    It is educational to use current and retired skaters in ISU seminars. How else can the progression of the sport be tracked and improved upon. Judges have to judge what they see today. They need to see what is happening today and also need to see where the sport has come from (or in some cases needs to go back to perhaps). Comparisons have to be made. There are loads of judges who never saw for eg. Janet Lynn skate. They should and then consider those skating skills against contemporary skaters. The process of consideration and comparison will make them better judges.

    This is nothing new. The ISU have used film, video, dvd etc for at least 20 years, using contemporary skaters of the day as tools for judging seminars. The only difference now is that the occurrence of such seminars and their content is more transparent. That's a good thing in my opinion.

    You're right. ISU has been using examples of contemporary skaters.

    but I understood that this seminar was not about a progression of skills throughout each generation, it was about pcs, development of transitions, etc.

    There were many, many skaters of great transitions, or who had improved their skills over time also in the past.

    I feel that taking examples of current skaters, Chan or Asada, was particularly unnecessary given that this season, these two skaters and SOME OTHER skaters have been criticized for their unreasonable component scores. (I know, I know, they do have good skating skills and it's judges who should be criticized, i think)

    personally, I think ISU is trying to cover their mess.
    am I stretching too far?
    Last edited by l'etoile; 12-06-2010 at 09:11 AM.

  9. #29
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    " am I stretching too far? " I don't think you are. I wasn't at the seminar but it doesn't matter, per se, what its about in the context of using contemporary skaters.

    I clearly remember the ISU using Anthony Liu for technical (great quad toe) and other skaters for not so great jumps and that was in the era he was competing. Perhaps they also used Anthony for his weaknesses but I can't recall that at this time. It's always been the case across all the disciplines.

    for eg: "This is an example of a high quality death spiral" and so forth.

    As far as PCS and development of transitions as you say, I see this in the same light and same importance as describing or showing an under rotated jump or poor/fabulous sit spin position in the technical score. Obtaining a standard bench mark for PCS requires consensus amongst the ISU tech committee to set same and then implement the sharing of that info, plus education/training on what that benchmark is - or at least trying to.

    That's my thoughts - for what they are worth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae35 View Post
    That's my thoughts - for what they are worth

    your thoughts cleared some clouds in my head. THANKS!

  11. #31
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    Smile

    l'etoile - Thankyou for your thoughts.

  12. #32

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    They also used Brian Orser as an example of transitions. When you look back on what he put into his program it was pretty amazing. Walleys, inside axels, mazukas, plus plenty more. I hadn't realised before how much content he had in his programs that were transitions.

    Also on the DVDs they actually just referred to "this skater is an example of ..." or "Skater 1, Skater 2 and Skater 3". The only ones that I recall them referring to by name were Shen & Zhao.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post

    The most interesting thing is they used Surya Bonaly and Tonya Harding as examples of poor quality skating skills - toe pushing, lack of depth of edge and lack of flow. I always like Harding's power, but this make me realise that her basic skating skills were quite limited. Speed is not everything and that was probaby the one thing Harding had in her favour. Then there was a comparison to Mao Asada and you really did notice the difference. Asada was light, had beautiful flow and it looked effortless. Harding whilst powerful looked like hard work, which goes against the concept of effortlessness when it comes to skating skills.
    Can't believe that they said this about Tonya. I loved Tonya's attack & her 3 Axel was awesome. I always thought that her inbetween skating movements was good quality in particular her awesome and almost forgotten about Ina Bauer.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by cryptick View Post
    Can't believe that they said this about Tonya. I loved Tonya's attack & her 3 Axel was awesome. I always thought that her inbetween skating movements was good quality in particular her awesome and almost forgotten about Ina Bauer.
    Well I was a bit surprised too because I am a Harding fan. But to be honest when they highlighted the point about her skating skills, I have to admit they are right. Show her before they show a clip of Mao and you can see exactly what they mean - it was like the difference between chalk and cheese. But it is from a judging point of view and I think regardless of what I learnt, I can still watch Tonya and enjoy what she did.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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