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  1. #61

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    Can you imagine a gymnastics or diving or ski aerials or boxing journalist saying they find their sport's rules esoteric and still don't understand them even with a refresher before every event? They'd be laughed off the page...

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    Mia joy -- the only problem with rewarding the "skate of the night" and "audience friendly" would be that you aren't rewarding the skater for what THEY did. Instead you want to hand out medals based on how a skater is perceived by many who don't give a rat's ass that skater A did a more difficult program than skater B only that skater B "made them feel something". Problem is not everyone feels the same about a skater. If we went by how I felt in dance, for instance, then Canada's W/P should have been first because they moved me more than anyone else who danced. In second would be P/B from France and that's due to pure sentiment feelings -- skating while injured AND at home. Just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so too is a program that is audience friendly. What is greeted with open arms in one country may find itself frozen out of the rink by the lack of response in another country.

    I am sure that the skaters are more concerned about how well they did in the eyes of the judges than those in the other seats. The judges can give a better summary of what a skater/pair/couple did on the ice and where they can improve. Those fans in the seats can only tell you if they liked it or not, possibly even why, but there would be no feedback on what they need to do to improve. Since this is a sport FIRST, I'm thinking the skaters want to know what they can do to improve in the eyes of the judges and then maybe, perhaps, what might please the crowd.

    If you think things are subjective now, it would be worse if we had to factor in the feelings of the audience. It's a judged sport done by people who know more about skating that I ever will -- and likely more than a number of us here at FSU.

    If you don't like sports that are subjected to human judgment, maybe you'd prefer to follow sports where the clock is what is used to determine a winner -- barring a failed drug test.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    The problem is not that the audience doesn't get CoP, it's that CoP values things the audience doesn't necessarily care about, while it doesn't value visible things in a program that a non-educated (skating wise) audience appreciates.

    I don't know if it's bad or good, but I do think "the skate of the night" should be properly awarded. Even the so-called "audience-friendly" programs. After all, figure skating is a sport where audience plays a significant role and whether a skater/team has the ability to please the spectators should also be a factor in the score. Audiences are not full of idiots, they can appreciate more sophisticated programs, if only they have the spark.

    Besides, the problem people have with Chan is that he can do 50% of what he planned and still win over his 100% clean rivals, just because his edges are deep or whatever. I mean, the fact that someone stumbles or falls a lot in one program really should be somehow reflected in the SS, don't you think?
    Yes I think!!! IMO men's ,Ladies and Dance have Cinquanta's fingerprints all over it!!!!!

  4. #64

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    I've said it elsewhere, but Rosie is simply an embarrassment to an already problematic skating media. There are excellent, educated skating journalists, but the ones who get the attention and the mainstream positions are the ones who choose to revel in the sound of their own purple prose and to hammer home the concept that skating is politiks alone and too esoteric for the uneducated masses to grasp. When a figure like Rosie decides to openly declare her own ignorance (besides just revealing it with every factual error), she's endorsing an acceptance of laziness and continued dismissal of a sport that certainly doesn't need the rejection. But Rosie's interests are more about hits for Rosie's pages than about growing in her line of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    Mia joy -- the only problem with rewarding the "skate of the night" and "audience friendly" would be that you aren't rewarding the skater for what THEY did. Instead you want to hand out medals based on how a skater is perceived by many who don't give a rat's ass that skater A did a more difficult program than skater B only that skater B "made them feel something". Problem is not everyone feels the same about a skater. If we went by how I felt in dance, for instance, then Canada's W/P should have been first because they moved me more than anyone else who danced. In second would be P/B from France and that's due to pure sentiment feelings -- skating while injured AND at home. Just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so too is a program that is audience friendly. What is greeted with open arms in one country may find itself frozen out of the rink by the lack of response in another country.
    I agree with this. The fact of the matter is, taste is subjective, and no two crowds are the same. Nationalism plays a significant role in reception often enough (I think we'd have seen an American sweep in most categories at 4CC if audiences had a vote); in other cases, sometimes what works for one audience in one context doesn't play well with another. Audience opinion doesn't determine the outcome in any other sport, and skating is not exactly alone in taking place in front of large crowds of responsive spectators. Basketball players talk about drawing on the crowd's support or, in the case of an away game against a rival, anger, but I'm not sure we need start polling the fans to ask which team they feel played best on a given night.

  5. #65
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    NBC should hire Rosie to work on their skating coverage - she'd fit right in with Scotty and Sandra.
    Q: Why can't I read the competition threads?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia joy View Post
    The problem is not that the audience doesn't get CoP, it's that CoP values things the audience doesn't necessarily care about, while it doesn't value visible things in a program that a non-educated (skating wise) audience appreciates.
    I apologize that I have made that point too many times over the years but I'm glad to hear it from someone else. Because of Salt Lake, the judging had to become more geared to rewarding technical attributes, but the only tech attributes the audience can easily understand are jumps. Even the PCS marks are so much less about 'aristry'; a lot of it goes back to technical abilities such as SS and TR marks. Even PE isn't so much about performing artistically...it factors in the technical precision of your movement. Net net the audience doesn't get it.

    I applaud these changes but I realize it comes at a price. 6.0 had the ability to manipulate results more easily, yeah, but the positive side is that that system could incubate stars. Politicking aside, the ISU could continually identify the 'next one'...the skater who pleased an audience and had enough ability to rationalize winning...and then take that person (or a group of 2-3 skaters), make sure they medal at worlds for a good 2-3 years to get known then crown one of them olympic champion, thus filling seats on both the amateur and professional circuit.

    The loss in popularity of skating is only indirectly related to CoP. It's not about how CoP has taken artistry out of skating. If the lack of artistry accounted for loss of attendance then why has the very-artistic pro circuit dried up?
    CoP has brought scoring that is less fudgible such that less crowd-appealing skaters can win...and the podium can change constantly. As a result, skating has no stars; no Flemings or Hamiltons or G&Gs or Torvill/Deans to make money off of. That's where skating has lost, especially in North America.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave of the North View Post
    So Daisuke is the Jerry Lewis of figure skating?
    hahahaahahahahahahahahahaha

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post

    followed by a few rabid fans' snotty remarks on how skating is better than ever, as they sit in empty rinks watching comps that won't even be televised.


    To all the snotty comments that "math isn't that hard" --- It's not JUST about the math, it's about inconsistencies in what actually results in a certain score. There are no clear answers, either, under 6.0 or COP. Under COP it's more likely that you will find out what exactly you got marked down on, but you have to read through an encyclopedia of levels and numbers to find out what. It's not like it's easy, even when the info is out there. I'm in the skating world and still don't get the math, so why would a casual fan? This kind of attitude is extremely alienating, and I can definitely relate to what DiManno is saying. Just because YOU are special and get it, doesn't mean most people do. Ergo, why there are half-empty arenas of competitions that don't get TV coverage.

    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    There are plenty of reasons to find fault with both CoP and the 6.0 system. But I don't blame the complexities of the judging system for finding Chan or Virtue/Moir's free programs exceedingly dull this season, no matter how brilliantly talented those skaters are.
    Agree. Snooze. The complexities of the judging system turn off the fans but the other huge problem, is the same problem that we've always had no matter what the scoring system, which includes murkiness/hiding favoritism in "artistry" scores, reputation, benefits of skating order and "saving room" for other skaters. Of course NO scoring system is going to fix these problems as long as there is an artistic score, and people end up feeling perplexed, gipped and bewildered.

    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    PCS replaced the "artistic" component from 6.0.

    same ole stuff, different name.

    & this is where judges can hold up whoever they darn well please!
    Exactly - what has changed in this aspect? Nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by babayaga View Post
    The part of COP that I hate the most is PCS. I have absolutely no idea what those numbers mean. I actually like TES and understand where they come from. But PCS is a complete mystery to me. What on earth is the difference between 7.25 and 7.75? I know there are guidelines and bullet points, but are the judges actually using them? I may be able to see that one skater is better than the other in skating skills for example, but by how much? I feel like PCS is something that pretends to be objective but it really isn't and it's frustrating. And very often it's PCS that determine the result of competitions, not TES.
    With nearly identical technical skaters, the difference is reputation/favoritism. I really like to see people get twisted up trying to explain why one skater was higher, and it ends up making no more sense than it did before.
    Last edited by leafygreens; 04-02-2012 at 10:35 PM.

  9. #69

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    I came into the sport when judges got down on all fours to examine tiny patterns on the ice that had tremendous impact on the final result. I watched dance teams go through 3 segments of a competition and not change placement at all regardless of falls and sloppy skating. I watched young, talented skaters have to wait their turn - unlike the men's bronze medalists both last year and this. Skaters who placed poorly in the short program had no hope of moving up significantly so one mistake on an important element and they were out. I can agree that COP is not perfect, but I find it hard to believe that it is not a vast improvement on at least the scoring.
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  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    This kind of attitude is extremely alienating, and I can definitely relate to what DiManno is saying. Just because YOU are special and get it, doesn't mean most people do.
    DiManno claims to have covered figure skating for three decades. As a commentator on the sport, she should "get it". And just because she doesn't "get it" doesn't mean the rest of the figure skating audience doesn't "get it".
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustPuppyOI View Post
    What I see is worth discussing is how to improve the current judging system:
    * How to enforce more discipline in judging the PCS or GOE?
    * How to engage the viewer - Releasing the replay video snippets that judges have access to perhaps? Some sort of outreach on how judges really determine a level 3 from level 4 step sequence?
    * So You Want to be a Figure Skating Judge app/game - If NASA can try subverting young minds with Angry Birds in Space into having an interest in astronomy while unconsciously learning about projectile motion, ISU can do something similar.
    * Tapping into people who are expert in data visualization. (Personal non-skating interests seriously overlapping here.) Off the top of my head, I'm thinking stacked bar charts with colour codes for different aspects comprising the final score. At the very end, the viewer will have a stacked bar chart with each bar for each competitor, for a particular segment only and then expanded for all segments of the competition.
    Interesting suggestions! Is this thread the place to discuss them in more detail?

    Also, for those missing the heart rending programs in the past, I'd rather have a separate discipline just for interpretation of music. I've forgotten which competition from ages past but I think there was one competition which capped jumps at doubles? How judges compared apples to orange in styles though...
    Well, there was the Interpretive competition at Skate Canada in the early 1990s (and late 80s?), which capped the jumps at 1 1/2 revolutions. It had some problems with what to reward, but I think it was heading in the right direction in 1992 and then they stopped offering it. I'd love to see an international circuit for that kind of program with clear standards about how to reward the use of skating skills for interpretive purposes.

    Later in the 90s/early 2000s there were pro-am/"open"/interpretive competitions sponsored by the ISU that limited the number of jumps but not the number of revolutions in each (combined with a regulation short program). However, landing the most or hardest jumps did not guarantee a win if someone else interpreted the music better.

    That could work too. E.g., allow triple jumps or even quads, but score it on PCS only so the only value of including more difficult jumps is the excitement factor?

    Or are you thinking of some professional competitions that the ISU had nothing to do with and (unfortunately, I would say) considered to be in competition with their product?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    I think CoP is a very good scoring system for technical scores. PCS on the other hand is not good at all, as the judges seem to use it for holding up skaters with a reputation. As long as everyone does not get the deserved PCS regarding what happens on the ice in the event in question, figure skating cannot be seen as a serious sport.
    Quote Originally Posted by demetriosj View Post
    PCS replaced the "artistic" component from 6.0.

    same ole stuff, different name.

    & this is where judges can hold up whoever they darn well please!
    Exactly. So what would be the alternative?

    Get rid of the PCS entirely, or maybe keep Skating Skills and Transitions, and make figure skating a sport in which "artistry" is not considered at all? That would probably make it fairer but would probably lose more fans than it would gain, and there would still be differences of opinion on the qualitative evaluation of skills.

    Go back to a single mark for "presentation" or maybe also one for "skating skills" in addition to the TES and increase the factors? Maybe even score them out of 6.0 instead of 10.0 if you want judges and fans to think of them according to old 6.0 thought patterns. But that wouldn't make it more sport-like or prevent reputation scoring. Quite the opposite most likely.

    Break down the PCS differently so that skating experts would have rubrics to evaluate the technical aspects of presentation, program composition, interpretation, etc., and let specially trained performing arts experts and/or the fans in the arena score the subjective, holistic aspects of the performances? Then you'd just be substituting the biases of outsiders and fans for the biases of the skating experts.

    If anything, I'd say the best way to combat the inevitable biases and reputation-based preconceptions to make component scoring fairer and more sport-like would be to break the component scores down even further.

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    This may be the wrong thread for these musings, but I thought of this while I was reading here so I'll post here as it has to do with the discussion of program components.

    Something I think we tend to ignore is the fact that the skaters themselves most often have very little to do with the program composition itself. This is the work of the choreographer, who in many cases has also chosen music (or the coach).

    Using dance as an example, Weaver and Poje had an emotional free that most spectators loved. I know they had to skate the program and project the emotions, but I suspect it was their coach/choreographer who came up with idea for the program in the first place, helped them create the elements and the mood. Why should they get bonus points because they happened to luck out with the most popular, audience friendly program this year?

    Davis and White also benefited this year by having a well choreographed program performed to popular music. Yes, they perform it well, but should they also get a bonus for choreography/popularity over and above what someone with a program that isn't as audience friendly would receive (provided said program was also well performed and presented)? Similarly, Sampson and Delilah has been called a masterpiece, but this is as much the work of Zueva as it is Davis and White's performance of the program. How much of a bonus should they have received for having the most popular piece of choreography that year? (I love all these programs, so this is just me throwing out some ideas off the top of my head...)

    I think it is extremely important for the judges to be in a position to judge the merits of each program alone, rather than against competing programs, i.e. it isn't important whether they like a particular piece of choreography better than another. It is the responsibility of the judges to look beyond their personal favorite programs (and you know they have them) in order to judge as objectively as possible. Of course the quality of the choreography will influence scores, how could it not, but the goal is to have this have as little influence as possible...

    Someone in another thread did point out the great advantage some skaters have in being able to afford top notch programs. Of course this impacts their scores; there is no way to avoid this, but it does mean that skaters are not all playing on an even playing field...

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlyoung View Post
    This may be the wrong thread for these musings, but I thought of this while I was reading here so I'll post here as it has to do with the discussion of program components.

    Something I think we tend to ignore is the fact that the skaters themselves most often have very little to do with the program composition itself. This is the work of the choreographer, who in many cases has also chosen music (or the coach).

    Using dance as an example, Weaver and Poje had an emotional free that most spectators loved. I know they had to skate the program and project the emotions, but I suspect it was their coach/choreographer who came up with idea for the program in the first place, helped them create the elements and the mood. Why should they get bonus points because they happened to luck out with the most popular, audience friendly program this year?

    Davis and White also benefited this year by having a well choreographed program performed to popular music. Yes, they perform it well, but should they also get a bonus for choreography/popularity over and above what someone with a program that isn't as audience friendly would receive (provided said program was also well performed and presented)? Similarly, Sampson and Delilah has been called a masterpiece, but this is as much the work of Zueva as it is Davis and White's performance of the program. How much of a bonus should they have received for having the most popular piece of choreography that year? (I love all these programs, so this is just me throwing out some ideas off the top of my head...)

    I think it is extremely important for the judges to be in a position to judge the merits of each program alone, rather than against competing programs, i.e. it isn't important whether they like a particular piece of choreography better than another. It is the responsibility of the judges to look beyond their personal favorite programs (and you know they have them) in order to judge as objectively as possible. Of course the quality of the choreography will influence scores, how could it not, but the goal is to have this have as little influence as possible...

    Someone in another thread did point out the great advantage some skaters have in being able to afford top notch programs. Of course this impacts their scores; there is no way to avoid this, but it does mean that skaters are not all playing on an even playing field...
    ^^^ These thoughts are consistent with why I feel that there should not be a mark for choreography because it doesn't belong to the skater or team.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave of the North View Post
    Under 6.0 Takahashi would have been about 7th in the short, and even with a win in the free skate he wouldn't have got first overall.
    And how many times did someone skating in the penultimate group in a major championships win the free skate, especially when the skater ranked seventh had the same odds of skating 13th as 18th in the FS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eislauffan View Post
    There was a media seminary at Worlds, maybe the journalist should have attended it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    NBC should hire Rosie to work on their skating coverage - she'd fit right in with Scotty and Sandra.
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    Although I've never skated, I've been following skating at the international level for longer than Rosie has been writing about it; I've been trying to ignore her uneducated articles (by her own admission) about figure skating since I first encountered one of them.

    The 6.0 system was certainly not perfect, nor was it perfectly applied. The COP is not perfect either but I believe it's a step in the right direction, especially when I hear from the skaters (and their coaches) that they appreciate the developmentally useful feedback they receive via the specificity of the marks.

    I find it annoying that there is no way to directly comment on Rosie's article so that perhaps her bosses at the Toronto Star would know how some of us feel about her drivel. Perhaps the next time she wants a trip to Nice they wouldn't agree to pay for it...
    Can't skate but love to watch

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    Quote Originally Posted by victorskid View Post
    Although I've never skated, I've been following skating at the international level for longer than Rosie has been writing about it; I've been trying to ignore her uneducated articles (by her own admission) about figure skating since I first encountered one of them.

    The 6.0 system was certainly not perfect, nor was it perfectly applied. The COP is not perfect either but I believe it's a step in the right direction, especially when I hear from the skaters (and their coaches) that they appreciate the developmentally useful feedback they receive via the specificity of the marks.

    I find it annoying that there is no way to directly comment on Rosie's article so that perhaps her bosses at the Toronto Star would know how some of us feel about her drivel. Perhaps the next time she wants a trip to Nice they wouldn't agree to pay for it...
    Well some of us feel the way you do - and some of us feel the way she does. And I'll just bet if you polled the skating audiences that never look for a skating forum - some of them feel the way you do and some do not. No system will be perfect - I think we can all agree that both 6.0 and COP have major downsides despite some strengths. And we can all agree that no matter how much some long for the way it was - 6.0 is dead. And I think we can all agree that some see and want to see skating as a sport/art and others want to see it as an art/sport. We can all argue all day long about which we as individuals percieve to be better or in which direction we want figure skating to go. I just hope the powers that be continue to morph the scoring system we have now to incorporate the both better than we do now, so that the technical demands don't destroy the art. Skating has the potential to be more popular than many sports because it inately encompasses both art and sport pulling for viewers who long for and appreciate both, as opposed to say track and field. The scoring system we have now is not very attractive to those who have a longing for art/sport and I hope the powers that be can do better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by puglover View Post
    I came into the sport when judges got down on all fours to examine tiny patterns on the ice that had tremendous impact on the final result. I watched dance teams go through 3 segments of a competition and not change placement at all regardless of falls and sloppy skating. I watched young, talented skaters have to wait their turn - unlike the men's bronze medalists both last year and this. Skaters who placed poorly in the short program had no hope of moving up significantly so one mistake on an important element and they were out. I can agree that COP is not perfect, but I find it hard to believe that it is not a vast improvement on at least the scoring.
    Good post.

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    You might be interested in reading this post-Worlds blog entry from PJKwong: http://pjkwong.com/?p=1160
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy sullivan View Post
    No system will be perfect - I think we can all agree that both 6.0 and COP have major downsides despite some strengths. And we can all agree that no matter how much some long for the way it was - 6.0 is dead.
    Unfortunately, it seems that some folks cannot accept the death of "good ole 6.0" and move on. There is so much energy spent on longing for the return of the "good ole days", making comparisons (good & bad), etc.

    It would be better to accept that those days are gone and perhaps try to participate in improving the present system as we look to the future of the sport.
    Can't skate but love to watch

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    No doubt. This has been said before and I will say it again, "Why is DiManno covering skating?". She is not a sports journalist. Last week, she was covering a murder trial in London Ontario.
    Wow, (Fake) London really sounds like the place to be next year in March.
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