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  1. #1

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    After a decade, is IJS working?

    Okay, Olys are over, there are brand new champions in each event, to the delight of many and to the chagrin of others. When some fans argue a result, the usual defense is that the champion won "according to the system," explained in detail by the protocols. And with that criteria, I can't argue.

    But--just for a moment--let's forget the system. Are the best performances winning? And do we like the programs being put out there on the ice?

    My own opinions:

    There's much I like about IJS, but feel that the whole doesn't equal the sum of its parts. I was especially heartbroken by the poor skating in the mens event. The quality of performance of the top competitors in free skating was sad. Casual fans were saying: "THESE are Olympic skaters?" I don't disagree with the results, based on the system, but I agree with Kurt Browning (and others) in that the programs are just too difficult. And let's face it, the top men skaters are amazing. I cannot remember a more dismal night of mens skating in Olympic history. Can you?

    I hate the idea of levels on step sequences and spins in singles/pairs. Footwork and spin combos have now become my least favorite part (and, IMO, the ugliest part) of almost every program.

    The D/W - V/M debate will go on for years, I'm sure. But the fact is that D/W won, using the system very well, acheiving ideal levels, etc.

    (Please let's not go into "fixed" results, let's save that for another thread. I'm not buying into that, anyway.)

    I hate the idea of anonymous judging.

    Most fans seem to be okay with the pairs results. The ladies have sparked controversy. The answer is always that the protocols tell all. Well, do they?
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

  2. #2

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    I don't think you can look at the ladies, dance, and pairs events and say the judging criteria makes the programs to difficult just because the men's event was not well skated. The top two skaters in the men's both had better performances at earlier competitions this year and in previous years so its not like they aren't capable, it's just that the pressure of the Olympics got to both and they didn't perform their best. I think the spins and footwork are so much better than pre-IJS and it is a clear distinction between the top skaters and lower ranked skaters - I could watch Takahashi or Chan do footwork all day. Anonymous judging should go but I don't see it making any difference - we had clear identification of judges for decades and it still didn't preclude results that people thought suspicious.
    When watching live I like everyone to skate clean - but on television the occasional trainwreck can be fun.

  3. #3
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    No scoring system is going to work with corrupt judges being allowed to decide the fate of these skaters simply based of their bias or nationality or who they are friends with. These judges are supplied by the Federations. Nuff said.

  4. #4

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    After a decade, is IJS working?
    Yes.
    The Junior Grand Prix: Where skaters who "come out of nowhere" come from.

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    I don't want to go back to the days where judges gave out 6.0s like candy and where the 5th place skater had to beat the 3rd place skater in order for the 6th place skater to win a medal. Under the old system, Denis Ten probably would not be an Olympic medalist and under the new system, Kurt Browning probably would be.

    That said, I don't like the anonymous judging panels. We need to see more accountability from judges. If they cheat, they should be kicked out!

    As for the scoring itself, falls should be more heavily penalized. No more of this stuff where skaters get credit for the rotation even when the jump ends in a huge splat on the ice. There are probably other areas where the numbers need to be tweaked, but this is where change is most obviously needed.

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    I guess it's a matter of degrees - is falling on a fully rotated jump better or worse than standing up an under rotated jump - just because the person fell doesn't mean that the error is more significant - in addition removing the benefit of attempting something difficult and failing means that more skaters will skate safe - is that something that we want? I'm not sure I have the answers to these questions but I think I would rather have a skater pushing their limits rather than delivering safe programs that look nice. I'm sure either way we'll be complaining.
    When watching live I like everyone to skate clean - but on television the occasional trainwreck can be fun.

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    Lol I was one of those that was adamantly opposed to *change*, as I'm a traditionalist at heart, and even quit watching the sport for a couple of years there. BUT, I have to admit I like the change. The first time it hit me was when Sasha Cohen won the silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, which I was overjoyed about (to this day her R&J is the only thing I recall about the ladies event). I realized that under the old 6.0 system she would have been out of the medals all together b/c she basically fell twice. But under IJS, no, it took into account her higher quality of skating, which to this day is exceptional (nobody else has her extension, pointed toes, et al). Yet it rightfully did not give her the gold medal b/c of the two falls, instead Shizuka Arawkawa rightfully won with a clean 5 triple performance.

    There have been other instances as well, the most recent being allowing Mao Asada to go from 16th to 6th at the 2014 Olympics! Yeah, it needs tweaking here & there, which usually does happen after a controversial win (e.g. Lysacek at 2010 Olympics; quads were valued more after that). And they are, finally, going to address anonymous judging at their next meeting. So the only thing I think really needs to be addressed are falls. I'm with jenniferlyon on that one.

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    ETA: oops, one more very important item, I liked it when GOE was introduced, but I find in some cases it isn't being properly being used when it comes to the jumps. Imho jumps that are HUGE like Adelina Sotnikova & Irina Slutskaya (& used to be GG) rightfully should receive +GOE, but not small Tara Lipinski-like jumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    No scoring system is going to work with corrupt judges being allowed to decide the fate of these skaters simply based of their bias or nationality or who they are friends with. These judges are supplied by the Federations. Nuff said.
    I would love a system that separates skaters from federations while not depressing skaters from less developed nations. Folks who are most knowledgeable in FS can figure one out?

  10. #10

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    Yes it is working and it was a necessary development in the sport. But like any subjective system humans make the decisions. When human factors are involved in any system, there are too many variables because of personal experiences, likes and dislikes, interpretations, education and when it is an international system languages and culture. So it is not going to be perfect nor are you going to get an agreeable outcome because everyone sees things their way based on the above.
    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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    I don't know why they haven't invented a rink that detects blades from underneath yet. (like a touchscreen LCD) That will solve lots of troubles that tech panel goes through. Such as determining speed of skating, edges of the blades, take-off/landing positions, etc. I do not know whether technology is there but if there is it probably shouldn't be expensive to deploy.

  12. #12
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    I don't think I agree that Sasha won silver due to cop. Torino was a splat fest and despite two mistakes early on, she skated a strong, impressive program. Isn't that really similar to what happened for midori in albertville under 6.0?

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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    I don't think I agree that Sasha won silver due to cop. Torino was a splat fest and despite two mistakes early on, she skated a strong, impressive program. Isn't that really similar to what happened for midori in albertville under 6.0?
    And is the Men's event in Sochi all that different from the Ladies' in Albertville in terms of flawed performances winning because they were less flawed than others?

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure the Men's event in Sochi is all that different from the Men's in Albertville in terms of flawed performances winning because they were less flawed than others.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    Lol I was one of those that was adamantly opposed to *change*, as I'm a traditionalist at heart, and even quit watching the sport for a couple of years there. BUT, I have to admit I like the change. The first time it hit me was when Sasha Cohen won the silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, which I was overjoyed about (to this day her R&J is the only thing I recall about the ladies event). I realized that under the old 6.0 system she would have been out of the medals all together b/c she basically fell twice. But under IJS, no, it took into account her higher quality of skating, which to this day is exceptional (nobody else has her extension, pointed toes, et al). Yet it rightfully did not give her the gold medal b/c of the two falls, instead Shizuka Arawkawa rightfully won with a clean 5 triple performance.
    I'm pretty sure Sasha had the silver under both systems. Who should've been ahead of Cohen? Slutskaya, who made just as many mistakes, landed less triples, and was sloppier? Suguri, who probably skated better in SLC?

    And for the record, Sasha didn't fall twice. There is only a -1.0 in protocols.

  16. #16
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    My biggest problem with CoP is that skating is much more about the sum of the parts than the whole. That's why skaters like Sotnikova who jampack their programs with transitions but have no actual 'program' score high. It's not as if the skaters who won under 6.0 were inferior technician anyway.

    In more detail, this is what I like more about CoP:
    - It has improved men's skating by demanding the complete package and appreciating skills that were not as appreciated under 6.0, such as Savoie and Jahnke's transitions, spins, and footwork.
    - Skaters are able to come from behind and not be determined by ordinals (though I agree the ordinal switching can be fun to watch ).

    What I do not like:
    - I don't like all the complicated transitions in spins and footwork and very much prefer a simple classic camel, layback, etc., or one with just one extra position.
    - The UR rules don't make any sense to me and cost many skaters medals they deserved, such as Nakano 2008, Nagasu 2010 Nationals, etc. It's good we are heading in the right direction now, in terms of appropriate UR penalties.
    - I generally don't like the direction taken in pairs and dance - overly convoluted death spirals, dance step sequences, and lifts. I miss the Anissina/Peizerat total story/package approach to dancing.

  17. #17
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    The problem is not the system albeit it could use tweaks here and there, The problem is it's used by people,
    GOE\PCS are subject to cynical abuse, Which is now easier to get away with since you have "Protocols".

  18. #18
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    It is much better than the ridiculous 6.0 system, no doubt about that. And it has resulted in huge technical advances, especially in Ice Dance. But it's got numerous flaws and still seems very undeveloped. ISU is not doing anything about it though other than minor point and rule changes and that makes me very sad.

    Quote Originally Posted by shady82 View Post
    My biggest problem with CoP is that skating is much more about the sum of the parts than the whole. That's why skaters like Sotnikova who jampack their programs with transitions but have no actual 'program' score high. It's not as if the skaters who won under 6.0 were inferior technician anyway.
    IJS rewards all aspects of skating. PCS covers everything. Not just transitions but also skating skills, the performance aspect, choreography and interpretation. The problem is there's no actual system for judging those, the criteria are pretty general and vague and judges don't really have enough time to focus on that very well.

    Theoretically, a skater who has a program jampacked with transitions but lacks in other areas should receive a high TR score and low SS, PE, CH, IN. It's up to the ISU to investigate why this isn't happening and to work on how to remedy that.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 02-22-2014 at 08:14 PM.

  19. #19

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    As a more casual but long time skating fan I do not like IJS - it has completely shifted my interest in the sport. There has not been a program by anyone that I have watched more than once since it began. The Olympics is the only event I have watched in completion. Most of the programs are mechanical and very few inspiring. None have taken my breath away. For me the whole is always going to be greater than the sum of it's parts, and IJS has stolen much artistry, beauty, musicality and theatre for me. I know other will just come back that "IT"S a SPORT" but that is not why I have watched it all these years. Most of the programs look the same in IJS and I hate watching a competition and expecting that most everyone will fall and there have only been 3-4 skaters that on occasion have mastered the art of complying with IJS and creating a work of art. Those few skaters I continue to watch on Utube - but just their performance - not whole events. So for people like me it has been a part of creating a huge loss.

  20. #20
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    The majority of my favourite programs are from the IJS era. I see Ice Dance as having suffered a lot but not really the other disciplines. Pairs, in particular, has given us S&S who were arguably the most interesting and creative team in history.

    Again, musicality and choreography should theoretically be rewarded in IJS. The problem is they currently aren't but that's not really to do with the system itself but with how it is implemented and the practicality of it.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 02-22-2014 at 08:41 PM.

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