View Poll Results: Have you lost some respect for ladies figure skating as a sport?

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  • Yes.

    20 18.69%
  • Yes, but I think they will pick it up in the Olympic Season.

    10 9.35%
  • No.

    77 71.96%
  • It was never a sport in the first place.

    0 0%
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    Maybe if the women were given the same length of programmes, the same number of jumping passes etc as the men they'd be able to up the technical ante. As it stands limiting the women in a way that they never were under 6.0 is going to have implications. The ladies in the 90s and up to COP were routinely including 8 jumping passes (and more) in their programmes rather than the arbitrary 7 they get under COP. Make the rules equal to both sexes otherwise there's no valid comparison between the two.
    I think this is the key as to why CoP is so limiting.

    Using the likes of Ito, Yamaguchi and Harding at their best, they had up to sixteen elements in their free skates, including 7 triples, 2 double axels, four of five different spins, a spiral sequence and a step sequence.

    No wonder everyone's programs look the same now.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Ladies skating hit the all time low in 2011 when Miki nothing but jumps Ando was awarded over 130 points in a LP and a World title for only 5 triples, no triple mistake, and a major mistake. So if I had lost respect for ladies skating as a sport it would have been then, so it would be impossible to say I did now as it is already much better than it was then.
    That may be true but there are going to be years when someone who is NOT "the best in history" wins a world title and gets to call themselves World Champion. It just means that they were the best that year, not the best of all time. It's no reason to lose respect for anyone in skating. There's always going to be something about a skater that not everybody likes, but that doesn't mean they weren't the best that year. I think overall most years the judging is fair, so who should have won, over Miki, someone who was 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th? Would that bring respect back into skating? Obviously not, so the WC is the best person that year which happened to be Miki. Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    Historically, if we judged most of the ladies who did ambitious back in the day under the standard the COP ladies are being judged on today, most of them wouldn't be able to do more more than Ashley's content. Sarah Hughes's 3/3 that won her the OGM in SLC would not be credited. Katarina Witt's "lutz" in 1984 - what a joke! Even Midori, who was easily the greatest jumper of all time, had a flutz for a long part of her career, and never really had the best lutz even when it was technically correct. Yuna deserves a huge amount of credit not just for doing the 3LZ-3T, but that hers really was pretty much perfectly rotated every time she did it. Even Kristi Yamaguchi's could be a bit iffy.

    There have really not been that many ladies throughout the history of skating who could do all five standard female triples on the correct edge OR do a fully rotated 3/3 in a difficult combination (anything other than 3T-3T) or manage even a partially rotated 3A. I don't think there are any fewer of these kind of naturally gifted athletes than there ever have been. Maybe we'd see somewhat less flutzing if all skaters had to still compete figures, but then I think we'd see a lot fewer high end triples at all. 3LZ is just a hard jump for women, all there really is to it. Same for 3-3s. Little boys who still compete in Novice or Junior and haven't without gone through puberty and their full adult growth can do 3A (Nathan Chen, Nam Nguyen, I believe Vincent Zhou) or even 4T (the little Chinese prodigy boy, I forget his name but he is amazing); those jumps are impossibilities for even extremely talented, disciplined, dedicated women who are grown adults.

    People who act like the sport has regressed never had a mathematically accurate understanding of what female skaters are capable of, that's all.
    Yes, I agree.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by alchemy void View Post
    Professordeb: You have Kaetlyn Osemond to cheer for; She's the discovery of the year for me thus far...she was freaking fabulous at Nebelhorn!

    Her skating is late 90s retro in all the best possible ways.
    Sent from my Windows Phone using Board Express
    I understand Kaetlyn *could* become the next best female skater for Canada but it seems almost every time I try and get behind one of our women ... they ... run into difficulties and perform poorly. I am pulling for Kaetlyn to break that spell as I soooooooooooooooooo want a Canadian female singles skater to cheer for -- please let her have a good comp here. One good comp just isn't enough to get me on their bandwagon.
    Crazy about sports!

  4. #24
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    ^^ Well, Canadians have had Joannie, who took her skating up a notch prior to 2010 Olympics, and then performed so well under the very emotionally difficult circumstances of her mother's death in Vancouver 2010. Katelyn is looking good, so I'm sure she is worth rooting for to "break the spell."

    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    Difficulty is not simply measured by quantity of jumps being performed. The large majority of ladies in figure skating can only wish in their wildest dreams that they could ever skate like Carolina Kostner. Her speed, flow, edge quality, musical interpretation, and choreography are all first rate. I assure you that if most ladies attempted Caro's footwork sequences, they would be tripping up all over themselves and probably end up with a bloody nose, elbows, and knees in the process. What she does in between the jumps is NOT easy! Also, the jumps she does complete are very high quality with terrific speed, height, and technique. You don't see Kostner's protocols littered with wrong edge takeoffs or under-rotations.

    As far as Ashley goes, I find her jumps much more pleasing to my eyes than I ever did Tara Lipinski's, Sarah Hughes's, Sasha Cohen's, or Caroline Zhang's jumps. At least she doesn't donkey kick/hammer toe or contort her body as a corkscrew going into her flutz and flip jumps. She's much more stronger on holding her landings than Cohen or Zhang. Her jumps achieve more amplitude than Lipinski's ever did. Wagner is a spitfire, feisty fighter, and I like that!


    Quote Originally Posted by cbd1235 View Post
    I've lost no respect, and I find Ashley Wagner get's more flack than she deserves. She won Skate America with a clean 6 Triple Program (minus a questionable 2ft. landing and questionable lutz edge). Not to mention she had the crowd roaring and skated like a mature LADY champion. She deserves it, she's arguably one of the most complete skaters out there at the moment. Russian jumping beans I find to be immature, hit-or-miss, and contort themselves in a side-show manner; not exactly what I would call complete although they can jump. Another complete skater, Mao Asada, a much more lyrical and refined skater than Wagner has what I would consider slightly inferior jumps. Not that Mao can't jump, but she's more prone to UR's. Therefore the two are comparable on overall complete-ness level. Suzuki has a package much like Wagner's, and same with Carolina Kostner (trades out some jump content for immaculate skating skills and flow in her case). Yu-Na Kim has got it all so we'll see what her comeback brings, although I must say her extension has always been lacking and was very evident in 2011.

    I find the skaters mentioned; Wagner, Asada, Suzuki, Kostner, and Kim are all very high-end and complete packages competing against each other. In the past there usually hasn't been such depth. The coming seasons should prove very interesting! And I'm hoping that it's the most complete package on the night that wins, not the skater with the hardest jumps.

  5. #25

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    IF COP as it exists today were in place before 2002-a lot of ladies would not attempt all of the triples. Think of all the ladies who had really horrible flutzes. It has not regressed, its just that the scoring system is scoring the jumps correctly. Tara Lipinski had a flutz but it counted as a triple even though she performed the jump incorrectly. that jump would not count today, I don't think.

  6. #26
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    I am losing more interest in ladies skating now that they don't do any spirals. I miss beautiful spirals and layback spins.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    IF COP as it exists today were in place before 2002-a lot of ladies would not attempt all of the triples. Think of all the ladies who had really horrible flutzes. It has not regressed, its just that the scoring system is scoring the jumps correctly. Tara Lipinski had a flutz but it counted as a triple even though she performed the jump incorrectly. that jump would not count today, I don't think.
    All of the jumps count under the current scoring system, they all get the base value and then if they are flawed then the GOE reduces that value, but even so they "count" towards the score.

  8. #28
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    First off, I couldn't possibly have lost respect for ladies skating: I am sure they are working every bit as hard now as they did in the 80s or 90s. And that's why I have utter respect for athletes: dedicating so much time and effort, pains and joys, towards one goal, and that is to get as close as possible to excellence in their field

    The change in COP has changed the reality of skating a lot. Flutzs, which were more or less tolerated (at some point in the 90s, you could count on one hand the number of women who did both jumps correctly), now are being systematically sanctionned. And that's just one example amid others. Also, I think the overall expected content is now more demanding than it used to be, because again, we know have a system that gives more weight to increased difficulty in transitions, spins and steps sequences. Watch programs back in the 80s or 90s, even in the men's category: very few would have gotten very far under the current COP because transitions, steps, and for some spins, were sorely lacking. The intensity of effort into these elements is greater now, and maybe that also explains why ladies would be more reluctant now to take big risks with their jumps

    I must admit though, that I have lost interest in women skating since the men have really started to present more diverse programs in the 90s. I feel there's been a revolution there, especially with the Stojkos, Candeloros, etc, that has never happened in ladies skating. What it lacks is not the jumps, and a lot of them have pretty programs to watch, but those programs are rarely exciting. Few of them are taking risks artistically, and we see very few programs with an interesting architecture choreographically speaking. It seems that the norm is that it must look "nice" and they are not going a lot beyond that. That's not something I blame the athletes for at all. I think the reasons behind that are partially that they are not encouraged to go beyond presenting pretty, be it through the COP or the people around them. I also think that, because a lot of the number of technical requirements that have to be crammed in in 2'30'' or 4'00'', they just don't have the time and energy to research a different artistic dimension, and the current COP has also forced them to mostly focus on getting maximum points, rather than dividing their focus equally between artistic and technic

    I guess what I am trying to say is, I wish there there were girls who could bring the same artistic diversity and interest to ladies' skating that people like Lambiel, Buttle, Abbott and Takahashi, to name just the more recent, have for the men's field
    Last edited by rayhaneh; 10-26-2012 at 10:36 AM.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    ^^ Well, Canadians have had Joannie, who took her skating up a notch prior to 2010 Olympics, and then performed so well under the very emotionally difficult circumstances of her mother's death in Vancouver 2010. Katelyn is looking good, so I'm sure she is worth rooting for to "break the spell."
    snip ...
    As much as I love Joannie -- and Cynthia too -- it seemed like I was always holding my breath every time they completed. In her earlier years, Joannie didn't seem to have the mental fortitude to buckle down when she made a mistake. Not always, mind you, but more often than not. Now that I think of it, our ladies have almost always given me the biggest "fit of agony" because it seemed they could not deliver when it counted. Notice I said almost.

    I find it difficult to put into words. I love our Canadian women skaters. I always cheer for them to do well. Unfortunately, I feel let down more often than not. That being said, I will be cheering madly for both of the women competing for Canada this weekend. Gooooooooooooooo Kaetlyn & Amelie.

    BTW, I've not lost respect for ladies completing but they are my least favourite of the disciplines to watch.
    Crazy about sports!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by rayhaneh View Post
    I must admit though, that I have lost interest in women skating since the men have really started to present more diverse programs in the 90s. I feel there's been a revolution there, especially with the Stojkos, Candeloros, etc, that has never happened in ladies skating. What it lacks is not the jumps, and a lot of them have pretty programs to watch, but those programs are rarely exciting. Few of them are taking risks artistically, and we see very few programs with an interesting architecture choreographically speaking. It seems that the norm is that it must look "nice" and they are not going a lot beyond that. That's not something I blame the athletes for at all. I think the reasons behind that are partially that they are not encouraged to go beyond presenting pretty, be it through the COP or the people around them.
    I don't see why the scoring system would have anything to do with encouraging one artistic style over another. I agree that women seem to take fewer artistic risks, and that that has been true for much longer than the current scoring system has been around.

    In addition to the reasons you give, I would also suggest that traditional modes of "artistic" skating tend to be coded as feminine, so women get reinforcement both within the world of skating and from outside expectations to perform their gender in those ways, whereas men have more incentive to resist those traditions in the current cultural climate.

    Also, the men tend to be older and to have more life experience to draw on in developing their artistic style and in branching out from the tried and true. On average the typical 17-year-old elite male competitor is probably less polished and less interesting artistically than the typical 17-year-old female competitor.

    But the boy is also more likely to be competing at the junior level at 17 and is more likely still to be competing at 25.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Also, the men tend to be older and to have more life experience to draw on in developing their artistic style and in branching out from the tried and true. On average the typical 17-year-old elite male competitor is probably less polished and less interesting artistically than the typical 17-year-old female competitor.
    Good point, and it's a catch-22 because the higher jumping ability that is expected, the younger the women have to be, but the men can still be older because they aren't affected by puberty as badly. Naturally the ladies are not going to skate like mature ladies because, they're not.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I don't see why the scoring system would have anything to do with encouraging one artistic style over another. I agree that women seem to take fewer artistic risks, and that that has been true for much longer than the current scoring system has been around.
    Sorry, I wasn't being very clear: I didn't mean to imply that the COP encouraged one style of skating over another (although clearly the judges somewhat do - see the men's competition at Worlds....). What I meant is that the COP doesn't encourages artistic research, so whether you skate pretty or with a richer program is unlikely to make a major difference so why bother?

    I guess in a sense, I wish the COP would favor risky programs over more tame ones

  13. #33
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    I think the problem isn't the ladies but the judging system changing too fast and discouraging risks (like overpenalizing underrotation a few years ago and very strict edge calls).

    To fix it, why not rethink ladies skating from the basics.

    My proposals:

    Increase or junk the limit on number of jumping passes. All the current limit does is mean each jumping pass has to get lots of points and a skater can comfortably skip a problem jump or two. Give the skaters more options on different ways of getting more points with an emphasis on technique.

    Require that the LP has to have all six jumps in double or triple form.

    Rework the zayak rule so that a jump can be done more than twice if it's always in combination or once alone and once in combination.

    Audiences (including knowledgeable ones) need to get over the silly idea that young female skaters can do as many jumps and combinations (with the right edges and no underrotation) as they were led to believe they could when judging standards didn't come down too heavily on either of those.

  14. #34
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    Not just the CoP discouraged risks. CoP is really demanding in term of spins, steps, choreo. So much more than before.
    Skaters have to train as much time for spins, jumps and steps. But they can't train so much more than before. So, skaters have less time to practice jumps.
    At least, that's how I see it.
    It's not bad, at all. But we see that ladies can't do everything perfectly. It seems easier for male.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafke View Post
    I think the problem isn't the ladies but the judging system changing too fast and discouraging risks (like overpenalizing underrotation a few years ago and very strict edge calls).

    To fix it, why not rethink ladies skating from the basics.
    However, if you try to "fix" the lack of risk, you can introduce other problems, and then you -- or someone else, if all you care about is risk -- will come up with a fix to those. So it's best to anticipate what some of those other problems might be. For example,

    My proposals:

    Increase or junk the limit on number of jumping passes. All the current limit does is mean each jumping pass has to get lots of points and a skater can comfortably skip a problem jump or two. Give the skaters more options on different ways of getting more points with an emphasis on technique.
    I agree that skaters should have different ways of getting more points with an emphasis on technique. But those different ways don't necessarily have to be more jumps -- or more rotations to jumps. If skaters have the option to do fewer jump passes and replace those passes with additional spins or sequences, then there would be more incentives to push the limits in non-jump elements, which has already been true under IJS especially for difficulty but maybe should be for variety and quality as well.

    Allowing skaters to do fewer jump passes without wasting points would also be an incentive to work on triple-triple combinations, so a skater can fit all the triples she can do (plus a double axel) into 5 or 6 passes and then free up an element slot for a special double jump or another kind of non-jump element.

    There could also be incentives to include double jumps with top quality or combined in unusual ways with jumps or other elements and transitions.

    On the other hand, if you simply allow unlimited jump elements, some skaters who are inconsistent with the hardest jumps will just throw in more attempts at the same jumps until they get the rotations in. And the best jumpers could rack up huge jump points by executing 7 triples and 7 or more double jumps. Both at the expense of non-jump elements -- either they'll leave out an allowed spin or sequence to gain time for another jump that could be worth more, or they'll skimp on the difficulty and quality of those elements so they'll take less time and allow more time for jumps.

    Require that the LP has to have all six jumps in double or triple form.
    If you require this, then you're imposing more restrictions on the program content. This was never required in the past, either in the 1970s and before when most or all jumps were doubles, or the 1980s when the top ladies usually had 2 or 3 different triples, or in the 1990s/early 2000s when top ladies usually attempted 5 different kinds (and less than a handful over more than a decade had 6).

    What happens to an otherwise strong contender who 1) is recovering from injury and just plain can't safely execute one or two particular takeoffs, 2) struggles with one particular takeoff such that even her doubles are shaky or inconsistent, 3) saves her supposedly easiest takeoff for the end of the program and then pops it that day?

    How much does she lose for not meeting the "requirement"?

    Under the current rules, an axel jump of some kind is required in the free program. And any recognizable attempt meets the requirement, even a waxel/pop to waltz jump. So if a skater does her 6 triples (or 7 if she has a 3/3 combo), saves the double axel for the end, and pops it, she might get zero points for the less-than-single, maybe a fall deduction as well, but she gets full value for all the jumps she did execute. I don't think we should get any more punitive than that for a skater who plans only one (triple) salchow or only one (double) loop and then happens to pop it.

    Currently, if a skater plans a triple+2A sequence earlier in the program as her only axel in the program and then falls on the triple, then she'll lose credit not only for the axel that she doesn't execute (or does but in a way that's called as "triple + sequence") but also for the last jump element in the program because the program will still be waiting for the required axel jump.

    If you change the program such that continues looking for all six takeoffs as double or triple, then it would be more common for the last element or two to get no credit if any takeoff was omitted or singled earlier in the program.

    But if it's the last jump that's popped, then the only penalty is losing the value of that jump. And if a jump is rotated enough to be called as a double, but failed (fall, two-foot landing/step out, etc.), then the skater most of the value for that jump, and fall deduction, but do you want her also to be penalize for not successfully completing at least a double from that takeoff?

    If you want to enforce your requirement, would apply a deduction to any program that doesn't contain at least a double from all six takeoffs, in addition to the loss of points that come from failures?

    If so, better to handle it more like the current axel requirement -- any attempt at that takeoff fills the requirement even if the skater fails to rotate at least twice in the air.

    Personally, my simplest solution would be to allow ladies an extra 15 or 30 seconds and one more element slot, which could be an 8th jump pass OR a 4th spin OR a third sequence (with perhaps different kinds of sequences introduced as elements).

    And maybe build in a modest bonus for including all the takeoffs as doubles or better, in addition to all the points earned for the jumps themselves. Which is different from a penalty, which would take away points that the jumps actually executed already earned.

    Rework the zayak rule so that a jump can be done more than twice if it's always in combination or once alone and once in combination.
    In which case Zayak's 5 triple toes in the same program could be legal because most of them were in combination. But it's still an unbalanced reliance on the same skill too many times.

    Audiences (including knowledgeable ones) need to get over the silly idea that young female skaters can do as many jumps and combinations (with the right edges and no underrotation) as they were led to believe they could when judging standards didn't come down too heavily on either of those.
    Agreed. It would help if commentary would point out other areas of adding difficulty besides variety of jump takeoffs, and the difficulty of executing both lutz and flip with clearly distinct technique.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Ladies skating hit the all time low in 2011 when Miki nothing but jumps Ando was awarded over 130 points in a LP and a World title for only 5 triples, no triple mistake, and a major mistake. So if I had lost respect for ladies skating as a sport it would have been then, so it would be impossible to say I did now as it is already much better than it was then.
    Then it must hit even lower when Kostner win a world title with easier triple-triple, a doubled loop in SP and only 5 triples. Two jumps mistake in total and doesn't even have 3 Lutz!!! LOL While the junior win with 7 triples program including 3LZ+3T....

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderlen View Post
    Then it must hit even lower when Kostner win a world title with easier triple-triple, a doubled loop in SP and only 5 triples. Two jumps mistake in total and doesn't even have 3 Lutz!!! LOL While the junior win with 7 triples program including 3LZ+3T....
    It's not exactly the same level of basic skating...Give me any Kostner's program (even without jumps) over a junior 7 triples program !

  18. #38
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    I think the overall skating skills have improved a lot since the last Olympics. But although many ladies can't do a triple lutz, there are now numerous ladies that can do clean 3-3 combinations when there never used to be.

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