View Poll Results: Are COP programs too difficult?

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  • Yes

    22 45.83%
  • No

    26 54.17%
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  1. #1

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    Are COP programs too difficult?

    I think, yes. IMO, there's just too much filler in between elements. No, I'm not in favor of nothing but crossovers between jumps and spins, but the mania for sticking in so many transitions, turns, etc., is nuts. To me, today's programs look slow and cluttered. With so many "to-dos" on the list, there is little room for choreography and interpretation. I thinking it's killing the skaters and damaging the sport.

    That said, I do like a lot about COP. For instance, it's been great for encouraging correct jump edges and guiding skaters in their progress. Here are my wishes:

    Get rid of the three-jump combo (does anyone really like it or think it serves any purpose?)

    Require no more than 3 transitions during a program (crossovers between some elements--once in awhile--is not a terrible thing).

    Limit step sequences to 10-12 seconds. IMO, these long, ponderous step sequences showing every turn in skating contribute nothing.

    Allow one or two basic spin elements to be performed beautifully (i.e., layback, flying sit spin). Are all of those spin combos with various change of positions really that great?

    Thanks for reading my rant. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but I am curious to know your feelings. I do think that COP programs--as they are right now--demand too much "flotsam," take away from skaters being able to work on quality jumps/spins and are not helping the skaters, nor the sport.
    "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 think its up to skaters to decide what they can and cannot execute. What I'd like to see is more penalities though for messy messy programs which would encourage skaters to find the appropriate balance.

  3. #3
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    I don't really think it is.

    I think it seperates the superior skaters from the average and nicely rewards a well rounded skater. I like that they're making the skaters actually have to fully rotate jumps and have well rounded programs.

    It actually still bothers me that skaters who jump off the wrong edge get credit for that jump (flutzing instead of lutzing). I personally think that if your doing a triple flip and instead you lip you shouldn't get any credit for that jump because you didn't actually do the jump. I know, i might be too harsh, but it just for some reason really bugs me when they still get rewarded for doing the wrong thing. It just feels like its unfair to the skaters who can actually do the jumps correctly...cause then why work to have an actual triple lutz if you can still win with a triple flutz. ok, climbing off the soapbox now lol.

  4. #4
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    It depends on what you want to watch in Skating.
    I voted yes, because I have the feeling that difficult entries, difficult transitions, and so on, are not for the beauty of the sport, but just to gain points.
    I miss simple moves, simple elements, but done beautifully.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    It depends on what you want to watch in Skating.
    I voted yes, because I have the feeling that difficult entries, difficult transitions, and so on, are not for the beauty of the sport, but just to gain points.
    I miss simple moves, simple elements, but done beautifully.
    My feelings exactly.

    One of the things I find most beautiful about skating is the glide and the movement across the ice, beautifullly-centered spins and flow in and out of jumps. Don't see that much anymore and I miss it.
    "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"

  6. #6
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    I don't know if it's "more difficult" or not. I think in the singles and pairs it can be easier in the sense that you can pinpoint a specific thing and use that to your advantage... like Duhamel/Radford know exactly how much they get for doing the 3lutz sbs whether they land it or not, and they can decide whether to put that in lieu of a different triple. Under 6.0, different judges would've valued it differently, and if they fell they'd risk being killed in the marks by some judges, while others would say "well they fell but it's a more difficult element so I won't deduct so much." And Kostner being able to win with her jump content last year would've been unthinkable 10 years ago, but she was able to focus on her spins, footwork, and PCS, which are easier than jumps for her with her injury.

    Ice dancing is a little different because everyone basically does the same elements and everyone tries to get level 4 on all of them. The elements themselves are much more difficult than in the past, but I think it might be easier to plan programs this way. In the past, you didn't really know what the judges wanted, and what was considered a difficult lift to one judge but not be the case for a different judge, and you weren't sure who wanted more holds and who wanted more difficult steps, etc. Now you can look at a piece of paper and you know exactly what to do. The amount of ice dancers wuzrobbing themselves has drastically been reduced. So even if the moves are more difficult, the mental toll is less because you at least have an idea of what to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    Get rid of the three-jump combo (does anyone really like it or think it serves any purpose?)
    Yes! 3 jump combos were never really a thing until like 2000. Yags was doing 4-3-2 and Plushy had started 4-3-3. I think that was why they allowed 3 jumps combos, to leave that option open. I really don't think it was intended to see skaters doing an ugly 3t-2t-2t with no flow. This combination has overstayed its welcome. Maybe allow it only if the 3 jumps include at least one quad or two triple jumps.

    Require no more than 3 transitions during a program (crossovers between some elements--once in awhile--is not a terrible thing).
    They aren't really "required" now though, and I think it's fair to use PCS to weigh how many the skaters actually do, from an empty program to a jam-packed one. I'd leave this alone.

    Limit step sequences to 10-12 seconds. IMO, these long, ponderous step sequences showing every turn in skating contribute nothing.
    I like the idea of limiting the time on the steps (not sure how many seconds I'd give). The slow step sequences of e.g. Leonova are awful to watch and do not show a mastery of skating skills, IMO. If ice dance lifts can be timed, why not footwork? Maybe every step after X seconds does not count towards the level.

    Allow one or two basic spin elements to be performed beautifully (i.e., layback, flying sit spin). Are all of those spin combos with various change of positions really that great?
    I think they are kind of doing this with the "choreographic lift" in ice dance. I kind of like this, but otoh, I don't want great spinners like Cohen, Lambiel, or Lipnitskaia to be penalized when they can do the level 4 spins just as well as others can do basic spins.

  7. #7
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    Are COP programs too difficult?

    Figures was once a very important part of the total FS score. However, it was boring to watch, and tedious for most of the skaters to practise. It's value was the illustration of good blade control. Although Figures has officially been eliminated, I suspect judges still want to see that control demonstrated as much as possible in the skaters programs, and may reward those skaters more (even when they mess-up jumps). A skater can leave out the transitions, but may lose points to those who add it. Hence the incentive to add. The judges "primary" goal in competitions is to identify the skaters with the best skating skills, not necessarily who is the best entertainer. The trick with COP, is being able to do both simultaneously. Unfortunately many skaters have difficulty doing both adequately, resulting in less entertaining programs under COP. Those few who can do both are the exceptional skaters.
    Last edited by rvi5; 11-24-2012 at 10:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    Yesssssss. I don't even just "watch" skating anymore because I'm too busy counting each feature they do to know what level they'll get, etc. So many horrible slow spins, endless step sequences, etc.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambern024 View Post
    I think it seperates the superior skaters from the average and nicely rewards a well rounded skater. I like that they're making the skaters actually have to fully rotate jumps and have well rounded programs.
    I think for figure skating to be called a sport, then the human endeavour and excellence in that sport must be encouraged. COP is good because it tells the skaters how it is scored, what criteria brings in most marks and coupled with the skater's abilities, they can strategize via choreography. It also, as ambern024 said, separates the superior skaters from those who still have some skills missing. Skaters know what they must do and train to reach the top.

    If I want to think of COP as too difficult, it is only in relation to the fact that it may harder to dominate in the COP era simply because only the best and most able can win gold. And if you have many quality skaters during a particular period, the 'difficulty' of the sport is raised because everyone will try to do more to beat each other. COP allows the skaters to know what is important to win, so they can train towards that. It does need a strong body, mind, skills and training to reach the top. This is sport.

    No, COP programs are not difficult. It can only be as difficult as you are able to execute all the elements to its highest level. Figure skating is not just jumps and spins.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  10. #10

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    No, COP programs are not difficult. It can only be as difficult as you are able to execute all the elements to its highest level. Figure skating is not just jumps and spins.
    But the problem is right now the sport doesn't properly reward good execution. If skaters were hit harder on their PCS when they present 3 fall programs than you would have skaters thinking to themselves clearly okay this is how many difficulty I can handle and still go clean. If skaters were hit harder for poor spins, and more rewarded for better spins-same thing....

    There is a balance.

  11. #11
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    Of course, that's an entirely different argument.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    But the problem is right now the sport doesn't properly reward good execution. If skaters were hit harder on their PCS when they present 3 fall programs than you would have skaters thinking to themselves clearly okay this is how many difficulty I can handle and still go clean. If skaters were hit harder for poor spins, and more rewarded for better spins-same thing....

    There is a balance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable
    Of course, that's an entirely different argument.
    The question is "Are COP programs too difficult" and skateboy further suggested eliminating less elements for judging.

    Bek thinks that COP does not reward good execution ie. skaters should be hit harder for falls and poor execution. I agree with Proustable that it is a different question and maybe someone can open a debate thread on this: how to encourage difficult elements without penalising the risk taking effort. Maybe there may be past threads somehow related to this question?
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  13. #13

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    I don't think the idea of execution being rewarded is a separate discussion at all. I think in general rewarding harder skills is a good thing if you had a system in place that properly encouraged good execution. However if your system doesn't then people will cram all the difficulty they can. If the system properly penalized slow laboring footwork perhaps more would go for easier footwork they could do well
    I think there are some areas difficulty isn't rewarded enough. Jump combos are not ladies jumps are detoriating

  14. #14
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    I'd wish they went back to the spin feature rules from last season. This season's spin feature requirements make spins look too ugly and even worse than what they used to look like in 2006.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    I think, yes. IMO, there's just too much filler in between elements. No, I'm not in favor of nothing but crossovers between jumps and spins, but the mania for sticking in so many transitions, turns, etc., is nuts. To me, today's programs look slow and cluttered. With so many "to-dos" on the list, there is little room for choreography and interpretation. I thinking it's killing the skaters and damaging the sport.

    That said, I do like a lot about COP. For instance, it's been great for encouraging correct jump edges and guiding skaters in their progress. Here are my wishes:

    Get rid of the three-jump combo (does anyone really like it or think it serves any purpose?)

    Require no more than 3 transitions during a program (crossovers between some elements--once in awhile--is not a terrible thing).

    Limit step sequences to 10-12 seconds. IMO, these long, ponderous step sequences showing every turn in skating contribute nothing.

    Allow one or two basic spin elements to be performed beautifully (i.e., layback, flying sit spin). Are all of those spin combos with various change of positions really that great?

    Thanks for reading my rant. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but I am curious to know your feelings. I do think that COP programs--as they are right now--demand too much "flotsam," take away from skaters being able to work on quality jumps/spins and are not helping the skaters, nor the sport.
    I agree with you on some points (actually most of them).

    I hate the 3-jump combination, unless the second jump is a triple. The 2-2 combination following the first triple looks just awful.

    I agree that the programs are too busy. The skaters are trying to fill as many transitions as possible between elements to get more points. It does not help create a program that expresses the music well.

    I like the beautifully done simple spins- like a layback spin with a perfect position, or a camel with the perfect position, instead of catching the foot or trying to create different positions and not doing it well.

    I disagree with a couple of your suggestions- about putting a limit on the number of transitions and limiting the foot sequences to 10-12 seconds. I would rather free up the free program/long program and not put so many limits on them.

    Finally, the only things I like about COP are: 1)numbers/scores are easier to understand for most people than relative placements, 2)emphasis on using correct edge on a jump. Overall, I don't particularly like COP because it does not judge the program as a whole. If they did, some of the things I dislike could automatically disappear. The programs will be less frenetic, less crammy, and more enjoyable to watch. I don't want the transitions to disappear, but I want the skaters to have more freedom in choosing the transitions and the elements.

  16. #16

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    Sometimes when I watch COP programs today, I think: what was so wrong with the programs of Michelle Kwan or Alexei Yagudin? Many people on this board consider their programs iconic and beautiful. I don't think they were lesser skaters because they didn't do every turn in the book during step sequences.

    I understand the change from 6.0 to COP. It's the racking up of points--at all costs--that I'm not crazy about. If Kwan or Yagudin were competing today, we would never see any of their great programs, because COP doesn't allow it.
    "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"

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    Sometimes when I watch COP programs today, I think: what was so wrong with the programs of Michelle Kwan or Alexei Yagudin? Many people on this board consider their programs iconic and beautiful. I don't think they were lesser skaters because they didn't do every turn in the book during step sequences.
    Yes! Look at Yagudin's "Gladiator" or "Man in the Iron Mask" which were renowned for their step sequences. They wouldn't even hit basic level today. But it's irrelevant, because they FIT WITH THE MUSIC. The way the steps work with the music, the way they were presented, it makes my heart race, it generates excitement.

    And yet now, even with the skaters I love, the long, drawn-out step sequences do very little for me. There's none of that racing excitement because more often than not the steps DON'T match the music and add nothing to the theme. They are obvious point-scoring exercises.

  18. #18

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    Personally, I get a little moist when I see a phenomenal step sequence. I voted no. They are still doing quads, but have this beautiful edge work that has never been seen by so many at world level. Look at a program from 20 years ago and they were on the whole just rancid.
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzisk8tr View Post
    Personally, I get a little moist when I see a phenomenal step sequence.
    I agree with you, I love a beautiful, well-executed step sequence that is used to interpret the music effectively. One of the problems I have is that these sequences now last between 30-40 seconds, to get from one side of the rink to the other, often putting a halt to any momentum or cohesiveness gained by the program itself. 30-40 seconds is a HUGE chunk of the program (they really are that long, I've timed them). Another issue I have is this: because these sequences are used to rack up points, they are simply treated as a required element and, more often than not, have little to nothing to do with actual interpretation of the music.
    "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"

  20. #20
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    I voted yes. I like the idea of COP, but the PCS hardly seems to match the performance. Overall there are too many falls, bad point getting moves, and the skaters seem to go from one thing to the next cramming in points without a concern for the program.

    I would do away with the 3jump combo because it is hardly ever done well with the rare exception (Ashley Wagner's this season with the arm variation was quite nice). But for the most part it's just a point getter and not done with speed or any performance aspect.

    I like that COP can make some great skaters even greater, but it is also so limiting to those who are great skaters but just can't do the gumby spins and other assorted point getting moves. Some can really strike a balance and create moving programs, but it just seems that for the most part they all look alike with all the same moves.

    I would also limit the footwork sequence. It's too long, too ponderous, and like someone said above usually has nothing to do with the program.

    I would also deduct more for falls. I love Patrick Chan's skating, it's the closest to perfection I can recall in the last ten years, but gosh, with all his falls I just wish if he won it would be by a closer margin.

    My interest in skating has basically dropped off. I never record anything, and only barely watch programs on YT. I did watch NHK on YT and maybe five years ago I would have cared that Mao's LP outscored Mirai's. Now, not so much. It seems ridiculous that Mirai lost the LP to Mao but oh well. It's just a skating competition, and everyone works hard and does their job. But sometimes I feel that maybe the judges should also do their job.

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