What should the sport REQUIRE?
Frequently, fans post suggestions that there should be a rule requiring X or forbidding Y. Sometimes it's obvious that these suggestions are tongue in cheek -- there have been a number of whole lighthearted threads over the years full of suggestions to ban certain musical selections, clothing choices, etc.-- sometimes they seem to be serious, and sometimes it's hard to tell.
For this thread, I'd like to ask people to keep their tongues out of their cheeks and seriously look at the big picture.
If we're up to speed on the current short program required elements and well-balanced free program rules, we know what the sport of figure skating currently requires of its senior competitors, and juniors if we follow those rules as well.
There are also a number of skills that are highly encouraged by the way the way they are officially scored, and others that are discouraged by the lack of scoring rewards (and in some cases penalties).
So that's the current state of what the ISU has chosen to reward or disregard.
What if we wanted to think about other approaches? Don't bother to figure out "how" yet -- where to tinker with the current rules or whether to scrap all previous rules and scoring systems and start from scratch.
For now, let's just focus on the "what" -- make a list of skills and qualities we want to make sure that everyone can execute. And also look at extra skills that not everyone will do but that should get rewarded. What should be forbidden or penalized?
Remember that the senior-level rules apply to anyone who enters a senior competition in their own country, not just to those who are good enough for international assignments. So what is reasonable to require of anyone who aspires to senior level competition, knowing that many will fall short, in general or in a specific performance? When/if we get to the "how" we can figure out how to penalize such failure.
Looking only at singles skaters, what requirements should apply to all and what should be required of men but not women or vice versa? Should anything be allowed for one sex but not the other?
If we have two phases of competition to work with, should one focus on establishing minimum requirements and the other focus on skaters pushing their own maximum capabilities?
Do we want to look at junior (or lower) requirements as a way to ensure that skaters have already established certain skills before reaching senior competition?
I don't want to go back to the old figures component but the sport is called figure skating for a reason and for me footwork is paramount. I honestly don't know enough about the scoring system to know how it is judged. I'm looking forward to reading responses from those who have a greater understanding of the sport and it's most important elements.
I think there should be less requirements. There are already enough. If skaters could do more, they would be doing it!
How few? Is it necessary to have a short program at all?
How do we define what qualifies as "good enough for senior level"? Does the content matter, or only the quality?
I agree with leafygreens. If they add more requirements to the sport, the originality will suffer. It will become even more rigid than it already is.
I'm not talking about adding more requirements.
I'm talking about starting from scratch -- no requirements -- and then deciding what to add, if anything. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in the initial post.
E.g., we know that school figures required specific turns and edge changes on specific parts of the circles. We know that short programs always required axel jumps (usually double). Now there are lots more requirements in "free" programs as well.
What are the minimum requirements necessary to establish that all competitors are at least attempting the skills they should have to be considered senior level skaters? What kinds of skills should those be?
Personally, I agree with Cachoo that basic edge-on-ice skills are necessary. Without school figures, what's the best way to ensure that skaters demonstrate these skills?
ok, I am not an expert, but in 5 min of thinking I came up with this:
- like today, require a certain amount of jumps and spins (exact numbers/type - maybe a little less than today?)
- rotate what types of jump are required - so at senior level all types of jumps must be known during different years? ( like old compulsory dances?)
- have a required footwork sequence, where some of the school figure criteria count for more? maybe have required turns and edges in there? (as I said - Im not expert, but maybe the footwork sequence can require specific edges/turns based on senior, junior etc level)
- have a required spiral, for men too! To show good edge.
I know, this is probably MORE requirement, but I like the idea of the SP being a technical test. Maybe even remove IN score from the SP.
make this WAY more free than today.
have a max number of jumps/passes, and a max number of spins (more possible spins than today).
have repeated elements, instead of being forbidden, get a degrading score (ex first 3x 10 points, next 8 points , next 5 points etc). Repeated spins too (eg 2 camel spins)
allow as many jumps in combination as they want
have spiral sequence count for some points other than TR
the idea is that the SP should show that the skater knows both jumps and spins, and has good edges. The FP should highlight the skaters strength. If Alyssa Czisny wants to do 6 spins and 4 jumps, let her. If KVDP wants to do 7 3-3 and 1 spin - let him!
the COP opens up for possible judging of different types of skaters against each other, if everything is assigned a correct level of points.
maybe a little crazy - maybe a lot. Why would it not work?
so far I can see it being VERY hard to create programs since there are fewer constraints.
I'm sure there are lot of other reasons this is not going to work...