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  1. #1

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    Should a break in a program be severely penalized?

    There have been a number of instances recently in which competitors have been stopping part way through a program for a variety of medical reasons. They have then been able to resume the program, without penalties/deductions. Examples include Virtue & Moir at 2013 4CC, the Shibutani's at the 2012 Rostelecom Cup, and now Papadakis & Cizeron at 2013 World Juniors. Whilst it is unfortunate that those concerned have suffered injury, to allow them to resume the program without penalty/deduction is unfair to the other competitors. Tired competitors make mistakes. It is essential that everybody is judged on a level playing field, and you only get a level playing field if all competitors complete their programs without a break (i.e. incurring the same level of physical and mental attrition during a performance). Those that are allowed a break part way through their program, benefit from the fact that they are able to recuperate, and even take on food and liquid refreshments. In my view, therefore, those that stop part way through a program, for whatever reason, should either have to withdraw or be severely penalized with obligatory deductions being imposed. Moreover, a system under which no penalties are imposed is open to abuse, with injuries being feigned. I don't for a minute believed that that has ever happened so far, but it certainly becomes a potential possibility in the future the more this happens.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 03-02-2013 at 01:08 PM.

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    That's exactly the same thing I told to my mother yesterday and I couldn't agree more. It's sad that some skaters have to stop during their program for medical reasons, but it's totally unfair for all the others skaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    There have been a number of instances recently in which competitors have been stopping part way through a program for a variety of medical reasons. They have then been able to resume the program, without penalties/deductions. Examples include Virtue & Moir at 2013 4CC, the Shibutani's at the 2012 Rostelecom Cup, and now Papadakis & Cizeron at 2013 World Juniors. Whilst it is unfortunate that those concerned have suffered injury, to allow them to resume the program without penalty/deduction is unfair to the other competitors. Tired competitors make mistakes. It is essential that everybody is judged on a level playing field, and you only get a level playing field if all competitors complete their programs without a break (i.e. incurring the same level of physical and mental attrition during a performance). Those that are allowed a break part way through their program, benefit from the fact that they are able to recuperate, and even take on food and liquid refreshments. In my view, therefore, those that stop part way through a program, for whatever reason, should either have to withdraw or be severely penalized with obligatory deductions being imposed. Moreover, a system under which no penalties are imposed is open to abuse, with injuries being feigned. I don't for a minute believed that that has ever happened so far, but it certainly becomes a potential possibility in the future the more this happens.
    Agreed!

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    I agree too. Don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for them that they are injured, but it was their choice to compete so in my view they should either compete the program without interruption, or withdraw, or be severely penalised for having break in the middle of it.

    At the moment it is happening with dancers; no single skaters yet this season, but it would be a significant advantage if any single skater in the middle of their FS could take a break and later continue with the jump refreshed. There is a reason why jumps in the second half of the program receive more points!

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    I wonder how this would be handled in athletics. Let's say running - in the middle of the race one would stop, ask for 3 minutes break, then continue the second half of the race... Or gymnastics - having a break in the middle of their routines...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    I wonder how this would be handled in athletics. Let's say running - in the middle of the race one would stop, ask for 3 minutes break, then continue the second half of the race... Or gymnastics - having a break in the middle of their routines...
    Well, it is more or less what Derek Redmond did ... OT, but this is the least obnoxious version I could find - why do some many people feel the need to use Fix You or You Raise Me Up as a soundtrack to this video, or to turn it into a religious inspirational? Redmond didn't finish that race for religious reasons!

    Anyway, the difference is that you don't have everyone competing on the ice at the same time. So logistically it is possible to have a restart. I'm actually fine with the current approach - you can stop if it's necessary, but there are time limits and the PCS gets docked. Sometimes skaters have to stop through no fault of their own (remember when Mark Ladwig's blade broke at 4CC, and he got Rudi Swiegers' skate?) and I don't think it's fair to penalize them. I guess the ISU agrees, because they did change it a few years ago to have a deduction and then changed it back to no set penalty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    I agree too. Don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for them that they are injured, but it was their choice to compete so in my view they should either compete the program without interruption, or withdraw, or be severely penalised for having break in the middle of it.

    At the moment it is happening with dancers; no single skaters yet this season, but it would be a significant advantage if any single skater in the middle of their FS could take a break and later continue with the jump refreshed. There is a reason why jumps in the second half of the program receive more points!
    I agree to.

    I'm hoping something like this don't win a Olympic medal. Dancers taking advantage of this rule so why not?

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    As I posted in the comp thread, not all the scenarios are the same. In the FD for the Junior Worlds, the French couple went into the FD knowing she had an injury and was in pain. They decided to skate anyway. The Shibs as well as V/M came into their FD feeling fine -- no injuries bothering them. Then during the dance, pain flares up and they just can't continue at that specific point in time. With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating. It wasn't they who chose to stop but the referee who made that determination when they stopped the music. You really believe that all 3 teams should be treated the same when one team came in knowing that one of them was rather injured and perhaps, PERHAPS? used the rule to their advantage?

    I understand how teams wish to compete regardless of how they may be feeling but I wouldn't lump all three dance pairs in the same category -- at least not in this instance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Anyway, the difference is that you don't have everyone competing on the ice at the same time. So logistically it is possible to have a restart. I'm actually fine with the current approach - you can stop if it's necessary, but there are time limits and the PCS gets docked. Sometimes skaters have to stop through no fault of their own (remember when Mark Ladwig's blade broke at 4CC, and he got Rudi Swiegers' skate?) and I don't think it's fair to penalize them. I guess the ISU agrees, because they did change it a few years ago to have a deduction and then changed it back to no set penalty.
    In gymnastic they compete one after the other, and they still can't take a break in the middle of their routine. I would give allowances for boot or blade problems (broken blade, laces undone etc) but not for injuries. In any other sport, if you are injured you don't compete. If you do compete, that's at your own risk and if you can't finish, you withdraw. To let someone have a break in the middle is already 'softer' option than in other sports, so I would at least severely penalise it. But I think the rule should actually be that if you can't finish, you withdraw.

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    Personally, I think skating should take a leaf out of cricket's book. In cricket, a batsman may have a runner if they injured themselves in the course of the game; if they came into the game with an injury, a runner is not permitted.

    If you've just stacked a quad toe into the wall and oh, smash, that really knocked the wind out of you, then it's okay, IMO, to take a quick break to get medical attention to then continue. But if you stacked that quad toe even a few hours before the competition, too bad, so sad, no break.

    It also becomes a safety issue. what if the skater feels their laces coming undone, but say, she is wearing OTB tights and the referee doesn't notice? Should she then be penalised because she chose to stop rather than choosing to jump on an undone skate?

    I think the key is medical attention. They should have to be seen by a doctor or a medic and recieve treatment, and have it verified (as best as may be) that the reason for the stoppage was acceptable.

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    With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating.
    The referee stopped the music 30 seconds after Virtue and Moir had stopped the program and as Moir was skating toward the boards.

    Yes, I think there should be a penalty for stopping, and I suspect there will be soon.

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    A lot of skaters are injured within their skating career. So considering this fact, and the current rules that don't penalise for taking a break (if you are injured), I am wondering if soon it will be common to compete at figure skating competition with a sick note from their doctor, to give them automatically right to do a program in two (or even more) parts. No one could really object to it, because they would be injured...

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    I think there should be an across the board mandatory deduction for stopping a program then continuing for whatever reason. I think that it would be fair to everyone
    involved including the other skaters. Something along the lines of a 1 point deduction, same as a costume malfunction. Right now the way the rule is it could possibly
    be abused in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CassAgain View Post
    Yes, I think there should be a penalty for stopping, and I suspect there will be soon.
    Maybe not. Maybe they will wait for a controversy with skaters getting OGM with a program skated in several parts, before they realised that something should be done about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    It also becomes a safety issue. what if the skater feels their laces coming undone, but say, she is wearing OTB tights and the referee doesn't notice? Should she then be penalised because she chose to stop rather than choosing to jump on an undone skate?

    I think the key is medical attention. They should have to be seen by a doctor or a medic and recieve treatment, and have it verified (as best as may be) that the reason for the stoppage was acceptable.
    Skaters who got as far as elite level would surely know that you have no chance of landing a jump with laces undone, so they would stop.

    Medical treatment doesn't mean anything. If, for argument's sake, someone needed a break in the middle of their program, and faked a back pain, how do you distinguish whether the pain is real or imagined? The doctor is not a mind reader. So if you make a doctor's treatment compulsory, the only difference is that we will see a lot of ice applied, before the skater will be able to continue.

    Besides, what if then injured skater arrived to competition with a doctor's certificate that he/she is injured? It is fair to be giving him break half way through? The skater may claim that injury was better and that's why he/she decided to compete, but during the program it again got worse. How would you deal with that, in a fair way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    As I posted in the comp thread, not all the scenarios are the same. In the FD for the Junior Worlds, the French couple went into the FD knowing she had an injury and was in pain. They decided to skate anyway. The Shibs as well as V/M came into their FD feeling fine -- no injuries bothering them. Then during the dance, pain flares up and they just can't continue at that specific point in time. With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating. It wasn't they who chose to stop but the referee who made that determination when they stopped the music. You really believe that all 3 teams should be treated the same when one team came in knowing that one of them was rather injured and perhaps, PERHAPS? used the rule to their advantage?

    I understand how teams wish to compete regardless of how they may be feeling but I wouldn't lump all three dance pairs in the same category -- at least not in this instance.
    To me its not about skating injured or not. Some of the greatest athletes did their job with injuries. Its remarkable. If you are not going for the elements and stop, its fine. But after the stop you are doing this elements again and get full points, its advantage for you.

    If there is going to be a stop, I want Dan and Hao Zhang kind, not this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    As I posted in the comp thread, not all the scenarios are the same. In the FD for the Junior Worlds, the French couple went into the FD knowing she had an injury and was in pain. They decided to skate anyway. The Shibs as well as V/M came into their FD feeling fine -- no injuries bothering them. Then during the dance, pain flares up and they just can't continue at that specific point in time. With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating. It wasn't they who chose to stop but the referee who made that determination when they stopped the music. You really believe that all 3 teams should be treated the same when one team came in knowing that one of them was rather injured and perhaps, PERHAPS? used the rule to their advantage?

    I understand how teams wish to compete regardless of how they may be feeling but I wouldn't lump all three dance pairs in the same category -- at least not in this instance.
    Why should it matter WHEN you got injured? The outcome is the same, you are unable to finish your program, and by stopping and having a break and drinking some water you are gaining unfair advantage. Whether you knew about your injury in advance or not, I can't see what difference does it make.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by elif View Post
    If there is going to be a stop, I want Dan and Hao Zhang kind, not this.
    I don't think even that kind is acceptable. (And I love their skating.)

    It's a competition. If you can't skate your program straight through from beginning to end, you need to withdrawal.

    I think stopping because something is on the ice or your boot lace comes undone is different. In that cause, you *could* have skated your program straight through. It just wasn't safe to do so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    As I posted in the comp thread, not all the scenarios are the same. In the FD for the Junior Worlds, the French couple went into the FD knowing she had an injury and was in pain. They decided to skate anyway. The Shibs as well as V/M came into their FD feeling fine -- no injuries bothering them. Then during the dance, pain flares up and they just can't continue at that specific point in time. With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating. It wasn't they who chose to stop but the referee who made that determination when they stopped the music. You really believe that all 3 teams should be treated the same when one team came in knowing that one of them was rather injured and perhaps, PERHAPS? used the rule to their advantage?

    I understand how teams wish to compete regardless of how they may be feeling but I wouldn't lump all three dance pairs in the same category -- at least not in this instance.
    Bit in bold - Gabriella said when they went over to the referee, they were going to withdraw & then were told they could take the 3 minute break & try to continue, so (and I know you only said perhaps) but they weren't knowingly planning on using the rule. To be honest, I don't think anyone would ever plan to use the rule to have a break; all the times we've seen it happen this season PCS has been affected & I doubt anyone would want to take the risk. That said, I still think there should be a deduction for stopping for any reason apart from something like a power cut that the skater has absolutely no power over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    Personally, I think skating should take a leaf out of cricket's book. In cricket, a batsman may have a runner if they injured themselves in the course of the game; if they came into the game with an injury, a runner is not permitted.
    In baseball a pinch runner can replace anyone - an injured player, a slow player, a guy who got hit by a pitch, broke his finger sliding into a base, whatever - but the original player can't go back into the game. OTOH, the game is sometimes stopped if someone is hurt, and then continues as it was (or, if the player can't continue, someone else may come in and take over the at bat). In football/soccer, the clock continues running but the game goes into extra time at the end. Some team sports have timeouts, and I think some individual ones too. So obviously different sports handle it in different ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by CassAgain View Post
    Yes, I think there should be a penalty for stopping, and I suspect there will be soon.
    As I noted earlier - there was one fairly recently (2009-10? Maybe a bit later). The ISU did away with it.

    Some people have written that if there is an unsafe situation skaters should be allowed to continue after a break. What if the unsafe situation leads to a skater being hurt and needing a break? IIRC, Barbara Fusar-Poli said that there were lots of Swarovski crystals on the ice during the OD in the 2006 Olympics. Though she did not attribute their fall to this, what if someone had tripped over those and hurt themselves? Should that team have been penalized? I just don't see how the ISU can start institute a selective policy. Either every stop leads to a deduction, like a few years back, or none do. Or I wouldn't put it past some skaters to find a "legitimate" reason if they stop because they are hurt.

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