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  1. #461

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    TPTB within the sport did not know how to take full, positive and long-term advantage of the boom in interest post Tonya/ Nancy, and I doubt they understand how to learn from and build upon the huge popularity of fs in Asian countries in a way that can ultimately benefit the sport worldwide.
    Still, if you look at where the sport was, globally and within the US, ca. 1993 (a nice round 20 years ago, before the Tonya/Nancy scandal), compared to now, I think in almost every measure of health it is either better than ever or better than 1993 but with higher peaks 10-15 years ago and then a partial decline.

    I can think of three exceptions. Two of them relate directly to what fans are interested in and one is exactly what fans were not interested in:

    *There are far fewer professional performing opportunities -- competitions, television specials, and tours -- for star skaters than there were in the peak boom years, and somewhat fewer than in the late 80s/early 90s. But the ISU is not charged with maintaining the health of elite skating for entertainment outside its competition mandate. One reason for the decline in post-ISU-eligible careers is the fact that there are more opportunities for eligible skaters to earn money while still competing now than there were 20 years ago, for better or for worse.

    *There was less television coverage on US broadcast TV, and although there were more hours of cable TV coverage it was on a cable network that most American cable subscribers did not have access to. That has more to do with bad planning by Universal Sports than by the skating federations.

    *School figures as a discipline was still alive but declining fast within the US as of 1993. Now for all practical purposes it's completely dead -- with a very very few isolated signs of life.

    Oh, I thought of one more area, relevant to participants not fans: Social ice dance sessions, dance weekends, etc., are probably less common now than 20 years ago.

    Re all the kids at local learn-to-skate programs, the sport still needs to be restructured and TPTB still need to understand how to grow the sport at the local level and how to make improvements that can ultimately benefit skaters in a more widespread and significant way, so that they might actually have opportunities to develop and make it past novice and juniors,
    Do you have better ideas than those that are already in place in the US? Do you know what's already in place in the US, and how things have changed in the last 20 years?

    and see the possibility for successful rewards rather than injuries, money pits, and pipe dreams.
    Skating has always been a money pit. Ice time is expensive (especially with school figures in the mix), and so are lessons -- not to mention expenses of traveling to competitions, which puts money into the pockets of the travel and hospitality industries, not the skating establishment. Very very few skaters in any era ever earned back what they/their parents had invested in their participation. There's a reason why so many skaters turned pro or quit as soon as they had a bankable success or it became clear they never would. At least now skaters are able to fund their training by teaching and performing -- and prize money helps the successful international skaters as well -- options that were forbidden to amateur skaters before the 1990s.

    Making a living as a skater, or ever getting to compete internationally, are much more attainable dreams for a larger number of young skaters now than in the past. But that's still only a tiny percentage of all skaters. This is and always has been an expensive hobby. But it's much more welcoming to a wider variety of would-be participants now than 20 years ago, let alone 40.

    I would guess that injury rates are indeed significantly higher among competitive skaters, although I haven't seen a controlled study on the subject.

    The young skaters are the lifeblood of the sport and right now I think they're being ill-treated and taken for granted.
    Why do you think that? What kind of opportunities do you think young skaters had 20 years ago that they don't have now? Or vice versa. Do you have any sense of what is and isn't available to serious and recreational skaters at all the levels between learn-to-skate and novice?

    Indeed, diehard fans don't seem to matter much either.
    This is nothing new. If anything there is more communication now between federations and fans -- though there's still plenty of room for improvement.

    Still the body of the sport is in dire straits, if not death throes.
    And how are you defining "the body of the sport"?

  2. #462

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Yes, thanks, Aussie Willy like I said for the enlightenment. It doesn't change the fact that it's the ISU that no longer needs to exist, but the federations are also antiquated, complacent and too afraid to reorganize and to tell the ISU that as the governing body, it is no longer needed. I'm not angry, but I am pointing out the confounding ironies of the situation that you've described.
    This is where I now say - you are not involved in the sport so you are not qualified to comment. And it is probably time to put you on the ignore list because you are now just talking rubbish. If you are so concerned about our sport, go and volunteer at your local club and then you might get a reality check and learn something.
    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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    It seems that you are the one who is actually upset Aussie Willy. I thanked you for the enlightenment. I'm not saying that you aren't telling the truth about the way things exist, per your knowledge of the situation at your club level. But you seem to think that nothing can be done to make changes. Perhaps you are right under the current structure, but that doesn't mean things have to continue under the current structure either. It's laughable when people who don't like what another poster is saying or misconstrues another poster's tone and intent threatens with the ignore list. That's your right and your privilege. Just like people who prefer burying their heads in the sand and clogging their ears make that choice perhaps because they are afraid of the uncertainty that dissent, differing points of view, and change might bring.

    I'm just a voice in the wilderness, I suppose. I'll certainly try to find the time to talk to people at clubs in my area and survey the lay of the land, and keep an open mind about what I find out. Whether change happens under the current structure, or whether the sport is completely reorganized, IMHO, change needs to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I don't think that would have happened under 6.0, either. In fact, I think there is ample evidence that it wouldn't have. Many competitions were won by top skaters who had one mistake or skated conservatively over skaters who were clean under 6.0. That's because the top skaters are the top skaters for a reason--they are better than the rest of the field and have a greater margin of error.

    OTOH, I don't think someone like Alissa Czisny would have done at all well under 6.0. IJS has been very good to her, and to other skaters who may not have the most reliable stable of jumps but have other wonderful skating skills.

    When was there a Tara Lipinski before there was a Tara Lipinski?
    Well, I was trying to say that it did happen under 6.0 with Kwan being upset twice at the Olympics. I'm not saying there was a Tara before the real Tara, but rather there hasn't been another Tara in the CoP era, meaning someone who didn't have that much of a reputation upsetting someone who did due to superior technical content.

    I don't think that was ever what Presentation was intended to be, not do I think that is how it was applied. Some examples: Elvis Stokyo versus Alexei Urmanov. Nancy Kerrigan versus Oksana Baiul. Michelle Kwan versus a whole lot of skaters. Presentation always counted for a lot. And was itself a pretty technical score, counting things like variation of speed and ice coverage.
    Under 6.0, if a person fell twice and they got 5.0s in the tech score, usually you wouldn't see a totally disparate presentation score like a 5.8. That makes sense to me because if someone makes major errors like falling, that tends to mean that their skating skills, transitions, and interpretation weren't that great, unless they were trying to portray the fall of the Berlin wall or something.

    But under CoP, the PCS can be very different from the tech score, which seems kind of like determining results before the competition even begins, IMO. That takes away from the enjoyment of skating as a sport for me, because when I think of sport, I think of a competition where everyone starts out on a level playing field. When some skaters start out 10-20 points down in PCS, it's like saying they have to do an extra 3Lutz-3Toe (worth about ten points) or do that combination twice (on top of their original program) in order to be level. That just seems really unfair to me. I think there was a suggestion earlier in the thread that the PCS should maybe be 30% of the score, which makes sense to me.

    I can't speak to Stoyko or Kerrigan, but Michelle Kwan usually was the best or close to the best technically when she won. She was very consistent with clean 6-7 triple programs; in her era, most people weren't doing 3-3s on a regular basis; and at her peak she did have the 3Toe-3Toe as well. And the times when Kwan wasn't the best technically, she was usually duly punished for it, like when Tara upset her in 1998.

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    Thanks for all your questions, gkelly. The professional competitions eventually died because the federations (particularly USFS) saw them as a threat. Instead of joining with professional skaters to help find ways to positively promote and maintain interest in the sport as a whole and to find ways to coexist for the long term benefit of the sport, TPTB forced professional competitions out of existence, by providing more incentive for top skaters to remain eligible. But now, when retired skaters who desire to still skate could benefit from professional competitions, they no longer exist. Those years post Tonya/ Nancy were opportunities lost because once again the sport lacked vision and people did not work together for mutual benefit.

    In regard to young skaters, I'm sure there are a lot of things being done to assist in the development of skaters, but more needs to be done. I mentioned some of the things I think would be helpful re finding a way to reintroduce figures, and focus more on teaching the fundamentals, as well as movement and dance classes. I also feel that more should be done in the areas of injury prevention and equipment studies, and sports medicine intervention. I also pointed out that what Audrey Weisiger is doing and the suggestions that she is making are valuable. She is doing a lot of things at the grassroots level that are benefiting skaters in many ways, and benefiting the sport. She advocates coaches joining together to share ideas and knowledge in helping skaters to develop. Her efforts with YAS have already proved fruitful for a number of skaters whose lives have been impacted by the opportunity to obtain work as choreographers.

    I think Audrey's suggestion about allowing skaters to compete in jump competitions, figures competitions, and spin competitions, and artistic competitions, as well as all-around competitions would allow more opportunities for skaters to succeed. Of course the sport is expensive and requires dedication, but that expense and the sacrifices would bear more fruit for a greater number of skaters if the sport were restructured to provide different kinds of opportunities, since few skaters will ever make the Olympic team. Coaches and club officials should promote the sport more for the myriad benefits it offers rather than the traditional and limited focus on Olympic dreams.

  6. #466
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Well, I was trying to say that it did happen under 6.0 with Kwan being upset twice at the Olympics. I'm not saying there was a Tara before the real Tara, but rather there hasn't been another Tara in the CoP era, meaning someone who didn't have that much of a reputation upsetting someone who did due to superior technical content.
    Michelle Kwan went into the 1998 Olympics as a two-time US National and one time World Champion.

    Tara Lipinski went into the Olympics as:

    The first woman to land a triple loop-triple loop
    The 1997 US National Champion
    The 1997 World Champion
    Two-time Champion Series (now Grand Prix) champion

    Tara was no unknown from nowhere. She went into the Olympics as a known contender for gold and a solid bet for a medal.

    Gracie Gold is no Tara Lipinski--not yet, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Under 6.0, if a person fell twice and they got 5.0s in the tech score, usually you wouldn't see a totally disparate presentation score like a 5.8. That makes sense to me because if someone makes major errors like falling, that tends to mean that their skating skills, transitions, and interpretation weren't that great, unless they were trying to portray the fall of the Berlin wall or something.
    First of all, under 6.0, there were no scores. There were marks, which were placeholders. Skaters did not get points. They were placed relative to how well they performed against other skaters; the marks were just what was used to make the placements.

    Second, no you wouldn't see someone get wildly disparate marks for tech and presentation because, as I said, presentation IS mostly technical. Good skating skills ARE technical. The top skaters are top skaters because they are good at both of the categories. If you don't have good skating skills, you aren't going to have good jumps, even if you land them, and your marks would reflect that--because they reflected how well you skated relative to everyone else.

    You would see--and did--skaters who had two fall programs place over people who didn't fall down at all. You saw it a lot. Anyone could judge skating if all we had to do was count how many times someone fell down. I could probably win a skating competition like that--I can't skate a lick, but I hardly ever fall down.

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    But under CoP, the PCS can be very different from the tech score, which seems kind of like determining results before the competition even begins, IMO. That takes away from the enjoyment of skating as a sport for me, because when I think of sport, I think of a competition where everyone starts out on a level playing field. When some skaters start out 10-20 points down in PCS
    How do they start that much lower? I don't understand. Don't scores build under IJS, with everyone starting at zero and building from there?

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    I can't speak to Stoyko or Kerrigan, but Michelle Kwan usually was the best or close to the best technically when she won. She was very consistent with clean 6-7 triple programs; in her era, most people weren't doing 3-3s on a regular basis; and at her peak she did have the 3Toe-3Toe as well. And the times when Kwan wasn't the best technically, she was usually duly punished for it, like when Tara upset her in 1998.
    But even when other skaters did do 3-3s, they didn't always beat her and it was because of her Presentation marks. And they were well deserved using the criteria for Presentation, regardless of whether she was to someone's personal taste or not.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  7. #467

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    I'm just a voice in the wilderness, I suppose. I'll certainly try to find the time to talk to people at clubs in my area and survey the lay of the land, and keep an open mind about what I find out. Whether change happens under the current structure, or whether the sport is completely reorganized, IMHO, change needs to happen.
    The more you get involved, the more your perspective is likely to change.

    At the local club, you probably won't find many people who are looking to reorganize the sport completely. If you talk to enough people -- coaches, officials if there are any who are members of the club, skaters who are old enough to have some historical perspective -- you may find some who feel strongly that they'd like to see a return to 6.0 judging at the higher levels (still used at lower levels in the US), or even some who would like to see a return to required school figures. Maybe the occasional coach/official/older teen or adult skater with radically different vision of what they'd like to see, more as a dream than a realistic plan.

    Mostly you'll find people who would like to see changes that would have a direct effect for themselves and their friends, which may have nothing to do with anything people outside that part of the sport would care about.

    But you might find it interesting to see differences in what the people who are involved in different aspects of the sport do care about. And how many different aspects there are beyond what you see at the elite events.

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    there hasn't been another Tara in the CoP era, meaning someone who didn't have that much of a reputation upsetting someone who did due to superior technical content.
    Are you talking only about gold medals at Olympics/Worlds? Olympics, especially, is too small a sample because there have only been 2 Olympics under IJS so far.
    But there have been plenty of examples in the IJS era of lesser known skaters winning other medals on the strength of superior technical content.

    Under 6.0, if a person fell twice and they got 5.0s in the tech score, usually you wouldn't see a totally disparate presentation score like a 5.8.
    In the short program you would, because of the way the SP deductions worked. Any two big errors, even if they weren't both falls. E.g., see Kurt Browning's SP marks at 1994 Olympics or Vyacheslav Zagorodniuk's at 1998 Olympics

    In long programs, no, that big a gap between the two marks was rare.

    But it would also be rare for someone who usually got 5.8s for presentation without falls to get scores as low as 5.0 for technical merit in a long program with two falls. A skater who was usually in the 5.8 range for a program without falls might drop to the 5.5 or 5.6 range on both marks with a couple of falls.
    One case in point: Young Plushenko in the free skate at 1998 Europeans vs. 1998 Worlds.

    Someone who earned 5.0 for technical merit in a long program with a couple of falls probably would not have earned close to 5.8 in a clean program, because there was a lot more being measured than just the number of clean jumps.

    That makes sense to me because if someone makes major errors like falling, that tends to mean that their skating skills, transitions, and interpretation weren't that great,
    Depends why they were falling.
    If they were trying jumps at the limits of their abilities, especially quads for men, or triple axels one step lower on the ladder, then it wouldn't be surprising for them to fall on those particular elements even if they were among the best in the world at the time on things like skating skills, transitions, and interpretation.

    If they were falling on jumps that they could usually land easily, then injury or illness or jet lag or equipment problems or nerves might have been interfering with their ability to get the jumps landed that day. And those same factors might have had a negative effect on other skills besides jumps throughout the program. So probably both marks would be lower on the bad day than on a good day with the same program. But a great skater on a bad day generally still has better basic skills than an average skater having a good day. And so both the "great" skater and the "average" skater might end up with "good" marks that day. But the great skater isn't likely to earn scores that are merely average, and isn't necessarily going to dip lower in the "good" range than the average skater is able to rise.

    The mere fact of landing the jumps and even being especially on top of his blades on a good day doesn't give the average skater a higher skill level than he ever possessed before -- only all the best skills that he already had, finally all coming together in the same program.

    But under CoP, the PCS can be very different from the tech score,
    That's because the technical score is primarily derived from the elements the skater actually does, as called by the technical panel, whereas the PCS score is entirely determined by the judges on the basis of everything the skater does throughout the whole program, with success of the elements officially only a small part of one component. There's no mechanism for any member of either panel to make any intentional effort balance the two marks against each other the way there was under 6.0.

    which seems kind of like determining results before the competition even begins, IMO.
    For that matter, under 6.0 the fact that some skaters tended to score 5.8s on a good day/5.5s on a bad day, and others tended to score 5.0 on or lower on bad day and maybe as high as 5.3 or 5.4 when they were especially on could be seen as "determining results before the competition even begins."

    Certainly judges had expectations of which skaters were likely to place in the top, high middle, low middle, or bottom part of the field, and longtime observers could usually predict those ranges as well. One or two mistakes in a free skate -- not necessarily falls -- would often drop a skater behind others in the same general group, but it would usually take more than that to drop the skater down to a lower group entirely. Maybe along with unexpected improvements or a skate of a lifetime for a skater expected to place lower.

    That takes away from the enjoyment of skating as a sport for me, because when I think of sport, I think of a competition where everyone starts out on a level playing field.
    They all have the same opportunities to earn points according to the same rules. But they don't all have the same skills. Each skater can only do what he or she can do. Landing all your jumps on a good day doesn't usually mean that your program became more complex or your edges deeper. The excitement of a clean confident performance will probably inspire judges to give higher PCS than they'd given you on less inspired days, but even finally putting together "good" on everything won't lift your skill level to "great."

    If you want "great" component scores, then you need to improve your skating skills, choreography, etc., up to that level, not just execute the elements cleanly.

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    I think Audrey's suggestion about allowing skaters to compete in jump competitions, figures competitions, and spin competitions, and artistic competitions, as well as all-around competitions would allow more opportunities for skaters to succeed.
    Sounds good to me.

    I hope you're aware that all of these events currently exist at club-level competitions -- except figures, because people stopped entering them once they were no longer required, and because they're much more expensive in the amount of ice time -- on clean ice -- required for competition and practice.

    USFS does have a national-level competition in artistic skating now, but it will take time for the top levels there to reach the prestige and quality level of elite freestyle and dance -- and even then it may never get there because by nature it could never be an Olympic sport. The most talented, most ambitious skaters want to aim for where the big prizes are.

    If the ISU were to offer international championships in artistic skating, and separate medals for spins, jumps, etc., then they would attract more top skaters. I agree, I would love to see it.
    Last edited by gkelly; 04-02-2013 at 05:04 AM.

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    Thanks gkelly. May I ask, what is your direct involvement with the sport?

    I know that becoming involved on a local level would offer a broader perspective, but I do already bring (albeit as a fan) years of knowledge from closely watching, viewing, reading, thinking and caring about the sport. Certainly, with so many variant viewpoints, limited historical perspectives, self-interest, dyed-in-the-wool thinking, disparate political factions, and antiquated structure, that does mean change would be exceedingly difficult to effectively muster.

    My perspective surely will be enhanced by getting to know more on the grassroots level, but I doubt my feelings will diminish re the fact that change is needed.


    ETA:
    Perhaps I'm wrong re your motivations, but you seem to suggest that know-it-all fans should just shut up, and let things continue as they are, cuz that's just the way things are. For one thing, the fact that figures were completely eliminated is a huge factor in the technical problems that are being experienced at the elite level (I understand the reasons why figures were eliminated so please don't go into a long list of why it happened and what prevents them from being brought back).

    Playing devil's advocate and asking questions to make fans think is one thing, but espousing a strictly USFS/ ISU apologist point of view is quite another (not saying that's clearly what you're doing).

    In any case, what I advocate is providing more opportunities at the elite level, so that young skaters coming up can seek to advance beyond novice and junior into the senior level competition categories that match their strengths. I've said this before, but I also believe that the senior B division should be expanded in importance and recognition in order to allow skaters (especially in the talent deep U.S.) more opportunities to develop their competitive skills internationally.

    As it currently stands, there are so many talented skaters in the United States and Japan vying for a limited number of opportunities to advance. It is a terrible shame for the growth of skaters to be stunted because they have limited opportunities to compete, while skaters from other countries are able to develop their skills over many years of attending Worlds because they face little challenging competition in their countries.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 04-02-2013 at 05:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    we need someone to do for skating what they did to Roller Derby!

    Ice skating just isn't cool.
    Tattoos, Bettie Page bangs, and hip checks into the boards!

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    Maybe a group of recent and current high-level skaters who are more interested in new possibilities than in fitting the existing ISU mold, could start something like an Xtreme Skating event with a younger, hipper focus.

    It would have to start outside the ISU structure -- but they'd have to get any necessary sanctions if they don't want to lose eligibility. But if it proved popular with skaters and audiences, probably the ISU would prefer to get in on the action than to see a separate sport develop as a rival.

    I'm sure we could each imagine kinds of events we'd like to see in addition to the existing disciplines. The question is whether enough people who already have the necessary expertise to make them happen also want to invest the necessary time and money to bring them to life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Maybe a group of recent and current high-level skaters who are more interested in new possibilities than in fitting the existing ISU mold, could start something like an Xtreme Skating event with a younger, hipper focus.
    Like this. It's not competitive, but it's different.....

    http://lepatinlibre.com/en/
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Perhaps I'm wrong re your motivations, but you seem to suggest that know-it-all fans should just shut up, and let things continue as they are, cuz that's just the way things are.
    I think you are wrong here, aftershocks. If you look at nearly all of gkelly's posts, she makes lots of suggestions about how things can/could/should change. She provides a huge amount of perspective from what seems to be a vast store of knowledge on skating. The last thing she seems to me to be doing is suggesting people shut up.

    I appreciate her perspective on realistic opportunities for change. I don't know much about skating, so I tend to bring in my political perspective. In human institutions, real constructive change happens slowly. Revolution may bring change, but it also leaves massive new problems in its wake. People who don't like IJS should reflect on how it came about--in an emergency situation where the ISU felt the need to put something completely different out there quickly (even if some work had already begun on the changes).

    Rabble rousers have their place in dislodging complacency, but cooler heads are needed for real progress.

    (Insert appropriate song lyrics here )

    As it currently stands, there are so many talented skaters in the United States and Japan vying for a limited number of opportunities to advance. It is a terrible shame for the growth of skaters to be stunted because they have limited opportunities to compete, while skaters from other countries are able to develop their skills over many years of attending Worlds because they face little challenging competition in their countries.
    This seems backward to me. The skaters from small countries who have little competition for a spot to worlds seldom develop into the top skaters. Its the skaters in countries where the regional and national competition is fierce who have the opportunity to push to the top. Then when they do win spots to international competitions its the icing on the cake.

    Do you ever go to regionals or sectionals, aftershocks? I love attending these competitions. Many young skaters work very hard just to compete at these competitions (not to mention at lower level comps). Its wonderful to see these competitions. That few if any of these skaters will ever go to the Olympics doesn't mean the comps are meaningless excercises, for most elite competitive skaters these are what its about.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Thanks gkelly. May I ask, what is your direct involvement with the sport?

    I know that becoming involved on a local level would offer a broader perspective, but I do already bring (albeit as a fan) years of knowledge from closely watching, viewing, reading, thinking and caring about the sport. Certainly, with so many variant viewpoints, limited historical perspectives, self-interest, dyed-in-the-wool thinking, disparate political factions, and antiquated structure, that does mean change would be exceedingly difficult to effectively muster.

    My perspective surely will be enhanced by getting to know more on the grassroots level, but I doubt my feelings will diminish re the fact that change is needed.


    ETA:
    Perhaps I'm wrong re your motivations, but you seem to suggest that know-it-all fans should just shut up, and let things continue as they are, cuz that's just the way things are. For one thing, the fact that figures were completely eliminated is a huge factor in the technical problems that are being experienced at the elite level (I understand the reasons why figures were eliminated so please don't go into a long list of why it happened and what prevents them from being brought back).

    Playing devil's advocate and asking questions to make fans think is one thing, but espousing a strictly USFS/ ISU apologist point of view is quite another (not saying that's clearly what you're doing).

    In any case, what I advocate is providing more opportunities at the elite level, so that young skaters coming up can seek to advance beyond novice and junior into the senior level competition categories that match their strengths. I've said this before, but I also believe that the senior B division should be expanded in importance and recognition in order to allow skaters (especially in the talent deep U.S.) more opportunities to develop their competitive skills internationally.

    As it currently stands, there are so many talented skaters in the United States and Japan vying for a limited number of opportunities to advance. It is a terrible shame for the growth of skaters to be stunted because they have limited opportunities to compete, while skaters from other countries are able to develop their skills over many years of attending Worlds because they face little challenging competition in their countries.
    Aftershocks, I do not know gkelly's background (and I don't care to probe) but I have tremendous respect for her because not only is she highly knowledgeable in figure skating but her posts and explanations are always calm and logical. I personally find I (a non skater) can learn a lot from her. I believe gkelly is someone who has a passion for figure skating and is trying her best to communicate to figure skating fans what they may like to know and if they care to listen.

    You may wish to ask why is the current system of skater qualification for Worlds as it is since it is true that it disadvantages countries with depth like USA, Japan and Russia. Perhaps gkelly may care to explain if she's aware of the background of that rule. Personally I see it as a method to allow smaller countries who may have a handful of highly talented skaters but no depth to match USA, Japan and Russia to help their countries to obtain additional places for their team other than for themselves. I see no problem in this but of course if you are looking at your own country's benefit only, then with the current depth of men and women in USA, this current rule certainly does not benefit USA or Japan.

    No aftershocks, I do believe being 'directly involved' in the sports compared to observing from your computer gives you a different perspective of the sport. Talk is easier than action. There are details you can never see from afar. I am a believer in 'on the job training'. If you really care and feel passionately for the sport, why not volunteer to help out in your local figure skating association? You get to know the skaters, the coaches and the administrators who are part of the skating association structure without which it ceases to exist. In fact, you may be able to instigate changes you see fit.

    You have always been 'the devil's advocate' aftershocks. No need to remind.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Campeonatos del Mundo de Patinaje Artístico Professional sobre Hielo.

    OT


    Does anyone remember this event


    Jaca competition

    A professional skating competition was held for many years in Jaca, Spain. Its official name in Spanish was Campeonatos del Mundo de Patinaje Artístico Professional sobre Hielo. The forerunner of this event was an open professional championship for show skaters dating back to at least the 1930s that was held in England, initially under the auspices of the National Ice Skating Association of Great Britain, and later organized by the Imperial Professional Skaters Association. The event moved to Jaca with the sponsorship of the International Professional Skaters Union. During the 1980s it was a prestigious event with wide television coverage in Europe. Past winners of this event include Denise Biellmann, Robert Wagenhoffer, Gary Beacom, Scott Williams, Pierre Panayi and Lorna Brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Ro View Post
    You know, by the esteemed Ms. Brennan's article, you'd think skating had been created for television and nothing else. Well, there's NO good programming on TV these days--but that's a separate argument. Skating is not dying, for crissake. By the throngs of kids at the local learn-to-skate programs and all the kids who participate at the regional and sectional competitive levels--most of whom know they are never going to make it to the Olympics but just love to skate and give it a go at competing--you'd think just the opposite. But seriously--how can figure skating compete with Honey Boo-boo for ratings? Skating isn't the problem. The judging system isn't the problem. The viewing public has become too used to vapid reality programming to the point where skating doesn't fit in anymore. For that matter, skating programming should not be dumbed-down to the average American viewer just to get ratings, either. So what if it's not on TV any more?
    It is definitely a big deal if skating is not on TV any more. Selling TV rights is a way for a sport to make money. Money is necessary to help athletes train and compete. Unless the sport wants to be just for the rich, like polo, there needs to be a source of funding. When NBC decides not to broadcast a live figure skating event (2013 Worlds) on Saturday night--when there would be no competition in terms of popular programming in the US--the sport is in trouble as something that can keep itself afloat without either athlete self-funding or private contributions. Other sports pay attention to what makes the sport more interesting to viewers (thereby increasing demand for TV programming). That is why there is instant replay in football, the designated hitter in (AL) baseball, the shot clock in basketball, etc. In fact, that is why there is no more compulsory figures event in figure skating! This doesn't have to mean "dumbing down" skating. Skating wasn't "dumb" under 6.0. It just means making it more understandable and interesting to the average viewer. I would start with getting rid of anonymous judging and posting the individual judges' scores on the screen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giselle23 View Post
    ... I would start with getting rid of anonymous judging and posting the individual judges' scores on the screen.
    Why do you think this would bring in more viewers? People are more interested in the judging than the skating?

    Its funny how anonymous those judges are--when they are introduced by name before each competition. You know who they are and can hold them accountable as a panel. Its the individual marks that are anonymous.

    I think people are barking up the wrong tree if they think that the insider/stakeholder concern about anonymous marks has anything to do with the decline in popularity in skating. The anonymity hasn't restored the lost credibility of the sport, but I doubt its a major factor even in that.

    To get more TV viewers, its going to have to be a focus on the actual skating, on the skaters as people, on things that translate well on TV. The sport is beautiful, the competitions are exciting, but something isn't translating on TV. People have suggested a lot of reasons for this that I think have merit. I think anonymous marks, while a valid concern, is the concern of highly interested fans and has little to do with bringing viewers back to the sport
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    If I understand the objections correctly, the main complaints about why fans don't connect to the skating would boil down to:

    *many programs look busy, with a multitude of steps, position changes, and contorted positions thrown in to earn points at the expense of aesthetic impact

    *everyone seems to be doing the same variations, so most programs look similar and moves that once would have stood out as original or unique are now just same old-same old, whereas some simple moves that used to be enjoyable are no longer highlighted or used at all


    These are really expansions of the same point, I think there could be changes in the requirements for the "free" program (and/or the short program) and for the way leveled elements are scored so as to encourage more originality -- including in choreographic concepts -- and more simple moves done well.

    Major changes to the above could have major impacts, both negative as well as positive. But I do think that there are some possible smaller changes to the existing system that could move the skating in the "right" direction to better please fans (and skaters and judges who value artistry) while still retaining most of the benefits of the current system.

    *the results often don't seem to match a holistic general impression of "who skated best"

    I think there would need to be a two-pronged approach to this problem.

    *Introduce some changes to the scoring rules and guidelines that would allow for more of an "overall impression" score and for errors that detract from the overall impression to have a greater impact on the final scores especially at the highest levels -- if the rewards for good stuff at those levels is high, then the penalties for bad stuff need to be commensurately high to balance appropriately

    *Do more (directly from the skating federations to the fans, and also skating federations encouraging media to take this approach) to help viewers appreciate aspects of skating technique that are important within the skating community and therefore rewarded in the judging, but that are not immediately apparent to nonskaters without someone showing them what to look for


    I also think that alternative competition formats that value other skills, outside of the standard Olympic-track disciplines, could be ways to appeal to different audience segments. It would be quicker for the ISU to introduce them from the top down and invite skaters who have already made it to the top ranks in standard competition, but in the long term I think it would be more effective if they grow from the bottom up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Ro View Post
    Tattoos, Bettie Page bangs, and hip checks into the boards!
    And don't forget Ethel Mertz...

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    As far as many of the programs having contorted movements, too many steps, etc., were the CH, PE, and IN components judged correctly, some gains made in levels would be offset by rightly lower component scores, and other skaters, who are slotted into "PCS low 5's vs. PCS mid-6's" would get what is due them. That includes getting a mark that is actually 30-40% higher for movement that is sympathetic to the music instead of where it is frenzied and the sole purpose is to rack up difficulty points.

    Right now, the surest way to increase scores apart from landing difficult jumps is the increase the levels. Skaters can't be sure that they are not only be graded with correct GOE -- ie, what's on the ice that day -- but also that the other skaters are being judged by the same criteria and scale as they. They can see this in the protocols, especially the ones whose show very few high or low GOE marks when there is a range of quality throughout the program. They can see how little range there is between component marks.

    Theoretically, CoP should show the actual distance between skaters taking many things into consideration. If that distance is .02 or 25, it's supposed to be reflected in the cumulative scores. What "ordinalizing" GOE and PCS does is flatten the actual distance between skaters, and its no wonder skaters will exploit not only the written code, but how it's applied.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Acknowledge something is wrong with ijg juding
    Find ways to fix it
    Post the ways, plans how to fix it
    Listen to public, skating fans find out why and incorporate their ideas if possible.
    Put old tapes, cds, past, pro,elible in sale.
    Go to,public find out reasons they arent buying into spirt and seroiusly take the reasons and find out if can,yse them than impkement them.
    Ijs start adding the scores from zero each time,they skate, not tpo score down pubkic diesnt kniw hogh score can get. Etc

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