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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by equatorial View Post
    Did Hoffmann ever represent Esta Germany as a judge? What Cold War was there in 1994? Why would China side with the "Eastern bloc"?
    I don't know when Hoffmann first started judging.

    The Eastern bloc versus the Western Bloc in terms of ISU politics did not end with the demise of the soviet union. Its vestiges continue to this day.

    Why would China side with the "Eastern bloc"?
    Well...they did.

  2. #102
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    It seems to me that bridging the gap between 6.0 and the current system is simple - each judge awards two marks of 0.0-10.0 (now that figures are gone, 6.0 is an anachronism); in each set, throw out the high and the low, and add up the remaining 14 numbers.

    One problem with the old system is, nobody even bothered to explain it. When there was a flip-flop, it was usually explained with a term like "in the crazy world of figure skating scoring." I actually shelled out for a USFSA rulebook back in 1992 just to find out how ordinals were calculated (nowadays, it would be a free download from ISU). It was as if casual fans were treated with a pat on the head and "Don't worry your pretty little heads about the scoring; just watch the skating and we'll look behind the curtain and tell you who's in what place." (Of course, it was impossible for the fans to figure it out on their own (except for pairs) before, what, 1983, when, rather than scoring each segment separately, a judge's ordinal for a skater would be based on the combined scores for that skater, so we would have to know the scores for every skater on every compulsory figure.)

    Then again, I don't remember fans turning away in droves from women's gymnastics after FIG got rid of the "perfect 10" system...

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Would the ISU be better off using a scoring system that helps casual audiences have fun or one that helps skaters understand where they're being rewarded and penalized?
    One that helps skaters understand where they are being rewarded and penalized.

    It's just this. Every time an article like this appears saying that casual fans don't like the CoP, the Internet explodes with a thousand reasons why they should.

    But they don't.

    Seriously. They don't. There is no reason to kill the messengers, like Christine Brennan.

    Is there any way to do both at the same time?
    I don't think so. It's not the details that are different, it is the whole concept.

    By the way, do you agree that, in the World Championships just concluded, Kim Yu-na's 6.0 style program was far and away the star of the show and in fact, saved the event pretty much single-handedly?

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I think casual viewers who only watch during the Olympics would be better serviced if television stations would tell the viewers (before the routine and during the Kiss and Cry) a skater's base value for TES and the average PCS they had been scoring for that routine all season. Just giving a viewer a reference point to compare their score to would go a long way to engage viewers. They should also remind viewers how much mistakes such as popping and underrotations and falls actually count rather than give vague "oh, that looks underrotated...he'll be hurt there." NBC should also stop simply putting PCS as one score and give the breakdown just like almost every other television company in the world.
    It would also help if they could get a commentator who knew what the hell he was talking about (I'm looking at you, Peter). During the ladies event he was raving about a skater's lutz (Murikami's?) and saying how awesome it was and how it was just like Yu-Na's blah blah blah. Then they showed Yu-Na's in slow motion, clearly a lutz, and the other girl's in slow motion, clearly a flutz, and Peter never acknowledged the flaw nor the fact that the flutz would get a lot less points than Yu-Na's lutz.

    Stuff like this is what leaves the casual fan all .

    ETA - I watched a gymnastics event on tv recently. I am a very casual fan of the sport - in fact, I found the event because I was channel surfing. The announcers did an excellent job of explaining some of the faults and flaws, and the differences in technique and how they effected scoring. I was impressed and remember thinking at the time that US skating announcers should take a page from their book.

  5. #105

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    I'm surprised that you found them to be informative. NBC's broadcasts of gymnastics is considered to be absolutely horrific by gymnastics fans. In fact, they prefer figure skating commentary from what I've found.

    Also, gymnastics fans have been very turned off by the way the code has changed their sport, and many prefer to watch NCAA. The artistry and attention to flow and lines and basics is certainly dying in that sport despite high difficulty. It may be more precise, but it's not as fun to watch. There's something to be said about presentation. Back then, the gymnasts just presented their skills that just impressed those in attendance (you'd hear gasps). Now, someone can do an insane skill but it's just not the same because the gymnasts are not taught how to present anything and they are simply too busy to.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Thank you for this! I keep reading comments about how the IJS has done wonders for ice dance, and I strongly disagree - often I feel like I'm watching acrobatic speed skating and not ice dance. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who was unhappy with what ice dance looks like these days...

    Also, bring back the CDs
    Amen. Dance used to be my favorite discipline behind men -- the best skaters, the best artists and really original material in the only discipline where the skating had to be fully intertwined with the music. No one stopped to spins, the lady did the twizzles as they fit with the music, lifts were meant to accent the music, and speed and depth of edges and partnering skills (at that speed) were what set the teams apart. Now it's all about who can do the most gymnastic entry into a curve lift, who can twizzle 50 times in a row as fast as possible in unison (don't forget with a crazy blade grabbing position!) and who can pretzel tighter in a "dance spin." I'm still WTF over a "dance spin" - something that was non-existent until the ISU mandated them in 1999. Leave the pair spinning to the pairs.

    I literally can't watch dance any longer. I mean, in 2002 I sat through every compulsory dance at Europeans in Lausanne - that was back when there were still 2 compulsories and it went on all day for like 7-8 hours. In Zagreb this year, I went sightseeing during the short dance and went to see the Zagreb Symphony during the free dance.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I've been a skating fan for a long time and I find the argument that COP is killing off the casual fan population to be baffling.

    Why would the scoring system do that?

    Under 6.0:

    Casual fans did not understand the scoring system.

    Skaters who didn't fall lost to skaters who did.

    Controversies over results were rampant.

    Everyone believed the judging was corrupt.


    And this was the system people were supposed to prefer??????

    For years, there were demands that skating clean up its act, fix the judging (or just die, as judged sports aren't real sports, anyway), and make it easier for fans to understand the system, and every time they did something to diddle with 6.0, it got even more confusing. I got 6.0; I never did understand OBO.

    And yet, people preferred it that way? Really? Why? Because they liked the drama of it all?

    There is no television coverage this year; without it, skating is dead. Casual fans by definition are not going to go online looking for links to TV coverage from other countries. They aren't even going to know Worlds is going on; they never did. They would stumble across it on the weekends while flipping channels. There is no place for them to come back to. And isn't the lack of skating on television in the US the result of some kind of contract issue?
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    There's a lot of research that shows that human memory reconfigures the past rather than recording it. Its remarkable what people "remember" about skating under the old judging system. Someone should do some research so we don't have to rely on memory--maybe its my memory that is faulty but I think it would turn up almost constant complaints about the judging being corrupt (find some old US broadcasts from the 1980s with Dick Button raving on and on about the block judging in favor of Soviet skaters).

    The ranting and raving about every result that was disagreed with by enough people is what ended up with SLC and that insanity. And the new judging system. But figure skating keeps taking hits every time people scream about a result as if it were not just what is inevitably going to happen in a subjectively judged sport but an injustice that deserves world wide concern.

    IF people want to promote the sport and have it be more popular in the US and any other countries where it may not be as popular as people wish, celebrate the sport! Worlds was a magnificent display of figure skating and ice dance! Tearing the sport down is hardly going to bring it up. And it will do the skaters no good to be convinced its not their skating that determines their placements. Then they don't improve their skating they end up bitter and sad.

    Chan won. Sure its arguable. Judging is subjective. Let's not take the whole sport down again.

    If people saw skating on TV and weren't taken with it, its because they just aren't into it! People in the skating world need to stop tearing their hair out over this. Celebrate the sport, spread the joy of watching. That's the only way to generate interest.

    Sour grapes and ramped up screaming controversy might get people to read your articles but they don't promote the sport.

    Using both to springboard.........how soon we forget. I'm going to use G&P, icedancers, as an example. We loved to hate them in NA. They fell, they were boring, they had an attitude, you name it they had something we hated.

    But think if they skating now, how we'd view them under COP. They were fast, precise, excellent timing, and they lost points for x,y and z, but still won. Deservedly so.

    I lament the fact that under the old 6.0 skaters like the above were vilified. There was no good reason for it except that we could not figure out what the judges were marking. Now we could. And I was never a G&P fan, altho I could recognize their skill. How nice it would be for *them* to get the recognition that they probably deserved in the skating fandom world. The old system certainly rewarded them, but the cost was high. Now under the new COP system, we might rail at the marks like we do now, but at least we do have a chance at understanding why someone wins. We might not like it, might not like their skating style, but now they do at least get some semblance of respect. Bring on COP, keep the old 6.0.

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
    It seems to me that bridging the gap between 6.0 and the current system is simple - each judge awards two marks of 0.0-10.0 (now that figures are gone, 6.0 is an anachronism); in each set, throw out the high and the low, and add up the remaining 14 numbers.
    This would certainly make it simple to explain what happens to the numbers. Some pro competitions used exactly this procedure.

    In the late 90s, before IJS was on the horizon, as a thought experiment I tried to analyze what would happen if 6.0-style scores were added up instead of using ordinals.

    What I figured out was that if judges gave scores exactly the way they had been, including the tiebreakers, and then the high and low technical scores were dropped and the high and low presentation scores were dropped, in close contests it was possible to get a result that disagreed with the rankings of a unanimous panel! That to me was a deal-breaker for that kind of number crunching. In those cases it would be more accurate not to drop the high and low scores.

    If we gave the judges ways to come up with meaningful technical scores and meaningful presentation scores each on a separate scale and not used to balance each other out, so that judges were not ranking skaters but scoring their technical content and scoring their presentation, then it might make sense to add up the scores.

    Essentially that's what the TES and PCS do, in much finer detail.

    So as a compromise maybe we could have a single score for technical elements, one for basic skating quality, and one for artistic impression, and add them up. Or break some of those down a little further, e.g., one score for jumps, another for spins, etc.

    I definitely agree with you about the media's inability or unwillingness to explain ordinals either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    One that helps skaters understand where they are being rewarded and penalized.

    It's just this. Every time an article like this appears saying that casual fans don't like the CoP, the Internet explodes with a thousand reasons why they should.

    But they don't.

    Seriously. They don't. There is no reason to kill the messengers, like Christine Brennan.
    So either the ISU needs to decide that they're not interested in catering to fans, or they need to find ways to make a skater-centric system friendlier to fans. But a fan-centric system is not going to work for the sport as sport.

    Maybe something like replacing the exhibition with a fans'-choice competition after the technical event would allow fans to engage with the results of an event featuring their favorite skaters who qualified through the technical. With real official medals to make it meaningful as a performance contests. Probably wouldn't be accepted by the IOC. And which fans are able to vote on the results (the location of the event, or which locations have access to live coverage) would significantly bias the results.

    By the way, do you agree that, in the World Championships just concluded, Kim Yu-na's 6.0 style program was far and away the star of the show and in fact, saved the event pretty much single-handedly?
    I was not able to watch the ladies' programs straight through and still haven't seen all of them, so I'm not in a position to answer that question.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    Yet another from Christine Brennan. She's doesn't she ever get tired of writing the same type of drivel. I mean, does she really believe this?
    Why: she gets paid multiple times for the same riff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post

    If Christine Brennan really loves figure skating, maybe putting all the emphasis on one judging decision she doesn't agree with is not the best approach to help the sport's popularity.

    What about the astonishing number of fantastic young talents from the USA, Russia, China, Canada, Ukraine and even Slovakia in the women's event? Has there ever been such a wealth of 16-17-year olds from so many countries? What about the Olympic champion coming back after a break and giving one of the best technical performances in memory? What about milking the rivalry between the three world champions on the ladies' podium and the Olympic gold and silver medalists on the dance podium? What about the fact that in the men's category two countries won medals for the first time in history? What about Volosozhar/Trankov - I mean, maybe they won't sell papers in the US but does figure skating get any better?
    Then she'd have to write another article.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Because none of them had to answer for anything! Even judges who were blatantly caught cheating would quietly go away for a couple of years and then come back--and the all-important casual fans knew nothing about about it because they were casual fans and didn't know the judges!
    There was a fluff piece investigative report after the pairs scandal -- not sure if it was on CBC or US TV -- in which many of the judges gave a few sentences about why they voted the way they did.

    In one of her books, Brennan made a big deal about the brave Czech judge who refused to bow to pressure and award the Euro title to a Russian skater over Curry. I think it was in The Second Mark that he was quoted or paraphrased as having said that he didn't vote for the Russian skater for fear of going out of the corridor, because he couldn't believe the rest of the panel wouldn't have placed Curry first, and knew he was doomed when he saw the scores and found to his astonishment that four "Eastern-friendly" judges did. That was a rare, public time a judge that there were clear ramifications for a judge, but he was punished by his federation. (Flipping that, The Second Mark made Lavoie look heroic, when in PJ Kwong's book, Lavoie wrote the letter to te ISU and faced sanctions because the Swiss judge who heard Legounge say she had already promised her vote for B/S in Fall 2001 was about to come forward.)

    I lost the post about not accepting new stars, but it's the same in dance and opera in my experience, an almost palpable resentment that someone new is on the scene. It's exascerbated in ballet because there's a hierarchy and lots of, "(wuzrobbed) I'm seeing the "B" (or "C") cast because she's a corps member or soloist, not at the top rank" when they're seeing the young Kistler or Obraztsova.
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 03-18-2013 at 07:05 PM.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  10. #110

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    One of my best memories growing up was watching skating on a Sunday afternoon on Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay and Dick Button. I remember watching dance and pairs on Saturday afternoon and the ladies skating live Saturday night and then the men skating live on Sunday. As a kid I didn't care about the scores, I just watched the beautiful skating - Jill, Tiffany, Elaine, Debbie, Todd, Christopher, Scott, Mark, Paul and Brian - such lasting memories - a whole generation will never experience this.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post


    Well...they did.
    The Chinese judge gave the 1st place ordinal to Baiul, there is zero evidence that it was an instance of bloc judging.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    So either the ISU needs to decide that they're not interested in catering to fans, or they need to find ways to make a skater-centric system friendlier to fans. But a fan-centric system is not going to work for the sport as sport.
    I think they have already decided. Cinquanta has been quoted as saying that he is sorry that fans don't like the scoring system, but he has a sport to run.

    I am not as grumpy on this issue as I sound. I do not think that the IJS is a major reason for the decline of popularity of skating as a spectator sport in the U.S. I don't think the Salt Lake City controversy or the lack of a U.S. lady superstar is, either.

    I do think that the IJS is a mild hindrance to marketing the sport.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I'm surprised that you found them to be informative. NBC's broadcasts of gymnastics is considered to be absolutely horrific by gymnastics fans. In fact, they prefer figure skating commentary from what I've found.
    It wasn't on NBC - it was on one of those sports channels that I have buried at the back end of my Direct TV listings. Couldn't tell you what channel, or even what competition, except that it was last month and it was international. I only caught the last 45 minutes or so.

  14. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    It wasn't on NBC - it was on one of those sports channels that I have buried at the back end of my Direct TV listings. Couldn't tell you what channel, or even what competition, except that it was last month and it was international. I only caught the last 45 minutes or so.
    Oh that explains it.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by munow View Post
    That is no one else's fault but yours.
    I don't think you understood what Taso meant.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by equatorial View Post
    The Chinese judge gave the 1st place ordinal to Baiul, there is zero evidence that it was an instance of bloc judging.
    I am not sure exactly what you would accept as "evidence." There have been quite a few statistical studies of which countries have tended to vote in synch in different eras. But certainly (if my poor old memory serves ) in this case the pre-Olympic buzz was that "everybody knew" that there was a four-four division in the panel, with Hoffmann holding the swing vote.

    That is why all the attention afterword focused on Hoffmann's vote, even though he was only one of five who voted for Baiul.

    The same thing happened in the pairs event in Salt Lake City. It was well recognized going in that there were four B&S judges (Russia, China, Ukraine, and Poland) and four S&P judges (USA, Canada, Germany, and Japan). That put the spotlight on the French judge.

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    6.0 draws the audience in. CoP shuts them out.

    When you see a row of marks like 1211314 you know exactly what it means. It means the Slovakian judge thought my skater was best, the Chinese judge thought my skater was second best, and so on. Then you get the satisfaction of yelling at the TV, what is that Swedish judge smoking -- how dare he put my girl way down in fourth place!

    Under CoP, the score comes up 149.62. We don't know how that score is arrived at, but we are assured that if you calmly go to the protocols then you will see that she got -.7 GOE for an e call, etc., and if you get out your calculator you can see how it all adds up.

    What's the fun of that?
    But the casual fans will never go to the ISU website to look at the score sheets. Maybe they need to show the score sheets as the score comes up on tv so people can understand what is going on.

  18. #118
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    I'm curious how many folks who are baseball fans here don't ever look at the box scores?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    (raises hand) Me. I only look if I missed the game and want a breakdown of what happened.
    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 overedge View Post
    (raises hand) Me. I only look if I missed the game and want a breakdown of what happened.
    Do you think they are either too difficult to understand and/or unnecessary to appreciating the game?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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