I love Hersh's idea of letting the judges and referees talk and explain the results though.
I love Hersh's idea of letting the judges and referees talk and explain the results though.
Last edited by Eyre; 05-03-2013 at 08:58 PM.
Some may think the pen is mightier than the sword. But if pen is dipped in smelly ink and held by the hands of self -importance, will the pen bring upon the people goodwill or destruction?
There are plenty of people former World and Olympic champions that are questioning the results the system is producing. Especially results that have multiple falls in a program and the kind of program components certain skaters get..
I don't know why these people should be ignored and IJS treated like some sort of gospel.
Its not just the casual fans complaining. There is always going to be a lot of aspects of the sport that most wont understand in terms of edges, moves on the field. Speed etc is hard to see on tv too. The commentators need to do their best to explain this to the audience.
However, that's why I think its such an issue when skaters go out there and make multiple glaring mistakes that even the most dimwitted audience can tell, and its just pretty much ignored right now. Now I think the commentators owe it to the fans to explain one fall shouldn't ignore all of the positive aspects edges, basic skating speed etc. And I think if its explained the audience could get it.
But once we start getting into a lot of errors.. And its not just the casual fans who think its an issue.
Now personally I wouldn't do away with everything about IJS. I like the idea of certain elements being worth points and people being able to see the protocols. I think though it would help if skaters scores the public could see a quick screen shot of how the elements were scored...
However, what I don't like is the concept that the whole picture isn't taken into account. I don't think balance in terms of jumping is taken into account. Difficulty as a whole, and I certainly don't think execution is valued under this system.
I'd like to see the system evolve to where the best aspects of both systems are employed.
Last edited by bek; 05-04-2013 at 03:18 PM.
I'd like the judges evolve so they use the system as expressed in the rules, specifically in relation to PCS. If PCS were marked correctly all the rest would probably take care of itself.
End anonymous judging.
Allow judges to explain - and if needed - defend their scores; somewhere other than a "secret" conference, after the fact,
Sandra Bezic stated in a recent interview with THE SKATING LESSON, that as a commentator she was caught between getting casual viewers interested in skating as well as appealing to hardcore fans.
As an official sports reporter for a national newspaper syndicate, isn't it Hersh's responsibility to research the system he is commenting on rather than saying it is too hard to understand. If he indeed has Octavio Cinquanta on speed dial, why not get the President of the ISU to do an interview about IJS, why it was implimented, and to give a step by step breakdown so that everyone can understand why certain results happen.
Well, Cinquanta is not a figure skater or figure skating official, so he probably couldn't break down the details of why certain results came out the way they did any better than a well-informed journalist -- although he could explain the political pressures from the IOC etc.
But a trained technical specialist, controller, and referee could explain specific results, especially those on the official for the event if allowed to speak about the event they officiated. Or a member of the relevant technical committees.
Ideally, there should be experts available to explain who don't have a vested interest in specific skaters winning or in proving that certain rules or certain results are better than the alternatives. But someone who understands the existing rules inside and out, and who has been privy to discussions about why certain rules were instituted or why some other alternatives were not, could provide a lot of insight into why things worked out the way they did.
And then if it's still a controversial result, the experts or a non-biased knowledgeable journalist could mention in passing things like under 2010 or 2006 rules there would have been more points gained here or lost there. Or that there has been some talk behind the scenes about introducing new rules to deal with a recognized problem but they haven't worked out the details yet because they don't want to jump the gun and fix one problem in a way that will end up causing five new problems. Or other relevant comments to indicate awareness of unpopular effects under the current system and what issues would be involved in trying to fix them.
Cinquanta. That would be funny listening to Cinquanta explain it. I bet he doesn't know either
The arguments re how to improve the scoring system and make the sport more accessible will continue. The question is whether or not persons with the ability to effect change are actually listening.
I do admire that Phil speaks of his desire to "tell it like it is." I also appreciate and respect the fact that he loves figure skating and that he has years of knowledge and experience in covering it. He could probably write a book re all the behind-the-scenes stories he has to tell. OTOH, he could have more fully admitted that ice dancing is simply not his forte or his favorite discipline and that he thinks it kind of dances around the notion of actually being a sport. There may be some truth to that point of view, but actually exploring the whys and wherefores could make for an excellent figure skating article. It would require researching more about the history of the sport and the rise of ice dance, as well as exploring the changes ice dance has undergone over the years. It's part of the sport vs art debate that's seems to be ubiquitous in figure skating.
Personally, I don't have complaints about Phil's tendency to focus on the sport's many problems. I agree with a lot of what he says, but I think he could be less harsh in his language and criticisms of individual skaters in particular. And although I respect his journalistic acumen and his years of knowledge and access to the sport of figure skating, I think Phil (and many people, including Cinquanta) could benefit from immersing themselves more in studying figure skating's past. An excellent book I would recommend, published in 1938, is Maribel Y Vinson's (she wasn't married then): Primer of Figure Skating. Of course, it is out-of-print, but anyone who loves figure skating could really enhance their technical knowledge by finding and reading a copy of this book (no matter how old it is, the book provides excellent basic instructional tips and a solid understanding of how important a well-practiced technical foundation is to being a good skater).
In fact, Maribel Vinson's own life story is an education in itself and again she's an excellent model of research for Phil, especially since she served for a time as the first female sportswriter for The New York Times. Indeed, the tragic loss of Maribel Vinson Owen (and others) in the Sabena airlines crash has so many implications for how the sport did and did not develop after the 1960s. Just as Dick Button is the dean of figure skating broadcasting and event organizing, Maribel Vinson Owen is the dean of U.S. figure skating coaches, and she could have been the one person who might have been able to help grow and improve the modern-day media's figure skating sports coverage. Perhaps she especially might have been helpful in spearheading a revolution to avoid hype, simplistic summaries, and the tendency to approach figure skating in the same way as other sports. Another good book to check out: Figure Skating: A History, by James R. Hines.
Cool of Phil to acknowledge the help and graciousness of Scott H and Brian B re his early days of covering the sport and trying to learn all he could about the ins and outs. Ultimately, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but let's appreciate that old dog for it's loyalty and it's good qualities, and let's encourage more companionship and beneficial interaction. As Phil mentions, there are fewer people covering the sport now in the print media, and no one coming up to take their places. Part of that has to do with the dying of print media in addition to the dying wider-spread popularity of figure skating. In the coming absence of Phil, Christine and other fs sportswriters, it seems as if manleywoman, Dave and Jenny, Tony Wheeler, Susan Chun of Lifeskate, DP's Goldenskate, and other fs fans, some whom are members of FSU, are the ones filling the void and broadening online coverage. If we don't do it ourselves, I suppose we can't expect someone else to do it the way we would like them to.
BTW, I don't think Phil necessarily is contradicting himself re his mention of ice dancing having been egregiously prejudged for many years, and his mention of the Shibs suddenly being out of favor. Maybe it escapes Phil or he's overlooking the fact that the Shibs have been the focus of a lot of backlash for lucking into winning World bronze a few seasons ago when the French team faltered.
I totally agree with Phil if he's trying to point out that the Shibs are kinda unfairly being looked down upon/ marked down recently. Some of it isn't fair, but they definitely have experienced some growing pains in terms of their on-ice identity and artistic development over the last two seasons in addition to the bronze medal win backlash. In light of their difficulties, Maia and Alex are weathering the storm and I hope they are able to pull some magic out of the hat in upcoming seasons, particularly with Chock/ Bates coming on strong as a top team under Shpilband (post Shpilband-Zueva break-up).
Last edited by aftershocks; 05-05-2013 at 12:56 AM.
If you're going to discuss the Shibutani's you have mention that their technical merit has declined a lot. What happened to the all level 4 team that was at Moscow! In Nice Alex didn't even do a twizzle! So you have mention that. There was no effort to get rid of the Shibutani's they went way downhill in technical merit! Even in 2013 in London what happened to them there? Free dance level 2 everywhere. So you can have all different types of results in ice dance that is skater performance based. It's not like their PCS went into a huge hole with them still doing all level 4 elements! There was no twizzle in NIce and there were tons of level 2's in London! Maybe this level 2 step sequence thing is a part of the IJS problem because what is involved in getting a level 2 step sequence. Like Alex's total lack of twizzling in Nice was obvious to see to everyone!! Just no twizzling going on there! And there was no reason to act like ice dance was corrupt in Nice because V/M won over D/W like hersh did! It wasn't being snarky it was explicit in its "ice dance nonsense scoring!"
Good to hear a Plushenko reference in relation to skaters who actually won titles skating well!! LOL!! IJS does involved lots and lots of skate wins and performances that are messy and clean ones with great technical merit are rare. You can have a win be based on a clean skate with a real lack of technical merit 2010 mens Olympics and 2012 ladies worlds.
Totally agree in every way about SS being affected by falls! Not being on your "ass"! LOL. Good to heart that mentioned!
I also agree that too much time is spent on the "75 turns" of a step sequence! That was a great quote and so true and it is so true that the great thing about 6.0 step sequences could be the speed! And actual serpentine or straigt or circular patterns. Now every single step sequence looks alike really.
Last edited by caseyedwards; 05-04-2013 at 10:46 PM.
Yes you're probably right, it is vague, and honestly I'm too lazy to go look up the exact criteria. I do know there's been endless FSU discussion about what criteria the judges are supposed to look at for each component, and that Patrick still getting high P/E marks with a 3 fall LP seems ludicrous, and the endless discussions of skaters getting 7's in SS, and then 7's in transitions also when they had none at all, and the judges so-called marking corridor so they don't called out if their marks are too different from everyone else. Heck Even Joe Inman sending that email before the last Olys implied transitions weren't being judged properly. Everything I've read has led me to believe the judges give component marks in a blind rush at the end of a skate that they've not been able to watch as a whole, and that they aim to stay in the corridor, and that they are as influenced by skate order, and reputation as ever they were. Just saying, in an ideal world, it would be nice if they had the time and inclination to really study the criteria, and then the time and inclination to really apply them. I think in an ideal world there'd be a separate panel for components. Five judges for tech, and five for PCS. Each group of judges would then have the time to focus on what they were judging. Let's hope they would also have the inclination to judge what they see and not be influenced by skate order and/or reputation. Same applies to GOE's. In an ideal world.
Yes, it seems that the scoring system has numerous major flaws since so many people complain about almost everything.I do know there's been endless FSU discussion about what criteria the judges are supposed to look at for each component, and that Patrick still getting high P/E marks with a 3 fall LP seems ludicrous, and the endless discussions of skaters getting 7's in SS, and then 7's in transitions also when they had none at all, and the judges so-called marking corridor so they don't called out if their marks are too different from everyone else.
You would think some people have split personality, they are mature and civil under their reals names but start acting like a bunch of kids with no manners when they use fake names.
manleywoman, as always - thanks to you and Fiona.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
Great interview, though I don't know why Hersh is under the impression everyone thinks he is too "critical". I don't think he is nearly critical enough. I would love him to talk to a few people about why Chan deserves/doesn't deserve his medal. Direct quotes, from knowledgable sources, no assumptions, preferably a quote from Cinquanta himself.
Although these days, in his position, there is simply no way to really cover anything in depth. The rift between Zueva and Shpilband, Chan and Krall are still mysteries.
I love his idea of having judges talk about their reasoning behind scoring (a la "interviewing the officials" in other sports). It'll never happen, but it would be really interesting.
BARK LESS. WAG MORE.