Well, at least we have you gkelly to bust through all the generalized proclamations, and to get at the heart of our individualized self-important idiotic ways of thinking, if not exactly to precisely fix what's wrong with figure skating.
Have you ever thought of becoming a trivia question writer on Jeopardy?
My above comment and question are meant with all due respect to your knowledge and positive intentions and desire to educate us and to make us truly reflect on the underlying implications of generalizing too much about the intricacies of the sport's symbolic and very real problematics. Perhaps you can forgive me and others for being so sullen and disrespectful and riding our own pretentious high horses, much less having the effrontery to offer thoughtless uselessly idealistic escapist throwaway solutions, or not providing any solutions at all. This whole conundrum is such a maze really, even that intelligent mice can't hope to escape.
Seriously, once anyone realizes that something isn't working, why keep forcing it on yourself and other people? Your questions gkelly, seem designed to prop-up the importance of maintaining the status quo.
It's really way too late to try being reasonable and logical about the difficulty/ impossibility of fixing the mess, gkelly. The baby has long since been thrown out with the bath water after all. Where were you when Cinquanta and the ISU were f'ing things up in the first place?
As usual, figure skating will change for the better or it won't. How, when, why, and if that ever happens or not won't stop fans from making what you feel are generalized proclamations.
What I'm arguing against is blindly throwing out the status quo without suggesting a viable alternative.
I think we can all critique specific rules and specific results and try to brainstorm solutions within the existing system. I think that if any people with actual decision-making powers are reading, practical suggestions that could be implemented next year would have more chance of being adopted than starting from scratch.
But if we do think the current system is irredeemable and it's necessary to throw it out and start from scratch, I think we need a big-picture understanding of what a good system for evaluating skating should aim to achieve and practicable suggestions for how to achieve that.
Over the years I have posted many suggested changes to the existing system -- and some of the smaller ones have actually been adopted. Nice to know that some decisionmakers were actually thinking along the same lines.
I've also posted proposals for hypothetical alternative systems. I would be much more surprised to see any of them actually adopted because throwing out a whole system and starting from scratch is such a huge step. And look how resistant people have been to the last time that happened.
Even if you and I and the ISU agreed that a completely new and different system would be better than 6.0 or IJS, and it was put into practice, I guarantee that it would not work perfectly every time, especially at first, and that there would be complaints and calls from some to go back to IJS, from others to go back to 6.0.
But I can come up with many different alternative approaches, some that I like better than IJS or 6.0 and some that I like worse. Which ones I'd recommend depend on what the goal of the system is.
A system that best serves the needs of casual fans and would therefore bring in the most outside interest and outside money would likely be different from a system that serves the needs of knowledgeable fans, which might be different from what best serves the needs of elite skaters, or all competitive skaters, or athletically inclined skaters, or technically inclined skaters, or artistically inclined skaters, or large federations, or small federations, etc. So before we design a new system, first we'd need to decide which needs we're trying to serve.
Just declaring that the current system doesn't work, without defining what "working" would entail, isn't going to get anyone any closer to a better system.
So I'd rather see more analysis and brainstorming about productive ways to change the status quo, and less generalized complaining.
Well, gkelly, I doubt ISU is seriously looking to FSU for suggestions/ solutions to implement.
In any case, I don't see most people here saying "throw everything out" -- ISU is the one who already did that lock stock and barrel, and the scoring system and the sport are suffering as a direct result. I think TPTB need to think differently and to seriously examine the mess they've gotten the sport into, and also to reach out more to fans with more goodwill and with genuine proclamations that they are interested in effecting positive change instead of hiding behind the status quo. If they were actually interested in productive change that would benefit the skaters, if they actually did give a rat's a** about figure skating fans, there might be fewer fans haranguing and complaining and creating worthless polls about IJS.
Lots of posters offer genuine ideas for solutions and thoughts about what is wrong. Sometimes people in the sport may get ideas from reading productive comments in forums, but IMHO, the ISU does not care what fans think. In any case, we've been told more than once here that the ISU isn't responsible for effecting change. Certainly with the same person at the helm of ISU for this many years, there's no room for fresh ideas and progressive movement. Change if it comes will be from the bottom up.
Jeez re your wanting to see "less generalized complaining." Are you running a figure skating fan board meeting?
Why not go back through all the many threads that have been on FSU recently and in the past regarding the scoring system. I'm sure you will find lots of informed analysis and constructive ideas and suggestions being imparted amidst the generalized snarking, b**ching and complaining.
For myself, I watch other sports that I don't have much knowledge of about how it is scored and at the end of the day I particularly don't care how the result is obtained or who is the champion. I watch it because I enjoy it. This includes judged sports such as diving, gymnastics, rythmic gymnastics. I only have knowledge about figure skating because I am very involved in the sport. But I think even if I was a casual fan of skating, at the end of the day I probably wouldn't give a rats about the result at the end of the day. The thing that is going to stick out in my mind are the programs I like. Even before I started skating myself and got myself very deep in judging and administration, that is how I viewed it.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
For many this just means no falling. For others a fall-less program can still have flaws.
Does it mean no doubling or leaving out a 2nd jump?
Does it mean no deducted levels or negative GOEs?
Does it mean a program with good transitions - because some would see a program with less than adequate transitions to be flawed.
If someone has a slight bobble - does that take away the flawlessness?
If the program is far superior to another skate in that competition but the skater touches their hand down after a jump - should the "flawless" inferior program win?
Should less than inspired choreography be considered flawed?
Can someone with a bad leg wrap skate a flawless program?
If someone lands all of their jumps and completes all their elements and makes no "mistakes" but does not connect in any way with the audience - is their program flawless?
What about someone who skates their very best and nails all the elements but skates very slowly with shallow edges?
These are just some of the questions that have to be considered. It is not so black and white as you would suggest.
I voted no. For starters, P J Kwong is pretty much never right, so that was easy.
I think it is fair to say that the judges (and certainly the skater) should not be blamed for a particular result when all they did was follow and apply the rules as written. That does not mean that there is nothing wrong with the rules.
All that BS about unwillingness to accept change is just a smoke screen to avoid the hard questions. As mentioned upthread, the conversation doesn't need to be about dumping the new judging system, it can also be about making changes within its framework to make the sport more appealing and more comprehensible to audiences. The ISU technical committee itself has seen this deterioration of the artistic aspects of the sport and has already made some changes to try to steer choreography back in a better balanced direction. (For example, elimination of levels for the ladies spiral seq and second men's fw seq was a response to the visual clutter and ugly positions skaters were using in quest for higher levels.)
IMO, I think it highly likely we will also see them move on the question of Program Components and find a way to tell judges to make sure they are giving marks based on the totality of the program and not looking at components in isolation. Sandra Bezic recently used the "missing the forest for the trees" analogy and I think that is pretty apt.
So, no Kwong is not right to think the only problem is people not understanding the rules. There are still problems in the rules themselves.
That said, I don't think a return to 6.0 or dumbing down the requirements is the answer, but I do feel that the system has become too constraining, and perhaps some things should be reconsidered. Maybe dropping spin and step levels, for instance - choreographic step sequences don't seem to have led to a drop in quality, and scoring other elements based on quality and execution rather than level features might allow for more variety and originality.
In London 2012 my favorite was Mustafina, but she did mistakes and Gaby Douglas won. Great!!!
Last edited by lala; 05-06-2013 at 08:43 PM.
I'm not saying that IJS is perfect. It does need some changes and tweaks. But changing IJS has been used by many to try to make the kind of skaters they would like to win.
Wait till after Sochi when Plushenko retires, big change might come.
The problem is that the general public is not going to see or understand edges and skating quality, which count significantly towards the score (and should.) This is anecdotal, but I can be at a public session and a beginner skater will beg me to do a "trick", so maybe I will do a power pull into a rocker-rocker and they ask me to do something "harder" like a "triple axel" or "iron lotus." The non-skating public wants to see triple jumps landed perfectly with no falls and I honestly think nothing will ever change that. It's all about the visuals for them and the same reason figures were cancelled. I can't even see edges on TV and I'm a skater myself. Is this the fault of the commentators or the skating federations to not educate the public? Not sure. That being said I think IJS is a huge improvement over 6.0 even if I don't understand everything.
People favor more on visual effects, such as cleanness and better upper body movements. Therefore, conflicts between casual fans and the experts are sometimes inevitable. It seems to me, the only resolution is that if casual fans cannot bring themselves closer to the expert level of understanding the system, they should just learn to accept it and ignore the results. In the meantime, enjoy the skaters you love regardless the placements.
Last edited by Eyre; 05-06-2013 at 04:48 PM.
Even at a more realistic level, a layperson might be more impressed by a mediocre single axel than by a rocker-rocker, but the latter is certainly a higher level skill.
Which means it would be helpful if there were some means -- especially on television -- to help viewers recognize and appreciate those skating skills that happen primarily from the blade down but that are fundamental to what makes figure skating figure skating (as opposed to, say, gymnastics or dance).
Both, I would say. The ISU and the national federations could make written materials and videos available directly to the public -- some free online or free handouts at competitions, others available for sale at reasonable prices. And make information directly available to journalists and to broadcast networks.Is this the fault of the commentators or the skating federations to not educate the public? Not sure.
Then it would be up to the networks to pass along that information in a format that enhances their broadcast and engages the viewers. They could also produce educational materials of their own, initiated by their expert commentators and consultants.
I think the most important thing is for the federations to invite the fans into the process rather than holding them at arms length and assuming they all want to remain ignorant and just buy expensive tickets to see pretty skating.
And for the media to frame their coverage with a basic respect for the evaluation process and respect for fans' ability to understand it, rather than setting them up as in opposition to each other, e.g., a skaters-vs.-judges conflict with judges as the bad guys and fans on the side of the skaters who "should" win but often don't.
The MAIN PROBLEM with COP is that the judging is inconsistent on things like <, <<, levels on spins and footwork and deduction on fall and/or what constitute a 'fall'. Bigger problem is the PCS part of COP. Sure i mean the judges give score from 1 to 10, but the rules doesn't really say what is 1, what is 2, etc. Its pretty much on all relative and comparing a skater A against skater B. Meaning skater A will always score higher PCS mark regardless of how he/she performs in actual competition, and skater B will be always marked less.
Last edited by karlon; 05-06-2013 at 07:27 PM.