View Poll Results: What would it mean to score PCS correctly?

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  • Some judges do it right, too many do it wrong

    38 43.18%
  • No one official does it right, but it can be done.

    9 10.23%
  • The rules need to be written better.

    23 26.14%
  • Can't be done right, so don't do it at all.

    2 2.27%
  • Can't be done right, so just use one number.

    3 3.41%
  • Right vs. wrong is meaningless -- but there is better vs. worse

    13 14.77%
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  1. #1

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    PCS used correctly

    So often we see posts stating the program component scores are not being used correctly. What does this mean? What would correct scoring look like?

    *There is a correct way to use these scores under the current rules. Some judges do it right (examples, please?), but too much of the time too many judges do not use this correct approach.

    *There is a correct way to use these scores under the current rules, but I have never seen any official judge do it right. Let me show you how it should be done.

    *The problem is more with the way the rules are written, and the judges are just doing what the rules tell them to do. We need better rules. (Example, please?)

    *Everything that's scored under the program components is subjective anyway, so there can't be any "right" way to score them. Skating should just make all these things extraneous to the results and score objectively on technical merit only.

    *Everything that's scored under the program components is subjective anyway, so why not just wrap it all up in one mark like the Presentation score under 6.0 and stop pretending that it can really be quantified?

    *Everything that's scored under the program components is at least somewhat subjective, so it doesn't make sense to talk about correct vs. incorrect scoring of these qualities. At best, it only makes sense to talk about better vs. worse. Here's an example of better.


    Looking forward to discussion and examples...

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    .*Everything that's scored under the program components is subjective anyway, so why not just wrap it all up in one mark like the Presentation score under 6.0 and stop pretending that it can really be quantified
    This sums it up nicely

  3. #3
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    Wrapping it up and basically resurrecting "artistic mark" does not make sense in the new judging system. Program components integrate two very distinct categories, namely technical qualities aka SS/TR and "artistic (or presentation)" qualities aka CH/PE/IN.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by munow View Post
    Wrapping it up and basically resurrecting "artistic mark" does not make sense in the new judging system. Program components integrate two very distinct categories, namely technical qualities aka SS/TR and "artistic (or presentation)" qualities aka CH/PE/IN.
    The answer is to scrap COP/IJS altogether and revert back to the 6.O system.

  5. #5
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    No thank you.

  6. #6
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    I agree that i think judges have 2 component marks instead of 5. They combine SS/TR and they combine PE/CH/IN together. I think the rules need to be written clearer so that judges can understand the differences in the 5 components.

  7. #7
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    Aren't judges forced to keep their marks for PE, SS, CH, IN, TR with little variation? If so, I think it would be simple to keep the current breakdown, but allow judges to fluctuate as wildly as they see fit between PCS marks.

    Some skaters perform robotically but do great elements and skate cleanly. In this case the PE, SS and maybe TR (if there all there) could be around 7-8, but the CH and IN marks could be dropped to like 4-5. I also think telegraphing for jumps and spins should obviously deflate the TR mark independently of everything else. On the flip side, skaters have messy landings but all the in-betweens are there, the audience can tell the skater understands the music, so the flip would be true - low PE and SS scores, high CH and IN scores. I think there are 'fuzzy areas', like when a skater has great natural edging and speed along with good posture, yet is messy on the elements at a particular competition (Kostner on a bad day). What do you do with the SS mark, split the difference and give them a 5-6? Being able to land jumps cleanly to me would be part of superior SS (along with PE)

  8. #8
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    My take is this. They have had over 10 years to do it correctly. They havent done it.
    So why believe they would now and more important, why would they want to.
    They dont own up to past mistakes under figures, 6.0 and now ijs.
    They would have to admit they , was, are wrong.
    They cant do it.

  9. #9
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    PCS isn't done correctly at all. They are generally a good reflection, but the five categories are meaningless because judges give similar scores across the board anyway. Skaters who would get high PCS also got high presentation scores under 6.0, or would have. It seems very similar.

    A glaring example of PCS done wrong is the 2006 U.S. Nationals Ladies SP. For 2-5, the PCS ranking should have been Liang, Hughes, Czisny, then Meissner based on what is accurate. However, the PCS scores were given solely on reputation - it was Czisny, Meissner, Hughes, then Liang. For those of you who watched all these skates, does it make any sense?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by shady82 View Post
    A glaring example of PCS done wrong is the 2006 U.S. Nationals Ladies SP. For 2-5, the PCS ranking should have been Liang, Hughes, Czisny, then Meissner based on what is accurate.
    How does one define "what is accurate"? I.e., what are the correct criteria?

  11. #11
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    1. The way program components are described now is not well written. Too vague and basically impossible to quantify. The way they are written practically invites large interpersonal variations due to individual perception and training in music/dance/art/whatever and cultural differences. I think we all get the vague ideas they want to convey but they are not explicit and clear enough to be consistently applied and to allow for accountability (ie, when a judge makes a mistake in the TR or IN score he cannot be caught and can explain away his decision). If it doesn't allow for accountability or measurability, I think it is close to useless.

    2. Meanwhile, assuming that the program components CAN be judged consistently and "accurately" if only they are better written (which is an unproven assumption), it remains unknown whether these standards are the right way to go to measure good skating and good performance. As you said in one of the items, can these subjective issues --- skating skills, expression of music, etc. --- be quantified, remains a philosophical black hole. Is Patrick Chan's skating skills 2 points better than Takahashi, interpretation of music 2 points better than Denis Ten? Really?

    3. Do we all agree on what makes for good skating and good performance? I am not a coach or an athlete or a judge or a tech specialist. I am a pure fan/outsider. But I have heard enough from insiders to be convinced that they do not agree on these fundamental questions. I am not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. It means that this is a philosophically diverse sport and perhaps fundamentally not the most suitable for competition. I'm fine with that.

    And then there is the issue of judge training and quality, but I have no idea how international judges are held accountable for their performances and/or corrected for mistakes.

    This is not to say that I prefer to revert back to the 6.0 system, which does not resolve any of the above problems. If I remember correctly, the only accountability then was to reprimand the judge whose scores are significantly different from other judges. The same system of appealing to the lowest common denominator (lowest as in the judging community, of course, which is certainly higher than casual fans). There was even less accountability for judges' quality and less clarity on what is good skating, which could swing from one year to another or from one quadrennial to another. The ONLY quality in the 6.0 system is the ordinal structure, which admits openly that we don't know whether Chan is 1 point or 2 points better than Ten. We just know Chan's better in SP and Ten's better in FS. OK sometimes the distance between two skaters can indeed vary but is not reflected in placements, but I consider it a lesser evil than pretending to know the exact and objective difference between two skaters in, say, music interpretation.
    Last edited by Jun Y; 05-12-2013 at 03:01 AM.

  12. #12
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    I think judges understand the difference between 5 components.
    From what I've heard from judges at a lower level, they have no choice, as long as the first mark is given, the others have to be at the same level. That's the problem.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I think judges understand the difference between 5 components.
    From what I've heard from judges at a lower level, they have no choice, as long as the first mark is given, the others have to be at the same level. That's the problem.
    And thus, the weird PCS marks we see. See my post above. I think judges should be given the freedom to fluctuate as wildly as they see fit (provided they have a good reason).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    And thus, the weird PCS marks we see. See my post above. I think judges should be given the freedom to fluctuate as wildly as they see fit (provided they have a good reason).
    This shouldn't be a problem for the judges because I assume just about any reason would be a good reason in a subjective sport like figure skating when you don't have to follow any preset rules and stay within a certain corridor. Yeah, it would be interesting to see what PC marks the judges would come up with.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I think judges understand the difference between 5 components.
    From what I've heard from judges at a lower level, they have no choice, as long as the first mark is given, the others have to be at the same level. That's the problem.
    Hmmm and I have been told the total opposite. So I try to differentiate each component when I am judging when the skater presents one component better than the other.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Hmmm and I have been told the total opposite. So I try to differentiate each component when I am judging when the skater presents one component better than the other.
    I really hope it is so it works, as it should. Otherwise the different entries don't make sense

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    The answer is to scrap COP/IJS altogether and revert back to the 6.O system.
    It isn't going to happen, the system is in place with the CoP. Get over it. It's been 11 years. very few skaters (Plushy and Joubert are some who have) skated at the 6.0 scale. The kids know what they are to skate for. They understand it. They have choreographers who understand it. The fans are the ones who have difficulty in letting go of the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I think judges understand the difference between 5 components.
    From what I've heard from judges at a lower level, they have no choice, as long as the first mark is given, the others have to be at the same level. That's the problem.
    What I understood from listening to the tech panel at US Nationals was that they had to score the same across the board. So if they determined something as a level or a completed jump or whatever, they needed to be consistent in calling.

    Not that they were locked in to scoring the same - the ordinal system seemed to be at the same level scoring - with more manipulation of the ordinals. I heard it said over and over again in the 6.0 system - the judges had to leave room for the last skaters.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    What I understood from listening to the tech panel at US Nationals was that they had to score the same across the board. So if they determined something as a level or a completed jump or whatever, they needed to be consistent in calling.
    We're not talking about the tech panel calls, though, or even the judges' GOEs, which should be more objective.

    The program components are more subjective, so we would expect some more variation between judges. How much the system allows seems to be an issue. Are some judges taught that the most important thing is to stay within the corridor? Most judges I've heard from are more interested in reflecting what they see on the ice.

    Which comes back to my question, what do folks here think is the "correct" way to use program components? Are you using "correct" as shorthand for "wide variations between one component and another for the same program is always more appropriate than scores that are all in the same range"?

    Surely there must be some real reasons to assign each of the individual scores. Sometimes the different reasons would end up with similar numbers and sometimes not, depending how well-balanced the skaters skills are. So what should those reasons be based on?

  19. #19
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    I think that the program components scores are more subjective. I would liken the scoring variations similar to what the policeman running a driver safety course told me (us the class). There are some things that are technically defined, but each police officer, or in this case of skating judge, strikes a certain chord. For example, he said some officers are triggered to write a ticket, or in skating a downgrade, with a specific item/line that is crossed.

    So maybe for one judge a certain level of blade noise is acceptable whereas another judge not so much. How do you regulate one's observations and/or what their biggest pet peeve is? That the judge themselves should be reflective of consistency across the season or years. Just my opinion

  20. #20
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    I agree that there are too many categories. There needs to be 2 or maybe 3 categories...not 5.

    SS & TR should be combined into one.

    IN & CH should be combined into one.

    PE stays the same but I'd be much happier if the mark actually reflected what was done on the ice. To me it rarely ever does. I see skaters deliver emotionally flat/blank performances (going through the motions) and yet they receive high marks. I don't understand it. PE should really reflect the impact performance as a whole...the rest of the bullet points can be calculated with SS/TR and IN/CH.

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