Some judges do it right, too many do it wrong
No one official does it right, but it can be done.
The rules need to be written better.
Can't be done right, so don't do it at all.
Can't be done right, so just use one number.
Right vs. wrong is meaningless -- but there is better vs. worse
Just from a mathematical point of view...
Right now, using five components on a scale of 0-10, with factors for each discipline, competition level, and program, the total of the PCS available is supposed to be roughly equivalent to the TES earned at that skill level. (Clearly there are exceptions for skaters who are much better at elements that at performance, or vice versa, as well as good skaters who lose credit for many of their elements in ways that don't have significant effect on the component criteria, e.g., by doing the wrong type of spin or by violating the Zayak rule.)
Currently the smallest increment that judges can use to distinguish between one skater and another who is slightly better or worse in that area is 0.25.
For the senior men's short program, the factor is exactly 1.0 so that translates directly to 0.25 difference. For other types of programs, the factors may be smaller or larger, up to 2.0 for the senior men's freeskate. So for the men's free, already a difference of 0.25 in each judge's score for one component translates to a difference of 0.5 in the total score.
If two components were combined into one, presumably the factor for that combined component would be doubled. (Or tripled if three components were combined.) So, e.g., in a senior men's LP, the factor for combined SS+TR would probably be 4.0, and ditto for IN+CH.
Unless there were a decision to change the PCS weightings more in favor of technical skills between the elements, or more in favor of artistic skills.
Using kwanatic's breakdown of three components equivalent to SS+TR, PE, and IN+CH, should each of those three groups be equal to each other -- i.e., PE now worth twice as much as each of the other four original components?
With a factor of 4.0, that means that every time the judges on average agree that Peter was just enough better than Paul in that area to deserve a score one increment higher on that component, the effect on the score would be 1.0 points, not the 0.25 that the judges are thinking in terms of. There would be no way for any individual judge to indicate smaller differences.
Allowing the judges to use 0.1 instead of 0.25 would mitigate that problem.
Even if judges almost always seem to give practically identical SS and TR scores, or CH and IN scores, I think there are a couple of arguments in favor of keeping them separate.
For the mathematical reasons I tried to lay out above, keeping the factors smaller allows judges to indicate finer distinctions than lumped-together scores.
Also, the option to score TR higher or lower than SS, or IN higher or lower than CH, even if only by one increment, conveys more information. E.g., Peter was faster and smoother than Paul so he gets higher SS, but Paul had lots of good transitions and Peter didn't, so Paul gets the higher TR mark tells us more than averaging both areas into the same combined score for both skaters.
Or Percy has good skills all around, everything pretty much at the same level in terms of basic skating, content between elements, carriage and style and energy and projection, construction of the program in time and space and general timing to the musical phrases. But the one area that he fell short was in reflecting the details and style of the music. So giving him the exact same scores for the first four components and somewhat lower for IN lets him know where he could use the most improvement.
And, of course, sometimes skaters are significantly unbalanced in their skills and judges do reflect that in the PCS -- though not always to the extent everyone would like.
With that in mind, the loss of detail and the loss of information that would result from combining two or more components, what would be the advantages to combining them?
Is PE really needed ? It's already reflected in other marks. If you don't perform well, judges can give -GOE on technical elements, and lower the SS mark. IMO
That's not everything that PE covers. In fact, that's not the main thing that it covers.
It's entirely possible to have successful and even well-executed technical elements while doing a poor job on the actual, written Performance/Execution criteria. Or vice versa.
Just as a reminder, the actual criteria for Performance/Execution are:
There's actually nothing in the written criteria that refers to the success of the elements at all.Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement
In all skating disciplines each skater must be physically committed, sincere in emotion, and equal in comprehension of the music and in execution of all movement.
Carriage is a trained inner strength of the body that makes possible ease of movement from the center of the body. Alignment is the fluid change from one movement to the next.
Style and individuality/personality
Style is the distinctive use of line and movement as inspired by the music.
Individuality/personality is a combination of personal and artistic preferences that a skater/pair/couple brings to the concept, manner, and content of the program.
Clarity of movement
Clarity is characterized by the refined lines of the body and limbs, as well as the precise execution of any movement.
Variety and contrast
Varied use of tempo, rhythm, force, size, level, movement shapes, angles, and, body parts as well as the use of contrast.
The skater radiates energy resulting in an invisible connection with the audience.
Unison and “oneness” (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
Each skater contributes equally toward achieving all six of the performance criteria.
Balance in performance (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
Spatial Awareness between partners – management of the distance between partners and management of changes of hold (Pair Skating and Ice Dancing)
It's likely that a program full of mistakes will have some disruptions of carriage and of clarity of movement; possibly in the physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement; and very likely in the unison between partners.
So some judges may intentionally choose to penalize those disruptions in this mark for those reasons. But that's not what the P/E mark is designed to focus on.
I think a lot of people don't realize that PE has nothing to do with what they think it has to do with.
Performance and Execution seems like it should reflect the program as a whole...including the success/failure of the elements b/c if you're zamboni-ing the ice, your performance is obviously suffering and your execution is clearly off. When we look at clarity, variety, contrast and blah dee blah it all sounds superfluous. Shouldn't nearly all of those have been covered by one of the other components?
Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement - Interpretation
Carriage - Skating Skills
Style and individuality/personality - Interpretation
Clarity of movement - Choreography
Variety and contrast - Choreography
I think Projection is the one bullet point in all of those criteria that should be evaluated as Performance/Execution. The rest of those seem redundant b/c they easily fit into and should be evaluated in one of the other categories. I still say they should go with 3 components: Transitions should be included in Skating Skills (1), Choreography and Interpretation (2) go hand in hand as one pretty much sucks without the other and Performance/Execution (3) should be about the performance and execution...not a variety of bullet points that should have been addressed in the other marks. They can find a way to make it all work out mathematically...
Just for fun, here are three lower-ranked ladies' short programs from the 1994 Olympics. I chose them for contrasts in strengths and weaknesses, by skaters who don't have much of a reputation among skating fans to interfere with honest assessments. Because these are from the 6.0 era, there's no right or wrong answer or preconception about how these performances "should" be scored on program components.
So what do you think? Care to choose one or two or all three and explain how you would score them on PCS?
Use real-life 2013 rules and expectations (acknowledging that a spiral sequence was required in the 1994 technical program) and demonstrate the approach judges should be taking to scoring PCS.
Or rewrite the rules to what you think they should be, and then show us how you would score under your rules.
SS-as it is, SS are very important in FS.
TR-important, but I don't think we need a separate component, skaters are also rewarded in GOE for transitions.
CH- stop rewarding the choreographers, please, I really don't care about Wilson, Nichol, etc.
IN, PE- Could be scored together with CH and they'll reflect how the skater performed and executed the program, etc.
Just my two cents.
Unless of course you'd put them together, but give them a more important coefficient to reflect the fact that they regroup a rather vast number of aspects of a program in order to keep a balance between the technical and the presentation/ "artistical" (this term being used loosely here). But I don't see how putting them together would be an improvement if I'm honest
As someone using the system, I have no problem with there being 5 components. You can show skaters which ones they are stronger in through the PCS you give them.
To say that there should be only one component is to simplify the system too much. For example, at lower levels (Preliminary and Elementary under the Australian system) we only use SS and PE. With the PE mark you are meant to consider pretty much everything that falls outside the SS mark. So if a skater has poor composition (layout of program on the ice) but really attacks the program (high energy, good expression), how can you cover that in just one mark? At the end the mark doesn't tell the story.
When using all five components, you can differentiate between the energy and expression under PE and the composition under CH.
From a judging point of view, I have no problem with the five components and if anything give me an opportunity to break down and evaluate the program better with regards to looking at particular aspects of skater's programs. If a skater has poor SS but wonderful IN, then you can reflect that in the marks you give.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
I agree, I like having 5 components and challenging myself to come up with better ways to differentiate them. Perhaps if the descriptions of the components were tweaked slightly there would be a little less overlap and it potentially reduce the tendency to keep all the marks at a similar level when it may not be warranted. There are many times when a skater is very strong and well-balanced among the components, or very weak on all of them, and most skaters who are really great at one or more components aren't going to be absolutely TERRIBLE at another (and vice versa) when consider the whole range of skating that one could possibly see (which is necessary if one wants to use the 0.25 - 10 scale in a consistent way across levels). Gaps of 5 points, or even 3 points, are IMO pretty rarely warranted. I find that 1.5 to 2 point differences are not that uncommon for me but more than that is pretty rare.
I don't know if some who think that large differences are generally better are only comparing to other top world skaters (e.g., if a skater is in the 90th percentile of Olympic and World medalist caliber skaters on skating skills but only in the 50th percentile among that group on interpretation, that wouldn't warrant a 9.00 vs. a 5.00), or really think. I also notice that they very rarely provide specific examples of what they would do. I'd be very interested to hear some examples of where posters think such big differences should occur and the reasoning behind them. Sometimes I feel like skaters focus on the strongest areas of the stronger components and the weakest areas of the weaker components and that might exaggerate the difference. Patrick Chan with a lot of mistakes will probably have some momentary lapses in carriage and clarity of movement that might (for some) detract from the program more than the "percentage of time" that they are actually taking place. The particularly great and particular bad moments in a program would usually tend to stand out the most for obvious reasons, and maybe if they contribute more to the overall impression it wouldn't be unwarranted to weight them slightly more in the marks, but it's important not to forget the rest of the time also. But even if you do give the maybe 5% of the time a really good skater spends actually making mistakes on a really bad (technical, usually jump) day more than 5% weight, it it certainly shouldn't get 95% weight. The technical mark is already accounting for the mistakes and unless the skater completely gives up on the performance there are still probably going to be many positive qualities to the P&E mark.
The problem I have is the uniformity in which the 5 marks are often judged.
I would defend the system more if I was seeing a real range of marks when deserved (i.e. SS = 5:00; CH = 8.25), but it almost never happens, even when it clearly should.
"I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"
Why would it be preferable to 1) ask the judges to communicate less to us about their thought processes and 2) make it impossible for judges to show small distinctions between skaters on this set of criteria and allow them either the exact same mark or two adjacent marks that after factoring will have an effect of close to or more than a whole point?
Make your case.
Again, I ask that everyone who thinks they have a better approach give concrete examples of how that better approach would work. Convince us. Choose your own examples, or offer what you consider correct scoring to the examples I linked in post #27. I'd like to learn from others who have thought this through in detail.
I like the debate in this thread. This thread should belong to the 'great debate' not trash can!
Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus
And I think less components will reduce somehow the subjectivity, even if I agree that it could also reduce the artistry.
I'm still waiting for someone to give examples of what would be a "correct" way to score these aspects of the program -- either according to the current rules, or under newer better rules.
It's easy to say everyone else is doing it wrong. Not so easy to do it right, is it?