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Thread: "The quad"

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    "The quad"

    Does it bother anyone else that media talks so much about "the quad", wording it that way. I really think they way they talk about it does great disservice to the sport and to spectators who are only casual fans.

    When you hear Max Aaron fell on "the quad" and Adam Rippon put his hand down on "the quad"- doesn't it sound like they were doing the exact same thing? And yet, a quad lutz is way harder than a quad toe, so Adam's hand down seems like less of a mistake.

    What if I said they both landed "the quad"? Wouldn't most casual fans think they got the same amount of points? Did the same thing? But what kind of quad did they do? A toe, a sal, a lutz?

    There is not one single jump called "the quad", and it just makes me angry that broadcasters and sports writers act like there is. (Then again, a lot of what broadcasters/writers do makes me angry.)

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    I think the ability to do a quad, any quad, has been what has begun to separate the top men from the second tier ones. Also, almost all men doing quads are doing quad toe loops, with a handful doing quad salchows. There's very little difference in base value between those two jumps, and when a skater is attempting a more difficult/unusual jump, such as Rippon with the quad lutz, I think they do usually make note of that.
    I think it's worse in ladies, honestly. Doing a triple-triple and/or completing 7 triples in a freeskate is supposed to be a differentiating factor, but there's a much bigger world of difference between a triple lutz/triple loop combo and a triple toe/triple toe combo, than there is between a quad sal and a quad toe. There's a much greater variety of triple/triples being done than there are quads, and I think the former are all lumped together a lot more frequently. So I understand what you're saying, but I haven't experienced quite the same sense of frustration that you have. Maybe we've just read/listened to different writers/commentators.

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    I suppose there should have been some emphasis that Rippon's attempt was a Lutz, which is far more rare than the toe or salchow. I seem to remember when Weiss and Moroz were trying to the do harder quads, they were clearly noted as lutz or flip, and a big deal was made out of it. Maybe the commentator was just lazy this time (or were all the commentators doing this for Skate Am?). Was it Kwiatowski? You can only expect so much from Yoeman class commentary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyBut View Post
    You can only expect so much from Yoeman class commentary.
    Well, this is true. Actually- the commentators are just in general, but Tonia is who I hear most often. This rant comes after reading ESPN. Maybe it is just an AP article, but I've seen it elsewhere too.

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    How can you expect the average layman understand what is good skating when the skating establishment doesn't know/can't decide what is good skating? 90% of figure skating's image problems are self inflicted.

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    That wasn't a problem on the CBC, Kurt Browning made it very clear that he was very impressed with Adam's quad lutz attempt (as well as the general improvement in his skating).

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    I agree there is a lack of detail about what is going on regarding what a quad is and what specifically is being done. There is also a lack of detail generally about a lot of things in the commentary on skating. You can hear quad talk without ever getting that it's a difficult 4 revolution jump! And I agree there was a lack of talk about lutz salchow toe attempts. Coverage is really lacking in quality.

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    The "quad" has been a part of Olympic Skating since Alexei Urmanov did the first Olympic quadruple toe loop in Albertville in 1992 at the age of 17 (what a beautiful jump it was!) and that makes it a part of Olympic skating for over 21 years.

    Sportscasting should catch up to recognize that there are different quads. We have seen quad toe, quad salcow and quad lutz all ratified since 1992, and it seems quad toe loop is the easiest.
    Last edited by PairSk8Fan; 10-22-2013 at 07:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Does it bother anyone else that media talks so much about "the quad", wording it that way. I really think they way they talk about it does great disservice to the sport and to spectators who are only casual fans.
    I don't think spectators and Casual fans even care about the difference between a triple lutz and a triple toe for that matter, Wether the "Media" names them or not,
    Besides, Everyone dumbs their analysis down for major events like Olympics

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eladola View Post
    Besides, Everyone dumbs their analysis down for major events like Olympics
    Yes, and I remember yelling at the TV during the gymnastics trials because they were using this red/yellow/green system to show whether there were a lot of a few deductions- but it didn't take into account any of the difficulty of the element. Thus a skater could be "green" (good) with a lower score than someone who was "red" (bad). I don't even watch gymnastics except Olympic years and I knew it was stupid. I wanted to know more about the sport. Just like when I watch curling, I appreciate that they take time to explain what the heck is going on.

    Not caring about the difference between a quad lutz and a quad toe is like saying there is no difference between a touchdown and a field goal. As a commentator, it is your job to inform. Obsessive fans don't need commentary, they can follow without it. Commentators are there FOR the casual fan.

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    I suppose for so many years the majority of quads - maybe 90% - were 4Ts, with the occasional foray into 4S, and sometimes Plushy would get crazy and try things like 4Lz. So "the quad" became shorthand for the quad toe, because it was most common. I agree, they're going to have to start differentiating the jumps, since we've got different varieties moving onto the wider stage now.

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    I agree with the OP that the commentators need to be specific about what kind of quad it is. When the first quad (toe loop) was performed, it was a novelty and most skaters were doing only quad toes - although I think there was a Chinese skater who was doing a quad salchow, and Tim Goebel's first quad was actually a quad salchow, not quad toe, and he did it as a junior first.

    The quad (4 revolutions) jump has been around since the 1990's (first landed in 1988 by Kurt B.). There is no reason why commentators cannot be specific about what kind of jump the skater landed, just like they do with the triples- toe/salchow/flip, etc. These days I think they are not even identifying the triples every time, which would educated an untrained viewer. They spend a lot of time talking about unrelated things. Educating the viewers by identifying the elements (not just the jumps) could help attract more viewers. I am digressing here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    How can you expect the average layman understand what is good skating when the skating establishment doesn't know/can't decide what is good skating? 90% of figure skating's image problems are self inflicted.


    Absolutely, Jun Y. And I totally agree with your observations too Skittl1321, even though it isn't very surprising that the media (especially general media who know very little about figure skating) continue to speak in "quad" terms as if it is a jump unrelated to other jumps when in fact it is simply an extra revolution and NOT a new kind of toe jump or edge jump. Just an extra revolution added onto established jumps. And of course because it is so difficult to perform that extra revolution and it occurs in a split second but requires enormous reserves of energy, mental training and effective strategy, it has turned the men's discipline upside down and sideways.


    ETA:

    I completely disagree with the poster who said that the ability to perform the quad separates top men skaters from so-called "second-tier." That simply IMO is not an accurate statement. OTOH, ability to perform quads for a variety of reasons is the determining factor in being able to win or place well in events these days. But it's way too complicated to say that skaters are not top level if they don't currently have the quad effectively in their arsenal. Even those who perform it well often have problems performing it consistently (and often end up with injuries related to the effort to train and perform it consistently). Trying to train, acquire and consistently perform the quad also leads many top level men to end up performing other jumps inconsistently (and this happens a lot due to rhythm problems, concentration, program layout and strategy), when in fact they were previously very consistent on all of their jumps prior to training the quad.

    What goes missing in all of this is the fact that what goes into making a skater top level is the ability to develop a multitude of talents, including blade control, fluidity, musicality, artistic presentation, athletic ability, good jump technique, good music selection, good choreography, connection with the audience, etc. Jason Brown IMHO is a top level skater up-and-coming. He mastered the 3-axel last season and he has been training the quad. He's a consistent jumper and performer overall, but what exponentially separates him from the average skater is his superb musical interpretation, an engaging movement quality that can't be taught, and magical knees (flexibility and amazing extension), as well as wonderful choreography beautifully performed.

    Adam Rippon is a top level skater who had some problems with jump technique on his 3-axel, which he has been able to correct under the tutelage of Rafael Arutunian. Not to mention that Adam is now mastering the difficult extra quad revolution on one of the harder jumps: the lutz. OP is right that many commentators missed explaining or mentioning the difficulty of the quad lutz. I wonder if any of the judges missed it as well. It's certainly hard enough to catch that extra split-second revolution as it is. Forget about realizing that the extra revolution is not all that goes into making a great figure skater or a great figure skating performance. In fact, the quad has turned out to quite often make great figure skating performances very hard to come by.

    There are a great many top level skaters past and present who don't yet and/ or didn't ever perform or consistently perform that extra confounding revolution. I say "Quad" be damned. Or since it won't go away, please stop making it the end-all and be-all. Place it in a proper perspective. The sport needs to focus on developing good technique among all skaters, and also focus on developing complete skaters who can combine artistry with athleticism, which is not about demonstrating constantly rushed movements this way and that all over the ice which bear little relation to the music. And it should NOT be all about that extra revolution either. If that is what the sport has become all about, then it is no longer about the art and sport of figure skating.

    Also, it's good to hear that Kurt B didn't miss the quad lutz significance. Kudos to Kurt for keeping figure skating fans enlightened and entertained with his spot-on commentary.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 10-22-2013 at 10:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
    That wasn't a problem on the CBC, Kurt Browning made it very clear that he was very impressed with Adam's quad lutz attempt (as well as the general improvement in his skating).
    I always love Kurt's commentary. He is able to point out the little things we are unaware of.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
    That wasn't a problem on the CBC, Kurt Browning made it very clear that he was very impressed with Adam's quad lutz attempt (as well as the general improvement in his skating).
    Love Kurt's commentary. Love that he discussed the different kinds of quads and their difficulty. Also love that he mentioned that Dickson integrated Nijinsky choreography from The Afternoon with a Faun ballet. Love even more that he knew it was a ballet! He made lovey comments about Adam's deep gliding edges and that he could tell that Adam was using the entire blade because he could hear it! He also noted his speed and jump improvement, for me he did not banter on and on- he added to the visual and didn't say things that were distracting to us or personal to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post


    Absolutely, Jun Y. And I totally agree with your observations too Skittl1321, even though it isn't very surprising that the media (especially general media who know very little about figure skating) continue to speak in "quad" terms as if it is a jump unrelated to other jumps when in fact it is simply an extra revolution and NOT a new kind of toe jump or edge jump. Just an extra revolution added onto established jumps. And of course because it is so difficult to perform that extra revolution and it occurs in a split second but requires enormous reserves of energy, mental training and effective strategy, it has turned the men's discipline upside down and sideways.


    ETA:

    I completely disagree with the poster who said that the ability to perform the quad separates top men skaters from so-called "second-tier." That simply IMO is not an accurate statement. OTOH, ability to perform quads for a variety of reasons is the determining factor in being able to win or place well in events these days. But it's way too complicated to say that skaters are not top level if they don't currently have the quad effectively in their arsenal. Even those who perform it well often have problems performing it consistently (and often end up with injuries related to the effort to train and perform it consistently). Trying to train, acquire and consistently perform the quad also leads many top level men to end up performing other jumps inconsistently (and this happens a lot due to rhythm problems, concentration, program layout and strategy), when in fact they were previously very consistent on all of their jumps prior to training the quad.

    What goes missing in all of this is the fact that what goes into making a skater top level is the ability to develop a multitude of talents, including blade control, fluidity, musicality, artistic presentation, athletic ability, good jump technique, good music selection, good choreography, connection with the audience, etc. Jason Brown IMHO is a top level skater up-and-coming. He mastered the 3-axel last season and he has been training the quad. He's a consistent jumper and performer overall, but what exponentially separates him from the average skater is his superb musical interpretation, an engaging movement quality that can't be taught, and magical knees (flexibility and amazing extension), as well as wonderful choreography beautifully performed.

    Adam Rippon is a top level skater who had some problems with jump technique on his 3-axel, which he has been able to correct under the tutelage of Rafael Arutunian. Not to mention that Adam is now mastering the difficult extra quad revolution on one of the harder jumps: the lutz. OP is right that many commentators missed explaining or mentioning the difficulty of the quad lutz. I wonder if any of the judges missed it as well. It's certainly hard enough to catch that extra split-second revolution as it is. Forget about realizing that the extra revolution is not all that goes into making a great figure skater or a great figure skating performance. In fact, the quad has turned out to quite often make great figure skating performances very hard to come by.

    There are a great many top level skaters past and present who don't yet and/ or didn't ever perform or consistently perform that extra confounding revolution. I say "Quad" be damned. Or since it won't go away, please stop making it the end-all and be-all. Place it in a proper perspective. The sport needs to focus on developing good technique among all skaters, and also focus on developing complete skaters who can combine artistry with athleticism, which is not about demonstrating constantly rushed movements this way and that all over the ice which bear little relation to the music. And it should NOT be all about that extra revolution either. If that is what the sport has become all about, then it is no longer about the art and sport of figure skating.

    Also, it's good to hear that Kurt B didn't miss the quad lutz significance. Kudos to Kurt for keeping figure skating fans enlightened and entertained with his spot-on commentary.

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    the quad has turned out to quite often make great figure skating performances very hard to come by.

    There are a great many top level skaters past and present who don't yet and/ or didn't ever perform or consistently perform that extra confounding revolution. I say "Quad" be damned. Or since it won't go away, please stop making it the end-all and be-all. Place it in a proper perspective. The sport needs to focus on developing good technique among all skaters, and also focus on developing complete skaters who can combine artistry with athleticism, which is not about demonstrating constantly rushed movements this way and that all over the ice which bear little relation to the music.
    ^^ THis.

    The focus on multi-quadding at the expense of a well rounded skating PERFORMANCE has really soured me on watching men's skating.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    whole post
    Beautifully said, aftershocks. ITA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerpt1 View Post
    The focus on multi-quadding at the expense of a well rounded skating PERFORMANCE has really soured me on watching men's skating.
    But part of the fun of, for example, watching Max IS watching him skimming millimetres from the boards at breakneck speed, then doing a huge quad. That in itself is a performance from him.

    JMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    But part of the fun of, for example, watching Max IS watching him skimming millimetres from the boards at breakneck speed, then doing a huge quad. That in itself is a performance from him.

    JMO.
    I don't know about that - wasn't it at worlds where he hit the boards in both the short and the long? It made me nervous watching him set up for the jump.

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