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Article : Skater Caroline Zhang takes positive approach

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Polymer Bob, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Which means she is viewed at 7th best AT BEST even after she would have landed the hardest combo of the night

    It is interesting with their tough approach on loop combos because Asada and Ando were doing much more fully rotated loop combos than Hughes and Slutskaya.
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    The question is: Did Zhang get the < and << because of pre- or under-rotation?

    If it's the latter, than there isn't really anything to re-examine her. Move along.

    But if it's the former, then ISU should really prepare some guidelines on this.

    Because whilst you shouldn't really have any pre-rotation on toe jumps, you will always have some pre-rotation on the edge jumps. Such is the nature on the beast.

    On the axel, it's usually minimal, on the salchow you will usually see a little bit as well but on the loop, you can pretty much expect the skater to turn almost 1/2 before leaving the ice. It's physically not possible to perform the loop without pre-rotation.

    Technical specialists and controllers should know that.

    But to be honest, skaters pretty much never ever get < or << for take-offs even if they really should (Meissner winning Worlds... :wall:).

    So my guess would be Zhang's issue was landings and not take-offs. If I can find a video link, I'll watch the combo in slo-mo.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  3. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member


    But it IS possible to do three full rotations from the point where the blade leaves the ice, regardless of pre-rotation, which would be a clean jump.
    Ozzisk8tr and (deleted member) like this.
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I'd say anything between 1/4 and 1/2 is fair game on the loop take-off. So to land it backwards after exactly three rotations, you'd have to be doing it on a really strong curve, which I don't think is really viable. Thoughts from skaters/coaches?
  5. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    My friend, a coach was sitting directly in front of where Caroline did the 3L-3L. Not only did she feel that the combo was completed from viewing it, she looked at the tracings on the ice and they were completed.
  6. apatinar

    apatinar Active Member

    So that says that she simply was dumped by the judges who are through giving her chances..
  7. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    Loops hold the take off edge and then leave from a toe pick. It's hard to explain exactly where you'd draw the line for pre-rotations since you do start turning on your toe pick even before you leave the ice. I would assume that's even more true as the second triple jump in a combo since you don't have as much leeway to use your arms/speed because a lot of this depends on how well you land the first jump and how much speed you carry into your second.
  8. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

  9. nylynnr

    nylynnr Well-Known Member

    I think it's more than that, and it doesn't involve any kind of conspiracy and isn't limited to Zhang. There may be an issue with how the tech panels look at loop combinations. As has been noted in this thread, other skaters, including Miki Ando -- generally considered a good jumper -- have had loop combinations consistently downgraded. Eventually, Morozov told Ando to forget trying a triple-triple, it wasn't worth it. Knowledgeable people, with no axes to grind, thought Zhang rotated those triples.
    Sylvia and (deleted member) like this.
  10. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    When the pick hits the ice on the toe-loop, the upper body is already rotated to be perpendicular to the direction of travel. If you freeze frame the moment the pick hits the ice on the other toe jumps, you'll see more or less a pre rotation by 1/2 turn of the upper body also.

    The salchow will often have more than a 1/2 pre-rotation, especially on the triple. I'm not sure why the poor loop is being picked on so much.
  11. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Two, possibly three, depending on what her GOE would have been.


    Because you are a uber and refuse to accept her limitations. :p

    Actually, it has been pointed out from time to time here on FSU that Zhang has been gifted with (1) positive, neutral, or insufficiently negative GOE on her mule-kick flutz, (formerly) mule-kick wonky flip, double axel, and traveled spins and (2) PCS out of proportion to her actual level of skating. You just choose not to take the bait. :)
  12. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

    Actually it's "an" uber. And it sounds like we are dealing with a limitation of the human body, not of any skater.

    I have never seen an argument that Caroline was gifted at any Nationals. ISU events perhaps, usually after she used that ugly mule-kick to trounce girls who placed above her at Nationals. :rofl:
  13. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    It's absolutely viable, check out the men. The ones who LAND on strong curves (and many of them do) are usually the ones who are clean, hence, no downgrade. Same with the triple axels: often (in fact, usually), if the skater is skating, say, toward the judges on takeoff, they "pre-rotate" a bit before the blade leaves the ice and land perpendicular to the judges on the landing. Full rotation.
  14. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    The classic example of Zhang's being gifted was 2009 Nationals, before her big growth spurt.

    Her free skate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XD6y-JhR-w

    Protocols: http://www.usfigureskating.org/content/events/200708/uschamps/protocols/seniorladies-protocols.pdf

    Negative Grades of Execution for Jumps: http://gofigureskating.com/skills/jumps/compete.html (I'm not sure all of this is exactly as it was at the time, but it's close enough.)

    Negative Grades of Execution for Spins: http://gofigureskating.com/skills/spins/compete.html

    Some of the more questionable marks for GOE:

    3F(!)+3T< Unclear edge on flip, mule kick on flip, underrotated triple toe loop. Could have received -3's. Only one judge gave her a -3. Most gave her a -1.
    3Z(!)+2T Looked back before entering the first jump, unclear edge on lutz, mule kick on flipp. Could have received -3's. Only judge gave her a -3. Most gave her a -1. Two judges gave her a 0. :rolleyes:
    2A Very slow entrance. Could have received -1's, and that is what most judges did giver her. Two judges, however, gave her 0's.
    CCoSp4 Traveled all over the place. Could have received -2 or -3, but all of the judges gave her +1 or +2.
    3F(!) Unclear edge, mule kick. Could have received -3's. One judge gave her a -2. The others gave her a -1 or a 0.

    And let's take a look at how the judges marked her on PCS. I've marked the Scores of Panel with underlining and put what I believe are the most questionable scores in boldface:


    The judge who gave Zhang PCS of 8.00 7.75 8.25 8.25 8.50 gave Ashley Wagner, who won the Free Skate, marks of only 7.75 6.75 7.50 7.25 7.25.

    Yeah, right. :scream:
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    For a lot of people the combinations might have "looked" or "felt" rotated. But what matters is the hard facts: the slo-mo.

    Sylvia has kindly linked the videos but you can't slo-mo on YT.

    You are right but I was talking about the blade.

    It will have some but I don't think anywhere near as much as the loop, from my observations anyway,

    Ok, fair enough. If true, this would make Oppegard's point moot.

    Or in other words: 'She's trying a difficult combo, which she can't really fully rotate it because her jump technique is not exactly top drawer but we still want her to get full credit so we'll blame the system.' :p

    I found a clip of Zhang's SP now so will check soon whether that was the case or not and report back.
  16. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    The video that is reviewed in slo-mo by the technical panel is different (not filmed at the same angle) as the TV broadcast video, but we all know this, right?

    For variety's sake, I personally would like to see more triple-triple combos attempted that end with loop rather than toe.
  17. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Ok, I've just downloaded and watched Zhang's Nationals SP video and I think the underrotation was quite apparent. Even without the slo-mo, if you have a trained eye for this kind of thing (as the technical panel members should), you could notice the landings were skiddy and didn't have a lot of flow out, which should ring alarm bells. Also, she didn't get a lot of height or have a lot of speed in so you'd have to have great timing and very sharp rotation in order to make it.

    Upon reviewing it frame-by-frame:

    First 3loop Take-Off

    Not sure if you can see it from this picture but if you watch the video, she's skating on a curve, not parallel to the boards but a little more inwards (towards the camera)

    (Btw, this is what I was talking about when I said loops pretty much have to be 1/2 pre-rotated).

    First 3loop Landing

    Is it the pre-rotation that was an issue? No. Zhang should be landing this jump backwards, turned slightly more inwards towards the camera, in comparison to the boards. You can see in this picture that her blade touches the ice way earlier.

    Second 3loop Take-Off

    Here she pre-rotates more than 1/2 (again, you have to watch the video yourself to see the whole curve). The take-off edge is on a quite pronounced inward curve this time (towards the camera again), more so than before.

    Second 3loop Landing

    Blade touches the ice and she still needs to do more than 1/2 rotation (she should be landing backwards on a quite pronounced inward curve towards the camera). If you watch it frame by frame (you can do it on Media Player Classic by pressing Ctrl+Right Arrow) you can see that she rotates over 1/2 on the ice before coming out of the jump.

    Based on watching that combination frame-by-frame, to me she has clearly and unquestionably deserved < on the first jump and << on the other. And that's not even taking the pre-rotation into consideration at all. Just the under-rotation alone. So the technical panel did give her allowance for the 1/2 pre-rotation on the loop and she was only required to complete 2 1/2 revolutions in the air (so you can't say ISU is being too harsh on the edge jumps). I see absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with those calls.

    I agree with you but if the skaters can't do it, they can't do it and it's not the system's fault.

    I think the problem here is not the right risk vs. reward ratio. Loop combos are much much harder than the toe combos but they don't get any extra credit. So it isn't really worth the risk at all. :(

    A number of male skaters did have fully rotated 3/3 loop combos credited a number of times though. Off the top of my head:
    Przemyslaw Domanski
    Kevin Reynolds
    Joey Russell
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  18. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I blame Sarah Hughes beating Irina in SLC. If that never happened, nobody would care about URs. Now it's all people care about. Not saying that it's not important or that it shouldn't be accounted for because it should, but I find it funny how people care so much about it now compared to pre-COP.

    Yeah, tell me how I'm wrong.
  19. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

    Yes, what a wonderful gift she received at 2009 Nationals. The judges pumped up Alissa's PCS because they wanted a "lady" to win, and bumped Caroline off the World team.
    But anyway, Alissa got her title and a trip to Worlds, Caroline got her "gift", and the USFSA got their lady. So I guess it was win - win - win all the way around.
    hanca and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Speaking as a Mirai fan, you know I hate URs. But I can't get behind the argument that quality shouldn't matter. The reduced base value for < is very fair.

    If this were the NFL, they would show us a mark, with the telestrator, where the in air rotation starts, and another mark where it ends.

    Do the judges see the < or << before they award their GOE? Because they hit her pretty hard on that.
  21. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    Imo she was underscored in PE and In, both less than 7. NOT that my feelings matter in judging, but her performance was the only one that moved me at this event.
  22. Polymer Bob

    Polymer Bob New Member

    That's a great idea. In the future, they can use skaters' tracings to judge rotation. They would need cameras mounted on the ceiling pointed straight down. I can't see why that wouldn't work.
  23. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    I think that is the most obvious way to clarify a jump. Also the same wrt correct edge take offs. I loved going to live competitions and even just watching them warm-up you see who has a deep lutz edge, who is skidding too much on the axel take-off (Lysacek's axel tracings were quite interesting)
  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Why do you think it has anything to do with Irina? The judging system was completely different back then. There were no technical panels, no slo-mo replays and a lot of less noticeable things like this were ignored.

    Did anybody (other than me :p) even care about and mention Hughes' underrotations? I don't remember even Irina or her camp raising that issue.

    By the way, Yukina Ota became Junior World champion massively underrotating every single triple jump in her program. :scream:

    They do, yes.

    For one season they didn't but it created this really silly situation where skaters would get < and << but +1 and +2 GOEs sometimes making the judges look like fools so the ISU decided they should see it. :p

    Although to be fair to the judges, spotting cheats is often very hard - if not downright impossible - without slo-mo.

    Yes, because tracings are always easily visible, especially once 7 or 10 skaters have already skated since the last ice resurface... :huh:
  25. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    Hmm, I disagree. There is such a thing called 'resurfacing' or am I confusing that with another sport? You don't have to worry about 20 lutz tracings all in one spot. And it should be quite easy to follow a skater into the takeoff so that the edge is pretty well documented. If tennis can follow one shot on recall, so should skating be able to follow a tracing. Just saying.

    I just feel that an UR has to be egregious for it to be dinged so badly. Sarah Hughes was the master of egregious URs, as she'd totally prerotate everything and then land 1/2 to 3/4 UR, especially on her flip and lutz. Maybe her toe was okay, and with edge jumps there's always a bit of PR.

    As for tracings, remember in fall 1997 with all the Tara lutz controversy and what's his face (Tara's coach, Eldgredge's mentor figure) said Kwan did too, and Frank said to come over and look at Kwan's tracings. Well, to be honest, Kwan's tracings were also flutzy. They weren't as bad as Tara's since Tara made a perfect C with her left foot edge, but Kwan didn't have any visible outside edge tracing, and most always turned inward at takeoff. It's noticeable when you see a perfect lutz takeoff (Yebin Mok had a glorious lutz, perfect tracing, and perfect height, distance, etc). Sarah Hughes' lutz tracings practically made an O she was so inside the edge and PR.
  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Every 12 skaters. So good luck noticing tracings after 10 skaters have skated. :p

    And not every skater will leave easily visible tracings.

    And honestly, we have HD cameras now so you know you can actually watch skaters' blades and how they move in air and when they take off and land exactly.

    It's like counting everything in your head instead of using a calculator. Yes you can do it but why?

    (Also in this case, the tracing method has failed so there. :p)
  27. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    Okay, Ziggy, because I feel if someone repeatedly does a C or flutz into a lutz jump they shoud be HAMMERED. Kwan never was. And she NEVER EVER went on a BO edge for her lutz. EVER. Watch the tracings, though I'm sure you would just conjure up a conspiracy of the rest of the ladies. NO. I watched her time and time and time and time again. She NEVER achieved a BO edge for her lutz. Sometimes she flattened it, but that even was rare.

    This isn't a Kwan bash, puhlease. But I sometimes think these hanger ons need to at least accept truth. Jeez. I NEVER saw a BO tracing on her lutz, and believe back in the day I was there at everything. It was obvious they'd give Kwan a pass so long as she sold her program and ended it with the Tarasova footwork with angst and emotion. Really, Kwan's lutz was a flip. Or a loop, depending on her takeoff.
  28. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Actually perhaps blame Tara. Didn't they give judges slo-mo replay sometime after everyone became obsessed with her flutz (and ladies flutzing in general)?
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  29. Spazactaz

    Spazactaz New Member

    "It was a good solid outside edge too"
    "Sure was!!"

    Dick and Peggy sure don't agree. ;)
  30. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    I might agree except time and time again Kwan and Flutzy were credited for "lutzes" when anyone watching their practices could SEE as in visual PROOF they were not doing lutzes. This new system seems to let the favorites get by(like Asada) and ding the Nagasus of this world. It is still a very prickly judging. Those they WANT don't seem to get the deductions. The rest, like Mirai, are hosed.