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Cinquanta Wants to Eliminate Short Programs

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by reese, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    What Cinquata has done during his "reign", to those opposed to his policies and actions, makes those who wish to "modernize/address current issues" afraid to speak out.
    One of the people that he "elevated" to prominence may replace him.

    If so, what improvement/change will follow?
  2. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    You need to read the thread before posting. Nobody was picking on Patrick Chan (and certainly not Wood, who never mentioned any current skater in particular). Chan was mentioned by someone up thread as a skater whose fundamentals were so wonderful that Wood must be full of BS to say current skaters could benefit from training figures.
  3. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    If the ISU is in monetary trouble they need to look at the poor management that got them there before taking any more advice from those same poor managers.

    When an organization sees a downward slide in revenue, there are lots of questions they need to ask themselves. While cutting an unprofitable product line is sometimes part of the answer, a sporting federation is supposed to be growing its sport in terms of participation, exposure and revenue. Eliminating the SP would basically give the ISU less skating to bring in revenue, which IMO would only continue the downward spiral.

    What they need to do is look at why they have lost market share in formerly profitable markets and what they can do to improve their product. I think that needs to start by looking at the winning programs today and asking why they don't engage those audiences like they used to. A lot of folks think part of it is the lack of inherent meaning in the points that audiences see. To me, a bigger part of the decline is due to the choreography itself, driven by the scoring system.

    To give the technical committees some credit, they have tried to make changes to address that. Limiting repeated use of the same ugly "additional features" and getting rid of levels for choreographic sequences were both targeted at pulling back from the worst excesses inspired by the IJS. The problem is that they are really just nibbling around the edges. After 20 years, IMO it is time to take a complete re-look at the system and make some more major changes to it with the target of making the sport more audience friendly. Their focus since the introduction of IJS has been to make it more sporty, putting increasing point values on greater and greater levels of difficulty (without commensurate risk in terms of point loss for failing) until today's free skates are cluttered messes. For the first time since Peggy Flemming was competing, I did not bother watching Worlds this year. I recorded it, but could never quite get up the interest to sit thru it. (When I do watch though, I nearly always find the short programs more enjoyable, while the free skates seem to go on forever.)

    The other thing they need to do is take a look at their marketing. What used to give skating attention that is missing now? IMO a big part of that answer is pro skating. Letting mature skaters focus on performance instead of jumping in a more relaxed and entertaining atmosphere can draw audiences and attention to skating, which ultimately also increases interest in the ISU events. Instead of squelching any inclination of established skaters to step away from ISU competition, they need to provide (or at least encourage) an alternative for those skaters.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  4. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Well-Known Member

    Very, very well said.
  5. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I am certainly not supporting a move to eliminate the short program at this time.

    I would ask anyone who does, what the reasoning is.

    If it's financial, is the idea to increase revenues from fans and sponsors? Fans at FSU seem to be nearly unanimously against such a move -- how about casual viewers?

    Is the idea to save on expenses of hosting competitions? If so, would there be sufficient savings to offset any attendant loss of revenue?

    That would include both traditionally fan/media-friendly events such as Grand Prix and ISU championships, and less friendly events such as junior events. How much, if anything, would the ISU save on running all events in the ISU calendar (assuming they would not simply pass along added costs, but not savings or added revenue, to host federations)? How much income from media and ticket sales would be lost? Would the savings outweigh the lost revenue?

    Would dropping the short program phase make skating more affordable for participants around the world -- including talented but not wealthy participants from the current strong federations? Would doing so therefore increase participation, bring new federations into the ISU as members and open up new markets for media sales? Would any income gained from new sources outweigh income lost from traditional sources such as fans and media from the current major skating countries?

    What if there is media interest in short programs for the top 10 or 20 skaters in the world, per discipline, but holding short programs at all other events costs more than it brings in at the elite events?

    Is the ISU's mission to make a profit, to serve its membership and the participant members of the ISU member federations, or to serve the interests of consumers?

    Who are the "customers" of the ISU -- casual viewers, fans, elite skaters, all senior and junior skaters, all federations serving skaters at all levels?

    I don't know what the financial impact would be in any of these areas. I think it's worth exploring. But certainly not taking a major step irrevocable step first before doing the research and then finding out afterward that the math doesn't work out.
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    The questions gkelly raises require a cost-revenue analysis across, all competitions for which the ISU is responsible + ISU operating costs + ISU administrative costs of choosing hosts for non-ISU competitions, overseeing them, collecting and verifying scores, etc., plus any issues of not getting bids to host competitions.

    Cost savings for the ISU would be:

    1. Venue costs for the SP/SD days for championships.
    2. Meals and accommodation for competitors, judges/tech panel, and ISU officials for SP/SD days at four championships/year and for non-ISU events for ISU officials.
    3. Host feed for SP/SD days.
    4. Administrative costs for SP/SD.
    5. Administrative costs for processing the Junior Worlds bids (since they would be combined with Worlds)
    6. Data input/management/stats for the SP/SD.
    7. Shuttles!​

    Cost-savings for the non-ISU hosts (GP/GPF):
    1. Venue costs for the SP/SD days for championships.
    2. Meals and accommodation for competitors and judges/tech panel for SP/SD days.
    3. Volunteer coordination/swag for the SP/SD days.
    4. Shuttles!​

    Jr. Worlds tend to take place in cities/venues at least half of the time that might cost more to get competitors to by plane, but are less expensive for meals and accommodations, ground transportation, and to hire generally smaller venues, and the ISU is paying in Swiss francs, which go a long way against the Estonian, Bulgarian, Croatian, etc. currencies, and from Europe they can get deals through European local carriers.

    It would be interesting to see the actual costs of holding the two championships in often financially disparate cities. Jr. Worlds has been held in Europe, from where the bulk of the competitors are from and at that level, where the bulk of those competitors train at junior level (aside from the Israelis), for 15 of the last 20 winning bits (including 2016 in Debrecen), and nine out of the last ten. I don't see how they would save by trucking 38 Junior Men (24 from Euro feds), 42 Junior Ladies (25 from Euro feds), 28 Dance teams (20 from Euro feds), and 15 Pairs teams (7 from Euro feds) to Shanghai, Boston, Helsinki/Sochi to cut costs, but I'm not privy to Cinquanta's books.

    I have no idea what they'd get from TV if they cut the SP. Sportsnet has been covering both programs, and CBC/TSN/CTV have at least selected programs. Eurosport has. I haven't heard anything about Chinese TV since they showed the entire host feed on the internet. Does Japanese TV? US TV likely wouldn't care. The Olympics contracts are set for 2018, but would the IOC have to renegotiate, given that there is less figure skating to be shown? Or would it impact IOC TV revenues going forward? (It would save the IOC some costs, between the SP/SD host feed and the operations costs of having to switch back as single venue between figure and speed skating.)

    It's hard to imagine that Cinquanta hasn't had some conversations with the IOC before making this proposal. Perhaps they support it. If they don't, and if the IOC would be hit badly in TV revenues, then I think the proposal would be off the table.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  7. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    I would not because the proposal to radically change the sport came from somebody who has no right to make the proposal. He is a lame duck that wants to burn the house down. I am more suspicious of his motives than I am convinced his proposal is valid. The ISU should be audited to see if he is covering his tracks, and all the member federations, figure skating and speed skating, should want this audit.
  8. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Duplicate post.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  9. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    No I read his comment completely in context. If his point was to push the benefits of training figures, he could have done so without insulting every single skater who competed in Sochi by claiming they do not have a mastery of the basic skills. I don't have any respect for someone who can't make their point without putting down an entire generation of skaters who had just finished competing at the biggest competition of the year.

    Actually I used Chan as an exmaple to show that Woods was talking BS when he said that no-one at the Olympis showed a mastery of the basics, tht was all.I never said anything about his claim that figures helps skaters - which I actually agree with. His rubbishing of every comeptitor at the Olympics was what was BS, in my opinion, then you seemed to be picking on Chan claiming that his triple axel would have been helped by figures training (which as has already been pointed out, he actually got from his first coach). Also you do realise that figures are patterns that are drawn on circles on the ice and not jumps don't you? There is no figure that would train someone to land a triple axel so your point seems even more....out there....
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  10. tarotx

    tarotx Well-Known Member

    The cost saving would be the cost of Jr competitions minus the travel,food&boarding. They would have all the competitions together with no extra days since the Jr skates would be inserted where the short programs are now. I can see why it was brought up but it's a bad bad idea. One day is not enough. If they had to do this dramatic of cut, I would at least cut the exhibitions and instead have a day where the top 10 from each senior discipline skates a short.
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I did read the thread. It appeared that the poster was saying if Chan had a better foundation in figures, he wouldn't struggle so much with that particular jump. (Skaters who did figures often had solid jumps due to the figuresl, the figures helped stabilize the entry edges.) Many skaters WOULD have better jumps if they trained figures. Chan probably isn't one of them- there is only so much figures can do for jumps.

    I think Wood did a huge disservice to many skaters in Sochi who have fine basics, but current skaters could certainly benefit from training figures. However, I doubt there are many at the elite level who haven't done at least some figure work.
  12. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member


    What would be the point of this?

    You don't know who the top 10 are until after the competition. So essentially you're saying everyone should prepare a short program, and then only the top 10 should do the short program as an exhibition or as a final round of competition after everybody does the long programs?
  13. tarotx

    tarotx Well-Known Member

    The LP would determine the top 10. I mean I don't want that either but it would mean no extra days and that we would get two programs from the top ten at least. The reason I chose the short to be second because more skills and jumps are required for the more skaters skating the long. That's important imo. Plus 40 skaters is a long day.
  14. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    If they want to cut the fields that drastically to cut out the number of days, they would use the SP to determine the top 10/two groups that would skate the free, since the SP is a lot shorter.