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Cinquanta Wants to Eliminate Short Programs

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

  1. MrLucky

    MrLucky Active Member

    This just feels like the direction ISU and the IJS has been taking skating. To Speedy the only difference he sees between the SP and LP is duration. Why do you need both if they are so similar?
    He might compromise and make the LP shorter so fans could think they were seeing an SP and LP rolled into one. ;)

    Doing this he can also cut expenses by lowering all of the ISU prize money. If skaters only need to pay for choreo for one program it will cut their costs. If they are are only training one program they can cutback on their ice time, not run through as many boots, have lower coaching fees, etc.

    Yea, this plan has everything to keep skating under the IJS right on course to oblivion.
  2. sus2850

    sus2850 Well-Known Member

    If this happens who on earth would travel to such an event? I guess he hates fans too.

    Especially for ice dance this is impossible. And if a skater has only one chance they will be even more nervous. And there will be no chance of making up for a bad short.
  3. Taso

    Taso Well-Known Member

    This seems to me like downsizing prior to wrapping up shop (taking the long view)
  4. beepbeep

    beepbeep Brazilian Eurotrash

    If someone in Japan wants to take a whack at Speedy, go for it.
    We'll crowdfund for the lawyer.

    Someone get this man out of there!!!!

    Or make figure skating an independent sport.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Tangoer

    Tangoer New Member

    After reading his proposed changes and talking to some skaters it is obvious this guy is not making sense to anyone but himself! I don't know too much about speed skating but what he said sounded like it made no sense at all.

    As for skating, I know they always want to save money and what not but simply taking a short program out will kill the sport. Junior and senior worlds could likely still be held together as is (USFSA just added junior nationals to nationals so it has to work!)

    I was thinking what if we got rid of SD in ice dance- bring the pattern dance back (just one) and have a freedance with less required elements and emphasise the choreo more? And for pairs/freestyle judge the short program cop and the long program with 6.0? Then there would be some of the old beautiful skating we had under 6.0 but still some "objective" technical requirements. "Free" programs should after all be "free"!
  6. Tangoer

    Tangoer New Member

    I actually wouldn't be surprised if he said this! And helmets, especially for pair skaters :scream::rolleyes:
  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Oh goodness- please don't use two judging systems. What a mess.

    Also- I think you are forgetting that the vast majority of 6.0 programs were nothing special, and many downright awful. The beautiful ones were a rarity by the best skaters; the same as they are today. There has just been a lot more years of 6.0 to compile beautiful programs.
  8. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    This is Cinquanta's worst proposal yet and clearly reveals his lack of informed leadership, failure to understand the sport, and inability to handle anything in a competent, professional manner. I strongly believe the federations need to stand up and call for his resignation.

    Eliminating the short program is a terrible idea. It would negatively affect just about everything, as far as I'm concerned. First and most important, it would damage the quality and integrity of competition itself. The short program helps balance the competition and gives the skaters more opportunity to demonstrate their skills. Years ago when people were complaining about qualification rounds at Worlds, Alexei Mishin commented that he & Plushenko had no issue with qualification. His opinion: The more phases/events in any single competition, the more likely that the overall best skater will win that competition. Because having more phases helps average the results and makes it less likely that atypically great or atypically bad performances will disproportionately affect the outcome. It's the same principle behind having a 7-game championship series in the NBA (instead of just one game). If the SP were eliminated, the LP would quickly become, as someone said, a jump-filled splatfest with everyone throwing as many hard tricks as possible and consequently, in all likelihood, failing in many elements. The pressure would be so intense that the chances of seeing any great performances would be lessened. And we would soon start to see a lot more one-hit wonders and flash-in-the-pan wins.

    Eliminating the SP would also negatively affect the artistic side of the sport. Having 2 programs gives skaters more opportunities to try different program concepts, different music, and styles of skating. It gives them basically 2 chances each season to make an artistic statement. Eliminating half of those opportunities would hamper skaters' artistic development and would lead, immediately I think, to the end of any artistic/musical innovation. With everything riding on one program, I don't think anyone would feel comfortable using anything but proven warhorse pieces.

    I think cutting out the SP would also be disastrous in terms of ticket sales/revenue. It would eliminate half the competition, so therefore half the ticket sales possibilities and half the TV rights possibilities. Now some might argue that at many competitions, short programs are poorly attended anyhow and often not shown on TV. But this is not the case at bigger competitions. And especially for bigger events like Worlds/Nationals, organizers depend on many fans traveling to the event and buying all-event packages. For serious fans, all-event packages currently provide a very satisfying experience: 4-5 days of practices and 8 separate events (SPs/LPs) to enjoy. Eliminating SP would cut the value of the package in half, and this would certainly affect ticket sales and fans' willingness to travel to events. Eliminating the SP would also negatively affect the overall dramatic tension of the event and, thus, viewers' enjoyment.

    Cinquanta seems to have proposed this idea only to make things easier for the ISU and organizers. He did not offer a single well-reasoned, logical argument to support such a huge change in the structure of the sport. He is incompetent, unprofessional, a disgrace.
  9. lmarie086

    lmarie086 missing my cat :(

    You know, this isn't the kind of news I prefer to wake up to. But actually WTF. Speedy needs to get lost. Now.
  10. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

  11. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I have no problem with making it so that the men's and women's programs are the same length of time. What, are the women too delicate to skate for the same number of minutes as the men? I have no problem with that change, although, of course, they'd need to figure out what the right length of time should be. And, depending on what that amount of time is, I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with making the long dance and the pairs' long program be that same amount of time, although I'm not sure what the point of doing that, for pairs and dance, would be.

    As for getting rid of the long distances in speed skating - I would mourn the death of those events. I like them. I also like Marathon. Then again, I also liked the compulsory dances, so perhaps we shouldn't use me as an example, here. ;)
  12. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    I've always wondered about this myself, since it has been said that women have higher endurance than men.

    I guess the long program will be next...
  13. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

  14. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    True, and if we eliminate both short program and long program, the judges will have no opportunity to cheat at all, because if there is no skating, there will be no need for judges!
    reese and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    For TV, it might work, allowing more time to show more skaters.
  16. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Yes, a skater can skate poorly, and even fall in the short under COP, yet still be able to move up and medal after the long. This is a big problem IMHO, with COP. The short program no longer is do or die as it was with 6.0. The excitement is gone...Don't eliminate the short, eliminate COP!
  17. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    But just as a skater who does poorly in the short can win it in the free; a skater can do amazing in the short and crap in the long and still win. Because the short program actually does matter.

    Plus short programs are generally so much more interesting than long programs.

    And I agree with those who say I would not travel to an event to see 4 long program events. Not worth it.
  18. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Look at Mao Asada at Olympics. Don't you think she deserved to move up? But despite her brilliant FS she didn't medal. I don't recall any events at worlds or Olympics where a skater would skate poorly in the SP and still medal. They would perhaps skate at not their usual standard and medal, but not poorly, that's a bit strong. That wouldn't medal.
  19. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    My wish, also!

    He's always hated figure skating -- saying he "didn't understand it".
    Sadly, he's threatened so many people over the years; by pushing those who disagreed with him out of decision-making positions, that he will probably get his wish
  20. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    Interestingly, there are chronic "headcase" short program skaters who actually might welcome such a change.

    ...but the 250 metre oval idea for combined short-track/long-track speed skating is beyond belief.
  21. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Does this generate great skating, or mediocre skating?
  22. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I don't think it does either.
    But without a doubt, I think Hanyu earned his Olympic medal with his short program. That was a GREAT short program. And a crap long.

    Some skaters are better SP skaters, some are better LP skaters, a rare few are phenomenal at both. Speedy's changes would mean better SP skaters are basically cut out of the sport. As someone who prefers to watch SPs, I would rather see LPs cut- skaters who are typically LP skaters would get cut from the sport in that case. (And I also think that that would be disastrous for the sport- I'm not actually suggesting it.)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  23. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Haha, he wants a mass start in long track speed skating?

    No other sport has results based on 2 segments? Nordic Combined? Ski jumping? Alpine Skiing Combined? Luge? Bobsleigh? Skeleton? Artistic & Rhythmic Gymnastics? Decathlon? Pentathlon? Diving? Golf? All of the above have more than one segment/multiple rounds or runs counting in the final score. I guess sports like Aerials, Halfpipe, Slopestyle have more than one run, but the best score counts? Still.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    All the sliding sports are a very good example- they do the same thing what, four times? Why not just have one run?

    And excellent point about sports that have two runs with only one counting. Maybe skaters should do two long programs and we just count the best one.
  25. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Speedy made the short program redundant with IJS. Now he wants to administer the "coup de grace!"
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  26. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    Why don't we just eliminate the free along with the SP? Think of all the money organizers would save if they didn't have to put on any events and all the fans would have more free time! Plus nobody would need a shuttle, since they'd be nowhere to go and nothing to see!
  27. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    This is the most disturbing to me. He is a lame duck. His time is over and he knows it. The challenges he might perceive are for the next generation of leaders. He should be trying to preserve tradition at this point. Innovation was something for 15-20 years ago when their was money to invest in the sport. If either figure skating or speed skating has become irrelevant it was because he let it happen over decades of his own negligence. He has no right to dismantle either sport since he will not have to live with the effects.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  28. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Doing away with the short program because “no other sports are based on two segments.”

    Removing SPs would be a terrible decision for the integrity of the sport but you cannot deny that for the casual audience - which skating needs in order to grow or even survive - it would definitely be a positive change. It would eliminate situations where somebody skates 'the best' in the final but is denied the victory because of being behind after the SP, which confuses and angers people (including skating fans). It's the money that is the bottom line here. I hate that idea but I cannot deny the reasoning behind it.

    Making the skating singles, pairs, dance and team performances all last the same time.

    I would be all for shortening all free programs to 4 minutes and removing some of the elements (jumps in singles). What worries me though is what they would choose to remove. Back when they took one element out from the Men FS it was a spin and not a jump, despite there being 8 jumping passes (which is too much, IMO). I remember discussing it with one competitive skater and they had a theory that it was the big federations trying to take some of the edge away from Lambiel. It could have been just a conspiracy theory, yes. But the point here is that a decision can be made for political reasons, which will later affect all skaters and the sport as a whole.

    Keeping the judges anonymous so “nobody can detect which score has been decided by which judge.”

    I realise that an appearance of openness is important and with the scores being out in the open, at least we would get a feeling like we know what is happening and which judges seem to be more clueless but would it really be anything more than just a feeling? Would it really change anything? If you are out to cheat, you will find some way to cheat, whatever the circumstances are.

    I really don't want to return to the 'good old days' where you would have a federation official walking up to a judge at a major event and telling them 'your team will never place well again.' Or another official threatening people. I remember a lot of this kind of drama backstage before the anonymity was introduced.

    It's much harder to make a deal when you have no (at least immediate) guarantee of its results and it's much easier to judge according to your conscience if you feel like you can't be threatened. On the other hand, who is to guarantee that the results really remain 'sealed' until the end of season reviews?

    I can see both benefits and drawbacks to both anonymous and non-anonymous judging and I don't feel strongly about it going either way. But I think that it's naive to think that removing anonymity alone would fix anything. Back when judging wasn't anonymous, it was IMO at an even lower standard than it is now. And I don't think that anonymity had much do to with it. It's the judging system that sucked and was the real issue.

    The judging isn't anonymous at international, non-ISU competitions and the JGP series (IIRC). Is the standard of judging higher? Are the results more accurate?

    Simplifying the scoring system “to render it understandable.”

    I guess he is thinking about the mass audience again but seriously, most people have no clue about the rules of most sports that they watch. So why even bother? You lose integrity and you don't really gain anything.

    The judging system doesn't need 'simplifying.' It needs to finally get properly developed and tightened so that the rules are defined more clearly and a workable system is developed for implementing them.

    The ISU has always come up with systems that made sense only on paper and that nobody seemed to have thought much about in terms of how they are supposed to be implemented. I mean, take the 6.0 deductions as an example. Mistake X means deducting 0.3 from the technical merit score. But the judges would give out ordinals and the marks were just a tool. So you couldn't really deduct from the technical score because you needed to manipulate the scores so that you would be able to fit skaters where you though they should have placed. So the deductions list never made any sense, whatsoever.

    Redefine and perhaps rename the senior age category.

    I wonder what that even means. :confused:

    I don't know much about speed skating but glancing at how sweeping the proposed changes are, I can only imagine the fury that the speed skating community must be feeling now.

    SP still has stricter requirements and harsher deductions. And it's not like the free skating was ever "free" anyway. Theoretically, yes, but practically it definitely wasn't. And what would be the benefit of the free skating being more "free?" How would you be able to compare performances of different skaters if it was?

    If you point is the restriction of creativity, I think that on average we've seen more creativity under IJS then back under 6.0. And whatever system there is, you will have the majority of skaters being mediocre and only a few excelling.

    (I have the image of failed lingerie shoplifter Julia Obertas doing a spread eagle pivot element in my head now and it's all your fault. :drama:)

    The wording of your sentence seems to indicate humour but the 'leak' was most likely deliberate and planned for precisely that reason. It also creates an appearance that ISU is doing something to 'improve things.'

    Let's all hope most of his ideas aren't serious and it's just an attempt at a distraction.

    Reading skating forums, it looks like every result that somebody disagrees with (skater from my country/that I like) must mean 'cheating.' :shuffle:

    A much bigger problem, IMO, is the lack of training and the system not being that well developed.

    By the end of it, there was.

    6.0 had massive flaws far exceeding any issues present in IJS.

    I mentioned the deductions list already.

    6.0 was completely impractical because unless you can predict the future, how do you know how much room to leave so that you can fit all the skaters where you think they should place? You can't, so it's very possible that a skater completes their performance, you think they were 4th best but have no room left between the 3rd and 4th skater.

    I remember situations where somebody would skate late, perform poorly but end up placing relatively high anyway because the judges had no room left lower down the ranks. It was extremely frustrating.

    The main issue with 6.0: How can you weigh every single technical and presentation aspect in your head in order to come up with the ordinal? Your brain doesn't have enough bandwidth and unless there is some kind of system for it, there is no way you can do it in a remotely similar fashion for each of the skaters. So there's no level playing field.

    Since there is nothing to support you so you just go with 'a general hunch.' Now that still definitely happens in IJS to an extent but at least with the system being there, certain things get rewarded appropriately and it's not just judges 'reading from the Tarot cards.'

    Another thing - zero movement in Ice Dance. Even if skaters fell.

    Do you think most people would really like to watch 33 teams in a row, performing more or less exactly the same movements? You need to find some kind of compromise between trying to preserve the integrity of the sport and making it more appealing and I think that SD was quite a successful experiment in that regard.

    Was it? You could not complete the planned amount of revolutions, fall and still place 4th in the SP under 6.0. It's highly unlikely that would happen under IJS.

    As a general point, in terms of what to consider when making changes, whilst TV is still the biggest player at the moment, it's eventually going to go the way of Dodo, the same other traditional media have been. We've been moving towards streaming and on-demand services for a while now.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  29. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    If anything, Ottavio Cinquanta is trying to roar like the dominant lion one last time while there is still an illusion of dominance strong enough that no challenger has yet risen up.
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    This makes me suspect the ISU is struggling financially. Well Cinquanta, the worst ISU president in history, can blame himself for that.