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PCS used correctly

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by gkelly, May 11, 2013.

What would it mean to score PCS correctly?

Poll closed Jun 10, 2013.
  1. Some judges do it right, too many do it wrong

    38 vote(s)
  2. No one official does it right, but it can be done.

    9 vote(s)
  3. The rules need to be written better.

    23 vote(s)
  4. Can't be done right, so don't do it at all.

    2 vote(s)
  5. Can't be done right, so just use one number.

    3 vote(s)
  6. Right vs. wrong is meaningless -- but there is better vs. worse

    13 vote(s)
  1. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    With using IJS to judge, the thing I like best is it helps me to analyse and evaluate. And to be able to dissect the performance so you understand why you are giving the marks you are. Whilst judging is subjective, at the end of the day you still have to explain why you came up with the marks you did. And for me there is nothing better than sitting down with a skater or coach to go through the protocol and explain to them how I saw things so that it can help them improve. It is probably the most satisfying part of the sport. Because coaches are not judges and believe or not, do not always see what a judge sees. They are sometimes too close to a skater to look at what the skater does objectively. You actually can provide a fresh set of eyes for them.
  2. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    I think they should rewrite (and maybe even rename) the Skating Skills component to become a mark reflecting the overall technical quality of the program. It should continue to reward skating skills (like edge quality, speed, control, and ease of movement) but it should also consider the overall technical sureness of the skate, including speed and flow into and out of elements, and the difficulty and quality of transition moves. I would also use this component as a place to reward skaters for demonstrating the ability to execute the six major jump takeoffs in multi-rotation jumps. They also should mark here the skater's ability to spin on both right and left feet in a variety of positions (incl sit and camel).

    This would help get away from the problem of this mark being totally unaffected by falls. It also addresses the "not seeing the forest for the trees" problem inherent in the element marking system by giving judges a place to mark the forest.

    As you can guess, I am still on my soap box about getting rid of the Transitions element. Having incorporated difficulty and quality here, their effectiveness can be incorporated into the choreo and execution mark(s). (I also still think these two components should be combined into one since it is totally illogical, in a sporting sense, for the athlete to be scored on what is really the choreographer's work.)
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  3. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I do see your point, Aussie Willy.

    But couldn't there be a case for a redesigning of IJS on some level? For instance, a mark solely for transitions seems excessive to me (and rarely even scored adequately). Couldn't it be combined into another category? I also agree with Susan M in that the SS mark should reflect the technical quality of the program. I know you're a fan of IJS, but do you feel that any changes are in order?
  4. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Personally no I don't have a problem with it.

    But the problem is whatever you redesign it to, people still won't be happy!!!! Because with any subjective system, you will never get it perfect.
  5. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    Is that any reason not to at least constantly try to improve? Even the ISU would not agree with you there. With every system the ISU has used in my skate fan life, they have regularly fiddled with it, sometimes making changes to the system itself, sometimes smaller changes within the system.

    Every year, the ISU Technical Committees look at the state of skating and talk about whether this is how they want skating to look. They look at the way judges are marking programs and elements, the way skaters and coaches are using the current rules and directions and talk about whether this is what they intended when the directive was written. If not, they try to figure out where and how to change the rules or instructions to redirect skating in the direction they want it to go. Sometimes those changes produce clear results (like the early 90s edict that ice dancers use ballroom dance music), sometimes they have little effect (like changing the second mens fw sequence to a choreo sequence), and sometimes they have unforseen/unintended effects (like raising the value of quads to the point where a skater who lands multiple quads can mess up a lot of other stuff and still win).

    I think it is really a question of degree. You probably have no objection to the ISU tweaking the points table from time to time. You probably didn't notice or care when they re-wrote the Program Component criteria a few years ago. But somehow, now, everything is so good in your mind that you don't think anyone should consider changing anything?
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    No. The judges must mark within a corridor of each other to remain in good standing. Keeping the marks so close with little variation has been attributed to them marking SS first, to which the judges anchor the other scores, but it's also much easier to stay in a corridor when using little variation between components and the corridor requirement could be behind the general lack of variation.

    It's impossible to tell if some judges are doing it right, where there isn't a consistent column for each judge across all skaters. There are often scores that seem better for some performances, but it's impossible to say whether that judge is judging properly across all skaters.
  7. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    There could be. Can you make a good case?

    Why do you think it's excessive?

    If Transitions were going to be combined with another component, undoubtedly it would become part of Skating Skills.

    Those two components together are pretty much designed to measure all the technical content in the program that doesn't fall under specific elements.

    Skating Skills also takes into account all the listed criteria as evidenced during the elements, especially the step sequences/choreo sequences.

    Transitions also takes into account highlight moves that happen between official elements that could be considered elements in their own right but that don't fit a specific category in the Scale of Values and/or in the well-balanced program rules. And it takes into account the way that the elements are connected to each other, the way that elements are connected to highlight moves. And also the less highlighted transitions between, say, forward vs. backward and clockwise vs. counterclockwise skating, or the choices about how to get from point A to point B. (There may or may not be elements at those points.)

    It would certainly be possible to take all the criteria now in the Skating Skills component and all those now in the Transitions component and roll them all into one mark.

    Tell us why you think that would be preferable to keeping them separate.

    I will make a case for why I think it's better to leave them separate:

    As I explained in an earlier post, from a mathematical point of view, if we combine two of the current components, we would need to either reduce the overall value of this combined set of skills compared with the TES or else increase the factor they're multiplied by.

    Since this is a figure skating competition first and foremost, the last thing I would want to do is reduce the value of the actual skating.

    Using a larger factor means that there is less flexibility for judges to indicate differences between skaters. With increments of 0.25 and a factor of 2.0 in the men's free skate, a judge can, for example, give Lucifer 6.5 for Skating Skills and 6.5 for Transitions, and Beelzebub 6.5 for SS and 6.25 for TR, which after factoring comes out to a difference of 0.5 between these two skaters for those aspects of the performance. With a combined component and a factor of 4.0, suppose the judge gives Lucifer 6.5 same as before, and then again thinks that Beelzebub was just slightly weaker, specifically in the areas of transitions. Now the judge is required to ignore that slight difference and give Beelz the exact same score as Luc or else to give 6.25 for the combined component. Multiplied by a factor of 4, that translates into a difference of 1.0 points. The judge has less flexibility to indicate small differences between skaters.

    As I mentioned in the previous post, letting judges use increments of 0.1 instead of 0.25 would largely solve that problem.
    The judge could give Luc 6.0 and Beelz 5.9, and even times a factor of 4 the effect on the final score will only be 0.4.

    However, I do think there is value in letting everyone know that this judge thought Beelzebub was slightly weaker specifically in the general area of transitions, rather than leaving it vague as to where Lucifer was better.

    Speaking for myself, the changes I'd like to see in program components scoring are more subtle -- improve the existing tools and the way judges use them before looking to start over. I would reword some of the criteria as currently written, I would add in some written guidelines/recommendations for how judges should reflect technical errors in the various components, and I would like to see more rigorous training of judges on how to understand aesthetic/performing arts terminology and principles as written into the P/E, CH, and IN rules.

    And I would want to make this information largely available to skaters and coaches and to interested members of the public, to demystify the process.

    Already the IJS does a much better job than the old system of communicating the judging standards to non-judges. I'd rather go further in that direction.

    The places I would most like to see more radical changes to the IJS would be in the well-balanced program rules. But that would be a topic for a different thread.
  8. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I think this is an issue of judge training. And also the way the assessments are done. But already the assessment rules are written so that judges get more leeway in how much they can deviate from the average of the panel if they use wider ranges between their marks. So if the goal is to encourage judges to widen their ranges, advertise that fact and issue written guidelines that specifically encourage judges to use differences of more than 1.0 between components when warranted.

    It might also make sense to rearrange the order in which the components are presented. Judges always have the option to input the marks in whatever order makes sense to them, but by default they will usually do so in the order the components are listed in the rules, on their worksheets, and in the computer.

    Would it make more sense to put Performance/Execution first, for example, since that's the closest thing to an Overall Impression mark? Maybe rewrite those criteria to make that even more the case?

    You mean because of the scrambled columns from one skater to another to preserve anonymity. I agree with you about that.

    Look at the JGP scores, or national, sectional, etc., scores in countries that do not use anonymity within their domestic competitions. Outside of senior international events, the columns will line up with Judge #1 always in the first column, Judge #2 in the second, etc. Not only can you look at the patterns, you can assign names to each column. If you want to get a general sense of whether there are meaningful patterns to the way individual judges are using the numbers, you can get a much clearer idea in the nonscrambled protocols from the non-senior-international events. It's likely that the same individuals would use pretty much the same approaches at the more important events that do scramble the protocols, although until and unless the ISU gets rid of anonymity we won't be able to say for sure.
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    You can express the opinion that you think it needs changing. I just don't have a problem with it as it is and don't see it from that point of view. You can interpret that as me saying it is all good. However I am probably more accepting of it all because I look at the bigger picture and have a different perspective which I have made comments in previous posts. But if they made changes I would accept those. It is like the road rules - I don't get upset about them, I just drive to them. That is probably more indicative of the type of person I am.

    To be perfectly honest when judging I just go in and do my job as per the guidelines we are given to use. But also as an administrator in the sport here, I have a hell of lot of other things to worry about rather just the judging system. I would say about 20% of my sporting involvement is do with judging. There are issues with sporting development, administration and organisation that take up more time and involve a lot more effort than just getting out and judging.
  10. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    I think the great Patrick Chan debate makes a good case why marking these things in isolation is a bad idea. You still are judging trees and not the forest. You can ignore all the rest of the program and score those two small aspects while still missing the big picture. The suggestion of using one component mark for the big picture, including all the technical aspects not scored as technical elements, would go a long way toward addressing that shortcoming.

    I agree there would need to be some mathematical adjustments to component weights (or perhaps creation of new components) if one or more of them is eliminated.
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    The first thing and easiest thing the ISU could do to make components clearer is to change the name of Performance/Execution to something that reflects the bullet points, and remove anything that can't be demonstrated or known without being a mind-reader, like "intellectual involvement" and "sincerity." The second and harder thing they could do is categorize what is intrinsic to a program if it is executed to any extent -- ex, where the elements are placed, the pattern/direction from element to element, the balance of work between partners -- separately from how well the program is performed.

    I think the questions about CH should be 1. Is it well-constructed (Composition), 2. How hard is it to execute (Difficulty) and 3. Is the movement appropriate for and reflective of the music consistently throughout the program and does it create a coherent theme, even if the theme is abstract? (Unity) and 4. How well was it executed (Form and Interpretation)

    The answers to questions 1-3 are intrinsic to the CH itself, and should be judged by the equivalent of a PCS technical panel and given levels; that isn't to say that Form and Interpretation won't help whoever is leveling it see the virtues of the program or that Form doesn't make Interpretation more effective than the same without form. Yes, this will cost money. Yes, this is not practical for competitions at lower levels where championship-like setups aren't used now. Yes, especially the third calls for expertise that almost no judges at the top levels have shown they have, IMO, partly because they've bought into general figure skating mannerisms and adjust for unnecessary limitations. And, yes, I still think there should be technical judges and PCS judges, each with their own expertise. If the judges are so bored, they should mark the elements more thoroughly and each skater fairly. And, finally, yes, the judges for ISU competitions should be hired and trained by the ISU and not appointed by the Federations, so that the issue of smaller segments of panels isn't a political issue, but more like a MLB umpiring team.

    The two qualities that reflect execution are Form, which in most cases is a reflection of technique, and Interpretation, and, possibly -- I go back and forth on this -- General Impression. The extent to which form/technique enable interpretation is grossly underestimated, or, perhaps, occasion, theatricality is grossly overestimated at the expense of form and technique.

    Difficulty, variety, intricacy can certainly enhance construction, but there can be a beautifully constructed, simple program. Judged professionally, a difficult, but unmusical program should get a high difficulty level, but low unity level.

    For Composition, I would look for:
    Proportion, including distribution of elements
    Pattern and Ice Coverage, which covers the "360-degree skater-viewer relationship" in "Utilization of Public and Private Space" composition element
    Shared Responsibility of Purpose (Pairs/Dance)
    Transitions [See below]
    Appropriateness of the music (ice dance) from IN

    For Unity, I'd include:
    Musicality -- how appropriate the movement style is to the music, whether discernible rhythms are reflected, and how the elements are placed and performed to the music. If a 17-position spin knocks the skater off the music or looks contorted in a lyrical program, it should be reflected here and negate the level points.
    Theme -- how appropriate the music is for the theme
    Phrasing -- how the movement ebbs and flows to match the musical phrases; specific to the choreographic element (arm goes here, leg goes there, movement slows down suddenly or softly), not the execution/form (arm moves with power from center of back vs. from the elbow with no connection to the body)
    Contrast (if applicable, as some programs, like "Nutcracker Pas de Deux" build instead)

    For how well the program was executed, I'd include:

    Skating Skills, As is, but correctly scored so that speed doesn't overwhelm multi-directional and one-footed skating.

    Carriage (from PE)
    Clarity of movement (refined lines, precise execution) (from PE)
    Unison (pairs and dance) (from PE)

    and add:
    Leg line -- unless the movement calls specifically for bent legs, are the knees stretched (separate from extension)?, is the leg turned out?, as well as matching line for Pairs and Dance
    Turnout and toe point, unless the CH calls for flexed feet
    Control -- how feet are placed on the ice, how limbs are lifted and descend,
    Hands -- how they are carried, form
    Transitions -- Does the skater hold form and body tension when transitioning from element to element (or does the body go slack, the posture fade, etc.)

    Anyone who's seen Nureyev do "nothing" but walk downstage left to upstage right in an arc with no music playing to prepare for his variation and hold the audience rapt knows that this doesn't require anything fancy, but is exceptionally difficult.

    Musicality (Expression of music's style, character, and rhythm) -- Is the skater skating to or through the music, including the changes to tempo and character?
    Strength -- Does the skater's movement match the strength or softness of the music?
    Personality/style from PE
    Projection from PE
    Use of finesse to musical nuances

    As far as deductions/reductions to PCS, I don't think falls are specifically more disruptive to programs by definition than, for example, a series of flawed landings and/or jumps with no flow-out, so that the skater has to start stroking like crazy off the music to get to the next element.

    What would help CH and Unity in general for ice dance is that the extended lift deductions are nixed. If they wanted, they could say that only features performed in the first six seconds of a lift counted towards levels (or 12-seconds for a combined lift), but allow the skaters to perform the lifts as long as they want without penalty.

    I think all transitions in and out of elements should be considered features, just like arm positions in jumps should, and jumps should be leveled, just like twist lifts, for example, instead of being optional GOE bullet points, and that all transitions in and out of elements should be considered in levels, just as certain spin entrances are. That will leave the balance of TR to the CH mark, but not up to the discretion of individual judges to reward or not.
    BittyBug, TheIronLady, gkelly and 5 others like this.
  12. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Good suggestions.

    Are you planning to have three panels? (One to call the elements and levels, one to assign GOEs and some technical components, one to score the more artistic components?)
    Can you clarify which of these components would be scored by which panel?

    For transitions, I see you have separated transitions into and out of elements from maintaining form between elements.

    And the use of different kinds of turns etc. to transition between skating directions, to get from on part of the ice to another, can be considered under skating skills and/or composition.

    But where would be the place to consider things like highlight moves -- spread eagles, split jumps, walleys, etc. -- that might be performed as part of getting from point A to point B but not directly connected to an element?
  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I'm looking at four different functions:

    Tech panel to level tech elements
    Tech judges to judge quality of elements and possibly SS
    PCS panel split between levelling difficulty with attempt at training up "artistic panel" to recognize Composition difficulty apart from the additive difficulty of the elements, and Composition and Unity. Dance people already judge Composition and Unity visually and music people already do aurally as a matter of course and make value judgements about whether difficulty adds or detracts from these.
    PCS judges to judge Form and IN

    Any movement -- steps (including crossovers), glides, turns, MIF, arm and upper body movements -- that aren't specifically considered Transitions in and out of elements or elements (CH sequence) would be leveled under Composition, since they all constitute getting from element to element, and I see no reason to distinguish between any of them. Everything would be considered under Unity.
  14. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    Yikes. So you are saying you recognize it is not "all good" yet still don't think the ISU should work to improve it?

    This mentality baffles me. "Good enough, I can live with it" is such a sad and defeatist outlook.
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Excuse me - to quote you
    You are turning around my comments to suit yourself and placing your own value judgement on them.

    I don't have a problem with the system as it is. That is not saying it is good or bad. But it does mean I am not analysing it to the hilt like you might be (I have too many other things going on in my life to have time to do that). So I would suggest you should stop making assumptions about other's opinions, just because they don't fit in with the way you see things.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  16. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I think splitting up into more panels is what none of us want if it can be prevented. It might work if thought through cautiously and tested, but all kinds of red flags are raised by this idea. The more panels, the more risk that numerically-based scores become incoherent. I think it's worth looking into if the ISU did it thoughtfully. Perhaps some judges would apply the rules and definitions more carefully if their functions were more specialized.

    My thought, for what it's worth, is at the end of the day we basically want human judges weighing in and deciding + technical points. We don't want scoring to go further toward the fragmented and away from the holistic. So caution is in order for schemes that would create three panels.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  17. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Since you mention it, does anyone think judges themselves might be too burdened or busy to have time to help refine and improve the system? It seems like the ISU administration has been somewhat engaged with the yearly criticisms from coaches/experts, but maybe the ISU is not getting enough feedback and critical reflection from the judges. Perhaps some don't want to encourage changes. This would be more than understandable because they are in the center of the storm. It is a challenge to manage a process like the ISU judging system, and I think ultimately the judges are the ones whose input on the process can and will make the system work better.
  18. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I have a question:

    What percentage do jumps and spins have in the score of a program?

    I posted this in another thread, but it seems appropriate here. While I am all for "complete skaters," "artistry" and a "balanced program," it is specifically jumps and spins that make singles skating what it is. Without them, it really is ice dancing (and I am NOT siding with Plushenko here, in that no quads = ice dance!). So at least to me, it seems only right that scoring for jumps and spins should make up the majority of the score. (As opposed to footwork, spirals, skating skills, etc.)

    So do they and, if not, why not? And with talk of restructuring IJS, might that not be a good place to start?

    (Yes, I understand IJS. But I've never figured out the percentage of the weight given to jumps and spins and am wondering if anyone else has done so.)
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    It obviously depends on the skater's technical content, and it also differs between Ladies and Men, with Ladies having one less jump element in the FS and generally lower jump difficulty. To answer your own question, you can go to the protocols and add up the base and/or total scores and divide by the total base and/or total TES (if percentage of technical total interests you) or just total scores.
    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Skateboy - I am not sure what you are trying to ascertain here. A jump is a jump and a spin is a spin. If the skater does them well they will get more marks and if they don't do them so well they will get less marks. And if they did a program of all double jumps they will get less marks than a program of all triple jumps. But I am not telling you anything you don't know there.

    However if you have a look at protocols, the factoring of the PCS is different for the different types of programs and different levels of divisions. To explain this go to the ISU Communication website and look at Communication 1760. This is the communication for Novice competitions.


    If you have a look through this you will see Program Component Factors specified for each division.

    What this does is it gives a different weighting to different levels of competition for the components and is meant to balance out the level of skating difficulty for the technical elements. So for Advanced Novice the factors are:

    a) Short Program
    - for boys 0.9
    - for girls 0.8
    b) Free Skating
    - for boys 1.8
    - for girls 1.6

    If you look through the communication you will see the factors are all different for singles, pairs and ice dance.

    So the factor for each component is multiplied by the average of each component mark the judges give to provide a score for that component. Which is then added up for the total component score.

    And then in some divisions (lower levels) only a couple of components are used. Then the factoring on those components will be increased to balance out the missing components. So in Preliminary level here, SS and PE are judged and the factor on those is 2.5.

    I am not sure that makes sense. I only understand this stuff because I have done so much pre-event data entry.

    Hope that explains it, but the system does go some way to making sure the elements and components are not outranking each other in the contribution to the total score.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  21. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    Figure skating has always been an artistic sport, and skating itself has always mattered a lot in it. No one forced you to follow such a sport. You could/can choose another sport where only technique is important if you don't like that.

    You say that you are all for complete skaters, artistry and balanced programs, but such a statement is contradictory to the view that jumps and spins should make up the greatest part of the score. Because, if it were so, then there wouldn't be such things as complete skaters, balanced programs and artistry in singles skating.

    Also - skating skills and footwork are technique in figure skating.
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  22. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    That was rather bitchy of you, why? :confused:

    Yes, I enjoy beautiful skating, artistry and choreography. Anyone champion-worthy should be an exceptional athlete combined with beautiful artistry. But in the end, this is not ballroom dance, it is an Olympic sport. An artistic sport, yes, but nevertheless a sport. And I do feel that the athletic side of singles skating should carry more weight than the artistic. NOT saying the artistry shouldn't be there. And, for the record, an artistic and beautiful skater with inferior technical content is not a balanced skater, either. Sheesh.
  23. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    I agree that I was a bit harsh, but "bitchy" is an overstatement. And I no taking my words back.

    Also, I must remind that you weren't talking just about artistry. Skating skills, step sequences and transitions are not artistry. That's technique in figure skating. Plus, I am not sure why did you choose spins as the other most important element in singles skating. I wouldn't say that spins are really what defines singles skating. There are spins also in pairs skating and ice dancing. Sure, they are different. But the requirements for step sequences in pairs skating and ice dancing are also different than in singles skating, so why not step sequences?

    And where did I say that artistry is more important than technique?
  24. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not taking my words back, either.

    Spins: the one spin incorporated into dance routines is relatively new and still, dance teams don't so laybacks, Biellmanns, A-spins, etc. Spins are a big part of what defines singles skating, always has been, even before difficult jumps entered the picture.

    You say that skating skills and transitions are not artistry, yet they factor into PCS rather than TES. So which is it?

    All steps in skating is technical, even crossovers. Everything has to be learned through technique.

    Pairs differs from the other events, specifically because of overhead lifts and throws. In dance, there are the few lifts and one spin element, but other than that, the whole routine is made up of step sequences (and rightly so). Singles differs from pairs and dance primarily because of multiple jumps and spins. It is my opinion that those elements should carry extra weight in the score. Some may agree with me, some may not.

    Even if jumps and spins carried more weight in a program, that would not exclude the other technical and artistic qualities from being paramount to a stellar performance. A skater with nothing but jumps and spins would have a difficult time winning against someone with the complete package. But I don't believe that skating skills and transitions should be able to override falls and major mistakes on jumps and spins. This happens under IJS.

    And where did I mention that you said artistry is more important than technique?
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  25. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Skating skills = skating techniques.

    To my mind, these are the most important thing in a figure skating competition. They underlie everything that happens on the ice -- or everything that the competition is supposed to be about.

    On the TES side, skating skills are mostly measured in the step sequence, which rewards a variety of turns and steps and multidirectional skating and speed and flow and deep, secure edges (and also in the choreo sequence, and some other pair and dance elements).

    All those things are also rewarded throughout the rest of the program, between elements, and going in and out of jumps and spins.

    The PCS in general are meant to reward qualities that happen across the whole program, not specifically "artistic" qualities. Some of the criteria of some of the components have everything to do with artistry and some have little to do with artistry and are solely or primarily about technique.

    The Skating Skills component is all about technique. Definitely a skater with stronger skating skills is in a better position to use those skills for artistic purposes, and will probably be more aesthetically pleasing to watch even if not trying to be artistic. But that component is not designed or intended to measure artistry. It's measuring actual skating ability, apart from the tricks (elements) as well as within the elements as relevant.

    The criteria for the Transitions component are variety, difficulty, quality, and intricacy. Aside from the difficulty of individual non-element moves, variety and intricacy also relate to the difficulty of the program -- the number of different kinds of skills exhibited, and the added difficulty of connections between moves which generally makes them each harder than if done isolation. Quality of transitions would reflect the level of technical mastery.

    Primarily what's being measured in that component is technical skills. Of course, moves performed with good (or bad) quality would affect several of the Performance/Execution criteria as well. Variety and intricacy would affect several of the Choreography criteria. So in those ways the transitions do have an effect on the artistic impact of the performance, just as the elements themselves do. But the artistic aspects of the non-element moves are measured primarily in these other components, and the technical aspects in the Transitions component itself.

    What I would not like to see is losing or devaluing the contribution of Skating Skills and Transitions to the scores outside of the element scores and the "artistic" components. To my mind, Skating Skills should indeed be the single most important score for the program. And the skills rewarded in Transitions are important enough that I would prefer not to see this component subsumed into Skating Skills (and Choreography).
  26. unicorn

    unicorn Active Member


    No! No more points for jumps, LOL. You think Patrick Chan won because of his superior SS? Actually I feel it's because the system is way too generous towards the falls. Look at the protocol, his two FAILED TRIPLE JUMPS worth a LEVEL 4 STEP SEQUENCE. That's the most ridiculous thing to me. And before Patrick Chan started landing quads consistently in competitions, he usually got same PCS and same SS score as Brian Joubert (anyone can justify this:)).
  27. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    The jump elements are worth a lot more points than spins and fw. Base values of Triple jumps range from 4.1 to 8.5 and there are 8 jumping elements (incl up to 3 combinations/seq). Base value of the hardest spins are about 3.2 points and there are three of them. The base value for the two fw sequences is at most 6 points. More significantly, the lower scoring elements do not have as many GOE points available and the spread in points for these elements between the best skaters is pretty small.

    The idea in skating judging has historically been that the technical and artistic/presentation aspects should be equally valued. In the first iteration of the point system, the developers tested it by applying their system to the recently completed 2002 Olympics. When they saw Tim Goebel would have won (because he actually outjumped everybody else at this event) they decided putting too much value on jumps did not produce results that fit the values they wanted in skating.

    When the current judging system was first adopted, the ISU was very conscious of adjusting points up or down to try to keep that balance between TES and PCS points. I think that is why we see the PCS marks multiplied by two. At the recent Worlds, for example, if you look at the men with the best presentation marks, the PCS points are still fairly close to even with the TES points. As you look down the list, the skaters are getting distinctly more points for the Technical Elements.

    They also tried to keep the ratio of points earned in the SP and FS at the traditional 1:2 weight of the 6.0 system that preceded it. Again, they are still coming reasonably close to hitting this ratio in the men's event. (I didn't look at the others.)

    As someone suggested upthread, you could see how these things play out if you take a good study of the protocols (the pdf files with the detailed scoring). For 2013 Worlds, you can find them from this page by clicking on the links in the far right column.
  28. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    I'm by no means a couple expert, but I would rank these skaters in the individual categories as such with respective justifications.
    SS: Hughes and Liang have good basic skating, Meissner and Czisny's was relatively mediocre.
    TR: Hughes and Liang had more difficult transitions, I would put Meissner last here.
    EX: Liang, then Hughes (who skated well but had some unpolished, rough sections), then Czisny/Meissner.
    CR: Liang, Hughes, and Czisny had fairly good CR (I would give Liang the edge here out of personal preference, but it's subjective). Meissner's was relatively lacking.
    IR: Liang and Hughes both sold their programs and had outstanding interpretation, especially Liang. Czisny had good interpretation but the two falls marred the overall interpretation. Meissner is also most lacking in this area.

    Even more egregious is the fact that Liang skated the same SP at 2007 Nationals even better, but for some reason got worse PCS. That doesn't make any sense either.
  29. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    I think it is a mistake to equate PCS with artistry. I think we all fall into that trap sometimes (including me) but both the Skating Skills and Transitions components are really primarily judging technical skills and content. Once they were done creating the TES, somebody realized there are other moves and technical skills that need to be credited somewhere, so they put those into those two Components. Under the 6.0 system, stroking quality and transition moves would have been included in the technical mark. (This is why Surya Bonaly's tech mark often seemed low when you look at just her elements and why some skaters seemed to have a tech ceiling of about 5.6 or 5.7, regardless of their jumps.) I think under 6.0 they did move speed more than once between tech and presentation.
  30. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    This post makes me want to toss the components categories in the rubbish bin. Perhaps in other languages these distinctions have more logic and a clearer emphasis. That's one guess I can make about why the overlapping, fuzzy, and wordy jargon has not been revised. Probably the categories are superior to alternatives that were proposed, but I still would have expected this scheme to be modified by now.