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PJ Kwong: What is wrong is the failure of some to learn how the sport is scored

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, May 4, 2013.

Is PJ Kwong right?

Poll closed Jun 4, 2013.
  1. Yes

    78 vote(s)
  2. No

    60 vote(s)
  3. Don't Know

    0 vote(s)
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    Recent interview with PJ Kwong. In the interview, she states:-

    So, is Kwong right? Is the fault with the current judging system or is it with those who don't understand it?
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  2. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    It all depends on what is not understood! If you don't understand PCS is judged 1 to 10 than nothing can be done! Or with TES that singling is worse than falling. Singling is one rotation not even worth a point! Doing 3 or 4 rotations means all those points on rotations minus -3 in GOE and then 1 off the total element score. Is that too complicated? I don't think so. A step sequence is made up of mitf! The more different MITF you do the higher the level!
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Aging in a great place

    PJKwong is ALWAYS right!
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  4. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I agree with Kwong. Brennan, Hersh, NBC folks seem averse to change. It should not still be referred to as "the new" system. It is 10 years old. There are problems with the components scores, but the system is well tested now and at least predictable. It is not difficult to sell it to general audiences with good presentation.
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  5. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    I voted no, because the main problem with the scoring system (imho, of course ;) ) is that components aren't scored correctly.
    OliviaPug, flutzilla1, MR-FAN and 5 others like this.
  6. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    Her comment is patronizing. Plenty of people understand the system but still disagree with many aspects of it. There are lots of thoughtful discussions about it right here on FSU, where she is a member. I agree to the extent that some media are OTT in their insistence that the judging system is an impossible code to crack and driving viewers away, but disagree that once everyone "understands" that there wouldn't be any problem.

    Also found it strange that she said a skater must be 100% healthy to win the Olympics, since there are plenty of counter-examples to that.
    Ares, skateboy, CassAgain and 2 others like this.
  7. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    I'll second the "imho". :D
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Maybe the comment was being made in relation to a certain Ms Friedlander.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  9. dorianhotel

    dorianhotel Banned Member

    Of course she says this to try and justify Chan's undeserved wins which she and a few rabid Chan fans/Canadian skating fans are the only ones to agree with. I remember her practically screaming and crying on air when the crowd booed Chan and his win at Worlds last year.
    littleponyjoe likes this.
  10. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Is there a video link to Kwong screaming and crying? That is hilarious if she really did that. Some Canadian commentators can be sniveling and biased, but Kwong has not been either when I have heard her. I recall her commentary being marked by promiscuous fairness. She seems to support everyone, and I have not heard her misrepresenting competitions in favor of Canadians.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  11. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Edmonton Journal blog article titled "Figure skating needs CPR": http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/05/02/figure-skating-needs-cpr/
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  12. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    People can agree with the way the sport is judged now or not. However, it is not a system that only favours Chan and Canadians.

    The elements of the system that allow Chan's controversial wins would also allow controversial wins for other skaters who gain a cushion because of where they are consistently judged superior.

    It is most blatant recently and particularly in this year's Worlds with Chan's victory - but had V and T skated more poorly than they did this year with more falls - they also still would have won easily judging by their margin of victory. I remember thinking that before they skated. I knew they would win even with mistakes - and I didn't have an issue with that- but I hoped they would skate in a way that there would be no controversy and luckily they did.

    It is the same reason people don't always agree with Kostner's wins with less difficult jump content and why she could place above a female equivalent of Denis Ten.

    I am not suggesting that any of these skaters DID skate with as many errors as Chan - but that if they had, the system the way it judges would allow for similarly controversial results.

    I happen to be one of the ones who sees why VT, Kostner and Chan should beat other skaters with more perfect programs. I am not saying you have to agree with me - I am just saying having seen them all skate live I have no problem with each of these skaters' mastery of the ice and all the time and energy it has taken them to get that way being something that gets rewarded when they skate the way the mastery of a jump is rewarded.

    Also - I don't find the suggestion that many people don't understand the system condescending because I have seen evidence of that repeatedly. That doesn't mean that people who understand the system and disagree with it don't also exist. I think both groups do.

    Unfortunately, there are many people who write about the sport or speak about it who DON'T understand it.
    npavel, michaelfsfan, mag and 9 others like this.
  13. bbkenn

    bbkenn Well-Known Member

    Well said.
  14. Corianna

    Corianna Active Member

    I agree. Well said Accordian.

    Thanks to PJ's posting the score sheets a year or so ago, and thus leading me to various sections on the ISU sites, and some posts elsewhere, I'm now very comfortable with the scoring system-- much more so than I ever was with 6.0. But then, I never liked fractions all that much. Seeing the scores for each element is great.
    spikydurian and (deleted member) like this.
  15. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of this.
  16. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    I am not sure whether rabid is the right word for you to use against Chan's fans. I can pick your posts to show rabid applies more to yourself but then again, there are a lot of trash talk in trash can, and there are better things to do in life than indulge in negative nitpicking.

    I respect PJ Kwong though I may not agree with all her opinions. What I like about PJ is that she tries to point out the little details which a skater does which show the level of quality/difficulty. I have learnt so much listening to her at competitions, as a non figure skater. And I support her that COP is not difficult to understand if we look at the sheet of paper like in any basic maths. And for anyone who wants to write about figure skating, they should learn the rules. I am a casual fan and I don't bother. I just watch and enjoy the skaters's skills. But should I wonder why A scores more than B, I look at the protocols and find where the points are gained or lost.

    Interestingly, I wish COP was in place during Tara and Michelle's Olympic skates. IMO, it could have gone either way. I wish I know where Michelle lost to Tara just as in the recent 2010 Olympics where Plushenko lost to Lysacek.
  17. unicorn

    unicorn Active Member

    Didn't read the interview. It seems that she thinks people don't like some of the results because they don't understand the system?
    I thought IJS was more popular because it's basically a fool's system, easier to understand. Under IJS, each element is assigned a value, PCS is independent to TES, then simply add everything up, neglecting lots of more complicated situations. While 6.0 is much more complicated.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  18. NorthernDancers

    NorthernDancers Well-Known Member

    I think this is the crux of the matter: the UNWILLINGNESS to understand and/or accept CoP, especially when one's favourites don't win. IJS has had a tremendous impact on the sport for developing skaters. It's not complicated. I know a whole bunch of 8 and 10 year olds who understand exactly what their skating report cards mean, and eagerly look for them at the end of the competition so they can see where they improved and what they still need to work on. And when they watch a video play-back with the report card in hand, the "wuz-robbed" complaining can often be silenced by a solid analysis of what actually happened and how it was scored. That's not to say there isn't work to do yet on how to decide PCS and GOE's, but the system at its core is sound, and is working well in so many ways. It's time for the media to get on board, and help explain it to the general audience instead of the constant whining about the "new" system. It's here. It's not new. Let's accept it, and work on tweaking it where needed.

    Here's the thing: I think there will always be a debate over whether or not jumps are more important, whether or not clean skates should be rewarded over difficulty, what constitutes difficulty, and so on. This happened under the old system as well, if I recall. And where someone sits in that continuum often depends on whether or not his/her favourite won the day. I don't think it is possible for everyone to agree on a "perfect" system, and what "perfect" means will likely continue to change with the winds. For some crazy reason, or multiple reasons, Patrick becomes the current whipping boy for the "haterz", although it should be pointed out that he is not the only one who has benefited from IJS. But I remember post Olympics how the forums were abuzz with the "haterz" who thought it was ridiculous that an Olympic champion could win without a quad. And so the system was tweaked to provide a higher point lead to those who complete quads. Now that Patrick has quads, and received the points he did largely because of his quad (along with a few other things), now the emphasis should be on "skating clean". Folks, we can't have it both ways! Either there will be greater reward and points for attempting and completing more difficult elements, or the skaters will not attempt them so they can guarantee a win. It's just logic.

    I do like that IJS rewards a more complete skater. It has made things more difficult for people like Plushenko, Joubert, and others who grew up in the old system and haven't adjusted terribly well to new expectations. But I sometimes wonder if Kurt would have had an Olympic medal if he had skated under IJS. He would mess up in the short, and then have too far to go in the free, even if he put in a stellar performance. I remember discussions about needing to have a great skate and a certain combination of others having to finish in a different order for him to have any hope of a podium finish. He really was (and is) a complete skater. In IJS, where its all about points, he may have been able to make up enought points to land on a podium, even if it wasn't gold.
    Yazmeen, mag, alilou and 7 others like this.
  19. os168

    os168 Active Member

    Uhhh... I think the problem is many people knows how the system is suppose to be scored, that is why people are upset?!
  20. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I totally agree. It is about learning about the system. One of the things I think is really important as a judge is not only to get out there as a judge, but then talk to skaters and explain what the protocols means. They always appreciate it. But then it helps them to go away and know what to work on.
  21. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada


    also, when people say they dont understand the system, at least some of the time they mean that they arent understanding or agreeing with how it is applied.
  22. sk8ingcoach

    sk8ingcoach Active Member

    Well said and i absolutely agree
  23. vodkashot

    vodkashot Active Member

    This is the impression I get too.

    A lot of the fury and angst comes from the fact we see ridiculous things like judges giving out 8s in TR to programs with zero transitions, 8s in IN for performances in which the skater is visibly behind the music and struggling to catch up for half of the program, 8s in SS for skaters who scratch around the ice with shallow edges at snail's pace but manage to land a few quads. Or the fact that we often see technical panels inconsistently applying URs and edge calls both within the same competition and across competitions. This type of frustration doesn't come from ignorance of the scoring system--it comes from a knowledge of the rules in the rulebook.

    That said, I do agree that there are people who are clueless about the IJS and don't seem to want to learn. But it's wrong to lump in all the discontent with the judging under the collective banner of ignorance.
  24. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I agree. As others have noted, plenty of us here at FSU understand how the system is supposed to work, but have issues with it nonetheless, which I think can be grouped into two categories: 1. the judges are not using the system correctly and 2. there are problems with the system itself that should be addressed. The latter does not mean that these are uneducated fans who want to go back to 6.0 because the IJS is difficult to understand; it does mean that not everyone agrees about what the system emphasizes and rewards vs. punishes. In my case, I still like the idea of the IJS, but I think it needs a lot of work. At the moment, I'm not really enjoying much of what I'm seeing in the ice, and it is certainly pushing me personally away from skating.

    I agree that some reporters and commentators could do more to educate casual viewers about how the scoring works, and I don't think skating scoring is more confusing than the rules of other, more successful sports. But skating is not very successful at the moment, and it's not reasonable to expect casual fans to educate themselves on their own.

    I think the way GOEs are used has become an even bigger problem at this point than the PCS, and there's a lot of reputation scoring that does into that, too. Also, I don't care how difficult the entry was, I care about how well the element was executed.
    aka_gerbil and (deleted member) like this.
  25. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    It's certainly not like that for me. Of course, I have certain skaters that I root for but, at the end of the day, I just want to see an exciting competition and, most importantly, see the best skater of that particular competition come out on top. If I have a favorite, sure I'll be bummed for him/her/them if they lose, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it if the outcome was just. While there is a relatively small percentage of extreme "ubers" and "haters," I think most avid FS fans feel the same way that I do. Most of us on this forum have a great respect for all of the top competitors. Let's face it: many people were upset with Chan winning over Ten at this last Worlds. Was Ten ANYONE'S favorite?

    As for IJS: yes, I've studied it as much as I can, in order to understand the scoring. I can even understand results that I disagree with, based on the system. But I, like many other FS fans, believe it is flawed. And I believe that the people who are not fond of the current system (including a large number of skaters and coaches) outnumber the people who think it is just fine and dandy the way it is now. THAT'S why there is such a controversy.

    (In the Skating Lesson Podcast, Sandra Bezic made a comment that really struck a chord with me: the purpose of IJS is to rack up as many points as possible but, as such, the comparative aspect of judging skaters has gone away. I tend to agree. Judges aren't really even judges anymore, they are scorers.)
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
    OliviaPug and (deleted member) like this.
  26. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I think the beauty contest aspect of the sport is no longer workable by itself. The international judging panels seemed unable to make reliable decisions using 6.0. To a degree, technical progress was also being thwarted by 6.0 values. Someone like Sandra Bezic would have confidence in a 100% subjective system because she has that much confidence-- and rightly so if you have seen her amazing choreography--in her own ability to evaluate quality holistically. Not every federation has judges capable of that. Panels proved themselves time and again for over a decade to be incompetent and/or willing to play games. The system had to be reformed to promote a sport that would be more credible in the sports world and to promote improvements in difficulty and quality-- and not just more revolutions on jumps.

    I am not an enemy of 6.0, for I know the performance product was often more entertaining for audiences. However, can you deny that the sport has advanced technically? Also, is it not true that judging has become less whimsical?

    People say 6.0 worked for a long time so why was it tossed out. I say 6.0 worked best in a time when there was: less globalization, a less diverse audience, you did not have internationalized coaching and choreography, the politics of judging was neatly divided into Cold War camps, and the sport was more amateur and less business-oriented. These things are all gone.

    I would like 6.0 values to be retained, but when you deal with the problems of getting diverse (and unpaid) judges to behave rationally and fairly, you have to make compromises. You also have to think about how to promote progress and improvements beyond just having more jumps and BOEs vs flutzes. IJS does this by trying to account for every technical dimension.

    I agree with Sonia Bianchetti that you cannot quantify interpretation or choreography. If you want validity, you need a system that admits interpretation and musicality are relative. Thus, it seems like you need to assign ranks to skaters to have an accurate reflection of artistic merit. The components system and categories are flawed. It worries me that the ISU carries on with it so glibly. The category names are not that audience friendly. So you can see I have my reservations too. I just believe when you evaluate this it is impossible to be overly idealistic or nostalgic. 6.0 had become an insufficient--albeit entertaining and fun-- system for the sport's long term prospects.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
    l'etoile and (deleted member) like this.
  27. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    By the way, what does PJ stand for?
  28. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Regarding knowing how to get the points to get the best results even if you're not the best skater... two words: Laura Lepisto. (Love the girl, but to get a medal at worlds with the content she did, she played the game right and that's all that matters as she has a world medal). It's the ones who don't understand the system and don't use it to their advantage that bitch about results. Hello Plush.
  29. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    I am sure post Sochi, IJS will bring tweak the COP to punish those who fall often one way or another. So for those who hate to see skaters fall and win, you may have your wish just like those to insist that quads should be encouraged got their wish post Vancouver. That should keep many happy, I hope. ;)

    If you wish to look at it from an artistic standpoint as in 'how it moves me' then certainly it is impossible to quantify. Art is purely intrinsic. What moves me may not moves you. If they wish to measure it, they have to find a way to quantify 'musical interpretation'. I think gkelly has posted how 'musical interpretation' is measured in COP.

    I think it's impossible to have a perfect testing system after all they are all marked by human beings. Having said that, it does not mean that the tests cannot be improved if certain outcomes are desired. And isn't it what the IJS has been doing?

    I admit I have no idea what PJ stands for. (Patricia Jane?) :D
  30. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

    Most of the discussions I personally ran into on this message board with respect to the results in the men's event at the 2010 Olympics - just to give you one example - went along the following lines:

    "Plushenko should have won because he had the quad. And he had charisma. Lysacek winning was a disgrace."
    "Are you kidding me? Plushenko ignored the rules. And sorry to say this but CH stands for choreography, not charisma, and his program was empty, he was scored on reputation, he should actually have finished off the podium.
    "Takahashi should have won the Olympics."
    "Takahashi? No way. I was there and he skated slowly. He was even slower than Plushenko. And his jumps were tiny and scratchy."
    "Huh? I was there too and Takahashi wasn't slow. He definitely wasn't slower than Plushenko."
    "Johnny Weir was robbed. He skated two clean programs, he should have placed much higher."
    "Johnny? Oh, I love Johnny but he got stuck in the 6.0 system. He was just stroking from one element to the other with some posing inbetween."

    As far as ice dancing, when Davis/White lose, their fans scream "wuzzrobbed" and "corruption", and when Virtue/Moir lose, their fans blame their defeat on 'politiking' and the judges using the PC mark incorrectly on purpose.

    So who is right and who is wrong?:confused: