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Revamping COP for Next Quad.

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by JJS5056, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Well-Known Member

    Mods- not sure if this belongs here in here or in the Trash Can; please move if needed.

    We got into an off topic discussion in another thread regarding possible changes to the COP/IJS and I think the question deserves its own thread. After the season ends, the system will be reevaluated and tweaked as it is every year. What changes would you like to see?

    I feel that the ISU needs to rework how the SP and LP are scored and figure out a way to differentiate the two, as the LP has become - literally - a longer version of the short program, whereas under 6.0, the SP had a specific purpose: required elements and specific deductions with the goal of assessing one's standard of skating based on a predefined criteria. The LP, OTOH, allowed skaters the freedom to focus on their strengths without fear of penalty. They just built their technical merit as high as they could using their strengths.

    Below are my recommendations for how the SP and LP should be structured. I will follow up with levels/GOE, but realize this is a lot to digest.

    Short Program
    I think the SP should go back to simply testing proficiency within the RE. Reintroduce the spiral sequence, and grade everything at Level 1, focusing on skating technique, quality and execution. Jump values and GOEs would be adjusted to be consistent with the scoring of the other components, depending on where they fit in terms of importance. Use this program to build skaters' strength across all skills by requiring that both an edge and toe jump be performed, as well as different spin positions.

    Allowing more skaters the chance at being in contention after the SP would be a major plus for the sport. The fact that someone with such beautiful skating skills as Nikodinov would be buried under COP under COP isn't right. Skaters with great technique should be allowed their chance to gain points, just as those with added flexibility and skill are. This system would also keep SP scores much more contracted, preventing the Yuna's and VT's of the world from winning when the game is supposed to only be halfway over.

    1) Jump combination (minimum 3-2)
    2) Solo jump* preceded by steps (steps given separate GOE)
    3) Double axel
    4) Flying spin (alternating between camel and sit)
    5) 1-position solo spin (must be different than flying spin); I think the layback requirement is outdated and favors certain body type
    6) Combination spin
    7) Spiral Sequence (minimum 3 positions)
    8) Step Sequence

    *Solo jump must come from different family of jumps than that used for the first jump within the combo (in the case of a 3-3, solo jump is up to the skater's discretion)

    Long Program
    Meanwhile, the LP can retain a level system for jumps, spins and steps to allow skaters to build points around their strength, allowing 1-2 "free" items of equal value to be included: a spiral sequence, ChSt, 1-position spin, jump of any rotation, etc..

    1) 7 jumping passes*, 1 being an axel (for ladies)
    2) Minmum 3 spins, 1 of which must be a combination
    3) Step Sequence
    4) Choice between spiral sequence, ChSt (with 3-second spiral required within), 1-position spin, or series of unlisted jumps (minimum 2); given same point value and judged solely on GOE

    *combos multiplied by 1.1, sequences 1, and falls receive -3 mandatory along with a deduction worth 25% of the jump
    **maximum 3 jumps per program eligible for 10% bonus

    Program Components
    The goal of condensing the PCS is to allow the judges to make more accurate assessments, by combining areas that might seem duplicative on the surface. Including "overall impression" is aimed at providing an area within IJS to account for the performance as a whole. Ideally, each component would show up, and the judge would enter a score for each skill within the category. The would be averaged, but all numbers would be shown on the protocols. This is to ensure judges fully understand how each component is defined.

    Skating Skills
    [ 7 ] Blade Work: minimal scratching, use of deep and correct edging
    [ 8 ] Speed: ability to generate and control speed with little pushing or pumping
    [ 7 ] Form: correct posture, competent stretch and flexibility, tight legs during jump elements
    [ 8 ] Overall Strength: ability to complete jumps and spins of the highest level from all traditional entries and positions

    [ 6 ] Ice Coverage: use of entire ice surface, setting jumps with adequate space before the boards
    [ 5 ] Range of Motion & Balance: use of entire body and utilizing skills that make use of all levels and planes, placing elements consistently throughout the program, minimal clustering of similar elements
    [ 5 ] Transitions: little use of stroking or 2-foot skating between elements, using MITF and connecting steps to transition between elements, placing spins or unlisted jumps directly before/after jump, unexpected or difficult entry into elements, minimal break in choreography to prepare for elements
    [ 5 ] Timing & Movement: use of choreography that fits the selected music, accuracy of choreography within a defined theme (ex: tango), appropriate use of arms, placing elements and choreography in time with the music, use of tempos to create highs an lows within program

    Performance & Overall Impression
    [ 5 ] Interpretation: ability to perform choreography in time with the music and evoke an an appropriate interpretation, connection with audience commitment to choreography and/or selected theme (ex: waltz) or character
    [ 4 ] Continuity: completion of program from start to finish without interruption due to error or rest stops, stamina from beginning to end of program
    [ 4 ] Cleanliness: ability to complete planned content at the highest quality
    [ 5 ] Timing: placing and completing elements and choreography in time with the music, use of tempo to create highs an lows within program
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Technical elements are rewarded under TES, why do you want to reward them under PCS again? PCS were designed to reward specific skills relating to skaters' movement and how it relates to the music. People need to stop anchoring on the mistakes and make an effort to consider everything in the program on its own merit.

    I do agree that there is currently some overlap that could be worked on. Some of the same things are rewarded under PE and IN. But then what you have suggested suffers from the same problem with timing coming under two different components. I think that it's impossible to completely remove the overlap because of the 'holistic' nature of the sport.

    PE as a component should get rewritten IMO, because currently, it is a mish-mash of very different things and is really hard to evaluate. To give an example: You have a skater like Lucine who shows very good projection and commitment to presenting his program but he has an appalling posture, poor lines and his movements are very wooden. So he satisfies some of the criteria very well and some very badly. And then you have the criteria of movement being in character of the music which is something very different again and I don't understand why it doesn't come under IN.

    Most importantly, ISU needs to devise some kind of system for marking PCS because at the moment, there isn't one. Singles & Pairs have basic criteria only with no explanation for how the marking process should look like and Ice Dance has this huge table which is completely impractical and pointless.

    Also: panels should be split because it's impossible to focus on both GOE and PCS at the same time if you want to do it properly.
  3. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Agree with maximum 3 jumps getting bonus after halfway point.

    I also would abolish halfway point bonus in the sp.
  4. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

    What do you mean by a different family of jumps? Do you just mean that it must be a different jump, or do you mean if the first jump in the combo is a toe jump then the solo must be an edge jump and vice versa?

    SLIVER Well-Known Member

    I have an amazing idea for cop! Burn it and destroy it in the same way that it has destroyed this sport and made it into the robotic snoozfest that it has become :p
  6. Eladola

    Eladola Active Member

    I agree on the issue that it's weird the FS is judged as a continuation of the SP,
    There needs to be some sort of different value, Not just using your SP+FS to break 200 or whatever
  7. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Two major changes that I think would bring in more casual skating fans -

    1. Penalize falls more heavily.
    2. Reward 3-3s more.
  8. MNC

    MNC Bringer of Ice Cream

    I'm not sure if penalties for falls should be punished severely, I'd like to see skaters try to push themselves. If falls are severely punished, I believe that the reaction will be to stay in a safe comfort zone, which I believe is detrimental to any sport. You'll end up with an exhibition and not a competition.

    I think using a carrot and not a whip is the best way to go, I'd rather watch a splat fest where the end results are less predictable over a snooze fest with predetermined winners.
  9. Eladola

    Eladola Active Member

    If multiple falls, Or any bad mistakes for that matter could have accumulative deductions could work,
    Like if you fall a second time, it's 2.5 points deduction, or if you underrotate a second jump it's a downgrade,
    Or if you make a second 2 foot or arm down it's a 1 deduction like a fall

    I mean, If you're a great overall skater you could probably rise above these too and not completely fall away,
    But there will be less cases of people winning with 3 falls and a double, and stuff
  10. mgobluegirl

    mgobluegirl Well-Known Member

    I want the classic layback postion (shoulders square, free leg turned out at the hip) awarded as a feature. It's the most beautiful position in the layback family, and skaters are being encouraged to skip it in the current scoring. And they can even get good GOE while bypassing it too, if the spin is fast and the Beillman position well-stretched. Ick.
  11. Citlali

    Citlali Well-Known Member

    A separate panel of judges for PCS.
  12. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member


    No thank you. I hated seeing SPs where the first 3 elements were jumps.
  13. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    de-anonymize the judges.
  14. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Short Yeses from me to suggestions offered above:

    Losing anonymity

    Specific details of what counts as a feature up for discussion -- I'd be happy with finding good ways to reward good classic laybacks and other basic but not necessarily easy positions etc. -- the trick is finding a way to define it that doesn't also reward half-hearted attempts at the basic position. Same for, e.g., scratch spins.

    Gradually increasing penalties for additional falls

    More flexible minimums and maximums of each kind of element in the freeskate, with some optional element types

    Better rules/guidelines for judging PCS

    All of the above could be done with simple tweaks to the existing rules.

    Or the PCS and division of labor among officials could be restructured, the requirements in short vs. long programs could be restructured, as JJS5056 suggests in the first post. Such more major changes are worth considering here, debating what the intended goal is and how best to achieve it.

    I'll come back later with longer posts to add some of my own thoughts on these topics.

    Definitely interesting as a thought exercise, and maybe would get some ISU folks thinking along those lines if they happen to read here. But I don't expect them to consider any massive changes right away, especially if they'd be expensive to implement.
  15. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    I'm a big fan of the simplicity of 6.0. Even if skaters do elements with lots of turns or added positions well, it's often still a headache to watch something so complicated.

    With that said, I suggest the following changes:
    - Make the point differential between levels smaller so that there is more focus on execution. Maybe even make level 3 the highest level to make programs a bit simpler and not crowded with turns and positions.
    - I know many people disagree with me on this point, but I don't think URs should have a downgrade. Rather, URs should be reflected in GOE, maybe a mandatory -2 or -1 GOE. I still don't know why some people think it's ok that a double can be worth more than a URed triple. :rolleyes:
    - Bring back the spiral sequence for the ladies.
    - For heaven's sake, decrease the requirements for footwork levels, or at least make it a level 3! Footwork sequences have become so long and convoluted, at this rate they're eventually going to take 2 minutes to do one day.
    - PCS inflation has been going on for awhile and needs to be checked. Today, a 9 is probably worth the same as an 8 4-8 years ago. I'm not sure if this can be reflected in system changes but it needs to be addressed.
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg


    I read this on Golden Skate and didn’t fact check this, but posters there said that under-rotated jumps get a double hit – a downgraded element plus negative GOE. If that is true, then yeah, that should be fixed so a skater doesn’t get dinged twice for it. Pick one place or the other to ding them for a UR.
  17. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Downgraded jumps (<<, more than half a revolution short of rotation) get much lower base value and -2 to -3 GOE, and the final GOE must be negative. So yes, the penalty is quite severe and mainly in the lost base value. If the judge honestly thought the jump was rotated in real time, or if one jump in a combination is downgraded but the other was good, then -1 is possible for the final GOE, which is not much different than 0. Most often, jumps that are that short look bad in real time as well and may have other errors (with additional penalty if the additional error is a fall).

    I think it does make sense to penalize twice in these cases, so that the final point values for jumps with the same base value and various combinations of errors work out in approximately this order:

    *Clean, strong/enhanced double jump.
    *Clean but not special double jump.
    *Downgraded triple, landed on one foot, only things wrong with it are severe underrotation and probably wrong landing edge = fully rotated double with minor flaws
    *Downgraded triple with severe underrotation and also other errors (e.g., incorrect takeoff, hand down, free foot down, step out) = rotated double with similar or more severe errors
    *Downgraded triple with fall = rotated double with fall

    Underrotated jumps (<, between 90 and 180 degrees short) get moderately lower base mark (70%) and judges are supposed to reduce the GOE by -1 to -2, but the final GOE does not have to be negative.
    So judges could be further reminded that if the element looked good in real time and there were other good aspects to the element, it's OK to leave the final GOE as 0 or +1 -- in theory, with enough other good aspects, it would even be permissible to leave it as +2.
    Thus the underrotated triple will still be worth more than a double, and an otherwise good but underrotated triple can be worth more than a fully rotated triple with other errors.
  18. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    I would use the numerical scores to rank the skaters (74.57 first, 72.47 second, 71.09 third, for example) in each segment, but when it came to determining the final placements and medals, I'd go back to ordinals. I don't like that someone can get buried in the SP just based on points, nor do I like that someone can win overall just by the SP if they muck up the FS or FD. You win the SP by 13 points? Great, but you're also going to have to skate a good FS to actually win the whole competition.
  19. cbd1235

    cbd1235 Well-Known Member

    All I would like to see is the removal of the rule that the choreo sequence must be after the step sequence (it is fairly obvious which sequence is which, so I think the rule just hampers creativity).

    I would like a limit on number of FS jumps that can be in the bonus.

    LOSING ANONYMITY! I agree with the poster above that said this.
    That's it!
  20. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Anonymity isn't a part of COP though. We've had it since 2002/2003 and it isn't even used at all competitions.
  21. risto1803

    risto1803 Active Member

    I would like to see specific jumps performed in the short. For examples, for the ladies the required combination should involve a loop jump and the jump from steps should be a specified jump for all ladies. Men should be required to perform on quad jump in the short. I would also like to see specific steps and moves incorporated in the step sequence. How things are set up now, we have two free programs: one shorter and one longer.
  22. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    Since this is first and foremost a sport, I don't agree with limiting the amounts of jumps (or pairs lifts/throws) in the second half of the program. The bonus is minimal (.1) for the difficulty of doing the elements late in a program.

    If anything, I think doing a bunch of those elements later should reflect in the PCS on the program being well balanced (in terms of the choreography) mark.

    As for the fact that the ISU does not use COP anonymity at all their events (just the GP and ISU championships), it is all the more reason to do away with it altogether. While the ISU suggests it is there to support the judges from federations which may punish a judge (quite the admission!) for their marks, it is rather obvious they created the rule to cover their asses in regards to people being able to see if block judging is (still) happening. Since I think a majority of judges are honest, you have a rule which protects the guilty far more than the innocent.
  23. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I figure, if we want the short and long programs to measure different things in different ways, there are two basic options:

    Short program has specific basic requirements that everyone should be expected to do at some level (maybe allowing simple variations that don't count as difficulty features in spins, and optional number of revolutions on jumps with required takeoffs); quality counts more than difficulty, and missing any elements completely will be very costly
    Freeskate allows and rewards skaters to add as much difficulty as they can handle in as many elements as they can, and also between the scored elements, while also rewarding overall performance quality


    Technical program is the place to reward the most difficult skills, including attempts at the most difficult jumps and higher levels on steps and spins (for this purpose, perhaps the technical program should not be shorter than the free and should allow the maximum jump content);
    Freeskate is the place to reward overall program coherence with more emphasis on PCS than TES and "choreo" rather than leveled elements scored primarily on GOE

    JJS5056 and risto1803 are suggesting essentially the former approach. Do we want to brainstorm what the rules should be for such a short program, which would in essence be more similar to the way short programs worked in the 1970s and 80s?
  24. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    You lose out on those skaters who are 10th but are just a couple points behind the leader after the short, then potentially winning the event or going up way ahead (see men's competition at Euros). Or the skater who is 2nd or 3rd despite skating awfully and the leader skating great, but wins the entire competition because they scored .01 more than the leader in the LP/FD.

    Ultimately, I am less concerned with specific rules and more concerned with consistent application of said rules and having the audience understand said rules. I am a novice and I would love to know as soon as I see a skater land a jump that that jump was fully rotated or not. I want to know as soon as that dance team does the unnecessary pairs spin what level they got. Get that technology in.
  25. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Good points.

    All we can really be told in real time as soon as the element is completed is that the tech panel flagged it for review. We won't get the final decision until after they review it at the end of the program.

    The TES ticker added to some broadcasts this year is useful in seeing where the tech points are coming from, but it does require some prior knowledge to be able to interpret it.

    What else could the ISU make available for high-profile or all events? What do they have to rely on broadcasters to communicate -- which some will do well and others won't do at all?
  26. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

    Amen to that!

    I think if you fall, the element should not count. Period. Just doesn't make any sense to me, otherwise.
  27. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I disagree with a spiral requirement for Ladies: it relies just as much on body type as the layback spin. I think both should be abolished as requirements for Ladies.
  28. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    If you don't fall on an element, then you're not being penalized at all. Why is falling on nothing better than falling on an attempted throw quad?

    I have always found it strange that a fall by a team is only minus-one if only of them falls, and minus-two if both fall. I wouldn't mind a change that it is an automatic minus-two (like when one does a triple and the other does a double, it's considered a double). Certainly, a fall is more disruptive to a dance program than an extended lift.
  29. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I think the fall deduction should be higher in Mens than it is in Ladies; higher in seniors than in juniors. As a percentage of the score- a fall hurts a junior lady much more than it does a senior man.
  30. irinayunafanatc

    irinayunafanatc Member

    One change I would make is now with the limit on double axels to have a rule that the number of triples or triples/quads you can do is depending on how many combinations with atleast 2 triples are done. Since there are 7 jump passes, the starting point would be 6, and then move up from there. So for a women if you do one triple-triple you are now allowed 7 triples, even if you repeat 3 different triples twice. If you do two triple-triples you are now allowed 8 triples, even if you repeat 4 different triples twice, and so on up. The only thing would not alowing any one triple more than twice, so Yu Na Kim even doing three triple-triples would still be only allowed 8 triples and not 9, unless she decided to do the triple loop. Then a man who does say four different quad-triple or triple-triples would be allowed to 10 total quads or triples.

    I find the current rules, especialy for women, dont reward triple-triples enough. People say COP rewards difficulty more, but I find it does less.

    Another thing I would consider is bonus points for the harder combinations. The value of the two jumps together and then some on top of that, depending on how difficulty certain combinations are deemed to be.

    I would change the spin and footwork rules that require all these ugly changes of edge and position just to get levels on spins, and the silly footwork sequences today that need to take forever and have unneccessary changes to get the levels. They need to have a more open minded approach to this. There are past spins and footwork levels that were extemely difficult and very enjoyable that wouldnt even get high levels today. The footwork sequences are way to long, and leave barely room for anything else in the program.

    I would have a rule that each fall is an automatic .5 deduction on every PCS the judges have awarded taken off after the marks are put in. If there was a 2nd fall an automatic 1.5 total (so 1 point for the 2nd fall). For a major stumble an automatic .3 deduction on every PCS, and if there was a 2nd major stumble an automatic 1 point total deduction. If it is one major stumble and one fall, then make it 1.2. There is a seperate judge to determine this and the marks are deducted automatically from the final PCS once they are in and before it is posted. Call it the Chan rule, to avoid the farce we have seen over the last 3 years many times, atleast half those times involving Chan, happen in future competitions.