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Should a break in a program be severely penalized?

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Maofan7, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    There have been a number of instances recently in which competitors have been stopping part way through a program for a variety of medical reasons. They have then been able to resume the program, without penalties/deductions. Examples include Virtue & Moir at 2013 4CC, the Shibutani's at the 2012 Rostelecom Cup, and now Papadakis & Cizeron at 2013 World Juniors. Whilst it is unfortunate that those concerned have suffered injury, to allow them to resume the program without penalty/deduction is unfair to the other competitors. Tired competitors make mistakes. It is essential that everybody is judged on a level playing field, and you only get a level playing field if all competitors complete their programs without a break (i.e. incurring the same level of physical and mental attrition during a performance). Those that are allowed a break part way through their program, benefit from the fact that they are able to recuperate, and even take on food and liquid refreshments. In my view, therefore, those that stop part way through a program, for whatever reason, should either have to withdraw or be severely penalized with obligatory deductions being imposed. Moreover, a system under which no penalties are imposed is open to abuse, with injuries being feigned. I don't for a minute believed that that has ever happened so far, but it certainly becomes a potential possibility in the future the more this happens.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  2. Lyinna

    Lyinna Member

    That's exactly the same thing I told to my mother yesterday and I couldn't agree more. It's sad that some skaters have to stop during their program for medical reasons, but it's totally unfair for all the others skaters.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  3. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

  4. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    I agree too. Don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for them that they are injured, but it was their choice to compete so in my view they should either compete the program without interruption, or withdraw, or be severely penalised for having break in the middle of it.

    At the moment it is happening with dancers; no single skaters yet this season, but it would be a significant advantage if any single skater in the middle of their FS could take a break and later continue with the jump refreshed. There is a reason why jumps in the second half of the program receive more points!
  5. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    I wonder how this would be handled in athletics. Let's say running - in the middle of the race one would stop, ask for 3 minutes break, then continue the second half of the race... Or gymnastics - having a break in the middle of their routines...
  6. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    Well, it is more or less what Derek Redmond did ;)... OT, but this is the least obnoxious version I could find - why do some many people feel the need to use Fix You or You Raise Me Up as a soundtrack to this video, or to turn it into a religious inspirational? Redmond didn't finish that race for religious reasons!

    Anyway, the difference is that you don't have everyone competing on the ice at the same time. So logistically it is possible to have a restart. I'm actually fine with the current approach - you can stop if it's necessary, but there are time limits and the PCS gets docked. Sometimes skaters have to stop through no fault of their own (remember when Mark Ladwig's blade broke at 4CC, and he got Rudi Swiegers' skate?) and I don't think it's fair to penalize them. I guess the ISU agrees, because they did change it a few years ago to have a deduction and then changed it back to no set penalty.
  7. elif

    elif Well-Known Member

    I agree to.

    I'm hoping something like this don't win a Olympic medal. Dancers taking advantage of this rule so why not?
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

    As I posted in the comp thread, not all the scenarios are the same. In the FD for the Junior Worlds, the French couple went into the FD knowing she had an injury and was in pain. They decided to skate anyway. The Shibs as well as V/M came into their FD feeling fine -- no injuries bothering them. Then during the dance, pain flares up and they just can't continue at that specific point in time. With V/M it was the referee who stopped the music which meant the V/M HAD to stop skating. It wasn't they who chose to stop but the referee who made that determination when they stopped the music. You really believe that all 3 teams should be treated the same when one team came in knowing that one of them was rather injured and perhaps, PERHAPS? used the rule to their advantage?

    I understand how teams wish to compete regardless of how they may be feeling but I wouldn't lump all three dance pairs in the same category -- at least not in this instance.
  9. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    In gymnastic they compete one after the other, and they still can't take a break in the middle of their routine. I would give allowances for boot or blade problems (broken blade, laces undone etc) but not for injuries. In any other sport, if you are injured you don't compete. If you do compete, that's at your own risk and if you can't finish, you withdraw. To let someone have a break in the middle is already 'softer' option than in other sports, so I would at least severely penalise it. But I think the rule should actually be that if you can't finish, you withdraw.
  10. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Personally, I think skating should take a leaf out of cricket's book. In cricket, a batsman may have a runner if they injured themselves in the course of the game; if they came into the game with an injury, a runner is not permitted.

    If you've just stacked a quad toe into the wall and oh, smash, that really knocked the wind out of you, then it's okay, IMO, to take a quick break to get medical attention to then continue. But if you stacked that quad toe even a few hours before the competition, too bad, so sad, no break.

    It also becomes a safety issue. what if the skater feels their laces coming undone, but say, she is wearing OTB tights and the referee doesn't notice? Should she then be penalised because she chose to stop rather than choosing to jump on an undone skate?

    I think the key is medical attention. They should have to be seen by a doctor or a medic and recieve treatment, and have it verified (as best as may be) that the reason for the stoppage was acceptable.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  11. CassAgain

    CassAgain Well-Known Member

    The referee stopped the music 30 seconds after Virtue and Moir had stopped the program and as Moir was skating toward the boards.

    Yes, I think there should be a penalty for stopping, and I suspect there will be soon.
  12. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    A lot of skaters are injured within their skating career. So considering this fact, and the current rules that don't penalise for taking a break (if you are injured), I am wondering if soon it will be common to compete at figure skating competition with a sick note from their doctor, to give them automatically right to do a program in two (or even more) parts. No one could really object to it, because they would be injured...
  13. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    I think there should be an across the board mandatory deduction for stopping a program then continuing for whatever reason. I think that it would be fair to everyone
    involved including the other skaters. Something along the lines of a 1 point deduction, same as a costume malfunction. Right now the way the rule is it could possibly
    be abused in the future.
  14. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Maybe not. Maybe they will wait for a controversy with skaters getting OGM with a program skated in several parts, before they realised that something should be done about it.
  15. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Skaters who got as far as elite level would surely know that you have no chance of landing a jump with laces undone, so they would stop.

    Medical treatment doesn't mean anything. If, for argument's sake, someone needed a break in the middle of their program, and faked a back pain, how do you distinguish whether the pain is real or imagined? The doctor is not a mind reader. So if you make a doctor's treatment compulsory, the only difference is that we will see a lot of ice applied, before the skater will be able to continue.

    Besides, what if then injured skater arrived to competition with a doctor's certificate that he/she is injured? It is fair to be giving him break half way through? The skater may claim that injury was better and that's why he/she decided to compete, but during the program it again got worse. How would you deal with that, in a fair way?
    tinypawsxxoo likes this.
  16. elif

    elif Well-Known Member

    To me its not about skating injured or not. Some of the greatest athletes did their job with injuries. Its remarkable. If you are not going for the elements and stop, its fine. But after the stop you are doing this elements again and get full points, its advantage for you.

    If there is going to be a stop, I want Dan and Hao Zhang kind, not this.
  17. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Why should it matter WHEN you got injured? The outcome is the same, you are unable to finish your program, and by stopping and having a break and drinking some water you are gaining unfair advantage. Whether you knew about your injury in advance or not, I can't see what difference does it make.
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I don't think even that kind is acceptable. (And I love their skating.)

    It's a competition. If you can't skate your program straight through from beginning to end, you need to withdrawal.

    I think stopping because something is on the ice or your boot lace comes undone is different. In that cause, you *could* have skated your program straight through. It just wasn't safe to do so.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  19. morqet

    morqet rising like a phoenix

    Bit in bold - Gabriella said when they went over to the referee, they were going to withdraw & then were told they could take the 3 minute break & try to continue, so (and I know you only said perhaps) but they weren't knowingly planning on using the rule. To be honest, I don't think anyone would ever plan to use the rule to have a break; all the times we've seen it happen this season PCS has been affected & I doubt anyone would want to take the risk. That said, I still think there should be a deduction for stopping for any reason apart from something like a power cut that the skater has absolutely no power over.
  20. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    In baseball a pinch runner can replace anyone - an injured player, a slow player, a guy who got hit by a pitch, broke his finger sliding into a base, whatever - but the original player can't go back into the game. OTOH, the game is sometimes stopped if someone is hurt, and then continues as it was (or, if the player can't continue, someone else may come in and take over the at bat). In football/soccer, the clock continues running but the game goes into extra time at the end. Some team sports have timeouts, and I think some individual ones too. So obviously different sports handle it in different ways.

    As I noted earlier - there was one fairly recently (2009-10? Maybe a bit later). The ISU did away with it.

    Some people have written that if there is an unsafe situation skaters should be allowed to continue after a break. What if the unsafe situation leads to a skater being hurt and needing a break? IIRC, Barbara Fusar-Poli said that there were lots of Swarovski crystals on the ice during the OD in the 2006 Olympics. Though she did not attribute their fall to this, what if someone had tripped over those and hurt themselves? Should that team have been penalized? I just don't see how the ISU can start institute a selective policy. Either every stop leads to a deduction, like a few years back, or none do. Or I wouldn't put it past some skaters to find a "legitimate" reason if they stop because they are hurt.
  21. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    As I said before, it is a different situation if you can show that your blade has broken or your lace is undone, or if the ice has crystals all over it. You can't cheat that - you can easily prove that there is a problem.

    But injury is different. If you stopped because you are injured, one can argue that by allowing you to continue they are letting you place yourself into more danger of getting hurt by being allowed to continue while injured. Either you are not injured, or are injured but it doesn't prevent you from completing the program - in which case it is your decision (and your health) if you want to risk it. But if you are so injured that you need to stop, one can argue that you should withdraw because you are putting yourself in huge risk of making your injury worse. If your injury is bad enough that you stopped, it should be bad enough that you should withdraw. The argument that you stopped because it was unsafe because of your injury, but then you suddenly continued (so suddenly the same injury became safe again) does not seem to make sense.
  22. centerpt1

    centerpt1 Well-Known Member

    A Hazard stop- ice or skate equipment should not incur a penalty

    A suspected injury, time to collect breath, or time to regain composure after a fall should be a penalty if there is a stop.
  23. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Yes, exactly. And the penalty should be severe. For example minus 1 point per minute, with maximum 3 minutes (= 3 points)off. (one can argue that the person who takes one minute has smaller advantage than the person who takes 3 minutes).
  24. Tammi

    Tammi Nana

    If a penalty for stoppage is brought back, can it still be easily defined? I'm thinking of a cut caused by a blade. The referee may not notice blood on the ice, so they wouldn't call a stoppage, but the athlete would know if they were causing an unsafe condition by continuing to skate and bleed. A continuance of the program after getting a bandaide seems within reason and that could be the case for other injuries as well (a breath from an inhaler, a wrap for a wrist sprain, etc.). I think it's difficult not to find gray areas, which would end up making a specific rule very cumbersome or simply place the decision for penalty squarely on the shoulders of the referee. They're on ice level, talking directly with the athletes and although unpopular, would probably be the best judge of whether or not to impose the penalty. Perhaps make it like the costume rule deduction in dance, where at least 1/2 of the judges need to be in agreement before the deduction is taken.
  25. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    We cannot know whether skaters are absolutely fine going into the competition. Ice dancers notoriously don't like advertising their smaller injuries - unless they are withdrawing from a competition - because this may change the way the judges see their performance. Especially more experienced ice dancers are careful with the PR. Virtue and Moir did not have a fall or a collision, she didn't pull a muscle. Maybe she was fine going into the program, but maybe not.

    The referee stopped the music because V/M interrupted their program and were skating around the rink. Tessa aborted a lift. They should at least not been given the aborted lift IMO. It's incredible that they were allowed to do the lift after catching their breath and drinking water. If a Russian team were given this possibility at the Worlds, IMO this forum would explode with indignation.

    I honestly don't believe any dance team would interrupt their program on purpose. The overall impression is so important in ice dance.
    flutzilla1, CassAgain, hanca and 3 others like this.
  26. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    There could also be clearer guidelines for the judges on how much to penalize in PCS.

    Even if there were very specific recommendations like "at least 0.5 off from Performance/Execution and Choreography, plus as much off the other components as appropriate," the judges would still have leeway to decide how high they would start from before taking the deductions and whether to take any more than the minimum recommended.

    So the best skater/team might still get the highest PCS even with a stop, if they were that much better. But not if the next-best competitor was close. The rules would specifically discourage judges from ignoring the interruption and just marking as if the two parts of the performance had been directly connected.
  27. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    Tammi, I don't understand why it would be difficult to define? Let's say you cut yourself by the blade. It doesn't matter whether the referee sees it or not. You would either stop and have it treated (and get compulsory deduction, depending on how long you would need to take time off) or you would continue and bleed to death, if you are so stupid that you prioritise a few points over your health. If referee sees it and stops the program, you would still get the same deduction - simple solution, really!
  28. elif

    elif Well-Known Member

    A lift cost more points. For example 2013 4CC free dance Virtue/Moir's aborted lift base value 8.00 points and got 2.43 GOE to. With a small wobble you can lose this GOE and maybe levels to.

    This stop is not a big mistake for dancers somehow. :confused:
    hanca and (deleted member) like this.
  29. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    I would be quite uncomfortable if the judges had the power to decide whether they will deduct or not, and how much. I think there should be the same rule for all, otherwise the favourite couples will end up least penalised and those from small federations will be penalised heavily.
  30. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    It is possible for a skater top cut or otherwise hurt themselves in a way that probably requires medical attention but doesn't mean bleeding out on the ice ;) Remember when Joubert cut his hand at 2011 Worlds, and ended up spraying blood all over the place on his final spin? In that case he was able to complete the program without stopping, but I think it did require treatment later, and I'm not sure it was ideal for to have blood on the ice like that.