1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi all! No longer will threads be closed after 1000 (ish) messages. We may close if one gets so long to cause an issue and if you would like a thread closed to start a new one after a 1000 posts then just use the "Report Post" function. Enjoy!

Should a break in a program be severely penalized?

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

  1. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there's a middle ground that could address the concerns of both sides of the issue.
  2. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    If the penalty is too mild, again there is a potential for abuse of the rule. I think an athlete knows when to push himself/herself and when to stop (when the injury makes it impossible to continue).
    hanca and (deleted member) like this.
  3. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    And such a middle ground has been proposed several times in this thread with some very sensible proposals such as a few by gkelly and other. Things like not getting any bonus points for jumps after the halfway mark if you stop and a graduated series of penalties as the stopage gets more and more severe.

    I suspect that people are just jumping into the thread not having read what came before and now we're just going round in circles posting the same thoughts over and over. :shuffle:
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    So how would you write the rule(s) in such a way as to be more clearly enforced?

    Given the number of different possible scenarios, the range of severity for the different kinds of problems, and the fact that some problems or at least their severity are not clearly visible from the outside, would you want these clear rules to err on the side of penalizing skaters harshly beyond what might be significant points lost to the problem itself? or on the side of giving skaters the benefit of the doubt?

    Again, how do we define the rule so as to prevent abuse by skaters without overpenalizing stops

    Should the rule be something like "If a skater stops of his/her own initiative, and if the referee could see no imminent danger to the skater from an outside source and no potential danger to the subsequent skaters, then and only then there will be a X point deduction from the total segment score should the skater be able to resume the program within the time limit"?

    So if the referee stops the skater for safety reasons, there's no deduction.

    If the skater stops because of gushing blood, there's no deduction because the referee would have stopped them anyway to avoid ruining the ice surface.

    If either the skater or the referee initiates a stop because of a problem from an outside source, there's no deduction.

    In that case maybe we should define "outside source" as including costume/equipment failures because the skater can show the problem to the referee, whereas an internal physical problem can't always be verified. We don't want a skater who is aware their skate is untied to try to keep skating until the referee stops them just to avoid a deduction.
  5. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I think it comes from my late grandma who was a rather melodramatic Latin lady. :D

    I've been thinking of other examples-like Japan's Shun Fujimoto who competed on the Rings at the 1976 Olympic men's gymnastics competition with a broken leg. His performance assured Japan the Team gold. Same with Elvis Stojko, and Kerri Strug at their respective Games.
  6. Capella

    Capella Guest

    I've read every post in this thread and have actually given the situation a lot of thought. Someone upthread hit upon what I would do if writing the rules: If the skater(s) stops, the music keeps playing. If the skater(s) is able to resume the routine, s/he is free to do that until the end of the music. If the music ends before the skater is able to return to the program, then the skater will get judges on what portion of the skate was performed. If the skater(s) is able to return before the music ends, great, but only the completed elements will be given a score. This will prevent a DNF and allow participation in the free skate/dance, if applicable.

    If the referee stops the music for a non-skater-caused reason (fire alarm, something on the ice), no penalty. If the referee stops for a skater-"caused" reason (untied laces, bootstrap, etc., then a deduction will be charged at 1 point for every 30 seconds.
    MacMadame and (deleted member) like this.
  7. sonya71

    sonya71 New Member

    Another example of athlete's incredible pain threshold is Miki Ando at 2006-7 Japan Nationals where she dislocated her shoulder (around 3:20) but popped it back into place with such little fuss that commentators didn't even realize the severity of the injury.

    She continued to skate without a music stop and placed second:

  8. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    I, for one, have read most of what has been written in this thread. That's why I wrote "I agree that...", and then just briefly summarized some of the points that had been mentioned, as I simply didn't have enough time to look for all the respective posts in order to quote them. Sorry if writing that I agree with something seems like polluting the thread to you (;)).
  9. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I'm OK with that for situations like muscle cramps. I'm just afraid it would end up applying in situations where it would make more sense and be fairer to everyone if the skater would stop and solve the problem before resuming.

    A few issues with this.

    1) Can the skater stop the program or skate over to the referee and ask the ref to stop the program because the skater is aware of the problem before the ref is? I.e., skater-"caused" problem, skater stops program and takes the deduction.

    2) What happens if a skater is aware of a problem but doesn't consider it necessary to stop the program? E.g., dangling pants strap that isn't long enough to pose a hazard. If the referee stops the program, thus triggering the deduction, after the skater had determined it was safe to continue without stopping, the skater would justifiably be angry at being forced to take a deduction as well as forced to interrupt the momentum of the program.

    3) I HATE the idea that the length of a delay between stopping and restarting the program should affect the size of the deduction. There is a limit on the amount of delay that allowed, and it's not all that long if there is a safety problem that needs to be solved. The length of time between stopping and restarting is mostly NOT under the skater's control.

    I just see too much potential for referees' actions to penalize skaters unnecessarily, not maliciously (although I'm sure conspiracy theorists will accuse refs of intentionally sabotaging them or their favorite skaters), but just because not every ref will react at the same speed and not every rink is laid out the same.

    E.g., if the ref and the skater are both discussing the situation in English as a second language, it will probably take longer to establish what's going on and what needs to happen next than if skater and ref can both communicate in their first language.

    If the problem occurs right in front of the judges' stand, it will take less time for the skater to approach the ref than if the problem occurred in the far corner. But maybe the clock doesn't start until the skater has gotten to the ref and communicated the problem in the first place.

    If the skater's entrance where the coach with extra shoelace/screwdriver or medical personnel with bandaid are located is in the closest corner of the ice from the judge's stand it will take less time to go solve it than if they're in the furthest corner. It may be only a difference of a few seconds, but if the difference between 25 seconds and 35 seconds is a whole point, that's a significant difference.

    For skaters who do not ask for the program to stop but just deal with the problem right there on the ice while the music is playing, in that case the length of delay should be reflected in the marks, because part of the performance is missing.

    As I see it, the whole point of adding a deduction for interrupting the program and then resuming is so that the skater who can retie a shoelace or shake off a sudden spasm or a bad fall in 10 seconds doesn't lose more points than the skater who stops, takes a longer break, catches breath, drinks water, etc., before continuing.

    But I would have the deduction be a single 1- or 2-point deduction if you stop the program. Either/Or.

    Either you stop and restart (with deduction) OR you keep going and lose whatever points you lose because of the problem that you resolved while the music was still playing but without deduction.

    Once you stop, if you can resume within 3 minutes, you continue and take the deduction. If you can't resume within 3 minutes, you withdraw.
  10. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

    I'm all for disqualification ;), but IF a penalty is to take place, then I agree that it should be a simple solution. Adding extra if's simply complicates an already difficult to understand judging system IMO.

    I agree with the first part, minus the referee whistle. Sometimes, a skater is able to see/feel something is wrong with the equipment/costume before the referee does and waiting for them to blow a whistle seems unnecessary.

    A skater stopping for any reason related to injury, shortness of breath, cramp etc should most definitely incur a deduction of -2 at least. Beyond 3 minutes, it should be an automatic withdraw. IMO
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  11. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member


    If you stop because off injury and music keeps playing, you may miss let's say 2-3 elements (before you sort out whatever the problem was and restart), which means you will loose so many points that it may be the same as if you withdraw. Imagine Virtue-Moir finishing let's say 10th at 4CC instead of 2nd! I think if the rules were like that, the skaters would rather choose to skate to the referee and ask whether they can withdraw.

    It may be better option if you put there automatic penalty -1 point per minute and max 3 minutes (or even if it was automatically -3 points for any stops in the program). I know -3 points is a lot in dance, but it would discourage the skaters from stopping unless really necessary, and at the same time it is still less than if you completely miss 2-3 elements. -3 points wouldn't put skaters like Virtue and Moir to 10th place at 4CC even if it would mean that they may or may not finish out of medal if it was at worlds. So it seems to me adequate.

    (By the way, using Virtue and Moir is only an example. I wanted to demonstrate how badly could skaters be affected if they missed several elements.)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  12. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    I don't see "-3" as a prohibitive deduction, even in Dance. In two instances where I remember the scoring, with Papadakis/Cizeron and Virtue/Moir, it would not have affected the final placement; both teams would have finished second with the deduction. I'd rather see a deduction than go into how PCS should be affected or not. PCS is murky as is; and if the two parts of interrupted program are performed brilliantly, I am OK with PCS being barely affected ( if a deduction is implemented) ; after all, a stop only influences P/E, and has no relevance to IN ( or at least it does not automatically have to), CH, TR or SS.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  13. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

    I understand using automatic penalties and so have a question. At what point would the time for penalty start and end? Using V/M only as an example, I went and attempted to break down what happened. Here's my unofficial findings
    3:06 -- set up for lift
    3:10 -- gliding after the lift, over the next 10 seconds, one can see that Tessa lifts her left leg and puts it down, twice
    3:20 -- they are gliding/skating a bit; discussion taking place between the two of them (likely to determine whether or not Tessa is OK)
    3:35 -- Scott heads over to the refs
    3:38 -- music is stopped
    3:40-3:42 -- Scott is at the judges table for a very brief visit
    3:42-3:55 -- Scott & Tessa make their way to the boards and remain there for about the next minute
    4:57 -- Scott is at judges table
    5:15 -- Scott & Tessa are back together on the ice
    5:36 -- music begins to play, it starts at a point prior to the lift, approx 20 seconds early
    6:00 -- Scott & Tessa actual begin skating again to the music

    So with this scenario, at what point would one determine the timing begins for the deduction for stoppage? and at what point does it end? Who would make the determination of the timing of such. I'm not trying to be a smartass, I'm truly curious cause I'm not anything more than a fan of the sport and am often looking to learn something. Yeah, the devil is in the details, and some probably think I'm in there with him.

    This is turning out to be a really good topic and I've been enjoying some of the ideas put forth.
  14. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

    I'd say if any stoppage was initiated by the skater(s), penalty should be taken. If the stoppage was out of control by the skaters (e.g. music stopped, light out, foreign object was thrown to the ice, etc), referee should stop the program and no deduction should be made.
    hanca, AxelAnnie, Maofan7 and 3 others like this.
  15. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    And what if the skater sees the foreign object on the ice before the referee sees it, and stops for safety reasons?
  16. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

    Said skater should avoid the foreign object. Keep on skating. When the program is done, file a complain to the referee.
  17. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Even if the obstacle is something that would be difficult to avoid while skating the program as planned? Do you really think the skater should risk injury if she discovers, e.g., multiple bobby pins from the previous skater strewn randomly across a large swath of the ice?
  19. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    IMO that's too dangerous because the skaters have a set pattern that they have been practising, and trying to avoid that foreign object creates a distinct disadvantage for the skater when it's not his/her fault. If they see a foreign object, they should skate over to the refs table and point it out. There should be no deduction in this case, regardless of how long the break is.
  20. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    Can men tell if their strap is updone? I'm assuming yes only because the tugging on their pants would be gone but I'm not too sure.
  21. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    If there is a foreign object, it is dangerous ( and cannot be faked- I can hardly imagine a skater planting a nail on ice while skating:D) so no deduction for interruption needs to be taken, whoever initiates it- unless a skater has a costume malfunction and is directly responsible. As mentioned here before, an interruption would not be automatically good for everybody; it would be detrimental to many skaters, so no need to punish skaters for things out of their immediate control.
  22. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    professordeb, The thing I would be most concerned about is to make sure the following situation is treated fairly.

    Team A makes what is an "Entrance to a Lift" for a first lift, decides not to do a lift , and continues to do the program, throwing in an extra lift at the end, or substituting the lift they didn't do for their Choreographic lift at the end of the program (for the higher points). The way the rules look now, a lift box is considered to be checked when Team A didn't do the first lift, so when they reach the end of the program, they are short a lift.

    Team B sees what has happened to Team A, makes an "Entrance to a Lift" for their first lift, screws up, stops the program, the ref is OK with it, and they get to continue the program from before the lift and get credit for all their lifts. Even if Team B is told by the ref to start after the lift, they have the advantage of knowing the box is checked, the points are lost, and attempts to add something to cover will not be done.

    Team B is always at an advantage, compared to Team A then.

    If the rule continues to be that there is no penalty for a stoppage, then the point at which a lift is considered to be a blown lift should not be at an obvious "Entrance to a Lift," it should be when both feet of the lifted person first leave the ground.

    Furthermore, if it were me, when Mao does not get off the ground in a jump attempt, it should not be considered a jump. I would like to see things treated consistently, because it makes it easier for the skaters to know what to do next when they have made a mistake (put another jump in or not or another lift in or not).

    Also, we have now just had a junior event with two cases of program stoppage. If stopping programs is to be without a penalty, then event organizers should be planning an extra 10 minutes or so for program interruptions.

    If there is a decision to be made about when the program stopped, I'd rather see the tech panel make it, since they are the ones who are supposed to know how much of a "Lift Entrance" means a lift box should be checked. And that gives 3 votes on the subject, which makes me more comfortable than just one ref.
  24. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    If a skater stops and/or skates around and continues the program, the skater can lose 2-3 elements. I don't see why then skating to the referee to ask for a stoppage should be penalized less than the natural penalty for missing elements.

    Aside from pride, as when skaters continue after a number of falls and missed elements, in general, 10th at 4C's gives championship points that the skater(s) might need for next year's ranking, it might be the only chance for points on the SB list -- not on the World team and all other competitions were Senior B's -- and a 30th place might give them a good shot at a GP spot for Top 75, and if it's a WD in the SP, they might have to leave early or not have their accommodations paid for (given the rules and the year). The rules shouldn't be for V/M but for all skaters.

    If they withdraw, they withdraw. If they want to finish, just like athletes who've fallen on the track get up and cross the finish line long after the rest of the field, they can.

    I've proposed that if the referee stops them, that is where the music stops, which is generally less costly than if they stop and skate around before going to the referee. If it is considered their responsibility -- injury, cramps, costume -- then there should be an automatic -3 penalty, since they are unlikely to have missed an element, and they won't be penalized in time.

    I don't think -3 would have been an adequate penalty against P/C at Jr. Worlds: I think it should have knocked them out of medal contention, given the field. (At a GP, they might have been 2 elements better.) Looking at their PCS:

    40.33 International Trophy of Lyon 2013
    40.48 JGP Courchevel 2012
    42.68 JGP Linz 2012
    44.99 NRW Trophy Ice Dance 2012
    44.28 Jr. Grand Prix Final 2012
    43.86 Junior World Championships

    Their PCS didn't take much of a hit from their performances at JGPF and NRW, and were higher than their two JGP's and at International Trophy of Lyon. It doesn't look like the interruption made that much negative impression on the judges.

    I think they should have re-started the program from where the music was when they started to skate to the referee. Same with V/M.

    I think the music should have been restarted at 3:35 (assuming it was 3:35 in the music) and that they should have continued from there. The only question is whether they've started an element before the ref calls time or they skate to the ref, and there are already rules in place for the tech teams to determine whether an element has started. If the tech team calls an aborted lift, then it's an element with 0 or whatever value the tech team calls it, and it takes up an element box. If the tech team doesn't call the start of an element, then they can put it in the rest of the program, if they want.

    I think the referee should call the stop for music, and someone should be responsible for the actual timing.
  25. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

    Totally agree with that. They are trained to be experts in their limits.....when to push, when to not. It is kind of a no brainer: Do you want to risk this score or your entire career?
  26. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine why they ignored the whistle. I think the decision to disqualify was exactly correct.
  27. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    The referee is responsible for safety, and there's enough of a precedent for the referee stopping for pants straps and shedding costume pieces. Like anything under an official's authority, this is not consistently called among referees. In that case, it's like the difference in strike zones or having technical panel people who are known to be strict with under-rotations. If an individual referee is making different value judgements in similar situations in the same competition, that could be a problem.

    The skater isn't necessarily the one who has the best judgement for how dangerous a situation is, and especially when he is responsible for lifting a partner. Eric Radford was bleeding all over the place when Megan Duhamel broke his nose on a twist landing -- he was in physical shock -- and the referee would have been well within his or her rights to have stopped that program, for his well-being and the well-being of the ice.

    Every athlete is subject to officials, and in sports like figure skating, judges and tech panels. They will get good and bad calls, and they have every right to be as angry as they want if they think they've been given a bad call by a referee, just as when they thing they're being screwed by the judges or by the callers. Don Denkinger received death threats from fans after making a clearly incorrect call in game six of the 1985 World Series between the Cardinals and the Royals, and he had the chance to reverse the call, but wouldn't. Referees should be able to do the same, and if the referee reverses his or herself, I think the skaters should have a restart, and the choice to take a short break then and do take two or to skate at the end of the group. I don't think this or a withdrawal should cause the rest of the group to have to skate earlier.
  28. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    The referee does not need to be meddling or stopping skaters except under threat of terrorist attack. They should have scored G&G, and I'm sure that referee taught everyone a lesson about what not to do for the next several decades. It is enough work to enforce the rules without taking responsibility for the skater's safety. Leave that to the skaters in 99.5% of cases.

    I think we can agree that if skaters stop their music, give them a minus 3.0, and they can't repeat elements.

    If it's equipment related, it is probably best to expect people to be responsible for having their boots and sequins ready for show when they hit the ice. I would let technical experts decide if a similar -3.0 with no option to repeat elements would be fair for the broadest range of boot and costume disasters we could imagine.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  29. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I get your point that an athlete in the heat of competition might overlook a serious safety matter, but it's not realistic to think a referee has the capacity to make the correct call for most top competitors. This role seems more appropriate for inexperienced skaters, but even at junior worlds, I would rather have the coaches make interventions than the referees acting on their own interpretations.
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    That's part of the referee's responsibility.