2023 NHK Trophy Free Dance - Hello Rocky

topaz

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15,236
Putting skating skills piece by piece I think it is a tragedy to be honest. What precedence does this set? That skating skills, deep edges and perfection are no longer important?
Yes, those are no longer needed to be champion in Ice Dance. If they're not going to reward the actual technical skating aspect for Ice Dance and continue to hold up teams that have great lifts and tricks without showing the technical expertise needed, then let the sport die.
Given the scores these teams have been receiving, I don't see those predictions even close to loco. We know G/P and C/B are battling it out for Gold and the other three teams are battling it out for bronze. G/F have been consistently underscored and there is no reason to think that will change for Worlds so having them in 5th is not an outrageous a prediction.


Mostly agree except I do think Fear/Gibson have been working on their skating skills. They used to be much sloppier and more upright.

Also, it's possible all these teams have topped out skill-wise and so, even if they are working on improving, we aren't going to see big improvements or possibly anything at all if the improvements are subtle enough or a bad program obscures them.

I guess I just have a hard time believing all six teams don't care about improving. In particular, the bottom five probably want to be the top three. 🤷
Personally, I think the difficulty in G/F program in more evident than the Brits. My mom who's not a technical person noticed the Italians had more difficult entrances into the lifts and they skate closer together. I think the details in the Italians program are skated with more difficulty. Ice dance - we should see deep edges, speed, effortlessly displaying difficult/different holds, posture, line - aka dancing, not posing.

The Italians have the highest total score and they're going into the GPF as 3rd. I will always cheer for the best SKATERS to win, not the most flashy program. It's interesting to me how some folks responding on this thread can comment on other single skaters skating skills and technical ablity in other disciplines but not recognize those same skating skills qualities in the Italians.
 
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topaz

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15,236
Same for me! Fear has really improved her edge work like Piper did and their program was super entertaining for me when the rest put me to sleep. So yay for the Brits!
My mom was here and she doesn’t watch figure skating much and she was totally entertained by them as well.
I mean yes I can see the difference in skills but it’s not just about the edge work but all the elements as well and timing and choreo and projection. Unlike many of the other teams they project to the audience.
Blade work is a very important component of ice dance compared to other disciplines. But Choreography and projection are PCS components that the judges can award that in PCS. Difficulty in holds, turns and other details are not being rewarded enough. The judges should want complex dance movements, effortless displays of complex elements and yet they don't reward those elements.
 
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her grace

Team Guignard/Fabbri
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6,539
Though I do think there's something to what you said--no one out there is P/C or V/M or hell even D/W. I think part of the problem is so many great ice dancers retired with the past two cycles, and ice dance is a sport where it's not as generational as singles skaters. The skaters ranked 4-8 in the last cycle are still skating like the skaters ranked 4-8, but now they're 1-4.
I mostly agree with this. Part of the problem is that most of the top teams train at the same location and IAM has a lot of judges in their pockets, and we're stuck with inertia.

And also, at the the very top, we don't seem to have that complete package team, with very strong technique combined with an artistic vision and presentation. Frankly, if I was identifying a team that should be passing some of the top teams, it would be Lajoie/Lagha whose technical base is impressive and they're hitting their artistic stride with this year's programs.

Also, it's possible all these teams have topped out skill-wise and so, even if they are working on improving, we aren't going to see big improvements or possibly anything at all if the improvements are subtle enough or a bad program obscures them.


I guess I just have a hard time believing all six teams don't care about improving. In particular, the bottom five probably want to be the top three.
I also agree with this when it comes to C/B, G/P, and G/F. I think they have reached what they can comfortably do. OTOH, if, for example, Chock/Bates started getting the low GOE they deserve on their slow, anemic twizzles, then they might add speed, which would be a risk, but would be necessary to stay ahead of G/P, et al. There's currently no judging incentive to improve technically since judges aren't really distinguishing between the elements and the components.

Mostly agree except I do think Fear/Gibson have been working on their skating skills. They used to be much sloppier and more upright.
Fear/Gibson have improved a lot over the last few years. There's been a couple programs this season where they finish and I think that was actually pretty good technically (and I'm definitely not a fan), but credit where it's due. Fear has also improved her performance--she used to look a bit sheepish to me while Gibson would be going all out and now they both look equally committed to their incredibly hokey choreography. Sorry, still not a fan. :lol: OTOH, their improvement doesn't mean that their SS mark should be virtually identical to G/F.

I think it’s only a down time at the top. Between new seniors (four teams I really like with two more coming next year) and some of the advancing mid-ranked teams, there’s a lot of talent.
Well, let's see who the judges eventually let move up the ranks. There's a lot of technical skill in a bunch of the young teams like DeMougeot/Le Mercier, Mrazkova/Mrazek and Bashynska/Beaumont, but they aren't at IAM and it's still to be determined whether the judges will value their technique over flashy IAM teams both young and old.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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59,096
The Italians have the highest total score and they're going into the GPF as 3rd. I will always cheer for the best SKATERS to win, not the most flashy program. It's interesting to me how some folks responding on this thread can comments on other single skaters skating skills and technical ablity in other disciplines but not recognize those same skating skills qualities in the Italians.
Saying that the judges are undermarking the Italians is not the same thing as saying that they don't have good skating skills. In fact, it's the opposite. Saying they are undermarked means you think they should score higher than they are and place higher too. The issue is not that people don't recognize their skills. It's that when you make predictions, you have to take into consideration what the judges care about. It's the judges who aren't rewarding them for their skills and recognizing that is just being realistic.
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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17,785
Saying that the judges are undermarking the Italians is not the same thing as saying that they don't have good skating skills. In fact, it's the opposite. Saying they are undermarked means you think they should score higher than they are and place higher too. The issue is not that people don't recognize their skills. It's that when you make predictions, you have to take into consideration what the judges care about. It's the judges who aren't rewarding them for their skills and recognizing that is just being realistic.
The judges are rewarding them quite adequately for that aspect of the skating, actually.

The problem is that they also reward all the other top teams with similar PCS all clumped together somewhere just over 9 which doesn’t represent what is on the ice. The judges also throw out +4 and +5 to certain top teams (Chock and Bates among them) when their elements don’t always fill those criteria. There are a lot of rules that no one bothers to ever look up or learn, but for the few of us that have reading the rulebook and the yearly changes as a hobby, it’s always torture trying to figure out how ‘trained’ judges get to these conclusions.

It’s going to be the same old shit for the rest of time, and I’ll probably spontaneously combust at the GPF when Kagiyama and Malinin are deemed to basically be a point or two difference in PCS, if that.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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The judges are rewarding them quite adequately for that aspect of the skating, actually.

The problem is that they also reward all the other top teams with similar PCS all clumped together somewhere just over 9 which doesn’t represent what is on the ice. The judges also throw out +4 and +5 to certain top teams (Chock and Bates among them) when their elements don’t always fill those criteria. There are a lot of rules that no one bothers to ever look up or learn, but for the few of us that have reading the rulebook and the yearly changes as a hobby, it’s always torture trying to figure out how ‘trained’ judges get to these conclusions.
I guess it depends on your POV. You are saying the others are overmarked so G/F are marked fairly. I'm saying that if the judges are going to mark everyone else the way they are, that they should mark G/F using the same scale. ;)
 

SHARPIE

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I’ve had a judge friend who lurks on here message me this:


Hi Sharpie. I just wanted to clarify about judges ‘placements’ from Skating Scores. If you really want to check the judges ‘placements’ you must look at the PCS total. You cannot look at the total TSS tally. The TSS line is extremely difficult for any judge to control as it is totally depend on the levels. It is a tally of your goes and PCS, however that tally is factored by the levels. So a judge could fully ‘intend’ to have a skater ahead, however the level added to their goe would totally change their ‘placement’. A change in level in one element can completely change your intended ‘placement’.

Whilst today’s dance result is very questionable, it’s erroneous to say that all the judges except Italy placed the British couple 1st.
The ‘placement’ is that Japan, Usa, Finland and GBR had the Brits first and the Lithuanian tied them. You could argue they should make larger gaps in their PCS between both couples but that is not the point.


Look at the French judge’s marks for example. She awarded the Italian couple higher skating skills and a higher composition score and of the 9 required elements she gave the Brits only 1 goe higher out of 9, yet her TSS shows that she placed the Brits first. That is simply a construct of the Brits getting one lever higher on one element. So despite having the skating skills and the composition ahead for the Italians and essentially giving the same goe’s for both couples, it appears that she ‘placed’ the Brits first. That judge in a round table meeting would be fully in her right to say that she thought the Italian couple were the best, as she gave them her best marks.

This is in no way to justify or dispute today’s result. Judges are of course not meant to ‘place’ skaters.
In conclusion if you really want to discuss judges intended ‘placement’ you can only talk of the PCS line.

Of course the TSS is correct mathematically and that is how the system works. It is true that when you add it all up 8/9 judges had the Brits with a higher total and that’s why they won today but that isn’t necessarily reflective of the judges ‘placements’.
The few colleagues that do check their placements only ever look at the PCS total and are often very surprised/alarmed/amused at the top TSS line, which can sometimes in no way reflect their thinking or ‘placing’.

A clear example of this, is for instance when a whole panel gives skater A much higher PCS than skater B, however on review skater A with the much higher PCS, has an entire element invalidated. Suddenly the total TSS for skater A plummets and it appears that all panel ‘placed’ skater B ahead. This has happened many times this year when the Choreo Elements have been invalidated, the TSS changes completely.
I hope the above helps a little to dispel the myth of the evil judges and their placements.
Perhaps goe’s or levels have too much bearing compared to PCS but that’s a whole other conversation.
 

Karen-W

How long do we have to wait for GP assignments?
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37,156
I’ve had a judge friend who lurks on here message me this:


Hi Sharpie. I just wanted to clarify about judges ‘placements’ from Skating Scores. If you really want to check the judges ‘placements’ you must look at the PCS total. You cannot look at the total TSS tally. The TSS line is extremely difficult for any judge to control as it is totally depend on the levels. It is a tally of your goes and PCS, however that tally is factored by the levels. So a judge could fully ‘intend’ to have a skater ahead, however the level added to their goe would totally change their ‘placement’. A change in level in one element can completely change your intended ‘placement’.

Whilst today’s dance result is very questionable, it’s erroneous to say that all the judges except Italy placed the British couple 1st.
The ‘placement’ is that Japan, Usa, Finland and GBR had the Brits first and the Lithuanian tied them. You could argue they should make larger gaps in their PCS between both couples but that is not the point.


Look at the French judge’s marks for example. She awarded the Italian couple higher skating skills and a higher composition score and of the 9 required elements she gave the Brits only 1 goe higher out of 9, yet her TSS shows that she placed the Brits first. That is simply a construct of the Brits getting one lever higher on one element. So despite having the skating skills and the composition ahead for the Italians and essentially giving the same goe’s for both couples, it appears that she ‘placed’ the Brits first. That judge in a round table meeting would be fully in her right to say that she thought the Italian couple were the best, as she gave them her best marks.

This is in no way to justify or dispute today’s result. Judges are of course not meant to ‘place’ skaters.
In conclusion if you really want to discuss judges intended ‘placement’ you can only talk of the PCS line.

Of course the TSS is correct mathematically and that is how the system works. It is true that when you add it all up 8/9 judges had the Brits with a higher total and that’s why they won today but that isn’t necessarily reflective of the judges ‘placements’.
The few colleagues that do check their placements only ever look at the PCS total and are often very surprised/alarmed/amused at the top TSS line, which can sometimes in no way reflect their thinking or ‘placing’.

A clear example of this, is for instance when a whole panel gives skater A much higher PCS than skater B, however on review skater A with the much higher PCS, has an entire element invalidated. Suddenly the total TSS for skater A plummets and it appears that all panel ‘placed’ skater B ahead. This has happened many times this year when the Choreo Elements have been invalidated, the TSS changes completely.
I hope the above helps a little to dispel the myth of the evil judges and their placements.
Perhaps goe’s or levels have too much bearing compared to PCS but that’s a whole other conversation.
Can this be posted on every ice dance pbp thread here on FSU as well as in the Dance Hall thread?

ETA - and also every thread where people complain about PCS being too closely tied to jumping ability?
 
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Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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9,522
I just cannot get into this theme or program, but the elements do look really good today for Lilah and Lewis. A lot has fallen into place rules-wise to help boost them up the world rankings, but they’ve also improved their elements and especially her edgework.
Agreed. They've improved a lot in the last year, and even since their first GP outing this year, but this program should have been an exhibition. I always enjoy watching Fear & Gibson skate, and they interpreted the hell out of this material, but Torvill & Dean they ain't, and for me the actual skating wasn't the same quality or techincally as good as Guignard & Fabbri, who I also love, though for different reasons.

Or to put it more succinctly:
I will always cheer for the best SKATERS to win, not the most flashy program.
 

Nmsis

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3,197
Next Olympic cycle could be great!
Next Olympic cycle is going to be more than great. Next Olympic cycle is going to be insane for ice dance.
Without even taking into account the probable return of the russian dancers at some point.

1/The amount of sheer talents is going to be insane, to the point we'll regret that many won't be able to reach the very top.
2/ There is going to be a Karine Arribert stylistic effect over senior ice dance. There always is. There has been in french ice dance, in junior international, and now she is settling in senior international where her influence was very strong but indirect. Next year, she might have 4 senior couples to push for it and I love every one of them.
3/ Godzilla is coming and they won't need IAM nor Karine Arribert as their coach has carefully studied both to take their essence to create her perfect couple. Landing date is set for september 2027.

So the ISU better notice and start pushing the next generation by the end of the season, next season at the very latest.
There is a change of telluric proportions incoming.
 

taz'smum

'Be Kind' - every skater has their own story
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3,374
3/ Godzilla is coming and they won't need IAM nor Karine Arribert as their coach has carefully studied both to take their essence to create her perfect couple. Landing date is set for september 2027.

So the ISU better notice and start pushing the next generation by the end of the season, next season at the very latest.
Forgive my ignorance but who/what is Godzilla?
 

Karen-W

How long do we have to wait for GP assignments?
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37,156
Not to forget the other super-talented, extremely young Baby Brits and Baby Americans who will be hitting the senior ranks at the same time.

Of course, we said that about the 4 teams that aged up to seniors this season and they haven't had quite the impact anyone was hoping for yet.

The transition from junior to senior is never as easy as anyone hopes for in ice dance. The pecking order is strong...
 

Andrey aka Pushkin

Playing ping pong with balls of chocolate jam
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22,636
What's up with the upcoming crop of ice-dancer boys who are just SO DAMN GOOD? And where are the equally amazing girls? Apart from the Browns, and maybe Lopareva/Brissaud, who are nicely matched; and Caroline Green who can eat Parsons for breakfast; for the rest of the teams the male partner is the rockstar, and the female is there.

BTW, as far as I'm concerned, after the current batch of ice-dancers retires, I expect all ice-dance competitions to be France 1-2-3.

And more to the topic, Guinard/Fabbri are currently the best ice-dance couple by a pretty significant margin. Watching the top couples back to back, that is pretty damn undeniable. They might not have the most memorable programs, but they aren't Nowak/Kolasinski either, and the choreography shouldn't be the reason why they aren't the top couple in the world.
Politics :soapbox:

BTW, would stanning Theo Bigot get called "bigotry"?
 
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Icetalavista

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1,141
Up thread, a poster said the IAMS have judges in their pockets. Pardon my ignorance, but other than outright $$ bribery, what would coaches have that would benefit judges enough to sway them?
 

skatingguy

decently
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18,643
Up thread, a poster said the IAMS have judges in their pockets. Pardon my ignorance, but other than outright $$ bribery, what would coaches have that would benefit judges enough to sway them?
Skating is a small club, and there are lots of personal connections between skaters, and judges that develop over a skaters career. When IAM takes on skaters from so many different federations they are using those relationships to promote their skaters.
 

PRlady

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Let’s not forget that some of the mid-level IAM teams, like Lop/Bri, LaLa and at the young level Lim/Quan, are pretty accomplished technically. Not to mention Haw/Bak. It’s not like they’re just purveying entertainment value at the expense of skill, just because the Brits and to some extent Cho/Bat lean that way.
 

Theatregirl1122

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30,200
Whilst the calculated TES numbers might not be entirely in the judges’ control, the marks they give for GOE are, just like the marks they give for PCS.

Right, but in that case it would make more sense to use their +3, +4, -3, etc to calculate how they weighted teams on the GOE as opposed to using the actual scores the team receives since the actual scores are weighted by the level, which judges have no control over.
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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If you were to go by Grand Prix points total, I don’t think the Italian team needs to be that worried. Chock and bates on the other hand, but their scores usually go much higher as the season goes on.
 

her grace

Team Guignard/Fabbri
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6,539
Let’s not forget that some of the mid-level IAM teams, like Lop/Bri, LaLa and at the young level Lim/Quan, are pretty accomplished technically. Not to mention Haw/Bak. It’s not like they’re just purveying entertainment value at the expense of skill, just because the Brits and to some extent Cho/Bat lean that way.
Um, Lim/Quan was exactly who I was thinking of when writing about flashy young IAM teams. :shuffle: They have a wonderful presence, fluid lifts, expression, and good sense of music, but step levels aren't where it's at for that young team. Of course, there's time for them to grow technically. OTOH, Lopareva/Brissaud and Lajoie/Lagha are IAM teams with masterful technique.
 

Andrey aka Pushkin

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I am wondering, btw, whether we are nearing the end of the Montreal-era. Remember the days when about 90% of all top teams in the world were coached by Linichuk? And where is she now? Then it was Tarasova/Morozov (the other ones), Shpilband and Zoueva, and then just Zoueva. I feel like it's mass production all the way with very little actual innovation, which on some point inevitably will lead the skaters to look for better options. There are some exciting prospects this cycle, but with the exception of Lalalanders, none of them is from Marie-Universe camp...
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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37,854
Right, but in that case it would make more sense to use their +3, +4, -3, etc to calculate how they weighted teams on the GOE as opposed to using the actual scores the team receives since the actual scores are weighted by the level, which judges have no control over.
Exactly. That’s why the suggestion that PCS alone indicates placement is WTF? since the judges are equally responsible for the marks they give, especially when the software doesn’t automatically adjust their scores down to the maximum the skater could receive if the technical panel adjusts/calls the element downwards and deductions were taken in real-time, a major loophole in the scoring system that is only partially mitigated by the SOV table. (The element score goes up automatically if a leveled element level is upgraded to a higher level, which is correct.)

That’s why we often comment about how all of the judges gave that egregious flutz and or lip that was otherwise +3’s across the board, or the highest mark any judge gave to Skater X in the first group for a spectacular spin was +1, or what was was Judge #5 smoking when they gave out those scores, and, no, they weren’t consistently high or low, and marking on a very tight spectrum, even one that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, does not reflect the gaps between the strongest and weakest skaters, just like ordinals flattened out the gaps between placements.

ETA: Loicia Demougeot is not just there, and being fixated on Le Mercier doesn’t change that. No one puts Loicia in the corner :drama: Taschlerova rocks, Lim and Orihara are divas, Bekker is no slouch, and Bashynska is terrific in her own right.
 
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skatingguy

decently
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18,643
I am wondering, btw, whether we are nearing the end of the Montreal-era. Remember the days when about 90% of all top teams in the world were coached by Linichuk? And where is she now? Then it was Tarasova/Morozov (the other ones), Shpilband and Zoueva, and then just Zoueva. I feel like it's mass production all the way with very little actual innovation, which on some point inevitably will lead the skaters to look for better options. There are some exciting prospects this cycle, but with the exception of Lalalanders, none of them is from Marie-Universe camp...
Also the Koreans, and the Browns, and Lopareva/Brissaud. I feel like we've been predicting the end of IAM for awhile now, and they keep coming back with more teams. Let's see what happens after the next Olympics, and if teams start moving somewhere else like MIDA.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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59,096
Whilst the calculated TES numbers might not be entirely in the judges’ control, the marks they give for GOE are, just like the marks they give for PCS.
So then we should compare GOEs and PCS (Which I think is what TG was saying but I wasn't sure). OTOH, GOEs can be impacted by the levels/rotations even if they aren't supposed to be in theory. I do think

Up thread, a poster said the IAMS have judges in their pockets. Pardon my ignorance, but other than outright $$ bribery, what would coaches have that would benefit judges enough to sway them?
I don't think it's that nefarious. It's a combo of the relationships mentioned above and the halo effect. If you know a coaching team consistently does a good job turning out teams, you are inclined to look favorably on their teams until those teams do something to pop the halo and many never do.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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So then we should compare GOEs and PCS (Which I think is what TG was saying but I wasn't sure). OTOH, GOEs can be impacted by the levels/rotations even if they aren't supposed to be in theory. I do think
Yes, although comparing GOEs takes more work, between having so many more numbers and differences in technical elements vs. a small number of components judged with the same criteria for all competitors.

All of this is beyond any actual strategy, whether to push or bury a competitor or to try to second-guess what the rest of the panel will do anfpd to remain in the corridor to avoid being disciplined as an outlier.
 

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