ISU rules changes proposals & reaction

seabm7

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I got baffled by Lakernik's interview on the reinstatement of the QR round:
  • Does that mean they are going to abolish the country quota system for the World/Olympics?
  • And which ranking system are they going to use to select the top 24 and the next 30 skaters? World Standings, Season's World Ranking, or Season Best?
  • What will happen to the country quota system for Euro and 4CC? Are they going to keep it or abolish it?
The interview did not state all these important details.
 

starrynight

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I got baffled by Lakernik's interview on the reinstatement of the QR round:
  • Does that mean they are going to abolish the country quota system for the World/Olympics?
  • And which ranking system are they going to use to select the top 24 and the next 30 skaters? World Standings, Season's World Ranking, or Season Best?
  • What will happen to the country quota system for Euro and 4CC? Are they going to keep it or abolish it?
The interview did not state all these important details.
I can imagine Russian ladies liking this very much. And I do feel that an entirely technical program would be something that would totally appeal to Tutberidze's interests in a big way. She could just roll out a new girl into lead position immediately without the need to worry about building PCS reputation or any of that stuff. (And if there is a solely technical program, I have no issue with that, as it will negate the need for pretending that PCS are there when they aren't).
 

Theatregirl1122

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At this point I think people are making a lot of assumptions on what “technical” and “artistic” program mean with absolutely 0 information. I doubt it’s a proposal I’ll like, but some people are really getting ahead of themselves.
 

casken

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If it's something like de-leveling spins and footwork for the free skating and allowing skaters to do what they want and just earn GOE for the quality, then I'm all for it.
 

sk8girl

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For what it's worth, the ISU adult competitions (Oberstdorf/Lake Placid) have "artistic free skating" events, in addition to the "regular" free skating events (with base values and levels, etc.):

**
Artistic Free Skating

Competitions will be held at the Masters Elite, Masters, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels.
The Artistic Free Skate is a competitive program that must include elements of the sport of figure skating.
At least one (1) and a maximum of two (2) single jumps MUST be included. A Waltz jump is not
considered a listed single jump. At least one (1) and a maximum of two (2) spins MUST be included. No
Axel type jumps, double or triple jumps are allowed. No combination jumps are allowed.
**

The judging is based entirely on PCS. There is no base value or GOE for the jumps/spins done or anything else - you just get a deduction if the required minimum of 1 jump and 1 spin are not completed. Also, note that only single jumps are allowed, even at the Masters Elite level (that's the level that Gary Beacom and Midori Ito compete at for adult competitions).

Not saying that what Lakernik has in mind is anything like this, but just an example of one vision of "artistic skating" that the ISU is already using.
 

clairecloutier

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Let's return for a minute to when Lakernik and Fabio Bianchetti originally introduced the idea of new technical & artistic programs to replace the current short & long programs. They first publicly floated these proposals in two articles on IceNetwork, which unfortunately are no longer available, due to the end of that site.

If I recall correctly, in the second Ice Network article, Lakernik/Bianchetti proposed that the new technical and artistic programs might eventually become 2 different championships. The 2 programs would be combined in order to win 1 title, but would also each produce their own medalists. So theoretically, you would have a technical champion in each discipline and and a separate artistic champion, and an overall champion. They envisioned this structure as being part of the Olympics in the future. (And presumably, it would be the structure for future World championships as well.) (ETA: See also post #372, below.)

No details of the proposed artistic/technical programs have so far been announced, i.e., no information about leveled elements or lack thereof, number of jumps per program, etc. My assumption is this will all be decided behind closed doors and then dropped on the skating community, just like IJS was back in the early 2000s, with federations pressured to vote yes and without much opportunity for input or changes. Lakernik sounded pretty confident of passage in this article, so my guess would be that he already has a certain number of federations lined up for a yes vote.
 
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Zemgirl

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Let's return for a minute to when Lakernik and Fabio Bianchetti originally introduced the idea of new technical & artistic programs to replace the current short & long programs. They first publicly floated these proposals in two articles on IceNetwork, which unfortunately are no longer available, due to the end of that site.
If you still have the article links (e.g. in an old post) it might be possible to find them on Wayback Machine.
 

Willin

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If it's something like de-leveling spins and footwork for the free skating and allowing skaters to do what they want and just earn GOE for the quality, then I'm all for it.
They're already doing this with synchro. Artistic elements have fewer difficult/rigid technical requirements (making levels easier to get) but are meant to be as creative, interesting, artistic, and innovative as possible. I could see this working in singles spins/footwork, but idk how it would work for jumps.
 

clairecloutier

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If you still have the article links (e.g. in an old post) it might be possible to find them on Wayback Machine.
Thanks. The relevant Ice Network article links are in the very first post of this thread. (First two links listed.)

I took a look at Wayback Machine. Don't quite understand how it works yet, but I will try to figure it out at some point. it would be a shame if these articles were permanently lost!
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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If you still have the article links (e.g. in an old post) it might be possible to find them on Wayback Machine.
Second link worked (see above), but the first link in post #1 didn't work for me in the wayback machine.
 
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Zemgirl

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Here's the first link that @clairecloutier posted earlier in this thread:

The way it works is that it shows you various dates on which the webpage was captured. Click on the highlighted dates on the calendar until you get to one that works.

It's a really great resource.
 

clairecloutier

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Thank you @Zemgirl and @Sylvia!! I appreciate it!

So, my memory of the ISU's aims with the proposed new technical/artistic programs was only partly correct. Here's the relevant excerpt from the article:

Another change may include replacing the current short program and free skate with what would effectively be an athletic program and an artistic program. Each would award full medals in events like the Olympics and the world championships, and there also would be a full medal for the all-around winner.

"Everything is possible," Bianchetti wrote. "At the moment, it is absolutely too early to say anything. The intention is to have three different medals: one for technical, one for artistic and one all-around, but how it will be for sure is impossible to say now."
 
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VGThuy

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I’m actually all for the changes. Thanks to IJS, the short program and the long program are incredibly redundant to have in one competition. They are structured so similarly and the skaters even do mostly the same spins because it gets them the highest levels and the most GOE and both have three spin slots. The only difference is the long has four more jumping slots which can make it exciting to see how a skater who had to compete on a more equal playing field in the SP then jumps way ahead in a LP if he had like 4-5 quads planned and actually hits them, but that’s like the only thing making it more exciting.

The problem with this proposal is that these judges have really lost a lot of credibility for a lot of fans when they see the GOE and PCS falling along old geo-political lines or whatever and I think an artistic program would be rife with politicking or just biased abuse.
 
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overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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I agree with @VGThuy that the short and long programs are kind of redundant, but skating is supposed to be about blending sport and artistry. Having separate artistic and technical programs defeats that purpose.

Apologies if this has been mentioned already, but in the early 90s there was a separate artistic event at some ISU international events - Skate Canada had it for at least two years. I would be fine with bringing that back as a different event, like the artistic events in adult skating that @sk8girl describes.
 

clairecloutier

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The problem with this proposal is that these judges have really lost a lot of credibility for a lot of fans when they see the GOE and PCS falling along old geo-political lines or whatever and I think an artistic program would be rife with politicking or just biased abuse.
This is indeed the problem with the proposal. And it’s a very major problem, IMO.

In recent years, ISU judges have not consistently shown an ability to mark PCS independent of technical ability and/or reputation. Therefore, their ability to fairly score a more subjective “artistic” segment is in great doubt.
 

Tavi

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This is indeed the problem with the proposal. And it’s a very major problem, IMO.

In recent years, ISU judges have not consistently shown an ability to mark PCS independent of technical ability and/or reputation. Therefore, their ability to fairly score a more subjective “artistic” segment is in great doubt.
It’s interesting- at the beginning of last season, it almost seemed like things were starting to change and that PCS and GOE might start to reflect reality. All that went out the window in the second half of the season, and I’m not quite sure why - different judges, more comfort with the new system, desire to push certain skaters? Scores were insane by the time WTT rolled around. I guess we’ll see if they come back to reality, but I’m not optimistic.
 

starrynight

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This is indeed the problem with the proposal. And it’s a very major problem, IMO.

In recent years, ISU judges have not consistently shown an ability to mark PCS independent of technical ability and/or reputation. Therefore, their ability to fairly score a more subjective “artistic” segment is in great doubt.
Do you think that would change if they didn't need to boost the PCS to reward technical content as the current system presently requires?

Because the reason they do that (and I suspect will massively do that this season so that Trusova, Shcherbakova can get ahead of the competition) is because they want the highest jump content skaters to win. There is simply no way the judges won't have girls jumping quads not win. Impossible. Regardless of what else is put out on the ice. This season will be a cracker of PCS being artificially inflated.

It would then depend if the judges could make themselves quarantine the artistic program into its own boundaries and not just want to favour the technical winners in the artistic program. That's why having a separate medal for the technical could assist here.

Another question is whether the same entrants would skate the artistic program. The artistic program would actually need to be done well for it to be worthwhile. Those skilled in the technical are sometimes not the best equipped to do the artistic. If for example, the technical program is filled up with quad jumping barely 15 year olds, their ability to seriously make an impact in the artistic might be limited.
 

Debbie S

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If the goal is to have more of a balance between tech and artistry, then how about just decreasing the number of jump elements (yes, I know that spins are also part of the tech score, but the concern mostly seems to be that there is too much emphasis on 3As/quads at the expense of choreo). The ISU has already done that somewhat with men's by restricting how many different quads can be attempted. If the concern is that there needs to be more emphasis on creating actual programs/storytelling/connecting moves, then give skaters more time to do it, and adjust the scoring so those aspects (along with other PCS skills) have a larger weight. And are judged correctly.
 

natsulian

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Why not have totally different judging panels for technical and artistic components? Example of how each sector would judge in the Free:

Technical Judges (Worth 50% of the overall Free)
  • Responsible for grading jumps and spins based on execution (7 jumping passes and 3 spins)
  • Have no say in whether a jump has an edge or rotational issue, they are there to simply grade the execution of what they see
  • The technical panel will be in charge of dishing out under-rotation, level, and edge calls and the technical judges must comply with what they see on their computer before giving out the grade of execution (falls incur a mandatory -5 in the grade of execution whilst under-rotations incur a mandatory -3 or lower in the grade of execution)
  • Spins marked with a "V" are worth 0 points

Artistic Judges (Worth 50% of the overall free)
  • Responsible for giving skaters performance component scores
  • Programs with one fall cannot earn above 9.5, programs with two falls cannot earn above 9.0, and the deductions are 0.5 from then on with each fall
  • Responsible for grading footwork which is now the combination of the step and choreographic sequences and there is only one level with GOE being given out based on execution (this section includes the spirals and skaters can perform splits on the ice, backward flips, etc... it's everyone's game)

Now, if the I.S.U. does implement Technical and Artistic skates, then they would just have to weigh one side heavier as opposed to the other. For example, in an "Artistic" skate, the artistic portion of the Short or Free would be worth 75% whilst the technical is only worth 25% and vice-versa if it were a "Technical" skate.
 

starrynight

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But how could, under the current system, it ever be justified not having the quad jumpers win at least something? That's why I kind of do feel weird about pushing artistry heavily in the same format as the acrobatics.

Because one thing I've noticed is while all the athletes are pushing themselves very hard to do the very difficult technical content, there's not a lot of room for artistry. Every skater is pushing themselves to their technical maximum. And in the end what is the most 'artistic' does tend to simply boil down to who doesn't fall over or muck up the jumps.

There's not really a lot in the current format to heavily laud as artistic in the first place. Maybe a few seconds of choreography here and there.
 

Tavi

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Do you think that would change if they didn't need to boost the PCS to reward technical content as the current system presently requires?

Because the reason they do that (and I suspect will massively do that this season so that Trusova, Shcherbakova can get ahead of the competition) is because they want the highest jump content skaters to win. There is simply no way the judges won't have girls jumping quads not win. Impossible. Regardless of what else is put out on the ice. This season will be a cracker of PCS being artificially inflated.

It would then depend if the judges could make themselves quarantine the artistic program into its own boundaries and not just want to favour the technical winners in the artistic program. That's why having a separate medal for the technical could assist here.

Another question is whether the same entrants would skate the artistic program. The artistic program would actually need to be done well for it to be worthwhile. Those skilled in the technical are sometimes not the best equipped to do the artistic. If for example, the technical program is filled up with quad jumping barely 15 year olds, their ability to seriously make an impact in the artistic might be limited.
Where did you get that idea? There’s absolutely no requirement in the current system to boost PCS for skaters who have quads or higher tech. Theoretically they’re independent, except when someone falls, in which case PCS is capped.

Sometimes skaters with high TES deserve high PCS and GOE. Many times they don’t, but it’s awarded to them anyway.
 

starrynight

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When I said ‘requires’ I was referring to the way that because of the way that PCS and TES currently work, often PCS need to be adjusted to ensure the highest TES skater wins.
 

seabm7

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2. Replace the current short and long programs with artistic and technical programs
I read both the Planet Hanyu translation and the google translation again. Both did not mention long program. It's possible what Lakernik meant was splitting the SP into two parts, technical and artistic.
 

Seerek

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Even though there are technical and free medals handed out at the World Cup and Worlds (and most recently, newer categories such as the Highlight and Free Combination), Artistic Swimming still only awards 1 set of overall medals at the Olympics for the duet and team events, respectively.

Also, Artistic Swimming caps the # of acrobatic moves allowable in the free routines at 6 (for the Team Event), and has required element distribution in the new Highlight Routine (as referenced above).
 
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Dobre

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At this point I think people are making a lot of assumptions on what “technical” and “artistic” program mean with absolutely 0 information. I doubt it’s a proposal I’ll like, but some people are really getting ahead of themselves.
I do agree that you are correct here; but waiting around until after a decision is made to comment is also too late.

So . . . based on the only concept I have of an artistic program, I'll say that I think it's nuts. It was one thing to have the artistic mark break a tie. (A concept I always preferred). And it is one thing to make certain that the first and second mark are equally balanced. I think they should be. (And unlike many people, I don't think skating skills belong in the 2nd mark).

An artistic program, on the other hand, is a professional skating concept. Great for professional skating, IMO; but not functional for an amateur sporting event. Even the judges in professional events had a difficult time actually adhering to the rules for artistic programs. It was an exceptionally rare occurrence for an athlete with less technical difficulty to win an event based on artistry unless the other athlete messed up. (And not surprisingly, the headliners almost always won).
 

MAXSwagg

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There definitely needs to be a greater distinction between the short program and the free skate, which was supposed to be the point of the short program in the first place. But like most things, the ISU has absolutely no clue what they are doing and this will be a mess.
 

gkelly

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I do agree that you are correct here; but waiting around until after a decision is made to comment is also too late.

So . . . based on the only concept I have of an artistic program, I'll say that I think it's nuts.
But it's silly to make up our own idea of what TPTB might mean by this vague mention of something they would like to do and then attack them for how bad we think our made up idea is.

Instead of passing judgment on people who didn't propose the idea for how nuts they were for proposing it, why don't we just discuss what might work well and what might be a big mistake in terms of fleshing out the vague idea they mentioned that is all we have to go on. There's plenty to discuss theoretically without passing judgment on people for proposing something that we made up in our own minds.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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@Dobre I disagree that artistic skating is a professional skating concept, and that because it was hard to judge in professional events it would be hard to judge in ISU events. As I mentioned above, there were artistic events in some ISU international events in the early 90s -before that event in 1994 that led to the outburst of pro competitions - and there are currently artistic events in ISU adult competitions, as well as US adult Nationals and the Skate Canada test system.

I would argue that the flaws in judging artistic programs in pro events - the televised ones, at least - had more to do with the perception that certain outcomes would get better broadcast ratings, and the results being, um, influenced by those perceptions. Not because artistic skating is difficult or impossible to judge objectively.
 

starrynight

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I know that people are mostly focusing on the artistic program as being flawed, but what are people’s thoughts on the technical program?
 

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