The Level 2 Blues

thvu

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
5,745
https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/...id-handbook-for-technical-panels-2018-19/file
https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/...801-2188-id-communication-replacing-2164/file
https://giphy.com/gifs/icedancing-20194cc-hubbel-donohue-7zuGPTeFkoBmOAsbti
https://drive.google.com/file/d/13AYjkmE7Hrz_YNvbt5IES_z5znIR83SL/view?usp=sharing


The Level 2 Blues

Hubbell & Donohue have had a persistent problem with this particular dance spin. It was originally in their 2018 Oly season FD, but was replaced with a combination dance spin used in previous seasons. I assumed this was due to the risk of a Level 2 call, which occurred at the 2018 US Nationals. The difference between a Level 4 and Level 2 dance spin is 2 points. Their .19 point victory did not need to be so close. Such a call would be costly at the Olympics. I believe the Free Dance was reworked in part to make room for the previous seasons’ combination dance spin, which was far more consistent for Hubbell & Donohue. At the recent 2019 Four Continents, the Level 2 call on on the same Dance Spin caused them just miss out on bronze, even with the mistake on the stationary lift.

So, to explain the Level 2 call on their dance spin at 2019 4CC, I’m going examine definitions, rules changes & their implications, the probable decisions having to be made by the technical panel, and the possible decisions being made by couples and their teams in regard to program changes.

What is a dance spin?

This is the ISU’s definition in the Technical Panel Handbook:

“A spin skated by the Couple together in any hold. It should be performed on the spot around a common axis on one foot by each partner simultaneously.”

To qualify for Base Level, a dance spin must have 2 rotations. Many couples perform dance spins under 2 rotations as transitional and choreographic elements in programs, so there’s always the risk that a couple mistakenly rotates too much, necessitating the calling of a Base Level Dance Spin.

Spin vs. Combination Spin

According to the Technical Panel Handbook, a combination spin is “a Spin after which one change of foot is made by both partners simultaneously and further rotations occur.”

While this seems plain, there are situations where a combination spin should not be called, in spite of a change of foot by both partners. In a combination spin, it bust begin with 3 rotations being made, and then at least one rotation must be made after the change of foot to qualify as a Base Level Combination Spin. Without more than one rotation after the change of foot, it would be called a Spin, and the rotation of under 1 revolution after the change of foot would be considered as part of the exit..

This does leave a situation where couples must be careful upon exiting a dance spin. If both partners change feet and, upon the exit, accidentally complete more than 1 rotation, a Level 4 Spin could become a Base Level Combination Spin.

Requirements for Levels: Spin vs. Combination Spin

Difficult variations for spins and combination spins require a different number of revolutions. According to the handbook,

“a Difficult Variation shall be considered for Level when held for at least 2 rotations in a Spin or 3 rotations in a Combination Spin.”

The ISU made it easier to achieve a Difficult Variation in a Spin. My guess is that this was to compensate for the inability to regain any momentum by not changing feet.

So, if a couple accidentally creates a combination spin by rotating more than 1 revolution after changing feet, they could invalidate all their Difficult Variations. Positions held for more than the 2 revolutions required for a Spin, but under the 3 revolutions required for the now Combination Spin, would no longer count. If this were true of all the attempted Difficult Variations, it would immediately change the element from a Level 4 Spin into a Base Level Combination Spin.

Option 1 vs. Option 2

For dance spins, couples have an “option 1” and an “option 2.” The difference is this: option 1 means the couple performs the dance spin in one direction; option 2 means the couple changes spinning direction in the dance spin.
While option 2 is, at least to my knowledge, exclusively seen in combination dance spins, it is allowed for dance spins (though, I’m not sure how this could be accomplished well without a change of foot.)

To qualify as an Option 2 Combination Dance Spin, there must be at least 3 rotations in one direction, and then 1 rotation in the other after the change of foot for Base Level, and 3 rotations in both direction for Level 1.

The Entry/Exit Feature

Starting in the 2016/2017 season, skaters were required to have an entry or exit feature to qualify for a Level 4 Spin and Combination Spin, whereas there were never never entry or exit features for spins before. This has created some added complications to successfully completing dance spins, a product of which are Hubbell & Donohue’s Level 2 Blues.

The Levels

As always, a reading of the technical handbook above, or seeing a graphic helps.
Some things to note:
1) The requirements for Option 2 dance spins are not as high as Option 1, presumably to account for the difficulty of changing spin direction in Option 2.​
2) Difficult Variations are on the basic three positions: Camel, Sit, Upright. Without a difficult variation in all 3 positions, any Option 1 dance spin cannot earn higher than Level 2.​

The Spin

What happened with Hubbell & Donohue’s Spin at Four Continents requires an understanding of some of the exacting and definitive terminology used by the ISU. For example:

“Rotations in Difficult Variations shall be considered for Level when performed continuously in a fully established position.”

The words “continuously” and “fully” cannot be ignored in their context in regards to Difficult Variation positions. This one bullet, one clarification, one rule is why Hubbell & Donohue can’t get away from this Level 2 call on their Dance Spin.


Here are the features with which Hubbell & Donohue are attempting to attain in order to complete a Level 4 Option 1 Dance Spin:
  • Entry feature, satisfying: “Unexpected entry/exit without any evident preparation.”
  • Difficult Variation on a camel position by Donohue, satasifying: “Simple Camel Position by the man with the free leg on horizontal line or higher.”
  • Difficult Variation on a sit position by Donohue, satisfying: ”Free leg bent or straight directed forward with thigh of skating leg at least parallel to the ice.”
  • Difficult Variation on a sit position by Hubbell, satisfying: “Free leg bent or straight directed backward with thigh of skating leg at least parallel to the ice.”
  • Difficult Variation on an upright position by Hubbell, satisfying: “Full layback with upper body arched back from the waist towards the ice or sideways with upper body bent to the side from the waist towards the ice.”
So, because they only have one Difficult Variation in the camel and one in the upright, if they miss either one, the max they can earn is Level 2 on their Dance Spin. A couple needs a Difficult Variation in all 3 basic positions in order to earn higher than Level 2. This is what’s happening to Hubbell & Donohue.

I think Donohue comes into the spin with too much rotational momentum. When he catches Hubbell and they enter into the dance spin, it can take Donohue longer than designed (and desired) to center his axis of rotation. In the process, his free leg is not satisfying two requirements needed for his Difficult Variation on a camel to count. At times his free leg is not “at least parallel to the ice.” This change of his free leg position then stops his position from being “continuously in a fully established position.” At other times, it takes Donohue longer to be “continuously in a fully established position.”

The Call

So, while Hubbell & Donohue rotate in a camel position for over 2.5 revolutions, Donohue did not maintain a camel position “at least parallel to the ice” for at least 2 revolutions “continuously in a fully established position.” I count 1 revolution. Donohue’s camel did not count as a Difficult Variation, which causes the couple to not have a Difficult Variation in a camel position, which then precludes their Dance Spin from getting called higher than Level 2.

The Blues

Hubbell & Donohue have been having issues with this Dance Spin for seasons. After the Level 2 call at Nationals, they replaced it with the previous seasons’ Option 2 Combination Spin:

2018 US Nationals FD vs. 2018 Olympics FD

The difference between a Level 2 and a Level 4 Dance Spin is 2 points. We all know that in Ice Dance, 2 points can be the difference between winning a competition and not winning a medal at all. Recently, this Level 2 Dance Spin has plagued Hubbell & Donohue.


I wonder how the coaches in Team Gadbois are going to handle this. This is two international competitions in a row with the same call. With this issue and the stationary lift, is another rearrangement of elements coming like last season? Maybe we’ll see another revamp?

What should they do?

I hope they do something to stabilize the stationary lift. It will definitely get technical panel scrutiny at Worlds. I also think it would be a good idea to utilize more time at the end of the program to replace the dance spin with their Option 2 Combination Spin. It more consistently earns Level 4. (Also, could they please replace the choreographic lift with an ending choreographic sliding movement?)

It should be obvious that a dance spin shouldn’t be a high risk element, but it’s becoming one for Hubbell & Donohue. I’ve seen other posters compare Donohue to Katsalapov, and I would agree. They both have issues controlling their power. They both get ahead of themselves, both on the ice and off. Just, whatever they decide to do, just please correct the errors. Their errors are obvious, but so are the fixes.
 
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thvu

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
5,745
Part I: The Stationary Lift

Hi again! It was requested by @cocotaffy that I breakdown the Level 2 call on Hubbell & Donohue’s dance spin at The 2019 Four Continents Championship. I so much enjoyed writing The Stationary Lift that I’ve realized that this could be a passion project for me. So, I can take requests for other calls on dance elements to breakdown (though, step sequences are going to be harder for me to breakdown. It does not come as natural for me as all the other dance elements.) Again, no guarantees on what I choose or how long it takes. I was originally afraid that what I wrote is unreadable, but I’m so glad that is not the case. I now feel a bit more comfortable exploring a few more topics in these breakdowns.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
20,096
Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone
Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone

Tried to do a Combination Spin
Tech Panel said we didn't even begin

Didn't have the rotations
Didn't have the variations

Didn't have a proper exit
Don't know how to fix it

We got the Level 2 Blues
Oh, we got the Level 2 Blues
:(
 
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Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,233
I thought the reason (or one of the reasons) that H/D got the L2 call at Nats last year was b/c their boots touched the other's twice during the spin.
 

cocotaffy

Fetchez la vache... mais fetchez la vache !
Messages
7,489
Part I: The Stationary Lift

Hi again! It was requested by @cocotaffy that I breakdown the Level 2 call on Hubbell & Donohue’s dance spin at The 2019 Four Continents Championship. I so much enjoyed writing The Stationary Lift that I’ve realized that this could be a passion project for me. So, I can take requests for other calls on dance elements to breakdown (though, step sequences are going to be harder for me to breakdown. It does not come as natural for me as all the other dance elements.) Again, no guarantees on what I choose or how long it takes. I was originally afraid that what I wrote is unreadable, but I’m so glad that is not the case. I now feel a bit more comfortable exploring a few more topics in these breakdowns.
Yes it is me again :D First off, thanks so much about the spin. Ice dance can be so cryptic that those threads are a huge help. Could you explain why Guillaume received a level 3 on the RD twizzle at Euros ? I watched several times and can't find anything. The only explanation I could muster was that he snaps his third twizzle to give it some speed in order to fit the music. Could it have be misconstrued for a mistake at Euros even though he has always snapped it the same way all season and got level 4 ?
 
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deegee

Well-Known Member
Messages
353
Yes it is me again :D First off, thanks so much about the spin. Ice dance can be so cryptic that those threads are a huge help. Could you explain why Guillaume received a level 3 on the RD twizzle at Euros ? I watched several times and can't find anything. The only explanation I could muster was that he snaps his third twizzle to give it some speed in order to fit the music. Could it have be misconstrued for a mistake as Euros even though he has always snapped it the same way all season and got level 4 ?
when i was watching the live feed, it looked to me like he came out of the twizzle too early and had some kind of unintentional step-out. it wasn't until i watched one of the audience videos from the opposite angel that i saw that it wasn't a mistake at all and that he exited at exactly the same time as gabi. i wonder if the judges misinterpreted it, too.
 

sharsk8s

Well-Known Member
Messages
434
I don't think he messed up, I think it is just choreographed that way. But it might have looked unclear to the judges (because it is a really quick exit). Hopefully they can adjust it so there will be no question at worlds. It seems like a quick fix
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
Messages
10,003
Thanks to @thvudragon for another great element breakdown.

Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone
Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone

Tried to do a Combination Spin
Tech Panel said we didn't even begin

Didn't have the rotations
Didn't have the variations

Didn't have a proper exit
Don't know how to fix it

We got the Level 2 Blues
Oh, we got the Level 2 Blues
:(

BRAVO BRAVO
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,134
Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone
Woke up this morning, but our Levels was gone

Tried to do a Combination Spin
Tech Panel said we didn't even begin

Didn't have the rotations
Didn't have the variations

Didn't have a proper exit
Don't know how to fix it

We got the Level 2 Blues
Oh, we got the Level 2 Blues
:(

This reminds me of your brilliance here:

https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...hrough-the-scoring-system.98380/#post-4771353

[JOE INMAN]
Transitions, transitions! Transitions!
Transitions, transitions! Transitions!

[JOE INMAN & JUDGES]
Who, day and night, watches all the skating,
Watches spins and footwork, monitors the skaters?
And who has the right, as masters of the score,
To have the final word on ice?

The judges, the judges! Transitions!
The judges, the judges! Transitions!

[COACHES]
Who must know the way to make a proper deal,
A quiet deal, a shady deal?
Who must do the politics and close the deal,
So skater's free to do his jumps?

The coaches, the coaches! Transitions!
The coaches, the coaches! Transitions!

[SKATERS]
At three, I started skating class. Last week, I learned C.O.P.
I hear they've rigged the score for me. I hope it's high.

The skaters, the skaters! Transitions!
The skaters, the skaters! Transitions!

[FSU]
And who has the right to moan and groan and bitch,
Complaining about whomever the panel picks?

FSU, FSU! Transitions!
FSU, FSU! Transitions!

:judge: :TT1: :COP: :fsu10:
 

deegee

Well-Known Member
Messages
353
I don't think he messed up, I think it is just choreographed that way. But it might have looked unclear to the judges (because it is a really quick exit). Hopefully they can adjust it so there will be no question at worlds. It seems like a quick fix
oh, yeah. i agree with you after seeing the video from the other side of the rink, but in real time and from the side of the judges it actually looked like a significant mistake.
 

thvu

Usova's Apprentice
Messages
5,745
Yes it is me again :D First off, thanks so much about the spin. Ice dance can be so cryptic that those threads are a huge help. Could you explain why Guillaume received a level 3 on the RD twizzle at Euros ? I watched several times and can't find anything. The only explanation I could muster was that he snaps his third twizzle to give it some speed in order to fit the music. Could it have be misconstrued for a mistake at Euros even though he has always snapped it the same way all season and got level 4 ?
After just watching it, I can’t say the error pops out at me. :( Though, I can always speculate!
 

Bigbird

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,145
After just watching it, I can’t say the error pops out at me. :( Though, I can always speculate!

The masters of the spin have always been Maia and Alex Shibutani. They need to start clinics, if they don't intend to return. Just saying. P/C are really in their own stratosphere in comparison to the current dancers. That's it.
 

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