The Stationary Lift

thvudragon

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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/jackiewong-rockerskating-27uiRiuy7ba43ifcBx
http://i64.tinypic.com/25iptnn.png


The Stationary Lift

The point of this post is to explain what happened with Hubbell & Donohue’s stationary lift at The 2019 Four Continents Championship to the best of my knowledge and ability. It will examine definitions, rule changes & their implications, and the probable decisions having to be made by the technical panel. Who am I? Just a nobody who teaches math.

What is a lift?

Anytime a partner lifts the other for 3 seconds or more. A lift can be rotational, curve, straight line, or stationary. The creation/existence of the stationary lift assumes and requires that all other lifts have momentum.
So, to answer the question, “what is a stationary lift?”, it is a lift that is stationary. Any significant directional momentum would result in another lift being performed.
Lifts have 3 segments: the Entry, the Lift, the Exit. Couples can earn up to 2 features per segment. For the most part, the crux of the actual lifting occurs in the “Lift” segment, but the lifted partner can be lifted throughout all three segments (or only in the “Lift”).

When to Call a Combination Lift

The relevance of this will be obvious later. According to the ISU Technical Handbook Q&A, for a combination lift to be called as such, the two lifts must have “similar duration.” Otherwise, “the lift should be called based on a majority of what is executed.” For example, a partner can start a straight line lift on one foot, then on the exit change to an inside spread eagle (essentially a curve lift) for the exit. So, while comprising of two different lifts, this would not be called a straight line + curve combo lift as it the “majority” of what is executed was the straight line lift, and the two lifts did not have “similar duration.” The curve lift would just be considered as part of the exit feature.

The Exit Feature

In the 2016-2017 season, exit features were added for levels in lifts. The only restrictions for these features were those prescribed by the general restrictions in ice dance. This resulted in many teams designing lifts that had exits that could be considered curve or rotational lifts, but did not resulting in combination lifts being called due to the “similar duration” principle.

The Levels

This can be complicated without seeing the rules. You can look them up in the Handbooks above. Also, here’s a graphic: Straight Line, Curve, Stationary Dance Lift Levels
Things to note. Lifting a partner for 3 seconds qualifies for base level. That’s all that is required. Level 1 only has features for the “Lift” segment. Without features for the “Lift” segment, lifts cannot qualify for beyond Base Level.

The Lift

What happened to Hubbell & Donohue’s stationary lift requires an understanding of when to to start considering the lift “stationary.” Often, skaters come into stationary lifts with some momentum. This is what the Q&A has to say:

Question: At what point does the Technical Panel start counting the 3 seconds for a Difficult Position/Pose in a Stationary Lift when the Lift is entering on one foot from an edge and spiraling into a “rotating” Stationary Lift?​
Answer: When the Lifting partner stops traveling while rotating.​

So, the technical panel did not start considering the “Lift” segment features until Donohue stopped moving, was stationary. The question I now have is how much of Hubbell and Donohue’s lift counted as stationary, and how much counted as a rotational lift?

Was it a stationary lift, a rotational lift, or a combination lift?

Once Donohue started significantly travelling on the lift, it counted as a rotational lift. This left the technical panel with questions to answer. This was now a stationary + rotational lift, so they had to decide whether the two lifts had “similar duration,” or whether one was the “majority of what was executed.”

The Measurements

Stationary Lift: 2.7 seconds
Rotational Lift: 1.5 seconds

Now, these measurements mean nothing. There’s so much arbitrary decision making I had to make. When does the stationary lift begin? When was the traveling significant enough to count as momentum for a rotational lift? When did that momentum stop causing the rotational lift to end? I came down to a Stationary Lift being the “majority of what was executed.” It helped that my timing/decision making matched what was concluded, and was not at all subconsciously influenced by my knowing what was intended by Hubbell & Donohue (haha.)

So, Donohue’s traveling creates this terrible situation where they mostly complete a stationary lift, but not enough of one to count as a lift worth anything. While there are entry and exit features galore, there are no “Lift” features that count, precluding them from levels beyond Base Level. It is a Base Level Stationary Lift by virtue of two things: 1. Hubbell was lifted for 3 seconds, qualifying for a lift, 2) the “majority of what was executed” was a stationary lift, designating the lift as stationary.

Level 1 requires one of two things, that the lifted or lifting partner is in a difficult position for 3 seconds, or that the lifted partner moves through a change of pose. While Hubbell moves through a change of pose, most of it occurs through what would be considered the rotational lift, and therefore does not count as a feature for Level 1 levels, but rather, the rotational lift is considered as part of the exit, and Level 1 does not have any entry or exit features. Not qualifying for any features during the “Lift” segment of the element precludes qualifying for any level beyond Base.

The Technical Panel & the Aftermath

At the end of the day, we all know the Technical Panel consists of human beings. They are working with many variables with time constraints while at the same time having to balance and value the opinions of multiple people. I don’t think their decision was at all based on politics or some other animus, but rather, was the best decision they could have come up with considering the circumstances.
They could have considered the lifts to have “similar duration” and crucified Hubbell & Donohue’s score even further. They could have called it a rotational lift, but it still would only have been Base Level (I only count under 3 rotations.) They settled on Base Stationary. It was a completely rules-based decision. It was Hubbell & Donohue’s fault for committing such an egregious error that invited Technical Panel scrutiny.

Just like when Stepanova & Bukin’s sit position “twizzles” get called Level 1, I’m glad this happened. It was a warning, not just to Hubbell & Donohue, but to all top teams. You won’t always get away with obvious technical errors or deficiencies. Don’t be surprised when they bite you.

*Also, if any of the technical specialists/controllers that lurk here (because everyone reads FSU), could please let me know how close/far off I am through PM? I'd greatly appreciate it!
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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So H/D were almost in danger of having the first lift be called a combination lift consisting of a stationary and a rotational lift with both getting base value and thus invalidating one of their other lifts?
 

thvudragon

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So H/D were almost in danger of having the first lift be called a combination lift consisting of a stationary and a rotational lift with both getting base value and thus invalidating one of their other lifts?
Totally, if the panel was in the mood the be jerks. Oooo, now that’s another question:

What would Dostatni do...
 

cocotaffy

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Could you work your magic on the Spin level 2 because this is the one H/D have to be afraid of more than that unfortunate butchered lift. They already got level 2 at GPF and haven't been able to fix it. Is it the lack of difficult entry/exit ? Because they both change position within the spin.
 

misskarne

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So H/D were almost in danger of having the first lift be called a combination lift consisting of a stationary and a rotational lift with both getting base value and thus invalidating one of their other lifts?
Absolutely. In this case, the panel have obviously decided to give the benefit of the doubt to the skater. But it's a real danger.
 

skatingguy

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So H/D were almost in danger of having the first lift be called a combination lift consisting of a stationary and a rotational lift with both getting base value and thus invalidating one of their other lifts?
Totally, if the panel was in the mood the be jerks. Oooo, now that’s another question:

What would Dostatni do...
This brings to mind Cappelini/Lanotte at European's in 2017 where during a choreographic lift in the short program Anna's foot didn't touch the ground as it should have, and a lift element was created. Because they had already performed a lift in the program it was an extra element, and resulted in a 1.00 deduction.
http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1617/ec2017/ec2017_IceDance_SD_Scores.pdf
 

starrynight

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This brings to mind Cappelini/Lanotte at European's in 2017 where during a choreographic lift in the short program Anna's foot didn't touch the ground as it should have, and a lift element was created. Because they had already performed a lift in the program it was an extra element, and resulted in a 1.00 deduction.
http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1617/ec2017/ec2017_IceDance_SD_Scores.pdf
At least the technical panel did it in real time at 4CC and not after the event was over!! I'm getting flashbacks to Cappelini/Lanotte being made to hand back their small medals. That whole thing was insanely shady.
 

alain06fr

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There's one thing which makes sense to check.

According to Communication 2188, if "lifted partner held off the ice for at least 5 seconds", a stationary lift is counted Level 1 whatever happens (travelling or not, etc.).

The whole lift sequence being counted as a stationary lift, it would be worth to check whether Madison was held off the ice for at least 5s... or not despite him traveling.
If so then it would be difficult (to not say impossible) not to reward it a level 1 and decision to give a base value would be a huge mistake...

If not then giving a base value was fine.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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I think that assumes that the lifting partner remains stationary. More than a 1/3 of that lift of was him traveling. According to the OP, the stationary part lasted 2.7 seconds. If you had the duration in which Madison was being lifted, according to the OP's measurements, it was 4.2 seconds.
 

thvudragon

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I think that assumes that the lifting partner remains stationary. More than a 1/3 of that lift of was him traveling. According to the OP, the stationary part lasted 2.7 seconds. If you had the duration in which Madison was being lifted, according to the OP's measurements, it was 4.2 seconds.
The measurements were for sections I could classify. Donohue travelled during the entrance. Hubbell was lifted during this part, but it didn’t count as part of the stationary lift. The. He started to travel and it was a rotational lift. Then he stopped moving and it stopped being a rotational lift. Hubbell was lifted during these segments that aren’t part of the two lifts, but it’s not reflected in my measurements.
 

alain06fr

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The measurements were for sections I could classify. Donohue travelled during the entrance. Hubbell was lifted during this part, but it didn’t count as part of the stationary lift. The. He started to travel and it was a rotational lift. Then he stopped moving and it stopped being a rotational lift. Hubbell was lifted during these segments that aren’t part of the two lifts, but it’s not reflected in my measurements.
I see your point.
Now, looking to communication 2188, does the sentence about the 5s apply only to 5s of "full stationary lift" or to 5s of a lift counted as stationary lift (potentially including a small rotational lift section)?
 
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Doggygirl

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Thank you @thvudragon for taking the time to research and share this information! Very interesting and I totally agree with those who have said there must be a lot of teams checking and double checking their elements!
 

thvudragon

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I see your point.
Now, looking to communication 2188, does the sentence about the 5s apply only to 5s of "full stationary lift" or to 5s of a lift counted as stationary lift (potentially including a small rotational lift section)?
The features only count in the “Lift” segment if it is part of the lift called. So, nothing they did as part of the rotational part of the lift counts toward levels for the stationary lift, but rather as entry or exit features, which doesn’t help teams gain levels if they don’t have any feature from the “Lift” segment.
 

thvudragon

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Could you work your magic on the Spin level 2 because this is the one H/D have to be afraid of more than that unfortunate butchered lift. They already got level 2 at GPF and haven't been able to fix it. Is it the lack of difficult entry/exit ? Because they both change position within the spin.
This has been a persistent problem for them. From 2018 Nats, to the recent GPF and 4CC. My hunch is that they keep rushing the transition out of the camel positions. I’ll look into it! (But no guarantees it will result in a confident answer like this one!)

*Edit: I'm pretty sure I have an answer... It might take a bit for me to write it up.
 
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DreamSkates

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This has been a persistent problem for them. From 2018 Nats, to the recent GPF and 4CC. My hunch is that they keep rushing the transition out of the camel positions. I’ll look into it! (But no guarantees it will result in a confident answer like this one!)

*Edit: I'm pretty sure I have an answer... It might take a bit for me to write it up.
It seems that their coaches would observe these problems and know how to fix them. Or, it could be like any error on an element is possible. Some skaters travel when they spin, but likely get a lower score as a result.
 

Dobre

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Out of curiosity, do you think the lift was performed correctly at Nationals? (I just rewatched and he does travel more than at the GPF, but I'm not clear on how much traveling is too much).
 

alain06fr

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Out of curiosity, do you think the lift was performed correctly at Nationals? (I just rewatched and he does travel more than at the GPF, but I'm not clear on how much traveling is too much).
H/D's stationary lift was really bad at 4CC but it was for sure not great either at GPF.
I never understood how it could be awarded level4 in Vancouver... And now, it's the opposite, I still don't really get why it was based value instead of level 1 in Anaheim...
 
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Tak

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We finally got to watch the 4CC dance on TV. For what it's worth the Japanese commentator said the problem with the spin was his position. You have to maintain the correct camel position for 2 full rotations and he didn't. He goes into it in the correct position, but then he dips his leg a bit or does something that negates the position for a part of the rotations, so he doesn't complete 2 full rotations while maintaining the correct camel position.
 

thvudragon

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I still don't really get why it was based value instead of level 1 in Anaheim...
Because they were never in one lift long enough. Yes, Hubbell was lifted for > 5 seconds, but it was split between two different lifts. If Donohue was stationary for 5 seconds, it would have qualified them for a Level 1 Stationary, but he was not. Once he had directional momentum, that with the rotations created a rotational lift, which has different rules governing levels than the other lifts. Because the panel classified the lift as Stationary, only the parts where Donohue was stationary counted toward the "Lift" segment features. Everything else was considered as part of the entry and exit features, which essentially don't apply if a team doesn't have any "Lift" segment features.
 

Tak

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It was interesting watching the whole thing on TV. The whole performance looked a bit ragged to me, not just the lift. I was surprised that Madison said she was very happy with the performance.

The commentator also said overall they looked slower than usual. They usually skate quite fast, but this time she felt they were noticeably slower around the rink. Did anyone see this live? Maybe they could comment.

She also said on the stationary lift - usually they change positions very fast. It's very dynamic. But this time Madison was much slower in changing position, and that might have contributed to the travelling. She thought they didn't go into the lift with their usual speed and that might have affected it as well. She thought they looked tired.

For me, the most interesting part was the reaction in the Kiss and Cry. Not only the skaters, but the coaches looked completely stunned by the marks. The woman actually looked at Patrice and said "What happened?"

I think it's more than a little odd that the commentator and people here on FSU in the PBP saw the mistake right away, and the coaches didn't. Usually when the skaters make a mistake, they may not know it, but the coaches do. These coaches looked dumbfounded. Patrice is supposed to be the technical one who knows all the rules? But he looked clueless. If these were my coaches, I'd be a little concerned about that.
 

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