U.S. Ladies [#25]: Method in the Madness

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gkelly

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All bonuses go away by the junior level.
Actually, as of this year there are now bonuses at Junior level. But only for triple axels and quads, so not really relevant to ladies, perhaps with an occasional rare exception.

Disagree entirely. Before the bonus was implemented, a ton of novices were qualifying to nationals having only attempted good-quality double jumps, with a few having a couple of the easier triples. Why? Because it wasn't worth the risk to even attempt triples. That's not the way to become competitive with the rest of the world. The bonus system encourages attempting harder jumps and also recognizes that learning fully-rotated jumps takes progression. Usually, skaters land underrotated triples first and eventually get to the point where they can fully rotate.
Yes, that does seem to the thinking behind the bonus system.

I remember when IJS first started Russia had been giving bonuses at senior level (and probably to juniors as well -- I know nothing about their lower level competitions) for triple axels and quads, and for triple-triple combos for ladies.

Do they still do that? If not, when did they stop?

Was that one reason the Russian ladies program made such great strides in the past 10 years?

There are two schools of thought here. US coaches, in general, do teach the stand up on anything technique. Others teach the complete rotation first, then work on standing up.
I've seen both approaches at my local rink.

My point is neither is inconsistent with giving a bonus to fully rotated jumps. Yes, novices made it to nationals with doubles, but that is because there was no bonus. Give the bonus to fully rotated jumps (land or fall) and the result will be skaters going for full rotation. When you give a bonus for < Skaters will pull out early to avoid a fall because they get the extra point.
Which they then lose in the fall deduction. Or, now, at novice and below, the fall deduction is smaller than the jump bonus, so actually they would be better off falling than having the jump downgraded << and no bonus/base value for the lower rotation jump. Assuming -5 GOE for rotated with fall or messy downgrade with no fall.

If there's a bonus for < jumps, but also only 70% base value and -GOE, then mileage may vary whether it's more valuable to underrotate and stand up or to fully rotate and fall. Vs. just sticking to doubles with higher positive GOE. Coaches can do the math as to which is likely to net more points for their students based on what the students are more likely to actually achieve during competition.

But if their long-term goal is fully rotated triples without falls by senior level, then the strategy would be different than if their goal is to score as high as possible now and not expect to still be competing at all a few years later.
 

natsulian

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7/8 will not get 3 spots. They need to place at least 6/7 for 13 to get 3 spots.

Current season's best scores of likely competitors at Worlds are:

1 238.43 Alina ZAGITOVA RUS ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy 2018 28.09.2018
2 233.12 Rika KIHIRA JPN ISU Grand Prix Final 2018/19 08.12.2018

4 219.71 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN ISU GP Skate America 2018 21.10.2018
5 219.02 Elizaveta TUKTAMYSHEVA RUS ISU GP NHK Trophy 2018 10.11.2018

7 213.90 Kaori SAKAMOTO JPN ISU GP Skate America 2018 21.10.2018
8 213.84 Sofia SAMODUROVA RUS ISU European Championships 2019 25.01.2019
10 207.46 Elizabet TURSYNBAEVA KAZ ISU Four Continents Championships 2019 08.02.2019

11 206.41 Bradie TENNELL USA ISU CS Autumn Classic International 2018 21.09.2018

14 204.16 Loena HENDRICKX BEL ISU CS Nebelhorn Trophy 2018 28.09.2018

18 198.96 Mariah BELL USA ISU GP NHK Trophy 2018 10.11.2018
I meant former... woops.
 

kwanatic

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Let's be honest Bradie or Mariah might not even make the Olympic team in 2022 and maybe it's for the best... I can't see a 24 and 25 year old leading the way for the US in 2022.
I would mostly agree with this. Both Bradie and Mariah are on the middle-aged side of the skating timeline so there's no guarantee either of them (or Gracie or Karen for that matter) will be factors in another 3.5 years. Still, the younger girls are not done baking yet and will need time to adjust and grow. The veterans will likely continue to be the front-runners (or at least the anchors) for a another year or so.

Ting is young, but it seems to me as though two clean performances are nearly impossible for her.
Ting is young, very talented and brand new to senior level skating. I was shocked to see her nail her SP her first time out. We've seen her nail her FS as well. It's just a matter of her learning to put it together. She has time. Remember, no one ever thought Mirai would be able to pull off an 8-triple program but she made it happen...I know I didn't. Impossible isn't impossible, especially for someone as gifted as Ting. We just need to be patient.

As for the competition...

I was really pleased with all 3 Americans in the SP. Everyone stepped up and put out amazing performances. Obviously the FS was not good for anyone.

Bradie: Her URs were pretty obvious to me on at least 3 jumps. I did think she URed the 2T-2L in the 3-jump combo as well but I believe they called that clean. I really hope she scraps the 3Lz-3L. I admire her for going for it but it's not working. A clean 3Lz-3T and a 2A-3T in the bonus is the smarter approach. Go clean and earn the +GOE which will help to boost the PCS as well if she skates cleanly. The loop combo isn't comfortable for her yet. She looked very tight going into it and missing it knocked her off of her game and caused her to tightened up for the rest of the performance.

Mariah: She's gotta get it together. If she's going for easier content she has to be squeaky clean. Falling on solo triples can't happen at this level when you're already in a base value hole to start. Mariah needs to develop that killer instinct if she hopes to be a factor.

Ting: As mentioned above, she's young and really needs to learn to compete. Her focus goes sideways and she panics at which point her jumps begin to fold underneath her. In several instances she just sits down...it doesn't even look like she should be falling on her landings. More fight, more focus. That's what she needs.

Hopefully everyone will regroup before worlds.
 

insideedgeua

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I know Ting has struggled with consistency at major comps, but keep in mind that she did Nats, JW camp (simulated comp), and 4CC in the span of 2 weeks. That's a lot, plus going between Junior and Senior length FS programs. She is only 16, this is her first year as a Senior, and she is still adjusting to the big comps and longer comp season.
Plus, Ting is actively working on adding quads. She’s doing lots of work on these in training, and while not there yet, I believe she will have some to add to her programs soon.
 

Jammers

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Plus, Ting is actively working on adding quads. She’s doing lots of work on these in training, and while not there yet, I believe she will have some to add to her programs soon.
She needs to learn how to land those triples before even thinking about doing quads. Why does it seem that the most talented US ladies in the last decade are the ones that are the most fragile when it comes to competing? Mirai, Gracie even someone like Amber Glenn.
 

kwanatic

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She needs to learn how to land those triples before even thinking about doing quads.
For Ting it's not an issue of learning to land triples. It's not like Karen where she consistently under-rotates or Courtney where she can't control her jumps or Mariah where the content isn't there. Ting has strong content and her jump mechanics are excellent: speed, height, coverage, ride-out, air/landing position, correct edges, etc. I think she's the best jumper in the US right now. It's all there and she's capable of laying down clean 7-triple performances.

Ting's issue is landing jumps under pressure. She's a jittery competitor (like a lot of the US ladies) and it causes her to make mistakes. I'd say she needs to learn to compete before she attempts to add a quad; however, I think now is the time to start training a quad/3A if she hopes to add it in before the next Olympics.
 

MrMystery

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For Ting it's not an issue of learning to land triples. It's not like Karen where she consistently under-rotates or Courtney where she can't control her jumps or Mariah where the content isn't there. Ting has strong content and her jump mechanics are excellent: speed, height, coverage, ride-out, air/landing position, correct edges, etc. I think she's the best jumper in the US right now. It's all there and she's capable of laying down clean 7-triple performances.

Ting's issue is landing jumps under pressure. She's a jittery competitor (like a lot of the US ladies) and it causes her to make mistakes. I'd say she needs to learn to compete before she attempts to add a quad; however, I think now is the time to start training a quad/3A if she hopes to add it in before the next Olympics.
Agreed. She has no issues with her jumps in terms of technique - it's consistency and nerves. With regards to the quads, I think it could be helpful for her to train them, she doesn't need to "train" triples. Perhaps growing consistency with quads may allow for the triples to seem even easier, and thus more likely to land in high pressure situations.
 

Dobre

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I don't know. She often underrotates when she falls so it is possible that the falls can come when she makes a technical error. Ting doesn't seem to UR when she does a jump correctly. But when she falls, there is often a technical error. Her technique seems to have no leeway. Either it's right or it's not.
 

VGThuy

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I do think it’s concerning she not only mistakes but she melts down. Usually skaters tell you early on what kind of competitors they are. There are exceptions but they are exceptions.
 

binbinwinwin

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Ting at JW last year fell on a 3Lz and then skated the rest of the program clean including improvising a 3F-1Lo-3S that was fully rotated in the 2nd half. It just seems like she doesn't do well under pressure and has a hard time learning to defend her placements. This isn't the first time she had a good SP and then melted down in the LP.
 

Coco

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I still think there may be a physical issue with Ting.

Torn cartilage may not cause pain but it can cause intermittent instability.
 

MrMystery

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Another thing to note with Ting is that she's had a few coaching changes over the last couple seasons. Always takes a minute for new training and competing regimes to gel.
 

MacMadame

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I think she has trouble landing her jumps because she doesn't get down in her knees. So that is a technical flaw.
 

MIsty Blades/Skate Mom

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It seems that our US singles skaters have some work to do on the mental game, especially in the long program. The physical talent is there; so if the mental toughness can improve, our placements could also improve.
 

wickedwitch

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I think she has trouble landing her jumps because she doesn't get down in her knees. So that is a technical flaw.
I'm not saying there's no technical issues, but the famine or feast nature of most of her performances is indicative of the issue being somewhat mental.
 

AxelAnnie

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[Mariah: She's gotta get it together. If she's going for easier content she has to be squeaky clean. Falling on solo triples can't happen at this level when you're already in a base value hole to start. Mariah needs to develop that killer instinct if she hopes to be a factor. ]

I do not think that Mariah has a killer instinct cell in her entire body. Not gonna happen.
 

natsulian

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Ting has huge talent, and hopefully learns to put out two clean programs. Ting’s had a few coaching changes, so I’m hoping she’s going to find her mojo in the upcoming season. As much as this season is a sort of “starting fresh” for the US ladies, this is Ting’s season to get accustomed to high pressure events as well.

Furthermore, Ting only came onto the international scene during the 2017-2018 season, so she hasn’t been on the international circuit for even two full seasons yet. During her 2018-2019 season, of the four international assignments, Ting put out 1 near clean event, 2 clean Shorts, and 1 clean Long. Hope for the best during Worlds.
 

MIsty Blades/Skate Mom

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I do agree with VIETgrlTerifa.

If tennis has detailed sensors with close up technology to detect whether a ball is out or not, or if the medical field has cameras that can be inserted into various body cavities to look at the state of bodily organs, or the defense industry has ways to look into someone's backyard from space, I'm sure there is technology to determine whether a jump is rotated sufficiently.

I was thinking more along the lines of like heat sensing technology or something for a computer to do the calls. I don't know how that would be possible, but I'm no engineer.
 

gkelly

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I do agree with VIETgrlTerifa.

If tennis has detailed sensors with close up technology to detect whether a ball is out or not, or if the medical field has cameras that can be inserted into various body cavities to look at the state of bodily organs, or the defense industry has ways to look into someone's backyard from space, I'm sure there is technology to determine whether a jump is rotated sufficiently.
I don't think that there are sensors already existing that have been designed to do exactly what would need to be done to be able to call all jump rotation and takeoff/landing edges accurately.

I think it would probably be possible to design some with current technological knowledge. But figuring out how to design them to recognize all possible variations of jump execution, at all locations on the ice surface by skaters of all sizes and shapes, and to figure out the details of where to place them (on the skates? on the ice/in the boards?), how to make sure they can function reliably under the conditions of cold and high impact, and how to get the data back to the computer securely in a stadium full of potential hackers . . . and then figuring out how to produce them affordably to be used in all competitions above a given level . . . would not be trivial problems.

If the will were there, some brilliant people with high levels of skating knowledge and technological knowledge, and if massive infusions R&D money were available, it probably could be implemented within a few years of deciding to do so.

But the money is not there. And the will doesn't seem to be either.
 
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Karen-W

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I don't think that there are sensors already exist that have been designed to do exactly what would need to be done to be able to call all jump rotation and takeoff/landing edges accurately.

I think it would probably be possible to design some with current technological knowledge. But figuring out how to design them to recognize all possible variations of jump execution, at all locations on the ice surface by skaters of all sizes and shapes, and to figure out the details of where to place them (on the skates? on the ice/in the boards?), how to make sure they can function reliably under the conditions of cold and high impact, and how to get the data back to the computer securely in a stadium full of potential hackers . . . and then figuring out how to produce them affordably to be used in all competitions above a given level . . . would not be trivial problems.

If the will were there, some brilliant people with high levels of skating knowledge and technological knowledge, and if massive infusions R&D money were available, it probably could be implemented within a few years of deciding to do so.

But the money is not there. And the will doesn't seem to be either.
What it will take is another high-profile "scandal" ala SLC Pairs to propel this idea forward. Let's say in 2022 Vincent Zhou loses out on an Olympic Gold Medal (or maybe any medal - say his TES drops him off the podium from 1st to 4th) because he has a bunch of jumps called as UR? Johnny & Tara have been pretty fair about his propensity for UR and acknowledged that some of the calls on Saturday night were correct but they questioned at least one, and they were hardly alone in that sentiment - many folks in the PBP thread thought the tech panel got at least one or two jumps wrong (either called as UR when the jump looked clean or the reverse). Vincent hails from the Bay Area. I could see some tech entrepreneur with a boatload of money deciding to invest in the R&D for this type of technology so that the "next" Vincent doesn't get screwed. I'd like to think the ISU wouldn't look that particular gift horse in the mouth in the wake of another worldwide media scandal - and with today's social media it would blow up even larger than twenty years earlier in SLC.
 

snoopy

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The easiest thing would be to create something to be worn on the boot. Kind of like what racers wear on their sneakers to show finishes - but with more technical power.
 

binbinwinwin

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I'm sure something can be put on the boot but the problem is whether or not it will stay on the boot with all the jumps and moves they do.
 

VGThuy

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Imagine if that attachment to the boot flies off and hits someone in the face. I wonder if the host could argue assumption of risk the way a baseball stadium/MLB can if a ball flies in someone's face.
 

Coco

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It could be screwed in, or bolted to the brace that connects the blade to the boot.
 

annie720

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Ting has huge talent, and hopefully learns to put out two clean programs. Ting’s had a few coaching changes, so I’m hoping she’s going to find her mojo in the upcoming season. As much as this season is a sort of “starting fresh” for the US ladies, this is Ting’s season to get accustomed to high pressure events as well.

Furthermore, Ting only came onto the international scene during the 2017-2018 season, so she hasn’t been on the international circuit for even two full seasons yet. During her 2018-2019 season, of the four international assignments, Ting put out 1 near clean event, 2 clean Shorts, and 1 clean Long. Hope for the best during Worlds.
Agree, Ting has had two major coaching changes in just the past two years, recently moved halfway across the country, and to my eyes, has had a major growth spurt. If she's happy in Colorado Springs and can stay for a while, maybe she'll develop more consistency.
 

VGThuy

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This article talks about the issue:

https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/02/11/four-continents-reporters-notebook-can-a-single-hd-camera-provide-accurate-replays/

George Rossano, an aerospace scientist by trade who is also a U.S. judge and technical panel data replay operator, agrees with Krall: the current equipment is too outdated to help technical panels accurately call jumps.

“If a panel isn’t sure, they say, ‘Well, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt,’” Rossano, who operates the figure skating website iceskatingintnl.com, said. “But if you give that skater points they don’t deserve, you punish everybody else, especially if they are going to call quads.”

-------

Krall, though, says accuracy is paramount.

“If they’re going to measure the sport, they better get the equipment that they can measure it with,” she reasoned. “From the time you can see the toe touch (the ice) to the time it turns around, if you don’t have the right equipment, you’re not going to make the right call. Higher-speed cameras, period, end of conversation. They’ve got the cameras out there to measure things properly.”
 

MrMystery

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I don't think that the technology isn't there, it's just that the financing isn't, and likely isn't going to be. Also, it's not like the slow-mo replay we have is bad... at the end of the day, figure skating is always going to be a subject sport in various capacities.
 

kwanfan1818

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Of course in order for an automated system to work we have be sure the system actually properly calls the angle when the blade actually leaves the ice and the angle of where the landing blade actually TOUCHES the ice. Of course this is only hypothetical as I think it's near impossible to do this.
After he retired, Craig Buntin went to Business School and co-founded Sportlogic, a startup that worked on camera technology and analytics to do precisely this; the skating product is VeriSkate.

If it had been adopted it could have confirmed revolutions in jumps, including pre- and under-rotations on landings, and spins, and may have captured edges on take-off and landings. It could have been able to track ice coverage, whether elements were distributed over the ice, telegraphing windows, absolute speed, and relative speed, ie, whether the skater maintained it on the blade or had to repeatedly build it back up after it petered, and counting cross-over vs. turns, brackets, counters, and other blade transitions.

It would have meant a huge change to what judges are meant to do, which they have resisted in general, not to mention producing hard data that would contradict their perceptions.

I get why judges and Federations would resist, but I'm not sure why this hasn't been adopted in place of or used with Dartfish by coaches: it was first tested in 2015 in skating, and has been adopted by pro hockey teams and a Swedish League. Dartfish can't be cheap.
 
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