virtual test vs traditional test

sk8r2021

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For ice dance test, would you prefer virtual test or traditional test? anyone has experience? We can choose one. Test sessions are in different clubs but around the same dates. I guess virtual might be better because we can video tape more than once and choose the best one. But I feel it's almost impossible to find a time when rink has no other skaters there. Also how will videotaping affects results? Is it hard to arrange for monitor, videotaping, and etc?
 
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Clarice

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The hardest part of videotaping an ice dance test is having empty ice for the test. I did one for one of my students, and we were able to be on an empty freestyle. I've also been present for tests where other skaters were asked to clear the ice to tape the test, but you're going to make people mad if you keep re-taping under those conditions. It doesn't need to be absolutely empty ice, but you don't want someone accidentally cutting off your pattern.

It wasn't hard to actually arrange the test - I videotaped it myself, and got our Learn to Skate director to serve as monitor. I'm planning on testing later this year myself, but don't know yet which option we're going to use. A lot will depend on what dates are available.
 

Aussie Willy

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For ice dance test, would you prefer virtual test or traditional test? anyone has experience? We can choose one. Test sessions are in different clubs but around the same dates. I guess virtual might be better because we can video tape more than once and choose the best one. But I feel it's almost impossible to find a time when rink has no other skaters there. Also how will videotaping affects results? Is it hard to arrange for monitor, videotaping, and etc?
Why would you be able to record more than once? Is that allowed according to the requirements for your testing? And surely it is monitored to ensure that people cannot just keep doing it until they are satisfied with they one they think is best. It doesn't make it a level playing field for all skaters, regardless of doing it in front of judges or doing it virtually.
 

gkelly

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Why would you be able to record more than once? Is that allowed according to the requirements for your testing? And surely it is monitored to ensure that people cannot just keep doing it until they are satisfied with they one they think is best. It doesn't make it a level playing field for all skaters, regardless of doing it in front of judges or doing it virtually.

There isn't a single document that explains this, and they are all on the USFS Member's Only site so I can't link to them.

Basically,

The video recording must be proctored by a neutral person in authority (rink manager, test chair, etc. -- not a coach who has worked with the skater)

Part of what they're verifying is that the video was recorded in one take and not edited

There cannot be more than 8 skaters on the ice and if another skater interferes with the test at any time that video should not be submitted

Reskates are not allowed, "but the skater may record the test as many times as they want as long as only one video is submitted. This is true regardless of the type or level of test. This is similar to the IJS protocol option where the skater does not need to declare the intent to test in advance and does not submit protocols that do not meet the passing requirements."
 

overedge

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From @gkelly post: "This is similar to the IJS protocol option where the skater does not need to declare the intent to test in advance and does not submit protocols that do not meet the passing requirements."

I don't understand this. Not that you haven't explained it well, @gkelly, but....I can see USFS not wanting skaters to submit a test video if the skater isn't capable of doing the test - like they don't know the dance or pattern, or can't perform required elements. But as @Aussie Willy points out, at in-person tests the skater doesn't get the option of doing another skate if they don't do great and want to do better. Allowing the skater to submit the best of multiple videos seems like an uneven playing field.
 

Debbie S

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I don't understand this. Not that you haven't explained it well, @gkelly, but....I can see USFS not wanting skaters to submit a test video if the skater isn't capable of doing the test - like they don't know the dance or pattern, or can't perform required elements. But as @Aussie Willy points out, at in-person tests the skater doesn't get the option of doing another skate if they don't do great and want to do better. Allowing the skater to submit the best of multiple videos seems like an uneven playing field.
It's controversial. Virtual testing was introduced last summer as a way for skaters to test if YKW restrictions made it difficult for their club to have test sessions....i.e. the skaters who don't live in an area with a lot of judges, whose clubs usually have to fly judges in or skaters may have to travel a distance to test. This year at (virtual) GC, it was voted to make it a permanent option going forward.

As gkelly said, skaters can film multiple run-throughs and submit the best one. But it has to be unedited...they can't choose moves from different run-throughs. So, yes, conditions aren't quite the same as an in-person test session. Skaters do pay a fee to USFS to test and the coach has to sign off, so it's unlikely a coach would let a skater test if they weren't ready. And if their run-through wasn't good, they probably wouldn't submit it.
 

overedge

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It's controversial. Virtual testing was introduced last summer as a way for skaters to test if YKW restrictions made it difficult for their club to have test sessions....i.e. the skaters who don't live in an area with a lot of judges, whose clubs usually have to fly judges in or skaters may have to travel a distance to test. This year at (virtual) GC, it was voted to make it a permanent option going forward.

As gkelly said, skaters can film multiple run-throughs and submit the best one. But it has to be unedited...they can't choose moves from different run-throughs. So, yes, conditions aren't quite the same as an in-person test session. Skaters do pay a fee to USFS to test and the coach has to sign off, so it's unlikely a coach would let a skater test if they weren't ready. And if their run-through wasn't good, they probably wouldn't submit it.

I understand that the submitted video has to be unedited. That part makes sense, and that replicates a in-person test. I agree that virtual testing is important as an alternative when YKW is making it hard to hold in-person tests - and it's a good alternative for areas that, as you say, don't have a lot of judges to call on. But if a skater can do more than one run-through and submit the best complete runthrough, IMO that gives skaters an advantage that they wouldn't have in an in-person test.
 

MacMadame

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It seems to me that in some ways a virtual test would be harder so being able to do a few takes might make up for that.
 

gkelly

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At a live test session, judges can request that the skater reskates one move (moves in the field) or pattern (pattern dance) or two elements in a freeskate.

So if they make a mistake, they keep going and hope for a reskate.

In a virtual test there are no reskates. So if they make a serious mistake, in most cases they know that that take is not going to pass. Bummer if it was the last move on a long MITF test.

And that includes mistakes that were caused by interference from other skaters on the ice.

In some cases it might be worth submitting the video anyway, but if it's clear that the mistake was enough to make a pass impossible, they'd have to go back to the beginning of the test and start recording all over from the beginning. Which may or may not be possible on the same day.
 

overedge

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@gkelly Maybe where our views are different is in what counts as a "reskate". I agree that if someone doing a video test made a mistake at the end of an MITF pattern, they're disadvantaged because they can't do that one bit over again on its own - which they could in an in-person test. However, IIRC a skater is only allowed one reskate per element at an in-person test. That gives an advantage to someone doing a video test, because they can do the test material as many times as they need to get a clean take of it.

Also, I don't know if this is the case in USFS, but for Skate Canada dance tests, I believe that the judges can ask the skater to do the dance as a solo, if they think the partner is basically holding up the skater through the dance (i.e. the skater can't do the dance to a passing standard on their own). I'm not sure how that possibility would be addressed in a video test, because the test isn't passed or failed until the skater does the solo reskate.
 

Debbie S

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Also, I don't know if this is the case in USFS, but for Skate Canada dance tests, I believe that the judges can ask the skater to do the dance as a solo, if they think the partner is basically holding up the skater through the dance (i.e. the skater can't do the dance to a passing standard on their own). I'm not sure how that possibility would be addressed in a video test, because the test isn't passed or failed until the skater does the solo reskate.
In USFS, dances are partnered-only through Pre-Silver. For Silver, Pre-Gold, and Gold, dances must be skated with a partner and also solo, although adults testing Adult track only do the partnered portion.

There is a solo track option, for skaters who don't have a test partner or for any reason would prefer to skate solo. If you choose that route, you need to start solo from the beginning and take all tests that way; if you decide to start testing partnered, you need to go back and retest all the dances partnered.

For partnered tests, if the judges think the skater isn't keeping up/off time or weak edges, etc, then the skater doesn't pass. But they would not be asked to skate a partnered test solo.
 

MacMadame

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That gives an advantage to someone doing a video test, because they can do the test material as many times as they need to get a clean take of it.
Except if they can't do it clean all the way through most of the time, they are never going to pass even if they do manage one take that is clean. The quality just won't be there.
 

sk8r2021

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Yes, I think the purpose of videotaping more than once is to save the cases when skater makes small mistakes. It might be friendly to the kids who are easy to get nervous too. But the test forms shouldn't have difference that a skater can pass this one but not that one.
 

sk8r2021

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gKelly, Basically I agree with you. I don't think they have big difference that some skater who can't pass traditional test can pass virtual one, or verse vice.
 

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