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Figure skating - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Figure skating
Can anyone explain in short form the changs made in the scoring system? I've noticed that the programs seem a lot less interesting this year, and the musical choices distinctly less catchy, at least for the pairs.

EDIT: Now, they've at least got some Weber, which makes for drama. But still. It's not as much fun as I remember from the last few Games.
18 comments or Leave a comment
kinderjedi From: kinderjedi Date: February 14th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Basically, all elements are assigned a specific point total now, with set deduction amounts for mistakes. So a lot of skaters are loading their programs with as many difficult elements as possible to get a higher score.
ashtur From: ashtur Date: February 14th, 2006 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't follow the sport, but I really think that it's a reaction to the Canada scandal at the last Winter Olympics. In short, they are trying to remove discretion from the judges, and make it "check the box" for skills/moves.
straussmonster From: straussmonster Date: February 14th, 2006 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
The couple that used the horribly chopped up Shostakovich 5th should be strung up for crimes against musical phrasing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 14th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
So should whoever is doing the sound for NBC.
kinderjedi From: kinderjedi Date: February 14th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I know! That's one of my favorite pieces, but it was butchered.
timesink From: timesink Date: February 14th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Keep watching. The last pair will perform an ... unusual program.
lacontessamala From: lacontessamala Date: February 14th, 2006 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, I know. That was a killer. That girl was so brave, though!
sabrinanymph From: sabrinanymph Date: February 14th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Essentially each element is scored with a set of points. The more complicated the element, the higher the points, as I understand it. I'm afraid this is going to make the emphasis more on the technical aspects and less on the artistry although perhaps not. One of the people mentioned last night or the night before, I can't remember, that connecting these elements creatively would gain the skaters points and if that's the case maybe we'll see more creative programes.

I have a feeling that this year may be a bit of a transition year though...
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 14th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
While there had definitely been a move toward adding more and more difficult technical elements, the emphasis on technical mastery has all but disappeared. There's only a one point deduction for falling, so kiss perfect programs good bye.

Besides, I'm all for emphasis on the technical. "Artistry" is a bullshit cover for the blatant racism and cronyism that dominated the sport for so long. And don't worry too much because it still ends up counting for more than technical elements anyway.

I think they should up the penalty for falling, and then we'll be closer to a fair, balanced judging system. Programs will be more technically sound and free to be artsy-fartsy.
lareinenoire From: lareinenoire Date: February 14th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
But did you *see* the wonderfulness and awesomeness that was Zhang and Zhang's Free Programme?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 14th, 2006 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, right after I posted this. They were lovely, and she raised my spirits for the sport. Though NBC's sound systems were still trash.
laureate05 From: laureate05 Date: February 14th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Gave me the warm fuzzies like whoa. But I still think there's something wrong with a medal going to anyone who falls. I'm a little old school like that.
zoepaleologa From: zoepaleologa Date: February 14th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
The BBC explain all that in detail, not that I understand it.

If you go here, you might:


Scroll down for the explanation of the judging system.
bizarity From: bizarity Date: February 14th, 2006 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think the simplest way to explain the lack of interest (although not the most comprehensive) is that there is now much less free choice - even the freform ice dancing now has required elements.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: February 14th, 2006 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Lucifer Dick Button commented on the lack of interesting musical selections. Basically, skaters are more concerned with racking up the technical points than they are skating an artistically interesting program. It's an unfortunate change but something I've noticed happening before the new system was instituted: namely, back when Sara Hughes won and was lauded not for her artistic talent, but her ability to complete so many jumps.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: February 14th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
The less-interestingness is pretty much inevitable whenever you try to cast an artistic medium as a competitive sport. I say ditch the judges, toss skating and all other "judged" events out of the Olympics, and get it to be seriously recognized in the artistic community--who knows what lovely stuff they might come up with then?
From: arclevel Date: February 15th, 2006 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any real comment on the new scoring system, but I don't remember these programs looking any more repetitive than usual. It's entirely possible I just wasn't paying enough attention, though.

I do find it interesting that you thought the drama was picked up with the Weber music. Maybe it's just me, but I always find using pseudo-pop music rather than classical or folk or something to be sort of a cop-out, both in figure skating and the gymnastics women's floor-ex. The music creates a strong enough set of associations that it already paints pictures in the minds of most of the audience. Using music with less obvious associations creates moods and general emotions (or it should, if it's chosen well), but it's not already telling a story; the skaters have to do that. That said, other than the Weber, none of this year's music really stood out, no.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 15th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think part of my issue with the pairs music may have been NBC's horrible sound system. The Weber, at least I could recognize and my brain could fill in the missing parts. They seem to have tweaked it for the men's competition, and suddenly it seemed to fit better, so that may have just been a technical glitch.
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