Monday, November 1

More Skate Canada: Judging the Men, The Conclusion

Moving right along with the free skates of Patrick Chan, Adam Rippon, and Nobunari Oda.. I must be extremely motivated today..

First, your own results. Out of 316 votes in the last day and a half, 76% said that Nobunari Oda should have been the winner of the event. Adam Rippon was second with 12%, and Patrick Chan (the actual gold medalist) only received 6% of the vote. My "fun" option of choosing either Kevin Reynolds or Javier Fernandez as the winner even garnered 4% of the vote!

Below the break, my detailed long program scores and final results. No, I'm not a real judge. It's still fun!

Patrick Chan
4T 2 (Tough between +1 and +2 here, but I think the latter is acceptable. Nice flow in and out, and it covered plenty of ice)
3A -3 (This one is again a bit cheated, but I don't think it's enough to warrant an under-rotation)
3Lz 0 (Landed a bit backwards and really had to fight to stay solid as the free leg came around)
SlSt3 2 (Solid this time around)
FSSp4 1 (Good speed, good center, not remarkable)
--- Half-way point
3A+2T 0 (Again off balance and more towards the ball of the foot rather than a smooth run-out of the Axel)
3Lz+1Lo+2S 0 (Same issue as with the first Lutz here)
CSSp3 1 (Story of all his spins-- good)
3F 0 (Entry steps helped keep this at a 0-- no flow on the landing)
3Lo+3T (under-rotated) -1 (Just about the same cheat here as the Axel in the short, it got called this time. The second jump itself was also off balance and he couldn't hold the landing)
2A 0 (Balance issue, it was almost too big. Nice entry, but shaky jump)
ChSt1 3 (This is as good as a 2.0-value step sequence is going to get, I will admit)
CCoSp4 1 (Not a fan of the scratch on the change-foot.. travels and is average speed)
TES= 80.84
Judges had it at 83.18. Not far off, but I think some of them got a little +GOE happy with shaky jumps.

SS 8.50
TR 8.25
PE 8.00
CH 8.50
IN 8.00
PCS= 82.50
All obviously great, but I think his interpretation is still the area that lacks the most (unlike most others where it's the transitions)

Deductions= -1.00 (fall)

My total score= 162.34
Still amazing total for the small mistakes.
So, I'd personally say he was over-marked by about 10 points in this competition.

Adam Rippon
3A+2T 0 (Had to fight for the Axel, and no height)
2A 1 (Spread eagles directly into the jump save it from being a 0, as he had almost the same jump as Chan-- slightly big)
3Lz 2 (Nice steps in, arms above the head, just a bit more flow out and it's a +3)
CiSt2 1 (He does this to a slower part of the music which helps mask the speed issues. Good, not amazing)
FCSSp3 1 (Nice positions, need more speed)
--- Half-way point
3A -2 (Big step-out on the landing)
3F+3T 1 (Flip has been better, but still good)
3Lz+2T+2Lo 1 (The last jump didn't have any flow, but nice transition into the three jumps, and all three had a hand over the head)
3Lo 1
CCoSp4 1 (Great positions, but it slows)
ChSt1 2 (Nice control throughout)
3S 1
FCCoSp4 2 (Nice donut position, fast and centered sit spin even if I don't love the variation, and a fast centered scratch-- good spin)
TES= 80.54
Just like the short, no complaints so far. Only a 0.19 difference between me and the judges.

SS 7.50
TR 7.50
PE 7.50
CH 7.75
IN 8.00
PCS= 76.50
Pretty consistent in my opinion across the board again. He really listens to the music, and I think that's his strong point. Skating skills almost there. Not far off from the judges, but they remained about even with CH and IN while I obviously went up a little.

My total score= 157.04
Not as good as Chan in the long, but I think the judges did a very good job of marking him as he should have been scored throughout the competition. At least there's one skater they did that for :-)
First on my scorecard by 3.75 points. A lot closer than you thought, huh?!

Nobunari Oda
Under-rotated? I think so.
4T -1 under-rotated (It was not called under-rotated, but I've taken a screen shot to again show what I believe to be enough of a cheat to call it that. Anyways, hand down here)
3A+3T 1 (Nice knee-bend on both landings, but the second jump was near the boards and really didn't cover any distance)
3F 2 (Now this was a really nice jump)
CiSt2 1 (Good, but just that)
CCoSp4 1 (Slight travel but nice positions)
--- Half-way point
3A -3 (Close on the under-rotation again but I think he got around far enough. Hard fall)
3Lz 2 (Brackets right into the jump and great flow out)
3Lo 1
3S+3T 1 (Again, the second jump kinda went straight up and down but good flow out as always)
2A 1 (Nice high jump)
ChSt1 1 (Not blown away.. he looked tired and labored, Still, better than just average)
FCCoSp4 0 (First half of the spin was messy and a little off balance coming out)
FSSp3 -1 (Had to go negative here. Traveled again and really slowed down)
TES= 76.72
Judges are at 81.87. Again, the technical panel didn't downgrade the quad toe and I did, so that's a difference of 3.10 points right there.

SS 8.00
TR 7.00
PE 7.50
CH 7.25
IN 7.00
PCS= 73.50
I think the judges more-or-less got it right with the components. I'd definitely only have him ahead of Rippon on the skating skills in this performance. The choreography with three jumps in a row and then five in a row, and the two weak spins at the end was questionable.

Deductions= -1.00 (fall)

My total score= 149.22
Again, most of this has to do with my calling the quad toe under-rotated. The actual judges had no decision in that. If you're curious, the score without that under-rotation call would be 152.32.
Again, without the under-rotation he would have 231.32 total and would place ahead of Patrick Chan. However, I do think the jump should have been scored my way and that would put him third overall. You can look at the photo and make your own decision :-)

Final overall standings:
1) Adam Rippon 234.69
2) Patrick Chan 230.94
3) Nobunari Oda 228.22

So, a pretty close competition in my eyes. As always, it seems like it might come down to those close calls on the rotation of jumps to determine the standings more than anything else. Remember, Chan had one in the short program and without it, he'd be extremely close to Rippon on my scorecard-- even with four falls.


Anonymous said...

That was really interesting. It was great to read a detailed analysis WITH the score breakdown to back it up! Thanks very much!

It is interesting to see that these scores actually come out being pretty close by your marking. Given how much of an advantage Chan seems to have on GOE and PCS, I can't imagine what score he'll get if he ever skates totally clean with a quad.

Anonymous said...

That is interesting, though the order is different from mine: Oda>Chan>Rippon.

Can you score the top 3 in NHK Trophy?


Tony said...

To the last anonymous-- where would your scores differ that would switch the two around?

NHK-- we will see. I always think doing these little "projects" will be extremely fun, but then I question that thought by the time I am done ;-)

Anonymous said...

Really interesting Tony, thanks for posting it.

It seems clear that the biggest victim of Skate Canada judging was Adam, who now will fight on the Skate America against Oda and Takahashi for qualifying for the GPF...

Tony said...

Oh, and to the first anonymous.. I have no doubt that he will probably end up with a world record score if he can skate clean or very near it.

jumping clapping man said...

i hope javier can keep up this momentum. he is a joyous skater. oh, and he has the best ass. (that probably accounts for the 4% who put him in first.)

Tony said...

I seem like I can't stop repeating what a gorgeous triple Axel (and quad toe!) Javier has. However, he still has a ways to go in terms of packing the stuff between the jumps into his programs, and working on becoming faster and more polished.

I really like his Pirates free skate, but I wish he would have had something new this year.

Anonymous said...

Oda's 4T does look 1/2 ur in that shot.

About that last combo spin of Adam's - it takes 2 full rotations for him to be in that donut position, and that part, with his free leg kind of 'hanging' during that in-between position, doesn't look pretty/ unlaboured. I wouldn't have given it a +2 GOE.

Anonymous said...

I am 5:58.

Oda (free):
4T: +3.1 added to your score
3A+3T: +0.5 added to your score
3S+3T: +0.5 added to your score
Thus, Oda's total would be: 232.32. Indeed, 70% of people thought Oda deserves the gold.

Adam (free):
3A+2T: -0.7 subtracted from your score.
3Lz+2T+2Lo: -1.0 subtracted from your score.
CCoSp4: -1.0 subtracted from your score.
FCCoSp4: -1.2 subtracted from your score.
Thus, Rippon's score would be: 230.79.

Anonymous said...

A word for the performances of Skate Canada:

Javier performed the best all round contestant (including a quad). Is there a chance that he could make the Finals?

Tony said...

Anonymous710-- The Finals of what, the World Championships? He's already nearly a top ten in the World skater, so I don't think he should have any trouble :-)

Anonymous558-- where are you getting those GOE numbers? How do you get another +0.5 for those two jump combinations? The Axel/toe is on a +1/2/3 point increment, and the Sal/toe would be on a +.7/1.4/2.1 increment-- no +0.5 anywhere. In both instances, I think +1 was extremely fair, as the second jump didn't cover much distance.

Now Rippon. Same thing again with his Axel/toe. It would be -1/2/3 (you have -0.7). I think a 0 was fine for the element. There was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't spectacular. 3Lz/2T/2Lo-- again, this drops down to the -0.7/1.4/2.1 increments. Why would you give this a 0 (or lower?) The difficulty level is ridiculous!

Taking a point away on the CCoSp4 means you are giving the element somewhere between a -1 and -2, because the GOEs are as follows on spins: +1.5, +1.0, +0.5 / 0 / -0.3 -0.6 -0.9. I don't think the spin was of negative quality in the least.

FCCoSp4-- again the same pattern as the last spin. There's no way he could receive -1.2 unless you were planning to give him somewhere between a -1 and a 0.

Sounds to me that if you implement the GOEs right, you might still have Rippon on top. :-)

Tony said...

One last thought about Oda. I am well aware that the technical panel didn't under-rotate or downgrade his quad jump attempt, but I think the picture speaks for itself. It seems that this particular panel was really lenient throughout the competition about edge calls and under-rotations, which is fine. Doesn't mean I also have to be generous ;-)

Tony said...

OK, back to Anonymous710 (sorry, it's early). I guess you mean the Finals of the Grand Prix? No, it is still six finalists. Fernandez would have to win his next event and hope for a lot of others who have had strong first events to not do well in their own second events.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your update, Tony. I (5:58) have learned from you and respect your knowledge and passion in figureskating.

If I knew that GOE is on a certain increment, I would have lowered the score for Rippon further; thus, ODA> Chan> Rippon would not change in my list. My point is that I as well as judges can manipulate scores as they want to.

In Skate Canada, both Oda and Chan made mistakes, whereas Rippon didn't attempt a quad. These facts allowed judges to manipulate scores as they want to, since each has weakness in addition to strength.

I wanna witness a whoever guy's godly performance with super-strong jumps, spins, steps, choreo without any major mistakes in the upcoming GPF or WC. Such a godly performance does not allow score manipulation.

Tony said...

The judges can try to manipulate the scores, but with only 4 1/2 minutes for a mens free skate and then maybe a minute afterwards to enter components scores and adjust anything else, it's extremely difficult for a judge to know exactly how many points they are giving a skater on the GOE (as it does not have a running total on their computers). I honestly had no idea where anyone was going to end up when I was scoring, and trust me-- there's a ton of stuff going on at once in real-time.. too much for them to stop to add anything up. The judges would have to be master mathematicians to pull that off :-)

Now, the manipulation can happen as far as when they want to place Skater A first or whatever, but they haven't skated very well. I think we saw a bit of that in Chan's short program. About half of the judges gave him extremely generous GOE's on the elements he did do-- whether they did that to hold him up from the mistakes, we don't know. I guess, in a sense, components scores could also be manipulated. However, with nine judges on the panel, you better hope that your extremely high or low scores are at least somewhat in line with some of the others!

Anonymous said...

'The judges would have to be master mathematicians to pull that off :-)'

After seeing the SP scores, I was 99% sure Chan will end up 1st. I'm not a master mathematician myself, just been following the sport the last couple years.

After Oda's fall I knew it 100%.

My conclusion is they know perfectly well how to manipulate the scores. Chan was the champion before the competition even started.

Elizabeth said...

I've started doing something different on my blog, I write about the spins since the jumps get all the attention everyone else. By really paying attention to the spins, I almost feel Oda lost it on the spins. Now I haven't looked at the breakdown of any scoring on spins, but I felt Patrick was far better in his spins.

Oda hits some good positions in his spins, but he could also stretch more in his camel position. They are uneven, with his head higher than his free foot. The last two spins of his free where fairly slow too. Compare that Patrick's fast, centered spins in unique and held positions.

That's my take - Elizabeth

Tony said...

As you see in my scoring, I went for 0 on most of Oda's spins, and the last one in his free skate I even gave a -1.

That might explain Nobunari, but where does Adam lose the points?

Blades of Passion said...

"One last thought about Oda. I am well aware that the technical panel didn't under-rotate or downgrade his quad jump attempt, but I think the picture speaks for itself."

The picture doesn't really say anything, actually. You have to take into consideration where the jump left the ice. Showing a picture of a skater landing a jump doesn't mean much without a reference point, because everything is relative. You need to show a picture of the skater's takeoff point.

Oda's Quad could have been better on the rotation but it wasn't more than 1/4 turn short.

Tony said...

I've edited my post to include a picture of the take-off. Both skates are still on the ice at this point. You be the judge on that, Blades of Passion..

Anonymous said...

I am 5:58. I agree with Blades of Passion. That particular picture may not provide you with an accurate measure. Video in PC may have a sampling frequency of 30-70 Hz. This implies that there is an uncertainty or 14-30 milliseconds. I would treat Oda's 4T as 4T following the rule of benefit of doubt.

Manipulation can begin even before the performance, as suggested by 7:31. If manipulation is not the right word, I would say that biased decision can occur at any time. The factors allowing manipulation (biased decision) include: nationalism/ patriotism, ordering of performance, past esteem, judge’s memory of a performance of interest in the past, conformity with other judges and so on. These effects may occur not necessarily during a performance. I would imagine that many of judges have already created their own templates and change here and there based on what they saw in the program.

Taken together, I still recognize that your blog is very interesting and am looking forward to reading it in the future. In other words, this blog deserves Level 4 plus GOE of 1.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I (5:58) am looking forward to reading your score for the top3 in NHK trophy.

Anonymous said...

There's always this (rather valid) argument about the camera angle when ppl make stills of some skater's landings.

What's interesting about that picture Tony posted for Oda's 4 T landing, the snow coming from under the blade, that is how we know the foot hits the ice the very moment we see Nobunari's face.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind Oda's quad got ratified in this competition. But the call might be different in another event, on exact same landing.

D said...

I don't understand how scores are...well, scored, but I enjoy reading your personal scorings. It makes a lot more sense to me (and I thank you for it) when you break it down and explain it. I hope you continue to do them, since I do learn little by little from it.

Blades of Passion said...

LOL, not to be picky, but's relevant!

The new picture you put up just makes your case worse. If that is where Oda took off and where he landed (I think he actually landed further back then the photo you have here), then it was a perfectly rotated Quad.

Remember, every jump can pre-rotate up to half of a rotation before taking off. A Quad is 3.5 rotations in the air (3.25, when you considered up to 1/4 turn short on the landing is also allowable). The pictures you have displayed would make it seem like Oda is doing 3.5 rotations in the air. A perfect Quad.

Anyway, I do think the Quad was not perfectly rotated (he lands facing more towards the side board than the picture here shows), but considered where he took off on the ice it didn't deserve a downgrade.

Tony said...

There are skaters that are quite capable of picking in and THEN rotating four times in the air (Chengjiang Li's quad toe comes to mind, and I'm sure there are others). I hear the same story when it comes to the triple Lutz/flip, and probably every other triple, too. I understand on the loop and Salchow that you need that little 1/4 of a turn or so to get the momentum to go up off of the edge, but skaters like Elena Liashenko showed that it was possible to do a Lutz with NO pre-rotation on the ice.

Are you telling me that skaters like Liashenko and Li were OVER-ROTATING their "perfectly clean" jumps? I don't think so!

If a jump was pre-rotated half of a turn before it took off, there is no way it wouldn't be called for under-rotation.. at least, if the technical panel had any sense! A half-turn pre-rotation happening on the toe loop means we'd basically be seeing a toe Axel-- something that DOES usually get downgraded.