I was on Youtube recently (…in that I am on Youtube every day, procrastinating) and saw a few skating videos pop up in my recommended videos list, and realized that an account had uploaded a whole slew of programs from Adult Internationals in Vancouver from last summer. I fell down the rabbit hole of watching video after video, and then realized that Adult Internationals had posted the protocols of every single program from the event. Score! (Literally! Har har.)
Which meant that I could pull up all of the score sheets alongside the Youtube videos and follow along element by element. It was illuminating and incredibly motivating, because the event used IJS scoring, so not only could you see the placements, you could see exactly how well the judges deemed every element performed, and how strong their skating skills and other program component scores added up. (Here’s the Youtube channel; you can get the protocols here.)
I’ve done something similar in past years by looking up Adult Nationals videos on Ice Network (example: this link starts out with the 2016 Adult Nationals videos) and comparing them to the results, but since the event is scored on the 6.0 system for lower levels, all we get are ordinals. Still very helpful, but it was exciting to see the Vancouver protocols and see what my event category looked like — what jumps are being landed? What kind of GOE is standard? What’s the PCS range for bronze ladies in my age group? For instance, a salchow with zero GOE shows me what a standard, acceptable salchow looks like, compared to one with negative GOE that may have had a two-foot landing, or scratchy exit, or a stumble.
That also made me realize that while I feel like I could technically test for silver freeskate within the year (in that I could probably perform the elements at a minimum level), I don’t need to be in a rush to move up to silver because I’m not all that competitive in bronze yet. For instance, I saw that almost every layback spin attempt wasn’t given credit as a layback, and instead got called an UprightSpB — and some didn’t even net upright spin points and got the dreaded dash of doom. Same with sit spints — many ladies had them in their programs, but many weren’t credited at all because they weren’t low enough. Or they had asterisks next to them indicating that some portion of a combo didn’t meet the requirements (I’m guessing it didn’t hit the minimum revolutions). And in the bronze ladies, the PCS scores ranged from about 1.25 to 2.75, with the majority in the upper 1’s. Skaters who scored 2’s were, to my eyes, pretty darn good with flow and speed.
So I’m revising my goal to competing at bronze again, and getting some amount of points for every element attempted. I’d love to add +GOEs and PCS in the 2’s as additional goals, but I think that’s still a way off from where I am, so I’ll stick to that initial goal for the moment. I haven’t decided whether or not that’ll entail new programs, but I have a few months to put things together and get working!
Natasha Estrada said:
I don’t compete in figure skating yet but what I found with ballroom dancing was that bronze and pre-bronze was so saturated with talent to the point of sandbagging in some cases that moving up to silver was the strategic move.
Interesting, was silver any less crowded with sandbaggers? I’d think if there were sandbaggers below, they’d exist in higher levels too!
Natasha Estrada said:
Interestingly enough no. Bronze was crowded and Gold was filled with dancers that were not competitive. But in ballroom dancing is different in that there are no testing requirements only limitations on the steps you can perform at each level.
Most people drop out at the bronze level because it’s too discouraging or they move up to gold very quickly because they want to be challenged and to be able to do the move flashy steps. I started straight into silver at the suggestion of my instructor since I had competed as a preteen and I did quite well and most of my heats are empty.
There are other factors in that at the Balls there are many categories and you can enter as many as 50-100 dances in a weekend and there are prizes for “best student” and “best teacher”. This is Pro/Am of course. There are a few categories for students who have had less than 50 lessons or no costumes to get people started but for a serious competitor it can be very discouraging and it’s not because they are bad but because there are a lot of trophy hunters.
Eva @ Eva Bakes said:
I do the same thing! And you are right – many times spins get the dreaded dash of doom because they don’t execute the minimum number of revolutions required. Often times that is a camel-sit combo where the camel is not held for the full 2 revs before going into the sit. You have some great, achievable goals. I look forward to cheering you on as you work towards them!
Thanks, I’m all about keeping the goals small and achievable this year while I work my way back! Big grand dreams can stay in the background for now. 😉
That is a great way to learn the ins and outs of competing and scoring. I found that skating and being judged in competitions required completely different skills. There’s the physical aspects of skating, and then there’s so much complicated numerical stuff! Sounds like it’s inspiring, so it’s good. Glad you’re back in the game.
I’m glad to hear you’re getting back into thinking about competing again, you must be feeling good about your recovery and your skating! What a journey it has been, hope to hear more about your progress soon! Neither one of us was able to compete in Vancouver last year, but maybe in the future we will both be there. I agree that bronze can be a good place to stay with how competitive everything is.