Figure Skating: From the Boards

It’s a Numbers Game February 28, 2012

Sometimes, life happens at a rate that makes keeping up with everything nearly impossible.

There’s not much I love more than previewing, covering, breaking down, and just simply talking (or, in this case, writing!) about figure skating. Sadly, I haven’t yet turned it into a full-time gig, so sometimes things get in the way.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, if you’ve been keeping up with my 4CC vlog reviews, you’ll have noticed one glaring hole — that of the ladies recap! Unless there is an overwhelming demand for that video to actually be created, I think we’re well past the event and, thus, beyond a basic (read: normal) breakdown.

But, what I do have is something else.

I have the protocol breakdowns I promised!

Now, this is how keep track and compare. You’ll have to let me know if it makes sense on paper like it does in my eyes!

Here’s an idea of how it works.

The elements and scores are broken down one-by-one and side-by-side. They are not necessarily in order as you’d find in the program itself, because I’ve tried to match up the elements in both programs for the closest comparison possible. (All of that means, if both skaters do a triple lutz, those jumps will be side-by-side in the spreadsheet, for easy comparison.)

When an element isn’t identical, I’ve placed it with the closest substitute: three-jump combos, for example, don’t always have the same specific jumps, but the comparison of the element as a whole is made simple.

Here’s a little taste from Ashley Wagner’s FS compared to Mao Asada’s.

Both skaters had planned solo triple lutzes, triple loops, and triple salchows. Asada’s salchow was doubled, making the point difference quite significant. But, on the lutz, Wagner was +1.50 over Asada. The loop was +.60, and the salchow was +4.26.

Makes it easy to see where Ashley gained some points.

Asada had the advantage in the two step sequences, outscoring Wagner by .36 and .35 respectively. There, the base values were identical.

Speaking of base value, Mao’s program started out at +2.27 over Ashley’s. But, Ashley’s total GOE scores totaled 10.51 — 5.94 higher than Mao’s.

The ever controversial Program Components were close. Only .18 separated the total PCS scores, that margin going in Wagner’s favor.

Now, Asada received negative GOE on her triple lutz and her underrotated triple axel. But, it would have taken very strong  positive GOEs on those two elements to catch Wagner.

You can compare each and every move this way, and every time, you create interesting scenarios and facts that make you say, “Huh. I hadn’t thought about that,” or “Wow! That’s where the difference is!”

And for that reason, I love seeing the scores side by side! So, here are the comparisons of the 4CC Champs, plus Weaver/Poje vs. Shib/Shib (just ’cause I wanted to see it!). Click the image to see a larger version.

Virtue & Moir vs. Davis & White

Sui & Han vs. Denney & Coughlin

Chan vs. Takahashi

Wagner vs. Asada

Weaver & Poje vs. Shibutani & Shibutani

Feel free to request other comparisons, particularly as we near Worlds!!

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