Articles, Blog

How figure skating scoring rewards risk over artistry

August 23, 2019

That’s Mirai Nagasu, who’s competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in
Pyeongchang. Got the triple axel, triple triple, another triple toe combo. There’s
a checklist, I’m checking them all. which is why so few women ever attempt it. But for how many points it’s
worth, At the 2018 US Figure Skating Championship in San
Jose, California, Mirai failed to cleanly land a triple axel. right here While her Olympic teammate Bradie Tennell
perfectly completed the easier double axel, despite the stumble Mirai’s jump was worth almost two points more than
Bradie’s. Figure skating scoring is complicated. When the score comes up and
it says 127.48 I have no idea if I should be excited or
not. I don’t know what that means. And the new scoring system has changed how
competitors skate and how they win. Here’s how the current scoring system
works. Skaters perform two routines, the short
program and the free skate and they receive two sets of scores for each. The technical element score evaluates the difficulty and execution of a skaters
jumps, spins, and footwork. Each element has a base value and a panel of nine
judges provides grade of execution scores which range from +3 to
-3. The highest and the lowest scores of the judges are ignored
and average of the remaining seven scores is added to the base value. The program component score judges a skaters presentation or artistry. Judges award
points from 0.25 to 10 on the main program components, including skating
skills, transitions, performance, composition, and interpretation of the
music. Altogether, the combined total score of the short and free skate
determine the final standings. The goal of this new system is to make every
element accountable for. And while it has, the system has also had a huge effect on
the sport and the skaters themselves. You’re seeing a lot more skaters now try
all these quads and the program becomes messy because maybe they’re not so
consistent on it, but they’re hoping that because it’s a good base value that they
can up their technical score and then their artistic score starts to to lag
behind. That’s Tara Lipinski. In 1998 she became
the youngest person to win an Olympic gold for the ladies single event. Some of the skaters are losing the artistry, because they’re trying to cram in
everything when they’re not prepared for it yet. Merely attempting a difficult jump can
earn a higher score than perfecting a slightly simpler jump. Skaters can
increase their grade of execution scores and earn bonus points for things like
placing jumps into the second half of the program. Now this is an amazingly challenging program. Every single jump pass is in the second half. Or completing a jump with
your hands in the air, but arguably it seemingly gives less incentive for
skaters to simplify the routines and perform elements cleanly. If they do, they
won’t be able to win. At the 2017 Four Continents Championship in Gangnam, South Korea Mirai’s fellow Olympic teammate Nathan
Chen won gold and became the first and only skater to complete five different
types of quadruple jumps in competition. That’s five, the first time ever. Based on the difficulty of his elements
Nathan’s technical score was 32.97 points higher than
Jason Brown, who had no quads in his routine. Unlike the program component
score, there is but artistry is
still important, as it can be the difference between two skaters competing
with similar technical elements. Pushing the difficulty envelope is not an
inherently bad thing, as it helps the sport to evolve, but I also think at the
same time we have to figure out a way to make these skaters have a
clean skate. Because at the end of the day when you strip the drama and the politics of
the sport, skaters, like all athletes, dedicate their lives training and
working towards this one specific goal. And they just want to be able to skate
knowing they’ve been judged fairly. It’s why we have the new system in the first
place. When it was revealed that a French judge fix the results of the 2002
Olympic pairs event so that the Russians would win, the new system was created as
a step towards accountability and decreasing subjectivity. Figure skating has always been a subjective sport and it’s not like racing or
basketball or hockey where it’s easy to see, but you know performing is something
I really love and I love skating and so I try to follow the rules to the best of
my ability and to garner as many points as I can. The International Skating Union
which governs the sport, says it wants to close the gap between the artistic and
technical aspects of the sport. There are proposals to reduce the base value of
quad jumps or have three different medals, one for technical, one for
artistic, and one for all-around. And scoring changes have already been
approved, like increasing grade of execution scores to range from negative
5 to +5 and standardizing those intervals. These changes won’t be
implemented until after the 2018 Olympics and whether they will produce
more artistry, remains to be seen. We have evolved so much and it is
harder and it is going to continue to get harder, but that is the beauty of
sport and I can’t wait to see what what’ll happen
no guts no glory right? you


  • Reply Shvaughn May 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

    3 different meedals thats so stupid

  • Reply That One Person May 10, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Why Alina, why?


  • Reply uknowilove May 10, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    great video!

  • Reply winterkinz May 11, 2018 at 5:39 am

    the reason why its harder with your hands in the air during a jump is because for me, it feels less secure and it sometimes throws me off balance lol

  • Reply Lain Warisa May 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I liked skating because of the artistry and entertainment. The new scoring system completely ruined that(but it was already trash even before 2002), you cant judge artistry, there could never be a proper scale of what is good and what is bad. On the other hand skating is a sport, and every sport is very precise in terms of scoring like football, basketball etc. So i think 3 medals is a really nice idea. It gives the room for artistry and entertainment, (i would rather watch interesting performance that relies on artistry over jump jump jump). And it’ll also have the medal that’s all about jumps, with precise scoring system like every sport.

  • Reply spandau May 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Let's talk about how Canada and US destroy this sport.

  • Reply Kimchi Koalaa May 19, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Love Mirai

  • Reply Steven Neiman May 31, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Personally, I think that a slight preference for taking risks is good for an art form (the Oscars have a lot of problems from using a system that discourages risk), but it sounds like this is edging into making ambition more valuable than ability to follow through on that ambition.
    Personally, my thought is that negative execution modifiers should be scaled to the value of the element, so that they would only be worthwhile if you pull them off flawlessly.

  • Reply RayaRay June 12, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    I think it's hilarious how they keep referring to it as the "new" system…This judging system has been in place for over 10 years! It's not new.

  • Reply Faith Caroline June 15, 2018 at 1:11 am

    I have a competition coming up so I am watching all of the figure skating videos to help me.

  • Reply D POD June 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Finally! An answer!

  • Reply Katelyn Lapid June 25, 2018 at 7:26 pm


  • Reply Kitcot July 6, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    How would changing the GOE scores help the artistic score at all?

  • Reply GD XunShot July 13, 2018 at 12:00 am

    2:02 the person in first looks like an EXACT replica of Katie from CollegeHumor, like they look like a clone. I actually think that might be her

    How is she gonna pass the drug test

  • Reply Julian Morales July 13, 2018 at 6:09 am

    RISK ISNT REWARDED ANYMORE with the new GOE scoring

  • Reply Lea Lopez July 21, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I have an idea… Why the jury doesnt just make a list out of stunt (jumps), and the athletes just have to check list all the jump in their choreography. If you add something, no score will be added. But if they couldn't check one of the jump or stunt their point got deducted. How bout that? Seems kinda not fair to judge apple with orange (different routine from each skater)

  • Reply Star Empress July 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Nathan Chen who landed a 5, or 7 quadrules jumps & NOT won EVEN BRONZE at worlds & OG!!!!!!?????WTF!!!!?????!!!! I mean it’s RIDICULOUS!!!!! And this on scoring sistem ,wich more appreciate exactly the jumps!!!!!

  • Reply Glurp Bot July 23, 2018 at 4:48 am

    My sister is aiming to become an Olympic Figure skater. But the judges scoring isn't always fair. She already said that she's going to be practicing doing some of the hardest jumps. And 1, if she somehow ends up landing those stunts she might not even win a competition due to what the judges are really looking for and 2 if she doesn't land the stunts then even though she might win she also might end up with a real bad injury.

  • Reply Merry Maurader July 27, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I can do a triple rotation only on the trampoline though

  • Reply I love gymnastics 1234 August 1, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Honestly there’s no incentive to learn the 3A right now. I mean look at Mao Asada (Love her btw) She performed three clean 3As, Yuna Kim performed 0. Guess which skater won by 23 points. Mirai performed a clean 3A in Peyongchang during the Team event. Alina Zagitova skated afterwards with no 3As and STILL out scored Mirai by almost 21 points. It’s just not worth the risk right now.

  • Reply Rachelia Laiman August 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    did i see nathan

  • Reply neil adlington August 6, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    It basically comes down to too many things unrelated to an athlete's PERFORMANCE; legitimate reputation (established expectations of good, bad and mediocre skaters where judges too much determine a skater's scores based on past performances), illegitimate reputation (eg nationality of skater and where skater is competing), the strength of a country's skating association, etc.
    Yuna Kim didn't win gold in 2014 for some of those reasons. Even though her performances were superb and was the reigning World and Olympic champ, she was beaten by a skater who had never even made it to a top five ranking. Why?
    Yuna missed most of that season thus nullifying any "legitimate" reputation points she might have garnered if she had had a full season under her belt when she showed up at the Olympics. Also, because of this she had no ranking and was thus grouped with lesser talents in the earlier groups. She still won the "short skate" but was woefully underscored nevertheless. Then there is her historical rival, Mao Asada (also highly regarded) who found herself skating with lesser talents in the free skate due to a poor performance in the "short". Her free skate was superb however and many believed it was the best of the competition and yet she was scored with the kind of marks others in her less talented group were used to. Then of course there is the fact that a Russian in Russia won the gold with a performance that while podium worthy was not of gold standard. This last part is what I refer to as "illegitimate reputation". Along with the Canadians, Americans and Japanese the Russian skating association is very strong. Yuna on the other hand was represented by not only a weak skating association but an association that is much, much more concerned and "involved" with speed skating of which they are a true world power. It is a testament to just how good Yuna is (or was) that she never finished off ANY podium EVER. Make no mistake about it; If she was skating for America that gold would have been hers.

  • Reply ronnie. og August 9, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    why not just worry about athleticism and not the grace? its so sexist. how many great female skaters have we lost because they worried more about looking pretty than skating a 3A and quads? lets get back ice capades if people care so much about looking artistically

  • Reply Critical Posts August 12, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Omg Nathan Chen is soo cute

  • Reply dora August 20, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    this whole damn video was roasting alina

  • Reply Петр Варфоломеев August 26, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Well, usually it's the figure skaters who don't have enough guts to complicate their elements who are always complaining about artistry. But anyway, there are skaters who manage to find balance between technical difficulty and artistic performance — Yuzuru Hanyu, Evgenia Medvedeva for example, and those people get their deserved medals. They manage to land these difficult jumps cleanly and evoke emotions with their skating, that is why they are the best under these scoring system. I don't like the old scoring system, it was too subjective, the judges could just lower the marks because they didn't like the skater, and it couldn't be questioned anyhow. Now at least there is some objectivity.

  • Reply Teddy 97 August 31, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Isn't this what happened with gymnastics, too?

  • Reply 野村夢 September 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    That’s why the King is Yuzuru Hanyu and the Queen is Kim Yuna

  • Reply Kace Purnomo September 23, 2018 at 4:53 am

    Koola wig has begone !!

  • Reply ertyderty7 September 29, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    lmao what a stupid and pointless "sport"

  • Reply lau 8eom October 3, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I still don't get what Sochi has done to Yuna queen Huh???????? Sochi?????

  • Reply Collaboration Philippines October 11, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    If only Surya Bonaly is skating today… SHE'LL GET ALL THE GOLDS.

  • Reply Sxpreme - October 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    So more points for more difficulty? Seems fine

  • Reply Elise Fincher October 14, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    For me I honestly don't see how a skater attempting a difficult jump or program cleanly for that matter whould be graded higher than another skater that skates a clean program and lands all their jumps. Imo its a little flawed to me.

  • Reply Donnie Darko November 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Boo! This is why figure skating lost a lot of viewers.

  • Reply JustPassingBy November 11, 2018 at 2:56 am

    So… the scoring system is flawed?

  • Reply yamamancha November 14, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Even though the scoring failed Michelle Kwan (so ironic that Tara was interviewed for this video) and Kim Yuna, typically, though, the best skater on that weekend wins.

  • Reply el from space November 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    yuzuru hanyu is one of the best because of both artistry and difficulty

  • Reply Jassie_Gacha xx November 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I thought this would help me understand more but…

    It made it more complicated (I still don't understand lol)

  • Reply Joanne Lumière November 20, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I keep hearing Moriah instead of Mirai

  • Reply XoX Destiny November 23, 2018 at 1:49 am

    a triple axel?!

  • Reply TheBuggyGamer November 23, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Does anyone else think the skaters look like the are very cold?

  • Reply C h i November 25, 2018 at 6:39 am

    dang, tara throwing some shade towards nathan lol

    oh, and just recently i don't think the hands in the air add extra points anymore 🙁

  • Reply 1 1 November 30, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    They should increase the standard deviation of BOTH technical score AND artistic score… but of course it may cause even more controversy as there will be more incidences where a highly artistic athlete gets a higher overall score than a highly technical athlete..

  • Reply Eliana Patt December 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I mean… it's a sport, guys. Sure, artistry is important, but if you're going to be an Olympic sport, you're going to value athleticism.

  • Reply Sofia Lulla December 15, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Gymnastics is the opposite. But both can be good or be bad

  • Reply Emily Turley December 16, 2018 at 11:24 am

    This narrator’s voice is terrible

  • Reply Liliana Sandfort December 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    This entire video reminds me of asmr

  • Reply Georgia Huby December 27, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I’m not sure if it’s international but the British GOE ranges from -5 to +5 now

  • Reply Zhafira Aqyla December 29, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Can someone explain to me why the highest and the lowest scores are ignored?

  • Reply BerriiMochii omo December 30, 2018 at 3:52 am

    I wouldn't wanna be a judge tbh

  • Reply gwen reyes January 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    it’s amazing how many of the women who have completed the triple axel were of japanese origin

  • Reply gwen reyes January 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    it’s amazing how many of the women who have completed the triple axel were of japanese origin

  • Reply StewNWT January 2, 2019 at 2:33 am

    The 2018 olympic final Zagitova was way overscored in PCS – Medvedeva should have won

  • Reply StewNWT January 2, 2019 at 2:34 am

    The system works it just needs to be applied evenly.

  • Reply Gary Henzler January 4, 2019 at 8:01 am

    At the end of the day, favoritism reigns, just like it always has in figure skating.

  • Reply Madison Lively January 6, 2019 at 6:38 am

    I don't think you should be allowed to attempt jumps in competition if you haven't been able to land them in practices.

  • Reply Arantza Noriega January 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    1.I woke up
    2.landed the triple axel
    3.and cried

    Oh wait it goes 2.1. 3.

  • Reply DuckyDae X January 7, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Y’know what confuses me, why is the triple axel a highlighted difficult move in women’s skating. I’ve never really heard any disastrous male stories – just out of curiosity.

  • Reply Grey L January 12, 2019 at 6:38 am

    I’ve lost interest over the years since the new scoring. Skating has lost so much. Comparing the new gen with Kristi Yamaguchi, her execution quality and style and artistry is unmatched. Nowadays it’s just dish out a bunch of hard jumps, get the rotations in, pray you land it. No one has the grace and style of kristi cuz they sacrificed it for jump-dump routines. It’s starting to be like the floor exercise in gymnastics… the music is just sorta there. Soon the skaters will just do a lineup of jumps and tricks, screw the transitions cuz the penalization of artistry and transitions won’t beat a quad!

    I wonder if artistic impression scores still account for 2/3 of the final score nowadays.

  • Reply robbie025 January 14, 2019 at 2:16 am

    It's not fair to the ones who can't do quads but have exquisites artistry and skating skills, imo. And line some says, a skater who fall or put a hand downs should not get a lot of point for the element.

  • Reply Brian L January 19, 2019 at 11:52 am

    She's not checking the +3lo combo ;(

  • Reply Wn W January 19, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Surya Bonaly…

  • Reply Benedict WU January 20, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Slightly simpler. Sure.

  • Reply Socialiism February 2, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Nathan didn't complete 5 different jumps, he did 4 different jumps. He did the 4sal twice(i think)

  • Reply Lina Poumai February 6, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Wow no mention of hanyu. Such a biased video only focusing on American skaters

  • Reply Jasmin A. February 6, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Americans are salty because they can't keep up with the russians and chinese LOL

  • Reply Toty Vale February 10, 2019 at 7:00 am

    This vídeo was for sure made up by Americans, they don’t have the jumps and that’s why they want to relay on the artistic aspect of the sport! 🙄🙄🙄

  • Reply Lilkeer February 11, 2019 at 6:32 am

    This gives me chills

  • Reply Deborah Nolan Gregory February 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Already outdated. Now on a +/- 5 system that punishes failed risk.

  • Reply Minh Vu February 14, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Why triple axel is difficult for women? men do it all the time

  • Reply A. Ahmed February 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    i mean it is a SPORT so i wouldnt be surprised if technicality is valued more than artistry.

  • Reply Vanessa88 March 10, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Very similar to gymnastics' newer scoring system. With similar issues…

  • Reply MD Rivera March 28, 2019 at 3:08 am

    I understood nothing

  • Reply anth kay April 1, 2019 at 9:26 am

    So surya bonaly should won alota times then.

  • Reply SB BS April 2, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Tell that to Surya Bonaly

  • Reply voidyss April 7, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    ISU corruption entered the chat

  • Reply Cat Lady April 12, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    but marai did land the triple axel at nationals didn't she? that's what I heard, pretty impressive!

  • Reply Star Cherry April 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    When does Mirai Nagsu get her own movie?

  • Reply Leon Chou April 17, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I’m not satisfied with the Judging system either. But athleticism should outweigh artistry anyway otherwise figure skating wouldn’t be classified in Olympic games. The real problem is the unfairness from judges and the overlook on the quality of elements.

  • Reply Lee Taemin aka God Himself April 26, 2019 at 12:05 am

    What I wanna know is how judges are chosen for these sport competitions

  • Reply Nikka Llamas May 5, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Yuri!!! On Ice Squad?!

  • Reply Chubsy Joonie May 6, 2019 at 7:20 am

    As a competitive skater, I can confirm, this is true.

  • Reply 380 a May 12, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Sochi have nice example lol
    We remember you Russia /^^

  • Reply Burgersaurus May 28, 2019 at 11:06 am

    2:59 WTF

  • Reply imię nazwisko May 29, 2019 at 3:25 pm


  • Reply Luna Athaya June 9, 2019 at 10:01 am

    1:58 i see ashley:)

  • Reply Tuna June 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Tell that to Surya Bonaly

  • Reply Juinne R June 24, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Honestly? Im a figure skater and i dont really understand how the scoring works 🤷‍♀️

  • Reply Oskar winters June 29, 2019 at 5:13 am

    i'd rather reward a beautiful perfection

  • Reply lan anh vũ July 5, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Nathan Chen has spent so much time to crossover before all of his jumps. It makes me can't enjoy his performance. But he is a good jumper, no cheat at all, like Boyang Jin.

  • Reply Hanabi Le July 6, 2019 at 6:24 am

    You can mame new video now because GOE range was changed from -5 to +5 and only 3 jumps at the second half will receive bonus points to prevent the program like Alina’s program in Pyeongchang 2018 to take advantage of the rule.

  • Reply Richard Foo July 18, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    And still backflip is forbidden huh?

  • Reply Maria Sara Florez July 26, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Figure skating is a sport, it isn't dance. Though it is characterized by an artistic component that few other sports have, I think it is important that subjective aspects like artistry don't make or break a performance. A skater should win a medal because they have outskated their competitors, not because they looked more gracious or because their music went better with their program. I find it funny that some people think it's ridiculous for athletic ability to be more rewarded… in a sport. The idea behind this kind of scoring is to push athletes forwards, and yes that takes risk. If you want more artistry that, go see Disney on Ice.

  • Reply parkjihoon August 2, 2019 at 9:17 am

    After watching Kim Yuna skate, I never seen anyone else skate more cleanly and perfectly and interpreting the music better than ever.. it was magical watching her skate.. most other skaters just do technical ones well and missed the artistic part..

  • Reply Alex August 6, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Tbh I prefer artistry and beauty in figure skating more than risky and technical jumps like triple axel or quads, not because I don't like them they r really amazing as well but I feel like jumps are not always the roots of figure skating, like Yuzuru, Yuna Kim, Zagitova or Lipnitskaya, their performance s are always full of beauty without too much technical jumps and it's still mesmerizing to watch

  • Reply Nellieken Attah Ochinke August 7, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Am I the only person that can't count the number of spins that the skaters do because it's just so fast

  • Reply Sofia Permjakova August 8, 2019 at 7:32 am

    why did they not mention Elizaveta Tuktamysheva when they listed the people that have landed 3A?

  • Reply Sally Lemon August 19, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    A lot of artistry goes R.I.P for the techniques scoring

  • Reply Benjamin Nolan August 23, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Bring back the Bonaly!

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