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Scoring Article

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Here is your requisite article that always comes out around the time of the worlds or I suppose, the Olympics, talking about how the new scoring system is killing skating. The article is from the LA TImes.

If Kim Yu-Na gets 72.24 points for her short program at this week's World Figure Skating Championships as she did at the recent Four Continents event, would fans know to cheer rather than jeer?

That would match the best score ever, but usually when scores are announced there's an instant of puzzled silence.

Too many calculations and not enough soul.

"The numbers appearing on the scoreboard mean nothing at all," said Sonia Bianchetti Garbato, a former ISU official, "being the sum of mysterious numbers awarded by anonymous judges -- the best way to discourage even the most avid fans."

Some parts of the system, however, are welcome improvements.

* Skaters are ranked for what they do, not in relation to the performances of those who preceded them.

* Judges no longer hold back high marks for skaters who perform well early in a group.

* Video replay is available to review whether a skater took off from the correct edge on a jump or made the correct number of rotations. Although this can lead to delays, it rewards proper technique.

* Best of all, perhaps, is that the system allows dramatic comebacks, once very rare.

I agree that we don't know whether a score is good and we should cheer it, or it's low (for that competition). Scores fluctuate sooo much from competition to competition. If you look at the scoring at Europeans in comparison to some of the Grand Prix events, you would think that all of a sudden Khokhlova and Novitski became the most amazing ice dancers in the world, having pretty much outscored everyone else who's competed this year. But I don't think that's truly the case. How can anyone understand how great a score is when the baseline seems to bounce around so much? I know scores could fluctuate under the old system as well, but that was more of a difference between a 5.6 and a 5.8, rather than the 20 and more point differences we're seeing the same competitors score in various competitions under the new system.