Sic 'em, MGoMafia.
(Note: OTIWTPTAOTA = Off-Topic, I Want To Punch The Author of This Article)
Sic 'em, MGoMafia.
(Note: OTIWTPTAOTA = Off-Topic, I Want To Punch The Author of This Article)
simply for "OTIWTPTA"
Edit: But yeah, I have to agree with you. My parents taught me to never hit women, but this one is just ASKING for it. (sarcasm intended...)
I wonder if she considers Figure Skating a sport? If so, the skills are quite similar. And the lifts they do take a lot of strength and coordination. Sounds like a sport to me.
Did you read the article? The author specifically says that figure skating is a sport that ice dancing is ruining by being closely associated with it.
but only because I completely disagree with the premise. I will go and read it though.
But to that point, ruining it? Because they're related? Is 4-man bobsled ruining 2-man bobsled because they're associated with each other? Honestly...that's a dumb point on the author's part, imo.
I don't understand her argument at all. It seems like she thinks figure skating is a sport but that ice dancing isn't, and that by being similar, ice dancing is degrading figure skating. Or something, the article doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
To be honest, I'm not sure it's worth reading. Seems like she thinks ice dancing is superficially silly (e.g., the costumes, the terminology like "twizzle"), which seems to be the entirety of her issue with it.
There's been a lot of good discussion in this thread, so I'm not going to hammer anything home too hard. But I will leave this here for anyone who comes across this thread again:
That's a screenshot of how Meryl and Charlie received their free dance score at the Olympics. You can see that each element has a 'base value' from which they can deviate from +3 to -3, called the 'Grade of Execution' or GOE. This is basically graded like the inverse of golf. If they execute the element as perfectly as it can be executed (factors including speed, strength, quickness, etc.) then they will receive a +3 on top of their base value, like a hole-in-one. If they fall, they will receive a -3 on top of the base value...triple bogie. One thing to note is that a +3 may not really be a '+3'...it may be as small as +0.5 or as high as +3 depending on what kind of element it is.
One other thing to note is that each element has 4 different levels, each with a different base value. You achieve a higher level (level 4 being the highest) by adding difficulty to a given element (for example, in pairs skating, doing a 1-handed lift would give you a higher level than a 2-handed lift).
Where a lot of the "subjective" discussion comes in is in the 'artistic mark', where a judge can give the skater a seemingly-arbitrary point value based on what they deem to be better style, creativity, etc. However, as other have mentioned, 4 out of 9 of the judges' scores are thrown out, so you're left with a solid core of the median of the judges' opinions. It really isn't that subjective when it all comes down to the final score.
Hope this helped people understand a little better.
this author apparently has never tried figure skating/ice dancing, otherwise they would not have written this garbage
I view it the same as cheerleading. Not a sport by itself, but when judged against other teams it becomes one. The key to something being a sport is having competition.
I am not an ice skating fan by any stretch of the imagination. I don't necessarily enjoy it and I certainly don't understand it, but I can at least respect it as a sport. More so than that, I respect my wife's opinion on the topic. As I mentioned yesterday in an Olympic thread, is that my wife was a figure skater (she skated competively, nationally and internationally, mostly in synchronized skating, which is not an Olympic sport at the moment, but certainly seems like it will be). Thus, when she says something about figure skating, I shut up and listen.
Her opinion, based on first and secondhand experience is that ice dancing (as compared to pairs, or individual or synchro) is the most difficult and requires the most skill of all the other skating mediums. If that's what she thinks, then by god, ice dancing is a goddamn sport.
I promise that the Misses was not standing over my shoulder with her hand cocked back in slapping ready position as I wrote that last post...
My daughter skated with Ann Arbor's Hockettes for several years, and participated in national and international competitions. I can't say that I find any variety of figure skating truly interesting as a sport, but to deny the athleticism and teamwork of synchronized skating or pairs ice dancing is stupid.
Small world, my wife competed for the Hockettes!
My daughter's final years with the Hockettes were 1999-2000-2001, but she was skating with them for a bit before that too.
If I'm not mistaken, one of my daughter's coaches at the time was/is Andrew Copp's mom.
Yep, that was who my wife said her coach was. I believe your daughter probably knows my wife then. My wife was the team captain in 2003 (maybe it was 2004...), but had been skating with the Hockettes for long time before then.
I bet she does. When you have the chance, ask your wife if she remembers a skater on the team named Marta.
Yep, she absolutely knows your daughter and they were on multiple teams together since '94/95. Laura is my wife if you want to name drop to your daughter. Hockette girls seem to love to talk about all things Hockettes every freakin' chance they get.
There are a number of team photo posters for competitions in '99/2000 still up on the wall in my daughter's bedroom (my wife would skin me if I even suggested taking them down) and I bet your wife is in some or all of them. I'll mention her name to my kid (who will be 30 this year-arrgh.)
You are a wise husband . . . "If that's what she thinks, then by god, ice dancing is a goddamn sport."
There are just some hills that it isn't worth dying on. This is one of them. I considered my time watching ice dancing last night next to my wife a prudent investment of time. It wasn't unenjoyable, was better than much of the drivel on TV, and my better half enjoyed that I was with her.
freaking rhythmic gymnastics is.
Well, according to Business Insider (truly the final arbiter of all things...wait, what!?):
I don't consider any event thats outcome is decided by a panel of judges to be a sport. Sorry. Ice Dancing is an athletic competition that takes great skill and grace, but it's not a sport.
have no idea how hard dancers work at their craft either, I imagine.
Does something have to be labeled as a sport to indicate that it takes some level of commitment or is difficult?
it just needs to fit the definition of sport.
Mr Webster says: "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."
I think all the sports that have judges fits this definition.
You must hate Olympic boxing then. I've never seen such mind-bogglingly criminally-inept or openly corrupt judging as in Olympic boxing.
They should make them fight until one of them can't stand up anymore.
Roy Jones Jr would agree........
was in its own way every bit as outrageous as what the refs allowed the Soviet basketball team to do in 1972 against the USA.
For those too young to remember:
"The final, on the last day of boxing at the Games, was a rout, Jones, barely bothering to raise his guard, landed 86 punches to Park's 32. The Korean took two standing eight counts and was twice warned by the referee. NBC's Count-A-Punch recorder scored the rounds 20-3, 30-15 and 36-14 in Jones's favour. Watch the footage – it's an utterly one-sided affair.
where the outcome is totally determined by a panel of judges. And the bigger problem becomes when there's an almost total lack of objective criteria used to decide a score. Boxing at least has some objective criteria they can use (# of punches landed, whether they got knocked down or not, etc.) But with ice dancing and figure skating, I guess I don't understand what, if any, objective criteria they're using. As you say, it seems pretty biased and random a lot of the time. When "style" starts to become a big part of the scoring, that's what loses it for me.
You not understanding the criteria doesn't mean there aren't any. Basically, they have a number of elements, some required, some optional, each with a maximum score. What each element consists of and requires is pretty well defined. And what NOT to do is also fairly well defined, with specific point deductions for each category of failure. Do A with no errors, get X points. There is certainly some subjectivity in that, but it's not like the judges sit back, watch, and say, I liked that a lot, 10 points!
Now that said it does take an expert to decipher all of that (and I am definitely not one at all), so I can see the unapproachability of it being a challenge to enjoying it as a sport (that's part of why I don't tend to watch it myself). But frankly most of the scoring in figure skating / ice dance / gymnastics / freestyle skiing / synchronized diving is less subjective than say, whether or not to call holding in football or a charge in basketball.
Actually those are decent comparisons - a successful triple toe loop is more rigidly defined than what constitutes pass interference, twizzle synchronization or lack thereof no harder to spot than a charge/block call. Yet the latter examples don't automatically make you dismiss their respective sports.
Gymnastics isn't a sport?
Diving isn't a sport?
I think some folks in Michigan's Atheletic Department find your definition of a "sport" a bit narrow.
Well it's not the Michigan Sport Department is it... WOO SEMANTICS
It has dancing in it's title. Ice dancing it's less of a sport than cheerleading and slightly more thanballroom dancing or ballet.
I kind of put everything that has "judges" in a different category. If you're not competing against a clock, opponent or team it's just a different animal if one is being judged. I'm not taking anything away from anyone just my Opinion.
all this talk about judges.
Aerial ski jumping has judges. Half pipe has judges. Diving has judges.
You people amaze me.
They're also not sports. There's a reason it's called the Olympic Games and not the Olympic Sports.
give me a break.
I'll say it again...obviously the realization of how hard ALL those athletes (Yes, I'm calling them athletes) put in on their craft is most definitely sport-worthy. As a former high school and college swimmer, I can tell you without a doubt that diving is indeed a sport.
Has anyone said that these events don't require skill or take a lot of hard work? What does that have to do with it being classified as a sport or not?
but my reason is because it fits the definition of sport.
Unfortunately, a competition being physically demanding doesn't automatically make it a sport. It's not an insult to the people that compete in those events, it's just a different form a competition.
"an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."
that I feel the need to downvote the hell out of any of you for disagreeing with me.
football is obviously not a sport, as it requires "judges" and "referees" to make "judgements" about whether a play is valid or not, often based on arcane and non-sensical rules. Ditto basketball and baseball and hockey and soccer. A strike is a strike is a strike, unless it's called a ball. It's a fumble unless it's not. The only REAL sports are races and track events (and I'm sure some others I've forgotten about which are as black/white as you can get).
Here's the problem with that analogy. Everything from pass interference to the strike zone to a charge/block call has very specific instructions about what defines that. The job of the referees and umpires is simply to watch and make a yes/no determination. Yes, there's judgment involved, because that's unavoidable when watching in real time - but that's still a world apart from "Here are three jumps which all fit the definition of a triple axel. Which triple axel was best?"
Hell, even in the racing events there are umpires making "judgment" calls, like, did someone false start. If there are rules, there has to be an enforcer of the rules, which is what a referee is, not a determinant of the score.
There's one guy in charge of watching any particular play at any given time. You don't have five umpires watching the strike zone and then voting on each pitch. In judging events like halfpipe, diving, figure skating, etc., the judges can all look at literally the exact same move and assign different scores. There's a very good reason most judging events eliminate the top and bottom scores.
So you're saying that every single umpire calls exactly the same strike zone in every game? Every football ref allows exactly the same amount of grabbing before he calls pass interference, every play, every game?
Clearly, you CAN show the same play to different refs and get different outcomes - we see it every year. And skating jumps are actually at least as well defined as penalty calls - must jump from a certain edge, rotate exactly the right number of times, land on a certain edge. And the form is somewhat subjective, but not undefined. You are just unfamiliar with the definition.
No, I didn't say one word of that. What I said was that one umpire looks at one pitch and calls it a ball or a strike. Whereas five judges look at literally the exact same McTwist and offer different opinions. I'm not talking about a different trick from the same boarder or the same trick from different boarders, or a similar jump from the same boarder with different judges, like you're talking about pitches and pass interference. I'm talking about one, and only one, jump, with five different opinions. There is no such equivalent in baseball, hockey, football, etc.
Now I did talk about "three different triple axels." But here's the thing that you missed. A triple axel has a definition. Pass interference has a definition. If a ref sees something that fits the definition, he throws the flag. Period. He doesn't go, "OK, that was pass interference, but let me assess how much and what yardage is deserved and so on." Three skaters can land a jump that is defined to be a triple axel, and still there's room to say, "well, that was a pretty good triple axel, that one sucked and was all sloppy, and that one was awesome." A referee has no such discretion. His only job is to decide whether it was pass interference.
Don't be a condescending dick about how familiar I am with definitions when you're setting up straw men like that first paragraph.
Actually, football has multiple refs, and often they see different things. Hence the ref huddles that occur multiple times per game. Certainly we see cases where the former ref commentator or the replay guy sees the same thing and calls it something else. That's not a straw man, that's a legitimate part of the argument that you want to skip over based on the number of officials involved.
And saying that baseball is less subjective because there's only one umpire is silly. That means one guy's opinion has full force. If anything, having 9 judges, of which 4 are thrown out, is less subjective because any 1 judge's subjective opinion plays a lesser role. Are the calls "simpler" in baseball/football? I guess, but the fact that opinion sways a call from strike to ball, safe to out, rather than from 9.50 to 10.0, does not automatically make the baseball ump more objective. Doesn't it just make each subjective call weightier?
Do skating judges differ? Sure, but not by as much as you'd think - 10% maybe? Enough to swing a close competition, to be sure, but show the same element to 9 judges and the scores look pretty consistent. So subjective is true, but that's a far cry from just random, unpredictable opinion. Is it more subjective that baseball? Probably. But my point is that the amount of subjectivity you're willing to accept is inherently arbitrary, so drawing a hard sport/not sport distinction is a flawed exercise.
I'm not setting up straw men, I'm following your argument to its logical conclusion. The reality is that refs differ from call to call, game to game, despite your assertion that there is a firm definition and a simple up/down call. That's inherent subjectivity that can sway a close game. And if pointing out that your argument reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of how modern judged sports actually operate makes me a condescending dick, then I guess that's just your subjective opinion, man.
The refs in football, baseball, soccer, and hockey do not determine the actual score as much as they enforce rules. A touchdown is worth 6 points, however it happens, a field goal is always 3 points, a run is always one point, and goals are always 1 point. You may debate what preceeded the scoring of those points, but if you say touchdown I say 6 points.
After a figure skating (or diving or moguls or ice dancing or gymnastics) routine, you do not know the score unless you are deciding what the score is. Football refs may huddle on a PI or other penalty, but they do not huddle on the value of a touchdown. As for bobsled, it's timed with no other scoring component, just like the alpine skiing disciplines.
Certainly we see cases where the former ref commentator or the replay guy sees the same thing and calls it something else.
When the former ref commentator says "I disagree with that call" it doesn't have any bearing on the game. And replay has no place in this discussion because replay is never used to change what you are calling a subjective call. It is only used in the most absolutely objective cases. Did a guy step out of bounds, did a knee hit the ground, did the ball cross a line, etc. It corrects errors in objective decisions, so it has no place in your argument.
Opinion does not sway a ball/strike call or a safe/out call. Errors in perception do. That is the fundamental difference that you're not grasping. The strike zone is very, very clearly defined. Either the ball passes through it or it doesn't. It is black and white and by its nature, objective. The umpire does not offer his opinion on whether the ball passes through the strike zone; he tells you whether it did or not. He doesn't give his opinion on whether the tag was applied in time, he tells you whether it was or not. The fact that they are sometimes wrong does not make it subjective. It just makes them wrong. The fact that technology exists to electronically call balls and strikes is proof positive that there is no subjectivity there.
I do not have a "fundamental misunderstanding of how modern judged sports actually operate." You have a fundamental misunderstanding of my argument. I think you've invented a logical conclusion that fits your narrative. In fact I think it's you that is misunderstanding the word "subjective." Whether the ball passed through the strike zone, whether the defender got in place before the ballcarrier "rises up" for the shot, whether the tag was applied in time, whether the ball was loose before the runner hit the ground - these are facts, provable and verifiable, "belonging to the object of thought rather than the thinking subject," per the dictionary definition of objective. If the referee is incorrect, then he's incorrect, but he's not applying an opinion. Whether a double somersault is in fact a double somersault per the definition in the rulebook is objective as well; whether that double somersault is worth 9.2 points or 9.1 points is subjective - i.e., "belonging to the thinking subject rather than the object of thought."
I'm not sure I understand her premise. Why is ice dancing not a sport but figure skating is? The silly costumes? Because "twizzle" is a silly sounding word?
I honestly don't follow her arguments.
I think in the author's mind, that "jumping" with the risk of falling is the differentiating factor?
She's taking a Mitch Albom type "feeling" and making a column out of it.
Let's put the author on the ice and throw things at her. Now THAT'S a sport!
Ice dodgeball? Make the ball small and hard and give the players lacrosse sticks, and you've got yourself a sport!
This is the kind of argument I stopped having in middle school.
The word "sport" has a definition that varies by just about everyone you ask. So why waste time arguing over something that means nothing?
Because the internet, that's why.
Eh, when I think of a sport I think of an event where you are directly competing against someone on the same playing field and are not just competing against a clock or judges. A lot of those events require a ton of athletisism but they just aren't sports in my mind. YMMV.
I don't understand why everyone gets all in a fit over whether you want to label something as a sport or not. It means absolutely nothing.
The ladies are in fantastic shape, really, top notch, so, SPORT(!)
This is a very important discussion!
Slate is the ultimate buzz kill of the internet. There was an article yesterday from one of their columnists over-analyzing "Cool Runnings" and basically calling people out for enjoying it. They are that friend you have that has to be contrarian and basically hate everything.
It's funny, I like a couple of their podcasts; the Culture Gabfest is good for really pretentious cultural discussions and I used to Hang Up and Listen for an interesting take on sports stories, but their site is unreadable. It seems like every once in a while, I'll think "why don't I see what's going on over at Slate...oh right."
but is instead a waste of a nice afternoon fruitlessly trying to propel a tiny dimpled ball into an impossibly small hole from a ridiculous distance.
any game you can play while smoking and drinking, can't really be a sport. ;)
in any world where bowling and auto racing are considered "sports" there is really no point in having this argument.
Agree. I am an avid bowler and love the game. Ain't a sport
Eh, why is baseball a sport but bowling isn't? Because you can drink beer and be fat while bowling? Clearly you've never seen a corporate softball league (or Babe Ruth). BTW I have no skin in the game here as I regularly watch neither.
Any line you draw for "athleticism" as definition of sport is going to be inherently arbitrary. Is football not a sport because they only go for 10 seconds at a time and sit on the bench half the game or more? Is soccer not a sport because they aren't allowed to hit each other? Is hockey not a sport because they use so much equipment? Are skiing and luge not sports because the athletes don't provide their own propulsion?
Most "is X a sport" arguments are essentially dick measuring contests between participants or fans of sport X vs. sport Y. Which is especially funny because I think one thing we can all agree on is that being a spectator is definitely not a sport - so why do fans get so hung up on whether what they sit in front of is a sport or not?
Good post, but I had to neg for one reason: The oft-used argument that "Babe Ruth played baseball and he was fat and drank and whateva."
The vast majority (like 95%+) of baseball players are in excellent physical shape in this day and age. I'd say the number of "overweight" baseball players is comprable to the number of "overweight" football players. I'm looking at you, Sebastian Janikowski.
Otherwise, I agree with your post :) I just really hate the Babe Ruth point as he played the game nearly a hundred years ago.
Sure, but most pro golfers, bowlers, and curlers are in a lot better shape than their stereotypes suggest too. And judging their sports by those stereotypes is no more fair than assuming all baseball players look like the Babe.
I was thinking about a similar thing the other day. How many winter olympics sports are true, head to head competition without judges? I sort of get bobled and skeleton and luge b/c they are time-based and you cant have them all on the same track at the same time. Contrast this with the Summer Olympics. It's just an interesting mental-masturbation debate I was having with myself.
Mental masturbation is NOT a sport.
First off, if Davis and White didn't go to Michigan I would have zero interest in ice dancing. Their ties to Michigan make me pull for them, just as I pull for our solar car to do well.
Whether ice dancing's a sport or not depends (duh) on how you define "sport". Ice dancing seems difficult, and they seem athletic, so calling it a sport bothers me not a whit. But it sure doesn't smack of sport the same way, e.g., hockey does.
So why the hell did I reply? Because I saw a tweet today that noted that Meryl Davis looks like a Disney Princess. I thought that's ridiculous, and then I saw the photo below. Holy cripes!
Being a Disney princess proves it is a sport.
Dressed in blue on the ice; now that would be a sport!
Define "sport," go. This thread is basically one long boring argument about semantics. Do judges matter? If something is physically challenging and requires lots of hard work and dedication is it automatically a sport? These questions are pointless. Define "sport" however you want to, it has no impact on the people actually doing it.
As far as this article is concerned, I don't have too much of a problem with it. It seems to me that the authors is less trying to make a semantic point about what is and is not a sport, and rather point out that in the ever more exciting and X-Games-y Winter Olympics, ice dancing is seeming more and more out of place. And I have to say I broadly agree with that point.
Ice Dancing is challenging, physical, requires a lifetime of training, and is excruciatingly boring to watch. I realize that many people will disagree with me on that point, because it is a completely subjective personal opinion, which is exactly what this author was trying to convey. Her personal opinion of ice dancing is that it's boring and anachronistic, and I think that's a perfectly reasonable opinion to have.
It's Slate. It exists to troll people exactly in this manner.
Stop reading Slate and you'll be a happier person. Trolling, click-baiting headlines, regurgitated news that broke elsewhere. The worst is 'analysis' from journalists that have 5 minutes of experience (if that) on their subject material.
At least ice dancing is over in 7 minutes. Nordic 50 km skiing takes forever.
You can call ice dancing a sport if you want. Makes no difference to me. I even enjoy watching it . . . took a small nap in front of the TV last night. Beautiful
Having said that, I will always enjoy sports where there is a clear winner, and minimal involvement from referees.
There are many other sports which I generally don't watch, but which are competitions where typically, someone clearly "wins."
There are fighting sports, again, typically with a "winner" who vanquishes their opponent:
There are sports where the winner is based on various measurables:
It is the sports based on "judging" that get harder. Yes, there are measurables (number of rotations, twists, flips, turns, etc.) But this just is less clear to me.
Look, I'll watch these last sports every four years. I enjoy them. But man, they just seem to me to be in a different category than the rest. Call them a sport. Acknowledge how very, very difficult they are. But this whole category is just clearly, much more subjective than the other sports. With the other sports, someone has scored more points, or gone faster, or higher, or deeper, or further, then anyone else. Synchronization of twizzles? Appropriateness of costume to the music? Choice of music? Facial expressions? Lifts? These things are just in a different category than other sports.
Did you put football on your list of sports with "minimal involvement of referees"? Football is the most overly-regulated, overly-scripted major sport there is, though I still love watching it (at least the college variety). The rules are far too complex (try explaining pass interference to someone from China; I have); and the referees are constantly involved at a very important and incredibly detailed level. And yes, as others have noted here multiple times, their judgement comes into play as well.
Obviously, referees are highly involved in football.
Let's try another way to explain this. I could go out with 10 - 20 friends and play a game of football. We'd probably argue about a few things, but generally, we'd agree on who "won." Same thing with any of the other headline sports mentioned (hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer.) You go across the line with the football, you score. It goes through the uprights, you score. You touch homeplate without a ball being caught or getting there before you, you score. You shoot a basket and it goes through the net, you score. You fire off a puck and it goes into the net, you score.
Referees in these sports are very helpful. The teams playing agree to abide by the decisions made by the referees. However, despite the occasional game where a referee determines the outcome, they generally aren't critical to the outcome, and in a pinch, you could manage without them.
Maybe a different way to put it would be: without the referee or judge or judges, could you compete in these other sports? I think not. I'm commenting on sports where you can't compete without highly trained judges (i.e., ice dancing, skating, gymnastics, diving, etc.), and where the judges "decide" who wins the competition.
I think part of the difficulty with judged sports is the inability for the layperson viewer to have a good grasp of who is winning and why.
Hockey, bobsledding, biathlon, curling - all have a pretty well-definable goal: go fast, score points, etc. Even if you can't understand the strategy or the physical skills involved, it's still accessible.
Now, judged sports do actually tend to have pretty well defined "scoring": do x, get y points, -z deductions for screwups. But the systems are really complex and inaccessible to the average viewer. This is especially tough for events like ice dancing, where the seeming intent of the sport is to do something aesthetically pleasing - so why does some bald old dude get to decide that skater A was better than skater B just because skater B's foot was an inch out of place? Dammit, I still thought B was prettier and did cooler spin things! RABBLE RABBLE NOT A SPORT!
On the actual topic, differentiating between figure skating and ice dance seems particularly dumb. Both are inherently artistic events requiring both athleticism and aesthetic (and to some degree subjective) grace. Both perform to music and have silly costumes (heck, even the announcers do, on the rare times they show Johnny Weir on camera). So one's a sport and one isn't because "salchow" is slightly less goofy sounding than "twizzle"?
then golf certainly belongs in the discussion.
Oregon football would like to talk to you.
I found hilarious was that there was a new 'world record' in one of the figure skating events. Getting a world record in a 100% judged event seems totally illegitmate in my eyes.
So gymnastics (judged event), football with its judgment penalties, basketball with judgment penalties, etc., aren't sports huh?
You're belitting the world record set in a sport you don't understand at all. Yes, ice dancing combines sport and art, and so do other figure skating events, as well as other sports like gymnastics.
It's really an insult to two of Michigan's greatest athletes, period (and by that I mean the State of Michigan and the University of Michigan, where both Meryl and Charlie went to college).
Jaggs actually has a point - the judging system and program for skating have changed numerous times (including quite recently) over the years, so "world record" doesn't have quite the same meaning as it does in "100m dash".
I was trying to have an honest discussion with myselves about this. I was leaning toward it being an athletic competition more than a sport (in my twisted mind there is a difference) and I landed on things with goals, a ball-type substances, or timed/measurable outcomes being a sport, and judged events being the former. But then, I got to thinking about my favorite sport; baseball and the role that a "judge" (the home plate ump) plays in the game...and now I am crossed up and don't know which way is up and which way is down. I guess I am trying to say that whenever athletes are athleting it's a sport. IMO.
I think you are misunderstanding me. The concept of different judges at different periods of time judging a sport that has changed so much over the years is what I find funny. Who's to saythe recent performance was any better than one done 30 years ago with different equipment, different standards for judging etc....
Basically, how can one hold a 'world record' in a subjective discipline? To me, it would be like putting a panel of judges and awarding a movie the 'best movie of all time'. Sure it's a great movie, and sure lots of people may agree, but how can you definitively say a statement like that?
Also, where do I say it is not a sport?
Sport or No Sport:
as well as farnarkling.
I kind of understand what the author is saying, though I totally disagree with the attitude and arrogance she uses. Ice Dancing, as compared to singles and pairs skating, never had that wow element for me. It always seemed like "yeah, I could probably do that if I tried" (in the same way I think I could drive a bobsled down the track without killing myself, so no I can't really do that). It doesn't have the brute strength/skill element that the other figure skating disciplines have. In some ways it's like comparing curling to hockey: both take special skills and deceptive strength, but one just looks more difficult to do. That being said, I respect the hell out of all olympic athletes, they are truly the best of the best.
One thing that I think ice dancing has working against it: it's not obvious when someone fails. Unlike skating, gymnastics, the extreme snow sports, there are no spectacular falls. To the uneducated viewer, it basically all looks the same, so we can't appreciate how hard it is.
My wish is simple: a differntiation between competitions where the victor is not debatable at the end of the competition and those where there is some sort of 'judgement' involved. I don't deny that the athletes all perform at levels I could not, and when I say that I don't believe things such as figure skating should be sports, I mean no offense.
However, I include figure skating, Ice Dancing, any non-time only snow sports, etc to be competitions, rather than sports. Image if a touchdown's point value was determined by how tight the spiral on the pass was 'judged' to be.
Now if figure skating or the snowboaring half pipe competition were conducted in some fashion like weight lifting, I would have no objection. If you can do the 'triple super toe axel doopity do' and no one else can - then you win. However, I understand why this is no viable, as the next athlete who cannot perform that stunt might be able to do a 'reverse ninja inverted toe grab' .
but to counter...and in the same light someone else already has...
Pass interference. Judgement call. Even if instant replay indicates that it really wasn't interference, it still is. So, maybe a TD is the result of the ball placed at the one yard line because of such a call.
And one small point, there is a bit of a time limit with most "judged" sports...you can't just sit there and wait to perform when you feel like it. You must complete the movement or whatever the case is within a prescribed period, or begin the action when they tell you. Time is still a factor to a degree.
This is worth reading:
It's damn complicated, and it sounds like "subjectivity" can move the needle a few percent even after all the high/low dropping and averaging, but it's actually a lot closer to your last paragraph than you might think. If you can do a jump no one else can, you get a lot more points.
Some key things:
Everyone is required to do the same number of elements in each category (e.g. certain number of jumps, certain number of spins)
All elements and sequences have a predefined maximum score based on difficulty
Certain errors (e.g. underrotation) have an associated predefined deduction
Many deductions are really subtle to the uninitiated (e.g. landing on wrong edge)
This doesn't add much but I've found myself being disinterested in Ice Dancing the past couple of Olympics, yet I've always somewhat enjoyed Figure Skating. It's that that way again this year. I haven't read the article and I'm sure it doesn't make much sense but I do and have been wondering if there are others out there like me. I'm no afficinado of Figure Skating, I watch it when the Olympics roll around, but I do enjoy it and I just haven't been able to say the same for Ice Dancing. (I'll also say I didn't enjoy the Team Figure Skating either...I just don't get why that needs to exist, another conversation, though).
*Glad to see the good guys/gals win the event though!
but if you wanted to attack any sport, it would have to be towards the top of the list. I don't mean to minimize the training and talent of the event. There is no comparison of the physical exertion between that and any skating activity.
The argument is terrible. Why should they have short track and long track speed skating? They both have their own type of style, skill and excitement.
Also look at all the new ski events. They are all judged on the style of jumps, how well they are done and difficulty. Therefore you can add diving also.
If you don't like it, there is an off button on your remote.
There's a whole range of subjective vs objective judgement critiria, and another whole spectrum of athletic vs artistic. Ice dancing falls towards the subjective and artistic sides, but clearly isn't exclusively so. Debating what is and isn't a sport is kind of silly because there isn't some precisely defined point on each of those spectrums where sport becomes something else.
That said, my complaint isn't whether ice dancing or figure skating is a sport or not, but the disproportionate coverage of it compared to everything else. It seems like between the team competition, men's and women's, pairs, ice dancing, long program/short program, figure skating has taken up 25% or more of the prime time coverage, where awesome sports like ski jumping, freestyle, luge and skeleton only get a small time slot each night.
I generally feel the same way, but then I watched a whole session of ski jumping and realized they all looked exactly the same with some very minor differences that I don't understand, and then understood why it's easier to keep people glued to figure skating. The personality helps - the winter sliding sports are pretty dehumanizing with everybody zipped up tight in speed suits and trying to follow the exact same line.
I think, because of the endurance and athleticism required to pull off the moves they're required to do, it can be safely considered a "sport."
My issue with competitions that are "judged" is the lack of clarity when it comes to scoring. If the scoring was so clearly written out, I don't understand why sometimes the scoring has such a range to it amongst the judges. I also feel that reputation has far too much impact in the scoring. For example, in the men's half-pipe snowboarding, I thought Shaun White had a terrible second run in the finals, and still got higher than 90. He landed on the lip of the pipe twice, and while he didn't fall, I can't for the life of me figure out how that scored higher than some of the guys that hit the 80s without anything nearly as 'unappealing' to the average viewer. It just seemed like he got the benefit of the doubt since he is so widely considered the best snowboarder in the world.
I doubt reputation plays zero role, but the impression I get is that Shaun White attempts much more difficult tricks than most other competitors, and that a wobbly completion of a harder trick is scored more than a perfect completion of an easier trick.
But I generally agree with the conclusion.
If it makes sense for you to keep your personal relationship a secret because the judges need to think you are in love with your teammate/partner, then what you're doing isn't a sport..
Ice dancing is included in the 'games' (not the 'sports') due to its appeal, as well as its athleticism and artistry. There are those who will ignore daredevil races against the clock, such as downhill skiing or the sledding sports, but will sit rapt before the television when ice dancing is on, and have strong opinions about the performances. Most of them are of the group we refer to as "women".
I've always felt ice dancing should be combined with biathlon in some way to broaden its appeal to most men (e.g. two teams, one has skis and guns, the other dances on the ice, etc.), but my letters to the IOC recommending such have always gone unanswered. Politics.
Then hell yes ice dancing is.
If I tune in and one is on, I'd be hard pressed to tell you which it is.