Modern Era 6.0 Scoring System Q and A

What is the Modern Era 6.0 scoring system?

The Modern Era 6.0 scoring system is a scoring system reform proposal submitted by the Australian skating federation to the ISU for consideration at the upcoming Congress.  The Modern Era 6.0 scoring system is a dramatic development in the evolution of the 6.0 scoring system. It consists of revolutionary revisions to the current 6.0 system and incorporates the best of the current 6.0 system with the most desirable concepts under discussion in the CoP approach, but with none of the latter systems many serious flaws.

How does Modern Era 6.0 work?

Does Modern Era 6.0 reward the skaters for every aspect of their performances?

Yes, and it does it more fairly and completely than CoP.

The 6.0 system is a 90-year-old relic. How could it possibly be used to evaluate modern skating?

The current form of the 6.0 system in not 90 years old. The original scoring system used by the ISU started out in the 1890s as a point system that consisted of difficulty values for each element (figure) and quality factors for execution. Ordinals, the majority principle and total factored places were added over a long period of time to correct or avoid problems in a simple point based approach. The 6.0 ordinal system did not reach its current form until the 1970s, and the 6.0 OBO system until 1998. CoP is a return to a method of scoring that was discredited many times over the past 100 years.

As a skater I like getting the judges feedback for the elements in my program. Does the Modern Era 6.0 system give me that?

Yes. While results will be determined by total points in the two major marks, each of the five sub-marks for the five categories of skating skills evaluated will be provided to the skaters and the public. The strengths and weaknesses in each aspect of skating will be clear for each skater, as well as how they compare from one skater to the next, and how each aspect of the performance contributed to the results.

Will marks from one competition to the next be comparable in a meaningful way in Modern Era 6.0?

Yes.  The five sub-marks will be awarded according to a reproducible, repeatable standard (to be set by the ISU technical committees) allowing anyone to monitor the progress of competitors in each area of skating throughout a season or throughout their careers.  

Saving marks in the current 6.0 system doesnít seem fair to the skaters. What does Modern Era 6.0 do about that?

In Modern Era 6.0, marks are specified to the nearest 0.05 points. Even in competitions with as many competitors as the World Championships the saving of marks is not necessary. The judgesí marks will accurately reflect the actual value of each aspect of skating evaluated in the five sub-marks. The sub-marks for all the skaters will be directly comparable in a meaningful way.

In the ordinal system there is no way to tell how close one place compares to the next. Does Modern Era 6.0 do anything about that?

Results in Modern Era 6.0 are determined by the average total marks using a single or double trimmed mean. The point difference from one place to the next is a direct measure of the margin of victory. Ordinals, and the OBO calculation methods are not used in Modern Era 6.0.

In the current 6.0 system a skater who falls behind by too many places cannot win without help from other skaters. Does Modern Era 6.0 change that?

Yes. Competition results are the weighted sum from each part of the event. The fate of each skater is entirely in their own hands. In singles and pairs the short program will make up one-third the total event score and the free skating the other two-thirds.

I have heard that CoP does not handle jump combinations and sequences, and some other elements correctly. Why is that?

CoP does not take into account the order in which the jumps are executed, or the difficulty of doing jumps in combination compared to as solo jumps. The quality factor is only determined by the most difficult jump. Errors in the lesser difficulty jump are ignored. Excellent quality in the lesser difficulty jump is also ignored. In Modern Era 6.0 the judges consider all aspects of jump combinations and sequences.

Jump combinations that include a half loop are no longer considered combinations, due to the omission of the half loop in the CoP point model. Instead of adding the half loop to the point model, CoP pretends combinations that include the half loop are not combinations. The CoP point model is not complete and omits some elements. The Modern Era 6.0 system is not tied to a fixed list of elements and thus has complete flexibility and adaptability to reward all possible elements.

How much objectivity is built into the Modern Era 6.0 system?

Objectivity in the Modern Era 6.0 System and CoP are equivalent. The appropriate technical committee and other experts will be tasked to provide program content guidelines and scoring examples to insure marks are meaningful, and intercomparable on a reproducible basis for all levels of difficulty and quality of execution, from one competition to the next.

Is Modern Era 6.0 a punitive, deduction based system?

No.  Skaters will receive credit for every aspect of their performances. Scores are tied directly to the difficulty of the content executed. The higher the difficulty, the higher the score. Deductions will remain in place to insure compliance with the rules and to account for certain serious errors in the short program. This is less severe than CoP, which includes deductions for every element executed (negative quality factors) in every program.  In CoP the long programs are now "long" short programs (i.e., long required programs).

CoP uses an absolute scale of scoring. Isnít that the best way to do it?

NO!  Humans are not good at making absolute judgments of the type required in judging skating. Relative judgment (comparing one skater to the next) is more than 10 times more accurate than absolute judgment. The use of relative judgment is the fairest way of judging skating. It requires more effort on the part of the judges but produces the best result for the competitors.  CoP is about making it easier for the judges and the programmers.  Modern Era 6.0 is about what is best for the skaters.

It is said that CoP is a better system for skaters who are good spinners and have strong skating skills. Isnít that a good thing?

It would be if it were true. But it just isnít true. In CoP about 40% of the score is determined by the jump elements. Only about 8% of the points come from spins and about 30% from presentation. A skater who trails behind another in jump-points must move heaven and earth in all other aspects of skating to overcome the deficit. In singles, CoP basically is ice jumping. Modern Era 6.0 limits jumps to 25% of the total score and keeps presentation at 50% of the total points, as has traditionally been the case.

How does Modern Era 6.0 handle innovative new elements never seen before?

As in the current 6.0 system, judges use their experience to gauge the difficulty of new elements compared to all other know elements of skating. In CoP a skater can earn a maximum of only 2 points (a negligible amount in the CoP point model) for an innovative element, no matter how difficult the element may be. The Modern Era 6.0 System is completely adaptive, CoP is not.

How do Modern Era 6.0 and CoP protect against "block judging"?

In Modern Era 6.0 eleven judges and a substitute judge will be used at ISU championships. Six geographic blocks are defined. Block representation is limited to two judges from each block. Between the double trimmed mean and limitations on block representation, blocks can never be a majority of a panel. CoP does not include any limitations on block representation and has no protection against block judging.

How do Modern Era 6.0 and CoP protect against biased judges?

Both Modern Era 6.0 and CoP use trimmed means to eliminate anomalously high and low marks. Modern Era 6.0 limits block representation, while CoP does not. Modern Era 6.0 uses seven judges in the final average compared to five in CoP. A biased judge in CoP has a 40% greater impact on the results than in Modern Era 6.0. CoP allows judges to attempt misconduct by hiding behind a veil of secrecy. Judges in Modern Era 6.0 must operate in the full light of public scrutiny.

Does Modern Era 6.0 use random selection of judges?

NO!  The best measure of a skating performance is the average of all the judgesí marks. With random selection of judges a minority of judges on a panel can distort the average and give victory to a skater with lower average marks from the panel as a whole. Random selection of judges means that skatersí placements will often be determined by a "flip of the coin." Random selection of judges is an insult to the skaters and affront to the concepts of fairness and integrity in sport.

Does Modern Era 6.0 use secret judging?

NO!  Secret judging has destroyed public confidence in the integrity of the results and the judges. It creates the impression that the main concern is to avoid embarrassment by hiding problems from the public. Openness in the judging of competitions and the accountability process is key to public support of skating -- which is key to the economic health of skating.

Can Modern Era 6.0 be ready for use immediately after the ISU Congress?

YES!  Modern Era 6.0 is sufficiently related to the current 6.0 system it is clear it will work as expected without requiring an extensive testing period. It does not require extensive retraining of judges. It does not require changes to the way skaters choreograph their programs or prepare for competition. The CoP software can easily be adapted to the note-taking requirements of Modern Era 6.0. One month would prove more than adequate to prepare for use of the Modern Era 6.0 scoring system.

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