How figure skating scoring rewards risk over artistry

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  • Published on:  Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • The new figure skating scoring system is complicated and controversial. Here's how it works.

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    At the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in an Olympic event, just the third woman ever to accomplish this feat. She failed to cleanly land the same jump at the 2018 US Figure Skating Championship, in San Jose California, but she still received 6.07 points for the jump, almost two points more than her teammate's perfect double axel, which received 4.09 points. Figure skating score is complicated, and the new scoring system has changed how competitors skate. But how does it work? is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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  • Sally Vee

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    Yuzuru Hanyu is the perfect example of insane difficulty and incomparable artistry. He is the model modern figure skater.

  • Donny Hathaway

     (3 hours ago)

    He found the balance - nathan chen is reaching it now as well

  • its me ya boi

     (Feb 7, 2019)

    I mean Adam is ofc good but.... Nowhere nearly as competitive Yuzuru Hanyu. He seems like a great person tho

  • Anna Trinh

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    Artistry is why I would put Yuzuru Hanyu over Nathan Chen any day, at least for now. Don't get me wrong, Nathan is an excellent jumper, his movements are almost flawless but his performances lack the feels. Yuzuru, on the other hand, always attempts to put the emotional impact above all (while setting records at the same time).

  • bobohu byun

     (1 day ago)

    Not just that, as it was mentioned in the video, skaters tend to push too many jumps, in this case quads, in the programme, making it look messy and the possibility of landing them all cleanly is lower. Yuzuru combines more difficult jumps with less difficult ones, he said that once in an interview, and goes for the quality of each jump rather than the quantity.

  • NorthernStal The famously unfamous penguin

     (Nov 19, 2018)


  • lexamazing

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    scoring is just so subjective. l was a competitive gymnast for years, and the scorers were always unpredictable.

  • DuckyDae X

     (Jan 7, 2019)

    fjoolololol Judges have openly admitted bias, particularly in an Olympic setting.

  • Therion Knight

     (Oct 20, 2018)

    I get very tired of this Bonaly argument. The fact is, she very rarely landed a jump on the correct edge. She was way too straight - she was also a tumbling champion, if you don't know - but the landings for the two disciplines do NOT go together. THAT is the reason for her downgraded marks. Incorrect technical execution. Under today's rules, she would be even more downgraded. Trust me, the judging now is akin to a nightmare!

  • Grace Hudson

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    One correction: a double axel is not a “slightly simpler jump” than a triple axel (around 2:54). The difference is BIG. Plenty can do double axels in their sleep while I think only 8 women have landed it in competition.

  • ttt w

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    I’m still not over how Kim Yuna was robbed in broad daylight

  • Nenena sveks

     (Nov 14, 2018)

    kiko yu ;i'm still not over how Plushenko was robbed in Vancouver Olympics,in 2010.He only done quadruple jumps and had a beautiful "Tango Amore" LP .but didn't win.Evan Lysachek won than WITHOUT QUAD-such a shame !!!!!

  • Simple Truth

     (Nov 14, 2018)


  • DHK

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    >Talks about female figure skaters>no mention of Kim Yuna>k

  • Cherry #PLAY

     (Feb 16, 2018)

    Yuzuru Hanyu blends the jumps and artisty so well. That's why he's the king

  • Yumi Chan

     (Dec 20, 2018)

    sedekiman r As you said, art is subjective and incomparable, everyone have their own preferences. If all skaters performed cleanly and focuses on artistic aspect but all have similar technical elements then judging will be based entirely on judge's preferences and everything ends up a debatable mess. It is a competition so judges should judge the best way they possibly can.Also, it isn't fair to compare Yuzu or other current skaters to the generation of older skaters which competed under a different s...

  • kadova

     (Nov 10, 2018)

    +sedekiman r Plushenko said Hanyu is the best skater at the moment. Plushy should know figure skating better than you and me.

  • kaduzy

     (Feb 19, 2018)

    This system is SO flawed. People who fall down or touch ice doing quads or triples should NOT be getting higher points than skaters who deliver flawless triples and doubles.

  • Grey L

     (Jan 11, 2019)

    Agreed. If youre gonna try a hard jump, you gotta execute properly for credit. The new system awarding risk to the extent that it outweighs clean triples is ridiculous. Rewarding an attempt is fine, just not if it’s so excessive that a missed triple axel could outweigh someone landing a triple lutz, or two footing a quad lutz over a clean triple. Under these new rules, had they been implemented in the old days, Midori Ito would win everything, clean landings or not.

  • Kitcot

     (Nov 5, 2018)

    plus, the other athlete going for lesser jumps indicates that there higher jumps are so bad, that they gain more points with triples or doubles instead of quads (i.e. they cant get round the jump without flicking)

  • Hannah Đỗ

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    this is to keep the sport from being stagnant, and the consistent top of the top need to balance both technical athleticism and artistry. Take Yuzuru Hanyu and Yuna Kim, expression and musicality masters on top of their great skating skills.

  • All of Jimin's Jams Namjoon stole

     (Jul 21, 2018)

    Ram875 for example, his WR in Worlds 2017..... People calculated and saw that he was underscored, heck even the Italian commentators said the PCS was a scandal the moment they saw it!!! He deserved higher...BUT it proves that Yuzu can still be on the top despite being underscored

  • Ram875

     (Apr 8, 2018)

    Hanyu in my humble opinion, has been underscored several times...

  • Doc Aspy

     (Feb 13, 2018)

    "Omg why is vox obsessed with figure skating lately?!"You realize we're going through the '18 Olympics and that figure skating is probably the most popular, right? If they're picking this particular sport, it's because it's playing a major role in pop-culture/news rn.

  • cute girl is Japanese lol

     (Sep 8, 2018)

    I figure skate, so think about who watches this stuff before you comment that hockey is better, heck even being able to land a double salchow cleanly is hard. In hockey, you just use a stick and a puck to move it into goals. -Every Skater Ever

  • Matthew D

     (Feb 16, 2018)

    Vox is obsessed with black culture and music.