Rocket Science Now an Official Olympic Sport

ROCKET SCIENCE NOW AN OFFICIAL OLYMPIC SPORT….Prepare to be even more flummoxed than usual by scoring in the Olympic figure skating competition this year:

The familiar 6.0 standard has been replaced by cumulative scores derived from prescribed values for each jump and spin. Judges’ names are no longer linked to their marks at international competitions, and a computer randomly chooses nine scores from every 12-judge panel in calculating scores.

….For fans, calculators are a must. So are translators: The detailed result sheet from the long program Sasha Cohen performed to win her first U.S. championship last month shows that she did a CCoSp4, an LSp4 and a CCoSp3. Runner-up Kimmie Meissner’s routine included an SpSt3 and a 1A. (See accompanying story and chart.)

Here’s the accompanying story:

The CCoSp4 performed by Sasha Cohen in her long program at the U.S. championships was a spin combination with change of position and a change of foot. It was graded a level 4, with a base value of 3.5. She got an additional 0.64 grade of execution for 4.14 total points.

Her LSp4 was a layback spin rated a level 4 with a base value of 2.4. With a 0.86 grade of execution, she got 3.26 points for it. Her final move, a CCoSp3, was another spin combination with change of position and change of foot but it was rated only a level 3, with a base value of 3.0. Adding the grade of execution, she got 3.79 points for it.

….The technical specialist, or caller, calls the execution of each element. Non-jump elements such as spins or step sequences are assigned a level based on difficulty, determined by the number of rotations or use of different edges.

Did you get all that?