Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mathmatical Gyrations and Jabberwocky

I was not a wiz in math, which is why I went into communications. However, this season my husband and I have had to learn more about running numbers than we ever thought we would, thanks to the Grand Prix series. We have headaches and eye strain trying to figure out who is in; who is out; who is on the bubble; who can win a tie-breaker (I *still* don't understand that one!) and who will make it to Japan in time for a holiday shopping trip to Shibuya.
On top of that, we've been making a relatively unsuccessful attempt at explaining the Grand Prix points system to our relatives. If trying to make sense of it yourself isn't difficult enough, trying to explain it to non-skating people is like Jabberwocky.
Conversations go something like this:
"That guy's got 30 points so he's in."
"No...his score doesn't have anything to do with it."
"Yes, there's a guy who scored higher totals in his competition, but he ended up lower and has fewer points.."
"No, that has nothing to do with where he is right now because this guy's finished with his competitions and for that guy there is still one to go."
"No, it doesn't matter how high his score is..."
"Yes, he would have to win and then it would be decided by tie-breaker."
"No, they don't have a skate-off if there is a tie (though that might be an interesting concept)."
"No, I don't understand tie-breakers so I can't really explain it."
"Yes, I'm confused, too."
"Yes, I have Advil and I know how to use it."
It's all relative, I suppose.
Fortunately, we will only have to run numbers and speak in jibberish through next weekend. After that, we can give our brains a rest because we'll know who has a yen for Tokyo.


  1. Why do they only have 6 finalists for singles? I can understand with pairs & dance, sort of, because there just aren't as many of them. . . this has been the weirdest GP ever. I think ties are decided on highest point totals? (though as well all are often told, "you can't compare scores across competitions" [yeah, right]).

    Hoping SC will cause you to say "Callooh, [sp?] callay" and chortle in your joy.

  2. Sure makes me nostalgic for the days when a panel of judges gave two sets of marks and the highest math skills required were multiplication and addition. I just watched some of Skate America and was bored as well as confused by the scoring system, which is incomprehensible to those of us who just like to watch and sort-of keep track of who's ahead.

  3. Hmm- the old 6.0 system had ordinals...that used to make me really confused. I never did quite figure it out.
    I think the GPF has placement as the first tie-breaker, not scores. But it goes on from there with multiple tie-breakers. Last year, I read the tie-breaker explanation for kicks. I sure never thought anything that complex would ever be used.
    Ha!!! This year will put it to the test.

  4. Basically, it's high stakes Ice Wars. "I'll see your Silver and raise you my Gold," as it was just explained to me. The scoring, whether you like it or not, really has nothing to do with it. 15 points for a win; 13 for second; 11 for third; 9 for fourth; 7 for fifth. The scores are simply there to totally confuse you - JUST as they were with 6.0. That made no sense, either, and also had nothing to do with who goes shopping in Shibuya :D