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Friday, April 12, 2013

Life, IJS and the protocols: A plea in favour of the beauty of numbers

There is an ongoing debate about the sport of figure skating as we perceive it and the sport of figure skating in perhaps its purest incarnation: Namely, as it is presented to us in the condensed and revisioned form of the protocols.

While some people may think it doesn't make sense to use the protocols to re-evaluate what they have just seen in real life or that it is detrimental and counter intuitive to justify a result they have previously disagreed with, I, for one, am totally at peace with them and it continues to puzzle me that a lot of people just think of the protocols as a bunch of arbitrary and ultimately meaningless numbers.

I can only explain this with a certain laziness and/or unwillingness on behalf of those so-called "fans" to really educate themselves on the judging system and try to get a deeper understanding for the arithmetic side of the sport. It is clear that if those people would really make an effort to understand the system, they would come to the same conclusion. Yet, they choose to remain stubbornly insolent and blame the system, the judges and lots of other things  for their own failure, all the while, everything they need to know is in the protocols.

In fact, it is my humble opinion that these papers not only give you a good grasp of what happened during a performance, they are also a helpful medium that teaches me how to perceive a programme in all kinds of ways. It is almost a liberating experience, as I don't need to worry about being at odds with reality, anymore, because the protocols are expressions of the very reality they shape! This creates a circular symmetry that almost transcends figure skating and touches upon the nature of reality, perception and existence itself.

Recently, after years of honing my abilities and feeling ready for the next step, I have started to skip events here and there. While I don't pretend to have attained full proficiency yet, I can get all the facts and already get a great deal of enjoyment from a competition by just reading the protocols alone, not having to watch the performances at all. As the live event coverage has gotten worse and worse over they years, this is quite useful and it feels like all this is part of a bigger plan. The deep understanding this system has given me with regard to figure skating has also made its way into other aspects of my life and I can say it is for the better of it. Those who appreciate a good protocol will know what it mean.

Please join the cause: Live the IJS! Make it part of your life and receive a new personal best every day!

Click to enlarge
, and via the protocol share a day in The Pink Tulip's life as if you had lived it yourself!

Use the comment function if you wanna discuss certain elements or components of the performance! Or anything else for that matter. It is, as always, encouraged and appreciated.

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