SportyMags

Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!

Yuzuru Hanyu: The Yuzu Era in Points

It’s the end of the figure skating season and time to sit back and take a look at what has happened over the course of the last couple of seasons.

Significant changes in the direction of a sport usually evolve over time.  However, a new era in mens figure skating, the “quad mania era” has now evolved within a single four year Olympic cycle.  Yes, quads have been landed since 1988 (Kurt Browning) but since then the mens field has toyed with quads and having a single quad has over time (1990’s 2000’s), slowly progressed to being a baseline requirement for competitive mens skating.

Not too long ago in 2010, at the Vancouver Olympics, Evan Lysacek won the gold medal without a quad.  While Evgeny Plushenko was clearly disappointed and voiced his displeasure about this, by the time the 2014 Olympics in Sochi rolled around, the men were doing multiple types of quads consistently.  At a minimum, the 2014 podium men were doing a quad in their short programs and 2 or 3 quads in their long programs. Plushy was very happy about this.

Flash forward again to the upcoming 2018 Olympics and we expect that the eventual gold medal winner will have at least 7 planned quads over 2 programs.  Some call it progress and then there are those that are worried about the sport being changed into a pure jumping competition.  I’m not going to debate whether or not less or more quads is better because it is a personal preference.  Does the artistic side of skating lose when more quads are added?  Sure, and some skaters have openly voiced that same concern. But then you will also have those that complain that skating is not a true sport because of the artistic nature and the subjective judging.  These types of people might enjoy the move to a more pure jumping competition.  You can’t please everyone, so for me, I just enjoy skating the way that I do, and admire the skaters that I admire.

Yuzu is one of the few skaters that has the ability to excel in both areas (technical and artistically).  Yuzu has routinely and recently said that while he is increasing the technical difficultly of his programs, he wants to keep an eye on the artistic side and make sure that neither suffers.  Yuzu has great intentions and even while we suffer through his yearly early season struggles, when he cannot put together a clean program, there are those times when he gives us evidence of his pure brilliance and continues to break his own world records.  In those moments of jubilation, we forget about the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there.  Those moments leave sports commentators, the coaches, the judges, other skaters, and the fans stunned and speechless.

I must continue to give credit to Yuzu’s choreographers (Jeff and Shae-Lyne) because they have been the masterminds behind those world record breaking programs and understood Yuzu and his dreams and visions for his skating.  Both Jeff and Shae-Lyne have a special connection to Yuzu, and know how to incorporate and weave Yuzu’s desired technical content into an intricate story that Yuzu can show us through his expressions on the ice.  I pray to the skating gods that Yuzu stays with both of them for this upcoming Olympic seasons’ programs.

For this post, I wanted to summarize the current Yuzu Era in points; the 100 point, the 200 point, and the 300 point plateaus.

Since Yuzu broke these barriers, they are aptly named by me as the “Yuzu Point Eras“. These point barriers have stood for a long time, and are milestones that have taken a long time to overcome.  Now they serve more as goals for skaters and no longer appear to be unreachable.  Yuzu has changed the way we think about the point barriers.  We now think of them as not “if” they can be achieved/broken, but “when”.

All stats listed below are as of the end of 2016-2017 season.  The points I have included in my lists are from ISU sanctioned events only.

 

 

Yuzu: 100 Point Plateau

GPF9

In only 2 short seasons, the Short Program record books have been re-written.  Here is a link to a post I wrote in April 2015 (at the end of 2014/2015 season) of the top 6 scores in the SP!!  At that time, Yuzu was the only skater to eclipse the 100 point mark.

https://sportymags.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/short-programs-top-6-highest-scoring-sps-of-all-time/

Now take a look at how many +100 point short programs have made the list in the last 2 seasons.  As of the end of the 2016-2017 season, here are the 100 point programs.  Even though there are a lot of scores in the +100 list now, it still remains a very special milestone for each skater that is able to achieve it.

Points Skater Event World Record
110.95 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 Grand Prix Final WR
110.56 Yuzuru Hanyu 2016 World Championships
109.05 Javier Fernandez 2017 World Championships
106.53 Yuzuru Hanyu 2016 Grand Prix Final
106.33 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 NHK Trophy WR
105.74 Shoma Uno 2016 Team Challenge Cup
104.86 Shoma Uno 2017 World Championships
104.25 Javier Fernandez 2017 European Championships
103.89 Yuzuru Hanyu 2016 NHK Trophy
103.53 Shoma Uno 2017 World Team Trophy
103.12 Nathan Chen 2017 Four Continents Championships
102.54 Javier Fernandez 2016 European Championships
102.13 Patrick Chan 2017 World Championships
101.45 Yuzuru Hanyu 2014 Olympics WR
100.28 Shoma Uno 2017 Four Continents Championships

 

Yuzu: 200 Point Plateau

22320

When Yuzu became the first skater to brake the 200 point barrier at the 2015 NHK Trophy, he didn’t just hit the 200 mark, he destroyed it.  As soon as the “quad-mania” era started, the 200 barrier really didn’t stand a chance, although it is worth a mention that Yuzu broke this barrier prior to the start of this new quad mania.  Here is a look at all of the times that the 200 point barrier has been broken in the last 2 seasons.

Points Skater Event World Record
223.20 Yuzuru Hanyu 2017 World Championships WR
219.48 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 Grand Prix Final WR
216.41 Javier Fernandez 2016 World Championships
216.07 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 NHK Trophy WR
214.45 Shoma Uno 2017 World Championships
206.67 Yuzuru Hanyu 2017 Four Continents Championships
204.94 Boyang Jin 2017 World Championships
204.34 Nathan Chen 2017 Four Continents Championships
203.99 Patrick Chan 2016 Four Continents Championships
201.43 Javier Fernandez 2016 Rostelecom Cup
201.43 Javier Fernandez 2015 Grand Prix Final
200.49 Yuzuru Hanyu 2017 World Team Trophy
200.23 Javier Fernandez 2016 European Championships

 

 

Yuzu: 300 Point Plateau

IMG_1632

 

Naturally, when the 100 and 200 point barriers were broken, we knew the 300 point barrier was going to fall pretty quickly.  Since the 200 point barrier was shattered by Yuzu, it stood to reason that the 300 point barrier wasn’t going to be just reached, it was annihilated (2015 NHK Trophy).

To grasp how far the sport has truly tilted since 2014, prior to the 2016/2017 season, could we ever have imagined a world in figure skating where a skater scores over 300 combined total points in an event and doesn’t even make the podium?  Well, it happened at the 2017 World Championships in Helsinki to Javier Fernandez.

What does this knowledge do to an upcoming young skater?  Cue the 12 and 13 year old quad jumping beans that are already trying and succeeding at landing multiple types of quads.  So, then the next question would be “how long is this sustainable”?  No one knows the answer to this question.

Points Skater Event World Record
330.43 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 Grand Prix Final WR
322.40 Yuzuru Hanyu 2015 NHK Trophy WR
321.59 Yuzuru Hanyu 2017 World Championships
319.31 Shoma Uno 2017 World Championships
314.93 Javi Fernandez 2016 World Championships
307.46 Nathan Chen 2017 Four Continents Championships
303.71 Yuzuru Hanyu 2017 Four Continents Championships
303.58 Boyang Jin 2017 World Championships
302.77 Javier Fernandez 2016 European Championships
301.47 Yuzuru Hanyu 2016 NHK Trophy
301.19 Javier Fernandez 2017 World Championships

 

 

We will soon be entering the Olympic season.  The 2017/2018 season will be a unique season, not only because it is an Olympic season but it is the last season before a couple of key rule changes come into effect.

Rule change #292: Starting in 2018-2019, reduce the number of both junior and senior men’s jumping passes in the free skate from 8 to 7

Rule change #278:  Starting in 2018-2019, increase GOE range from ± 1-3 to ± 1-5.

 

My dream is for Yuzu’s world records to stand forever.  With the new rule changes it is impossible to know how the scores will be affected.  Initially when I read that the number of jumping passes would be reduced, I thought that my dream of Yuzu’s records standing forever would come true.  But, then you factor in the change of GOE range from 3 to 5, and the way the judges hand out GOE bonuses like it’s free candy sometimes, it scares me to think of what type of inflated scores might come along in the future and challenge Yuzu’s records.  For this reason (and many others) I hope Yuzu continues to compete a couple more seasons after the Olympics to see how his scores would change with the new rules.

We won’t know what the true impact of removing a jumping pass will be until after the Olympic season.  Will skaters just start eliminating the lowest base value jumps in order to maximize points on the reduced number of jumping passes?  Will there be more emphasis on cleaner programs vs just maximizing point value layouts?  What kinds of strategies will we see from the skaters?  Do younger skaters start trying quad flips and lutzes first instead of quad toes and salchows because they are worth more in base value points?  So many potential questions, and so few answers.

One thing we do know for sure.  The upwards trajectory of the volume of quad jumps (and further into quad axel and quints) cannot possibly continue to rise forever and ever.  It’s only May 2017 and I’m nervous already.

 

 

Go Yuzu Go!!!  Doki Doki!!

Doki doki

 

Sources of data:

http://www.isu.org/en/single-and-pair-skating-and-ice-dance/statistics-and-world-standings/statistics-including-personal-bestseason-best-information

Wikipedia and ISU protocal sheets for all skaters listed above.

 

 

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6 comments on “Yuzuru Hanyu: The Yuzu Era in Points

  1. Pammi 3011
    May 14, 2017

    Hi Sporty Mags Great blog! Shows why Yuzu is top of rankings! Haven’t checked properly but think you either missed out Javi’s 109 SP from Worlds 2017 or credited it to GPF 2015?? If I am wrong, apologies! Best wishes Pamela

    Liked by 1 person

    • sportymags
      May 14, 2017

      GOOD EYE!!! Yes I accidentally cut and pasted the wrong event. I updated the chart to show Javi got 109 SP at Worlds, not GPF. Thanks!!!

      Like

  2. Haleyww
    May 16, 2017

    Yes, I hope Yuzu stays with Jeff and Shae-Lyne, too! I watched some short video clips of Yuzu working with Shae-Lyne on H&L and Seimei. It helped me understand why the programs are so beautiful and can be called artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James
    May 16, 2017

    I wanted to share this; morozombie’s 2017 World Men’s Review at morozombie.blogspot.com

    I am afraid of the unfairness to the particular skater by the judges may continue in the next OP season? How long can we pretend not seeing the elephant in the living room? ISU should establish the rules and the regulations to the judges.

    ———————–
    Shoma Uno
    >>However, there is an elephant in the room that needs addressing here: Mr. Uno’s extremely flawed jump technique. I love Mr. Uno’s skating, but in the interests of fairness, it needs to be acknowledged that the amount of pre-rotation on some of his jumps is quite beyond the pale, as is the picking technique on his 4F. The tech panels and the judges have been merciful this season, but it’ll be interesting to see if they do anything about it in the future. That said, unlike others, I don’t think the failure to spot/penalize Mr. Uno’s pre-rotation on his jumps is prima facie evidence of willful blindness, corruption, and/or a shadowy conspiracy orchestrating Mr. Uno’s rise to the top. I just think that Mr. Uno’s technical issues can be difficult to spot in real time, which is what the tech panels are restricted to using when scrutinizing a jump’s takeoff (versus the slow-mo replay that is permissible on reviewing a jump’s landing).
    —————–

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Henni
    May 22, 2017

    Hi Sportymags! Thank you so much for this brilliant overview of Yuzuru’s achievements in the last seasons! It’s unbelievable how much he has improved since Sotchi and 2014 the standard was very high already: just with his SP “Parisienne Walkaways” he’s set four world records (maybe the most successful SP ever and still my favourite, although it’s not the top score anymore).

    For everyone who is in love with crazy calculations: I listed all elements with BV and GOE Yuzuru received last season. Further more I thought of different jumps and combinations he might add in the future and calculated the highest possible scores he could achieve (as well as the highest theoretical score in general).
    It’s scary how close he got with his 110,95 SP-record to the max. score (just 1,5 points away from the perfect score with that layout…)

    Note: I’ve crashed the Zayak-rule in some layouts, but corrected them in the second link.
    https://eiskunstlaufblog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3&start=80#p686
    Unzayaked layouts:
    https://eiskunstlaufblog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3&start=90#p692

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 13, 2017 by in Figure Skating and tagged .
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