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Thread: CoP Olympic report card

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    CoP Olympic report card

    The current issue of Blades on Ice has a feature by George Rossano critiquing the performance of the New Judging System at the Olympics. Dr. Rossano is a mathematician and space physicist with a keen interest in figure skating. He has written a goodly number of articles, some with non-trivial statistical content, pointing out the weaknesses of the ISU judging system.

    Here are his main points, with regard to whether the ISU judging system "passed the test" at the 2006 Olympics.

    1. In ice dance, despite the claim of the CoP to inject some objectivity into the process, the judges' scores did not reflect any systematic agreement. "In the Compulsory Dance segment, five couples were scored best by at least one of the 12 judges. Moreover, for each of these five couples, another judge considered them dreadful. Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder, for example, were scored best by one judge and ninth by another."

    So much for objectivity.

    2. The random draw might have had an impact in the results -- and it's just a matter of time before it does -- but it did not play much of a role in the 2006 Olympics.

    3. The judges are using the program component scores pretty much the same way they used the second mark under the ordinal system. Under the ordinal system, the judges by and large gave a 5.9 to the skater they thought was best, a 5.8 to the second best, etc. Now they give 8.0 across the board to their first place choice, 7.5 for the person they think was second best, 7.0 for third, etc.

    In some cases this led to puzzling results, such as Plushenko getting 8's in choreography (what choreography?) and transitions (what transitions?)

    4. There was some concern that the NJS is leading to watered-down programs on the tech side (the ladies' medallists managed only 5, 4 and 4 clean triples compared to the 6 or 7 that we are used to seeing at championship events.) Time will tell whether this is a trend or an anomaly that is about to be set on its ear by a new wave of triple-Axels and quads.

    Rossano did not have much to say about the pairs, completely passing over the Zhang and Zhang restart question.

    At least there weren't any big scandals. But again, whether that has anything to do with the judging system cannot be determined from such a small sample.

    Comments?

    My overall feeling was that if this is the best that Rossano can do -- he is an inveterate CoP opponent and a perennial thorn in Speedy's side, LOL -- I guess the NJS did OK in its Olympic debut.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-16-2006 at 06:07 PM.

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    Custom User Title CDMM1991's Avatar
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    I don't think you can complete an effective CoP Olympic Report Card without mentioning the Zhang/Zhang restart controversy, because this was by far the most controversial use of CoP in the games, though Plushenko's 8s also caused a bit of a ruckus, but they didn't really impact the results in the end.

    I'm sure that what he wrote was accurate, but I think his work was severly unfinished by not tackling the pairs.

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    CoP had nothing to do with the Zhangs results, especially if you follow Rossano's logic, and while he might not have mentioned them by name, he did cover them in his analysis. The restart rules were initiated in 6.0. It was the referee's responsibility to start the two-minute count as soon as the Zhangs did not result the program after her fall, and it is a 6.0 carryover that the skater/team starts over from the beginning of the program, if a re-start is allowed.

    If the judges are using PCS like the old pre-ordinal, then the Zhang's results are same-old/same-old. It is an indictment of CoP that nothing has changed in this regard -- except for transparency of what the judges are doing, which gives Rossano so much data to work with -- but what's the argument that 6.0 would have treated this significantly differently?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    1. In ice dance, despite the claim of the CoP to inject some objectivity into the process, the judges' scores did not reflect any systematic agreement. "In the Compulsory Dance segment, five couples were scored best by at least one of the 12 judges. Moreover, for each of these five couples, another judge considered them dreadful. Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder, for example, were scored best by one judge and ninth by another."

    So much for objectivity.
    Why does agreement=objectivity? It seems to me that agreement=consensus, and the scores show that there wasn't consensus among the judges, which could be a legitimate spread of opinion, or a weakness in training, or unclear guidelines for scoring, or some judges judging under old criteria and others are judging under the written guidelines or at least to guidelines of their training.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    CoP and Ice Dance

    In general, I think CoP has been beneficial to all disciplines except for ice dancing. However, the above mentioned example does not convince me. Quite the opposite - the change under 6.0 has been that all dancers receive the same ordinals from all the judges; CoP was supposed to bring some variety in marks, and it did. Also, this Olympics so an unprecedented number of top notch ice dancing teams; though how in the world FP&M could have won the compulsories is still beyond me.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I think, save for the olympics, the CoP has done well more for ice dance than anything else... we're seeing movement, we're seeing how the skaters stack up... you're right FP&M getting the win during the CDs was odd... but I have hope in this system, no it's not perfect but nothing ever is.

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    ITA. The problem I have with CoP and Dance is the fact that they had to get a little more rigid with "required elements" in the free dance which can, and has, led to a lot of "same old stuff" (despite some terrific stuff in Torino). But as far as seeing MOVEMENT in standings and no more of that 1-1-1, 2-2-2,3-3-3, routine, HALLELUJAH!! For me, one of the big unanswered questions in Olympic figure skating history, will always be, how would this competition have turned out had the OD not been Festival di Splatto '06?

    In general in Torino regarding CoP, I found the scoring extremely uneven in some cases. So Plushy racks up those overinflated transitions scores; as far as I'm concerned, if Plushy was pulling 8s for transitions, then Shawn Sawyer and Matt Savoie should have been pulling 10s. That's just one example I can think of.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    CoP works as a sport, imo. However, judges are human and have the same prejudices other judges have. I'm not speaking of anything illegal. Just the things one sees and another doesn't. With 7 judges and with good nationalities difference, it's better than 6.0.

    However, 6.0 had skaters with much more polish to their routines. This I think has been lost somewhat in the CoP.

    Like the 6.0, the Cop judges will be influenced by the clean jump technique moreso than any other element and GoEs will make the difference.

    Joe

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    Plushenko's overinflated scores for transitions and choreography were a shame. But this would have happened also with the old system.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gio
    Plushenko's overinflated scores for transitions and choreography were a shame. But this would have happened also with the old system.
    gio - That is exactly what I was saying, his high jumps influenced the judges to avoid his weaknesses.

    Joe

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Like the 6.0, the CoP judges will be influenced by the clean jump technique moreso than any other element and GoEs will make the difference.
    One advantage to the New System, though, is that this is made perfectly clear in the allocation of points. A triple Axel is worth 7.5 points. If it is clean, high, specacular, with an interesting entrance and a smooth exit edge, it could get as much as +3 GOE on top of that, for a total of 10.5 for the element.

    In contrast, for a fancy level four combination spin, with excellent speed and centering and with several unique changes of edge and changes of position, the most you can get is 3.5 and the highest GOE you can get is +1.5.

    Conversely, if you miss your jumps, all the GOE in the world won't save you. A flubbed triple Axel, downgraded to a double with a fall, gives you a grand total of 0.2 points for the element. Even if you get the maximum possible GOE on all of your non-jump elements, you can't make up what you just lost for the flub on the Axel.

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    Mr. Michelle Kwan Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    though how in the world FP&M could have won the compulsories is still beyond me.
    Even before the world saw it, the judges knew all about her death stare ability and they did not want any of that coming their way.

    Or it was the fact that they are Italian, Cinquanta is Italian, they were in Italy, and so orders were handed down.

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit

    Or it was the fact that they are Italian, Cinquanta is Italian, they were in Italy, and so orders were handed down.
    Part of me will always wonder if one of the reasons why Barbara was so mad about the fall in the OD (aside from the fact that it gave her a reason to be Signora Ultradrama which she seems to thrive on), was because there WAS some sort of fix in and Maurizio ruined the whole thing with his error.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    One advantage to the New System, though, is that this is made perfectly clear in the allocation of points. A triple Axel is worth 7.5 points. If it is clean, high, specacular, with an interesting entrance and a smooth exit edge, it could get as much as +3 GOE on top of that, for a total of 10.5 for the element.
    Does that mean there really is no way for a skater to get 7.5 points for the axel"?
    If a skater does a 3A+3 with what appears to be one or two faults, his GoE is reduced to +1 or +2. If he completes the 3A but has a poor entrance, landing, all on an awkward edge, his score would be 7.5-Goe 3.

    What I'm getting at (and badly) is that there will never be a mark for the standard score. Is that correct?

    In contrast, for a fancy level four combination spin, with excellent speed and centering and with several unique changes of edge and changes of position, the most you can get is 3.5 and the highest GOE you can get is +1.5.
    I can see where Plushenko gets the highest scores for his uninteresting spins. since you left out 'no.of rotations' as being part of the combo.

    Conversely, if you miss your jumps, all the GOE in the world won't save you. A flubbed triple Axel, downgraded to a double with a fall, gives you a grand total of 0.2 points for the element. Even if you get the maximum possible GOE on all of your non-jump elements, you can't make up what you just lost for the flub on the Axel.
    Didn't Lambiel get high GOEs for his 3A in Calgary despite the ruling of the Caller which reduced it to a double A?

    One other thing, what about Attempts? Is that clear?

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-19-2006 at 09:45 AM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    Part of me will always wonder if one of the reasons why Barbara was so mad about the fall in the OD (aside from the fact that it gave her a reason to be Signora Ultradrama which she seems to thrive on), was because there WAS some sort of fix in and Maurizio ruined the whole thing with his error.
    But if so, the majority of the judging panel didn't get the memo. Only three of the twelve judges put F-P & M first in the CD.

    But with the other 9 all over the lot, that was enough for the Italians to end up on top.

    (There might have been a little home cooking to let Sylvia Fontana make the cut, however.)
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-19-2006 at 09:47 AM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    What I'm getting at (and badly) is that there will never be a mark for the standard score. Is that correct?
    No. Most triple Axels (or any other element) get a GOE of 0.

    So if you do a pretty good run-of-the-mill triple Axel, with no glaring errors but nothing out of the ordinary on the positive side either, you will get 7.5.

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