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Thread: Olympic judging changes ( 5 judge results)

  1. #1
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Olympic judging changes ( 5 judge results)

    apologies if this has been posted here before (or shouldn't) but ....

    http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/se...ortsOther/home

    money quotes:

    "just five judges will actually determine Olympic results"

    "The ISU made the changes without much input from member federations"

    "Cinquanta has said he was concerned about how judging integrity could be affected by reducing the number of judges on the panel, but he consulted with experts who made it clear that the change will not affect the judging system"

    ""A smaller panel is more susceptible to incompetence," said Thompson, a former high-level judge. "If someone doesn't do a good job, you have a larger impact.""

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    What is the judging system?

    If you drop the high and low, we now have 3 judges

    If we have the appointed 5, and the names are given in the intro to the event, we will know, at least, the names and nationalities of the 5. Does this mean that there will be no Secret Judging at the Olympics (of all places)?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ This "change" just means that they will use the same system for the Olympics that they use for Worlds and other major events.

    There will still be anonymous judging, a random draw, and a trimmed mean. Nine judges sit at rinkside. Two judges' scores will be eliminated at random by the computer. Of the remaining seven, the highest and lowest scores are eliminated for each line of the protocols. The remaining five scores are then averaged.

    (I think the author of this article is mistaken in writing, "In the new judging system, officials drop the highest and the lowest marks and then do a random selection that drops two others." I think it is the other way around -- first the random draw, then dropping the highest and lowest.)

    The reason given by the ISU for this change -- which went into effect last year and was used through the 2008-2009 season -- is money. The ISU saves money by sending fewer judges to the competition.

    Statistically, there is no reason why a judging panel should have any particular number of members rather than another. The more the merrier. Dr. Rossano's point is that the smaller the judges' panel, the greater the weight carried by each judge's vote. Therefore mistakes and skulduggery on the part of one or a few judges could have a greater impact with a smaller panel.

    As Rossano mentions, if you are one judge among seven, your vote counts for 1/7 or about 14.3% of the total. If you are one in five in 7 then your weight on the panel is 20%. This is a ratio of .20/.143 = 1.40 -- an increase of 40% in the power of each judge.

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    So why not have 9 judges at rinkside and not randomly select any to be eliminated, thereby keeping 7 scores to count after dropping high and low?

    Does the random selection really protect the judges from outside influence, which was the justification for doing so?

    Can any international judges confirm whether that works as advertised?

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    Tell me how this saves money if they still will have 9 judges sitting rinkside, but only 5 of those will actually count. They still have expenses for those whose scores don't count. This makes no sense.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    intertesting. Are they doing this for monetary reasons??
    I am not sure I like the sound of this.

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    So does ISU pay the judges at the Olympic games?

    If so, how much can they save for those three (=12-9) judges?
    What is the total budget of ISU in four years?
    In percentage how much can they save?
    I am sure it would be ridiculously small.

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    Looking at it from an employment perspective (I'm an HR professional), the cost may also include travel, lodging, and meals. Since I believe the judges now represent the ISU (therefore making them some form of employee) and not their respective countries as a further attempt to insulate them from influence, it would make sense for the ISU to pick up the tab.

    If they are paying for travel, there may also be some level of travel insurance involved as well to indemnify them against any losses. I know the cost of me traveling from DC to say Indianapolis for a three day meeting can add up to over a thousand dollars for a three day business trip. I can only imagine how much it would cost to send a judge from Sweden to Tokyo or Vancouver to judge an event when they are expected to be there for up to a week. Multiply that times nine judges, add a technical specialist, a technical controller, assistants, video crew, and referees all likely coming from far flung places to the senior and junior GP's, GPF, minor events (e.g. Nebelhorn), Euros, 4CC, Worlds and now WTT and you get a pretty hefty travel budget. Cutting out three judges per event would likely add up to pretty substantial savings of possible 10%. That's nothing to sneeze at when your revenues are shrinking in these tough times.

    Not sure if this is what's actually happening, but it is certainly possible.
    Last edited by jcoates; 04-22-2009 at 12:22 PM.

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    I think the article referenced in the first post is a bit confusing, as it starts off by saying five judges will determine the results. As mentioned earlier, there will be 9 judges at rinkside, two results will be thrown out randomly, and then a trimmed mean will be established by tossing out the high and low marks. That leaves 5 judges to determine the outcome. George Rossano explains it fully in an article on his site, www.iceskatingintnl.com, entitled "Let the Deal Making Begin." He wrote it a while ago -- this isn't a new issue -- so you have to scroll down to get to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcoates View Post
    Looking at it from an employment perspective (I'm an HR professional), the cost may also include travel, lodging, and meals. Since I believe the judges now represent the ISU (therefore making them some form of employee) and not their respective countries as a further attempt to insulate them from influence, it would make sense for the ISU to pick up the tab.

    If they are paying for travel, there may also be some level of travel insurance involved as well to indemnify them against any losses. I know the cost of me traveling from DC to say Indianapolis for a three day meeting can add up to over a thousand dollars for a three day business trip. I can only imagine how much it would cost to send a judge from Sweden to Tokyo or Vancouver to judge an event when they are expected to be there for up to a week. Multiply that times nine judges, add a technical specialist, a technical controller, assistants, video crew, and referees all likely coming from far flung places to the senior and junior GP's, GPF, minor events (e.g. Nebelhorn), Euros, 4CC, Worlds and now WTT and you get a pretty hefty travel budget. Cutting out three judges per event would likely add up to pretty substantial savings of possible 10%. That's nothing to sneeze at when your revenues are shrinking in these tough times.

    Not sure if this is what's actually happening, but it is certainly possible.
    ISU already cut out three judges except the Olympic games. This is an old story and has already been effective. What's new is that ISU will reduce the number of judges to nine even at the Olymipcs. So with this new decision they save the cost for only three judges in the whole four years. That's why I ask how much they can save with this new decision.

    There are at least ten major senior competitions each year which means more than 40 competitions in four years. (Let's forget about junior events; this is already enough.) Then you need (9 judges + 3 technical panels) x 40 = roughly 500 personnel. With this decision, you cut out three judges which means 3/500 = 0.6%. Now how much portion does this personnel expenses take in the whole budget of a competition?

    Considering this way, I can easily guess the money they can save by reducing three judges at the Olympics converges to zero percent. So reducing the cost cannot be a good reason. It may be just me but it tastes a bit salty.

  11. #11
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think the real reason is just to bring the procedure for the Olympics into line with all other competitions. The ISU likes handling its affairs this way -- all tied up neatly with a little bow.

    In that respect, I agree with the decision. If the "right" number of judges for the World Champoionships, etc., is nine, why suddenly increase the judging panel to twelve just for the Olympics?

    By the way, according to the report from the USFSA president linked in the Skate America thread, the United States and Canada are supposedly issuing a formal compliant to the ISU. The issues are two. First the procedural issue, that the decision about Olympic judging was made unilaterally by the ISU without consultation with the member federations, citing some obscure paragraph in the by-laws that let them do it. Second, the substantive issue that a smaller judging panel means worse judging.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-22-2009 at 01:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steyn View Post
    So does ISU pay the judges at the Olympic games?
    I also wonder the same thing. Isn't it IOC rather than ISU who pay the judges at the Olympic games??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the real reason is just to bring the procedure for the Olympics into line with all other competitions. The ISU likes handling its affairs this way -- all tied up neatly with a little bow.

    In that respect, I agree with the decision. If the "right" number of judges for the World Champoionships, etc., is nine, why suddenly increase the judging panel to twelve just for the Olympics?
    That can be a better reason. But then a natural question arises. When they decided to reduce 12 to 9 before, why did they specifically exclude the Olympics? What was the reason then? What's their worry? Is it resolved now?

    By the way, accoring to the report from the USFSA president linked in the Skate America thread, the United States and Canada are supposedly issuing a formal compliant to the ISU. The issues are two. First the procedural issue, that the decision about Olympic judging was made unilaterally by the ISU without consultation with the member federations, citing some obscure paragraph in thee by-laws that let them do it. Second, the substantive issue that a smaller judging panel mean worse judging.
    Procedural issue...interesting.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gourry View Post
    I also wonder the same thing. Isn't it IOC rather than ISU who pay the judges at the Olympic games??
    The expenses of the judges are paid for by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games -- in other words, by the people who are putting on the show, not by the ISU.

    Here is the wording, from the IOC charter. Scroll down to page 91, past the preamble about the "Fundamental Principles of Olympism -- Olympism? -- to the part about "duties of the International Federations."

    1.4 To select judges, referees and other technical officials from the host country and from abroad within the total number adopted by the IOC Executive Board upon proposal of the IF concerned. The expenses for accommodation, transport and uniforms of such judges, referees and other technical officials coming from countries other than the host country shall be paid by the OCOG. The technical officials must be present at the site at least three days prior to the first event in their sport and at least one day after the last event.
    http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_122.pdf

    In actual fact, I have no doubt that all kinds of money flows back and forth between various parties connected with the games. Starting with the approximately $180,000,000 that the host city is expected to bribe the Olympic Selection Committee members with to bring the Olympics to your town.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-22-2009 at 01:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    The expenses of the judges are paid for by the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games -- in other words, by the people who are putting on the show, not by the ISU.
    Interesting. So it doesn't help ISU financially. Then what could be the reason?
    They found it is a lot easier to affect 9 judges instead of 12, of course?

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