Here is a test for fans who think that the new judging system is harder to understand than the old one was. This information was taken from the following article by Sandra Loosemore.
Some background. The results of the 1997 men’s event at Europeans (among several other competitions that year) were so screwy that neither the average fan nor the television commentators (including Dick Button) were able to understand or explain why it came out the way it did.
In response, ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta decided that what the sport needed was a new judging system. With support from the German Federation, he came up with what became known as the OBO system, which supposedly corrected some of the counterintuitive anomalies of the then-current system, the “majority of ordinals” method.
Cinquanta did an end run around the ISU rules and member federations and rushed the new system into place for the 1998 Olympics.
Test: Here are the ordinals of the nine judges, taken from 1997 Europeans (omitting some of the skaters who’s scores are irrelevant to this discussion.)
Skater A 2 1 4 1 2 2 4 5 5
Skater B 4 4 3 3 1 3 1 1 2
Skater C 3 2 2 5 3 5 3 2 1
Skater D 1 3 1 2 5 4 2 3 4