Keepin' it real
Globe and Mail: Figure skating judging system still has flaws
“The system is a lot of hot air,” Johnny Weir said, “They try to make it as complicated as possible so you can’t see what goes on behind closed doors. The system is just smoke and mirrors.”---Oh, no. There goes his chance of a comeback. I see from the mirror behind the closed door that a fiery smoke cloud is prowling toward him from every secret corner.
This is my take on the new system: Its true beauty is not so much in maintaining fairness of the game as in diluting responsibility--taking away individual and organizational accountability and thus nobody to be blamed, almost like the justice system. The infamous O. J. Simpson trail outraged a lot of people but the law stands as it was, the jury and attorneys still live happily forever, and no heads roll because of that. The complex system is to maintain stability, to prevent the possibility of a judging-related incident that could crumple the whole organization or society. All we can say now is something like "the Tech Panel sucks" or "the judges are giving away GOEs like candy" as if it is due to luck or as if it happens to be a raining day. One can hardly pinpoint if there is indeed corruption going on any more. That is good, I guess, in terms of restoring the lost credibility in Salt Lake City or protecting the ISU interest if said in plain language.
Last edited by skatinginbc; 02-12-2012 at 08:20 AM.
Last edited by brightphoton; 02-12-2012 at 12:04 PM.
I think it is the sheer volume of numbers that makes it seem complex. If a person wanted to become knowledgable in the scoring system, just memorizing the base values for all the elements, the bullets for positive and negative GOEs, and the specific guidelines for the program components, would be an off-putting task.
As Imaginary Pogue put it on another thread, 6.0 scoring is not easier to understand, but it is easier to enjoy in ignorance.
6.0 was a black box. In goes a skater, out comes ordinals and a number like 5.5 or whatever. It's only less complex in terms of obvious parameters as input. But if you really think, what is going inside that machine, you realize you don't know and there's no way to find out. People suspect there are a lot of parts but it's all hidden so no one really knows.
Code of Points is that black box's revealed inner parts, all its inner workings laid open for all to see. Lo and behold, there are a lot of parts! But they fit together logically, and if you took the time to examine each part, you'd realize there's no magic and no hidden processes.
But I just thought of an idea. You can treat CoP as the same black box as 6.0 was. Solely look at the results and never look at the protocols. And if you disagree with results, you can say, hey, why did Skater A score less than Skater B? uhhhh ... judges trading votes?
The above is not necessarily a bad thing. That's what I do with gymnastics CoP. For me, their new system is just like the 10.0 system. I have no idea what's going on with either one, only the scales are different.
Last edited by brightphoton; 02-12-2012 at 12:28 PM.
In order to have his words taken more seriously by the media, and in order to be in somewhat closer to the center of the figure skating stage, Johnny Weir announced his return.
COP system can be tweaked to "right" the course to address the major criticism. They can just as easily adjust the rewards for artistry as they did for quads. The resulting change would be just as quick and effective. However, the status of figure skating as a sport has to be considered and weighed carefully, especially as an Olympic sport, without which the general public would forget its existence.
In Asian countries at least, COP is natural to skating fans who are more knowledgeable about the technical aspects of figure skating than fans under 6.0. Protocols are anxiously waited for and analyzed. New fans are earnest to learn and catch on quickly with no complaints of its complexity.
Solutions come from improving the system, not from returning to the archaic 6.0. If there had never been a 6.0 system, would anybody today design a scoring system this way at all? Would it even occur to them? Why number 6? How could judges be expected to correctly remember and compare every skater? How could they leave slots appropriately? That would just be pre-judging.
Today's fans demand justification for every individual mark on every element and component, poring over and debating about parts and all of the protocols. They will never stand for judges' simple verdict on one skater's presentation over another's. That time has passed.
Feeling as he does about the judging system, one has to wonder why Weir wants to return to this business of "smoke and Mirrors."
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Multiply by 1.y....and thus we have algebra.
Originally Posted by brightphoton
Do you have any idea how difficult that is for some of us? It is downright unappealing to try to quantify all of that for ourselves.
I was never taught how to multiply in school. Literally never taught to multiply by a teacher. I was left sitting at a desk at age 8 trying to do division worksheets without understanding multiplication and told I was just being "stupid" when I said I didn't know how to do the problems. And then I was punished for not completing the work.
My story of bad teaching is not that unusual. Your language usage indicates that you like mathematics and understand complex higher math. Great for you. Some of us don't. Instead, we get nauseated by the prospect of deciphering long lists of numbers.
My point, by the way, is not to defend IJS or 6.0. My point is that your disdain for people who have problems with math and numbers is unfair and does not take into account what our experiences, or just our gifts and talents, may be.
I think this is exactly what the great majority of skating fans do. If we look at the posts of the competition threads in this forum , a good many of them go, "What?! They gave her 112.13 for that?! I thought she deserved only 105 at best!"
Originally Posted by brightphoton
I am good at multiplying (at least my calculator is ), but I agree 100%. Knowing when to apply all the multipliers is the biggest hindrance to figuring out the numbers on the protocols.
Originally Posted by louisa05
Along with the GOEs that are factored in different ways for each element.
^ this! Seriously, I don't understand the factors or mutlipliers and just stopped trying; I do look at the protocols, love to see the break down of elements, but can't really do the math and really don't try.
I think that 6.0 was good old-fashioned "pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain" smoke and mirrors.
Originally Posted by KKonas
The current system is new-fangled "click here to display a million numbers -- don't you see how that proves mathematically that I am right?" smoke and mirrors.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
It's like a pet dog who has lost two of its legs. No longer able to move with much joy and freedom but you still can't get rid of it.
Originally Posted by KKonas
Weir's comeback will be a disaester. If he has to qualify (I am not sure on the rules) I wouldnt be surprised to see him eliminated in Regionals or something. With all the brides he has burned he will get the Mira Leung treatment from anyone involved in the USFSA.
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
^ Oh, come on. Just because Johnny married a man doesn't mean he wants to burn all the brides.