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Thread: Most powerful federation?

  1. #106
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I never said that Eastern block judges are the only ones to manipulate results, but they been caught at it, and more than once. Block judging was only possible because the break-up of the Soviet Union allowed each of the former Soviet Republics to each have a judge at the table. No other federation had so many judges, and the Russian federation also loaned judges to small federations who had no one qualified. No other federation has had the opportunities for block judging that the breakup of the Soviet Union gave to the Russian Federation.
    You've certainly been implying it, though - and once the USSR broke up into separate countries that became separate ISU members, they too deserve representation.

    I think block voting absolutely exists. I also think that in some cases, what is perceived as biased judging has more to do with cultural differences in terms of what is valued when it comes to technique, program construction, style, etc. William Thompson of Skate Canada mentioned it in an Olympic season interview, I think, and I thought that was a very honest statement. In an international, subjectively judged sport, cultural differences are bound to exist and can affect how programs and skaters are perceived and judged.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    1. Yes, by every Chan uber (not Chan fan, mind you) on the forum, yourself included.
    So you just love to get into personal to me everytime I post, huh?!

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Shall we consult the United Nations charter?
    I don't get it.

  4. #109
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    So you just love to get into personal to me everytime I post, huh?!
    Actually, no, Bluebonnet; if you did read the rest of my post, you will notice that I was simply replying to your question, and to two other posters. You are welcome to address the substance of my comments, or anyone else's comments, for that matter. If I wished to have a personal discussion with anyone here, I would take it to PM.

    ETA: I have edited out the rest of my reply, as it's irrelevant to this thread.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    No wonder the rest of the sporting world doesn't take the sport seriously, when the fans of the sport freely admit it's all fixed.
    Still, I don't think it is necessary for skating fans to circle the wagons against all criticism whenever a controversy comes along.

    When judging peculiaraities occur and fans take note, is this disloyalty on the part of the fans or a lapse in conscientiousness by the skating establishment?

  6. #111
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    Any discussion of manipulations by the federations of results under CoP displays gross ignorance of how the results were manipulated under 6.0.
    Sorry to display my gross ignorance , but I think the difference in manipulability of the two systems is not actually so great. Yes, in 6.0 a bloc of five judges can get together and say, let's all place skater A higher than skater B. This will work as long as all the conspirators stick together, unless the skater that they want to win does so badly that they just can't go through with it.

    Under IJS scoring, those same five judges can get together and say, let's all give skater A 8.75s in program component scores and positvive GOEs whenever possible on elements, and withhold such high mark from the oter guy. Not 100% foolproof, but the plot will certainly be successful in any closely contested competition.

    Then there is the role of the technical specialist and his partners. Suppose two judges and the tech specialist decide to get together to influence the outcome. A couple of questionable UR calls and that's the ball game.

    I'm not saying that this happens. I'm just saying that the scoring system cannot make people honest. On the contrary, it takes honest people to make the scoring sytem work. Any scoring system.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    This is where there is disagreement, that Akiko was only 5 points better than Osmond, and just a hair better than her on PCS. If I try to be objective I cannot think of a single PCS criterium in which Osmand was equal to Akiko, particularly when you had a clean skate from an arguably superior skater. You may not be outraged, and I'm not particularly outraged, but if I was more of an Akiko fan I probably would be.
    ISU has corridor rules in place. It would review the judges' scores afterwards. Any scores that were out of ordinary would be closely studied. And that judge who gave extraordinary scores might be removed from judging next time. So the judges were actually very careful on giving out scores. But it has created another problem on the results. So, as IP said, they are now being encouraged to give wider range of PCS scores based on the individual judge's true feelings on the performances. That doesn't mean that the corridor rules were not there anymore. I assume that they are still reviewing the judges' performances afterwards.

    As a result, we may see a wide ranged PCS on the same skater's same performance. Just like we skating fans who might have totally different but honest views on a particular skating, the judges have their own views and reasons, I mean the professional reasons, not related to politics. But it is the judges' opinions that count, not ours. That's the nature of this judged sport like any other judged sports. I think we ought to give the judges the benefit of doubts and believe that the vast majority of them are professionals who are trying to do their best.
    Last edited by Bluebonnet; 11-02-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I'm not saying that this happens. I'm just saying that the scoring system cannot make people honest. On the contrary, it takes honest people to make the scoring sytem work. Any scoring system.
    On that we can agree, but this system has been set up to mask who the true judges are so you don't know who's scores count and whose don't. So you'd need a lot more people on your side than just 5. It has always been said that the callers have the power, but then there are three technical judges and a majority rules so you'd have to have more than one caller on your side too.

    I don't think that criticism of the judging is not warranted from time to time, but to suggest that the federations, any federation, politik their skaters to wins on a regular basis is ridiculous. And most importantly, I think most of the judges are honest.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    On that we can agree, but this system has been set up to mask who the true judges are so you don't know who's scores count and whose don't.
    This is an outdated statement that goes back to the first few years of IJS (and before that to the "interim system" of 2003 and 2004) when there were more judges on the panel and only a subset of them were randomly selected to count toward the final score.

    After a couple of years this practice was eliminated, probably because it wasn't worth the extra expense of bringing in more judges to provide that masking function. Now there is no longer any random selection, there are never as many as 12 or 14 judges on a panel, and all the judges' scores will count.

    The high and low scores for each element and each component will still be dropped. But even a judge who uses a higher or lower or wider numerical scale than the rest of the panel throughout the event will have some of their scores count toward the final result.

  10. #115
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    I think the Russian federation has a lot of expectations for its skaters that aren't necessarily predicated on what the skaters themselves actually accomplished. They wanted a gold in the ladies at SLC 2002, and they lodged an appeal although I don't think anyone who wasn't Russian thought the appeal would go anywhere. What I don't like is, how some in the Russian figure skating community look OUTRAGED when some god-awful performance is kept off the podium. I'm thinking of worlds 2011 when, after Leonova's LP marks, they cut to Irina Rodnina shaking her head in disgust that she would be kept behind Kostner and off the podium. I think if I was in that arena I would have given Rodnina a slap. Was she not paying attention??? I really don't like it when skating feds think they have a medal on reserve. I mean, that hair, that outfit, that music, I'm sorry but you don't get on the worlds podium with that crud, no matter how powerful your federation is!

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by berrycute View Post
    I really don't like it when skating feds think they have a medal on reserve. I mean, that hair, that outfit, that music, I'm sorry but you don't get on the worlds podium with that crud, no matter how powerful your federation is!
    I agree with the principle here. But hair, outfit, and music choice are not being judged. They can affect judges' and audiences perceptions of the program component criteria that are supposed to be judged -- especially, choice of music can affect the ability of the skater to demonstrate interpretation skills. And looking well put together will have a positive effect on judges' perceptions of the entire "package."

    But beyond that they're irrelevant to the judgment of the skating. And often a matter of taste. Judges are supposed to put their own personal preferences aside when evaluating the artistic intentions behind a program. They won't always succeed, but they certainly can't be expected to reflect every audience member's taste as well.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    but they certainly can't be expected to reflect every audience member's taste as well.
    So true. So as the result, some fans were satisfied while other fans were not, especially when their favorites were beaten.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    On that we can agree, but this system has been set up to mask who the true judges are so you don't know who's scores count and whose don't.
    The main effect of all these "masks," and I believe their main intention, was not to promote better judging but rather to prevent fans and others outside the ISU inner sanctum from investigating instances of fishy judging. Remember that the ISU was under pressure from the IOC after Salt Lake City to do something to make sure that in the future no judging biasses, plots, inconsistencies, etc., would ever again become known to the public. They did so.

    With anonymous judging it is not possible to prove or even seriously to investigate possibilities of collusion or national bias.[/quote]

    So you'd need a lot more people on your side than just 5.
    For an absolutely iron-clad railroading, yes. But even one judge giving a little boost here and a little demerit there can influence the outcome of close competition.

    As for the technical specialist, one determined person on a panel of three can push a little harder that the other two in the case of close calls.

    I don't think that criticism of the judging is not warranted from time to time, but to suggest that the federations, any federation, politik their skaters to wins on a regular basis is ridiculous.
    Actually, I tend to agree with this. As I mentioned above, I think most of the ISU politicking that goes on has little to do with skating and skaters, but is more about who gets appointed to important committee posts or who gets elected to the Council. In other words, people and federations are more interested in their own advancement and power than in the relatively unimportant question of who wins a figure skating contest. JMO.

  14. #119
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    What bothers me is that so much of the media coverage of skating judging has been focused on looking for wrongdoing rather than establishing the baseline of rightdoing. Because conflict and scandal makes a better narrative to keep casual viewers interested.

    Also, of course, media analysts, including expert former competitors, have their own biases.

    And I think that the historical practice of focusing on the nationality of each judge (often without even identifying them as human beings with names), especially during the Cold War, made it easy to parse the scores more in terms of political alliances rather than in terms of how the numbers relate to the actual skating.

    Personally, I'm much more interested in the subject of judging done right, or at least honestly, which I think is what happens most often.

    The judges at the top international levels should be and at least from large Western federations generally seem to be the most knowledgeable and experienced judges around. But championship-level judges also have greater pressures on them to achieve results for their federations. So sometimes they do intentionally act on their biases and outside loyalties. And sometimes they do so without being consciously aware of their opinions being influenced by forces and preferences beyond straightforward evaluation of the skating they see in front of them.

    If we have a lot of knowledge about what the process is supposed to be, then we're in a better position to question the exceptions. Unfortunately too little of the media coverage -- and of the ISU's public relations efforts -- is interested in developing that knowledge. The media constantly question results, both when there is evidence worthy of investigation and also when they simply don't agree with or like the results, and the ISU tries to protect its officials from that kind of scrutiny. So the poor public is left believing that the results are more about politics than technique.

    If only we could have detailed protocols made available in next-to-real time and could have more transparency about which judges gave which marks.

    Back in 6.0 days I wished that referees would give press conferences after the post-event debriefings to inform the public about overall issues involved in the judges' decisions without singling out individuals.

    Or let them single themselves out if they want to stand behind their decisions. I don't see any reason why the judges need to be protected from a well-meaning curious public, nor why the various media can't take a well-meaning curious rather than witch-hunting approach. Then if evidence of wrongdoing does arise, they will have a context in which to investigate it.

    But then there's also the issue of protecting judges from their own federations, which is the reason given for the anonymous judging of the past decade.

  15. #120
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    What bothers me is that so much of the media coverage of skating judging has been focused on looking for wrongdoing rather than establishing the baseline of rightdoing. Because conflict and scandal makes a better narrative to keep casual viewers interested.

    Also, of course, media analysts, including expert former competitors, have their own biases.

    And I think that the historical practice of focusing on the nationality of each judge (often without even identifying them as human beings with names), especially during the Cold War, made it easy to parse the scores more in terms of political alliances rather than in terms of how the numbers relate to the actual skating.

    Personally, I'm much more interested in the subject of judging done right, or at least honestly, which I think is what happens most often.

    The judges at the top international levels should be and at least from large Western federations generally seem to be the most knowledgeable and experienced judges around. But championship-level judges also have greater pressures on them to achieve results for their federations. So sometimes they do intentionally act on their biases and outside loyalties. And sometimes they do so without being consciously aware of their opinions being influenced by forces and preferences beyond straightforward evaluation of the skating they see in front of them.

    If we have a lot of knowledge about what the process is supposed to be, then we're in a better position to question the exceptions. Unfortunately too little of the media coverage -- and of the ISU's public relations efforts -- is interested in developing that knowledge. The media constantly question results, both when there is evidence worthy of investigation and also when they simply don't agree with or like the results, and the ISU tries to protect its officials from that kind of scrutiny. So the poor public is left believing that the results are more about politics than technique.

    If only we could have detailed protocols made available in next-to-real time and could have more transparency about which judges gave which marks.

    Back in 6.0 days I wished that referees would give press conferences after the post-event debriefings to inform the public about overall issues involved in the judges' decisions without singling out individuals.

    Or let them single themselves out if they want to stand behind their decisions. I don't see any reason why the judges need to be protected from a well-meaning curious public, nor why the various media can't take a well-meaning curious rather than witch-hunting approach. Then if evidence of wrongdoing does arise, they will have a context in which to investigate it.

    But then there's also the issue of protecting judges from their own federations, which is the reason given for the anonymous judging of the past decade.
    Great post gkelly! And ITA with much of what you say. The points I made about Osmond's scores in this thread, for one, isn't that I think that was driven by some sort of corrupt/manipulative on the part of the judges, but rather questioning, as you say the baseline of the judging itself. And instead of getting those questions answers, fans are often left in the lurch of "you just don't understand, move on now..."

    Someone -- I think Buttercup -- mentioned the NFL on this threads. My husband and I actually talked about how calls at an NFL game, are pretty reputable and when they're not, it's quite noticeable and highly talked about and questioned (Washingtonians STILL talk about the calls during the 2006 Superbowl game when the Seattle Seahawks, some say, lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on questionable ref calls; you can also reference the substitute ref calls earlier this season). In skating it seems a lot of questionable/confusing judging -- for the most part -- are just accepted for some status quo reason (Well, skaters always get these scores in XYZ situation!) or not explained at all.

    I agree it would be nice to get some explanation or understanding or analysis rather than be forced to accept things just because.

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