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Thread: Most powerful federation?

  1. #121
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    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.
    I did, though it was in the context of whether it was possible for an entity comprised of people/organizations with both mutual and competing interests to work together for everyone's shared benefit.

    Regarding judging/officiating, what stands out to me is that skating judges are visible - after all, we see them sitting front row and watching, and they are introduced by name before the event. But unlike officials and many other sports, they are currently not tied to their specific actions in any visible way. Compare this to NFL refs with their flags and signals, or baseball umpires - can't get much more visible than calling balls and strikes behind home plate. And that sort of accountability (and transparency) is important; not having it creates a sense that there is something to hide and dodgy things might be going on.

    OTOH, these are not international sports in the way that skating is. But I would definitely be impressed if ever a skating judge or caller were to admit a mistake and apologize for it, like Jim Joyce did when he screwed up Armando Galaragga's perfect game. I have a lot more confidence when officials are able to admit that they make mistakes, and own up to them.

    I won't hold my breath, though. Maybe after Speedy retires? (in which case, I should definitely not hold my breath )

  2. #122
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I did, though it was in the context of whether it was possible for an entity comprised of people/organizations with both mutual and competing interests to work together for everyone's shared benefit.

    Regarding judging/officiating, what stands out to me is that skating judges are visible - after all, we see them sitting front row and watching, and they are introduced by name before the event. But unlike officials and many other sports, they are currently not tied to their specific actions in any visible way. Compare this to NFL refs with their flags and signals, or baseball umpires - can't get much more visible than calling balls and strikes behind home plate. And that sort of accountability (and transparency) is important; not having it creates a sense that there is something to hide and dodgy things might be going on.

    OTOH, these are not international sports in the way that skating is. But I would definitely be impressed if ever a skating judge or caller were to admit a mistake and apologize for it, like Jim Joyce did when he screwed up Armando Galaragga's perfect game. I have a lot more confidence when officials are able to admit that they make mistakes, and own up to them.

    I won't hold my breath, though. Maybe after Speedy retires? (in which case, I should definitely not hold my breath )
    I still think your point regarding mutual/competing interests does tie in well with judging/ref transparency. The substitute refs, after all, came because the refs union and the NFL bumped heads over the ref contract. The NFL did not have to put a lock down on the refs and put in the substitute refs. When it was obvious the substitutes were well below par, the NFL had to consider its mutual interest -- both refs and the NFL do not want to lose credibility among viewers over bad calls. So hence, the two sides worked it out.

    I think with figure skating it's a chicken and egg situation. Skating does not have the same public attention/interest it used to, so there isn't enough of a critical mass (like in football) for change after questionable judging or lack of transparency. In turn, the confusion/lack of transparency keeps figure skating from gaining more fans who can provide that critical mass to question the judging.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    Why do you think a US judge slammed Plushenko's skating before Turin? Do you think he would have slammed Evan if he skated like Evgeny?
    If you're referring to Joe Inman's comments about Plushenko's comments about his own transitions and transitions scores before Vancouver...

    By "slammed" do you mean with comments or with scores?

    I don't have an easy way to find occasions when Inman judged Lysacek at international events, and of course it's hard to find occasions where Lysacek skated "like Evgeny."

    But we do have scores from Inman judging Lysacek at 2010 Nationals right before Vancouver:
    http://www.usfigureskating.org/leade...0/results.html

    Inman was judge #8 -- USFS does not use anonymous judging in domestic events.

    Note also the score he gave to Johnny Weir for Transitions in that short program.

    The long program scores were higher: http://www.usfigureskating.org/leade...0/results.html

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    A judge should not send emails about judging skaters based on their comments and tell judges to ignore the skating. Which is what Inman did.

  5. #125
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    Huh? He didn't tell judges to ignore the skating. He used the occasion of Plushenko's comments to remind judges to pay attention to the skating, and in particular to the transitional skating between the elements when marking the Transitions component.

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    He said comments about skating should be paid attention to as much as skating and his statement seemed to indicate the judges could just go by what plushenko said after euros as the basis for what he did in Vancouver and what the judges should do. Plushenkos comments after euros about his skating and in vancouver both equally valid in judging him. And you also have to treat that translation as total truth and also fit in the whole thing To where transitions only take place before jumps.

  7. #127
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Oh yay, the Inman e-mail. We've already had SLC so I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    Without getting into the ethical questions surrounding Inman's actions, I would like to point out that to the best of my knowledge, the comments attributed to Plushenko came from a news conference held in Bratislava after 2010 Euros to promote a show. While this event was covered by several sources at the time, I have only ever seen the particular quote Inman used appear in one place, this Absolute Skating article written by Titanilla Bőd. Now, I don't know what exactly Plushenko said. I don't know what language(s) the press conference was in. I don't know who translated and what was lost in translation, if anything. I believe neither Bőd nor Plushenko are native English speakers. I don't know if anything was taken out of context, knowingly or not. But the point is, these rather inflammatory comments that Inman so willingly seized upon (w/o crediting a source, I might add) may not have actually been made.

    Personally, my favorite comment about the Inman e-mail came from former judge Patrick Ibens, in an interview with blogger Tony Wheeler:

    Yes, I did receive the e-mail, but everybody who knows me also knows that I won’t be influenced by such things. This Inman e-mail was the second of the kind sent. Like I said at the beginning, I’m a real judge and I don’t need anybody’s e-mails or comments to make up my mind! I’m perfectly capable of doing that for myself. I judge what I see no matter who it is!
    Emphasis mine. I'd love to know what was in the first e-mail and who sent it.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    He said comments about skating should be paid attention to as much as skating and his statement seemed to indicate the judges could just go by what plushenko said after euros as the basis for what he did in Vancouver and what the judges should do. Plushenkos comments after euros about his skating and in vancouver both equally valid in judging him.
    Where did he say that?

    I can only find a small excerpts from the e-mail (unless it was a very short one), and almost all in articles that are slanted to try to whip up controversy. At least the Wikipedia article is pretty balanced in tone.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/i...s-olympic.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadruple_jump_controversy

    Plushenko is quoted as saying (yes, likely in translation):
    "If the judges want someone to place high, they can arrange it. Like in Tallinn, Brian Joubert got more points for his transitions than me, although we did exactly the same transitions on the ice. In fact, we don't have any transitions because we focus on our jumps. So there are lobbies in the new scoring system as well, and the judges can influence the result."
    And the largest quote from Inman's e-mail I can find says:
    The email encouraged to mark presentation scores more accurately by stating: "It is telling that Mr. Plushenko acknowledges having no transitions in his routine. The judges seem to miss what he is saying. We as judges should think about what we saw before putting that mark down."
    I.e., as I understand that quote from Inman, what he means is: Plushenko says that he and Joubert have no transitions and that judges can give whatever marks they want to (try to) arrange the results they want. We (judges) should pay attention to this comment -- a skater perceives that we are not marking what we see, and he seems to be correct about that in terms of the Transitions scores given at Europeans, as well as elsewhere. We should think about what we see before we put down that mark.

    Unless you've seen some other quote from Inman, nowhere does he say that judges should mark skaters based on what they said rather than what the judges saw him do on the ice. They should think about the problem that the skater pointed out, and they should use this new awareness of the problem to solve it by paying more attention to what they see.

    I don't see how any other interpretation is anything more than an attempt to cause controversy.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I.e., as I understand that quote from Inman, what he means is: Plushenko says that he and Joubert have no transitions and that judges can give whatever marks they want to (try to) arrange the results they want. We (judges) should pay attention to this comment -- a skater perceives that we are not marking what we see, and he seems to be correct about that in terms of the Transitions scores given at Europeans, as well as elsewhere. We should think about what we see before we put down that mark.

    Unless you've seen some other quote from Inman, nowhere does he say that judges should mark skaters based on what they said rather than what the judges saw him do on the ice. They should think about the problem that the skater pointed out, and they should use this new awareness of the problem to solve it by paying more attention to what they see.

    I don't see how any other interpretation is anything more than an attempt to cause controversy.
    Both the tone of the quote ("it is telling..." suggests some revelation) and given that the e-mail comes from a representative of the reigning WC's country are troublesome to me. Are you saying Inman didn't intend to change other judges' view of Plushy? A lot of skaters are over marked, yet Inman points out this information only about the skater who most threatens Evan's chances. Obviously this is old news and you're not going to change your mind about it, but I think it is a valid interpretation and not just trying to stir up controversy.

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    My interpretation is that Inman wanted to change judges' minds about how much attention they paid to the criteria for each component separately instead of marking all in the same range based on the overall rankings they wanted/thought each skater deserved. And that this should apply to all skaters.

    If there was more to the e-mail that singled out Plushenko for not deserving high scores in general, that was never quoted. It just looks like using the occasion of a skater commenting on judges not distinguishing the PCS as a spur for reminding judges to distinguish the PCS.

    I have little doubt that if any other skater including Lysacek had made a similar comment before Plushenko did, that Inman would have used it to make the same point.

    If he had really been trying to boost the reigning world champion's Olympic chances, don't you think he'd have given him higher scores at Nationals?

  11. #131
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    As I remember the Inman thing, this came more at the end of the controversy that at the beginning.

    Many judges and other skating officials had raised the question of what exactly skaters are being marked for under "transitions." Then Plushenko came out with his famous quote saying (probably humorously), Why did Joubert get higher transition marks than I did? We both had the same transitions -- none.

    Inman seized on this to shoot off the email saying, basically, See? even the skaters agree that the way we are marking of transitions is bogus.

  12. #132
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    Yes, that's my understanding.

    And then Didier Gailhauguet seized on the e-mail to suggest that Inman was playing politics in order to deflect attention from Joubert's lack of transitions, and the media even in the US followed that slant because, as I said earlier before this example was raised, the media love controversy. And so, I think, does Gailhauguet, who seems to be the one who was playing politics.

  13. #133
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Oh yay, the Inman e-mail. We've already had SLC so I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    Without getting into the ethical questions surrounding Inman's actions, I would like to point out that to the best of my knowledge, the comments attributed to Plushenko came from a news conference held in Bratislava after 2010 Euros to promote a show. While this event was covered by several sources at the time, I have only ever seen the particular quote Inman used appear in one place, this Absolute Skating article written by Titanilla Bőd. Now, I don't know what exactly Plushenko said. I don't know what language(s) the press conference was in. I don't know who translated and what was lost in translation, if anything. I believe neither Bőd nor Plushenko are native English speakers. I don't know if anything was taken out of context, knowingly or not. But the point is, these rather inflammatory comments that Inman so willingly seized upon (w/o crediting a source, I might add) may not have actually been made.

    Personally, my favorite comment about the Inman e-mail came from former judge Patrick Ibens, in an interview with blogger Tony Wheeler:

    Emphasis mine. I'd love to know what was in the first e-mail and who sent it.
    Thanks for the two links. As for the first, what is most interesting to me is not the throw-away line about transitiins, but the fact that he was responding to this question:

    Could you compare the new generation with the old one?

    Plushenko: It’s hard because the scoring system has changed since then and the Code of Points still has its flaws. If the judges want someone to place high, they can arrange it. Like in Tallinn, Brian Joubert got more points for his transitions than me, although we did exactly the same transitions on the ice. In fact, we don’t have any transitions because we focus on our jumps. So there are lobbies in the new scoring system as well, and the judges can influence the result. But I think the old generation had more charismatic skaters. Urmanov, Stojko, Browning, Boitano, Kulik and Yagudin had their own style, charisma, artistry.
    I also like the title of the interview with ISU judge Patrick Ibens: “I Would Say 10% of Judges Are Completely Honest”

    he goes on to emphasize that he of course would never be influenced by an email from another judge, nor would he ever need a reminder to 'judge what he saw.' But he can't vouch for those scoundrels who make up the other ninety per cent.

    As for ice dance Mr. Ibens says:

    TW: Do you judge all four disciplines?

    PI: I only judge singles and pairs. No ice dance for me. I’m a REAL judge!

    TW: Which means?

    PI: That’s an inside joke in figure skating. In ice dance, everyone knows all the results before they even judge, yet they still sit through every practice session from five in the morning until late at night.
    Also:

    TW: Do you think that judging has become more or less honest since the 2002 Salt Lake City scandal in the pairs competition, when the French judge admitted she voted a certain way after pressure from her federation?

    PI: I think it’s exactly the same as before! No matter what system you use, people will always find a way to cheat.

    That is why I was glad to have such a great panel for the mens short program in Vancouver. No controversy there!
    I guess for the long program some of those 90%ers snuck in.

    Just one person's opinion. Still, it is always interesting to learn what the ISU judges themselves think pf their colleaugues and of the present judging system.

  14. #134
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    "The judges seem to miss what he is saying" - their job is to mark what they see! Not go by what he says. Plushenko made his transitions remark connected to jumps but of course judges should know transitions are between all technical elements!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    "The judges seem to miss what he is saying" - their job is to mark what they see! Not go by what he says.
    "What he is saying" in this context is that the judges weren't marking what they saw on the ice, as they ought to. So the judges should take those words to heart and do a better job of marking what they see on the ice.

    How can you read that to mean "the judges should mark this skater as if he has no transitions because he said he has no transitions so we should take him at his word on that point rather than marking what we see"? Especially when the very next sentence says "We should think about what we see"?

    Plushenko made his transitions remark connected to jumps but of course judges should know transitions are between all technical elements!
    And so does Plushenko. He said that he and Joubert chose to focus on jumps rather than on transitions in general.

    It's a choice in strategy. As I understand Plushenko comments, he wouldn't mind being marked lower on transitions as long as his competitors who made the same choice received the same scores. What he's objecting to is judges using the Transitions score to rank skaters according to their preference (as he perceives it) rather than actually evaluating the transitions.

    And of course, not part of this particular quote, he also thought that quads should be rewarded more so that his strategy would be more rewarding, and indeed the rules have changed since then to make that so.

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