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Thread: Is the standard of Judging deteriorating?

  1. #16
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    Wallylutz, I read your well-reasoned analysis of Suzuki's program on the NHK thread, and I appreciate the effort you went to by separating out each jump into its own link so we could see what led into it. I'm willing to agree that Suzuki's marks were correct. But that doesn't mean that Mao's marks were also correct.

    When I went back and read the entire thread, people watching the Free Skate as it happened, breaking down all the jumps and other moves, immediately felt (a) that Suzuki had given a great skate and (b) Mao's skate was substandard for her. When Mao's marks came out, putting her into the lead, the reaction was shock by GS posters. Many of these posters took pains to stress that they are Mao fans (as am I). These were not people who had a preconceived notion of who should win.

    Now, I'm no expert in skating technique despite my long, LONG years of following figure skating. (I must be a really slow learner.) But a lot of other GS folk are pretty savvy. If we can't understand why Mao's program was marked the way it was, how can anyone expect casual skating fans to understand? Or are we to expect that skating will not be open to casual fans in the future? Is skating so pure and difficult that it must be guarded against encroachments by strangers and upstarts? If that's so, I fear that it's going to be overtaken by sports such as tossing the caber in terms of popularity, and it will be only viewable by devotees able to travel to, say, Antarctica to see an exclusive showing of an event given every ten years, like the passion play at Oberammergau.

    If it's this hard to identify a winning program just by looking at it, and the winning program had mostly double jumps while the runner-up had a triple-triple and great musical interpretation, it is worrisome.

  2. #17
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    I think the problem is the system not the judges persay. Their were questionable decisions in every system. I personally feel PCS in relation to execution needs to be taken in hand... (And reputation PCS as well). Three falls in a program should significantly decrease your PCS IMO. I also think combinations need to be properly rewarded. There should be a great benefit for doing the harder combo IMO. And in the ladies I think jumps needed to rewarded. For example I truly think the point value for female jumps should be different for the men. I said this in another thread treat a triple lutz for a lady like you treat a triple axel for the men, and a triple axel like you treat a quad for a male (Point wise) The only issue here is flutzing...

    And can a well balanced jump layout be rewarded too...But I don't think technically difficulty in jumps is rewarded enough for the ladies.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    If it's this hard to identify a winning program just by looking at it, and the winning program had mostly double jumps while the runner-up had a triple-triple and great musical interpretation, it is worrisome.
    This exposes something I don't like about COP, which is that someone can build a nearly insurmountable lead in the SP. Yes Mao was overmarked on some elements like her double jumps, but she was really out of reach because she skated well in the short. Since casual fans usually only see the LP it doesn't make much sense when comparing the two programs because they might think Mao's LP scored higher, when actually she won because of a program they didn't see. With the old judging system, it was easier to understand that 3 people controlled their own destiny to win the gold.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bekalc View Post
    And can a well balanced jump layout be rewarded too...But I don't think technically difficulty in jumps is rewarded enough for the ladies.
    I would LOVE to see a variety bonus, like an extra point for each different triple you do that doesn't incur a deduction or edge call.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie View Post
    Get rid of Anonymous Judging. Now. We need transparency and accountability. We need to see who's giving out what marks. The current system allows judges to hide with pretty much impunity, outside of a narrow group of ISU officials and/or colleagues. No judge who is confident in their training and marking ability, should be afraid to judge in the light rather than the dark, and to be able to justify their scoring if necessary.

    This x a zillion trillion billion. If I remember correctly, Dick Button warned this would happen when COP was first instituted (that Dick--such a smart man about skating).

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Wallylutz, I read your well-reasoned analysis of Suzuki's program on the NHK thread, and I appreciate the effort you went to by separating out each jump into its own link so we could see what led into it. I'm willing to agree that Suzuki's marks were correct. But that doesn't mean that Mao's marks were also correct.
    I definitely agree. The real question is not Suzuki's score which was quite correct IMO, and while she does seem very popular on this forum some seem to go overtop on her abilities on the scores she deserves I believe, but Mao's highly inflated score which is what led to Mao's suspect victory over Suzuki. Even Mao's SP score was a bit too high IMO although she did obviously skate well there. In the LP phase she probably should have been behind Nagasu and that young Chinese girl too (still deserved 2nd overall probably only due to her short program).

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    "Miserable marking from the German judge. Pathetic attempt to give Woetzel/Steuer the gold."

    From the Nagano Olympics.
    speaking of Olympics and such... scoring has always been suspect. My eyes were closed to this and now I wish I didn't know as much so I could totally enjoy this sport like I use to.

  8. #23
    The Zamboni Rocks!!! sillylionlove's Avatar
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    While I wouldn't go as far as saying that the judging is biased I will say this....the new judging system stinks! All the programs are the same so the most point can be had. There is no artistry, no originality and none if the stuff that made programs in the 80's and 90's so memorable. It's probably why for the last few years I haven't been exciting for skating as I used to be.

  9. #24
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    This judging system is intended to take away (some? most? all?) the subjectivity by assigning points to everything and adding them all up to get a score. The problem is, fans have long loved FS because often for the best programs, the whole is >>> than the sum of parts (Kwan, Boitano, Hamil, Lynn...). In this judging system the sum of parts >>> the whole and this is where fans (casual, die hard, and actual skaters) sometimes scratch their heads because they can't believe the overall results. There needs to somehow be a mark that takes into consideration (and is spelled out clearly) the holistic value of the program in a relative scale to the other programs skated at that particular event and assigns a ranking and therefore some kind of points to be added to the program to take into account the impact of the whole. I am having a hard time explaining this, but this seems to be where the judging is turning the fans off.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    There needs to somehow be a mark that takes into consideration (and is spelled out clearly) the holistic value of the program in a relative scale to the other programs skated at that particular event and assigns a ranking and therefore some kind of points to be added to the program to take into account the impact of the whole.
    What would be a good way to define such a holistic mark?

    Should it be an expanded version of what's now the Performance/Execution component, with a higher factor than the other components (except maybe Skating Skills)?

    Or should P/E remain as is and the intangible holistic qualities get wrapped into some other new mark?

  11. #26
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    I would wrap it separately. It would need to be some kind of "impact" mark that gets weighted higher.

  12. #27
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    So what should be the criteria for that mark?

  13. #28
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    It's one of those nebulous things, but it's a "how did the program come together as a whole". Unfortunately it's not something you can just throw criteria at and say "that's the way it should be done" at least, not off the top of my head. It's why, for example, people go back and watch Kwan's old program - there's an impact of how it's all woven together and the overall impression it makes on the individual, and the judge would calculate that AND would calculate how a fall (or mutliple falls) factored into the overall impression of the program - did it take the skater 5-6 seconds to get back into the program? Did it break the spell the program was creating? This is the piece that IJS is missing and that cause fans to scratch their head.

  14. #29
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    OK.

    If there were such a mark, I think we would see a place for judges to officially reward cleaner programs. But it would also be a place to reward programs for "creating a spell" (whether broken or not), which can be very subjective.

    I suspect that fans or judges who just don't like a certain style of skating or the way a particular skater moves on the ice -- or who have personal beefs with a skater's behavior off ice -- would be more resistant to feeling that skater's spell than someone who has a warm feeling toward that skater to begin with. So it would amplify the effects of national bias and stylistic preference (neither of which can ever be completely eliminated as long as judges are human).

    I also suspect that judges tend to watch programs that they're judging with a more analytical mindset, so they're not as receptive to having spells cast over them as most fans, or off-duty judges. On the other hand, they're more likely to be seduced by qualities like beautiful stroking technique that may be invisible to newer or otherwise less technically-attuned fans. So if we just added one more global mark to the current judges' responsibilities, I suspect that there would still be many occasions where fans would end up scratching their heads. Although it would cut down on the number of such occasions.

    One way to guard against that, at least at big important events that can afford to bring in more officials, would be to have one set of technical judges score GOEs and Skating Skills and Transitions and another set of artistic impression judges score Performance/Execution, Choreography, Interpretation, and Overall Impression. That way the latter set could sit back and experience the program as a whole without having to focus on analyzing edges or counting steps or spin revolutions.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I also suspect that judges tend to watch programs that they're judging with a more analytical mindset, so they're not as receptive to having spells cast over them as most fans, or off-duty judges. On the other hand, they're more likely to be seduced by qualities like beautiful stroking technique that may be invisible to newer or otherwise less technically-attuned fans. So if we just added one more global mark to the current judges' responsibilities, I suspect that there would still be many occasions where fans would end up scratching their heads. Although it would cut down on the number of such occasions.
    I agree, but I think a big part of the problem is that these programs are far too "busy" to be inspiring. Skaters are trying to cram in too many elements in a program these days. COP has killed some of my favorite things about skating such as spiral sequences and footwork that flies across the ice. As a result, I rarely have a spell cast over me.

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