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Thread: What are the most glaring examples of cheating using the CoP within the last 5 years?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    All the examples given are "Decisions I disagree with" -- in most examples, because the poster disagrees with the rules, not that the judges weren't following the rules.

    That's not cheating.
    THIS. I really dislike the current judging system sometimes because the winners sometimes are not the ones who I believe have skated the best programs. However, I generally feel the judges are scoring the programs based on the requirements of the scoring system. When Chan wins, there is at most one Canadian on the judging panel so it's really hard for him to "cheat".

    At the National level, I do think favorites are held up a bit and the politiking that the coaches do is perhaps more effective. For me, the result of the season that bothered me the most was Agnes almost winning the SP at Nationals. She fell and she isn't very artistic, yet somehow she gets marked above several decent programs.

  2. #17
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    Long time lurker (though I only recently made an account) here. I'm not a huge fan of the CoP, but I was at the Nationals, and I'm ok with Ashley's win. Gracie's SP was a mess, and while her LP was technically good, Ashley beat her by a mile in performance and SS. The choreography of Ashley's programs is also superior to Gracie's. Mirai's underrotations were obvious from where I was sitting, and her LP was generally flat and lifeless (she had a cold, so no surprise really).

    I do agree, however, that falls should generally be punished more--they are definitely way more distracting than a mild underrotation (<< is another story). Moreover, I find that if a difficult transition is followed by a flawed jump--a fall, a pop, hand down, etc.--that should affect not just the jump score, but the transition score as well. After all, the transition was in such case clearly not successful.

    As far as the popularity of skating is concerned, it was clear to me that the average audience was very confused about the scoring. For example, the people behind me had not seen the SP, and were upset about Gracie not winning. After I explained to them that Gracie had had a fall and a popped jump in the SP, they were ok with the result. Same with Mirai's underrotations. I'm not sure how this kind of problem could be fixed though. Maybe a brief analysis of the skater's SP just before their LP? (This would work for the TV, I think, but I doubt the skater would want to hear that while preparing to take the ice...) Something definitely needs to be done, because if the audience doesn't understand why skater A beats skater B, they are not likely to be drawn to the sport.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    THIS. I really dislike the current judging system sometimes because the winners sometimes are not the ones who I believe have skated the best programs. However, I generally feel the judges are scoring the programs based on the requirements of the scoring system. When Chan wins, there is at most one Canadian on the judging panel so it's really hard for him to "cheat".
    At the National level, I do think favorites are held up a bit and the politiking that the coaches do is perhaps more effective. For me, the result of the season that bothered me the most was Agnes almost winning the SP at Nationals. She fell and she isn't very artistic, yet somehow she gets marked above several decent programs.
    Mathman said:

    I am pretty sure Canada did not have a judge on the men's panel. USA either.

    The full judges pool (SP and LP) for the event was Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Taipei, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Turkey.
    Some people (not you, missdaisy) just ignore the facts each and everytime when the facts have been laid before them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    It's like they made this tremendously detailed grading system to determine which person who messed up in the long program should be put ahead of who messed up in the short program, or will they both be behind the person who skated clean but too slow?
    For better or for worse, I don't think there's any single individual in a position anywhere in the system to make those kinds of global decisions. Everyone is only contributing pieces to the puzzle, and then the computer, programmed with the rules and the scale of values, spits out the results.

    The computer doesn't care where the points came from or how one skater compares with another or who messed up in which program -- only what the technical panel calls were and what those elements were worth (including second-half bonuses) and what GOEs and PCSs the judges awarded and whether there were any deductions.

    So it's better in that everyone can see exactly where each skater earned and lost points, and in that even if an individual official did want to cheat they can't force a specific result without an active conspiracy.

    It's worse in that no one is looking at the big picture in the process of determining results. Often the results are not what anyone -- fans, skaters, judges themselves -- would expect if simply asked "Who skated best overall?"

    Would there be any way to build in more global assessments while still retaining the advantages?


    And do we want the judges under either system to be thinking during the long program "If I mark this performance exactly as this performance itself deserves, because of the short program standings and the way everyone else has skated tonight, this skater will end up placing higher/lower than I think s/he really deserves for the competition as a whole. So I'll adjust my scores for the long program to try to make the final results come out the way I think they should."?

    Wouldn't that kind of manipulation be . . . cheating?

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    Welcome, Matilda. Thanks for posting. Post often, post long!

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    Cheating is such a loaded word. (One poster here used it to mean cheating on the jumps, which is an entirely different meaning: it just means under rotation. That's not cheating in the large sense of the word, doing something underhanded.) In most sports, scandalous cheating involves the athletes: did they fix the game, or take banned substances that give them an advantage in strength? This is not what happens in skating. The judging is out of the athletes' hands. If there is any chicanery, such as planning before a competition to favor one skater over another, it is on the part of judges (which is a very serious charge and not one any of us have proof of), or of federations. If that is going on in any unethical way, of course it must be found out and stopped.

    But what we are talking about is a seemingly incomprehensible weighting of marks so that a u/r costs a skater more than an outright fall. This isn't cheating but a misapplication of scoring criteria (in my mind at least). Of course this should be rectified, but I can't see using the word cheating in the way it was used in baseball, for example, when several of the best home run hitters turned out to have built themselves up with steroids, or in cycling, when almost none of the major winners were riding clean. That's cheating. Dennis Ten getting a silver medal is not.

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    I agree that cheating is the wrong word. However, I think it is still possible to cheat as well as it was before. You could still get a group of judges together to "prop up" a skater with + GOE's or with PCS marks. They could not check certain skaters on the replay to see if they rotate properly while nitpicking other skaters. Since the penalties for actually falling are rather slim, you could easily make up one or two points in fall deductions that way.

    In other words, it's still subjective and political, but now there is all sorts of "hard data" to suggest that it isn't.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    I agree that cheating is the wrong word. However, I think it is still possible to cheat as well as it was before. You could still get a group of judges together to "prop up" a skater with + GOE's or with PCS marks.
    Yes, any judge or group of judges could intentionally inflate the scores of some skaters beyond what they honestly thought the skaters deserved, and intentionally lowball other skaters beyond what they thought they deserved.

    Or any member or more effectively two or all three members of a technical panel could systematically always give benefit of the doubt to some skaters and never to other skaters. Or even, if at least two are colluding, decide to call incorrect levels and jump rotations on purpose, contradicting what they actually see and know to be true.

    However, since we have no more way of knowing the officials' intentions in IJS than we did under 6.0, we have no way of knowing which decisions we disagree with were honest, considered decisions that just happened to value various aspects of the skating differently than we do, which were honest mistakes, and which were intentional attempts to manipulate the results.

    "Glaring" examples of outright cheating would require evidence of intention, such as communication to that effect between judges (or tech panel members) before or during the event.

    Without such evidence, all you have is "I don't agree with this result. I've heard judges sometimes cheat. Therefore they must have cheated this time." Really faulty logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glam View Post
    I agree. Those "invisible" errors shouldn't that harshly penalized. They don't ruin the program nearly as much as the falls. I personally don't even care if somebody flutzes of lips, as long as the jump is landed.

    I think we have to look at edges otherwie someone can say hey I will just do a flutz because it is worth more than a toe loop or whatever.

  10. #25
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    No one conciously decides to do a flutz (lip). Sometimes skaters learn borderline technique or are pushed through the ranks a little quickly by coaches without as strong a foundation as they need to have. Once the team (coach/choreo/skater) realize there is a problem (and sometimes they do before they get to that international level) they work on correcting it. Sometimes it becomes an issue after a growth spurt or injury where to hurry the jump back into the arsenal, the skater doesn't take the time to re-learn. Or sometimes (as is the case with Gold's 3F) it develops as an issue over time (she had no problems with the flip last season, but now it's gone from flat to outside edge)

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    While I agree that nobody should get full credit for a jump that is not done the way it should, this type of error does not affect the overall performance. If two people skate clean, and their programs are well-interpreted and enjoyable, but one ur's or flutzes and the other doesn't, I have no problem with the proper jumper winning. He or she should, definitely.

    People get mad when someone like Mirai does a really exciting program, then gets dinged on ur's (2010) or when someone likePatrick falls and still wins (several competitions), with the reasoning being that, well, at least he rotated his jumps completely before falling on his butt. Again, though, this is not cheating, just something about the code of points that is bewildering to non-skaters.

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    I think there needs to be some balance in the system that seems to be missing. Suddenly (at least in the case of Chan) nothing matters but skating skills--edges, knee bend, etc... If that is what the ISU and the judging panels think should determine champions, why are the skaters even performing technical skills such as jumps and spins? Why beat up their bodies doing it when judges are just looking for something else? Why can't the system have a proper balance between rewarding basic skating skills and rewarding properly performed technical elements?

    Mathman, per his screen name alone, is probably better qualified than me to evaluate this and has offered suggestions. Bottom line is that the scoring system is out of balance to the side of rewarding edges and knee bends and ignoring blatant technical errors. And I am sick of the defenders all over the web saying that a fall doesn't disrupt a program. Because it does. Whether it is one second or five, a skater on his or her butt is not pleasing choreography and does not reflect a successful element.

    Random thoughts related to other discussions of the matter--

    --I've often seen defenders say that falls cannot be penalized more because it would negatively impact scoring on the lower levels. Why does scoring have to be exactly the same on every level? Rules differ for younger athletes in most sports. Lower baskets for kids in basketball; two serves for volleyball in most leagues for kids under 12 or so; Little League doesn't play nine innings; and the list goes on and on. Why not have harsher penalties for falls on the senior level and leave the current deductions in place for lower levels?
    --Can't the ISU take a look at gymnastics scoring? I know their system is far from perfect. But one positive is that while it rewards difficulty it also seems to have enough penalty for blatant errors that falling off the beam will not result in a medal regardless of difficulty.
    --If a skater lands on his or her butt at the end of an element, how is that demonstrating brilliant edge work? Isn't part of basic skating skills being able to land on your blade from a jump and control it during footwork/spins (thus remaining vertical)? Sorry, but any time skaters are on the ice on their butts or hitting the ice with their hands, they aren't demonstrating perfect blade work. There is no logical reason that should not be reflected in the PCS scores.
    --As to the original question: if judges are really cheating, we will never know. That was Cinquanta's big fix--don't eliminate cheating, create a complex and anonymous system to ensure that it cannot be publicly discovered.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    I think there needs to be some balance in the system that seems to be missing. Suddenly (at least in the case of Chan) nothing matters but skating skills--edges, knee bend, etc... If that is what the ISU and the judging panels think should determine champions, why are the skaters even performing technical skills such as jumps and spins? Why beat up their bodies doing it when judges are just looking for something else? Why can't the system have a proper balance between rewarding basic skating skills and rewarding properly performed technical elements?
    Non-sense! What makes you say that the judges care nothing but skating skills?! Have you actually looked?!

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    --I've often seen defenders say that falls cannot be penalized more because it would negatively impact scoring on the lower levels. Why does scoring have to be exactly the same on every level? Rules differ for younger athletes in most sports. Lower baskets for kids in basketball; two serves for volleyball in most leagues for kids under 12 or so; Little League doesn't play nine innings; and the list goes on and on. Why not have harsher penalties for falls on the senior level and leave the current deductions in place for lower levels?
    My solution to this would be to make the fall deduction subtract a percentage of the total segment score rather than a flat 1.0.
    This would be easier than having different flat amounts for each level and each discipline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    My solution to this would be to make the fall deduction subtract a percentage of the total segment score rather than a flat 1.0.
    This would be easier than having different flat amounts for each level and each discipline.
    Very workable. I saw your idea in another thread after I posted. And that would help create more balance in scoring. If it were the total segment score. If it were only applied to the TES and not PCS, we might see more PCS inflation to cover.

    As to bluebonnet's comment, perhaps familiarize yourself with a literary term: hyperbole. I used a bit. Unfortunately, I think only a bit as every time Chan has a technical meltdown and wins anyway, we are told "SKATING SKILLS!!!!" as if it is indeed all that matters.

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