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Thread: Selection procedures for ISU judging panels

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    Selection procedures for ISU judging panels

    How are judges chosen for competitions?

    How might it be possible to structure the staffing of panels differently to reduce judges' allegiance to national federations?

    Let this thread be a place for questions, answers, and suggestions.

    Here's the list of all qualified international officials for 2013-14:

    http://static.isu.org/media/107397/1...ated-oct-8.pdf



    Here, for example, are the results of the draw for the number of judges from each federation for each ISU championship, determined in Oct. 2013 for Jan-March 2014:
    http://static.isu.org/media/90887/18...ships-2014.pdf

    See the Special Regulations and Technical Rules here for the specific rules that are referenced in that document:
    http://www.isu.org/en/about-isu/isu-...nd-regulations

    Olympics have a separate draw. See here:
    http://static.isu.org/media/107588/1...-qual-comp.pdf

    For federations that have more than one qualified judge, the federation gets to choose which individual to send. That's why judges are afraid of pressure from their federations and may be willing to compromise their judging standards in response to such pressure -- if they don't judge the way the federation wants, they won't get chosen again in the future.

    It was the judges who wanted to be able to call it as they see it without that kind of punishment who wanted the anonymous judging. Whether anonymity actually helps much in that regard, I don't know.

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    Looks like an awful lot of qualified judges and tech folks whose countries don't have anybody near the podium and who aren't directly affiliated to (Laeternik) or the the spouses of director (Alla) of the local ice federation or who is a convicted cheat (Yuri).

    Just sayin'.

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    Lots of reading to do. Thanks gkelly. If ISU severe ties of federation with its own judges (ie/ Judge are independent professional with fully paid salary and full autonomy and full disclosure), maybe it can solve the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by capcomeback View Post
    Looks like an awful lot of qualified judges and tech folks whose countries don't have anybody near the podium and who aren't directly affiliated to (Laeternik) or the the spouses of director (Alla) of the local ice federation or who is a convicted cheat (Yuri).

    Just sayin'.
    Yeah looking at that extensive list, one wonder how they select the top 9 judges for the SOCHI assignment. What are the chances that Ms Alla Shekhovtseva get assigned to judge Adelina in EVERY SINGLE ONE of her events this season including the Olympics? Sorry, but that is just statistically dodgy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    Lots of reading to do. Thanks gkelly. If ISU severe ties of federation with its own judges (ie/ Judge are independent professional with fully paid salary and full autonomy and full disclosure), maybe it can solve the issue.



    Yeah looking at that extensive list, one wonder how they select the top 9 judges for the SOchi assignment. What are the chances that Ms Alla Shekhovtseva get assigned to judge Adelina in EVERY SINGLE ONE of her event this season including the Olympics? Sorry, but that is just statistically dodgy.
    Actually I believe the pool is thirteen. They switched four judges from the SP to the FS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capcomeback View Post
    Actually I believe the pool is thirteen. They switched four judges from the SP to the FS.
    13 of federation 'assigned' judges - all guaranteed to judge, each with their own agenda! Gee.. no wonder we have the result with what we have! This does not look good or seem fair at all!!!!

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    Oh look, another Sotnikova/Russia bashing thread. How novel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Oh look, another Sotnikova/Russia bashing thread. How novel.
    There's a huge difference between questioning the scoring of an event and bashing a skater and country. I'm amazed how defensive some people are getting about this. I'm not bashing Adelina. I'm not bashing Russia (at least for skating related matters). I'm certainly not bashing Russians (as I have family from Russia). I do have an issue with the potential bias of the tech panel and at least two judges.

    This thread was started to determine if there is a better way to pick judges/officials for International events to prevent some of the potential for bias or corruption at these events.

    Do you have a problem with this?

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    How about instead of responding to each other we do as the OP intended and simply pose questions about judging?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    It was the judges who wanted to be able to call it as they see it without that kind of punishment who wanted the anonymous judging.
    Are you sure about this? This is the (IMHO lame) reason put forth by the ISU. I do not recall that any judges went on record as supporting the move to anonymous judging. If they were, it seems like they were just parroting the (new) party line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    How about instead of responding to each other we do as the OP intended and simply pose questions about judging?
    I agree. I think it is important to limit the regionalism with officials. Also, to me, it's important to minimize some of the conflict of interest that occurs at these big events. For example, how did Alla Shekhovtseva get into the pool of thirteen for the women's event? She is much better known as an Ice Dancing judge and until recent years really just started judging singles. The bottom line is she got into the pool because of her husband.

    Alesander Lakenrik flexed his muscles with the ISU (and therefore the IOC) and he got the prime gig as tech controller for the ladies event.

    God knows why they let a convicted felon (Yuri Balkov) who fixed games back in the sport. Pete Rose received a lifetime ban from baseball for betting ON (not against) his own team. Balkov has no business judging a Junoir event, let alone the Olympics with a list this long of qualified judges.

    There has to be a better way of assigning officials for this sport.

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Just to play devil's advocate...could unintentional consequences befall us by using judges from smaller federations primarily. By that I simply mean, human nature exists and judges may start upping the scores of lesser known skaters from these smaller federations and holding down the bigger Fed's skaters. I mean you can take someone's gun away but you can't remove their urge to kill. Is that gun really safer in someone else's hands and who decides who gets it?

    I really think the best skaters come from the larger federations and would hate to think a robin hood effect could erode the top skaters and potentially prevent even one skater from making it big. Is a more level playing field the ultimate destination or is it progressing the sport to the next level?

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    I wonder if it would be do-able to have judges represent a region instead of a national federation. Then we could have judges from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and World (at least for now this break down might make sense). Choose 2-3 from each region. This avoids having 5 judges from former Soviet countries on a panel with one each from Asia, US, Canada, and Australia, or some such. The most you could have from eastern Europe would be three. Additionally, these judges wouldn't have to worry about their federation as much. I'm not sure how you'd pick assignments beyond random draw, though.

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    So, how might a professionalization of the international judging corps work?

    Which competitions would be required to use professional judges only?
    *ISU championships (Worlds, Jr. Worlds, Europeans, Four Continents)
    *Olympics
    *Grand Prix
    *Junior Grand Prix?
    *fall competition Olympic designated for qualifying Olympic spots?
    *Youth Olympic Games?
    *World University Games?

    What about other international events hosted by member federations and open to entries from around the world or from specific regions? Everything to the most established and prestigious senior B events to something like, say, the Golden Bear of Zagreb, or the North American Challenge events that the US, Canada, and Mexico used to host a decade or so ago?

    Would there be two tiers of professional judges -- equivalent to the current "ISU" and "International" levels -- for the most important and less important international events?

    Or would the top tier be professional judges, paid by the ISU, and the second tier of judges be accredited for international competition but not guaranteed or even entitled to payment beyond expenses? And then any federation or club that hosts a non-championship international event could invite a mix of professional and internationally accredited volunteer judges?

    What would be the career path of a professional judge? What kind of prior experience would they need before being eligible to be hired for the position?

    When first switching over to a professional system, how could existing judges be vetted for competence and honesty to get hired in the new system?

    How does someone who is not yet an international judge become a professional judge?

    The federations would have no say in whether a judge gets hired by the ISU or not? But surely judges would need to get experience at the local and national level before being eligible for international hiring.

    Where does the money come from to pay the professional judges? Are they paid per competition? Do we want a smallish corps of maybe 50-100 singles/pairs judges and 20-30 dance judges, who should expect to judge approximately two weeks per month between August and March?

    Or should there be a larger pool of available judges, perhaps comparable to the current judging lists, but with strict hiring standards, so that even in weeks with 5 different international events of various levels in different parts of the world there would be enough professional judges to cover all of them?

    And then most of the judges in the professional pool would not be used in slower weeks and months?

    Given the uneven scheduling of the international skating calendar, all pro judges would probably need other sources of income. But those who don't have to work regular jobs would be available to judge more weeks per year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Just to play devil's advocate...could unintentional consequences befall us by using judges from smaller federations primarily. By that I simply mean, human nature exists and judges may start upping the scores of lesser known skaters from these smaller federations and holding down the bigger Fed's skaters. I mean you can take someone's gun away but you can't remove their urge to kill. Is that gun really safer in someone else's hands and who decides who gets it?

    I really think the best skaters come from the larger federations and would hate to think a robin hood effect could erode the top skaters and potentially prevent even one skater from making it big. Is a more level playing field the ultimate destination or is it progressing the sport to the next level?
    I don't have a problem so much with judges from major countries. Just judges with close ties to the local governing bodies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    I really think the best skaters come from the larger federations and would hate to think a robin hood effect could erode the top skaters and potentially prevent even one skater from making it big. Is a more level playing field the ultimate destination or is it progressing the sport to the next level?
    There are many good skaters from little countries who don't get the PCS they deserve. Denis Ten was one of them up until he forced them to pay attention.

    Then there are skaters from big countries who get excessive PCS primarily on their big country status. Chan is one of them. Hanyu is another.

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