Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 16 to 26 of 26

Thread: How does "politicking" work?

  1. #16
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,147
    Quote Originally Posted by RABID View Post
    What is "politicking" after all? Perhaps Patrick Chan is the face the International skating world wants to represent them and it is THEM that is forgiving of his lapses rather than any particular cabal of Canadian judges and big wigs.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of politicking isn't even encouraged.
    You may have something there. I was talking to my sister about how Mao's PCS had gone up another knotch this season and that the judges were giving her alot of love, and my sister made the remark that maybe besides the fact that Mao has actually improved, the judges want to send the message to other skaters that if you put in the hard work to improve your skating skills and re-learn the right technique, it does make a difference. They want all skaters to know that if you improve your basics no matter when it occurs in your career, the judges do notice it, and they do reward it, and therefore, taking the risk of changing everything can be worth the effort.

    Besides Patrick, Carolina has gotten an enormous amount of love from the judges over the years, more so than Yuna has probably. It may be that the judges were willing to forgive Carolina's many lapses because they really love her skating skills.

    Of course, Yuna has gotten alot of love from the judges as well, but I think it was not so much about her skating skills as much as the fact that she is so very clean. Judges really love clean performances and suddenly the GOEs go a bit higher than they ought to.

    Judges also love Dai as well, but again, I think, for another reason. With Dai, I don't think it's his skating skills or him being clean that they love but his magnetic charisma. If you are as magnetic as Dai, then your PCS goes up just that little bit more.

    So, if you have Patrick's/Carolina's skating skills, can do your performance clean like Yuna does with Dai's magnetic charisma, that probably for ISU would be the perfect skater.

  2. #17
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,747
    Quote Originally Posted by Krislite View Post
    I imagine this is how it works most of the time. No round-table conspiracy, bribes or anything overt, but more a matter of chatter and reputation. Judges talk to each other
    I am sure that does happen.

    The biggest effect will be that if a skater does something especially well, or especially poorly, in program construction or unique technique on certain elements, etc., judges who notice may chat about it in the judges room and then more judges will notice and mark accordingly the next time.

    Also, when it comes to actual politicking, if a skater does something especially well that might not be obvious at first glance, judges from that skater's country will be sure to mention it, to make sure other judges notice and reward it.

    and keep track of competition results/protocols and watch videos of competitions.
    Some more than others, and they may follow different competitions. E.g., US or Canadian or Russian or Japanese judges will know how last year's 8th place US or Canadian or Russian or Japanese lady did at their nationals, and maybe at whatever senior B or JGP they were assigned to. Judges who were at Europeans will know which skater from an obscure country cracked the top 10 at Europeans, and Four Continents judges will know which cracked the top 10 at 4Cs. But unless they made a huge splash and actually won something significant or landed a rare jump element or had a totally new program concept (or costume, perhaps), judges who weren't there might not have heard much about them before encountering them at a bigger international.

    If someone did make a big splash one way or another, then there will be chatter and buzz about them.

    For the skaters who have already made it to the top, or at least to the GP/top 10 level, judges already have expectations and opinions, but I doubt they go out of their way to keep track of how all these skaters do in every competition. A big comeback will be news.

    Expectations play a lot into scoring. When they consider you top dog, they give you high marks. When you're a relative unknown, they score conservatively unless you have a skate-of-your-life moment.
    Yes, but I think this happens mostly unconsciously -- people see what they expect to see. And I think the seeded draws in short programs magnify this effect.

    Improvements/consistency increase that range. Poor results will lower it.
    Most of this will come from judging what's actually put on the ice: if you skate well today, you'll score well today. Or the opposite.

    There is some unconscious effect of "If you skated well yesterday you will score well today." But there's only so much that effect can do if you skate badly today.

    Interestingly, by using a trimmed mean instead of majority votes by ordinal ranking, the IJS has likely decreased the variance in competition results.
    Can you justify this statistically?

    I'm sure we can show statistically that there is more movement in placements within and between ice dance competitions under IJS than under 6.0. Seems pretty much the same to me in freestyle, but I haven't crunched numbers either.

    The main reason has to do with the base marks called by the tech panel rather than the judges, though.

    In theory, under IJS skaters will get credit in the base marks for exactly what they do. And the system itself has built-in penalties for some kinds of errors (e.g., 0 credit for an extra repeated jump) are harsher than the penalties for other kinds of errors (e.g., fall on a rotated quad).

    Of course tech panel members are also human and what they see may be colored by expectations of what they expect to see from known skaters, which is not politics. Some skaters may get unconscious benefit of the doubt in ambiguous cases, and others may get extra scrutiny.

    There may also be chatter among tech specialists about which skaters are prone to certain errors or which skaters have original features in their elements, that the panel should make a point to look out for. And some of this chatter might be politically motivated.

    But ambiguous areas can only affect a minority of the technical panel calls. Most of the variance will be due to what the skaters clearly actually do or don't do.

    Similarly, judges can be generous with GOEs for some skaters and stingy with others, but if the skater makes an obvious mistake, the GOE will be negative, and the skater does something especially well and not just acceptably, it will be positive.

    If a skater makes many, disruptive mistakes (in the minds of the judges), the PCS may take a dive. But mistakes, or successes, that may have a large effect on the technical score may make little difference to the PCS. And therefore judges could score the same skater fairly similar in PCS for a clean skate and a mistake-filled skate, and the results could end up being very different purely as a result of the technical content. So even if judges end up getting stuck in a corridor based on expectations, there will be more variation in Technical Elements scores than there would have been in the single Technical Merit score under 6.0.

    Quote Originally Posted by hurrah View Post
    the judges want to send the message to other skaters that if you put in the hard work to improve your skating skills and re-learn the right technique, it does make a difference. They want all skaters to know that if you improve your basics no matter when it occurs in your career, the judges do notice it, and they do reward it, and therefore, taking the risk of changing everything can be worth the effort.
    If judges notice that you skated better today than last year (in subtle, pervasive ways, not necessarily success of the elements -- but that too of course), all they have to do is score to send the message that you skated well today. Other skaters or observers can take the message "if you improve you'll be rewarded," but the rewards are for the actual better skating, not so much the idea of improvement.

    Besides Patrick, Carolina has gotten an enormous amount of love from the judges over the years, more so than Yuna has probably. It may be that the judges were willing to forgive Carolina's many lapses because they really love her skating skills.
    I'm sure that is true. Most judges love good skating skills, which are the heart of what this sport is about. When they see great skating, they want to reward it, even if the jumping is not so great that day.

    Of course, Yuna has gotten alot of love from the judges as well, but I think it was not so much about her skating skills as much as the fact that she is so very clean. Judges really love clean performances and suddenly the GOEs go a bit higher than they ought to.

    Judges also love Dai as well, but again, I think, for another reason. With Dai, I don't think it's his skating skills or him being clean that they love but his magnetic charisma. If you are as magnetic as Dai, then your PCS goes up just that little bit more.
    Yes, judges can get excited by these things and end up scoring a bit more generously when a skater wows with technical mastery or touches them emotionally, or both. That's human, not politics.

    So, if you have Patrick's/Carolina's skating skills, can do your performance clean like Yuna does with Dai's magnetic charisma, that probably for ISU would be the perfect skater.
    Isn't that the ideal for everyone? Well, great skating skills, clean performance, great performance quality -- choose your own examples of who best embodies each of those qualities.

  3. #18
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    4,811
    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    The clearest example is Inman against plushenko and getting plushenko two 5.00 transition scores in the sp to help lysacek win.
    To be fair, Plushenko himself declared that he doesn't have any transitions. But Inman certainly facilitated those remarks to Plushenko's detriment. It's true though, his transitions were very much lacking compared to the rest of the field... just because you landed quads/3A and are who you are, doesn't make a program good.

  4. #19
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    384
    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    To be fair, Plushenko himself declared that he doesn't have any transitions. But Inman certainly facilitated those remarks to Plushenko's detriment. It's true though, his transitions were very much lacking compared to the rest of the field... just because you landed quads/3A and are who you are, doesn't make a program good.
    No, Plushenko did not declare that he had no transitions, but Mishin did not wanted to investigate the case or to tell Plushenko about Inman's letter. When Plushenko found out, it was too late to ask the journalist explanations about the article (it was an article in Absolute Skating). He did say in some interviews (videos) that he does not have as many transitions as other skaters, which is different.

  5. #20
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,747
    I want to be a bit more systematic.

    I'd say the following can all go into the scoring:

    1. Honest assessment

    Tech panels call what they see the skaters do, according to the rules and written guidelines.

    Judges evaluate GOEs according to the written guidelines and PCS according to their assessments of each performance against the written criteria, according to their own mental images of what constitutes poor, average, good, outstanding, etc., developed through watching thousands of skaters and comparing notes (about general principles) with other judges

    There is some room for different mental definitions of "good," etc., and of which criteria are more important than others.

    2. Psychological effects
    People see what they expect to see.

    Tech panels may give more scrutiny to skaters who have had known problems in the past and give more benefit of doubt to skaters who are known for executing clean elements and successful features.

    Judges' perceptions of quality may be influenced by their knowledge of what they've seen from specific skaters in the past, or what they know about skaters' past results, past scoring range, and other buzz. Skate order can also affect the judges' mindset.

    3. Politics
    Officials may intentionally manipulate the buzz about certain skaters in hopes to influence others to appreciate and reward their favored skaters' strong points or to scrutinize the rivals' weaknesses more closely

    4. Cheating
    Officials intentionally decide to inflate scores or tech calls for their favored skaters above what they objectively deserve and to lowball the scores of the rivals -- either on their own initiative or more likely in response to pressure or explicit instructions from their federations or other outside influences.

    They may make deals with officials of other federations to help each others' skaters in a quid pro quo arrangement.


    While all of the above can occur in any judging system, I think that the way IJS is set up shifts the emphasis more toward 1 than 2 compared with the ordinal system.

    But this thread is supposed to focus on #3, right? Intentionally manipulating buzz?

  6. #21
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,147
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    3. Politics
    Officials may intentionally manipulate the buzz about certain skaters in hopes to influence others to appreciate and reward their favored skaters' strong points or to scrutinize the rivals' weaknesses more closely
    So gkelly, are you suggesting that the buzz for/against a certain skater that's created on a board such as this one can influence a judge's perception, albeit in a small way?

  7. #22
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,747
    I was suggesting that buzz generated by officials to promote their own skaters can influence other judges' perceptions. More often in the judges' rooms and other social interactions among officials. Maybe e-mails etc. to their friends about exciting skaters or performances they've recently seen.

    It's certainly possible that officials could post under pseudonyms at boards like this to generate buzz, but that probably wouldn't be the best way to get their message to the intended audience (other officials).

    Some officials do read boards like this without posting.

    But I doubt that busy international judges read these boards in as much detail as fans do and I doubt that they take fan opinion into account much. Or the opinion of other officials posing as fans, if any are doing that. E.g., if I analyze a performance for technical content or program components and post my findings on Golden Skate, I wouldn't expect international judges to read my thoughts and change their opinions as a result.

    But if some newcomer shows up and skates an exciting performance at a a less publicized competition, or is doing something extraordinary in practice that has been caught on video and posted online, and there are lots of excited posts on the boards with links to the video, it is likely that a judge who happened to be reading here might first read of it here and check out the links.

  8. #23
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Beyond Neverland
    Posts
    1,142
    Great systematic breakdown of the system. I do wish there are corrective procedure towards addressing human error such as an opportunity to readdress the score at the end once everyone has performed including the review of video evidence. In my opinion any competition, it should not be just the skaters are being examined, but the judges themselves need to be peer examined too.

    There are some great lost interviews on the TSL website on judging culture and how one can get around the system. Although I'd like to think all judges tries their best to stay honest, but one's peripheral vision can be easily distorted through their own experiences. Let's say if a judge was flew in first class, stayed at first class hotel, wine and dine at 3 star Michelin and generally had the best hospitality one can hope to receive, I'd be easily imagine it is human nature to show more appreciation to the host country for example.

    Are judges required to disclose things like gifts and experiences/expenses occurred by hosts judging at these type of events compare to something like a B-Level competition where they'd be lucky just to get a bottled water or even a hot cuppa. I am also curious on who decide who is to be the technical panel? Are they invited by the host country, or get assigned by ISU independently (where host country has no say)? How does it work? If so by whom? And what vetting process? Why arn't they be done by lucky draws like skaters starting positions?

  9. #24
    Custom Title hurrah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,147
    Thank you gkelly for your response. I got you. I just wondered because the criticism against certain skaters can at different times be quite intense, and one wonders, what if...But I got you and I believe you.

  10. #25
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    3,589
    Quote Originally Posted by ciocio View Post
    No, Plushenko did not declare that he had no transitions, but Mishin did not wanted to investigate the case or to tell Plushenko about Inman's letter. When Plushenko found out, it was too late to ask the journalist explanations about the article (it was an article in Absolute Skating). He did say in some interviews (videos) that he does not have as many transitions as other skaters, which is different.
    True! plushenkos own statement actually indicated ignorance that transitions are before any technical element and plushenko implied transitions are only before jumps.

  11. #26
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,747
    Yes, and after technical elements, and direct connections from one technical element to the next, and skating moves between the elements that don't connect directly to an element but that do include more skating content than simple stroking in getting from point A to point B.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •