Blades of Passion, can you please analyze Carolina and Mao LP footwoks?
But, really, the judges who gave Sotnikova's step sequence +3 GOE are completely wrong. Giving it a +2 would already be overly generous and not the most accurate representation of the quality. We are analyzing the step sequences here, so it's only logical to have a discussion on the GOE grades now that I have proven the level calls were wrong.
In comparing these two step sequences, Sotnikova had shakier edges, less flow in the movement, inferior upper body movement, and significantly less movement directly to the music. There isn't any criteria in which she was better than Yu-Na either. Her GOE grade on the footwork should have been at least a full mark behind Yu-Na's. A fair assessment of the footwork sequences would be Level 3 with +1 GOE for Sotnikova and Level 4 with +2 GOE for Yu-Na. That would put the scoring differential at 2.66 points from what they actually received.
The ISU can't control whether an international judge also judges at their national championships, where they will judge all of their country's international-level skaters.
Works for singles/pairs judges, since they have three different disciplines they can judge. And for judges who have both singles/pairs and dance appointments. For those with dance appointments only, either they judge the dance event or they don't judge.- A judge should not able to judge on the same category event more than twice in the whole season. (This prevent false momentum building)
And some countries don't have multiple dance judges.
If you're worried about making deals, then even being in the same place at the same time (e.g., judging different disciplines or one judging and the other serving as referee or controller) would give them access to do so.- A judge should not able to judge a competition with another judge they have previously judged in the same event during the season. (This prevent distorting average mean working together)
If they're going to do it consciously, and if they all have dogs in the hunt so to speak, they're going to make deals against each other. I.e., bloc judging. Allowing one top-ranked skater to have a home country judge and not the others would theoretically give that skater more of an advantage than allowing all 5 to have home judges.- There should be no judges or restricted to just 1 judge from any of the top 5 ranking skaters nationality on the same event due to conflict of interest at any major competitions , ie/ GPF, WC, Olympics.
If it contains all 5 top ranked skater nationality judges, is it totally inconceivable they will gangs up (block judging shared interest, vote trading etc) to depress the score of the likely leader? Consciously or unconsciously. Just think about it.
If you're just talking about judges developing groupthink consensus by serving on panels together and discussing their decisions afterward in the judges' room, I don't know that the nationality of the judges would be the biggest factor. E.g., if the Finnish and the French and the Australian judge often end up at the same competitions and talk about what they saw, they may end up with similar opinions about the current Russian and Japanese and American skaters, without any particular political reason to favor one country's contenders over another.
There's always going to be a tension between practicality and attempts to legislate impartiality.
In an ideal world there would be an unlimited supply of qualified knowledgeable judges from all over the world, including countries with no elite skaters whatsoever, who can get to any location at any time for the same modest costs. If that were the case, avoiding judges' familiarity with or allegiance to specific top competitors could always be a top consideration.
In real life, judges need to gain experience judging elite skaters before they can be deemed qualified enough to judge the big events. They will usually have judged all their own country's top skaters in domestic competitions. Judges from newer federations need experience judging junior and senior B events before qualifying for championship events. Judges in Europe can often drive or take trains to competitions in other European countries, making it easier for them to be invited to judge international events at the beginning of their international judging careers, so they will be more familiar with other European skaters before they reach the elite levels. American and Canadian judges may be familiar not only with their own country's skaters but some of each other's who cross the border for nonqualifying competitions, as well as any foreign skaters who train in North America and enter nonqual competitions for practice.
Judges often have relationships with other officials or with coaches of similar age and background dating back to their own skating years.
Some sources of familiarity and affiliation with the skaters they judge can be considered too much of a conflict of interest and reason to disqualify that judge from serving on a panel with that skater. Others are too numerous to be anything but inevitable, and usually too tenuous to make much difference.
Where is it practical to draw the line? E.g., say we all agree that no parent should judge his/her own child, or no tech specialist who is also a coach should serve on a panel of an event in which a current student is competing. But just having judged the same skater a couple times before during the same season? Keeping track of all such connections would be a full-time job in itself.
If the main concern is the high-stakes medal contenders at the big events, maybe the rule could only apply to the Grand Prix and to ISU championships.
Judges are often assigned to the big events months in advance -- although they won't necessarily know which discipline they'll be assigned to or whether they will end up being drawn on the panel or as alternates.
The international judging assignments cannot be made at the last minute because it's often necessary for the officials to obtain visas to enter the country where the competition is being held, and to arrange for the time off from their day jobs.
Which skaters from their country will compete at that event will not be known months in advance -- sometimes not until the close of entries for the event. Or afterward, if an official entry withdraws and is replaced by a listed alternate.