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Thread: "The New Judging System: A Flop" by Sonia Bianchetti

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    "The New Judging System: A Flop" by Sonia Bianchetti

    Not sure if a link to this article has been posted anywhere on Golden Skate Forums, but I thought she highlighted some interesting points about the CoP:
    http://www.soniabianchetti.com/writings_jflop.html

    It seems that Sally Stapleford and Katarina Witt aren't the ones who disagree with Irina Slutskaya's placement in the LP .....

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Michael. No, I don't think that has been posted previously. Very interesting point of view.

    Welcome to the forum. I hope you like it here.

    Mathman

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Thanks for the link, Michael. No, I don't think that has been posted previously. Very interesting point of view.

    Welcome to the forum. I hope you like it here.

    Mathman
    Thanx Mathman, I've been lurking for the past few weeks and just generally catching up on what has been said in the various forums here. I have been following the coverage of this year's Euros on TV, and Irina's placement in the LP has generated quite a lot of controversy, both amongst sports journalists and sports commentators. She had a great SP, and I feel that she deserved to be in first place in the final standings, but her PCS in the LP were unusually high, given the standard of her performance, and I'm not sure that I would have placed her above Liashenko and Poykio in that segment.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    And don't forget to read the Jon Jackson's report in The Edge.

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    On the Ice
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    Well, I think that it's not the system which is a flop. It's the judges.

    But that's old news, innit? :sheesh:

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    Some might object that this is exactly what happened with the old system. And we can partly agree with this. But this means that the revolutionary new judging system, which is computer-dependent and is costing millions of dollars to the ISU and will cost a lot to each Member as well, failed in its main objective: to guarantee fair and objective results.
    Well, change is costly, but would Ms Bianchetti prefer that judges still spend most of their time looking down at their scoring papers rather than the skating as they entered their scores with pencils? It's the computer age. I'm sure Ms. Bianchelli wrote her article on a computer and was able to access the info she quoted from the COP paper from the same computer. For me, '03 was the time figure skating judging started using computers, irregardless of the SLC judging scandal.

    Ms. Bianchelli is of course entitled to her opinions, but I must take issue with one of her statements: "But this means that the revolutionary new judging system...failed in its main objective: to guarantee fair and objective results." Obviously Ms. Bianchelli didn't have my third grade teacher, who drilled us with the notions that in life there are no guarantees, that life is not fair, and that there is no such thing as objectivity when humans are involved (the last one came from a college teacher).

    Of course, saying "COP a Flop" is going to sell a lot more papers than saying that although the COP is still a work in progress and some of the results could be questioned, it's movement in the right direction and at least we can look at the scores on the computer print-out and analyze why the skater you thought should have won didn't--something we couldn't do with the 6.0 system.

    JMUO. (Just My Unpaid Opinion.)

    Rgirl

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Well, I do think that the CoP has not yet shown that it can accomplish the two main things that it has staked its reputation on.

    1. Fairer judging. Uh...no. Plus, the secrecy thing is a step backward in this regard.

    2. Lets you see exactly how one skater prevailed over another by showing you a lot of numbers. OK, Irina got 5.2 points for a triple Lutz. But all this is swept away in the avalanche of straight across the board 8.0s in the component scores.

    I don't mind the CoP, but I do think that it is not too harsh to say that it has "flopped" so far, not necessarily in comparison with the system that it replaced, but in comparison with its ballyhooed goals.

    Mathman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    2. Lets you see exactly how one skater prevailed over another by showing you a lot of numbers. OK, Irina got 5.2 points for a triple Lutz. But all this is swept away in the avalanche of straight across the board 8.0s in the component scores.
    Actually, it does show you how one skater prevailed over another: s/he/they received XYZ for technical content, and the judges used the PCS scores to sink or raise the skater/team. That is transparency. It also lets you see how each judge feels that nearly every skater/team is uniformly good or bad at every possible component group, and just as much better or worse at every possible component group than skater/team on either side of him/her/them in the rankings. It lets you see how when judging skater/team A, the same deductions aren't taken as when judging skater/team B on an element-by-element basis.

    It lets you see how the judges can't conceive that Liashenko's 3F, with the flawed entry (long telegraph) and turn out on the landing rates GOE of -3 according to the code, the same as a jump with a fall. (Although the fall really gets a -4, if both feet leave the ice, the -1 is accounted for separately, and isn't "tied" to the element.) I.e., it lets you see how much the judges are judging by "feel." It lets you see that at her best (Euros SP), Slutskaya's skating skills are only .39 better than they are at her worst (Euros LP), even though in the LP, her posture and carriage were noticably more bent and labored, and from eyewitnesses, she was noticeably slower, particularly in the first half of the program.

    It lets you see how relunctant the judges are of going out of the -1 to +1 GOE zone, unless there is a fall, and particularly to give out high, deserved scores when they "recognize" low difficulty -- ex: Liashenko's ab fab 3S in her Euros LP, for which not a single judge gave her a +2, despite a blazing, clean entrance, quick rhythmic rotation, height, and nice landing edge and flow-out, or her quite wonderful layback, with beautiful sideways position, fast rotation, and solid centering, for which only four judges gave her +1 -- and how much they compensate for flaws for high-difficulty elements by not scoring them with proper deductions uniformly -- i.e. Slutskaya's multiple travels on all but one of her spins at Euros, because she puts her leg over her head in most of them. It shows the fear of deviating from fellow judges, instead of following the code.

    Under ordinals, these things were rather vague, and the criteria changed from competition to competition. Judges could explain their way out of anything. If a judge now says, "I didn't deduct -2 from Slutskaya's spins because they were so fast," the answer is no longer "Okay, well, there you go," it's, "Not according to the rules, you can't." (Although in Cinquanta's Banana Republic, to date, you can do what you will, as long as there's consensus.)
    Last edited by hockeyfan228; 02-20-2005 at 03:38 PM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hockeyfan, you are so good at that. I love reading your CoP posts.

    But I am not sure what conclusion to draw. If the judges are just blowing off the CoP altogether, it seems like we are back to, "Okay, well, there you go" after all.

    MM

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    There are opinions and there are opinions. Ms Bianchetti is a former skater; a former judge and a former ISU official. Her "opinion" is of the highest calibre, IMHO. I take less credence in other opinions.

    Joe

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