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Thread: Jon Jackson statement to the ISU Council

  1. #1
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    Jon Jackson statement to the ISU Council

    Here is the link to the speech that Jon Jackson made in front of the ISU Council recently:

    http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group...message/143714

    PS It is a very long text, but well worth the read. Jon Jackson, if you don't know, was one of the witnesses to the SLC Olympic judging scandal and WSF founder. His speech covers quite a few subjects, from the specifics of the judging deal and the inaction of the ISU leadership when confronted with the incident to the introduction of the CoP (and its weaknesses) as a means of addressing the corrupt judging in the 6.0 system.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    He says everything I've been saying since 2002 but he does it so much better. It's a lengthy read but worth it.

    one quote from the report: Curiously, the unfair result in the Olympic Pair event and the cheating French and Russians were not the final straws for me. Rather, the events that emerged over the next few days, weeks, and months, the attempted cover-up, the eventual orchestrated discipline of ONLY the French, and the outright refusal to investigate the Russians lead me down the path I ultimately took in an attempt to overthrow the figure skating elite.Unquote

    As to Euros 2005, Piseev is quoted as saying It was a Russian sweep but not sure of the Ladies!!

    Russia has some of the best skaters in the world. They don't have to win for the State anymore. The skaters should be winning for themselves and working harder next year if they don't win. It's ok to be human.

    I liked what Jon Jackson wrote. I would like to read someone who disagrees with him that ONLY the French were involved in the fixing of the SLC Pairs event.

    Speeding better get his act together before the Olys or bye bye Figure Skating

    Joe

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    Thanks for the link. Very informative and interesting article. I kept getting annoyed and almost angry as I read about how Speedy kept denying over and over that there was nothing to fix and he was obviously trying to prevent any investigation in SLC.

    After returning home from Kyoto, Mr. LeFevre appeared at a dinner I attended
    in Colorado Springs. At that dinner, he revealed that Ms. Howard had cut
    deals to get herself elected to the ISU Council. In his words, “deals that
    otherwise would not be made, were made with people we wouldn’t otherwise
    make them with.” At that moment, I knew that any fight against corruption
    in this sport would not be coming from the US figure skating association.

    I don't quite follow the above. Why did Ms. Howard cut deals to get herself elected on the ISU Council instead of investigating the matter and disciplining the Russians? What could she gain from this or the USFSA? Does this also mean that the USFSA ignored the need for the investigation?

    Instead of answering these questions, and then addressing them directly, the
    ISU has adopted a new judging system. Same old judges, dressed up in new
    clothing. Bad judging isn’t going to go away by itself. Neither will
    cheating judges. They are still there, and they are still operating under
    the new system. When corruption exists, there is no system in the world
    that can beat it.
    This sums up how I feel about the judging.

    Communication number 1305, recently released by the ISU, tells me that you
    do know where the problem lies. It is with the judges. That communication
    reminded the judges that they are not to take predetermined marks in written
    form to the judges stand. For this, I commend you. It is the first step
    down the correct path. You realize of course, and the marks for Irina
    Slutskaya at this years European Championships prove out, that the judges
    still take those predetermined marks with them to the judges stand, albeit
    in their heads. So take the next step. Ban the judges from attending the
    practice sessions where these marks are formulated in the first place.
    Then, take a second step, and dismiss those judges who use marks that are so
    clearly predetermined.
    I also agree with these solutions that Jackson suggested.

  4. #4
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    That was a very passionate plea. One thing I don't understand is why Mr. Jackson wants to have anything further to do with the ISU. As he says, they have already punished him by keeping him out of involvement with the sport, so what does he care about their little kangaroo court now?

    I guess everyone has given up on the WSF altogether.

    I think that Jackson's case could be strengthened by focusing unemotionally on the instances of undisputed skullduggery (the foot-tapping incident, for instance), instead of on instances where he thought American skaters were undermarked by the international judges.

    I agree with Joe that Mr. Jackson made some valid points about the imminent collapse of figure skating's populatity as a televised spectator sport. Nobody is going to watch a sport that is fixed. That's why Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on baseball games.

    I also liked the little point about the 6.0. I think he's right. That is kind of a trademark of figure skating, and one that has worked it's way into the general usage as the standard of perfection. Why give that up. (Of course the 6.0 has been permanently debased now with all the perfect marks given out in the last year for little or nothing.)

    Mathman

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I think that Jackson's case could be strengthened by focusing unemotionally on the instances of undisputed skullduggery (the foot-tapping incident, for instance), instead of on instances where he thought American skaters were undermarked by the international judges.
    I agree with that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I agree with Joe that Mr. Jackson made some valid points about the imminent collapse of figure skating's populatity as a televised spectator sport. Nobody is going to watch a sport that is fixed. That's why Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on baseball games.
    Very true, and that's why people then say FS is not a sport. Like he said, the problem is the corrupted judges, and harsher punishments for those are needed. I mean, you can punish a skater for life taking them out of a sport, but a judge just receives 2 or 3 year suspension? that doesn't make sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I also liked the little point about the 6.0. I think he's right. That is kind of a trademark of figure skating, and one that has worked it's way into the general usage as the standard of perfection. Why give that up. (Of course the 6.0 has been permanently debased now with all the perfect marks given out in the last year for little or nothing.)

    Mathman
    The 6.0 is a trademark because it is such an old system, and people /casual viewers) would know that 5.7 is a good mark but that 4.7 is not a good mark. I've never liked it really, mostly because it seems that is has to do more with how I place the skater , than to score them for what they did. I'm no expert, but at Nationals this year I rememberd when Amber Corwin's score came up in the SP around the 4.6 or 4.7 something like that, and Dick said something like "I don't know why the scores are so low". He asked Peggy and she said "well, ther was a 0.4 deduction on a jump" and so on. For me, as just a viewer and no expert, it means "if it's only a 0.4 deduction, how you get to 4.7?". Saving marks for the last group is not something I think is fair, but that is just my opinion. I'd rather like to be score for what I did. The thing of course is always going to be the PC scores with the new system. Maybe there should be some mandatory deductions in those marks as well, like if a skater falls, it shoudl reflect in certain componets and so on (I ignore if this already takes place or not).

    I do understand that for people it was easier to understand the meaning of 6.0 and all, but I don't know if keeping that would still help a sport when the problem lies in the corruption of judging.

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    This is so tragically sad...

    Like the old saying goes, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I'm not sure I'm glad I read this statement or not!! I love being a fan of this "sport" and the on-going problems just tend to dash my naive hopes for change in the fairness of the judging.

    I'm particularly saddened that the Federations from strong countries like the US "go along" instead of standing up. I guess the one and only hope we have is that Speedy will care about loss of revenue from TV contracts enough to listen to his pocket, since he clearly has no ethical concerns about the athletes or the sport.

    I'm still not 100% convinced that the Ladies' outcome at European's is the extreme example of bad judging that Jon, Witt, etc. are making it out to be. While I question the PCS scores along with many fans, no one at the top had a stellar skate, so we may never know if this was truly just an appropriate judgement call or whether "unfair judging" occured that crosses the ethical lines. Of course my opinion at the moment is based on conflicting rink side reports, listening only (not seeing) the event and a detailed review especially of the TES side of the score sheets. This afternoon might change my opinion.

    World's will be very telling, and I hope Speedy is getting a message. While Speedy might be able to keep his own little world under control, it's clear that is influence does not go outside those boundaries to the TV world and those contracts, or hopefully not to the international Olympic governing body. If he doesn't do something soon to fix the perception or the reality of crooked judging, I imagine Figure Skating will be at risk as an Olympic sport. If FS loses that, FS will never be what it once was, or even what it is today.

    DG

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    Skating judging

    This is just my opinion on the matter, but a solution is available to this entire mess that would create a new industry, jobs and the objectivity Figure Skating lacks at this point. Imagine the need figure skating has for judges throughout the world, at all levels of skating and in all the disciplines, throughout each year. The need is enormous in the US, Canada and elsewhere around the globe.

    If Speedy would only consider having figure skating judging done by professional judges, as is done in baseball (umpires), football (referees), hockey and basketball, not only would the judging be up to the standards of "big-time" commercial sport, he would create jobs for the international job market.

    People could choose Figure Skating Judging as a career, go into training like the umpires, referees, etc., get their certifications and start their work. People would need to be taught by instructors, schools would be set up, tuitions paid, people given jobs for the administration and certification of judges (secretaries and office/school employees). Schools could be set up around the globe, etc.

    The costs for this would begin with ISU money, investors money (as in baseball, basketball, etc.), union dues (unionize the judges like the umpires) and finally, tuitions. Member federations can also contribute.

    It makes judging/refereeing/umpiring a career choice, with standards for judging set by an outside organization, with penalties and rules for cheating, etc.

    I say, take a lesson fom big time, big money sports like baseball and football and follow their pattern somewhat.

    I might even consider leaving my career to go to the "Judging Academy", get my judging degree through study and hard work, and start working as a judge in the Figure Skating Judges Union. No Federation ifluences, only the job to judge objectively and correctly.

    Right now, judges are volunteers for their Federations, who need the jobs on ISU committees to get paid and make a living. This is the root of the problems and where influences occur (judge this way or you don't get voted onto a committee, and you have no money, no job, no nothing.....it creates fear for the judges).

    Well, you all get my point. Thanks for reading my two cents.
    Last edited by ChiSk8Fan; 02-06-2005 at 12:38 PM.

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    I wondered how the Euros judges, across the board, had come up with such incredibly similar PCS scores. If you look at PCS scores for the GP events, you will see a wider range of scores even for top skaters.

    If, indeed, the judges are pre-determining what the PCS scores will be from watching practices, then you should see scores in the 8s and 9s for Sasha Cohen and Carolina Kostner, both acknowledged to be two of the most consistent and most accomplished practice skaters in the world.

    That judges would even stoop to such methods, and that they ALL do it, is incomprehensible. What it means is that CoP is a joke, and all those elaborate descriptions of what constitutes a score of 8 or 9 are meaningless.

    Speedy, you are the Emperor, and you are NAKED!

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    Custom Title ks777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiSk8Fan
    This is just my opinion on the matter, but a solution is available to this entire mess that would create a new industry, jobs and the objectivity Figure Skating lacks at this point. Imagine the need figure skating has for judges throughout the world, at all levels of skating and in all the disciplines, throughout each year. The need is enormous in the US, Canada and elsewhere around the globe.

    If Speedy would only consider having figure skating judging done by professional judges, as is done in baseball (umpires), football (referees), hockey and basketball, not only would the judging be up to the standards of "big-time" commercial sport, he would create jobs for the international job market.

    People could choose Figure Skating Judging as a career, go into training like the umpires, referees, etc., get their certifications and start their work. People would need to be taught by instructors, schools would be set up, tuitions paid, people given jobs for the administration and certification of judges (secretaries and office/school employees). Schools could be set up around the globe, etc.

    The costs for this would begin with ISU money, investors money (as in baseball, basketball, etc.), union dues (unionize the judges like the umpires) and finally, tuitions. Member federations can also contribute.

    It makes judging/refereeing/umpiring a career choice, with standards for judging set by an outside organization, with penalties and rules for cheating, etc.

    I say, take a lesson fom big time, big money sports like baseball and football and follow their pattern somewhat.

    I might even consider leaving my career to go to the "Judging Academy", get my judging degree through study and hard work, and start working as a judge in the Figure Skating Judges Union. No Federation ifluences, only the job to judge objectively and correctly.

    Right now, judges are volunteers for their Federations, who need the jobs on ISU committees to get paid and make a living. This is the root of the problems and where influences occur (judge this way or you don't get voted onto a committee, and you have no money, no job, no nothing.....it creates fear for the judges).

    Well, you all get my point. Thanks for reading my two cents.

    I totally agree with you!! well said.

  10. #10
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777
    I totally agree with you!! well said.
    Me. too.

    The big problem, of course, is that the Federations would not willing go along because they would lose control over the judging. And it is the Federations that elect Cinquanta and the other officers of the ISU, as well. So who is left to bell the cat?

    MM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Me. too. The big problem, of course, is that the Federations would not willing go along because they would lose control over the judging. And it is the Federations that elect Cinquanta and the other officers of the ISU, as well. So who is left to bell the cat?MM
    It is those same Federations who voted against having the names and nationalities of the judges listed for public viewing. What is so terrible about this?

    How can we get a letter off to the Olympic Committee to review this in time before the real Torino takes place.

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 02-06-2005 at 10:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    It is those same Federations who voted against having the names and nationalities of the judges listed for public viewing. What is so terrible about this?

    How can we get a letter off to the Olympic Committee to review this in time before the real Torino takes place.

    Joe
    http://www.olympic.org/uk/utilities/...prm_action=req

    I'm still trying to find an address or something on the website.

    edit: ok, I found an address, but I don't know which comission would in in charge of it. I just found also a site for the Torino olympics:

    Château de Vidy
    1007 Lausanne
    Switzerland
    Last edited by Hikaru; 02-06-2005 at 10:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Russia has some of the best skaters in the world. They don't have to win for the State anymore. The skaters should be winning for themselves and working harder next year if they don't win. It's ok to be human.
    As I've said, before, the difference between USFSA and the Russian federation is that the former asks, "What can we do to make our skaters the best they can be", whereas the latter says, "What can our skaters do to make us the best federation we can become".

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikaru
    I do understand that for people it was easier to understand the meaning of 6.0 and all, but I don't know if keeping that would still help a sport when the problem lies in the corruption of judging.
    ITA

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiSk8Fan
    If Speedy would only consider having figure skating judging done by professional judges, as is done in baseball (umpires), football (referees), hockey and basketball, not only would the judging be up to the standards of "big-time" commercial sport, he would create jobs for the international job market.
    I jsut wrote something similar on another thread. I, too, think that the cozy ISU/ federations relationship is to blame for a lot of problems. Going to a system you suggest would weaken individual federations; perhaps it would also pave the way for skaters to sign individual contracts directly with ISU (with federations acting like agents and getting their cut).

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    But isn't the ISU as corrupt as the Federation judges? What will skating gain by removing power from the federations and giving it to the ISU? Can the ISU handle the power responsibly? Will we end up where we started?

    Just a few questions that pop into my head anytime someone mentions giving more power to the ISU. It could be a lose/lose scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    But isn't the ISU as corrupt as the Federation judges? What will skating gain by removing power from the federations and giving it to the ISU? Can the ISU handle the power responsibly? Will we end up where we started?

    Just a few questions that pop into my head anytime someone mentions giving more power to the ISU. It could be a lose/lose scenario.
    The ISU should have a Board of Directors consisting of:

    1 from Australia, Japan or China
    1 from Mexico, USA or Canada
    1 from some country in W.Europe
    1 from some country in E.Europe
    1 from another country in Europe from either E or W to be decided each year.

    The five members would serve two years and be replaced by another member among the same grouping.

    No one serving on a National Federation can be a Member of the Board.

    the Chairman of the Board will serve for a duration of 4 years and an election for his replacement will take place among the Board Members.

    The entire board will meet in continuous session and deal with all matters concerning competitive figure skating.

    Joe

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