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Thread: What has Suspect Judging done to YOU??

  1. #1
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    What has Suspect Judging done to YOU??

    It's no secret around here that I personally have hope for the COP system, don't think the Ladies event at Euros was the Big Scandal it was touted to be, but agree with all those concerned about the reputation overall of figure skating judging on a broader level.

    It hit home to me yesterday how it has gone for me.

    As a FS fan, I'm into the competitive side of things. I occassionally watch an exhibition type event on TV, but that's pretty rare. I go all out to never miss a GP series event, or World's, nationals etc.

    But here's what I DON'T watch. Ice Dancing. And it's not because I don't respect the difficulty and intricacy of dance, or the general beauty of a good dance program. I USED to watch it as vividly as any other competitive FS dicipline.

    But for years now, I've believed the judging was largely fixed ahead of time. That took the interest right out of it for me. So I've never bothered to learn much about the details of that dicipline competitively, because in my PERCEPTION it didn't matter.

    I sure hope that singles and pairs don't go further in that direction perception wise for me. Yes, I've always believed that skaters with fame have all been held up here and there, etc. But I do think FS as a sport is at a real crossroad. It will all go the way that Ice Dance has gone for me - completely losing the interest of those fans who ARE fans of the competitive side of things if the perception of the judging doesn't change. If that happens, then the only fans left who will turn on their TV's will be the ones who are interested purely in the beauty of the skate - not the competitive nature of it.

    This is NOT meant as a criticism of those who love to watch skating for the sheer beauty of it. That is not in question at all. But for me, if my perception of FS becomes that it is NOT a competitive sport, then it's over. I didn't even watch the Dance portion of Euros yesterday - just fast forwarded the whole thing with zero interest. That's what made me think about this issue.

    DG

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Good thread, Doggygirl! You made me think.

    For me, I get all emotionally involved in my favorites. I am devastated when they lose, and it takes me days to get over being mad at the stupid judges. Would it have killed Joe Inman to have given Michelle that one measly little second place ordinal that she needed in Salt Lake City?!!!!!!

    I don’t know whether I am harder to live with when she loses or when she wins, like I went on about a two-week high after her Aranjuez performance at 2003 Worlds, dancing around the house whistling the tune. (Good judges, good judges.)

    But then after a while I get back to normal and I can look at things a little more rationally. When I do, I almost always come away thinking that the judging was correct. Or at least I can see another point of view and I can understand what the judges were looking at that I didn’t want to see the first time around.

    For instance, I screamed as loud as anyone when Jamie and David were screwed over by those lyin’, cheatin’ judges in 2002. But then my more rational side started to say, wait a minute, Elena and Anton did have wonderful line and extension, interesting choreography that featured more difficult complementary positions rather than simple unison, and so on. So (except for the French judge who later confessed, “It was the Russians! Gold for gold!”), I do not really think the fix was in.

    About ice dancing, to me that is a different kind of competition. Since the skaters rarely make obvious mistakes, and since the best dancers really are the best dancers, I am not outraged at the idea that you have to work your way up in the standings before they will place you at the top. This sport is not judged “in the moment,” but as long as all of the competitors know this -- as long as they know what the real game is -- I can’t say it is unfair. The skaters know what they have signed up for.

    Dance used to be dominated by the Soviet and then the Russian federation, but now that so many of the best Russian coaches have come to America, that will soon change. In 2010 it will be Belbin and Agosto’s turn.

    So I do like this sport, even though the 2006 Olympic champions Navka and Kostomorov tend to put me to sleep. I just have to take the long view as to what competition is really going on. (I miss Jamie Silverman.)

    Mathman

    PS. Oops, I meant Jamie Silverstein. (I guess I didn't miss her as much as I thought.)
    Last edited by Mathman; 02-07-2005 at 04:38 PM.

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    Personally, it doesn't devastate me. Now the war in Iraq, with all the deaths on both sides, the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the tsunami in Asia--those devastate me. Figure skating is a sport. There are so many other things going on in the world that are much more important and are very tragic. Does the judging in figure skating make me sad? Do I think it should be fixed? Yes, but in the scheme of things for me, I think there are more important things to be fixed.

  4. #4
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Good point Katherine...

    And I really don't think anyone here at Goldenskate thinks anything about figure skating can compare to the more serious issues going on in the world. At least I hope not! Having passion about figure skating fandom doesn't mean we don't have our priorities straight.

    DG

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Katherine calls it a war but I call it an occupation. But let's not drift away from the matter at hand The question is What has the Suspect Judging done to You??

    It's left me more cynical than usual as far as figure skating is concerned. Bianchetti a former judge who is probably banned at this point knows what's going on. Have they kicked her out yet? Stapleford and others who blew whistles are facing charges. Meanwhile the famous toetapper gets away with it by fleeing to another country.

    How can you not feel something watching your favorite sport spin on down to nothing but ridicule - not to mention shoving it into cable tv. Moscow is hosting the 2005 World Championships. It is also on trial to prevent corruption, for the first CoP in such a big competition.

    Joe

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    Suspect judging has made any measure of a skater's greatness in the record books pointless because the medals become worthless.

    I've started getting the attitude that it doesn't matter who wins or loses anymore. Why make such a big fuss of the OGM? It's all political. I just watch skating for who I love and the rest is irrelevant.

  7. #7
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    Suspect judging......

    .....has made me not care one hoot about who wins, and has helped me focus on the skating and the performances. I watch skating to archive the programs and enjoy them later, forever. I care not if the program was judged well or not.

    It has allowed me to become my own judge, focusing on what I find I like in skating, and I care not for the final placements.

    I find skating competitions to be entertainment, not so much a competition, because the judges do whatever they want anyways.

    I don't care if I disagree with them. I just love watching skating and skating myself.

  8. #8
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    Pardon me, the new girl, while I invade your very interesting thread.

    I don't think it was the judging that made me cynical about FS. It was the whole circus surrounding FS. The media manipulation, creating a "Scandal!" without really giving out the information to the fans. The clueless commentators, the east vs. west mentality... For me, it was SLC that did it. We will never really know what happened there. But most casual fans were left with the impression that S&P were "clearly" better when, IMO, an argument could be made for both pairs. I haven't been able to really enjoy pairs since.

    For me, it's also the inability of FS fans and ISU judges to recognize their own biases. They speak in absolutes a lot of the time. It drives me kind of nutty to read posts of people criticizing one skater for something that they praise their favorites about. It's a subjective sport. We are all going to have out favorites. If we recognize that yes indeed we are all biased, maybe we can have a cleaner sport, a better understanding of the scoring, and less screaming over the internet forums.

    Do I think there's suspect judging? Yes. Do I think there's the possibility of collusion? Yes. Do I think that many recent international competition results have been the result of this? No. But now people scream Corruption! Collusion! Cheating! when they see a result they don't agree with. I really dislike that. I feel it does a disservice to the sport.

  9. #9
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimena
    Pardon me, the new girl, while I invade your very interesting thread.

    I don't think it was the judging that made me cynical about FS. It was the whole circus surrounding FS. The media manipulation, creating a "Scandal!" without really giving out the information to the fans. The clueless commentators, the east vs. west mentality... For me, it was SLC that did it. We will never really know what happened there. But most casual fans were left with the impression that S&P were "clearly" better when, IMO, an argument could be made for both pairs. I haven't been able to really enjoy pairs since.


    Do I think there's suspect judging? Yes. Do I think there's the possibility of collusion? Yes. Do I think that many recent international competition results have been the result of this? No. But now people scream Corruption! Collusion! Cheating! when they see a result they don't agree with. I really dislike that. I feel it does a disservice to the sport.
    Where were you when LeGougne admitted she had to vote for one of the Pair teams because another Federation (which is left nameless) was going to make a gift for the French dance team. You must not have followed the events after that competition. There was cheating admitedly; there was collusion admitedly; there was corruption (proven). The only thing that's left is the secret Federation who participated in this collusion. To keep that quiet, a gold medal was given to the real winners.

    What's wrong with screaming when there is foul play? Sensitivity never got results. The corruption does a disservice to the sport. Screaming my cure it. does that make sense?

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 02-07-2005 at 10:44 PM.

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    Right after SLC 2002, I completely lost interest. Missed worlds 2002,2003,2004...hardly watched any ISU events until this season. Other than loss of interest, I also had other stuff going on in my life - a promotion, travelling to do and post-grad studies.

    If you ask me why I came back to skating, I would say the atheletes.

    I have also learned skating is never gonna be fair because it is too rigid.
    Last edited by bleuchick; 02-07-2005 at 11:27 PM.

  11. #11
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    Suspect Judging has convinced me of two things...

    Hey there! This is a great thread... As a hard-core skating fan who is totally cynical & is of the opinion that the ISU thinks we the fans are lemmings, the suspect judging has convinced me of two things...

    1. The emporer has no clothes... The CoP system is the 6.0 system with algebra... like new math in the 80s & 90s. We fans get in an uproar and whine & complain about this new system or over analyze it to death when its not real...

    Before the CoP experts jump on my case (and I know that by my post name, I'm bringing it on myself...) let's look at this from a rational point of view... How many major position shifts have we seen in the past 18 months because of the CoP? None. Nada. Ziltch. The only exception might be Joanine R. but is that's natural progression NOT the new system. Every two years there is a new face on the scene... 2004/5 just happens to be her time... Nothing new about that... Good luck to her in Moscow.

    2. At this point, I've read a million threads arguing over Michelle, Irina, DivaKwara & Cohen and their chances at Worlds. Forget about it. The results won't matter. I'm convinced that the OGM in '06 will be handed on a silver platter to Michelle Kwan. Because the fix is in... Why you ask? Because after SLC & her apparent intention to retire ~ she's back at Skate America because USFSA "made me an offer I couldn't refuse" (direct Michelle Kwan quote from SA '03 fluff piece) who needed a name after Tara & Sarah retired... Now, why would the greatest skater EVER start doing programs that while brilliant, were not technically superior? Because she didn't have to. Her so-so programs are better than others' "Skate of a Lifetime." She's biding her time to Torino where she will get that medal and the ISU, USFSA, and the Hardcores pray that interest stays with the sport because the casual fan will get a result they can understand.

    I'm not saying that No Michelle Kwan = No skating but what I am saying is that casual fans will have their Dan Jansen moment and stop decrying this sport as suspect. (And no, the irony of that statement is not lost on me)Then it will be business as usual...

    Before everyone runs me off the board, just give it some thought... It happens in Dance & Pairs (who doesn't seriously believe the T&M are gonna win Worlds?) why not Ladies? And the ISU throws the hard core fans a bone with a "reformed" judging system. Please. I don't think the sky is falling, but I do think that this stopped being a sport when the casual fans yelled foul re: S&P & the French judge went public... Since then its been PR spin, band aids, and strategic planning until '06.

    We'll see... but until then, I say watch the coverage, argue online and root for your favorite... But don't lose your sense of humor along the way, because the next year shall be a giggle fest.

    And as usual, I feel the worse for the Cohen fans, who get a LOT of respect in my book for their loyalty, because they will suffer the terrible position of her getting caught in the crossfire...

    Kwanford Wife
    "cynics are right 9 times out of 10"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwanford Wife

    2. At this point, I've read a million threads arguing over Michelle, Irina, DivaKwara & Cohen and their chances at Worlds. Forget about it. The results won't matter. I'm convinced that the OGM in '06 will be handed on a silver platter to Michelle Kwan. Because the fix is in... Why you ask? Because after SLC & her apparent intention to retire ~ she's back at Skate America because USFSA "made me an offer I couldn't refuse" (direct Michelle Kwan quote from SA '03 fluff piece) who needed a name after Tara & Sarah retired... Now, why would the greatest skater EVER start doing programs that while brilliant, were not technically superior? Because she didn't have to. Her so-so programs are better than others' "Skate of a Lifetime." She's biding her time to Torino where she will get that medal and the ISU, USFSA, and the Hardcores pray that interest stays with the sport because the casual fan will get a result they can understand.
    Wow, I have to hand it to you - anti-Kwan to the extreme.

  13. #13
    Woman of the Waters
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    Good points Joe. I think the rational skater, judge, or fan or anyone else for that matter is able to discern between what is emotion or bias and what is obviously a problem that is inherent in the sport of figure skating. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that corruption does exist and to deny it doesn't is just foolhardy and further contributing to the problem instead of fixing it.

    As for this thread, ice dancing is the least of my favorites of the disciplines in ice skating moreso with the fact that I think it's the one where corruption runs rampent. But I gotta admit with the ongoing corruption that is slowly but surely affecting the other disciplines of the sport, I am getting quite disheartened and disenchanted by it all...but I still haven't lost hope yet.
    Last edited by Kuchana; 02-08-2005 at 02:40 AM.

  14. #14
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    What has suspect judging done to me, personally? Nothing. As a former figure skater, the judging end of skating has always been a separate entity to the sport itself. I always loved skating for the joy of skating. How it is perceived by others is a matter of opinion. I love to watch each skater from the lowest level to top level perform. I appreciate the hard work and dedication involved.

    Judging in figure skating has always had its good points and bad points. It's also a very political thing - especially when other countries are involved. It's a totally different ball game within a club competition or test situation - then you will see a more level playing ground. Still it's great to see all the skaters performing their best. They are the ones that judging really affects - suspect or not. They have to trust the system - it's the only one they have otherwise there would be no competition.

    As for ice dance, I used to be very involved in ice dance because of a relative who competed and also I enjoyed watching the great ice dance teams like Torvill and Dean. However, over the years I lost my interest in ice dance because the programs are not very interesting anymore, not because of judging. Most of the free dance programs lack creativity. It's more or less a given in ice dance that the skaters who are ahead in their compulsory dances will win. I don't think the new judging system is going to change that much. It's sort of like when figures counted for part of the marking for the free skate portion. The only way that could be changed is by eliminating the compulsories and just hold a free dance competition.

    I still love figure skating despite the judging scandals and I will still be glued to my tv set to watch great skaters like Jeff Buttle, Kurt Browning and Yuka Sato weave their magic across the ice. No matter what the outcome, no judge can take the joy out of skating for me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Where were you when LeGougne admitted she had to vote for one of the Pair teams because another Federation (which is left nameless) was going to make a gift for the French dance team. You must not have followed the events after that competition. There was cheating admitedly; there was collusion admitedly; there was corruption (proven). The only thing that's left is the secret Federation who participated in this collusion. To keep that quiet, a gold medal was given to the real winners.

    What's wrong with screaming when there is foul play? Sensitivity never got results. The corruption does a disservice to the sport. Screaming my cure it. does that make sense?

    Joe
    I'm talking about what was said about the skaters, specifically B&S during and after SLC. I'm talking about the biased coverage that did not do justice, IMO, to their skating. Even Mathman said what I was trying to say. I'm not talking about the judges in that event. What I believe about the judging in the event is irrelevant. As I said in my post, what turned me off was the circus that surrounded the event. It left me thinking that FS has just a bunch of drama queens running it (and commentating on it) that do not really care about their sport but rather their own interests and that instead of acting rationally for the long term good of the sport, they are short sighted and emotional and are easily manipulated.

    As I also said, I do believe there is corruption in judging, from the east and from the west. But what I see is that people that don't like a certain skater quickly jump on the corruption bandwagon when that particular skater wins. No attempt is made to try to understand why, perhaps, that skater might have deserved the win. Case in point, Slutskaya's win at Euros. A whole bunch of people screamed "Scandal!" (and without even watching the event, mind you) but they didn't bother to analyze how she might have arrived at her scores in a competition where no one skated cleanly.

    I give judges the benefit of the doubt a lot of times. There are a few instances where I've disagreed with the placement (Irina's win in GPF 2001, S&P GPF win in 2000 and their Worlds win in 2000, G&G's win at the 1994 Olys, G&P's win at those same Olys), but in most cases I can see how they reached their decision.

    And may I say, could you not sound so rude to me? What have I done to you, except disagree with you?

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