Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4
Results 46 to 57 of 57

Thread: Who is in the "Western bloc"?

  1. #46
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,356
    MM nothing is black or white in reality. What I try to say was. If a judge has his country man in competetion, he may consiousely go for his country man if it's a close call. I still call this a cultral influence, perhaps Joe would call it patriotics. This is human natural. They are not suppose to do so by judg rule. But they are human. If there is no his country man in competetion, than he might just go for his prefered style. Or if he is a really good one, he strictly judge by rules. I don't think this is corrupt judgeing. Sometime incompetent, yes. Corrupt judging only happens when deal was made. IMO.

    I'm not saying no corruption in FS judge, it dose happen sometimes, but mostly I saw I would say more of cutural influence.

    Also there are cases one does not get so much cutural influence as general in his own country. You know there is always exception/odd chance in statics.
    Last edited by mzheng; 06-28-2005 at 09:35 PM.

  2. #47
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    281

    Mathman

    MM, You got it right how bout they just cheat. Now thats more to the point. Its not cultural, political or geographical its called blatant cheaters. No other explanation is needed. I no longer try to figure it out cause its pretty obvious. Like your post though ,well thought out.

  3. #48
    Minority member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    212
    Mathman,

    I understand where you are coming from. But I do not think you'd get your answers from 2002 worlds. True, both Slutskaya and Kwan turned in a great and clean free-skate, in the minds of the judges, its a matter of "these two are so close to each other in terms of talent, who performence did I prefer, which one had the bing and the bang" in the end six judges(whether they are from Europe, or not) went with Slutskaya, three went with Kwan.
    Although Dick Button believed Kwan would not win with the panel at 2002 worlds, I think thats an oxymoron to an extent. Before the competition began, Dick expected all judges to line up with Slutskaya, but 3 did not think Slutskaya was better then Kwan.
    Tracy Wilson(Canadian commentator) thought Kwan's performence was great but it would've been better had she went for that 3toe/3toe, as Kwan gained massive speed for her first 3toe.I think judges would've had her in 1st had she landed a 3/3.
    Rod Black(Canadian commentator) thought the competition for the gold medal was over after Slutskaya's stunning LP.

    A common misconception is only european(mainly Russians) judges cheat, i'm not saying they don't over-score skaters from their country when the competition is close but hardly nobody else mentions north-American judges when they over-score skaters from their country. Example: 2001 Worlds Ladies SP. Slutskaya skating to "culture" turns in a clean and well skated program, skated the most difficult SP in the competition.
    Kwan skating to "East of Eden" makes a slight two foot on her 3lutz(keep in mind its the SP, no mistake is small mistake when its the technical program) but everything else being clean and crisp. But American judge Joseph Inman and Mrs. Hermi Ottemann were the only two judges giving Kwan 1st place ordinal ahead of Slutskaya in the SP. Ottemann even went as far as giving Kwan the technical edge ove Slutskaya.
    The point i'm trying to convey is that judges give the mark truely believing the skater he/she ranked 1st is really that good. I do not think there is a judge out there thinking no matter how skater X skates, she/he will win because I want them too, I think its totally the opposite.
    Last edited by Excidra2001; 06-28-2005 at 10:16 PM.

  4. #49
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,205
    Excidra, I think we are on the same page here. What I was saying is that I do not think that it is a cultural commonality that causes judges from different countries to vote the same way.

    I don't know why Mr. Inman (USA) and Mrs. Ottemann (Netherlands) both bucked the trend and voted for Michelle in the 2001 Worlds SP, but I do not believe it is because of a common fondness for tulips and the paintings of Van Gogh.

    MM

  5. #50
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185
    You make lite of the cultural appeal of a judge giving high scores to his own countryman and other judges who agree because that is also their heritage even if he/she lives in another country. I will stay clear of politics. It's cultural.

    Maybe that's why I like the Kerrs?

    Joe

  6. #51
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,853
    Quote Originally Posted by MathmanWhat I was saying is that I do not think that it is a [i
    cultural[/i] commonality that causes judges from different countries to vote the same way.

    I don't know why Mr. Inman (USA) and Mrs. Ottemann (Netherlands) both bucked the trend and voted for Michelle in the 2001 Worlds SP, but I do not believe it is because of a common fondness for tulips and the paintings of Van Gogh.
    Well, no, but tulips and Van Gogh paintings are not directly relevant to *skating* culture.

    Say you had one country or one part of the world where the skating culture developed out of a tradition that put the most value on precision of what the blades were doing on the ice. Clean edges (including on jump takeoffs and landings) and turns and centered spins might be the highest values for this skating culture. They like to see classic, simple body lines and restrained performance qualities that don't distract from what the feet are doing technically.

    Another part of the world might have developed figure skating as a form of dance. The most important qualities that skaters from that culture strive for and that those judges reward might be relation to the music, relation to the spectators, and creativity, with skating technique considered as a means to those ends rather than an end in itself.

    And let's say there's yet another contingent that values athleticism above all -- speed, high jumps, fast spins, obvious displays of flexibility, and as much overall difficulty as possible with a tendency to reward quantity over quality.

    Now, within each of these traditions there are probably different judges who have different top priorities, perhaps even sometimes to the extent of preferring the approach of one of the other factions after being exposed to the best skaters from that tradition. But in general, the judges within a given skating culture are going to share similar skating values. And when it comes to crossing national lines, judges (and skaters, and coaches/choreographers) from cultures that share a language and can thus socialize freely at international skating events, that read the same skating books/magazines/websites and rebroadcast each other's skating specials, that are located close enough to send skaters and judges to each other's club competitions at lower levels, are going to share more values than judges/skaters/coaches from countries that only interact at the elite international competitions.

  7. #52
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,205
    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly
    Say you had one country or one part of the world where the skating culture developed out of a tradition that put the most value on precision of what the blades were doing on the ice. Clean edges (including on jump takeoffs and landings) and turns and centered spins might be the highest values for this skating culture. They like to see classic, simple body lines and restrained performance qualities that don't distract from what the feet are doing technically.

    Another part of the world might have developed figure skating as a form of dance. The most important qualities that skaters from that culture strive for and that those judges reward might be relation to the music, relation to the spectators, and creativity, with skating technique considered as a means to those ends rather than an end in itself.

    And let's say there's yet another contingent that values athleticism above all -- speed, high jumps, fast spins, obvious displays of flexibility, and as much overall difficulty as possible with a tendency to reward quantity over quality.
    That is just the question that I am struggling with. I understand this theory. But I wonder how much it really plays out in practice.

    Let's say Russia reaches into it's balletic roots and decides that the elegant and graceful body lines of Gordeeva and Grinkhov are just the thing that their cultural tradition values most.

    Then along comes Irina Slutskaya, and all of a sudden it's, oops, did I say balletic lines? I meant powerful stroking.

    Does the cultural tradition of Japan value the athleticism of Midori Ito or the understated grace of Yuka Sato?

    My especial question had to do with whether there is really such a thing as a (cultural) "Western bloc." Do the "skating cultures," of, say, the United States, Italy, Japan and Sweden have so much in common that this causes them to judge skating competitons alike?

    MM

  8. #53
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,853
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    That is just the question that I am struggling with. I understand this theory. But I wonder how much it really plays out in practice.
    Personally, I think that the skating tastes of skaters, coaches, choreographers, and judges are shaped by the skating culture they grew up with and the other influences they've been exposed to, so it's more likely for individuals with similar backgrounds to have similar tastes, but within any given culture there are going to be variations and exceptions.

    I also think that international judges are going to try to do the best that they can for "their" skaters within good conscience according to the skating presented. Different individuals may have different levels of conscience or different definitions of what constitutes judging to produce desired results rather than just judging the skating as they see it.

    But I wouldn't assume a apriori that a judge whose tastes and political allegiances differ from mine is necessarily more likely cheating when s/he gives the highest marks to a skater I don't think deserves it. That judge or others from that culture might think the same thing about judges who share my preferences.

    Let's say Russia reaches into it's balletic roots and decides that the elegant and graceful body lines of Gordeeva and Grinkhov are just the thing that their cultural tradition values most.

    Then along comes Irina Slutskaya, and all of a sudden it's, oops, did I say balletic lines? I meant powerful stroking.
    Well, Gordeeva and Grinkov had powerful stroking too. They just performed it with more elegant body lines. :-)

    I think sometimes we draw one dichotomy and expect everything to fall on one side or the other, and in reality a different division is more salient to some of the people making the decision.

    For example, you could ask, do we favor artistry or athleticism, a favorite either/or of the US commentators in the 80s and 90s. Baiul vs. Kerrigan could fall along those lines, and so could Kwan vs. Slutskaya, let's say, but on opposite sides. So if a judge consistently chooses both Americans in those matchups, or both Russian/Ukrainians, does that mean the judge is being inconsistent?

    Well, maybe we weren't asking the right question. What if we defined the dichotomy as extroversion and power vs. subtlety and restraint, for instance? In that case both matchups would fall along the same national lines rather than opposite. So no inconsistency.

    But it's still only an either/or question. And there are always going to be many more than two qualities to any skating performance. Different skaters will have different qualities in different degrees.

    Does the cultural tradition of Japan value the athleticism of Midori Ito or the understated grace of Yuka Sato?
    That could be a hot debate at Japanese Nationals if we'd ever had Sato in her 1994 form competing against the Ito of a few years earlier. I don't know, who would be the most opposite among the Japanese ladies now? Onda vs. Ota? They were never competing head to head for the top spot, but are there any patterns in how Japanese judges rated them against each other when they did meet.

    Does the cultural tradition of the US value the athleticism of Debi Thomas or the understated grace of Kristi Yamaguchi? I think we value whoever is at the top of the game for whatever they're best at, and other countries do the same.

    My especial question had to do with whether there is really such a thing as a (cultural) "Western bloc." Do the "skating cultures," of, say, the United States, Italy, Japan and Sweden have so much in common that this causes them to judge skating competitons alike?
    No, not really. But I would say that the U.S., Canada, Britain, and Australia have common traditions in ice dance especially that would cause them to judge alike, and that judges from Japan or other western European countries that don't have their own strong ice dance tradition would probably share tastes with either the Anglophone or the Russophone tradition depending where most of their coaches came from or were influenced by.

    Also during the Cold War there was probably anti-Soviet feeling and isolation causing westerners to distrust the Soviet bloc (and vice versa) that affected judging allegiances at that time without the need for active collusion to explain it, and some of that may still persist in judges' perceptions of "us" vs. "them."

    But you can also bet that some non-Russian Eastern Europeans harbor resentment of the big bad Russians and won't do them any political favors. Even if their skating tastes are more similar.

    When judges socialize before and after competitions, at training seminars, etc., who can they talk to? Everyone has to know English now (and when some of the older judges were first starting out, the ISU official language was German -- actually I'm not sure what year that changed, if not today's judges then their mentors anyway), but I'm sure lots of socializing goes on in Russian too among those for whom Russian is their first language, or the first foreign language they learned at school. That will affect international spread of tastes and preferences, without anyone on either side ever discussing how an upcoming competition should be judged.

  9. #54
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    281

    Question

    Can someone explain to me why the secret judging? If the sport was on the up and up there would be no need to keep the names hidden. Judges would be named and the points they gave would be given at the time so we can see and maybe understand who and why each skater won or why they didnt win. There is the perception that the sport isnt an honest sport. Maybe all the posts here have some validity however it appears there is something to hide no matter what Speedy says or the secret judging would be gone. That being said because of this point the winner better be a clear winner leaving no room for questions. Thats what I want to see no matter who the winner is not a flawed program and the excuse oh she spins faster or jumps higher but the overall program skated well leaving no doubt. The viewership for TV is so low now I dont think it will survive if the OLY winner isnt real clear.

  10. #55
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    28,205
    GKelly (that's G as in Gene, right?), what a pleasure your posts are.

    Cianni, well, OK, here is why secret judging is good, according to the official position of the ISU.

    Judges are good. National skating federations are bad. The root cause of judging scandals is that the federations (and other wicked folk such as national Olympic committees, patriotic organizations, the mafia, etc.) pressure the judges into violating their good-judge's oath.

    Secret judging frees the judges to vote their conscience, without getting in trouble when they get back home. They can always lie and say, yes I voted with the conspirators like you told me to, even though they didn't. ("With these evil folk we never know when they are in league and when they are cheating one another" -- Aragorn, about the Orcs.)

    It's the same principle as a secret ballot in political elections. The candidate who bribed you has no way of knowing whether you voted for him or not.

    So there you have it, from Speedy's mouth to your ear.

    MM

  11. #56
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    281

    Thanks MM

    From your post to mine MM. I got a good belly laugh. Speedy needs a class in how to think things through while making a fool out of himself instesd of being a fool while trying to convince others he finished his class and really did think this decision through. Judges being accountable for their points is the thought through solution to his corrupt judging problem. Thanks anyway for enlightening me on my inability to think through a decision according to Speedy. I just need to find that class here at UofD so I can enrole.

  12. #57
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    20,185
    Mathman - What I don't get is your insistence it is political like the cold war is still en force. Relax that's over. Try to realize that the people of a country are brought up in a tradition and heritage. If those people go to another country, they carry that tradition and heritage with them. It's quite natural whether its food or interests in the arts and sports. That is not politics. It's human.

    With so many Russians leaving the country due to the fall of the Soviets, they are spread throughout the world (not unlike a bunch of Kelts from years gone by). Many of those Russians loved figure skating and they were brought up with the Soviet system as part of their heritage. Whether they or their descendants who are in Ubekistan or N.America, they will react quite naturally to their culture. And if they are judges, they will look for the traits in skating that made Soviet system so great. We have such a condition right now with legitimate different nationalities but with cultural ties to how they were brought up.

    And we agree, not many muslims interested in figure skating.

    Joe

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4

Posting Permissions

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