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gingercat
10-18-2011, 01:08 PM
Was having a converation with a few skaters after they participated in a recent JGP. It was suggested by the skaters that if there is a fall or other clear cut "mistake" in the program that the computer program does an automatic deduction of -3, this will clear up any chance for some judges to put a -2 or -1. I thought this was a great suggestion. It may help those that are tempted to show bias.

MarieM
10-18-2011, 01:16 PM
From 2002 to 2006, judges and federation could do little as far as the new COP system was brought on.
Now, not only do they know how to play it, the politics are back and stronger than ever since it's now completly OPAQUE.
Well done ISU.

mazzy
10-18-2011, 01:29 PM
Was having a converation with a few skaters after they participated in a recent JGP. It was suggested by the skaters that if there is a fall or other clear cut "mistake" in the program that the computer program does an automatic deduction of -3, this will clear up any chance for some judges to put a -2 or -1. I thought this was a great suggestion. It may help those that are tempted to show bias.

While I agree that an automatic -3 should be given out in case of falls/illegal elements in the SP to avoid mistakes, I actually don't believe that the outlier GOEs in such cases are due to biased judges... for the simple reason that it doesn't accomplish anything because the false GOEs are likely to be scrapped anyways. Any judge who tries to bolster a favourite's score this way is an idiot -because it is way more effective and less obvious to give out slight boosts on elements that were done decently.

gkelly
10-18-2011, 04:22 PM
Was having a converation with a few skaters after they participated in a recent JGP. It was suggested by the skaters that if there is a fall or other clear cut "mistake" in the program that the computer program does an automatic deduction of -3, this will clear up any chance for some judges to put a -2 or -1. I thought this was a great suggestion. It may help those that are tempted to show bias.

There are certain mistakes that according to the rules require that the GOE be -3.

One of those is doing fewer than the required revolutions, e.g., a single axel instead of the required double (or triple, for seniors) in the short program. The other is failing to do the second jump in the required short program combination.

Someone human (the tech panel) still has to identify what the skater did, before the computer can know that the GOE is required to be -3.

At that point, it would make sense for the computer to put in the required -3 for those elements, regardless of what the judges input.

For falls, the rules do not require that the final GOE be -3. They require judges to subtract 3 grades from whatever their GOE for the element would have been without the fall. For a solo jump, in almost all cases the GOE would not have been higher than 0 without the fall and may have been lower already, so the final GOE will end up as -3.

For jump combinations and for spins and step sequences, it's possible that the skater would have done enough of the element well enough that some judges were planning to give a positive GOE, and then the skater fell and the judges were required to reduce that planned GOE by 3.

At that point, there may be a fall and the correct GOE according to the judges' honest evaluation of the element is -1 or -2. So it would be incorrect for the computer to override them and force a -3 GOE that the rules do not require.

For falls, there is also a required deduction of 1.00 from the total score. Again, this is automatic IF the tech panel identifies the mistake as a fall. The computer puts it in automatically after the tech panel tells it there was a fall. But the computer can't identify a fall by itself. And some errors that don't result in the skater sitting on the ice are in a gray area as to whether they meet the definition of "fall." Human decisions are still necessary in those cases.

gingercat
10-18-2011, 07:17 PM
Interesting, I have seen cases where a skater had a -1.00 for a fall and did not get a -3 from all judges, these skaters have seen this as well. It was just an observation made by participating skaters. It would be very interesting to hear the skaters opinion on these things as they are the ones directly affected by these decisions. It is true that the Tech people need to be impartial - perhaps they can be paid by ISU as a professional verses a voluteer and therefore be able to loose their job if not performed well. No easy solution - But I do think it might be time to have a panel made up of skaters providing input to protect their own interests. (
Many other sports have this in place) They all work very hard and I am sure they all would like to be judged as fairly as possible.

gkelly
10-18-2011, 07:57 PM
Absolutely active skaters, especially the older and more experienced ones, should have input into what the rules they compete under should be.

But it behooves them to understand what the current rules are before suggesting specific changes.

For the most part technical specialists are recent competitors and/or current coaches. Active skaters who are old enough would do well to get trained as tech specialists. That will give them a way to stay connected to the sport after and even during their competitive careers, if they're interested. Or they could be trained as judges, if that interests them. Or both.

Do international tech specialists get paid more than just reimbursement of expenses, i.e., more than judges? I remember hearing that would be the case but I don't know if that is the way it actually ended up working.

All tech specialists do have a nationality though, and a history of representing a federation -- not necessarily the same one, what with country switching etc. So they're still just as human and subject to unconscious bias as anyone else. Fortunately, the decisions they need to make are not as subject to personal opinion as judging decisions are.

IIRC, tech specialists do represent the ISU and are assigned to events directly by the ISU, not their federations. So they don't have the same political pressure on them that judges do federations that have power to withhold assignments.

There needs to be a way for tech specialists to work their way up to the highest levels. Even if it's determined that a professional cadre of ISU specialists on salary for the whole season will do all ISU championships, Grand Prix events, and maybe more, what about all the domestic events and lower level European events that attract skaters from more than one country, etc.? Those events also need trained tech specialists, the ISU is not going to pay for them, and the organizers probably can't afford to pay more than expenses -- especially if the expenses involve international travel.

So there is still a need for volunteers. And it's easier to attract volunteers to serve at lower levels if there is a promise of eventual promotion to the higher levels. But of course it must be necessary to show competence and beyond before achieving promotions.

Money is one thing. If there isn't enough coming in from outside the sport (i.e., TV contracts, as opposed to skaters' entry fees), then there won't be enough to
If there's plenty of outside money, then it's easier to pay the officials, at least at the highest levels.

Impartiality (as far as possible) is another thing. What if the ISU chose all officials, judges and referees as well as tech specialists and controllers, at the highest international levels and didn't rely on federations "sending" officials at all?

If they did that completely blinded to national origin, then the countries that have many internationally qualified officials (e.g., US, Canada, Russia) would be overrepresented on the panels. So then put in restrictions on national origin of the officials on each panel, even though the officials are not representing their federations. The distribution of nationalities might not be much different than it is now, but the allegiances of the officials might be.

But then there would be accusations that the ISU is playing politics itself in its selections rather than allowing the federations to do so. There isn't really away to avoid such accusations, or the possibility that they might be true -- just to change the identity of the accused.

Aussie Willy
10-18-2011, 10:30 PM
Was having a converation with a few skaters after they participated in a recent JGP. It was suggested by the skaters that if there is a fall or other clear cut "mistake" in the program that the computer program does an automatic deduction of -3, this will clear up any chance for some judges to put a -2 or -1. I thought this was a great suggestion. It may help those that are tempted to show bias.

No because a fall doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the element was crap. The skater could have great take off, height in the air, cover the ice but the error is a fall. If the jump without the fall was going to be a +2 element, then you can drop it back to a -1 based on the fact that the rest of the element was brillant.

julieann
10-18-2011, 11:03 PM
No because a fall doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the element was crap. The skater could have great take off, height in the air, cover the ice but the error is a fall. If the jump without the fall was going to be a +2 element, then you can drop it back to a -1 based on the fact that the rest of the element was brillant.

I agree with that and also not all falls are equal either. I have seen pretty bad falls where skaters slide across the ice that deserves a
-3. I've also seen some where they just fall to one knee and get up a second later and continue. If you had blinked you probably would have missed it. That one didn't deserve -3, it wasn't that bad.

Aussie Willy
10-19-2011, 01:20 AM
I agree with that and also not all falls are equal either. I have seen pretty bad falls where skaters slide across the ice that deserves a
-3. I've also seen some where they just fall to one knee and get up a second later and continue. If you had blinked you probably would have missed it. That one didn't deserve -3, it wasn't that bad.
All falls are equal but some are more equal than others. :D

gkelly
10-19-2011, 03:44 PM
I agree with that and also not all falls are equal either. I have seen pretty bad falls where skaters slide across the ice that deserves a -3.

That's a case where not only do they get the -3 GOE and 1.0 fall deduction, but the PCS should be negatively affected as well.

The down-and-up kind of fall need not hurt the PCS at all and could be less disruptive than other errors that do not require a fall deduction.

sequins
10-19-2011, 03:57 PM
Better? Yes, thankfully, but in a sport that is judged such a thing can never be completely erased.

kwanatic
10-19-2011, 04:22 PM
That's a case where not only do they get the -3 GOE and 1.0 fall deduction, but the PCS should be negatively affected as well.


Unfortunately, this doesn't happen enough especially when you're dealing with a skater who came into the competition as a favorite anyway. When a non-favored skater has multiple mistakes, the PCS plummet across the board, regardless of the things they did right. However, there have been occasions where a favored skater has had multiple errors yet no evidence of that was reflected in the PCS. I'm mainly referring to PE--Peformance/Execution. The marks should be independently judged but that doesn't happen.

gkelly
10-19-2011, 04:28 PM
Unfortunately, this doesn't happen enough especially when you're dealing with a skater who came into the competition as a favorite anyway. When a non-favored skater has multiple mistakes, the PCS plummet across the board, regardless of the things they did right.

I wasn't talking about the number of mistakes, but the disruptiveness of the mistakes.

julieann said "I have seen pretty bad falls where skaters slide across the ice"

I'd also add falls where the skater stumbles around trying to save an element, loses the attempt and finally falls.

Or the skater falls, sits on the ice for several seconds deciding whether s/he is hurt too much to go on, and then gets up and continues.

Or the skater falls, tries to get up, and struggles and stumbles in the recovery.

Or the fall has prevented the skater from finishing an element in progress or starting the next element so s/he stands around or strokes to a different part of the ice to get ready to pick up with the next phrase in the music/choreography.

Those are the kinds of falls that I would expect to be penalized more heavily in PCS. Falls that are done and over with 2 seconds after they happen do not disrupt the program to nearly the same degree.

How much worse are three down-and-up falls that lose 5 seconds combined from the total program compared with one stumbling disruptive fall that loses 10 or more seconds from the program?

kwanatic
10-19-2011, 08:27 PM
^^Well, IMO, a fall is a fall. If your butt hits the ice, it should be an automatic -3, regardless of if your butt was on the ice for 3 second or 0.3 seconds. What I hate to see is a skater receiving -3 GOEs for a wrong edge jump, especially when they land it cleanly. Is a wrong edge take off really tantamount to a fall? :confused: Geez...

I think one of the main problems with the system is the fact that judges have so much discretion; it leaves ample room for bias. Looking at the protocols for a competition, it's obvious to see which judges liked which skater. When you have most judges scoring +1 and +2 GOEs with PCS ranging from 6.25-6.75 yet one judge scores +2 and +3 GOEs and 7.00-7.75 in PCS, it's clear that that particular judge enjoyed that skater more. It's preference and preference is biased. That's why I say until a computerized version of scoring is engineered and put into effect, we will never have a 100% fairly judged competition in this sport.

gkelly
10-19-2011, 08:53 PM
^^Well, IMO, a fall is a fall. If your butt hits the ice, it should be an automatic -3, regardless of if your butt was on the ice for 3 second or 0.3 seconds.

Yes, on the GOE (assuming the fall was on an element), it's an automatic -3 deducted from whatever the GOE would have been without the fall. As I said in a previous post, for solo jumps that almost always ends up with the final GOE being -3.

There's also an automatic 1.0 fall deduction from the total score.

It's in the PCS that discretion comes into play. No "automatic" about it. Butt on ice for 0.3 seconds or 3 seconds or 30 seconds makes a big difference in the overall impression of the program.


What I hate to see is a skater receiving -3 GOEs for a wrong edge jump, especially when they land it cleanly.

When does that happen? When there are also other things wrong with the jump, e.g., underrotation. Or maybe the skater was very slow going into and out of the jump and landed on the wrong edge as well. I don't think a good, clean jump with nothing wrong with it besides an incorrect takeoff edge would get -3 GOE.

Can you find examples of jumps that had no other errors besides -3 and received -3 GOEs?

The problems with the jump might be less distracting to casual viewers but nails on a chalkboard to judges who are trained to evaluate technique and quality.


Is a wrong edge take off really tantamount to a fall? :confused: Geez...

No, but it's a technique error and will result in less than base value for the GOE. If everything else is good (think Nicole Bobek at her best), there shouldn't be any negative effect on the PCS.


I think one of the main problems with the system is the fact that judges have so much discretion; it leaves ample room for bias. Looking at the protocols for a competition, it's obvious to see which judges liked which skater. When you have most judges scoring +1 and +2 GOEs with PCS ranging from 6.25-6.75 yet one judge scores +2 and +3 GOEs and 7.00-7.75 in PCS, it's clear that that particular judge enjoyed that skater more. It's preference and preference is biased. That's why I say until a computerized version of scoring is engineered and put into effect, we will never have a 100% fairly judged competition in this sport.

Well, IJS is a step forward in the sense that 6.0 was all about judges' opinions and now there's a major part of the score (base values of the elements) in which judges have no input and skaters automatically get credit for what they actually execute. (Except for when the tech panel determines that an element didn't fulfill the requirements and it gets no credit, but judges have no part in that decision.)

Technology may someday allow even more automated and precise evaluation of the technique. But as long as "quality" is valued, whether we're talking about edge quality or body line, not to mention interpretation and other aspects of "artistry," there will continue to be a subjective component to the scoring. They will never go away completely.

Those subjective aspects of the sport are what tends to attract audiences, after all.

So, yeah, the sport as it exists will never be 100% objective or, probably, even more than 50% objective. And therefore there will always be areas for honest disagreement and someone will always think some of the decisions are unfair.