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Maofan7
10-13-2011, 10:12 PM
Controversial result in the Womens gymnastics all-around today with many believing that Komova was the real winner. Whatever the rights and wrongs of that, Gymnastics needs to avoid any scoring controversy at next years Olympics. As Figure Skating discovered in 2002, when that happens at an Olympics, then questions are raised over whether the sport should even be in the Olympics. Gymnastics needs to avoid that as if it were ever removed from the Olympics, it would kill the sport.

So this begs the question, is Politics rearing it's ugly head again in the marking of sporting competitions? If so, to what extent does it remain a factor in terms of the marking of figure skating competitions following the changes made in the wake of what happened at the 2002 Olympics?

Please Note: What I am referring to specifically is the marking of competitions and politics in terms of conscious, deliberate, and wilful decisions to mark competitions in a manner other than on a purely meritocratic basis for political reasons/reasons of bias (i.e. similar to what was alleged to have happened at the 2002 Olympics). There will always be a subconscious element of bias/politics involved in marking (which can never be eradicated), but that is not what is being referred to here and nor am I referring to other forms of politics in figure skating. What I am referring to, as stated, is conscious, deliberate, and wilful decisions to mark a competition on a non-meritocratic basis for political reasons/reasons of bias.

professordeb
10-13-2011, 10:21 PM
Totally eradicated - no, I don't think so.
Reduced some - perhaps, probably.

Aussie Willy
10-13-2011, 10:21 PM
Sorry but have you been living on another planet? :lol: It gets discussed here all the time, from what decisions the ISU make to judging issues.

There will always be politics in skating (or any sport), from the skating clubs through to the top level. It is actually a natural part of the decision making process and how things get done at any level. Whether they are good or bad politics is another thing, but politics is and will always be part of the sport.

julieann
10-13-2011, 10:31 PM
Controversial result in the Womens gymnastics all-around today with many believing that Komova was the real winner.

Darn, I must have missed something...:shuffle:

Maofan7
10-13-2011, 10:37 PM
Sorry but have you been living on another planet? :lol: It gets discussed here all the time, from what decisions the ISU make to judging issues.

There will always be politics in skating (or any sport), from the skating clubs through to the top level. It is actually a natural part of the decision making process and how things get done at any level. Whether they are good or bad politics is another thing, but politics is and will always be part of the sport.

Politics should have no 'natural' place in any sport. In any judging situation, marks should be fairly and objectively awarded. The ISU assert that that is the case in figure skating following the changes. If it isn't, then obviously Figure Skating continues to have a problem.

julieann
10-13-2011, 10:43 PM
In any judging situation, marks should be fairly and objectively awarded.

Until a machine does it, nothing can be completely fair or objective as long as a human is judging; not on the ice, on a field or in a court room. No matter how hard we try.

I do think the COP has a long way to go but it's a much better was of scoring than it was.

I do think sometimes fans cry foul when their faves don't win when it truly was fair, so that word 'politics' will never die.

Sylvia
10-13-2011, 10:46 PM
As long as judges are human, there will always be a certain amount of bias in the judging of figure skating. Bias (or politics) wouldn't magically disappear if judges stopped representing countries either, IMO.

ETA: I hope judges, despite their flaws, are never replaced by machines!

Maofan7
10-13-2011, 10:56 PM
As long as judges are human, there will always be a certain amount of bias in the judging of figure skating. Bias (or politics) wouldn't magically disappear if judges stopped representing countries either, IMO.

ETA: I hope judges, despite their flaws, are never replaced by machines!

I agree. COP has gone a long way to improving matters, although it remains imperfect. More I think can and should be done

crzesk8dad
10-14-2011, 03:44 AM
As long as judges are human, there will always be a certain amount of bias in the judging of figure skating. Bias (or politics) wouldn't magically disappear if judges stopped representing countries either, IMO.

ETA: I hope judges, despite their flaws, are never replaced by machines!

Bravo, Sylvia, bravo!! :40beers:

gkelly
10-14-2011, 03:59 AM
There will always be politics in skating (or any sport), from the skating clubs through to the top level. It is actually a natural part of the decision making process and how things get done at any level. Whether they are good or bad politics is another thing, but politics is and will always be part of the sport.


Politics should have no 'natural' place in any sport. In any judging situation, marks should be fairly and objectively awarded.

To be fair, Aussie Willy didn't say that politics have a natural place in the judging process. There are other kinds of decisions that get made in the process of running the sport where politics might have a more natural place. I don't know what examples she had in mind.

One that comes to my mind is decisions about what city to award an event to if several potential hosts have submitted equally feasible bids, just for an example.

essence_of_soy
10-14-2011, 04:27 AM
If looking at Gracie Gold's GOE from the SP in Estonia are any indication, politics, video playback or not, judging is not an exact science.

For example, her combination ranged in GOE from - 2 to 2, and her solo jump from - 1 to 3. As Aussie Willy would probably point out, at least there are nine judges on the panel to even discrepancies out.

On a separate point entirely, what astonishes me under IJS, is that PCS being out of 10 versus 6.0 under the previous system, is that even the lowest ranked skaters in international competition were getting the equivalent of 3.0 out of 6.0 (which amounted to 50 out of a hundred). When the lowest ranked skaters under IJS are getting 3.00 out of 10 (amounting to 30 out of 100), are they really that much worse skills and performance wise than skaters from the previous system?

Aussie Willy
10-14-2011, 04:57 AM
To be fair, Aussie Willy didn't say that politics have a natural place in the judging process. There are other kinds of decisions that get made in the process of running the sport where politics might have a more natural place. I don't know what examples she had in mind.

Actually what Gkelly said is correct. There are a number of decisions that get made at the administrative levels of the sport that are political. And in fact very few of them actually have anything to do with judging but can affect the way judging takes place or have an impact on judges. Being involved myself, I see it all the time and I can tell you it is very difficult to be impartial and try to keep out of it.

If you are looking at the judging system, the way the system has been developed is a result of negotiation and manipulation. Every year after the season, the rules are reviewed, changes are made and new ideas incorporated.

Also if you want definate case in point why politics hasn't gone from skating, just look at why they created the Short Dance. Instead of just getting rid of the compulsory altogether (which is what some on the ISU wanted), they came up with a mish mash of a dance with an aim of trying to keep everyone happy. Last year it worked okay, this year from what most here are saying, they are commenting that it isn't working. I wouldn't be surprised to see the compulsory part of the SD removed in the future and the justification of that will be because it doesn't work. But they won't bring back the CDs.

As others have said, until you take the human factor out of it, you are always going to have politics.

gkelly
10-14-2011, 05:10 AM
On a separate point entirely, what astonishes me under IJS, is that PCS being out of 10 versus 6.0 under the previous system, is that even the lowest ranked skaters in international competition were getting the equivalent of 3.0 out of 6.0 (which amounted to 50 out of a hundred). When the lowest ranked skaters under IJS are getting 3.00 out of 10 (amounting to 30 out of 100), are they really that much worse skills and performance wise than skaters from the previous system?

I've heard judges quote a rule of thumb from the 6.0 era that 3.5 represented approximately double axel skill level. I also think of it as the passing average for the US novice test. And this approximate skill level also seems to correspond roughly with the skill level that tends to receive component scores in the mid-3s under IJS.

So I wouldn't think of it so much as that skaters at that skill level are now only getting 30+% instead of 50+% of the total points available, but rather that the two scales are calibrated somewhat differently and the area where they correspond most closely is in the 3s. As an analogy, think of 3.5 (or a similar number) as the crossing point of the 6.0 and the IJS scales in a similar way that -40 is the crossing point of the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales.

I think that the top of the scale has been stretched out to reflect differences between good, very good, and outstanding that got lost when the presentation mark was more or less tied to technical merit including skating skill.

The bottom of the scale has been adjusted as well and probably floats a bit depending on the context as well as the individual judge. For one thing, as I understand it, the IJS accounting programs can handle scores of 0.X just fine, for very low level skaters with minimal skills. The 6.0 programs had trouble with scores less than 1, so even the lowest level skaters would need to get scores of 1.X, leaving a much narrower range of available scores between beginners and intermediate-level skaters. Hence the scale had to float a lot more under 6.0.

We don't usually see scores below mid-2s in international competition, even those are very weak for an international level. Domestically, at levels below novice, the differences in scoring those levels under IJS vs. 6.0 are relevant, but not so much if we're talking about juniors and seniors.

l'etoile
10-14-2011, 05:54 AM
I say a machine for judging levels of all elements and seeing if the jumps are fully-rotated!! lol

overedge
10-14-2011, 06:11 AM
Politics will never be eradicated from figure skating until the ISU gets serious about meaningful penalties for judges who judge based on something other than what they see on the ice - not just having penalties on the books, but having the intestinal fortitude to actually apply them.

The ISU can play around with different judging systems from now until forever, but as long as there are judges with ulterior motives who are using those systems, politics will never be eliminated. Sadly.

(BTW I know that the vast majority of judges are very hardworking and do their best to judge correctly. I'm talking about the few bad apples who unfortunately make the whole process look bad by association.)