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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    This is precisely why it is wrong. It is obvious that judges have to fight against that "human factor" of preferring known skaters to unknown skaters; this is one of the downfalls of our sport. Just because this struggle is within them, does that mean they should give into it? No. The proper way to judge is to try as hard as you can to put reputation aside, and judge knowns vs. unknowns equally - meaning, on the day of the competition alone. If you can't do this, and you need outside influences like practices and reputations to make your decision, then you shouldn't be a judge.
    But its easier to judge the unknown skater fairly if you saw the skater skating in the same practice as the known skater, and saw said skater more than held their own.

    If you see some lesser known skater in practice and their landing difficult triples , and their skating skills are up there with the skaters you expected to be on top. That's going to affect your marks in the competition. But if you go in there not knowing who said skater is, and not seeing that the skater can hold their own with the top skater, than your marks might be lower for said skater.

    Practices allows the judges to literally see skaters side by side and compare them. And they get to see all the skaters not just the well known ones.

    Practices gives the lesser known skaters an opportunity to impress the judges. Also maybe the skater who wasn't skating well earlier in the season, but is skating well know can also impress the judges too.

    In contrast if the judges see that the well known skater is skating crappily in practice and also skates crappily in competition, they may be less willing to give the famous skater the benefit of the doubt.

    Practices IMO actually level the playing field just a little bit.
    Last edited by bek; 02-19-2011 at 07:01 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    Practices gives the lesser known skaters an opportunity to impress the judges. Also maybe the skater who wasn't skating well earlier in the season, but is skating well know can also impress the judges too.
    Isn't the competition supposed to be where you impress the judges?

    In contrast if the judges see that the well known skater is skating crappily in practice and also skates crappily in competition, they may be less willing to give the famous skater the benefit of the doubt.
    There should be no "benefit of the doubt" in scoring! Why should you get credit for something not done in the competition? This is the reason a lot of people hate our sport.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Isn't the competition supposed to be where you impress the judges?



    There should be no "benefit of the doubt" in scoring! Why should you get credit for something not done in the competition? This is the reason a lot of people hate our sport.
    But the benefit of the doubt exists. You can't get rid of it. And also as well there's huge pressure on the judges for their marks to stay in range with the other skaters marks...So the judges might be "more conservative" on a great skate from a skater they've never seen before. But if the judges all see lets say this great unknown skater and that skater is skating incredibly well in practice, and they all agree that said skater is amazing. Then if said skater brings that skate in competition, the judges will be more likely to reward said skater with the score the skater actually deserves.

    Reputation happens in judge sports. Practices though at least give the judges exposure to every skater not just the famous ones.

    And I'll say not just the famous ones but also helps the skaters from lesser federations as I was trying to say earlier the US junior champ normally comes with more prestige in the eyes of judges as lets say the Junior champ from S. Korea or Georgia, or Kazakhstan. Given the judges the opportunity to see these skaters, evens the playing field.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    This is precisely why it is wrong. It is obvious that judges have to fight against that "human factor" of preferring known skaters to unknown skaters; this is one of the downfalls of our sport. Just because this struggle is within them, does that mean they should give into it? No. The proper way to judge is to try as hard as you can to put reputation aside, and judge knowns vs. unknowns equally - meaning, on the day of the competition alone. If you can't do this, and you need outside influences like practices and reputations to make your decision, then you shouldn't be a judge.

    That is exactly correct and perfectly stated, LG!

    Most of the justifications I've read for judges attending practices are actually great arguments for why they shouldn't.
    The reputational bias problem is already bad enough as it is.
    It's what the skater actually does on the ice during competition, and without any external comparisons to "what they're capable of" ...blah, blah.
    And don't the judges have the ability to replay parts of a program that they may have "missed" or are unsure of?

    Maybe there is one that I haven't thought of, but I don't know of any other sport that condones this behavior.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Isn't the competition supposed to be where you impress the judges?

    There should be no "benefit of the doubt" in scoring! Why should you get credit for something not done in the competition? This is the reason a lot of people hate our sport.

  6. #26
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    I'm more disturbed that judges sometimes seem to have a "bond" with the skaters of their home country... I always think it's slightly weird when there are pictures of judges and skaters together on Icenetwork. And when I look at the protocols of certain skaters, sometimes it's very obvious who the "home judge" is. I can't help but wonder if these judges would be less biased if there wasn't such a friendly relationship between judges & athletes.

    Maybe I am concerned over nothing, but it seems strange to me. I think judges should be selected by the ISU, not the individual countries, and there should be minimal contact between skaters and judges at competitions.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    Reputation happens in judge sports.
    This doesn't make it ok, or mean that people should turn a blind eye.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    This doesn't make it ok, or mean that people should turn a blind eye.
    I never said it makes it okay, but rather the fact that it does happen. Judges are human and they might not even realize that they are doing it. The point is to find ways to level the playing field, and I really think watching practices does that. At least it allows the judges to get familiar with skaters other than the most popular ones.

    Can you explain to me Leafy how allowing the judges to see the lesser known skaters practice, doesn't level the playing field?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    I never said it makes it okay, but rather the fact that it does happen. Judges are human and they might not even realize that they are doing it. The point is to find ways to level the playing field, and I really think watching practices does that. At least it allows the judges to get familiar with skaters other than the most popular ones.

    Can you explain to me Leafy how allowing the judges to see the lesser known skaters practice, doesn't level the playing field?
    It doesn't make sense why the judges have to be familiar with anyone, if they are only judging what's done in competition. Favoritism has been going on in our sport for ages, which I admit, but why make it worse. Has the field really been leveled by viewing practices? Because the top skaters are continually up there. It's not like viewing practices helps someone in 33rd place in the world all of a sudden become 3rd. A better and more accurate way to level the playing field is to have a random skating order in the competition. Then the great skaters stand out from the not-great skaters. This already happens in the SP. Anything other than this, I don't think is fair.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    It doesn't make sense why the judges have to be familiar with anyone, if they are only judging what's done in competition. Favoritism has been going on in our sport for ages, which I admit, but why make it worse. Has the field really been leveled by viewing practices? Because the top skaters are continually up there. It's not like viewing practices helps someone in 33rd place in the world all of a sudden become 3rd. A better and more accurate way to level the playing field is to have a random skating order in the competition. Then the great skaters stand out from the not-great skaters. This already happens in the SP. Anything other than this, I don't think is fair.
    We don't have a real random skater order, top skaters are seperated from lower ranked skaters. And well I have to say this there's normally a reason a top skater IS a top skater. Yu-na Kim is a way better skater than her compatriot Kwak. And she's normally fairly consistent.

    But once again the issue is that it is very hard for skaters from lesser known countries, with little political influence to get noticed. It can take said skater longer to get the respect they deserve from the international judges.

    I gave you a perfect example of why practices help. And that was a documentary I saw on Yu-na (with English subtitles) and her old coach said that when Yu-na went to her first JGP event ever, the international judges watched her practices and were in complete and utter shock. They were heck how the heck did this come from Korea, and they were essentially told that maybe the Korean National anthem should be handy.

    Now there's no doubt that Yu-na would have eventually risen to the top, but the judges getting to see her practices, and getting to compare her to the other Junior skaters accelerated things. And it was perfectly fair because 1. Every skater had access to official practices and the same opportunity 2. Yu-na delivered the goods at the competition.

    Skaters like Yu-na, Chen Lu, Midori had to be way better than everyone else to get even noticed.

  11. #31
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    Ok. I'm no judge or anything. So don't quote me on this one. But here is one other thing too. I would think that judges watching a practice. Even though it's not the actual Competition,would cause skaters to be a nervous reck!!!! Also for that matter...be too detracting.

  12. #32

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    This was more of a problem under the old 6.0 system. Now only the Tech Specialist and the Assistant T.S. really need to be somewhat familiar with the program...although, as specialists, they are supposed to recognize the elements in a second, right? The T.S. calls out the element and judges simply mark the GOE and, later, the TES numbers.

    During the 70s and 80s, I remember that ladies, in particular, had to look like 'princesses' at each and every Nationals practice because the judges, in part, marked the 'look' and 'ladylike comportment' of the skater. It was nerve wracking. Practices were a semi-official part of the event. The Tonyas and Suryas were already being pre-judged at practices as mavericks; 'princess' types like Roz Sumners, with their little white gloves and expensive preppy sweaters in practice, got unofficial extra points. I remember a practice before 1983 Nationals when Elaine Zayak showed up with a practice unitard and many of us fans of Elaine sighed, knowing that the judges would take that against her, in comparison with Roz and her preppy look.
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    We don't have a real random skater order, top skaters are seperated from lower ranked skaters. And well I have to say this there's normally a reason a top skater IS a top skater. Yu-na Kim is a way better skater than her compatriot Kwak. And she's normally fairly consistent.

    But once again the issue is that it is very hard for skaters from lesser known countries, with little political influence to get noticed. It can take said skater longer to get the respect they deserve from the international judges.

    I gave you a perfect example of why practices help. And that was a documentary I saw on Yu-na (with English subtitles) and her old coach said that when Yu-na went to her first JGP event ever, the international judges watched her practices and were in complete and utter shock. They were heck how the heck did this come from Korea, and they were essentially told that maybe the Korean National anthem should be handy.

    Now there's no doubt that Yu-na would have eventually risen to the top, but the judges getting to see her practices, and getting to compare her to the other Junior skaters accelerated things. And it was perfectly fair because 1. Every skater had access to official practices and the same opportunity 2. Yu-na delivered the goods at the competition.

    Skaters like Yu-na, Chen Lu, Midori had to be way better than everyone else to get even noticed.
    There was politiking by the Japanese fed during Ito's time for the ladies (Watanabe anyone?). If anyone had it hard, it was Yuna and Lulu. But even then, Lulu never really got the amount of attention she should have deserved.

  14. #34
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    I wasn't sure anyone would respond to my question. Thanks to those that posted.

    My gut instinct is that the practice is questionable in a sport famous for collusion among judges. COP was supposed to bring transparency to the sport and prejudging at practice isn't helping.

  15. #35

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    I have found some of the comments here quite interesting. But being a judge I think it is a unfair for people to suggest that judges should not attend practises. I know being from Australia, if I went to Worlds, I would sit in on as many practises as possible because I just don't get to see skating of that calibre. And of course I would want to see a Chan or Takahashi in practise just for excitement of seeing those skaters live. Doesn't matter if it is practise or competition. It is just great seeing great skating.

    As part of all the printing for a competition, you print off sets of sheets for the Technical Panel for practises. It is part of their homework before the event so they can see the order of elements. Sometimes what skaters submit as Planned Program Content is not what they do in their performances. If you sat in on a Technical Panel doing data entry then you would see how it works.

    Also for many judges, attending practises is part of the learning experience. If you are learning to judge ice dance or pairs and don't get to see it much live, then it is a valuable opportunity to get closer to it. Judges are generally using the opportunity to do homework.

    As for judges talking to skaters from their home countries, most judges and skaters know each other really well. The skaters appreciate having the judges there just because they are a familiar face. Also judges can be team leaders at Worlds so they are actually part of the skater's team support. That is why you might see them by the barrier. However they doesn't impact how the judge does their job when it comes to judging.
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  16. #36
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    Aussie, it seems like your motivation for watching practices is for pleasure, not to "take notes"... big difference! As you mentioned, there's no reason to watch practices to get to know the order of a skater's program when you have the content sheet to study.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Aussie, it seems like your motivation for watching practices is for pleasure, not to "take notes"... big difference! As you mentioned, there's no reason to watch practices to get to know the order of a skater's program when you have the content sheet to study.
    You really didn't read my post did you? I mentioned the word "learning" and "homework" when it comes to watching practises. Doesn't matter the level of skating, you can still learn a lot from watching any skater. But if they are best in the world, then that is probably one of the best learning opportunities.

    But some people are so ready to shoot judges down for the slightest reason they don't really care what someone is trying to say.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    In regards to judges attending practice sessions in order to know the order of elements...come on! People other than those who judge the actual competition can do that, and let the judges know if the skaters didn't follow that order.

    In regards to attending the sessions for learning purposes, that's fine for future or student judges. But if judges are still in the process of "learning", then they shouldn't be actual judges of competitions.

    And Aussie, you didn't at all address the issue of judges giving advice/pointers based on what they see in the practices (advice which is given to improve a skater's chances of winning). It isn't mandatory for a judge to give advice to skaters at the practices, and one can't help but think that any given advice is selective--given only to skaters who a judge (for whatever reason) more favor. As said earlier, favoritism has been going on in this sport for years. Why make it worse?

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    But some people are so ready to shoot judges down for the slightest reason they don't really care what someone is trying to say.


    I'm not sure what people are trying to say. That a judge would not give the proper score for a bad jump just because they saw a skater do it great many times in practice? Most judges judge what they see at the competition not what the skaters have done in the past even if it was earlier in the day. If that were true judges would have remembered that Jeremy Abbott skated beautifully at the last nationals but they didn't give him the points for that this year, obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duane View Post
    In regards to attending the sessions for learning purposes, that's fine for future or student judges. But if judges are still in the process of "learning", then they shouldn't be actual judges of competitions.
    Judges never stop learning and perfecting their role in competition, no matter how long they have been judging.
    Last edited by julieann; 02-21-2011 at 08:15 AM.

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