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  1. #421

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    BTW, why are the judges blamed for reduced popularity in figure skating? For heaven's sake, most are paid pittance to judge the competitions and most are doing it out of passionate love for the sport. Maybe judges are paid tons in USA but certainly not in Australia. Many non-profit organisations here rely on volunteers for survival. How about Europe and Asia? Anyone care to elaborate?
    No, judges are not paid. They have their expenses paid, so they get to travel to wherever the competitions are being held -- occasionally a desirable tourist location, more often not; stay in usually nice hotels; usually be given nice food, and drinks in a hospitality suite at the end of the day, etc., without paying for those amenities themselves.

    Here's my theory about why fans, media, and also skaters and coaches who see themselves as martyrs often see judges as the enemy:

    Judges tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than the average fan. They don't make money from judging, but having money from other sources allows the luxury of volunteering away from home many weeks per year. So there might be some class resentment involved.

    Judges, by definition, are judgmental. They pass judgment on the efforts of popular skaters and often find them wanting for picky technical reasons that fans may not find of interest and that the media tend to ignore or downplay.

    Some judges, by temperament and training, may be more inclined to look for weaknesses than to reward strengths. And this shows in their faces. Even judges who focus on the positive aspects and tend to be more generous with their scores may show facial expressions that look less than friendly while concentrating on technical details in the process of judging.

    So when popular skaters score less well than their fans would like, the judges come across as killjoys.

    Under 6.0 judging, it was pretty much up to each individual judge to place the skaters wherever they wanted. "Wherever they wanted" could be based on careful considered judgment of the merits of each performance, or it could be based on politics. Politics makes for better drama in the media coverage -- especially during the Cold War era -- so that's what the media tend to focus on whenever there was a clear reason to suspect it, and often when there was no objective reason, aside from preexisting distrust of judges as a group because of the various reasons given above.

    A tradition developed of spectators booing low marks for performances they enjoyed, or booing marks that appeared to be driven by politics rather than matching

    All these reasons still exist under IJS, except that the actual judging panel has much less control of the eventual results than under 6.0. Still, many fans, and journalists, don't really understand the different contributions of the technical panels and of the effects of the rules and the scale of values. So it's easier to continue attributing all the negative effects in skaters' scores and placements, and in the kinds of skills that are and are not encouraged and rewarded, to "the judges" as a generic term meaning all those officials who have power over the results. If the sport is perceived as moving in an unwanted direction, "the judges" must be to blame, as usual.

  2. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    I don't think USA is lacking the talents to take over where Michelle and Sasha have left. I think if Ashley or Gracie or whoever can dominate and start winning medals at the Grand Prix and World competitions, t.v. and sponsorship interest will follow. You just need a 'winner'! And 'winners' do help increase the level interest in the sport.
    We have a winner. Well, two. In ice dance! We have Davis & White and they should be a sponsors wet dream. But USFS and sponsors are still stuck in the Ladies Figures Skating is the face of figure skating mode of thinking, IMO.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  3. #423

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    We have a winner. Well, two. In ice dance! We have Davis & White and they should be a sponsors wet dream. But USFS and sponsors are still stuck in the Ladies Figures Skating is the face of figure skating mode of thinking, IMO.
    THIS!!! Is the US public even aware of the two time World Champs?

  4. #424

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly
    So when popular skaters score less well than their fans would like, the judges come across as killjoys.
    Interesting theory! Thanks.
    I feel sorry for the judges. Glad I am not one.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    We have a winner. Well, two. In ice dance! We have Davis & White and they should be a sponsors wet dream. But USFS and sponsors are still stuck in the Ladies Figures Skating is the face of figure skating mode of thinking, IMO.
    Probably, two's a crowd.
    USA has many male skater medalists too maybe not in the league of Dick Button and Scott Hamilton. Did the male medalists get as much sponsorship as the ladies?
    If not, it looks like what you and some posters say is correct. Sponsors prefer lady winners. Cultural preference?
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  5. #425
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    I think that most of all some ignorant TV commentators are causing trouble for the sport of figure skating, not the judges. Another thing: In my opinion in the arena should be a commentator who in (very) few words would explain the results to the audience (after the winner is certain or after each competitor). Gradually people would be educated to understand the new scoring system. Of course all this should have started years ago as this new system began. I am happy to say that in my country there is on our national TV a female commentator who really has understood the scoring system from the beginning (she is a coach).
    Last edited by Jaana; 03-31-2013 at 09:17 AM.

  6. #426

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    I think that most of all some ignorant TV commentators are causing trouble for the sport of figure skating, not the judges. Another thing: In my opinion in the arena should be a commentator who in (very) few words would explain the results to the audience (after the winner is certain or after each competitor). Gradually people would be educated to understand the new scoring system. Of course all this should have started years ago as this new system began. I am happy to say that in my country there is on our national TV a female commentator who really has understood the scoring system from the beginning (she is a coach).
    Yes, we Finns are luvky to have her, and even thoigh she sometimes disagrees with the results, she can tell why. Also the Swedish tv commentator in Swedish tv is very good. But if the attitude of the tv commentator is that CoP is bad and very difficult to understand (which it is not), of course the attitude then is reflected to the general public.

  7. #427

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    No, judges are not paid. They have their expenses paid, so they get to travel to wherever the competitions are being held -- occasionally a desirable tourist location, more often not; stay in usually nice hotels; usually be given nice food, and drinks in a hospitality suite at the end of the day, etc., without paying for those amenities themselves.

    Here's my theory about why fans, media, and also skaters and coaches who see themselves as martyrs often see judges as the enemy:

    Judges tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than the average fan. They don't make money from judging, but having money from other sources allows the luxury of volunteering away from home many weeks per year. So there might be some class resentment involved.
    Sorry but I have to correct you there. I don't know about judges in the US, but for me to go to our Nationals last year cost me at least $1,000, not to mention the time I took off work which was worth about $1,500 if you were to put a dollar value on it. I might get some assistance from our state association and also the national association pay a small amount. But it no where near covers what I shell out myself.

    And I do not come from wealthier background. In fact I go without normal holidays because the money I would spend on a holiday for myself gets spent going to Nationals. Just saying what you did is an assumption that I don't think would bear out in reality. Any judge who has that luxury is very lucky indeed.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  8. #428
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    If anyone is interested in reading about 4 chapters of of Culture on Ice, they are available (for free) at:



    http://books.google.com/books?id=RrV...=0CEgQ6AEwBTgU


    THe author was/is a skater and skating fan.
    Last edited by Iceman; 03-31-2013 at 01:44 PM.

  9. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    Hasn't figure skating reportedly been dying since the 2002 Olympics? When is it actually going to be dead???

    Figures died in 1990. lol A different name for the sport is in order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Figures died in 1990. lol A different name for the sport is in order.
    How about Code Skating? Artistic Arithmetic Skating?

  11. #431

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    I believe that many of the suggestions in this thread, and others, are valid.
    However, the real question is whether TBTB really want to address them?

    Do they want skating to be wildly popular, in areas other than Asia, again?
    If not, why?

  12. #432
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    No, judges are not paid. They have their expenses paid, so they get to travel to wherever the competitions are being held -- occasionally a desirable tourist location, more often not; stay in usually nice hotels; usually be given nice food, and drinks in a hospitality suite at the end of the day, etc., without paying for those amenities themselves.

    Here's my theory about why fans, media, and also skaters and coaches who see themselves as martyrs often see judges as the enemy:

    Judges tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than the average fan. They don't make money from judging, but having money from other sources allows the luxury of volunteering away from home many weeks per year. So there might be some class resentment involved.

    Judges, by definition, are judgmental. They pass judgment on the efforts of popular skaters and often find them wanting for picky technical reasons that fans may not find of interest and that the media tend to ignore or downplay.

    Some judges, by temperament and training, may be more inclined to look for weaknesses than to reward strengths. And this shows in their faces. Even judges who focus on the positive aspects and tend to be more generous with their scores may show facial expressions that look less than friendly while concentrating on technical details in the process of judging.

    So when popular skaters score less well than their fans would like, the judges come across as killjoys.

    Under 6.0 judging, it was pretty much up to each individual judge to place the skaters wherever they wanted. "Wherever they wanted" could be based on careful considered judgment of the merits of each performance, or it could be based on politics. Politics makes for better drama in the media coverage -- especially during the Cold War era -- so that's what the media tend to focus on whenever there was a clear reason to suspect it, and often when there was no objective reason, aside from preexisting distrust of judges as a group because of the various reasons given above.

    A tradition developed of spectators booing low marks for performances they enjoyed, or booing marks that appeared to be driven by politics rather than matching

    All these reasons still exist under IJS, except that the actual judging panel has much less control of the eventual results than under 6.0. Still, many fans, and journalists, don't really understand the different contributions of the technical panels and of the effects of the rules and the scale of values. So it's easier to continue attributing all the negative effects in skaters' scores and placements, and in the kinds of skills that are and are not encouraged and rewarded, to "the judges" as a generic term meaning all those officials who have power over the results. If the sport is perceived as moving in an unwanted direction, "the judges" must be to blame, as usual.
    Maybe I'm just speaking for myself here, but I've actually never considered factors like the socio-economic class of judges (I've always assumed they were for the most part normal people who loved skating). What drove me to "resent" the judges at times, however, were judging scandals like the toe-tapping scandal in the 1990s and the SLC pairs fiasco, and the fact that sometimes judging appears to be completely incomprehensible, like certain skaters with obviously minimal transitions being rewarded very high marks for transitions in the PCS. I know that not all judges have been implicated in judging scandals and I'm sure many of them are honest judges, but judging scandals and the like have definitely cast a negative pall on judging as a whole for me.

  13. #433

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    Why does there seem to be a default assumption among many posters that "the judges" (meaning all of them -- it's the default assumption about figure skating judges) are wrong and possibly corrupt?

    How often do people focus on all the thousands of reasonable and in some cases indisputable decisions the judging panels make at every large competition? Instead, the focus is usually on the handful of decisions at each event that are easily disputable . . . and the smaller handful of occasions each decade when there is actual evidence of corruption.

    There's no way to disagree with any authority unless you accept the premises by which the decisions are made. You can't argue that the judges got the answer wrong unless you have some standards by which to determine what the "right" answer would be. And how do you arrive at those standards if not by comparing bad results to all the good results against which the bad ones stand out?

    But "I agree" isn't news and doesn't make a good story.

  14. #434
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    If anyone is interested in reading about 4 chapters of of Culture on Ice, they are available (for free) at:



    http://books.google.com/books?id=RrV...=0CEgQ6AEwBTgU


    THe author was/is a skater and skating fan.
    Yes, she's been a member here for years and was a member of FSW for years before that.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  15. #435

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Why does there seem to be a default assumption among many posters that "the judges" (meaning all of them -- it's the default assumption about figure skating judges) are wrong and possibly corrupt?
    Disappointment is the principle cause of anger.
    When we are disappointed, we look for someone to blame.
    Declaring someone to be at fault is the nature of anger.
    Anger is always directed at someone -
    possibly toward God or the non-specific "they,"
    but at some animate entity.
    - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

    "So when popular skaters score less well than their fans would like, the judges come across as killjoys" - gkelly We have seen such reactions in many forms. The rioting when what some people perceived injustice is handed down by the court. Even when there are no judges involved but referees, we too have unsocial behaviours after football matches all connected to favourite teams losing. The borderless world has allowed many people to easily jump on board without thought or reason in venting their frustrations and anger over the internet. The fact that we don't have to face the accused and be more accountable with our actions makes it easier to apportion blame and scapegoating.

    Conspiracy theories are rooted in the idea of some uncontrollable shadowy force. Demonisation of the judges and object lends credibility to the conspiracy. Man loves the drama of good over evil, and the uproar of disgust and anger placates our sense of righteousness. Powerful Emotions soon drown the Calm Voice of Reason. I too am guilty of emotional outbursts unless I make the conscious effort and time to meditate on my behavior.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer
    It seems to me that a lot of skaters who would have never gotten near the medal stand under 6.0 have surged ahead and the results are much more unpredictable.
    It might seem that way, but as you said, the validity of the argument would not be dependent on what seems to be. Has there been a Tara Lipinski in the CoP era? Not that I can recall. Do you think that if one of the top girls (Yuna/Mao/Caro skated clean but conservatively at the next Olympics, or made just one mistake, that a clean Gracie/Zijun/Russian baby with two 3-3 combinations could beat them? No. It's just not possible when these girls already start 10-20 points down in PCS. For ex., even the Eurosport commentators said that Zijun's score at 4cc, where she skated completely clean and only ended up 5th, was simply wrong. These girls have all worked their whole lives to get to the Olympics, but no matter how they skate, they have zero chance of winning the thing, and that's very sad to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer
    Um, who is to say that it IS? If one side can't say anything, neither can the other.
    Well, that was my point, that since neither side can be sure, both should be able to state their opinion on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer
    In what way? What did the casual fans have under 6.0 that they don't have under COP? Either way, they had a placements and no explanations.
    Which is why I don't think CoP was fairer than 6.0. The technical scoring is great under CoP, but the huge differences in PCS negate the benefit from the tech scoring, especially among elite skaters who pretty much all have decent presentation skills at that point in the game. IMO the presentation side function more like a tiebreaker if skaters performed similar tech content. It shouldn't set results in stone before the competition has even begun by having certain skaters begin comps 10-20 points down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    It might seem that way, but as you said, the validity of the argument would not be dependent on what seems to be. Has there been a Tara Lipinski in the CoP era? Not that I can recall. Do you think that if one of the top girls (Yuna/Mao/Caro skated clean but conservatively at the next Olympics, or made just one mistake, that a clean Gracie/Zijun/Russian baby with two 3-3 combinations could beat them?
    I don't think that would have happened under 6.0, either. In fact, I think there is ample evidence that it wouldn't have. Many competitions were won by top skaters who had one mistake or skated conservatively over skaters who were clean under 6.0. That's because the top skaters are the top skaters for a reason--they are better than the rest of the field and have a greater margin of error.

    OTOH, I don't think someone like Alissa Czisny would have done at all well under 6.0. IJS has been very good to her, and to other skaters who may not have the most reliable stable of jumps but have other wonderful skating skills.

    When was there a Tara Lipinski before there was a Tara Lipinski?

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Well, that was my point, that since neither side can be sure, both should be able to state their opinion on the matter.
    I don't understand. All sides are stating their opinions on the matter and not once has anyone been told that that someone can't be said.

    People are perfectly free to state their opinions--and argue with the opinions of others and state their opinions of what others post.

    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Which is why I don't think CoP was fairer than 6.0. The technical scoring is great under CoP, but the huge differences in PCS negate the benefit from the tech scoring, especially among elite skaters who pretty much all have decent presentation skills at that point in the game. IMO the presentation side function more like a tiebreaker if skaters performed similar tech content.
    I don't think that was ever what Presentation was intended to be, not do I think that is how it was applied. Some examples: Elvis Stokyo versus Alexei Urmanov. Nancy Kerrigan versus Oksana Baiul. Michelle Kwan versus a whole lot of skaters. Presentation always counted for a lot. And was itself a pretty technical score, counting things like variation of speed and ice coverage.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  18. #438
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    Quote Originally Posted by martian_girl View Post
    The sport is "dying" for a number of reasons, but neither pretending that the 2012 men's long program is the first time judges ever held up a skater, or that somehow 6.0 was this magical system that kept the sport afloat is going to help.
    No, the sport is "dying" because of the fact that judges hold up or hold down skaters at all. They are supposed to be JUDGES. And the widespread knowledge, among "casual" and noncasual fans alike, that it happens routinely, is what is destroying skating. It doesn't matter which system is used as far as this goes -- there have been disgraceful examples of collusion and cheating under both systems. But when a large percentage of the public believes a sport is crooked and "fixed", they are not going to be emotionally invested in the outcome of its competitions. And the perception that the powers that be in skating are just fine with that seals the deal.

  19. #439
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Has there been a Tara Lipinski in the CoP era? Not that I can recall. Do you think that if one of the top girls (Yuna/Mao/Caro skated clean but conservatively at the next Olympics, or made just one mistake, that a clean Gracie/Zijun/Russian baby with two 3-3 combinations could beat them? No. It's just not possible when these girls already start 10-20 points down in PCS.
    You are comparing Tara Lipinski, the reigning World Champion going into the Olympics, with Gracie Gold who hasn't won a single a Senior championship let alone Worlds? I'm sorry, but that argument is just crap. It doesn't hold up on any level.

    Plus, Prancer is right... Tara was fairly unique, even under 6.0.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    Not to mention that not only did Tara already compete at a World Championship the year prior and made a big name for herself there, but she was coming off a season of two victories against reigning World Champion Michelle Kwan before she beat her again at Worlds..

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