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  1. #21
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    Fun interview. Thanks. Unless I missed something, either a follow-up question, or him clarifying, he said "at the time" he thought had won. Did her change his mind? I did listen to the entire interview but I may have missed something because he tends to go off-course during storytelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Fun interview. Thanks. Unless I missed something, either a follow-up question, or him clarifying, he said "at the time" he thought had won. Did her change his mind? I did listen to the entire interview but I may have missed something because he tends to go off-course during storytelling.
    My understanding is that he still thinks Oksana won, Christine Brennan thinks Nancy won, and they've had passionate "discussions" over it.

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    Amazing interview! Cheers to you and Phil, I have much more respect for him now after this interview...and that he mentioned us.

  4. #24

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    Just listened to the interview and what a great interview it is. What really came across is what a huge fan Phil is of the sport. I also think he was absolutely spot on about COP/IJS. Well said, Phil!

  5. #25
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    Still too much "IJS is way toooooooooooo HAAAAAAAAAAAARD to understand".

    He also contradicts himself by opining that ice dance judging used to be so predictable and how great it is now that there is movement and then complains that the Shibutanis are marked differently from one year to next. Make up your mind Phil.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  6. #26
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    I knew Phil liked figure skating, but I didn't know just how much until now. My opinion has changed somewhat because of this interview, and I find that I do like him more than what I did in the past. Thank you, manleywoman for sharing this latest interview. It's very much appreciated.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dardar1126 View Post
    My understanding is that he still thinks Oksana won, Christine Brennan thinks Nancy won, and they've had passionate "discussions" over it.
    Thanks. I know he said he thought Tara deserved to win and Christine thought (surprise surprise) that Michelle should have won, but I missed that part about arguing over Oksana/ Nancy. I was thrown by his phrase "at the time." Why use that phrase if you still believe it today? Anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Thanks. I know he said he thought Tara deserved to win and Christine thought (surprise surprise) that Michelle should have won, but I missed that part about arguing over Oksana/ Nancy. I was thrown by his phrase "at the time." Why use that phrase if you still believe it today? Anyway.
    Now I'm wondering if I got the two stories confused. Maybe Allison can clarify.

    EDIT: Sorry, guess I did confuse them.

  9. #29

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    He was talking about Tara vs Michelle in the 1998 Olympics.

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    I haven't had chance to sit down & listen yet but I can't wait. Have a lot of appreciation & respect for the hard work you do, Allison!

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    He was talking about Tara vs Michelle in the 1998 Olympics.
    Oh ok, thank you. That's what I thought. So unless I missed a follow-up question, which I may have since I listened to it at work, he never clarified if he still believes today that Oksana deserved the win.

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    I thought he used the Oksana/Nancy story to say that he heard from the referee the next day and now he believes that the scores made sense. And, I think he has a very good point that the referee or some official should be interviewed after an event so we can know what went into the scoring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwizzlerS View Post
    I thought he used the Oksana/Nancy story to say that he heard from the referee the next day and now he believes that the scores made sense. And, I think he has a very good point that the referee or some official should be interviewed after an event so we can know what went into the scoring.
    Yes, this would be helpful.

    I understand why the ISU wants to protect the judges from having to justify themselves to often hostile public opinion. But I think they could diminish the distrust by offering explanations.

    I remember reading an after-the-fact article with quotes from Britta Lindgren explaining the 1994 results. I don't remember -- maybe it was written by Hersh. I wanted to see more of that kind of thing.

    So under 6.0 conditions, I thought it would be a good idea to have the referee give a press conference after the post-event judges' meeting and summarize the reasoning for some of the top results.

    With IJS, the protocols give a lot of information, but not in a way that's easily accessible to most fans. And we still have to guess what the judges' thought processes might have been to arrive at the numbers especially the PCS.

    Certainly the technical controller or whole tech panel could be available to the press to answer questions about specific calls.

    Maybe they should go back to holding post-event debriefings between referee and judges, not designed to evaluate the judges but just to identify the important issues the factored into the PCS scoring, and then the ref could summarize those issues for the press afterward.

    Or let judges attend the same press conference themselves if they want to speak for themselves, and answer specific questions from the press. But then it could seem like individual judges lobbying the media, especially where national bias issues might be involved.

    I realize the timing would not be as quick as the press would like for filing results stories. But for next-day follow-up stories about major events, explanations from the judges, directly or through the referee, and then of course filtered through the journalists, could be very informative to casual fans who otherwise wouldn't have much idea about what judges are considering when they award those scores.

    Hm, or maybe, instead of using the ref and journalists as two levels of intermediaries, if the ISU had their own PR person attend the meeting and then put out a summary press release with quotes from judges who agree to be quoted, that might minimize some of the potential political complications.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    I understand why the ISU wants to protect the judges from having to justify themselves to often hostile public opinion. But I think they could diminish the distrust by offering explanations.

    I remember reading an after-the-fact article with quotes from Britta Lindgren explaining the 1994 results. I don't remember -- maybe it was written by Hersh. I wanted to see more of that kind of thing.

    So under 6.0 conditions, I thought it would be a good idea to have the referee give a press conference after the post-event judges' meeting and summarize the reasoning for some of the top results.
    I can think of at least one important reason why no one at ISU wants to routinely hold press conferences or public Q&A sessions to explain their decisions and results. What if the tech panel and/or judges made mistakes and are confronted with them in such a public setting? An immediate example I can think of is Caroline Zhang's massive downgrades at this year's nationals. I can imagine how press and/or coaches, skaters, etc. publicly raise questions about certain decisions and prove judges or tech specialists to be wrong or potentially wrong. And I bet unresolved controversies and arguments will happen a lot if you provide the opportunity (although perhaps such controversies might improve the TV ratings). Routinely giving the public an opportunity to question and/or scrutinize judges/tech specialists would more likely decrease, rather than increase, the credibility of figure skating establishment.

    Nearly all competitive sports suffer from visible and invisible, definite and ambiguous judging mistakes, including basketball and soccer, sometimes in the most important competitions such as World Cup finals. Decisions must be made real time and not be messed with after the competition. Soccer fans know what an imperfect system it is and live with it. Some improvements in rules have been made over the years, but referees are never put to public interrogation, unless one is proven to be corrupt.

    Imagine, what if a decision or result is proven wrong after the competition? What if the referee or judges are faced with evidence of incompetence, inconsistent practice, bias or favoritism, or plain mistakes? If a few GOEs and component scores are clearly wrong, should these mistakes be corrected after the competition?

    Of course, I would LOVE to know the error rate of any given competition and any given international skating judge. However, I can totally see why the ISU does not want to know it.
    Last edited by Jun Y; 05-03-2013 at 02:41 AM.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    I can think of at least one important reason why no one at ISU wants to routinely hold press conferences or public Q&A sessions to explain their decisions and results. What if the tech panel and/or judges made mistakes and are confronted with them in such a public setting? An immediate example I can think of is Caroline Zhang's massive downgrades at this year's nationals. I can imagine how press and/or coaches, skaters, etc. publicly raise questions about certain decisions and prove judges or tech specialists to be wrong or potentially wrong.
    In baseball, umpires talk to the media. A few years ago some pitcher was denied a perfect game on a bad ruling by an umpire and later that umpire told the press "I screwed up." The pitcher and umpire met later, the umpire apologized and the pitcher said there were no hard feelings. That story generated a lot of interest for the sport, especially because the umpire was so honest about his mistake. The bad call stood by the way and the pitcher never got credit for a no-hitter.

    Edited to Add: The pitcher was Armando Gallarago from the Detroit Tigers and the umpire was Jim Joyce. Here he is at a press conference with reporters admitting that he messed up. http://youtu.be/_EmEiFgDf5I?t=55s
    Last edited by fenway2; 05-03-2013 at 04:00 AM.

  16. #36
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    Thanks Manleywoman for this interesting interview! One can definitely hear that he really loves the sport. I had no idea how long he has been covering figure skating competitions. Pretty impressive!

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    The bad call stood by the way and the pitcher never got credit for a no-hitter.
    That case was especially egregious because they petitioned the league to have the call over turned (with support of the umpire and THE OTHER TEAM) and they still wouldn't make the call right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jun Y View Post
    Imagine, what if a decision or result is proven wrong after the competition? What if the referee or judges are faced with evidence of incompetence, inconsistent practice, bias or favoritism, or plain mistakes? If a few GOEs and component scores are clearly wrong, should these mistakes be corrected after the competition?

    Of course, I would LOVE to know the error rate of any given competition and any given international skating judge. However, I can totally see why the ISU does not want to know it.
    Agreed. Tim Wood got the Olympic Silver medal in 1968 because of an admitted mistake. Nowadays that would result in the lost of millions of dollars in potential endorsement revenue. Changing results posthumously would open a million cans of worms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    That case was especially egregious because they petitioned the league to have the call over turned (with support of the umpire and THE OTHER TEAM) and they still wouldn't make the call right.
    It was a terrible call. But again, tough to open that can of worms. How many other lawsuits would be started?
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Yes, this would be helpful.

    I understand why the ISU wants to protect the judges from having to justify themselves to often hostile public opinion. But I think they could diminish the distrust by offering explanations.

    I remember reading an after-the-fact article with quotes from Britta Lindgren explaining the 1994 results. I don't remember -- maybe it was written by Hersh. I wanted to see more of that kind of thing.

    So under 6.0 conditions, I thought it would be a good idea to have the referee give a press conference after the post-event judges' meeting and summarize the reasoning for some of the top results.

    With IJS, the protocols give a lot of information, but not in a way that's easily accessible to most fans. And we still have to guess what the judges' thought processes might have been to arrive at the numbers especially the PCS.

    Certainly the technical controller or whole tech panel could be available to the press to answer questions about specific calls.

    Maybe they should go back to holding post-event debriefings between referee and judges, not designed to evaluate the judges but just to identify the important issues the factored into the PCS scoring, and then the ref could summarize those issues for the press afterward.

    Or let judges attend the same press conference themselves if they want to speak for themselves, and answer specific questions from the press. But then it could seem like individual judges lobbying the media, especially where national bias issues might be involved.

    I realize the timing would not be as quick as the press would like for filing results stories. But for next-day follow-up stories about major events, explanations from the judges, directly or through the referee, and then of course filtered through the journalists, could be very informative to casual fans who otherwise wouldn't have much idea about what judges are considering when they award those scores.

    Hm, or maybe, instead of using the ref and journalists as two levels of intermediaries, if the ISU had their own PR person attend the meeting and then put out a summary press release with quotes from judges who agree to be quoted, that might minimize some of the potential political complications.


    Personally, I think many of these issues that Hersh talks about could easily be addressed with multiple camera angles on the ice for the tech panels and judges to utilize for review of elements. One camera...in this era of technology? Really? What if skating evolved like tennis, where the coach/athlete/NGB can instantly call for a review of an element ? Almost all sports have gone to multiple angles of review for plays. And, with Canon as an ISU sponsor, it would seem a natural fit to update the technology to include more camera angles. And, one of the most obvious issues that would help resolve poor judgments in events...transparency. The officials judging the events would be held accountable for their marks. JMO.....

    I don't disagree with other posters that Hersh is passionate about the sport. What I don't like about his approach, is the "put an athlete up on a pedestal, and then let's pull them down, when things aren't going well". He has his favorites in the sports he covers, and he has made that quite clear over the years, but I would hope he would take more care in his presentation of the facts , which he doesn't always have correct, before he sends his work to his editors. I don't view Hersh as a true journalist....more of an op-ed kind of guy.
    Last edited by B.Cooper; 05-03-2013 at 04:32 PM.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Cooper View Post
    Personally, I think many of these issues that Hersh talks about could easily be addressed with multiple camera angles on the ice for the tech panels and judges to utilize for review of elements. One camera...in this era of technology? Really?
    I can't imagine the ISU mandating multiple cameras for all IJS events anywhere at any level. But for ISU championships (and Olympics) it would make sense. Maybe senior Grand Prix. And federations with hotly contested, televised national championships would do well to include the option as well.

    In addition to one or more additional camera angles, for those major events there could also be another stage of error checking built in after the end of the event and before the results are finalized. Which would delay the medal ceremony. Not so much a problem for short programs.

    What if skating evolved like tennis, where the coach/athlete/NGB can instantly call for a review of an element ?
    The athlete can't instantly call for a review because they're still in the middle of skating the program.

    If there were electronic displays of calls available to the coach/NGB during the program and during the reviews, or instant protocols (paper or electronic) made available to all of the above plus the skater after the program in the K&C, they could challenge specific calls at that time, to be reviewed at the end of the event before the results are finalized.

    The trick would be to allow for extra eyes and double checking in a reasonable time period while the competitors and spectators are waiting for the official results, without encouraging lots of back and forth between coaches who expected one level and tech panels who called a lower level, or threw out a whole element as a result of rule vetting. In these cases -- especially there may be rules that need to worded more clearly -- there could be disputes because of different interpretations or because of borderline eyeballed calls, even with different camera angles available. We don't want to encourage coaches to second guess every call just in hopes of overturning one every now and then. Second reviews should really only be for blatant errors or blatant confusion.

    From the journalist's point of view, seeing the protocols after watching the program can answer a lot of questions and prevent them from thinking that a program was "clean" if there were many downgraded jumps, etc. (Fortunately, the rules have changed so that jumps just over 90 degrees short that look clean in real time no longer lose a full rotation's worth of value.)

    But what I thought would be more informative than questioning the tech calls would be to get some public explanations of the component scores. There hasn't been a lot of explanation for the public about what judges are really considering -- I think that injecting those considerations into the public discourse will help fans and journalists understand better what those scores are about. And hopefully force the judges to do a better job of assigning the scores as they have to explain them.

    But to begin with, just make sure that the journalists aren't relying on their own untrained general knowledge to declare that the trained judges must be wrong when they disagree. Get everyone on the same page.

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