I don't think, in all the my years at FSU, I've seen anyone who has said they think COP has eradicated cheated.
I would think it would be harder to cheat on the TES than the 6.0 technical mark, simply because there are so many precise rules and criteria, and so many numbers. If someone falls, it is -1, no way to get around that - and that 1 point can make a huge difference in ranking (especially in dance). If a quad is clearly turned into a triple, it doesn't get rewarded as a quad. Sure, there are some inconsistencies, such as how strict the UR calls are. But judges are required to look for UR, which they could easily overlook under 6.0. And GOE. But with all the rules and numbers, I would think it would be very hard for judges to cheat.
It's easier to show bias with PCS. I found Frank Carroll's comments about Ten's PCS at worlds interesting. There was a substantial increase in his PCS for the LP as compared to the SP, as if the judges just suddenly took notice of him. That's more a matter of perception than intentional cheating, but the same may have been the case for 6.0.
Perhaps in years to come there will be more rigid criteria for PCS. But even then, folks will find fault with it. No matter what the system, it will favour some skaters over others simply by emphasizing certain things over others or rewarding one thing more than another.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
- The high and low marks get thrown out so you can't be to far out in awarding GOE or the PC's
- Because the GOE and the PC's are averaged across the judges that even if you are able to add an extra 1/2 point to each PC you have been able to add 0.36 points, before factoring, to your skaters marks. With the grade of execution you would be adding even less. Marks would have to be very close to make a single judge cheating count
The only way minor manipulation of the marks would have a major impact at a major international event would be to have a block of judges. At smaller competitions with less judges, minor manipulation of marks would have a much larger impact.
I want to thank you Lord for being with me so far this day. With your help, I have not been inpatient, lost my temper been grumpy or envious of anyone. But I will be getting out of bed in a minute and I think I will really need your help then. Amen
Judging is only anonymous in OWG, ISU Championships, Senior Grand Prix and GP Finals. In all other competitions marks are printed in the actual judges' seating order.
Last edited by aftershocks; 06-20-2013 at 03:15 PM.
Judges as individuals generally take pride in their work and want to judge according to the standards they have been taught and not according to politics. Their federations often put pressure on them to help out their home country skaters.
Since federations are responsible for judges getting international assignments, the judges feel that they can't disobey their federations' wishes and call it like they see it without risking the loss of future assignments or other loss of privileges.
Federation leaders could make deals with other federations themselves, or they could charge the judges with making those deals with the other judges when they get to the event.
If the published marks are associated with the names of the judges who gave them, then the federations will know whether the judges obeyed the instructions or not, and deal-making judges would know whether the people they made the deal with lived up to their side of the bargain.
This kind of pressure on judges to manipulate results is much greater at the important international events, where the stakes are higher.
If the scores are scrambled, the people applying the pressure will not know whether their judges obeyed. (In theory. In practice it could be possible through cryptography to figure who gave what scores, if the federations are sufficiently motivated to police their judges' obedience.)
Without worrying about punishment from the federation, judges feel freer to give the scores they honestly believe each skater deserves.
Now, I personally don't know how much that explanation represents the real source of any corruption that has been a problem in figure skating throughout its history, and how much individual judges have been dishonest on their own initiative with no outside pressure.
But assuming that most corruption does stem from federation politics and not from individual initiative, then hiding the responsibility for each score from the organizations applying the pressure would diminish the motivation of judges to succumb to that pressure because the organization that has power over them would not be able to prove they disobeyed.
Historically, the intention behind most cheating has been to manipulate placements, with the goal of getting medals, or top-10 results, or advancement to the final round, etc.
However, as we see from this example, with the introduction of minimum scores required for championships means that there is now also motivation to ensure that skaters achieve higher technical scores regardless of how they actually place in the event. And so we see an example of a judge trying to pressure another judge to help her country's skaters achieve that minimum score (in addition, presumably, to inflating their GOEs herself).
But the federation can still demand the judge to tell them which marks they gave? They can still make deals with other federations and federations can share the information about which column represented their judge after the competition. I think at the end of the day the federations may very well know what scores several "friendly" judges gave, just not the skaters or the fans thus no scandals, everything is nice and quiet.
Still thanks for your response, gkelly.
Which wouldn't help them much if they were still highest on the home-country skater, just not as high as the federation wanted.
And the more recent scrambling of columns from one skater to the next not only would make any cryptographic attempts to identify which judge gave which column much more difficult, but it also might make it hard for judges themselves to remember which column of numbers was theirs for any particular skater. They might well remember what they gave the home country skater, if they had a reason (such as federation interrogation, or personal attempts to manipulate) to cement those numbers in memory before leaving the stand. But otherwise, they're probably going to remember specific GOEs or PCS only if they were particularly memorable -- for many skaters, hours or days let alone weeks after the fact, they might look at the columns in random order and have no idea which was their own.
You would think it should work this way but it turns out this is way too simplistic a view. In fact the vast majority of elements are done Ok enough that a 2 or even 3 point GOE range among the judges goes unnoticed. It isn't even all that unusual to see the same element marked in the negative GOE by some judges and in positive GOE by other judges. As someone mentioned upthread, it is as simple as giving your preferred skated an extra GOE on most elements while giving his/her/their main rivals one less GOE than you might otherwise have given. Is anyone going to remark at 0 GOE when most other judges have given +1? Then do the same with the PCS marks and it can add up to a swing of several points (especially if you have tea and a chat with your friendly judges, apparently).I would think it would be harder to cheat on the TES than the 6.0 technical mark, simply because there are so many precise rules and criteria, and so many numbers. If someone falls, it is -1, no way to get around that - and that 1 point can make a huge difference in ranking (especially in dance).
This is the excuse the ISU uses to justify anonymous judging, but I think a lot of folks believe it as mostly just a smoke screen. The real reason the ISU want anonymous judging is because it keep the media and fans ignorant of which judges and giving which marks. No more Tracy Wilson with her tables of numbers with red circles and arrows on TV talking about judging blocks. No more complaining over shenanigans by the East German judge, etc, etc, etc. If we can't see what's really going on, we can't do much more than whine vaguely while the ISU laughs up their sleeves.Without worrying about punishment from the federation, judges feel freer to give the scores they honestly believe each skater deserves.
Last edited by Susan M; 06-21-2013 at 10:20 AM.
Okay, gkelly, thanks. That's a very enlightening explication of the "anonymous" reasoning: its done to protect the judges from their federations.
I'm not disagreeing with the reasoning or questioning its validity as you explained it. Obviously, the anonymity is definitely to protect the judges. But, personally I thought the anonymity was put in place after SLC more to protect the judges from public scrutiny in case of any scoring controversies. As a result, the honest judges can continue trying to do their thing and the judges susceptible to tweaking their marks for whatever political reason can still do their thing. All in all the ISU probably feels with the blanket anonymity and scrambling of marks no one is the wiser either way, unless of course behind-the-scenes conspiring and influence peddling gets too open or goes too far and is reported, such as in the case of the Ukrainian judge.
Still, pardon me for thinking that anonymous judging is like trying to stop bleeding from a gaping wound with a bandaid.
Even if the judges feel more comfortable, does that make them more competent? Where's the accountability?