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2002 Judging Scandal: Has The Medicine Done More Damage Than The Original Disease?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Feb 14, 2012.

Is it time to get rid of COP/IJS?

Poll closed Mar 15, 2012.
  1. No

    136 vote(s)
  2. Yes - bring back the 6.0 system (either as was or with improvements)

    36 vote(s)
  3. Yes - but replace it with a completely new marking system (i.e. not the 6.0 system)

    29 vote(s)
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    Interesting article in the Washington Post which marks the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Olympic Judging scandal.

    Article reads:-

    So, has the medicine done more damage than the original disease and is it time for COP/IJS to go?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    Just wanted to clarify that this article was written by Nancy Armour of the Associated Press (she covers gymnastics in addition to figure skating and other Olympic sports).
  3. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    I don't see how FS can get rid of COP and stay in the Olys. The IOC basically told the ISU "make it more a sport and less an art or walk" so they really didn't have a choice.

    Even if The Artist wins best picture, the old B&W glory days of hollywood are never coming back, and neither is 6.0
  4. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

    COP has it's problems, but almost all the quotes from Bianchetti criticizing COP could be applied to 6.0. Tons of 6.0 events had skaters attempting more difficulty than they are capable of and a lot of those turned into splat fests too. And no, people didn't always understand why a mark was given, no matter where it was in relation to a perfect 6.0. Unlike COP, you aren't even given the opportunity to see the breakdown of the marks to help understand how they came about.

    I wouldn't mind of significant retooling of the system to address the concerns about spins and footwork, and the lack of range in PCS. (I.E the idea about one panel trained for TES, one trained for PCS) But bringing back the vagueness of 6.0 would be a mistake. If the idea of 6.0 is so important to people, you could have each PCS category be marked out of a 6.0 as a compromise and display each mark on the screen so people could see the 5.9's or 6.0's. You could change the P/E mark (since it's so badly named and misunderstood) to an overall artistic impression mark which would make 6.0's more common.

    No way would I want to go back to skaters having no clue if they are being rewarded for good spins, or having more than three skaters skate a good sp and the ones out of the top 3 having a huge disadvantage even if the difference in the actual performances are minor.

    But I did love this line though...
    Because, really.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  5. mia joy

    mia joy Well-Known Member

    I think CoP is a zillion times better than 6.0, but it's also very far from perfect. It has its own flaws and its own ridiculousness.

    It leaves very little space for creativity. All the programs are so similar.
    It kills the real artistry in the name of transitions.
    It makes people do ugly things just to get higher levels on elements.
    It kills ice dance big time.
    The judging stays subjective anyway.
  6. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    She didn't say thought that people didn't understand why a mark was given but what the marks mean, as was mentioned as an example, that a 200 ist just a number and what it's worth is only revealed at the end of the competition whereas it was instantly obvious that a skater with loads of 5.9s was going to place pretty well.

    As to whether or not COP is better than 6.0 ... I don't really think either is better. Going back though would be absolutely nuts. Especially with all the money which went into establishing COP.

    As for blaming COP for the lack of attendance, I disagree. It might be an issue but ten years ago there was a Michelle Kwan, and ten years ago people seemed to have more money. Whether they actually did, I don't know but ticket prices are through the roof, for Nationals and COI and people just can't afford it anymore. Both, the lack of names and ticket prices are probably more important than COP or are at least an equal factor.
    The problem is, the fewer people attend, the fewer media coverage there is, so it's really vicious cylce until, maybe, another Michelle Kwan pops up, I guess.
  7. Rochelle

    Rochelle Active Member

    I disagree.

    Especially at the non-elite levels, the programs are so much more interesting to watch at the local non-qualifying competitions. I remember kicking back at 1996 Regionals, my first competition to watch countless BIG level skaters (ie: Juvenile-Senior), and was so bored out of my mind except for maybe 5% of the skaters. Pretty depressing really. Now I can sit through those levels at a local non-qual, and often be entertained. I see plenty of nteresting spins, transitions, more focus on musicality and developing the PCS side, and an earnest attempt seems to be in place to play up one's strengths and best quality of elements -- rather than just skate from end to end and jump, jump, jump and hope to stay on one's feet regardless of the the under rotations, bad technique (leg wraps, even more severe edge changes, etc) that seemed rampant in the 90s.

    Now considering the elite skaters: I go back and watch videos from the 80s, 90s, through 2002 frequently... and am always taken aback at how bland some of the elite performances were. There were some fabulously interesting and innovative programs, particularly in the 60s and 70s (50s coverage is a bit harder to find online, of course). In the late 80s and 90s where the focus was so heavy on the jumps, that a lot of the programs lost some of the beautiful, intricate, stylized, unique choreography and performances. It was much more opening poses, jump, cross overs, jump, cross overs, flail an arm, simple steps, jump crossovers, 6 revolution flying sit spin, cross overs, pose pozzzzzze ZZZZzzzzz... especially among the men.

    Fast forward to today... and do many of you really feel that there are far less creative, artistic performances out there now compared to, say, 1994-2002? I'm genuinely interested in all opinions to this question.

    Because I feel I'm seeing more interesting, artistic driven programs by the elites than I recall seeing 1994-2002.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  8. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    Most definately without a doubt yes. There was waymore artistic variety and expression under 6.0. And way more medals awarded on taste. No wayin hell would Oksana even win under cop but my god was Nancy's lp dull. But it's a sport first and cop let's that happen more easily.
  9. winterone

    winterone Banned Member

    Just wondering are any of those judges still around? I would hope not. Hoping they were banished to detriot or siberia.
  10. Judy

    Judy Active Member

    I doubt we'll ever have 6.0 back .. I think the decline in skating though is more complicated then that. What were the ratings prior to the Harding/Kerrigan scandal?
  11. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    I don't think the artistry is better or worse under COP. It depends on the skater. A skater with good expression and emotion in their skating could make a 6.0 or COP program enjoyable.

    As for the program construction, both have advantages and disadvantages. I like that transitions seem to be valued more under COP, but the ugly moves skaters do to get levels are distracting.
  12. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    IMO, such things as which system produced better programs is a separate question from which system is better at preventing cheating or restoring confidence. Even if CoP produces better programs and provides more information, I think the fact that the judges are the same people who caused the disputes under 6.0, now protected by anonymity, reduces the value of the CoP as a "cure" for the pairs scandal.
  13. rosebrallier

    rosebrallier New Member

    At this point I don't think detroit could be too terrible from a fs standpoint. Better to hope for eternal siberian torture.

    On a more related note, I can't personally compare COP with 6.0, but CoP definitely needs adjustment so it better reflects aesthetics. Undo quad promotions, or at least make penalties for mistakes higher; watching skaters fall all over the place is neither fun nor entrancing, it's downright sickening. I'm a bit biased, but I think only the skaters that can do quads and make them look pretty should attempt them (ex. Javier Fernandez). That's why I say that CoP should reward quads as highly as now, but increase the risk. That would hopefully keep programs cleaner.

    Do people think the CoP problems show up mostly in Men's skating and the undefeatability of Patrick Chan, or are there other prominent examples?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  14. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I just don't get why people think going back to a system that had absolutely no transparency is the way to go. And it was really just a placement system. Whether you think PCS are being misused or not, they are laid bare for all to see (boy it just gives fans more to complain about so everyone should be happy). And people seem to forget that the system is for the skaters, coaches and judges, who are the ones that are really affected by it.

    At the end of the day it is a system that was created by humans which is used by humans for what is really a subjectively judged sport that is very difficult to put exact measureable outcomes on. As a result you are never going to make everyone happy. Because there are too many human factors that come into play in it's creation and application.
  15. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Jump quality, spins and steps have become much more important under COP, and that's nice to see. The only problems I have with COP is the cooker cutter spins and the slooow footwork which the ISU has yet to deal with.

    Judging (PCS) remains questionable at times, but this isn't a new problem with COP so much as COP can not deal with this old, long-standing problem.
    LynnW and (deleted member) like this.
  16. EBASKoroleva

    EBASKoroleva New Member

  17. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan Well-Known Member


    and this:

    I was really upset for Takahashi/Tran this weekend...I really don't understand how their PCS marks could be so low. But I think the Artistic Impression category of the 6.0 system would have produced the same result. And at least newer, lesser-known or lower ranked teams can earn points for their elements by getting their levels. I know there is the potential for tech specialists to be harder on some skaters than others, and for the judges to withhold higher GOEs when it comes to relatively unknown teams, but it sure was encouraging to see Yu/Wang get a level 4 for their first rumba sequence.

    and I remember a lot of incorrectly executed jumps being rewarded under 6.0. If a fall shouldn't get a skater the points, should an underrotated jump or that done with an incorrect edge?
  18. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

    I really disagree with that. Sitting at nationals, I watched Rudy's winning FS on the jumbotron and realized how far skating has come. Honestly, Josh Farris' programs are more interesting than Rudy's was. Sure at the time he was great, but skating has progressed so far. Skaters are learning to do transitions AND be artistic at the same time. Skaters who just do the transitions (like Angela Wang) without the artistry still get punished in the component mark; while skaters like Ashley Cain who have beautiful artistry and no transitions, still end up with some of the highest component marks.
  19. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I agree. And CoP provides a bigger smoke screen. Complicated reams of numbers and factors and +/- GOEs can be used to justify any outcome.
  20. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    For the 100th time, I'm very sympathetic to a lot of the ideas behind CoP but ... there's so many things wrong with it...

    One random thing I hate, hate, HATE! is the idea that good footwork requires a lot of upper body movement. This seems to fly in the face of a 100 years of tradition stressing upper body control (no matter what the skates are doing).

    Also the scoring for jumps and spins is too similar, they're very different kinds of skills and the scoring needs to reflect that.

    Also, there's a huge amount of evidence that different skaters find different jumps to have different levels of difficulty so having scoring them as if all skaters found the lutz harder than the flip (when IIRC the flip has a significantly higher failure rate in competition) doesn't make much sense.

    There's more .... without even getting into the damage it's done to pairs.
  21. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I am puzzled by this as well. I've been doing an adult beginning ballet class and the hardest thing is to do certain movements with legs and feet and keep the upper body still. It requires core strength and control of both halves of the body. I don't understand, other than maybe in terms of balance, how the excessive upper body movement is demonstrating any control or strength.
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    There's a difference between uncontrolled upper body movement that results from instability in the body core and instability over the edges vs. upper body movement that is an intentional choreographic choice that challenges the stability (and therefore indicates higher skill if the skater can deviate from a neutral position without losing control).

    However, with some choreographic choices it's easy to use the intentional movements to cover up for less than optimal control, so there won't always be a direct correlation between the amount of intentional movement and the level of skill.
  23. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    I get the sense we are seeing more of your second paragraph than your first. That's my problem with it.
  24. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I can't say I was very impressed with the article; the scandal was more complex than the way it was described, and it just seemed like someone tried to condense what should have been a longer piece into the length than the WaPo ran.

    As for CoP - I like the idea of it, but have issues with the implementation. I don't think skating can or should go back to 6.0, but the current system needs more than the usual post-season tweaks. And I'm another fan who's not happy about the emphasis on upper-body movement in step sequences.

    What, the SLC pairs panel? Were there accusations of wrongdoing against anyone but Le Gougne? These were the officials and judges:

    Referee Ron Pfenning ISU
    Assistant Referee Alexander Lakernik ISU
    Judge No.1 Marina Sanaia Russia
    Judge No.2 Jiasheng Yang China
    Judge No.3 Lucy Brennan USA
    Judge No.4 Marie-Reine Le Gougne France
    Judge No.5 Anna Sierocka Poland
    Judge No.6 Benoit Lavoie Canada
    Judge No.7 Vladislav Petukhov Ukraine
    Judge No.8 Sissy Krick Germany
    Judge No.9 Hideo Sugita Japan

    Ron Pfenning lost his eligibility for his role in the establishment of the short-lived WSF. Alexander Lakernik is chair of the ISU's singles and pairs technical committee; there's an interview with him over on GSD. I believe most of the judges continued on at least for a few years; Anna Sierocka, for instance, was the referee of the pairs event at 2012 Euros, and Sissy Krick was the technical controller for the ladies' event.

    Marie-Reine Le Gougne has tried to run for president of the FFSG in the past, without success.

    BenoƮt Lavoie is the president of Skate Canada. He and Sissy Krick were the two judges to place S/P first in the SP. I'm sure they had very good reasons for doing so.
  25. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    thank you for saying it more quickly and eloquently than I could/would have.
  26. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I am judging with Sissy Krick this week at an adult event here in Melbourne. Met her the other night at a seminar she did for us. She is a very passionate and knowlegable woman and it is lovely of her to come and do our event.
  27. Rochelle

    Rochelle Active Member

    This I agree with! I have the same thoughts when watching many of the elite, winning, "memorable" performances from 1994-2002ish.

    Another thing that's great about COP is the immediate feedback about the elements executed. For a skater to be able to see immediately that they are loosing credit for underrotated jumps, edge calls, weak spins, weak foortwork, etc. is a huge help in terms of communication between the officials judging the event, and the skaters/coaches/parents.

    Judges still deduct for such poor quality elements in 6.0 (at their own personal, individual scale, since scores behave more as an overall placeholder in the 6.0 system) -- the skaters are just left in the dark on where they 'lost points', other than the feedback of their final overall result. At most American local non-quals, skaters don't even see their tech score / presentation score under 6.0 judging -- just their total ordinal placement from each judge. Thus, what competitors often don't see that when the ordinals are all over the place, that it's often because the officials all had those competitors scored with totals ranging 0.0(tie breaker used) to 0.2 apart.
  28. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Yes, it has.......
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Well said. CoP has lots of issues, including those you've listed, however, it does help to focus on specific elements and problems and gives you a lot more information about a performance than a mere 6.0 mark.
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Well said. CoP has lots of issues that you've listed, however, it does help to focus on specific elements and problems and gives you a lot more information about a performance than a mere 6.0 mark.