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Alexander Lakernik interview "Going into details, we have gone too far"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by quiqie, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

    An interview of Alexander Lakernik, chairman of the ISU technical committee: "Going into details, we have gone too far"

    http://ffkm.ru/images/mf/Figurist_2011_04_24.pdf (page 30)

    A new judging system was created eight years ago with the idea of more objective assessment of skating. Even estimation of the same features in elements execution changed from positive to negative over the time, and as for the artistic part of figure skating, it never can be assessed unambiguously: one likes, another doesn't. Of course, everybody noticed the subjectivity of judging, but the first one who tried to do something about it was Stanislav Zhuk, who understood that technical aspects of figure skating can be measured, at least the criteria can be found: is it difficult or easy, executed well or poorly. Stanislav Alekseevich was the first one to create the criteria that could be used to evaluate programs more objectively. What was the objectivity? The fact that each element had its own difficulty, and hence its own value, which, depending on the quality of performance could be increased or decreased. His idea was like this: let's say, the element costs 20 points, and if it's done well, then its value increases by 30%, and if not, then the value can be reduced accordingly. When Stanislav Zhuk was still alive, we even held a competition (I think it was the "Olympic Hopes"), where in addition to the main judging panel was another one, which evaluated the skaters according to his system. Then the first marks were compared (the second mark wasn't touched at all), and in some cases they were similar, in some cases different. But maybe because Stanislav Alekseevich had passed away, or because those were difficult times, we never tried to repeat that experiment.
    Now the more and more I realize how truly great Stanislav Zhuk really was, because he had a systematic view of figure skating, because he had a very clear idea of what he wanted and how he would do it. He was probably a unique coach not only in the world, but in history.
    I remember how we discussed this idea and I told him that his system was good, but figure skating would never work like that. However, it happened so that it became possible, almost identical system was born and I became one of its developers.
    Today the idea of a new judging system is ascribed to the ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta. He introduced that idea almost immediately after the 2002 Olympic Games, where results of the pairs-skating event left opinions split. But Cinquanta knew about Zhuk's ideas, he had his schemes before his eyes, because at one time they were translated into English and sent to him. Therefore, we can assume that, one way or another, the Zhuk's system had shifted the thoughts of the ISU President in that direction. However, if it wasn't for the Salt Lake City with its scandals, maybe nothing would happen at all.
    The fact that Ottavio Cinquanta, who comes not from the figure skating world, but from speed skating, where the outcome is measured by a stopwatch, beat his rival Lawrence Demmy, an ice dancing expert, at the ISU president elections in1994, has also played certain role. If Demmy became a president, the new system would never be accepted. I'm sure of that.

    Too far

    So what have we got? We have got a new formal scheme, which in many aspects works better than the previous one. The principle of the judging panel (that determines the quality of performance) remained the same, it is based on the idea that there is a certain number of judges and each of them has their own opinion, and the sum of these opinions forms the opinion of the panel. If we take the work of technical panel (that determines the complexity of the program), it awards the mark based not on an opinion, but strictly following the rules. Teaching technical panels, we strive to make all three persons comprising the panel to have the same look at the elements, and only in borderline situations their opinions may differ, and then the decision is made by a simple majority vote. Therefore, for technical panel all the rules, and all the exceptions, and all the exceptions to the exceptions, are laws, detailing which, in my opinion, we have gone too far.
    As a chairman of the ISU Technical Committee, I see some kind of the simplification of rules as one of my goals for the next season. And, frankly, this is the first time I set such goal. The ISU authorities support me in this matter and also believe that it is necessary to simplify our approach somehow, because when there are many small requirements, it is easy to miss something and come to completely different results. It is one thing when the technical panel argues if it is level two or level three. And now that we have sometimes arguments whether it's level four or no level, it has become critical. This season, there were already several disputes like that in pair skating events at the Junior and Senior Grand Prix series.

    Single approach

    Technical panels determine the levels of elements with sufficient accuracy, except for those borderline situations where there is discussion. Usually, problems with the technical panels arise when the people are quite knowledgeable, but think that their opinion is absolute. Such desire to translate their views into the panel decision no matter what becomes dangerous, especially if other members do not have the strength to withstand this onslaught, even though they should.
    Another aspect of the technical panel work. For example, if you open the list of the ISU technical specialists in pair skating, there will be a total of 20 names. They are all high-level professionals who judge almost all major international competitions. Since there are so few of them, it means that they work several times internationally and at home. With such a small number of them it's fairly easy to develop common approaches. As for technical specialists in single skating, there are much more of them, therefore, they work less frequently. Thus, many technical specialists have only one international competition per year, and the rest of the work they do in their home country which is not in the ISU jurisdiction. Accordingly, there is much bigger variety of views and interpretations and they are not always correct. So when we increase the number of specialists, we have to give more clear instructions, or to expect different responses. All the coaches like to say: my competitor did the same thing two weeks ago, and the protocol was different. Well, first of all, he did not make the same thing a priori, because you cannot enter the same river twice, and it means that he did something a little differently - and this is one of the reasons. But the reason may be that he was judged by different people. Hence in pair skating the danger that this factor will change the results is a little smaller than in single skating.


    When we prepare the requirements for getting levels, we have to make sure that high levels can be achieved with skill. But if the requirements are too tough, no one will get there, and if they are too easy, then there will be everyone, and that is wrong again.
    And to find the requirements that are right from both technical and aesthetic point of view is very difficult. Here's an example: several years ago, we added difficult variation for the lady as a death spiral feature, and all the ladies started to do the catchfoot. As a result, death spiral was no longer a death spiral, and the last Olympic Games have passed under the sign of that awful back out death spiral. Now this feature was removed since we realized that that was a road to nowhere.
    For figure skating to continue to grow, there must be a variety of elements. Today, the coaches know that to do something out of the box is a big risk, but many have learned to invent something new even in these strict limits (for example, this season, Tatiana Volosozhar - Maxim Trankov and their coaches have come up with three new lifts).
    But this is rather an exception, because the new system offers a coach to follow the rules, therefore, the rules specify which elements are performed by athletes at the event. At one time, the "illusion spin" cost nothing, and everyone stopped doing it. We made it a level feature, and it's back again. Now the Euler jump has become an element of certain value. It was done before as a connecting jump, and including it in the jump sequence was regarded as a sequence of jumps. The idea of giving it its own value was a sensible way to increase the variety of jump combinations. Now, if there is an Euler, without stepping on the other foot, and the second jump is a Salchow or flip, then it is not a jump sequence, it's jump combination, which costs a little bit more than sequence. Some people like this innovation, some are against it, but only practice will show whether it is good or bad. Until after a certain number of competitions, it is difficult to understand where any innovation leads. So it's trial and error.

    The complexity and quality

    Another sad fact is that there is no harmonious interaction judging and technical panels. For example, recently we made performing of half of the step sequence on one leg a level feature. And immediately coaches made the athletes perform one leg step sequence, even those who can barely stand on two legs. And so they are sweating, swinging from side to side, crawling completely out of the music and so on. Many people now ask me to remove this feature, because it is impossible to look at. This example clearly shows that, unfortunately, the interaction between the two panels is very limited.
    What does technical panel evaluate? Complexity. What does judging panel evaluate? Quality. If the skater performs half of the step sequence on one leg, technical panel has to award this feature, and the step sequence level will be increased. But if it is performed poorly, GOE should drop. And the coach has to understand that everything they gain in levels, they will lose in quality. And then this feature will be included only by those who really can do it nicely and easily. And what we have in reality: technical panel awards the right level, because they have clearly defined rules, and judges, instead of negative GOE, give GOE 0 or even positive. And the coach comes to the conclusion that the element should be initially set to the highest level: technical panel will definitely take that into account, and the judges would probably just overlook it. And often they do, even though they should not. About 70-80% of the athletes perform half a step sequence on one leg!
    The level pursuit is also due to the fact that the judges are still afraid to award the highest GOE, even when they are evident. And the coach understands that even a brilliant execution of a simple element is unlikely to be awarded by +2 +3 GOE, so it is better not to risk it and go for levels. So I think that for now the judges perform their tasks less effectively than technical panels.
    In my opinion, it is important that the coach understands that if the technical skill of the young athlete does not allow to perform the level 4 element, then they shouldn't set such goal. Leave it at level 2-3, there is a reason why the international rules do not allow novice skaters to get for any element more that level 2 or 3, depending on the category. This restriction is also due to the fact that pursuing levels can lead to injury. Injuries can be explicit (bruises, fractures, sprains) and hidden (deformation of the joints, fatigue fractures, etc.). For example, the Biellmann was found dangerous precisely because of the negative impact on the spine. We had to limit the number of Biellmanns in the programs not only because we see a lot of them, but also because if everyone would try to do it, then what will happen to their backs? In this connection I would like to say that the coach should not mindlessly chase levels and then blame the system, but understand what is allowed and what is not, which direction it makes sense to go and which is not.

    Second mark

    As for the second mark, to be quite honest, we're almost at the same place: it is still subjective. It was decided that since the new principle of judging is splitting the entire program to the elements, then second mark should also be fractured into components. However, this is not new. In times of 6.0 system, at the training seminars for judges the second mark was divided not into five, but into seven parts, but in the end, it was combined into one. It was different for each judge due to the fact judges had different preferences. One paid more attention to the interpretation of the music, another to the choreography, etc. Now, in general, little has changed. Of course, we're trying to teach judges to be more versatile, encourage them not to make all five marks the same, really punish the bad and reward the good, but the judges are still not very good at that.
    Being an optimist in this matter, I still cannot say 100% that goals are attainable because the solution of such problems requires from judges the knowledge and skills greater than they have so far. All the more so that judges have completely different points of view. And when you listen to what people say about ice dancing, it makes your head spin. You can hear judges saying about the same team that they are perfect and they are awful. For me as a skater, the main thing is the quality of basic skating. If it's poor, then everything else is of little importance. By the way, the Shpilband and Zueva's school's main advantage is that their athletes have a very good basic skating skills, and there is nothing to say. There aren't many people now who can teach to skate like that, so the impression is that some fly on the ice, while others crawl on it.

    Few words about dance

    As for the ice dancing, since I'm not an expert here, I can only express my amateur point of view. First of all, dance is an art that is a priori subjective. But since we have the ice dancing competitions, that means that there must be elements that can be compared. Such elements appeared in dancing before any new system of judging. Then the new rules listed the required elements for each dance, so it can be evaluated. The obvious advantage is that the skill of dancers can be measured, obvious disadvantage is that the requirements make all the programs look alike.

    Judging what we see

    In general, I believe that the working under the new rules for a good coach cannot be a problem because eight years is enough time to get into it. We already have a generation of children who know the system very well. In the U.S., as far as I know, novice competitions are judged under 6.0 system, and we, although we started later, already switched to the new system at all levels.
    Early in the season we have test skates (which is a very good idea), so that coaches and athletes can listen to the judges and fix all the problems. But often, even after all the disputes, an athlete goes to the next event and repeats the same mistakes, that is, falls into the same trap again.
    Or some new points come out. According to the rules, athletes must provide the content of their program before the competition. Content - it is just a plan, sometimes we even call it a "dream list", because often there are dreams written down, not reality. But it is a mandatory requirement, which is not always fulfilled, especially at domestic competitions, and I personally think that in these cases, athletes should not be allowed to skate at the event.
    In competitions an athlete can change the written elements and to do others, it is not punishable. Of course, for the technical panel it is more convenient, when there is this list and they know what will happen next, so that nothing is missed. But none of the decisions can be made based on that sheet, because we judge what we see. Pair skaters and ice dancers rarely change the content of their program, but single skaters do that often, and not always do it thoughtfully.
    At the World Championships in Moscow in 2011 two skaters - Nobunari Oda and Ksenia Makarova - dropped down one place, and Nobunari even lost the medal, because in the free program he did the fourth jump combination (which in this case has zero value). It would seem that one should learn on such mistakes, but just now, at Rostelecom Cup, Konstantin Menshov again did four combos. At the Junior Grand Prix event, Artur Dmitriev had an opening combination of triple flip - triple loop in the short program, and the landing on triple flip was not very clean, but he still landed it! And instead of doing at least a double loop, he just went on. And when it came to the required element Lutz from the steps, instead he made a combination triple Lutz - triple toe. The result was: combination without a jump, that is, the value of triple flip with GOE -3, and Lutz from the steps was not counted at all. In sum, Artur lost about ten points, as it turned out, that was the price of the Grand Prix final for him.
    I once asked Ilya Klimkin why he did an extra triple toe loop when he had to to do a Salchow, and he said: I was going into this element and could not remember what I did before. To avoid such mistakes, coaches need to carefully prepare the athletes, because the steress makes it difficult to think clearly.

    Striving for balance

    The new system has been active for eight years. Now it's clear that there are problems, which I once thought myself would be the reason why to introduce this system won't be easy, because human factor cannot be assessed objectively.
    What does any formal scheme do? It leaves out some details, chops off the ends, because they don't fit in. But it's figure skating, it is not a mathematical problem. And at some point it becomes clear that the discarded elements are important, and then we begin to build another scheme, which includes these "ends", but leaves out something else. And then again this need occurs, etc. As I already mentioned, we have gone too far now, because there are so many fine details, especially in the technical panels work, that people are starting to get lost.
    We have now one text in the rules that no one can understand, something just became unreadable. And if the coach and the judge do not understand the rules, it means you should change something.
    As a chairman of the Technical Committee, I set the next goal (and we are currently preparing proposals for regulations to be discussed at the Congress in June 2012) to try to simplify the whole scheme a little bit, try to make more uniform, more clear, without unnecessary detail.
    And if we go back to the beginning of the conversation, then we can say that the system has had positive results, but now we come to some philosophical problems, the realization of which will make it clear where we go from here.
    luenatic and (deleted member) like this.
  2. VALuvsMKwan

    VALuvsMKwan Wandering Goy

    Very impressive analysis IMHO. Bravo.
  3. alchemy void

    alchemy void blowing kisses with bitchface

    Wow. Not familar with this guy but this analysis is very thorough and worth reading. It makes me feel a little bit better that the chairman of the ISU technical commitee realizes the shortcoming of COP and the judges....all of these points have been discussed at length in various COP threads on FSU.

    I'm more optimistic for the summer congress! But I'm still fearful of allowing vocals. :yikes:

    ETA: thanks so much for the translation, quiqie! :cheer:
  4. Jenifer

    Jenifer Active Member

    Excellent, balanced analysis of COP's strengths and weaknesses. Thanks for the translation!
  5. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

  6. viennese

    viennese Well-Known Member

    What is the Euler jump?
  7. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

    Half loop.
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Instead of talking about going too far or not far enough or whatever, how about focusing on the real problem:

    1) The judges being undertrained.

    2) The system demanding more than humans are cognitively capable of (there definitely should be two panels, one for TES and another for PCS)
  9. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think there is way too much going on in these programs today for one panel to accurately evaluate both sides of the program.
  10. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    I feel like #2 is part of the argument, though (I don't feel like there's any way to account for #1 unless all judges are trained in one place at one time and given consistent evaluations throughout their judging career. It's a problem that requires very serious fixing).
  11. shan

    shan Well-Known Member

    This is very encouraging to hear!! I loved all of the examples he gave. And am so happy that they got rid of the death spiral feature of the lady grabbing her skate. I wish they would do the same in the lifts.
  12. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

    I still think the main problem with the judging system is who runs it, rather than how it is constructed.

    Minor amendments to CoP won't make a whole lot of difference unless they abolish anonimous judging and make the system more accountable.
  13. Tak

    Tak Well-Known Member

    I agree with almost everything he said. 2 points in particular I have complained about before:

    - GOE points. Many times Ive seen badly performed elements get positive GOE as though judges are afraid to give out negatives. They are far too loose with positive GOE's. An element competently done is supposed to get 0. Anything less should be a negative. To get a plus, you have to do something special - above average. Judges are too used to handing out pos GOE like candy on Halloween.

    - Not all TES scores should automatically be in the same range. You can have great skating skills and not have a single transition in your program. Should both marks be in the 8's for this? Ive seen programs that had no relation to the music or its timing get rewarded with high marks. The TES is divided into categories precisely because these factors are DIFFERENT. Very rarely, I would say, should these marks be bunched together.

    I think judges need to be re-educated on how to mark under CoP. The system is basically sound, but will only work if the judges do their part correctly.
  14. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    In my opinion the biggest problem is and always has been (what ever the scoring system may be) that the judging is based on reputation and not on what actually happens on the ice in that particular competition. And because of reputation skaters like e.g. Plushenko and Joubert have had high scores for transitions and choreography which they do not deserve compared to skaters who actually have a choreography and great transitions.
  15. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the translation, quiqie! That was a very thoughtful interview and I'm happy to read that there's some thought going into rewarding quality and not just difficulty. If everyone is doing catchfoot variations and change of edge spins, maybe they're not that difficult, anyway.

    The one thing that concerns me is that they keep tinkering with the system season by season. Maybe it would be better to take a step back, consider how to make the system work as best as possible, and go for a major overhaul - instead of tinkering and fixing things on a patchwork basis.

    You'd think that Joubert and Plushenko are the only skaters who've ever been over-scored on any components. :rolleyes: Seriously, can't you come up with some fresh examples? Maybe we could discuss Chan's IN scores, or Lysacek's back when he was around, or some of the interesting PCS being thrown at the top dance teams.
    Domshabfan and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Jaana

    Jaana Well-Known Member

    Europeans 2012 are rather recent, aren´t they?
  18. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I didn't use the word recent, I used fresh - as in, not the same examples again? I've seen you complain about Plushenko and Joubert's marks (esp. the former's) more than once. It's not like they are the only skaters to have ever been overmarked in the entire history of figure skating - or in recent events, either.

    Also, TR/CH are not the only components that matter, and yet there seem to be a lot more complaints about skaters being rewarded despite having few transitions than about skaters being generously scored on IN or P&E.

    I agree with Tak that the judges should not keep the five components clustered in the same range (and driven primarily by skating skills) unless the skater(s) or indeed equally strong/weak across all five components. A skater can have fabulous edges and no feel for music, or great charisma and projection but generic choreo; the same goes for dance and pairs, too. And yet you'd never know it, to look at the protocols.
  19. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    The Judges and Technical parnels are very accountable to those who can do something about problems with an individual Official. Assesment parnels are very effective tools for accountability.
  20. winterchik

    winterchik Active Member

    Please explain how??
  21. alij

    alij Active Member

    Great interview, that really sums up the main issues with CoP.At the recent Euros I was lucky enough to be sat just a couple of rows back directly behind the technical specialists and it was fascinating to see the care they put into calling levels, edges, under rotations etc and actually gave me a lot more faith in the system from that point of view, if only the judges used the GOE as described here we would see more skaters performing level 3 elements beautifully rather than forcing levels.

    Great to see Lakernik is off the same opinions as the vast majority of skating fans and is looking for solutions
  22. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    The limitations of how much can be posted on this site prevent me copying the whole document. For that go. to the ISU Web site and download ISU Communication 1631. Communication calls out the full accountability evaluation.

    However, I am posting the following excerpt:
    The OAC report from the individual competitions including identified judging
    errors and corresponding proposed “Assessments” together with any supporting documentation (including DVD’s), as deemed necessary, shall be forwarded by the assigned OAC members immediately to the ISU Secretariat. The Secretariat in turn shall forward the report as soon as possible to the Technical Committee concerned. The OAC panel in their report must focus on the identified anomalies in the actual printed results of the competition being evaluated. When preparing the report, OAC panel members must refrain from any of the following:
    i. Criticism or questioning of the final result of the competition (or part thereof).
    The Panel shall review only the scores and identified anomalies as presented
    on the print-out, respectively the way of scoring of any individual Judge (see
    sector B. g)).
    ii. Presenting written comments on subjects outside the sphere of the work of the OAC, such as but not limited to rule violations, opinions on the direction of
    the sport discipline, individual skater ability.
  23. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Joubert and Plushenko have hardly any transitions, yet they get very high marks for them so I am going to repeat this over and over again until it gets fixed (ie. never :p).

    You are welcome to discuss any examples you want, of course.

    Chan's timing is very good though, so I don't see what the problem is.

    PCS judging follows the same pattern (all marks being roughly the same with TR a little lower and PE/CH/IN slightly higher or lower) regardless of what is actually performed on the ice.

    Pretty much no judges vary their components.

    And for each competition that takes place, I can point you out numerous mistakes on the GOE marking (such is the nature of the sport that it's impossible for everybody to be perfect but I am talking about rather obvious things that are clearly in the rules).

    If there was real accountability in the system, then those things wouldn't be happening over and over and over again.

    But they do.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  24. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    Accountable to whom? What is real?
  25. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    You tell me.

    ISU should have structures built in first to ensure that the judges get adequately trained and then to ensure there is actual accountability for what they are doing.

    Given how low the quality of judging is at the moment, it's hard to talk about accountability. The system just fails. By which I mean, there's a lot of stuff on paper but when you look at how judging should look in theory and how it is actually applied, there is a very big gap between the two.

    I do understand that ISU doesn't have a lot of money and judges are volunteers but it's not like there's nothing that can be done to improve the present situation.

    For example, if the judges were trained on the psychology of judging, on the mechanisms like anchoring, then they'd be able to make more conscious decisions and not be influenced so much by such subconscious mechanisms.

    Another thing is that while GOE criteria is written quite clearly and straightforwardly (therefore I am really baffled often why deductions which are very straightforward aren't applied), PCS criteria is very vague and general and not well written at all. Some work is needed on making better guidelines because at the moment you just get a few lines of text for each of the component and no guidelines whatsoever on how to actually make your decisions.

    You get very precise criteria in Ice Dance but the problem there might be that they are way too precise and impossible to folow if you are focusing on the GOE as well. And it's not like any judges actually follow them anyhow.

    Accountability at present means punishing judges who are out of line. But that's not what the problem is. At all. The problem is that pretty much no judges deduct for lack of steps before the solo jump in the SP, that pretty much no judges realise that deductions are cumulative and that pretty much no judges vary their PCS, to give three examples.

    So the person who actually does those things will be the one who ends up being in trouble. So hardly anybody dares. It's totally counterproductive.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  26. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    I wish the ISU would arrange more seminars to explain PCS scoring. They need to understand that components were split into 5 categories for a reason. CH, IN and PE can be subjective at times but SS is very straightforward and TR is very objective.

    It's hard to justify giving someone SS in the 8s and above if there is little or no change in direction (let alone effortlessly) or one footed skating in a majority of the program, poor ice coverage, poor display of edges / skills and too much posing and resting. Likewise, it's hard to justify giving someone TR in the 7s and above if there is nothing but crossovers.

    Judges need to be constantly asked to justify their decisions.
  27. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    They are constantly asked to justify their marks at the post event meeting. They are resposible to the Assesment Commission. See ISU Communication 1631. To whom else would you like them to Justify their decisions?
  28. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    What I get from Lakernik's article is that the judges don't really know how to judge under the system. Or refuse to judge under the system, because it restricts their power, and it's not in their interest to do so, nor is it in their personal interest to go up against the corridor.

    The issue I have with his observation that the Pairs technical panels are more consistent with calls because there are fewer of them, and each has more experience is that it's possible that, like the judges who mark in a -1 to +1 corridor for most skaters who aren't at the very top, or who drive the other four PCS from Skating Skills, a small group of technical panels can become entrenched and controlling (no pun intended), and that then the excuse for bringing in new blood is that they don't have enough experience.

    Athletes in every sport deal with variations in officiating, such as stricter vs. looser strict zones. They, sadly, deal with double-standards depending on the players and also based on the importance of the game or the time of the game, like not calling penalties towards the end of a tight hockey game. That said, I think the technical committee should define strict criteria for the technical panels, so that they don't add personal criteria and are accountable for evaluating the criteria on the list. It may be a language issue, but reading some of the items in the handbooks, they seem vague: for example, what does control mean? It might mean different things to different controllers. It's always possible that a more exact description, like "a clear edge established, the element is centered" is seen differently by two technical panels, but a more general description more easily leads to a wider range of interpretations.

    Tangentially, watching the SD's at 4C's, I wish that the CD's were brought back to replace the SD, and that there was a technical team to evaluate a series of points on multiple patterns and establish levels. It was wild to see the Chinese team given credit for one of only two L4 Rhumba patterns in the entire event, something that I couldn't see happening in CD judges by judges.
  30. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Also, the ISU has a choice to change the GOE tables to give much more credit for quality on lower level elements and give more power to the judges than to the technical team, but why do that when the judges, according to Lakernik's article, aren't judging properly along the existing scale? The system currently gives the equal or more power to a small, identified-by-name panel that is appointed by them, not the Federations, to assign levels.

    I haven't heard many general arguments here about how lower-ranked teams are repeatedly screwed for levels while higher-ranked teams are repeatedly given the benefit of the doubt, although I've read specific examples of both. When I compare my notes from live competitions to the protocols, in my eyes judges repeatedly screw lower-ranked teams on GOE on specific elements that are top-quality within a program of lesser quality: if that element had been performed by D/W or Takahashi or Asada or V/T, it would have gotten 2's and 3's, but the skater/team is lucky if it gets more than a line of 0's and 1's when most of their elements get and deserve -2's through 0.

    I disagree heartily with his objection to the one-footed footwork. If nothing else, at championships at least, where there is a wide variety of quality among the skaters, the one-footed FW sections take a lot less time than the see-sawing that occurred for the full-length of the rink before it was made a feature. Now, at least, that only occurs for the last 1/3 to 1/2 of the rink.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012