View Full Version : CoP Vs 6.0 system

2nd April 2008, 01:33
Care sistem vi se pare mai eficient si mai putin subiectiv:

The New Judging System is already better than the 6.0
Here are a few reasons why:
1) The New System focuses on the skaters not the judges.
2) Everyone will know the value of all technical elements. The values will not change
from judge to judge as with the 6.0. The values are set.
3) The judge evaluates the qualities of the performance rather than placing the skater.
The points resulting from their evaluation are calculated to produce a result.
4) A well-balanced program provides an even playing field for the athletes. Strategy of
how and when the skater displays their skills now becomes an important and strategic
aspect of the sport.
5) Starting order does not impact a skater’s score. In the 6.0 system starting early in the
competition often kept a high level skaters scores lower than had they performed later
in the competition.
6) A skater(s) can win from a much lower position on their own ability. They no longer
have to count on another skater’s mistakes to climb in the standings.
7) A skater(s) scores are directly relevant to their performance. Whether the field of
skaters is strong or weak an individual skater’s score will reflect what they performed
and not be affected by the other athletes.
8) The trimmed mean method, where the high and low points are ignored and the
average of the remaining points is calculated, prevents anomalous scores from
affecting the result.
9) Irrelevant of a skater’s placement the points will help the skater and coach assess
whether there was improvement and the areas that need to be addressed.
10) As a result of the points system the evaluation of judges can be more accurate as it
does not relate to placement but rather adherence to the written criteria.
11) Points scored by the skaters can be used by coaches and Federations to administer the
athlete’s career.
12) Judges no longer have to remember and try to compare all aspects of every skater.
Their energy and focus can remain on the individual evaluation of each aspect of each
13) The statistics created by this system will help in career evaluation, fan interest, and
media coverage.
14) Fans and parents of skaters can followed how the final result was determined.

The 6.0 System

The basic principle of the 6.0 system in the United States is a “majority” system, which is unique in sports. Each event is judged by an odd number of judges. The winner of the competition is the skater placed highest by a majority of these judges. The marks of all the judges are used in calculating the results.

The Scoring Scale

Each judge will award marks to each skater or couple, according to the requirements for that discipline.

For all singles and pairs events, as well as for the free dance, the judges award two marks. The first mark is for the technical merit of or, in the short program, the required elements. The second mark is for the presentation of the program or dance.

The required elements or technical merit mark expresses a judge's evaluation of the quality of the elements skated. For the short program, the mark reflects the quality of the required elements, and for the free skate it reflects the difficulty, variety, cleanness and speed of the elements chosen.

The presentation mark reflects a judge's assessment of the program as a whole: of its composition, originality, and use of ice, and of the skater's carriage, style, and expression of the music chosen.

[For the compulsory dances and the original dance, judges' marks reward essentially the same two aspects of technique and presentation. Compulsory dances receive marks first for technique (accuracy and placement of steps, unison) and second, for timing (of the steps to the music) and expression (of the character of the music). The original dance includes composition of the dance as a feature to be evaluated in the first or technical mark.]

Each judge will award marks ranging from 0.0 to 6.0, based upon the following scale:

0 — not skated
1 — very poor
2 — poor
3 — mediocre
4 — good
5 — very good
6 — perfect & faultless

Assigning ordinals to each skater

What exactly is an “ordinal”? Ordinals in skating are the rankings or placements that each judge assigns to each skater by means of the total of the two marks awarded. For instance, let's look at Skater A below who received a 5.9 (as a technical mark) and a 5.9 (as a presentation mark) from Judge No. 1. Add these marks together to give Skater A a total score of 11.8. Now do this for each skater in the event, to give each a “total score.” The next step is to look at all the total scores given by a particular judge (look down the column under that judge's number) and “rank” them from the highest total score to the lowest total score. You have just assigned ordinals, or placements, for a particular judge! (*Remember, if two skaters receive the same total score from the same judge, the tie is broken by the higher required elements mark in the short program and by the higher presentation mark in free skating and free dance. If both sets of marks are identical, the skaters are tied.)

Determining a Skater's Placement

Now that we have all the ordinals assigned for the three skaters above, who would win this event? Who would receive second place? Remember that the majority rules! Look at Skater A. In this case, the skater received a first-place ordinal from five of the seven judges. This skater is awarded first place by a majority of the judges, and thus places first.

Now let's look at Skater B. This skater received two first-place ordinals and four second-place ordinals which, when combined, result in a majority of six second-place ordinals from the seven judges and a second place for the skater. Since first place has already been awarded, the two first-place ordinals drop to second-place ordinals, and so on through the field of skaters, dropping each already-awarded ordinal to the next below it in order to establish a majority for each subsequent place.

Our last skater, Skater C, received only two second-place ordinals but also received five third-place ordinals. As explained above, this skater would now have a majority of seven third-place ordinals. Remember that when there are seven judges, at least four ordinals are required to establish a majority.

Final Placement

After each part of an event - the short program and the free skate for singles and pairs; the compulsory dances, original dance, and free dance for ice dancing—the placement a skater or couple has earned in each part is multiplied by a factor based on the percentage of the whole represented by that part of the event. For instance, in singles, the short program is worth 33.3 percent and the free skating is worth 66.7 percent. The free skate is worth approximately twice as much as the short program, so the multiplying factor for the short program would be 0.5, and for the free skating 1.0. After multiplying the placement of each skater by the factor for each event, the skater with the lowest total is the winner. If two skaters are tied at this point, the winner is the skater or couple who places higher in the free skate or free dance.


2nd April 2008, 01:35
Nu ma prea pricep eu la chestiile astea..dar imi placea mai mult sistemul cu 6.0 decat cel de acum..desi acesta ar parea mai putin subiectiv.

2nd April 2008, 02:03
am citit atatea pro si contra atat pt vechiul cat si pt noul sistem. clar ca cel vechi are multe defecte. dar e clar ca si cel nou lasa f mult de dorit. eu zic ca cop e un pic in impas si ca va trebui facut ceva pt ca multa lume se plange de el.
dar ma opresc aici cu aprecierile pt ca nu ma pricep ca sa intru in detalii.

2nd April 2008, 20:42
Mult mai bun era sistemul cu 6,0.
Asta mi se pare sec,rece si nu releva exact valorea sportivilor !

2nd April 2008, 23:20
Eu zic ca noul CoP e mult mai bun si ar fi aproape perfect daca nu ar mai exista arbitrul care striga elementele si cei 12 catelusi dau doar GOE. Ar trebui toti 12 sa dea elementul. De ex. la japoneza care a iesit pe 4 la mondiale anul asta, arbitrul cu elementele i-a dat doar dublu axel si astfel a pierdut enorm. Daca din cei 12, 6 i-ar fi dat triplu si 6 dublu (era la limita), ar fi castigat o medalie. Practic, pe partea de tehnic, un singur om taie si spanzura.

3rd April 2008, 00:13
E mai bine ca 1-ul sa numeasca saritura si restul sa puncteze..daca ar trebui ca fiecare arbitru sa zica ce saritura ar fi..ar iesi circ..unul care zice ca e dublu,altul ca e triplu si nu ar ajunge la un numitor comun.

3rd April 2008, 01:35
poate e vorba de subiectivitate si tanjesc dupa vremurile in care patina yagudin, si era sistemul 6.0, si de aceea imi placea mai mult...si cand vedeam ca ii dau nota 6 incepeam sa plang...of sweet memories, oricum, imi placea mai mult sistemul ala:D si era si mai usor de inteles pentru public, desi avea si el defectele lui

3rd April 2008, 03:29
E mai bine ca 1-ul sa numeasca saritura si restul sa puncteze..daca ar trebui ca fiecare arbitru sa zica ce saritura ar fi..ar iesi circ..unul care zice ca e dublu,altul ca e triplu si nu ar ajunge la un numitor comun.

E mai usor sa corupi un arbitru decat 12. Plus ca arbitrul in cauza poate fi obosit, iar nici ceilalti 12 nu sint adunati de pe strada. Sint tot arbitri si daca sint in dubiu, atunci chiar ca saritura a fost la limita.

3rd April 2008, 03:30
poate e vorba de subiectivitate si tanjesc dupa vremurile in care patina yagudin, si era sistemul 6.0, si de aceea imi placea mai mult...si cand vedeam ca ii dau nota 6 incepeam sa plang...of sweet memories, oricum, imi placea mai mult sistemul ala:D si era si mai usor de inteles pentru public, desi avea si el defectele lui

Mai tii minte Dean si Torvill ? 6.0 pe linie.

3rd April 2008, 05:50
avand in vedere ce tare m-a secat the referee anul asta la goteborg si eu sunt de parere ca un singur om care decide nu e bine. asa se ajunge ca dupa ce s-a patinat un program da 100 de ori vine un idiot si zice ca muzica e neregulamentara. si ce e fain e ca daca vroiai sa faci plangere de fapt tot idiotului i te plangeai si guess what - el zicea ca tot el are dreptate.
tot asa am vz ca anul asta astia la worlds i-au considerat cvadrupla lui johnny o tripla :headbang: si sa nu mai continui ca ajung la sariturile cuiva si ma enervez iar :headbang:
oricum overall cred ca e mai bine cu cop dar ar trebui regandite multe lucruri.

dar eu am o dilema in sinea mea. pe de o parte iubesc patianjul pt ca e mai mult decat sport - e arta. pe de alta parte imi doresc si partea de sport adica cvadruple :D dar pe masura ce tehnicul avanseaza patinatorii sufera tot mai multe accidentari. nu mai e posibil acum sa castige cineva cate 10 campionate la rand.
asa ca pe de o parte consider ca cvadrupla ar trebui notata extra pt ca e clar ca nu oricine o poate face si sa ma lase jeff buttle cu explicatiile . si cand ma gandesc la nivelul sariturilor in 2002 si vad ce e acum imi vine sa plang. dar daca o sa se dea extra points pt cvadrupla nu va mai fi mult pana sa se accidenteze multi incercand o cvintupla sau mai stiu eu ce alte bazaconii:groggy:
pe de alta parte piruetele si liniile de pasi sunt mult mai complicate acum. dar ciudat asta nu le face neaparat mai frumoase. celebra linie de pasi a lui yags cred ca ar fi de level 1-2. dar era asa de frumoasa.

ma gandesc si ma tot gandesc si nu ma pot hotara cum e mai bine. :headbang:

3rd April 2008, 06:09
Tara Lipinski a trebuit sa se retraga din patinajul de inalt nivel la o varsta prematura dupa ce s-a accidentat la o combinatie triplu loop-triplu loop. Iar pasii lui Yagudin chiar ca erau fantastici. Intr-o vreme Joubert a incercat sa-l copieze, chiar a luat lectii de la el, dar tot nu era ca originalul. Mie mi-ar place sa fie multe elemente si complicate, dar sa fie si gratie si arta. Nu-mi plac patinatorii care dau din maini pe program sa treaca timpul. Si nici cum era Elena Sokolova, care desi era o scumpa si o dulce, traversa patinoarul de la un capat la celalalt in glisare doar pentru a face o saritura, pe care o si rata.

3rd April 2008, 11:25
Cam toti rusii au "boala" asta de a traversa patinoarul doar pentru a sari, fara elemente de legatura

30th April 2008, 10:17
Nu stiam unde sa pun asta si am ales topicul asta:P

New scale of values, GOE and levels from ISU:

-4.2 GOE? I thought it was up to -3 or +3...these rules are confusing lol..

the base values are:

Triple Axel: 8.2 (wasn't it 7-something before?)
Quad Toeloop: 9.8 (wasn't the BV always 9.8? )
Quad Salchow: 10.3
Quad Loop: 10.8
Quad Flip: 11.3
Quad Lutz: 11.8
Quad Axel: 13.3 (lmao 4A?! for real? doubt anyone will be doing that anytime soon lol...)

Hmmm sucks that the 4T has the lowest BV out of all the Quads...and Stephane just does the 4T. Most of the skaters who try Quads do the 4T though...some like Brian Joubert's done a 4S before,

I know in an article before Worlds, Stephane said he's done a 4Lo in practice, but it would be too risky unless the BV was higher...wonder if he'll ever try a 4Loop in competition.

30th April 2008, 16:25
Lasati cvadruplul Axel in pace, eu nici cvadruplu Lutz nu am vazut pe nimeni facand.

30th April 2008, 16:32
Uite aici o incercare de quad Lutz...aproape reusita: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yEvVzq_uyA

30th April 2008, 17:41
Cine altcineva putea fi decat Plushenko ? Oricum, cu cazatura am vazut si cvadruplu Axel.

30th April 2008, 17:45
Nu cred ca ai vazut quad axel cu 4 rotatii si jumatate complete! Pt ca cel care reuseste sa faca 4 rotatii si juma inseamna ca are la degetul mic toate celelalte quad-uri.
Plushenko a reusit toate sa faca toate cele 4 rotatii..doar ca nu a reusit sa tina aterizarea

30th April 2008, 19:33
Nu e complet, dar e incercat. http://img532.imageshack.us/my.php?image=82302434ua2.flv Am mai pus linkul asta. Oricum, nu e neaparat adevarata afirmatia ca cine stapaneste Axelul, trebuie sa aiba la degetul mic celelalte. Poate exista unii care pur si simplu se indragostesc de Axel si numai asta incearca, din ambitie.

30th April 2008, 20:34
totusi 4 A ramane inca un lucru care nu se poate face;)

30th April 2008, 20:38
Am mai vazut filmuletul ala.....ii lipseste cam jumatate de rotatie.
Axelul e cea mai grea saritura care exista......sunt persoane care fac mult mai repede cvadruple decat triplu axel. Nu cred ca vom vedea cvadruplu axel in vreo competitie prea curand..poate niciodata

30th April 2008, 21:23
eu sint convins ca vom vedea. dar cvintuplu nu. desi belu parca (om caruia din pacate, uneori ii mai zboara fluturi prin cap) sustine ca exista cvintuplu axel in codul de punctaj. cvintuplu nu se poate face (sustin eu) decat prin modificari genetice ale patinatorilor (nascuti ca in Gattaca), patine cu ceva sistem care sa avantajeze desprinderea, costum aerodinamic, etc. e ca si saritura de 300 de metri de la zbor cu schiurile. s-ar putea, dar inainte de asta, ar interveni federatia sa interzica.

30th April 2008, 21:46
ma...dar filmul ala nu e trucat :|? eram convins :D

adik se poate executa cvradruplu axel :shocked: ?

poate ca par nuj...nestiutor.........dar chiar asa credeam...cum 4 rotatii si jumatate :shocked::shocked:?

30th April 2008, 21:51
nu l-a facut nimeni pana acum.

30th April 2008, 21:58
deja ma speriasem. destul ca azi am vazut un cvadruplu lutz si m-am uimit.
sa mai aud si cvadruplu axel...credeam ca a innebunit lumea :D

30th April 2008, 22:30
daca nu l-a aterizat, nici ala nu e facut din punctul meu de vedere. oricum, dublu axel il face lumea si pe loc, pe uscat.

30th April 2008, 22:41
Crede-ma ca in Romania..dublu axel-ul nu e asa des intalnit la patinatorii nostri..in special la fete

30th April 2008, 22:59
da, Axelul ramane cea mai grea saritura. numai cand ii pronunti numele: acsel...prin duritatea lui x iti dai seama ca e ceva greu, dur.....

sariturea mai preferata, care imi place f. mult s-o privesc (ca de executat ..haaaa.haaaaa...cale lunga :))) este triplu axel.

ati vazut si lambiel are probleme care e dublu campion mondial, vorb-aceea

30th April 2008, 23:15
lambiel are, dar altii nu au. pentru plushenko, la ora lui de maxima glorie, cred ca nu era o sperietoare.

30th April 2008, 23:46
plushenko care e inzestrat cu ceva de la natura + ca e si rus si aia park fac ce fac ..dar devin cei mai buni

1st May 2008, 00:00
pai sincer dintre patinatorii smecheri doar steph pare a avea grave probl cu axelul. cred ca deja a devenit si o chestie psihica.

1st May 2008, 00:12
si kevin van den perren are un dinte contra axelului.

1st May 2008, 00:24
o fi avand dar totusi nu l-a ratat atat de mult incat sa devina faimos pt asta :D

1st May 2008, 00:40
el spunea ca decat sa faca dublu axel, prefera orice tripla cu spatele. nu mai vorbim de triplu axel.

1st May 2008, 00:43
da . multi patinatori au o saritura pe care nu o plac dar asta nu inseamna ca nu le iese.

1st May 2008, 00:45
Rusii sunt renumiti pt sariturile cu bataie (Luzt si Flip)

1st May 2008, 12:33
Lasati-l pe steph in pace:D va veni si randul lui:) Poate va fi primul care va face 4A:cry:

1st May 2008, 18:46
mikeyy, vad ca te pricepi. ce inseamna sarituri cu bataie ? am vazut ca la unele pun piciorul de avant jos, in momentul in care ajunge (dupa avant) in dreptul piciorului de sprijin. asta e bataia ? in cele cu bataie se impinge in ambele picioare sau la toate se impinge pe ambele sau numai pe unul ?

1st May 2008, 18:53
Sariturile cu bataie sunt cele in care patinatorul isi infige varful patinai in gheata si sare....pt cele fara bataie fac desprindere de pe un picior, luandusi avant de pe celalalt picior( Salchow, Rietberger)

1st May 2008, 21:11
dar celalalt picior e si el infipt in gheata, nu ? adica nu se inalta de pa lama patinei (nu din simti).

1st May 2008, 21:26
La saritura cu bataie te referi? Daca da..celalalt picio nu e infipt

LE: uite de exemplu un Lutz explicat in detaliu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlBGsY46pGw si un Rietberger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZaI_0zngCM&feature=related
Cred ca asa vei observa diferenta dintre o saritura cu bataie si una fara

2nd May 2008, 00:56
mikeyy, merci de link, dar nu inteleg, nu imi dau seama din imagini, din clipuri, am urmarit si schite si scheme si filmulete (destule). pur si simplu, nu pricep. nu se lipeste de mine defel. am urmarit cat am putut de atent. din pacate, toate cu spatele imi par la fel. :plans: sigur, cand le vad separat si cu incetinitorul si se dau stop cadre si schite si sageti, pricep, dar la viteza normala nu. si nu pricep din care moment al zborului miscarea piciorului liber (care vine in balans de ex. la Axel) se transforma intr-o miscare de rotatie. am citit pe un site specializat si spuneau ca in momentul in care ajunge in dreptul celuilalt. cred ca patinatorii au nativ instinctul asta, ca daca stai sa calculezi, in veci nu iti mai iese nimic.

6th May 2008, 01:15
si COP sau 6.0 ceva???? :P

6th May 2008, 16:35
Irina, nu tine, discutiile astea Plushenko - Yagudin sint ca Steaua - Dinamo. Arunci un fitil si KABOOM!

6th May 2008, 16:42
surprizator exista threaduri cu brian vs steph, alexei vs brian si o gramada de alte threaduri in genul asta dar nu si unul plushy vs alexei. de ce nu faceti unul si sa va sustineti parerile acolo si atunci nu o sa mai fim toti off-topic. :D

6th May 2008, 16:59
uite de acum incolo exista si topicul: http://www.onlinesport.ro/forum/showthread.php?t=263333

6th May 2008, 18:03
surprinzator e si ca Irina a intrat mai devreme azi. gata cursurile ?

29th January 2009, 10:06
It's not perfect, but judging system here to stay

CLEVELAND: Sorry, figure skating fans. The beloved 6.0 isn't coming back anytime soon.

The International Skating Union adopted a complicated computer-based scoring system in the wake of the pairs judging scandal at the Salt Lake City Olympics. While the ISU says it prevents cheating and gives a truer reflection of what a skater does, many fans find it confusing, and some skaters blame it for the drop-off in the public's interest in the sport.

Asked if there's any possibility the ISU might reverse course, U.S. Figure Skating president Ron Hershberger said no.

"I don't sense any interest by the (national) federations in making a complete overhaul — if there's any thought of that, I'm unaware of it," Hershberger said Friday. "I think it will be looked at. There will probably be changes made in portions of it, so we may see some changes in various aspects of it. ... But is there any sort of groundswell to make major changes? No."

The next ISU Congress is in June 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, but national federations must submit proposed rule changes by the end of this year. Hershberger's term as president expires in May, meaning it will be up to the new leadership to decide what, if any, proposals the United States will make.

But that doesn't give the new officials much time, so Hershberger said he is putting together a study group to see what issues need to be addressed. Gale Tanger, U.S. Figure Skating's current technical representative to the ISU, will lead the group.

"It's still a relatively young system, and you learn by experience. Or at least you hope everyone learns by experience," Hershberger said.


2nd February 2009, 02:04
Un alt articol interesant:
A Glimpse of Hope?

by Sonia Bianchetti Garbato

Five years have gone by since the code of points system, the so called International Judging System (IJS), has been adopted and it is still a work in progress. A work in progress constantly to the worse. A simple view of the skating situation today should alarm anyone about the sport. Gone is the art, gone are the skaters, vanished is the audience.

Without art, skating dies.

The new system, which was introduced to eliminate the cheating and secret deals among the judges after the Salt Lake City scandal, turned out to be so modern that the results are now obscure and incomprehensible to the audience in the arena and in TV and often not at all related to the skating. And, with secret judging, nobody is responsible!

Besides, during these years the quality of skating has been constantly declining. Flawless or even relatively clean programs are impossible nowadays. The sport has turned into a combination of acrobatic movements more suitable to a circus than a skating arena. The idea of quantifying technical parts of the performance, which had some merit at the beginning, has now reached the peak of absurdity.

The poor skaters are just rushing from one place to another trying to squeeze into their programs as much as possible to score points while repeating the same few contortions required by the new judging system, with their main objective being to stay upright. No time to prepare for the jumps, no time even to breathe. All this is physically too demanding. The human body can only endure so much.

The number of falls has increased exponentially, as well as the number of severe injuries that all too often require important orthopedic surgery usually reserved for persons over 60.

Why all this? According to the coaches, the reason lies in the fact that the requirements imposed by the rules in free programs to get high marks are much too demanding. Too many jump combinations, overly long spins and overly complicated step sequences.

The bottom line was attained at the European Championships, held last week in Helsinki. There was no variety in spins, the step sequences were painfully slow and the technical standard as well as the quality of the skating, especially in single events, was the lowest I can remember.

Many feel that a comprehensive review is needed, identifying the good and the bad, and coming up with a complete solution that reworks the whole system. It is in fact totally useless to adopt minor little changes here and there. The bit by bit approach does not work, because all the parts of IJS are interrelated.

Of course this can only be done after the Olympics, but, since it is a long and complicated process that cannot be done overnight, it is advisable that the new project start to be discussed right now.

However, no change or amelioration to the present deplorable state of figure skating can happen unless certain changes are adopted at the top decision level. It is therefore essential that a review committee be appointed by the ISU as soon as possible. And here lies the problem.

Some ISU top leaders, apparently, are afraid that this would be perceived as weakness. In my opinion, it would rather show intelligence! Luckily it really seems that some high ISU officeholders have now realized that there are problems and are determined to do something.

Every company, some time after instituting a new policy, does an internal audit or review and nothing is wrong with that. A glimpse of hope?

In my opinion this review board should consist of experts from outside the ISU, independent, and not tied to the politics of the ISU and the committees. One of the main reasons why it has been so hard to make IJS work is something called "group think." Group think occurs when a project is run by a small group of people who think exactly the same. In that situation it is difficult to identify the problems, and find new solutions. It is hard to "think outside the box" if everyone thinks exactly the same, and the group is dominated by a strong personality.

The board, whose main task should be to determine the sources of the problems and recommend solutions, should be chaired by the ISU Vice President for figure skating, and should avail itself of a wide range of input from skaters to coaches, choreographers, and officials. A new path has to be traced open to the many voices crying for change. The views of the fans also need to be taken into account.

Most importantly, such a board requires a mathematician/statistician with knowledge of skating. Someone who thinks as a "system engineer" who understands how all the parts of a complex system interact, and makes sure the parts all work together without unintended consequences.

From the many contacts I have had this season with coaches, judges, officials, former great champions and the many fans who regularly write to me, there seems to be a general consensus that a substantial review of the IJS could solve some of the problems; many, however, are of the opinion that the only solution to bring back the beauty and the po****rity of the sport is to go back to the old 6.0 system. Perhaps a satisfactory solution could be represented by a kind of compromise between the two systems.

Here are some ideas of mine.
Single and pair skating
Technical score
Free programs are much too demanding. Multiple rotation jumps, be they double, triple or quadruple, should be limited to one of each variety. Only two jumps can be repeated in a combination or jump sequence. Jump combinations with more than two jumps should be discouraged: any additional jump will be ignored. Furthermore, in junior short programs no triple axel should be allowed in men and no triple/triple combination in ladies.
Revise the scale value of the jumps and eliminate downgrading of jumps if they are not fully rotated. It makes no sense that a triple or quadruple jump "under rotated" is worth less than the same jump fully rotated but marred by a fall. The skaters are penalized twice and certainly this does not encourage any risk and will stop the development unless some credit is given. The downgrading of the jumps should be deleted and poor quality should be marked accordingly by the judges with a negative GoE. The point values for the GoE should be changed so that any element so poorly executed as to deserve a GoE of -3 should not get more than 25% of the base value, regardless of its difficulty.
Spins. To get high "levels" the skaters are obliged to execute spins with a ridiculous number of positions and number of turns in each position, with horrible contortions and changes of edge, which make the spins too long and demanding, besides looking absolutely the same. It is proposed to abolish the use of the "features" in spins and assign only values for each basic spin (upright, sit, camel ). Three spins must be executed. One must be a spin combination. It will be the responsibility of the judges to establish with their GoE marks the extra value added by the skaters through their ability and creativity, and reward new and original positions, the highest number of revolutions above the minimum required, changes of foot and/or positions, the highest speed, the best extension in camel spins, the best centering without extravagant positions to disguise weakness.
Steps and step sequences. In my opinion here there should be a totally different approach. As in the past, footwork, as well as step sequences and spiral sequences, should be the means to interpret and express the music. They should not be rated by the Technical Panel, but rather be evaluated by the judges as part of the Program Components. I would like to have combined step/spiral sequences where each skater is free to do a circular, straight line or serpentine sequence with varied skills of his own choice, with different and original positions, Ina Bauers, spread eagles etc. I want the skaters to do their footwork or a spiral throughout the program because the music calls for it, without any "imposed" number or kind of turns or number of seconds in each position. It is inconceivable that a piece of footwork has to contain all the turns possible (brackets, threes, counters, rockers, mohawks, choctaws, etc. ) as it is imposed now by the code of points. I do not want to see any more skaters resembling flailing windmills in a tornado, struggling from one end of the arena to the other just to get more points. These skills should be throughout the program and not jammed into one section only.
Abolish secret judging: secret judging has proven to be, perhaps, the greatest disappointment in the history of the ISU. It is perceived by the public, and many in the skating family, as the way to hide intrigues and deals among the judges and is detrimental to the credibility of the sport. It is unfair to the skaters and the honest judges as well. And what about ethics? "Transparency" is considered fundamental to the ethical functioning of any institution. All decisions must be open and subject to public scrutiny. The anonymity of the new judging system is an evident violation of this principle.
Abolish the random draw of the judges. The random draw is another flaw of the system, especially when it does not guarantee a fairer result but it is only used to make secret judging even more secret. Studies have proved that there is a wide spread of marks and consequent placements among the judges, even among the top five competitors. Depending on what judges have been selected, the result could vary from first to fifth very easily. For instance, it's quite likely that in close competitions there may be two or more different potential winners depending on which judges are dropped at random. Is it right that the winner should be determined by a coin toss? That is not sport, it's gambling and is most unfair to the skaters. It reduces the whole results system to farce. The only way to compensate for that is by using the marks of all the judges on the panels, deleting the highest and the lowest. This is even more important now that the ISU has decided to cut the number of judges from 12 to 9 for ISU Championships and the Grand Prix Finals.
Abolish the "corridor" in evaluating the judges’ performance. The practice of penalizing a judge whose marks diverge too widely from those of other judges is just outrageous! There is a well documented tendency for people to try to bring their views, opinions, decisions in line with what they feel is expected of them. Not only does the ISU not minimize the tendency to self-censorship, they actually maximize it through the practice of penalizing judges for failing to go along with the crowd. This practice is widely recognized by professional ethicists as one of the main sources of unethical behavior.
Technical Score: The values of the Grade of Execution points should be re-defined. Even when used correctly, the GoE points as they are conceived now do not produce a fair and acceptable result. As the base value of an element goes up, the value of the GoE does not keep pace. A cheated triple or quadruple jump now may get more points than a well executed triple or double, which is unfair and wrong. For example: for a triple toe loop, -3 takes away 75% of the base points and +3 adds 75 % of the base points. For quad toe loop, however, -3 takes away only 33% of the base points and +3 adds only 33% of the base points. The GoE should be specifically calculated as a percentage of the base value of the elements.

Further, in my opinion, the spread of the Grade of Execution marks is too narrow. It must be increased to better reflect the difference in the quality of the elements. With the present system difficulty is rewarded more than quality, which is one of the reasons of the decline in figure skating. My suggestion would be to increase the GoE range from the present -3 /+3 up to -5 /+ 5 . As a consequence, of course, the balance between the Technical Score and the Program Components score must be reviewed.
Program Components: Reduce the number of the Program Components to two, with the marks ranging from 0 to 6. The marking of the Program Components has been most disappointing despite significant efforts to train the judges. As it is described in the rules, the marking of the Program Components is much too complicated and idealistic. The judges have great difficulty in evaluating the skaters’ performance by assigning credible marks to five Program Components with 7 or 8 different criteria each even among the top five competitors in the World, not to speak of junior or novice competitions! Too often the marks do not reflect at all the performance on the ice. Pre-judging and the reputation of the skater often prevail.

In my opinion the number of the Program Components in singles and pairs should be reduced to two with the marks ranging from 0 to 6. One should cover the technical aspects of the program (outside the individual elements): skating skills, transitions, footwork, linking movements and step and spiral sequences. The second one should cover the artistic aspects: performance, execution, choreography and interpretation and expression of the music. The Program Components will represent 50% of the total score with the one on artistic having more weight in the scoring.

This would definitely be an improvement for the judges and the competitors, besides making the marking more comprehensible to the public and the TV audience as well.
Absolute and relative judging

Another point that in my opinion should be re-considered is the way of judging.

At the heart of the new judging system there was a fundamental change in the method of evaluating skating performances. The former ordinal method of scoring was based on the recognition that humans can make relative judgments with greater precision than absolute judgments.

Under the 6.0 system the judges evaluated the performances of the skaters by comparing one with another, using so-called "relative marking." This performance is better; the mark must go up. It is worse; it must go down. The only way to be consistent through the whole event is to be thinking all the time whether the marks given now make sense compared to the marks given before - and that is a comparison.

Under the IJS the judges are now asked to evaluate performances on an absolute point scale without comparison to any other performance. While this may be conceivable when evaluating individual elements of a program, for the Program Components it is not. These are entirely different ways of thinking.

On what basis can Choreography, Composition, Interpretation of the music be considered worth 7 rather than 7.5? Where is the definition of a perfect "Performance/Execution" worth 10? In which way can "beauty" be defined as perfect? The judges have very little specific guidance for what marks to give, and if they are forbidden from comparing the marks they gave at the beginning of an event or to a previous skater, how possibly can they assess a correct mark? And on what basis can a certain mark be considered right or wrong?

Only by comparing the various programs one with the other, can a judge decide which one deserves more. So "absolute" judging makes no sense, especially in program components.

It is another flaw of the system.

The purpose of a figure skating competition is to determine which skater gave the best performance on a given day.

A great deal of research has been conducted into the marking skills of human beings in general. Absolute marking, in general - but even more so in a sport like figure skating - is considered inappropriate. It is practically impossible to quantify objectively the quality of any element of a skater’s performance. Marking by comparison tends to be more stable. We should take advantage of that.

The purpose of this "review" package is to make the programs less demanding for the skaters, thus reducing the risk of severe and permanent injuries, although preserving and improving the definition of the levels of difficulty of the individual elements, and to make the judging fairer and more comprehensible to the public and the TV audience.

One of the reasons why figure skating has lost its appeal, and the TV audience, is that the IJS has produced a judging system totally incomprehensible, that prevents any involvement of the public. With the old 6.0 system, the audience at home could assign a mark, could criticize and challenge the judges. Now the numbers appearing on the score board mean nothing at all, being the sum of mysterious numbers awarded by anonymous judges. The best way to discourage even the most avid fans.

By reducing the number of program components to two, with one covering all the technical aspects of the program (except jumps and spins) - skating skills, transitions, footwork, linking movements and step and spiral sequences - and the second one covering the artistic aspects - performance, execution, choreography, interpretation and expression of the music - judged on a relative scale, not only do we simplify the judges’ job and make the judging fairer, but we also allow the public in the arena and at home to be able to understand the results and interact with the judges, as they used to do until 2004.

To favor this, the score board in the arena should show:
the total points earned by the skater in each part ( individual elements, technical aspects and artistic aspects).
for the two Program Components only , the marks awarded by each judge in the panel.

With the marks ranging from 0 to 6 ,the beloved and much missed 6.0 mark can hopefully be seen again and drive the crowd wild! A dream?


2nd February 2009, 04:12
Ca sa-l citez pe Andi Vilara, cam tampititca Sonia asta. Nu sint de acord cu ea. Noul cod de punctaj este infinit mai bun decat cel vechi, care puncta pozitia in clasament si nu oferea note, patinatori patinand la inceputul listei neavand nici o sansa de atermina sus, indiferent cat de bune si curate erau programele lor. Un set de elemente impuse de asemenea il vad binevenit, altfel fiecare ar face ce ar vrea, cum e de ex. la gala de la Obersdorf, unde la un moment dat cobora un trapez si patinatorul se inalta in aer, de unde facea elemente din circ. Referitor la rezistenta, e sport, e normal sa impingem limitele, daca simti ca nu faci fata, nu te apuci de sport de performanta, pentru a te vaita ulterior. Glorie da, bani da, dar munca nu. Reducerea elementelor duce la un regres. Cum ar fi de ex. sa se interzica de ex. triplu Axel pe motiv ca e prea periculos ? Ce am vedea ? Sarituri simple, patinatori trimitand bezele publicului si executii la nivelul anilor 60.

Iar limitarile sint ridicole. Cum ar fi de ex. ca juniorilor de la tenis sa le fie interzis slice-ul, urmand ca acesta sa fie permis doar la seniori si doar maxim 10 pe set. Sau la fotbal, echipa sa fie limitata la un nr. de maxim 300 pase pe meci si 10 cornere. Orice depaseste 10 cornere, va fi un simplu aut de poarta. Nu ar fi stupid ? Iar o echipa din afara ISU sa medieze si sa analizeze e aiurea. In fond, autoarea cand iese pe strada nu cere opinia vecinilor referitor la ce sa poarte, cu toate ca ei o vad, nu ea. Conform autoarei, vecinii ar trebui sa decida ce ar trebui sa poarte, intrucat fac parte din proces, ochii lor vad hainele si o judeca.

Singurul lucru cu care sint de acord e sa nu mai existe arbitri random. Adica sa puncteze toti, sa stim fiecare cat a dat si eventual cea mai mica si cea mai mare nota sa se elimine.

2nd February 2009, 22:35
Da, Alin....insa de cand e noul cod de punctaj nivelul tehnic in cazul sariturilor a scazut drastic.
Patinatorii nu mai au timp suficient de a se pregati la sarituri, deoarece toti lucreaza la piruete, pasi, spirale, tranzitii etc...incearca sa scoata nivele cat mai mari la toate aceste elemente.

Inainte nu puneau la fel de mult accent pe piruete, pe pozitiile din pieruete, pasi etc si puteau sa se axeze pe sarituri. Acum exercitiile sunt mai compleze intr-adevar, insa cand iti lipseste constanta la sarituri...toata frumusestea programului dispare.
La fete nu sunt foarte vizibile schimbarile, insa la proba masculina e crunt....inainte se bateau pe combinatii cu quad, iar acum abia daca mai reusesc 1 quad fara combinatie, iar usor usor incep sa-si piarda si axelul.

2nd February 2009, 23:04
Dar nici ca Elena Sokolova, care traversa patinoarul de la un capat la celalalt pentru a face o saritura pe care o si rata nu mi se pare corect. Nu stiu daca nivelul tehnic a scazut drastic, avand in vedere ca acum se fac cvadruple. Iar piruete erau si inainte. Faceau elvetienii piruete, de ziceai ca sint titireze.

Referitor la combinatia cu quad, aici asa e. Tin minte celebra cvadrupla-tripla-tripla a lui Plushenko. Nu stiu ce erau respectivele sarituri, dar erau de mare efect.

3rd February 2009, 20:27
Saritura lui Plushenko era de mare efect, dar a reusit-o in competitii doar de 2 ori. Dar 4+3+2 (nu e titlul filmului) au sarit Yagudin si Plushenko in mod curent in competitii in anii 2001-2002. La Olimpiada au sarit si unul si altul a 2-a cvadrupla dupa combinatie la LP. Si mai era Alexandre Abt, Takeshi Honda sau Timothy Goeble care sareau curent 1 cvadrupla sau 2 in competitii.

Si apropos de ce spunea Mihai ca baietii trebuie sa se concentreze pe alte componente, ei faceau piruete, pasi dificili si coregrafie si inainte. Am vazut un concurs la profesionisti in care Yagudin a prezentat Gladiatorul si a fost arbitrat dupa sistemul nou. La elemente tehnice nu prea a luat puncte fiindca programul a fost mult usurat, dar la componentele artistice a luat intre 8,20 si 8,50 pe un program lucrat in 2001, ceea ce e inca o nota buna pentru Tarasova. .

3rd February 2009, 21:02
Flavia...Yagudin nu se pune :D. Cand vorbim de Yags deja vorbim de un alt nivel ce tinde spre perfectiune.
Ceea ce i-ar fi lipsit lui Alexei pe noul cod ar fi fost piruetele. Chiar m-am uitat acum pe Gladiatorul din 2001 si la piruete ar fi primit in prezent doar nivel 1 si 2...ceea ce e putin. Insa la restul elementelor s-ar fi descurcat de minune.

Oricum la Europenele de anul acesta mi s-a demonstrat ca noul cod de punctaj nu a schimbat cu nimic jocul arbitrilor. Acum daca vor sa te dea cat mai jos iti anuleaza elemente sau nu-ti dau credit pe ele....si sa nu mai vorbim de nivelul fiecarui element, aici te pot arde cel mai rau.

3rd February 2009, 21:46
Oricum la Europenele de anul acesta mi s-a demonstrat ca noul cod de punctaj nu a schimbat cu nimic jocul arbitrilor. Acum daca vor sa te dea cat mai jos iti anuleaza elemente sau nu-ti dau credit pe ele....si sa nu mai vorbim de nivelul fiecarui element, aici te pot arde cel mai rau.

Din pacate asa e, chiar mai mult decat altadata, caci nu mai pot fi fluierati frontal (ce copios ii fluiera publicul altadata) si acum conteaza fiecare zecime de punct. :mda:

15th February 2009, 23:47
Bold Considerations for an Aberrant System

By Philippe Pelissier

Realizing that is useless to be nostalgic about the old judging system, and considering the deficiencies and structural faults of the new one, the necessary alternative would be: either to conceive and elaborate the structure of another judging system, or to restructure the present system keeping only rational criteria for evaluation of technical and artistic levels adapted to each specific discipline.

To be totally honest, it is necessary to evoke the reasons which led to the elaboration of the present judging system.

The "Salt Lake City scandal" was the last straw of a series of mini scandals which stemmed from pre-determined decisions due to ideological-political reasons more than the direct consequence of incompetent judging under an imperfect system. In spite of and considering all sides of the question, these "deals" or errors have never had a lasting or serious effect on the overall results and fairness in the competitive field. The commercial and hyper media coverage of the Salt Lake City "case" promoted the theory that this episode would endanger the possibility of figure skating participating in the Olympics – a totally hypocritical and unfounded story when one knows all the incredible turpitudes and compromises which occur in the sphere of the Olympic Committee – it then became necessary to set up a parade, "an ice parade", which would provide total guarantee and security against any possible deals or pre-judging decisions against the athletes. It was at this point that a fundamentally short-sighed narrow-minded fatal intellectual decision was committed.

This error which condemned in the long term the existing judging system is problematic in itself since the fundamental question was the security control in the judging system and not a problem related to the judging technique which needed to be redesigned to make it more pertinent and viable.

Clearly to keep figure skating in the Olympic sphere, one had simply reduced to zero the possibility and use of individual judgment. As if figure skating, an entertainment sport could be defined by using quantitative and arithmetic criteria, devoid of any aspect of quality which calls for reflected appreciation.

Since the quantitative creates the problem, let us isolate and analyze the parameters of it.

This dialectic jump from quantitative to qualitative which is used to bear out theories in the areas of genetics, chemistry or the changes in historic sociology becomes in this case complete loss of reason. The consequences of this deviation are overwhelming. The analysis of this is as follows:

Since it is necessary to eliminate rumors due to subjective judging interpretations which are by necessity divergent, thus a factor of "chaos", let us first limit the decision given by the subject, "the judge" by subjecting them to an electronic box where the decision will follow the orders of a supreme jury which sits to the right of "Truth" and which rules through successive prejudgments established during official training sessions and defines the value of the executed elements of each competitor based on the average of levels obtained in other competitions.

To fight against the plague of prejudging, they have officially instituted with great pomp and ceremony prejudging as a model of objectivity because it is entrusted to the care of technical specialists obliged to take an oath under the control of a licensed controller stamped ISU and therefore qualified.

Between the plague and cholera, the ISU has decided to give blank endorsement to cholera.

Now let us be serious. The result must be evaluated and measurable. To do this it is necessary to compute everything by a system of points where each element is supposed to receive an arithmetic value, and since it is necessary to compare without confronting the performances of one or another, one must refer to an absolute value of measure over and above any possible uncertainty coming from a comparison.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ISU has pulled out of its hat a platonic idea that the quantitative value rules over the skies of intelligence.

What should be comparable which is performances weighed against other performances no longer exists but is judged by a super celestial metric system. This is so true that the scores of absolutely similar performances change depending on the climate, the season and the technical controllers …

The ISU has very flexible concept of the absolute in its measurable decisions!

The "artistic" side of figure skating is itself evil and does not have a place in an objective system. It is thus necessary to slice it up like a sausage. Consequently any abstract or confused idea will be reduced to simple elements and truths.

Following this line of thought there are now five elements. This "segmentation" produces a double error:
A traditional error which consists in assuming that whole organized entity destined toward a final artistic conception which solicitudes emotion or aesthetic sensations can be divided into parts. Or, analyzed parts will never produce the effect of the unit as a whole.
With an even more unforgivable error based on multiplying the determining factors, one achieves the means of establishing specifics of the object. As a result one obtains a marmalade where the so called objective criteria consists of leveling all the components according to a pre-established standard for a given competitor without taking into account the quality of the different components.

The ISU has invented the breakdown of the artistic value in the form of a light spectrum where all the colors are mixed and which is pre-regulated to appreciate only one "color" of the skater’s presentation.

Finally, and it is here that the present system can be fully measured : not satisfied to hamstring the jury, not satisfied in formatting the content the performances rendering them a measurable product, uniform and homogenous, it has made the evaluation of the results and their communication totally incomprehensible to the public and the television audience.

Soon, it will be necessary to have a computer on one’s knees in order to follow the show and appreciate it the way it deserves.

At the next congress, I propose that spectators come and meet in groups of fifty in rooms equipped with computers in order to learn to follow all the subtleties of the calculations of the performances. It is thus without a doubt that the fans will finally have access to the "Nirvana" of figure skating and go down on bended knee in the most perfect communion in front of the absolute light in the name of the ISU.

It would be advisable that the ISU add some other elements related to this logo!!!

Philippe Pelissier was 5th at the European Championships 1969. From 1976 to 2003 he coached most of the French international skaters and directed schools for professional trainers. Since 1992 he is a consultant and commentator for Eurosport for figure skating. Pelissier is also a successful writer and painter with pieces of his works exhibited in Paris. He is also a producer of theatre plays one of which, Brouhaha, is currently being played in Paris.

Ed. Note: This article has been translated from its original French.


16th February 2009, 00:33
sunt de acord cu multe din ideile expuse aici. mai ales cu asta " analyzed parts will never produce the effect of the unit as a whole". cat de adevarat. o gramada din programele pre cop par mult mai frumoase chiar daca under cop nu ar mai neaparat castig de cauza, cum ar fi de exemplu linia de pasi a lui yags care cred ca ar fi max un level 2.
si asta mi se pare iar f adevarat " leveling all the components according to a pre-established standard for a given competitor without taking into account the quality of the different components".

eu ce nu inteleg, daca toata lumea se plange de cop de ce nu face nimani nimic? si in primul rand patinatorii. de ce nu se revolta?

16th February 2009, 00:52
Dar sa fii pe 4 dupa programul scurt si sa faci o combinatie de 6 Axel + 5 Toe-loop + 4 Lutz + 5 Salchow si sa stii ca daca te invarti ca un titirez de faci gaura in gheata, tot nu poti castiga, ti se pare corect ?

16th February 2009, 01:40
dar am zis eu sau domnul respectiv treaba asta?
cred ca nu m-ai inteles. eu nu zic sa aduca inapoi vechiul cod de punctaj. e clar ca avea hibele lui. ideea e sa se urmareasca sa se imbunatateasca actualul sistem. oricat ai zice ca patinajul artistic e un sport totusi e un sport artistic si sa se ajunga sa arate toate progr la fel nu va face bine nimanui.

16th February 2009, 05:02
Irina, tu vrei si cu mandra si cu draga :D

23rd March 2009, 12:39
Figure skating scoring leave some in the cold
There are no more 6.0s and few even know what a good score is, but it's not all negative, right?

Helene Elliott
March 22, 2009

To save figure skating after the 2002 Salt Lake City judging scandal rocked the sport, the International Skating Union, in essence, killed it.

The familiar 6.0 standard of excellence? Gone. Identifying the judges by country, which fostered public accountability? Gone.

In their place: a broader points-based system that relies on technical specialists to identify and assess the difficulty of elements, judges to rate the execution of those elements, and computers to randomly count scores of nine of 12 judges whose affiliations aren't announced.

If Kim Yu-Na gets 72.24 points for her short program at this week's World Figure Skating Championships as she did at the recent Four Continents event, would fans know to cheer rather than jeer?

That would match the best score ever, but usually when scores are announced there's an instant of puzzled silence.

Too many calculations and not enough soul.

"The numbers appearing on the scoreboard mean nothing at all," said Sonia Bianchetti Garbato, a former ISU official, "being the sum of mysterious numbers awarded by anonymous judges -- the best way to discourage even the most avid fans."

Some parts of the system, however, are welcome improvements.

* Skaters are ranked for what they do, not in relation to the performances of those who preceded them.

* Judges no longer hold back high marks for skaters who perform well early in a group.

* Video replay is available to review whether a skater took off from the correct edge on a jump or made the correct number of rotations. Although this can lead to delays, it rewards proper technique.

* Best of all, perhaps, is that the system allows dramatic comebacks, once very rare.

"We are very, very satisfied because in the past for a skater ranked after the short program No. 4, it was practically impossible to win the competition, statistically," said Ottavio Cinquanta, president of the International Skating Union and the system's chief architect.

"Today, you can be ranked No. 7 and you can also start the first among the 24 and you can win. In the past, if you were the first one it was very difficult to have the highest number of points because the judges were waiting for the other skaters."

But in trying to quantify every axel and salchow and twizzle, the system has crushed the sport's heart.

Programs look alike because coaches and choreographers incorporate the same high-value elements into routines. A spiral might be awkward or ugly, but if it's worth a lot of points, every skater will do it.

Every competition has routines packed with tricks, yet Cinquanta disputed the notion that athleticism outweighs artistry. "I would believe that we have covered both interests," he said.

He's clearly in the minority.

"I'm watching it and I'm not being touched by a lot of it," said Tai Babilonia, who won the 1979 world pairs title with Randy Gardner and mentors U.S. champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker. "I'm not blaming skaters at all. The skaters are doing what they're told to be doing. It just doesn't look like they're having a fun time out there. It looks like mathematical skating. It doesn't look like figure skating to me. It really makes me sad."

Bianchetti Garbato, a vocal opponent of the new system, is more appalled than saddened.

"The sport has turned into a combination of acrobatic movements more suitable to a circus than a skating arena," she said. "We are no longer seeing the skaters' passion, the skaters' joy during their performances. We are only seeing skaters suffering and struggling to get to the end of overly demanding programs."

Some people involved in the sport are reluctant to be critical for fear of reprisal. Some see positive points.

Gardner, formerly a technical specialist and now a choreographer, praised the system as "definitely fair, because it's pretty black-and-white." But he acknowledged it's difficult to express a skater's personality because of the drive to pile up points.

"You literally have a list of required elements they have to do in both the short and long program and the different features, which have a numeric value, so you've got to check those off the list first," he said. "And then you look and say, what's left? And you've kind of run out of time. So I don't know how to fix it. Something extemporaneous would be nice."

But that wouldn't get any points.

Tanith Belbin, a five-time U.S. ice dance champion and Turin Olympic silver medalist with partner Ben Agosto, says she likes having standards for rating lifts instead of leaving it to judges' personal preferences. She's not sold on the rest of it.

"When you're putting together a program you can't just think about it in terms of the performance because it's all coming down to mathematics and technical scores," she said. "That is not the essence of ice dancing. The essence of ice dancing is creativity."

Cinquanta said he began to devise the system in late 2001, before a vote-swapping scandal involving French judge Marie Reine LeGougne spotlighted the backroom dealing that had sullied the sport.

Heaven knows there were good reasons for change, but the judges and the ways they're chosen and evaluated needed changing more than the judging system itself.

"Too often the marks do not reflect at all the performance on the ice. Pre-judging and the reputation of the skater often prevail," Bianchetti Garbato said.

Cinquanta wanted an absolute scoring system, but this lacks absolute transparency because judges aren't always publicly linked to their scores. The ISU has internal review processes, but not until the fourth "assessment" is a judge removed from rosters.

"Mistakes always happen and they will happen also in the future, by the skater, coaches, judges," Cinquanta said. "We cannot say the system is so good that all mistakes are avoided.

"If you have a good system, as it is the one that we are using, but then you have good judges. The best judges can [make] mistakes. How can I prevent a mistake? I can only select the best judges."

Frank Carroll, coaching at his 28th world championships, faults the system for putting too much power in the hands of technical specialists and taking power from judges.

"It's very, very complicated," he said. "I think the majority of coaches don't like it at all . . . and people, not just coaches, say this is too complicated."

The biggest loss was the almost mythic 6.0. Crowds that once buzzed over 6.0s or debated 5.8s can't comprehend a 58.54 for a women's short program. The ISU hasn't done a good enough job of educating fans about scoring standards. It also must find ways to encourage creativity, not just contortions.

"As long as the viewer enjoys watching the skater or the event, I don't think they care about the points as much," Gardner said. "But I think they want to see some more individuality."

The future of figure skating as a spectator sport will depend on that.



29th April 2009, 14:50
How many judges are there, anyway?
Under IJS, there is no simple answer

(04/28/2009) - The International Judging System (IJS), developed in response to the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics judging scandal and approved for use at the 2004 ISU Congress, is so layered in complexity that answering even a seemingly simple question -- how many judges are used? -- is like peeling an onion.

That issue became news after the International Skating Union (ISU) recently decided nine, instead of 12, judges would be seated for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. This reduction, originally announced in October 2008 for ISU events, had already been implemented during the 2008-2009 season for competitions, including the recent world championships in Los Angeles. The motive? To save money. Another cost-cutting move, making the traditional end-of-worlds banquet optional, was included in the same communication.

When it comes to the Olympics, the issue wasn't prompted by money as much as by the need to keep the judging rules uniform. So, for future events -- including Vancouver -- nine judges will be seated and score the competition. Two will immediately be thrown out via random draw, leaving seven scoring judges. The high and low marks for each element and program component (PC) are dropped, leaving five marks to compute the averages.

As yet an additional safeguard against the possible appearance of collusion, the Vancouver judging panels will change after the short programs. Four new judges will be substituted in, so only five of the original nine will be seated for both the short and long programs. (The panels also changed at worlds in L.A.)

To George Rossano, a figure skating judge and research scientist who often writes about the mathematics of judging on his Web site, good intentions and attempts to filter out cheaters should not dilute the need to achieve a mathematically sound result for every skater in every competition.

"What matters to the math is not the identity of the bodies involved, or even if the bodies are the same for each element and PC, which they are not," Rossano said. "What matters is how many numbers are in the averages. Prior to the random selection of scoring judges, there are nine sets of marks, two sets of which are ignored. Prior to the second trim, there are seven marks, but only five of those will be averaged.

"The bottom line is that, at the end of the calculation, five numbers go into each average for a Grade of Execution (GOE) and PC, when it was seven before this season, which degrades the mathematical reliability of the results."

In his 2009 report to his board of directors, U.S. Figure Skating President Ron Hershberger said, "We objected strenuously [to the reduction] both on procedural grounds and because of the adverse effect of reducing the number of judges' marks used to determine the result."

U.S. Figure Skating and Skate Canada sent a joint letter to the ISU protesting the decision but did not move the union to change its mind. The next time the issue can come up for discussion is at the 2010 ISU Congress, to be held after the Olympics.

Back in the days of 6.0, a bloc of five votes out of nine could decide who won Olympic gold. One of the most famous decisions, Oksana Baiul over Nancy Kerrigan in 1994, was determined by the results of the free skate, with the vote of one judge making the difference. The alleged machinations behind five votes favoring Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze over Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier in 2002 prompted the ISU to put the IJS into motion.

The random draw selecting out two judges; the trimmed mean; the substitute panels; and the existence of a three-person technical panel, who determine the completion and difficulty of the elements the judges are grading, were all moves designed to achieve more objective results and make the viewing public, as well as the International Olympic Committee, more confident that fairness prevails. But the complexity of IJS, as well as the ISU's decision not to identify which judges cast which marks, makes some observers uncomfortable. And many fans don't stop to read the fine print.

Whatever the ISU's intentions, says Rossano, more judges would be far better. That's because in laboring to prove it is doing as much as it can to root out corruption and collusion, the ISU has paid insufficient attention to the far more likely scenario of simple judging mistakes and lack of experience.

"For a single bad mark in the final averages, using the smaller panel size, the importance of that mark is increased by roughly 40 percent, since a bad mark will now be one of five instead of one of seven," he said.

"In terms of reliability and integrity, a seven-judge IJS calculation is about as good as a four-five judge 6.0 panel. To keep the reliability of the results that the 6.0 calculation method provided with nine judges, IJS should be using at least 11 scoring judges."