Good post. Lots to chew on.
She is a member of a champion Jr. team and has done quite a bit of
travelling this year.
> (I haven't been in hiding, I just haven't been able to keep up. I set my
> newsreader to display messages only from the past 14 days, so if 2 weeks
> and I haven't gotten to something, I don't see it. If you've asked me a
> question and I haven't answered it ....... that's why)
> ANYWAY ..... I know that there have been lots of messages about judging,
> discussion about various proposals. This message isn't in response to
> of them. It's approximately a copy of a message I posted on Skatefans.
> Here are my modest proposals for addressing some judging problems. I
> chosen these particular avenues because I believe that these could
> accomplished, and might be passed by the ISU, and because they do not have
> impact on the skaters themselves (except to the extent that skaters may be
> subject to incorrect judging).
> 1. Admit that some things such as "cultural preferences and background"
> are probably impossible to eradicate, and thus make a focus minimizing its
> impact on the skaters. (more about this below)
> 2. Do statistical studies along the lines that Dirk Schaeffer has done.
> Publish the results. If considered necessary for publication, remove
> and substitute country designations. If the results are similar to
> [who finds that gross national bias is not rampant] use the opportunity of
> publication to point out that statistical studies do not support the
> widespread egregious national bias on the part of judges. If one or a
> judges are "uncovered" in this process (for instance, Dirk's studies DID
> identify a small number of judges whose judging tendencies fell outside
> statistical norms in terms of favoring their own skaters. At least one
> these judges was disciplined by the ISU for national bias -- not because
> Dirk's study, I hasten to add)), DEAL WITH IT (see below).
> 3. "Routinize" this kind of statistical study, so that the judges, the
> skaters, and the public understand that the ISU is taking this step to
> identify potential problems on an ongoing basis.
> 4. Explain to the judges (and everybody else) that the object should
> always be to come up with the most nearly correct placements, and that all
> efforts are aimed in that direction. Explicitly state that things like
> favors, exerting or yielding to pressure, "looking the other way", or
> failing to recognize in onesself a tendency not to recognize or
> virtues in skating that is not "your preferred type" from a cultural
> point of view run counter to the primary objective of judging, and they
> NOT, and SHOULD NOT BE regarded as "a norm" in judging, no matter what may
> true of a society at large
> 5. Develop some examples, training films, a curriculum, and workshops to
> address the issue of identifiying and recognizing "cultural preferences"
> weighting qualities of skating. Discuss what things are valued highly by
> certain groups, and why. Discuss and instruct about which items have a
> legitimate higher value than others, and about treading a middle ground
> not allowing great skill in X to discount poor execution in Y.
> 6. Address BOTH the reality and perception of unfairness through
> national bias or cultural preferences by devising rules to assure a broad
> geographic representation on all international panels. (e.g. divide the
> world into "Europeans countries" and "4Cs countries" and state that no
> international panel may have more than a bare majority from either group.
> divide the world into three regions (such as Europe; Asia; The
> and state that panels must be divided 2/2/3 or 3/3/3). Where one region
> more judges than another, rotate between/among regions as to who gets the
> greater number next time. For instance, if the 4Cs countries got 5
> the Worlds Dance panel this year, they get 4 next year.
> 7. Address the possible reality and the perception of deal-making among
> in-crowd by limiting the number and array of events that any particular
> judge may judge in a given year. This may mean that some countries are
> (relatively speaking) under-represented if they have very few qualified
> judges. On the other hand, it might actually INCREASE overall
> representation, as more countries in total might be represented
> on international panels over the course of a year. I believe that
> same judge on the same panel for multiple events with the same skaters in
> same year (as in, judging men at a GP event, Worlds, and Olympics) makes
> worse judging, in that it may lead a judge to develop (inadvertently but
> inevitably) expectations that would interfere with the fairest possible
> judging. I also believe that having the same judges at multiple events
> increases the ease with which deals may be made, through having it be
> the "same cast of characters" from event to event. It also reinforces a
> of "in crowd" caste system, AND it reduces the ability to get more
> experience to more judges.
> 8. Revise the rules and punishments for improper conduct so as to (1)
> encourage the reporting of pressure and deals (currently, it would seem
> the consequences to the judge of reporting a problem are such that they
> reluctant to do so), and (2) increase the seriousness of the consequences
> a judge or official or NGB found to be guilty of impropriety:
> -- a judge who reports pressure being exerted on her/him to mark in a
> certain way should -- depending on the circumstances (including how far in
> advance it is reported, the nature and extent of the pressure), MIGHT
> the panel, but in most cases should be removed from that panel WITHOUT
> PREJUDICE, and should be placed on another panel as soon as possible.
> the normal reaction be removal from the panel would decrease the
> falsely report pressure as a means of "adjusting" the makeup of a panel.
> the person accused of exerting pressure is another judge on the panel,
> person should also be removed WITHOUT PREJUDICE and replaced by another
> from her/his "region" by random draw among "regional" NGBs. If the
> is actually found to have attempted to exert improper pressure, then the
> punishments below should be exacted. If the accusation is determined to
> been unfounded, that judge should be placed on a future panel as soon as
> -- a justification for removing judges without prejudice is that a
> has been the subject of attempts to influence her/him to exert pressure
> find it difficult (no matter how hard they try) to render a completely
> impartial judgement.
> -- a judge who is found, through statistical studies to demonstrate a
> pattern of greater-than-average national bias should be restricted from
> international panels for a year. The judge should complete a prescribed
> "course of study" about bias. The next year, the judge should be given
> option of "trialing" at international competitions, and having her/his
> monitored as if s/he were still an "apprentice". The first real
> after suspension ..... for a period of perhaps 3 years, should be at minor
> international competitions, and subject to greater-than-normal scrutiny.
> -- for judges suspected of having yielded to pressure, or to have
> traded favors, or to have colluded with others, or to have maliciously
> false accusations in an attempt to remove a particular judge or NGB from a
> panel, there should be an immediate suspension "without prejudice" until
> matter can be investigated and conclusions drawn. The loss of that judge
> an upcoming panel already assigned should be filled by random draw from
> judge's "region", rather than by replacement from the NGB.
> -- for judges found to have yielded to pressure, or to have traded
> favors, or to have colluded with others, or to have made false accusations
> maliciously in an attempt to alter the makeup of a panel, there should be
> MINIMUM of an immediate and non-negotiable four year suspension, and a
> of permanent loss of accreditation. For those who have been suspended, a
> return to judging should be first at minor internationals, and the judge's
> activities should be subject to close scrutiny for a period of not less
> five years following return to judging.
> -- Officials other than judges should be subject to analogous
> punishments. this includes members of ISU committees, and officials of
> who may or may not be serving as an official in the particular
> -- If a national governing body is found, through any of its
> have engaged in activities that encouraged, condoned, instigated, or
> trading of favors, collusion,