## Can someone please explain this OBO thingy?

### Can someone please explain this OBO thingy?

I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me a brief explanation of how this OBO system is going to affect future results at competitions. Every time I look for some info about this, it's either too technical or else people are fighting about it instead of explaining it.

Thanks to anyone who can help me.

--Jen

### Can someone please explain this OBO thingy?

Quote:
Jennifer writes:
>I'd really appreciate it if someone could give me a brief explanation of how
>this OBO system is going to affect future results at competitions. Every time

In an effort to understand how the new OBO scoring system works, I recalculated
the results of a past competition (on paper, no less!) using OBO.  I chose the
1997 NHK Trophy men's short program competition because I remembered that there
had been some controversy over the placements (Hollander skated a relatively
clean program, Kulik made some noticeable, major errors, and CBS made *no*
effort whatsoever to point out that there were no majorities of five (judges)
for either first or second place).  To simplify this example as much as
possible, I am using only the top three skaters -- Ilia Kulik, Dan Hollander,
and Takeshi Honda -- in this little exercise.

Here were the judges' ordinals for the top 3 men in the NHK short program:

Kulik          3 2 3 1 1 3 1 5 4
Hollander 1 3 1 6 6 2 7 4 1
Honda       4 1 2 5 4 1 4 3 3

So the final placements for the top three men using the "old" scoring system
are:

1. Kulik (seven 3rd place or higher ordinals)
2. Hollander (five 3rds or higher)
3. Honda (five 3rds or higher)

Hollander broke the tie with Honda for 2nd place because the *sum* of his
ordinals -- from the five judges who gave him an ordinal of 3rd place and
higher -- was lower than Honda's (the first tiebreaker used):

2. Hollander: 1+3+1+2+1 = 8
3. Honda 1+2+1+3+3 = 10

Kulik          3 2 3 1 1 3 1 5 4
Hollander 1 3 1 6 6 2 7 4 1
Honda       4 1 2 5 4 1 4 3 3

But now you have to compare the judges' scores/ordinals for each *pair* of
skaters -- hence the name "One By One" (OBO) -- and whichever of the two
skaters who has the higher ordinal (lower number) and majority of five judges
wins the pairing.  The 6 individual pairings in this case will be:

Kulik vs. Hollander; Kulik vs. Honda
Hollander vs. Kulik; Hollander vs. Honda
Honda vs. Kulik; Honda vs. Hollander

(That's why I chose to use only 3 skaters in this over-simpliflied case -- the
more skaters in a competition, the more individual pairings to compare.  30
skaters would mean working out (30 x 30) minus 30 = 870 pairings!!)

Comparing the ordinals given by each of the nine judges for Kulik vs. Honda:

Kulik has the higher ordinal from 4 of the judges on the panel (#1, 4, 5, and
7) and Honda from 5 of the judges (#2, 3, 6, 8 and 9).  Honda therefore "wins"
this individual pairing by 5 judges to 4.  For tie-breaking purposes, it is
also necessary to keep a running tally on the number of judges who voted for
each skater in the pairing (called "Judges in Favor").

Now, doing the same comparison for all of the individual pairings:

Honda defeats both Kulik (5 judges to 4) and Hollander (6 to 3) = 2 wins (11
Judges in Favor)
Hollander defeats Kulik (5 judges to 4) but not Honda (3 to 6) = 1 win (8
Judges in Favor)
Kulik loses to both Honda (4 to 5) and Hollander (4 to 5) = 0 wins (8 Judges in
Favor)

Therefore, the final standings in the recalculated NHK short program using OBO
would be:

1. Honda (2 wins)
2. Hollander (1 win)
3. Kulik (0 wins)

As you can see, Honda and Kulik would swap places as a result of OBO.

If any corrections and/or clarifications are needed, please let me know.

--Sylvia