Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by TCAX » Wed, 27 Mar 2002 17:39:41


My generalization: Being Mexican on my mother's side,  when I visit Mexico I
find that bribes, payoffs, etc are a normal course of doing business.  Most
people don't find it shocking or so-off the wall but simply a fact of life.
They shrug their shoulders, may not necessarily like it, but they accept it as
how things are.

Translate that to figure skating:

It "appears" that many national federations consider it par for the course to
negotiate for their skater's placements at competitions.  Many past skaters
have commented upon this *fixed* state of judging, but of course their POV is
hardly unbiased.  (I have yet to hear of a past skater who claims he/she was
consistently "overmarked") This influence or pressure seems to be accepted as
the norm.  So until national federations have no direct influence on the judges
from their judges the status quo will probably continue.  IMO>

Theo
"As long as you have the mental game down, your techniques are solid,
physically all you need is just your body to be there with you." -Venus
Williams

 
 
 

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by janet swan hi » Wed, 27 Mar 2002 23:16:58

Quote:
>My generalization: Being Mexican on my mother's side,  when I visit Mexico I
>find that bribes, payoffs, etc are a normal course of doing business.  Most
>people don't find it shocking or so-off the wall but simply a fact of life.
>They shrug their shoulders, may not necessarily like it, but they accept it
>as
>how things are.

>Translate that to figure skating:

>It "appears" that many national federations consider it par for the course to
>negotiate for their skater's placements at competitions.  Many past skaters
>have commented upon this *fixed* state of judging, but of course their POV is
>hardly unbiased.  (I have yet to hear of a past skater who claims he/she was
>consistently "overmarked") This influence or pressure seems to be accepted as
>the norm.  So until national federations have no direct influence on the
>judges
>from their judges the status quo will probably continue.  IMO>

Funny, I just posted something like this on Skatefans.    

the problem is that when judges come from cultures where trading favors and
*** are "normal accepted practice" they aren't likely to give it up even
when they are dissociated from their national governing bodies.   The purpose
may change, but the tendency to regard deal-making as a regular and accepted
part of the process will still exist.    If they come from a culture such as
that, judges may regard "being good at making deals" as a virtue that all
aspire to.   They may think that those who don't do it are not *honest*, so
much as they are inept in a necessary skill.

The ISU has got to address this issue head on, and explicitly (and repeatedly).
  They have got to point out -- explicitly and clearly -- that such behaviors
are NOT regarded as  "normal" -- that they are NOT part of everyone's behavior,
 and that they are NOT an acceptable part of the judging formula.    They have
got to point out that trading favors, exerting pressure, and *** are not
normal skills that everyone should be good at, but that they are entirely
unacceptable in figure skating judging.
janet

 
 
 

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by TCAX » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 01:50:12

Quote:
>  They have got to point out -- explicitly and clearly -- that such behaviors
>are NOT regarded as  "normal" -- that they are NOT part of everyone's
>behavior,
> and that they are NOT an acceptable part of the judging formula.    They
>have
>got to point out that trading favors, exerting pressure, and *** are not
>normal skills that everyone should be good at, but that they are entirely
>unacceptable in figure skating judging.
>janet

********************
I think a good place to start would be lifetime bans.

Theo
"As long as you have the mental game down, your techniques are solid,
physically all you need is just your body to be there with you." -Venus
Williams

 
 
 

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by john » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 03:24:35

Quote:
> The ISU has got to address this issue head on, and explicitly (and
repeatedly).
>   They have got to point out -- explicitly and clearly -- that such
behaviors
> are NOT regarded as  "normal" -- that they are NOT part of everyone's
behavior,
>  and that they are NOT an acceptable part of the judging formula

That won't matter at all if the ISU adopts the judging standards
of diving and gymnastics. The skaters *mothers* could judge
once a system like that is in place. I think that if a hybrid of
the diving/gymnastics system is not put in place, that will be
a clear sign that the ISU and the USFSA intend to conduct
business as usual. And it is unacceptable for anybody to
contend that FS is not diving or gymnastics, and therefore
will refuse to consult with those experts who have had
their judging systems in place for many many years ... to
solve *exactly* the problem that the sport of Figure Skating
is going through now. That would just be arrogant beyond
understanding.

johns

 
 
 

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by john » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 03:40:55

Quote:
> I think a good place to start would be lifetime bans.

Nothing like that will work. A foolproof system has to
be put in place. Both diving and gymnastics have such
systems in place right now, and those systems could
be adopted in a suitable form. I think that IF such a
system is adopted, it should be reviewed by judges
from diving and gymnastics to eliminate the cons that
the ISU and USFSA will weasel into place. I think
that an outside agency should review the behavior
of this sport until they see that it is going to function
correctly. This entire problem could be eliminated by:
1. Averaging the judges scores after tossing hi-lo
2. Forcing the judges scores to go in range with
    the base score set by the first skater under the
    direction of a professional head judge.
3. Registering, in writing, the degree of difficulty
    of a program before the event takes place.
4. Taking a product ( of some kind ) of the average
    judges score by the dd of the registered program

That system is foolproof. The judges can't cheat, and
it doesn't matter if they do .. the registered dd will spread
the scores too much for cheating of a few judges to
matter. All of the judges would have to cheat, including
the head judge .. and that would be more than obvious
if the dd was very high and the skater met its requireds.
There are professional systems out there right now that
can completely solve this problem without all the amateurish
bull coming from the so-called experts in Figure Skating.
The WORLD is watching you bunch of jerks!

johns

 
 
 

Mexican, Greek,Russian.....

Post by michael farri » Thu, 28 Mar 2002 18:38:56

Quote:

> the problem is that when judges come from cultures where trading favors and
> *** are "normal accepted practice"

Okay, I live in a country like that (mildly at least) and need to point out a few
things.
There's a basic division between public and private problem solving. In many
countries (I think Russia and Poland are generally similar here) the private
channel is simply more effective and fair than the public channel. Solving problems
privately or off-the-record through mutual contacts does _not_ mean *** or
corruption or giving up all one's ethics. There are strong informal rules about
what can and can't be 'arranged' and how far one can go.

Quote:
> they aren't likely to give it up even when they are dissociated from their
> national governing bodies.   The purpose may change, but the tendency to regard
> deal-making as a regular and accepted part of the process will still exist.

No special reason they _should_ . Russian skaters or coaches who are living long
term in the US need to learn different ways of doing things, absolutely.
Representatives to an international organization who normally reside in their own
countries are a different kettle of fish.

Quote:
>  If they come from a culture such as that, judges may regard "being good at
> making deals" as a virtue that all aspire to.

That's too much, they probably regard 'arranging things' as a separate set of
skills than technical judging. A consummate arranger may also be justifiably proud
of their technical expertise.

Quote:
> They may think that those who don't do it are not *honest*, so
> much as they are inept in a necessary skill.

Very good observation.

Quote:
> The ISU has got to address this issue head on, and explicitly (and repeatedly).
>   They have got to point out -- explicitly and clearly -- that such behaviors
> are NOT regarded as  "normal" --(cut)

In other words, _they_ have to do things _our_ way?
I think a better approach is to incorporate policies into the ISU that will address
these problems realistically with more effective punishments for crossing the line.

First a couple of social science concepts. in most societies, one or the other of
the following is the _primary_ punishment for wrongdoing (both exist in all
societies to some extent or other, and probably in all people to some extent or
other, but at the societal level one is usually much more important).

Guilt: Tends to be private and focused inward, the violator has to face and accept
the fact that they've done wrong. Operates whether or not the infraction was
discovered. Also known as conscience. Guilt isn't shared.
Shame: Public and shared. When the infraction is discovered, the trespasser _AND
THE GROUP THEY BELONG TO_ lose prestige.

Most (probably all) societies where the private channel for problem solving is
pre-eminent are also primarily motivated by shame (or avoiding shame).

 Current ISU policies are guilt-based (As far as I can tell) and aren't going to
deter someone from a shame culture. Let's bring some shame in. As in, some kind of
public *** for the misbehaving judge _AND THEIR NATIONAL FEDERATION AS
WELL_.

In other words all wrong-doers are punished in two ways, part of the punishment
addresses guilt, and the other shames them (and their group). For most wrong-doers,
this will mean that part of the punishment doesn't make sense or seems pointless,
while part of it hurts.

Balkov is obviously not affected by temporary suspensions, during which he's
supposed to examine his conscience (he appears to have very little). Some form of
public *** of him and all Ukrainian judges (who can't be very respectable
if they allow such poorly trained judges to represent them) in an ongoing format
for some time would probably work much better. No punishment that only affects
Balkov will stop him (short of a lifetime ban and that won't stop other Ukrainian
judges).

This would seem to me to be a more promising  course of action than trying to get
people from all over the world to agree to a single standard of behavior.

-michael farris