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Vagueness in rules tripped up Weir

# Vagueness in rules tripped up Weir

There are 37 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Feb 2, 2008, titled Vagueness in rules tripped up Weir. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

A top international skating official said Friday that imprecise wording of rules has contributed to a controversy over the results of the men's skating competition at last weekend's U.S. Figure Skating ...

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“... Addicted To Figure Sk8ng ”

Since: Mar 07

Long Island NY

#1 Feb 2, 2008
Laura
#2 Feb 2, 2008
The rule is 100% clear. This is rule 353 from the ISU rulebook:
"For ISU Championships, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events and Final (Senior), the Olympic Winter Games and the Qualifying Competition for the Olympic Winter Games the panel's points for each Program Component are obtained by calculating the trimmed mean of the maximum of nine (9) scoring Judges results for that Program Component. The trimmed mean is calculated in the manner described above in sub-paragraph d);
k) The factored results are rounded to two decimal places and added. The sum is the Program Component Score.
l) In Single and Pair Skating:
i) The panel's points for each Program Component are then multiplied by a factor as follows (same for Junior and Senior):
Men: SP: 1.0 FS: 2.0
Pairs: SP: 0.8 FS: 1.6
The factored results are rounded to two decimal places and added. The sum is the Program Component Score;"

It explicitly states that the scores are averaged, factored, and then rounded, which would give Weir the title. The rules are not vague and USFS refuses to acknowledge this.

“... Addicted To Figure Sk8ng ”

Since: Mar 07

Long Island NY

#3 Feb 2, 2008
Laura wrote:
The rule is 100% clear. This is rule 353 from the ISU rulebook:
"For ISU Championships, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events and Final (Senior), the Olympic Winter Games and the Qualifying Competition for the Olympic Winter Games the panel's points for each Program Component are obtained by calculating the trimmed mean of the maximum of nine (9) scoring Judges results for that Program Component. The trimmed mean is calculated in the manner described above in sub-paragraph d);
k) The factored results are rounded to two decimal places and added. The sum is the Program Component Score.
l) In Single and Pair Skating:
i) The panel's points for each Program Component are then multiplied by a factor as follows (same for Junior and Senior):
Men: SP: 1.0 FS: 2.0
Pairs: SP: 0.8 FS: 1.6
The factored results are rounded to two decimal places and added. The sum is the Program Component Score;"
It explicitly states that the scores are averaged, factored, and then rounded, which would give Weir the title. The rules are not vague and USFS refuses to acknowledge this.
"The programming of the way the results are obtained is consistent, but we must make the language more precise, and that is what we will do," Peter Krick, chairman of the International Skating Union sports directorate, said via telephone from his home in Germany."
"The Real Truth Behind the so Called Tie-Breaker: Weir vs Lysacek "
http://thetripleaxel.blogspot.com/
It's clear for the US judges; however, it creates some ambiguity for others abroad.
If one is sole a fan of Evan, it kind of hard to see it clearly. However I am a fan of both, that is why I van present an objective front.
Sorcierre
#4 Feb 2, 2008
"d) The trimmed mean is calculated by deleting the highest and the lowest values and calculating the average of the remaining maximum of seven (7) values.

Anyone who's ever written a formula in a spreadsheet should have learned that the order in which calculations/rounding is done can have a huge impact on the result.

If the ISU rules as written were not followed in the computer program used at the U.S. Nationals, then there is some question as to the outcome.

Marianne
Illinois
NotWatchingAgain
#5 Feb 2, 2008
The controversy is not the .01 calculation. The problem is there never should have been a tie to begin with.
Joan West
#6 Feb 2, 2008
Is there any way for an outside "agency" to investigate? Could this decision be reversed if it was discovered that the calculations were incorrect? This is a National Title and it's important that the real winner be awarded gold. How about an opinion poll?

“Hope for Best- Expect Worst”

Since: Jan 07

#7 Feb 2, 2008
Joan West wrote:
Is there any way for an outside "agency" to investigate? Could this decision be reversed if it was discovered that the calculations were incorrect? This is a National Title and it's important that the real winner be awarded gold. How about an opinion poll?
I doubt that the skating officials will set any records right, national title or not. I think having messed with the final outcome once in Salt lake City by giving whiners an extra gold medal, they would rather just gloss over the mistakes and move on. Too Bad. Johnny Weirs performance was stunning and he deserved the title.
sistasoul

AOL

#8 Feb 2, 2008
The judges just don't like Johnny. He is too mouthy for them. I wonder what other federations around the world think of this? Especially the Russians. We all know Johnny is beloved there.
Tully
#9 Feb 2, 2008
Ice skating is a sport indeed, but if it's only reduced to footworks and jumps then there is nothing much left to watch. Why bother with costumes, music and interpretation? Just line them up and let them take their turn like board diving.
Former_Champ
#10 Feb 2, 2008
The soft-ware program may be right, BUT... what about the points for execution? In both long programs, Lysacek's jump landings on 3 jumps were either "cheated" or without a good ending flow. Weir's jumps all were flowing and fully completed. Both Quads had minor "cheats" but pretty much the same ones.
Every second of Johnny's program had content, Evan had a lot of uninteresting straight skating. So, where's the comparison to account for Evan's long program being better enough to place first?
New rules, old rules, still the same problems, judges will show favoratism to certain skaters, regardless! And a tilted perception will always bring out their favorate on top!
I personally think Johnny was "robbed" but I also think that everyone in the world saw that!
Kwanfan

United States

#11 Feb 2, 2008
Every second of Johnny's program had content?? What program were you watching? I agree that Johnny's jumps were much cleaner (except for the quad and the flip) but Evan's program had more "in betweens." Evan's footwork is a Level 4- whether or not you like it is up to your own personal preference, but it contains all the components necessary to rate a higher level. To me the programs were similar to the pairs in 2002: Evan's was more difficult but not as clean (like the Russians) and Johnny's was more simple but much cleaner (like the Canadians). You can find people who still argue that outcome, and you can find people who support Evan, so not everyone in the world thinks Johnny was robbed.
Former Champion

AOL

#12 Feb 3, 2008
As a former world champion,I feel Johnny Weir was robbed of this US Championship. As someone said earlier, when you start rounding out numbers you get into a lot of problems. I feel the ISU needs to take another look at this scoring procedure.
Helen
#13 Feb 3, 2008
Johnny Weir was robbed of his title and it was clear as day to anyone who watched it. These skaters spend hours and hours of hard work and when something like this happens it is very demoralizing. This is where the sport looses fans. There should definitely be an investigation.
Ruri
#14 Feb 3, 2008
I cannot see how they both ended in tie, or how one of them won. It's...no words can explain the peculiarity! I just know that yes, those rules are really vague. Here I see top-notch skaters, and yes, you can see the differences in their skating as how they interpret it and perform it, but I don't get how they give the title and calculate if by one point. It they tied, just let them do a rematch. Though of course, that would not help at all...
Linda Nitzschke
#15 Feb 3, 2008
Johnny was robbed. Evan may have more content, but a lot of it was just superfluous movement that was predictable at best, and served little purpose but to make his whole program appear rushed. Johnny's skating is complete. His movements have purpose because Johnny interprets the music better. Johnny's routines have polish. Evan's routines are helter skelter. It's like he thinks if he has the greatest amount of arm flailing, etc., it meant his program had more content. What is the wise adage....something about "less being more"? Evan will never be the skater that Johnny is because Johnny has style, grace, and musicality that cannot be taught. Johnny is the first male skater since Robin Cousins that I find truly moving to watch. Paul Wylie was close, but not quite there. Anyway, methinks the judges in figure skating used to be Olympic boxing judges, and they have brought the same problems with scoring and favoritism to the sport of figure skating. I guess they thought no one would notice.

“Hope for Best- Expect Worst”

Since: Jan 07

#16 Feb 3, 2008
Former Champion wrote:
As a former world champion,I feel Johnny Weir was robbed of this US Championship. As someone said earlier, when you start rounding out numbers you get into a lot of problems. I feel the ISU needs to take another look at this scoring procedure.
I agree. If it comes down to a fraction of a point it should be taken into consideration.

“Hope for Best- Expect Worst”

Since: Jan 07

#17 Feb 3, 2008
Johnny Weir is infinitely more interesting to watch as he is far more artistic. The artistry should count for more and more points should be awarded for a mor artistic program.
JAC

United States

#18 Feb 4, 2008
Evan has become just as "mouthy" or vocal as Johnny. What I see in Evan's eyes when he skates is more in the vein of hate than passion. Johnny's performance was spectacular; he has finally become an athelete as well as an artist. Evan is fantastic but his wild arm movements should not be considered artistic.
Evelyn
#19 Feb 4, 2008
I read that figure skating is losing audience and consequently losing TV sponsors. I find this trend directly related to the new judging system. The system has destroyed the skaters' abilitiy to convey artistry - to truly interpret the music. They don't have time! As much as I have loved the sport all of my life, I am actually becoming bored watching these "jumping contests". If I see one more lady doing one of those spins or spirals in the "dog at the fire hydrant" position, I may need to find a new sport.
Oh Well
#20 Feb 4, 2008
Evelyn wrote:
I read that figure skating is losing audience and consequently losing TV sponsors. I find this trend directly related to the new judging system. The system has destroyed the skaters' abilitiy to convey artistry - to truly interpret the music. They don't have time! As much as I have loved the sport all of my life, I am actually becoming bored watching these "jumping contests". If I see one more lady doing one of those spins or spirals in the "dog at the fire hydrant" position, I may need to find a new sport.
I'm with you.

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