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Judging Incompetence at Olympic Gymnastics

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posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:25 AM
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Gymnastics has always been the highlight event of the Olympics. It has a long tradition of greatness, from Nadia's perfect 10 to Mary Lou Retton's amazing vault. It also has a long tradition of controversial decisions and this year is no different.

The first came in the women's vault final where the Chinese gymnast, Cheng Fe, fell during her second vault and scored a higher average than the American, Alicia Sacramone who had landed both of her vaults. Cheng Fe ended up with the Bronze Medal and Sacramone was left out in 4th.

The next came in the uneven bar finals when He Kevin of China and Nastia Liuken from the U.S. tied. Unfortunately for Liuken, the All-Around Champion, the tie-breaker was decided by the Australian judge who had awarded a higher score to the Chinese gymnast.

As was mentioned on TV, no judges are allowed from the countries participating in the event final. The problem is, the finalists are from the countries who have the judges with the most experience, which leaves a panel of judges who obviously have no idea how to judge a performance. Most people at home, who like myself probably watch gymnastics once every four years, had to be wondering how Liuken could not have been scored higher than He Kevin. I don't even think it takes an expert in gymnastics to look at these two seperate events and wonder what are the judges looking at?

There are obviously some major flaws with the entire system, which is sad considering just how much time and effort the competitors put into training for this one shining moment.

As an added ironical twist, He Kevin, who won the gold medal in the uneven bar event final is at the center of another controversy concerning her age. Seems a shame that if she really is 14 and not of the age to compete in the Olympics, that she receive such an unfair bias in judging her routines.




posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:37 AM
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what most people complaining about the scores don't seem to understand is that the scoring system this year has been changed and is different to how they were judged in past olympics. there is no perfect 10 score anymore!

you can do a fairly easy routine perfectly and get a good mark but if someone does a much harder routine and makes a mistake or falls off say, they can STILL receive higher marks than the previous 'perfect' performance.

from discussions i've seen from previous olympic competitors on this new marking system, they seem to prefer this new way. it also encourages the participant to push themselves into harder routines than safer ones and that is why they do better even if they make mistakes.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:51 AM
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One more thing I'll add to this thread before retiring for the night (these late night olympics are addicting!)...

This yahoo blog details the REAL medal count if you take out all the sports with subjective judging and just add up the sports with a definitive winner and loser decided by the participants on/in the field/court/arena.

Here is the official medal count today:

China: 39 gold, 14 silver, 15 bronze

U.S.: 23 gold, 24 silver, 26 bronze

And here is the REAL medal count if you remove all the subjectivity and home-country bias...

China: 22 gold; 13 silver; 7 bronze

United States: 20 gold; 19 silver; 22 bronze

While it might not be a conspiracy, it is still ridiculous.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:07 AM
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I've read the blog, and I'm sorry to say that it looks like a great big bunch of sour grapes to me.

Judging is ALWAYS subjective, but this piece openly admits that the writer knows nothing about gymnastics.

There's also the fact that the boxing has been omitted from the list, despite the fact that it is a pretty good scoring system - but this couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the US has a poor and weak team now could it....



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:37 AM
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How can you explain all the BAD results the Chinese got. If they are so obviously cheating why are Chinese gymnast getting 4th, 5th place or sometimes not even qualifying?. Shouldn't China be making a clean sweep in these events?


Cheng Fe, fell during her second vault and scored a higher average than the American, Alicia Sacramone who had landed both of her vaults.


She had the higher AVERAGE score of the event. She scored a 16+ on the first attempt which was the highest in the whole competition and then scored a very low 15 on the second attempt which took into account the extreme difficulty of her jump which was one of if not the hardest of any athlete competing



China should have won the "Women's Individual All-Round" according to your logic. The Chinese gymnast to me were "obviously" better and should have won gold, was China complaining about not winning gold like the Americans do?



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:45 AM
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what about the russian in the vault final she did to perfect vaults and she got a 15.565 and for her second she got given a 0.000 and i was like wtf.
does anyone no what happen with that ???
coz that was crap.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:54 AM
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Originally posted by ryan atwood
does anyone no what happen with that ???
coz that was crap.


She went before the green light so unfortuantely for her thats an automatic disqualification



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:58 AM
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it is impossible to be given a score of 0.000 under the new system due to the fact that all competitors are given 10 points to start with and other points are awarded for degree of difficulty then taken away if mistakes are made (hence those who do more difficult manoeuvres and make a mistake are awarded more points than those who do perfect but plainly easy manoeuvres).

the russian's vault was disqualified



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 05:07 AM
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another thing that i think needs to be taken into consideration is the fact that this year the olympics are held in china and the next will be held in the uk.

take a look at how well the uk competitors are doing (third in the medals table) even in sports they were never any good at before.

i think there is a great psychological boost to both the chinese and uk teams compared to all other competing countries simply because of the effort and pride involved in being the hosting nation. china has had years to prepare their athletes to be the best and the uk athletes still haven't come down from their high of being awarded the next games. it has given them that extra boost that other more competent but complacent countries don't have because they don't have that little bit extra to prove to themselves and their nation.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 05:10 AM
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This very interesting analysis by Dominique Dawes which is VERY accurate.

For people who dont know who Dawes is, her credentials are below and she is a writer for Yahoo
""Dominique Dawes was part of the gold-medal winning U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and also won a bronze medal in the floor exercise. In 1992, Dawes was the first African-American gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 1992 winning a bronze medal in the team competition.""


WOMEN’S UNEVEN BARS

The finals will be another battle for gold between American Nastia Liukin and He Kexin, China’s bars specialist. Liukin and He are expected to battle for gold and silver, but a mistake could open the door for China’s Yang Yilin to finish in the top two.

In the preliminary competition, Liukin and He fell from the bars, which were uncharacteristic errors. They have the highest start value in the competition with a 7.7, so the one who executes her routine with tight body lines, vertical handstands and a solid landing will be the Olympic champion. Expect the margin of victory to be minimal.

Gold medal prediction: Liukin and He (tie).

Yahoo

And as it turned out she was correct. The INTERNATIONAL judges ruled that He did the better execution, as someone pointed out it was a Australian



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 05:22 AM
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yes, everytime USA isn't first, it's judges fault, or conspiracy on higher level.
maybe China has better gymnasts?



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 06:53 AM
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At least the Americans can't start complaining about the Women's Balance Beam, they got 1st and 2nd after the favourite Li Shanshan fell off



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 07:04 AM
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The Americans treat the olympics like a domestic event, trash talking and ranting like its their own backyard. Doing that domestically is for your own consumption, doing that on the world stage makes it look like sour grapes


Olympics: Trash-talking backfires on US pole vaulter

Yelena Isinbayeva got the Olympic gold and a world record; American Jenn Stuczynski got the silver and a lesson in humility.

And we now have a new rivalry that should make woman's pole vaulting fun to watch for many more years to come.

Big poles and big mouths don't go together. Stuczynski knows that now. Pole vaulting isn't basketball or boxing. It's far too graceful of a sport for the kind of trash-talk she doled out before the Beijing Games.

"I hope we do some damage," she had said, "and, you know, kick some Russian butt."

Big mistake.

Isinbayeva is Russian but she understands English just fine. The greatest women's pole vaulter of all time heard Stuczynski's challenge loud and clear.

"I am not deaf," she said. "It made me really angry."

Their head-to-head clash turned Monday night at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing into a showdown, with long poles instead of Don King.
Link



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 07:10 AM
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reply to post by justyc
 


erm, no

for that we can thank the cyclists and the rowers.

Both sports picked up after the last olympics when they were highly publicized, not to mention the national lottery funding that athletes now get.

For example, our boxing team EACH get about £70,000 pa in funding.

This means that our athletes no longer have to work AND train which was the case in the past.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by budski
for that we can thank the cyclists and the rowers.


The UK has a embarrasment of talent in cycling. I just finished watching Pendleton in the sprints and the Aussie had no chance. Pendleton is very fast



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 07:30 AM
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Another Olympics, another season to bitch and moan...

Gymnastics and diving whining are in full cry, tis the season. I'd give a 7.9 on a couple of post and a 9.3 on the yahoo blog.

The scoring is far more balanced and fair than the good old days when Russian states would automatically give 10's to their teams, USA allies do the same for their teams. Leaving Paraguay to be the world's tie breaker.

You don't see chest hair on the female swimmers but there still seems to be an age issue with a couple of Chinese acrobats pulled in from the countryside where immaculate records are kept for births. It's the Olympics, this IS the way it is supposed to work.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 09:50 PM
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If things were done the fair way the US would have at least another 2 gold and 1 bronze. Its ridiculous! Whats worse is the IOC allows it!

The greatest names have even agreed sacramone was RIPPED as was the other gymnist stripped of gold when she tied.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 09:53 PM
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If judging could get any better than China should get another 2 more gold and America should lose those two.

I guess you refer to the Romanian one, the tied one and the one which sacramone did a very basic routine?



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 10:59 PM
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The start value based scoring system is the problem in my eyes. While it does encourage the gymnasts to push it to the extreme, I don't think the more extreme routines are being docked enough points when they don't complete the moves. The X Games also give huge points for new and inventive stunts, but competitors don't win when they crash and burn. Honestly, how can you justify a complete fall by Cheng Fe on the vault and she still wins the bronze? That is ludicrous, I don't care how hard the vault is. It was also pointed out that the judges didn't even come close to recognizing all of the deductions on that fall. There were 3-4 different errors as she turned, placed her hands, and fell to her knees. It all happened within a split second and the judges obviously aren't qualified enough, having no elite level gymnasts in their own countries. It equates to having a high school ref try to officiate an NBA game.

Like the blogger, I know nothing really about how gymnastics is scored other than listening to the analysts. That doesn't mean that the eyeball test can't tell you who had a better routine, especially when they had the same start value as in the uneven bar. Nastia Liuken had no highly visible errors, only a couple hiccups which were technical in nature. She stuck the landing with just the smallest of hops. He Kevin had two obvious flaws that everyone could see, not just little technical things that only a judge might notice. She didn't stop in a handstand and her body curved awkwardly and then on the dismount she lands and steps across her body. Both were supposed to be major deductions according to the broadcasters. But just like in the case of Cheng Fe, the deductions weren't made and in my mind it directly relates to the inadequate experience of the judges and possibly the pressure of scoring in China.

Someone brought up boxing and said the judging system was working just fine. Have you been watching the boxing at all? Every single match is scored differently as the judges change. There is no consistency whatsoever. There are times when a boxer goes 2 rounds without even scoring a point when there are obvious punches being landed, and other times when a punch will land and the fighter getting hit somehow scores. In my mind, the boxing is worse than the gymnastics because you really have no idea how the fight is going to be scored. At least in gymnastics, the deductions are known, it's just a matter of will the judges have the stones to make the call.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by Evil Genius
Honestly, how can you justify a complete fall by Cheng Fe on the vault and she still wins the bronze?


She fell and got a very low score of 15. But the Competition is done through the AVERAGE of TWO attempts. Her first attempt was the HIGHEST in the competition which was 16+ so thats why she had a higher score


There were 3-4 different errors as she turned, placed her hands, and fell to her knees


They deducted close to 0.8 for the fall and other points for the other placement errors. At most there was 3 with the last being small errors. Judging looks correct to me.

So they took about 1+ points off her, how is the scoring supposed to be "unfair" when the judges made CORRECT deductions



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