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Under old system, judging panel may have hurt Lysacek

February 18, 2010 |  8:00 pm

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- In the old days of the 6.0 system and bloc voting – Eastern vs. Western Bloc – Evan Lysacek of the U.S. might have been in trouble against Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko, given the panel for the men’s final.  It included five judges from the former Soviet Union or its communist allies and four from the West.

In the old system, placement was determined by a skater winning a majority of judges for that place.  The new system adds up buckets of points in several categories.

No one would know which judge gave which score, an anonymity designed to allow the judges to vote without external pressure, although most judges still will retain allegiance to their country.  There was one Russian judge and one U.S. judge among the nine.

Two of those judges would be eliminated by a random computer selection, although the judges would not know their marks did not count.  The high and low judge on each element or component score also are eliminated, so it is both nearly impossible to cut a backroom deal and to know if any unusual judging pattern has taken place.
-- Philip Hersh