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Under old system, judging panel may have hurt Lysacek

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
 
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Comments (3)

Lysacek is soooooooooo boring. Plushenko, Johnny Weir and all the Japanese skaters are much more interesting. The new judging system ruined the sport and art of figure skating. It is very dissappointing to have such a boring Olympic Champion :((((

I agree.......Boring is the perfect description. Johnny Weir skated for the pure enjoyment of it last night and it showed. His style is so beautiful. I don't like the frenetic way Lysacek skates. I was disappointed in the scores given to Johnny Weir. He should be proud of his last Olympic performance.

Plushenko is boring - yes, he can do a quad (or two) but he has nothing else in his programs. The goal of figure skating (from a sports-centric standpoint) is to earn the most number of points. How each skater tries to do that is not set in stone - they can do jumps, spins, footwork, whatever. Plushenko chooses to emphasize jumps while others (Lysacek, Takahashi, Weir) showcase everything. I didn't realize the "art" of figure skating was reeling off each jump like they do in equestrian competitions. (No offense to riders and their horses).

The sport is not ruined by the new Code of Points. In fact, I'd say that the "sport" element of it is actually heightened - there are set points for each element. It's not solely based on what a judge feels the skater deserves.


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