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Judging


arwebb
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It was wrong of the Cuban athlete to do that - but I must admit I enjoyed seeing it after all the stupidity in the women's event earlier.

And after I witnessed the worst display of football refereeing I have ever seen today, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Taekwondo and boxing have had bad judging since 1988, there hasn't been a games were there hasn't been some controversy.

By no means am I an expert on taekwondo but, as a relatively long-time watcher of boxing, this is the worst Olympic tournament in terms of judging in my memory. This is the fourth tournament I have watched in any detail and it has been ruined to a large extent by poor judging.

I watched the light-flyweight semi-final between the fighters from China and Ireland yesterday. It was toe-curlingly embarrassing to watch just how blinkered the judges were of anything positive the Irish fighter did. I felt sorry for him because it was very clear very quickly the judges were going to give him nothing. The British light-heavyweight only got through his first fight on countback because the judges failed to score at least five scoring shots. I could go on. And when senior officials are saying the judging is poor, we all should be listening.

It isn't just those sports though. I've heard enough suggestions about the diving and the gymnastics as well. And why would there be so many repeated investigations of these young Chinese gymnasts' ages if there wasn't something fishy going on? When documents come to light suggesting somebody who's supposed to be 16 is actually 14, aren't we entitled to be uneasy?

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By the way, has anyone seen the Boxing Middleweight final between Britain's James DeGale and Cuban Emilio Correa? In my opinion the Cuban got robed big time, not by the judges but by the referee, who aloud DeGale to waste a whole lot of time and even to force his opponent to the ground (MMA style...) on multiple occasions. At one point the two hugged each other for more than 20 seconds before the referee did anything...

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By the way, has anyone seen the Boxing Middleweight final between Britain's James DeGale and Cuban Emilio Correa? In my opinion the Cuban got robed big time, not by the judges but by the referee, who aloud DeGale to waste a whole lot of time and even to force his opponent to the ground (MMA style...) on multiple occasions. At one point the two hugged each other for more than 20 seconds before the referee did anything...

Didin't see it live but have watched it since and, in my opinion, there was no way the Cuban was robbed of anything. Anyone who feels it is acceptable to bite their opponent, as he did, has no place in a boxing ring.

If you want a blatant example of robbery, watch the light-heavyweight final. That was truly despicable.

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Interesting that Cuba didn't win a single gold medal in boxing.

China has at least 7 gold medals they don't deserve that they only got because of bias judging or blatant bullsh!t.

I have never seen any, ANY, host get this kind of favouritism before.

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Definitely some blatantly biased judging at these Games depending on sport. I didn't personally attend any of the boxing or taekwondo matches but have heard through the grapevine that it's been pretty bad. As far as the other "judged" sports go, comments on what I personally attended:

Artistic Gymnastics--several sessions (including mens and womens indiv all-around finals). I was aghast at the inflated scores given to nearly ALL the Chinese gymnasts (both men and women). And I have followed gymnastics for 35 years, know the difference between a Stalter vs a Yaeger, a Tsukahara vs a Yurchenko, etc, and have a pretty good feel for how the scores should come up technically. For the Chinese gymnasts in the IAA's, scores for routines were coming up anywhere from 0.50 to 1.00 points higher than they should have been, relative to scores received by other gymnasts. The strategy was to give them a high score in the first half of the rotations, so that the lead was insurmountable in the last half of the rotations, know matter how well one performed. Moreover, the Chinese routines were not perfect, yet deductions were not taken as harshly as they were for similar infractions by other gymnasts. It was pretty obvious to anybody who REALLY knows gymnastics--which of course doesn't include the majority of the Chinese crowd. In addition to the USA gymnasts, the Japanese and Russians were also generally held down, as well as selected gymnasts from other countries. The age controversy of the Chinese "ladies" is another issue, but they are definitely not all of legal Olympic competition age--that's a subject for another thread.

Rhythmic Gymnastics--saw the team final in person today. The Russians won a gold they didn't deserve, the Chinese won a silver they didn't deserve, the Belarussians won a bronze that was probably OK, maybe should have been silver. The Italians--best of the day--got completely held down and screwed over. This judging seems to still be completely controlled by the Russians. I saw part of the IAA final on live TV yesterday, and it seemed the top Ukrainian (I think current World champion?) was being held down in favor of the two Russians (one reasonably deserving, the other definitely not podium-worthy). Probably a sport that should be booted out of the Games entirely...but that's also another thread.

Sync Swimming--saw the duets final in person, the team final live on TV. The duets result top 5 (Russians-Spanish-Japanese-Chinese-USA) were exactly as I saw it, even though I'm not fully clued in on SS scoring. The team final was similar except flip China into 3rd and Japan into 4th--one could make a legitimate case for seeing it this way. So this sport's judging seemed on the up-and-up and relatively bias-free.

Diving--I saw in person, 3 sessions for 3 different singles events (1 w prelim, 1 w sf, 1 m sf), and I have to say that the Chinese were getting scored high but were also doing some extremely good diving and unbelievably consistent--just very few mistakes compared to other divers, dive after dive after dive. I didn't witness bias here that would have changed the placements, as I saw the events unfold. I was amazed that the mens 10m platform final (I watched live on local TV) was fairly scored at the end--the Chinese diver leading the field had a lackluster final dive, which opened the door to the eventual winner from Australia. The judges could have easily been given inflated marks to make the Chinese lead insurmountable, but scored the faulty dive fairly, leaving the Aussie the opportunity to take the gold, which he did with the dive of his life. All in all, I saw the Chinese divers earning the marks they were given, likewise for the other divers. I don't know about synchro diving as I didn't see that.

Volleyball--not a judged sport, but there has apparently been a lot of questionable line calls in matches by at least one Chinese line judge. Chinese team wasn't playing, but the bad calls were apparently an attempt to influence the results to favor the weaker of the teams, which would then move on to the next level and be pitted against the Chinese team. I believe a lot of the bad line calls had to be overturned by the referee.

Most of the Chinese spectators are not knowledgeable about the sport they are watching, and cannot easily judge technical merit. But they are very loud and nationalistic (not necessarily in a positive manner) and that might influence some judges. There has also been some whispered speculation about untoward influencing of judges by Chinese officials, in some of the judged sports. This would not surprise me, as it is consistent with Chinese behavior in business, diplomacy, and other endeavors. Time will tell, maybe....

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Sync Swimming--saw the duets final in person, the team final live on TV. The duets result top 5 (Russians-Spanish-Japanese-Chinese-USA) were exactly as I saw it, even though I'm not fully clued in on SS scoring. The team final was similar except flip China into 3rd and Japan into 4th--one could make a legitimate case for seeing it this way. So this sport's judging seemed on the up-and-up and relatively bias-free.

China did finish 3rd in the team synchronized swimming. The result was Russia-Spain-China. The reason why Japan finished 6th instead of 4th is because of a 2.0 point deduction for use of the pool bottom which is strictly not allowed. This worked out well for Canada, because the 4th place finish means huge increases in funding for a sport we once dominated with the Americans.

I did notice a bias in the women's 10m platform, the Chinese diver was getting about 0.5 higher in every dive compared to the Canadian with similar quality. If that competition had been held outside of China, it would be conceivable that the result would have been a lot closer. The judges didn't pick-up on a lot of the minor errors on the Chinese that would have taken the dive from a 9.5 to a 9, and over 6 dives, that extra 10 points is a huge difference if the judges aren't deducting toe points, bent knees, leg gaps and other infractions the Chinese committed.

Trampoline had some suspect judging as well, not just for the Canadians have slightly depressed scores and the Chinese inflated but also the Russian and one other suffered from lower than expected scores.

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Interesting, and yet it's very nice to see judging on 4 or 5 different sports here.

If you are trying to be a wise-ass by implying I don't know what I'm talking about on scoring of the multiple sports per above, I assure you that--except for sync swimming (which I already admitted to not being fully up to speed on the fine points of scoring)--you are in error. As far as Chinese spectators observed at judged-sport events I personally attended, based on their actions and comments overheard (yes I understand Mandarin), most were not able to make distinctions as to the merits, or lack thereof, of various routines. In the absence of knowledge, their assumption/hope/demand was that a Chinese athlete deserved a nearly perfect score for whatever was produced, while a non-Chinese athlete did not. I have no respect for Chinese-style blind sports nationalism, particularly when backed up by nothing but ignorance. However, this thread is about judges, not spectators, and judges should be above intimidation by crowd dynamics...or other more hidden factors. Well, in an ideal world, at least.

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China did finish 3rd in the team synchronized swimming. The result was Russia-Spain-China. The reason why Japan finished 6th instead of 4th is because of a 2.0 point deduction for use of the pool bottom which is strictly not allowed. This worked out well for Canada, because the 4th place finish means huge increases in funding for a sport we once dominated with the Americans.

I did notice a bias in the women's 10m platform, the Chinese diver was getting about 0.5 higher in every dive compared to the Canadian with similar quality. If that competition had been held outside of China, it would be conceivable that the result would have been a lot closer. The judges didn't pick-up on a lot of the minor errors on the Chinese that would have taken the dive from a 9.5 to a 9, and over 6 dives, that extra 10 points is a huge difference if the judges aren't deducting toe points, bent knees, leg gaps and other infractions the Chinese committed.

Trampoline had some suspect judging as well, not just for the Canadians have slightly depressed scores and the Chinese inflated but also the Russian and one other suffered from lower than expected scores.

I didn't attend any trampoline events but from friends who did, heard a passel of complaints about pro-Chinese bias.

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Sorry, I know you were only joking, but this issue's a bit of a bugbear for me.

My Dad refs in regional leagues and has had coaches and managers threaten to beat him up on a few ocassions because of decisions they didn't like. On one ocassion a player had to hold back his coach who decided it be a good idea to burst into the referee's changing room and show my Dad the consequences of giving a penalty against his team. The wanker who would certainly have assaulted my Dad were it not for one of his own players holding him back, got a paltry 8 week ban from the FA when he should have been banned for a few years, if not for good.

I'm glad the authorities in charge of Judo have the balls that the Kent FA clearly don't posses and have banned the idiot for life. He doesn't deserve to be anywhere near another Olympic Games and thankfully he won't be. If only we could say the same thing about the football coach, who should not be allowed within a mile of a football pitch, but who continues to coach.

Edited by Rob ♪
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I will get back onto the topic in a moment, but I really need to get this off my chest.

Some of you, particularly my fellow British members, will probably be aware of the Football Association's "Respect" campaign for referees. The sentiment itself seems fair enough but I have one major problem with it.

The problem I have with it is very simple - I'm not convinced that it is 'respect' that some referees, particularly the higher up the ladder you go, actually want. I entirely believe that what they want is deference, an attitude that you don't question their decisions simply because they've got a whistle. Well I'm sorry but, in the 21st century, that is not on. Officials like the complete imbecile I had the misfortune of watching yesterday give the good officials that are out there a very, very bad name and they make those competent officials' lives a million times better. The powers that be would be much better off concentrating on getting the ones who aren't up to the job, of which there are many, out of the game and promoting the ones that can do it. And they also need to teach them not to treat the players and the paying public like thickos. That way they might just get the 'respect' that they apparently crave.

I apologise for placing this rant here, but that subject has been getting to me for weeks and this seemed as good a place as any to get it off my chest.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand and an interesting eyewitness view of the near farce at the taekwondo yesterday.

Taekwondo needs to move with the times

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Worst judging since the Moscow Games. I undrstand the home team often gets a slight edge, but during these Olympics it was downright ridiculous. The judging during both the artistic and rythmic gymnastics competitions was a disgrace.

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