Monday, August 23, 2004

That Ain't Right

Well, gymnastics judging hit rock bottom today.  I understand (it hasn't aired yet in my time zone, so I'm talking off of news reports I've read -- and I'm being purposely vague so as not to spoil results)...  ANYWAY, I understand that today, someone's score was soundly booed by the audience.  Soundly.  Booed.  And the judges changed the score.  Not by much, but that's not the point.  As far as I know, there was no official complaint registered by the gymnast -- the judges just took another look at their marks in order to, well, calm the crowd that was apparently lighting their torches and getting ready to storm the lab.

Now, don't get me wrong here -- I think it is wrong to boo judges (at least with that level of enthusiasm -- the stray "kill the ump!" is an accepted part of sports).  It's equally wrong to boo an athlete (which I understand also happened tonight).  But for judges to change a mark in response to audience pressure says -- as clear as day -- that gymnastics judging doesn't mean diddley.  (And to those who would say, "oh, the judge was just correcting an error," I respond, "And the error would never have been discovered if the crowd didn't get all riled up.  Boy, that gives me faith in the system.")

There were those who said Figure Skating Judging wouldn't survive the scandal of Salt Lake City.  The result was a huge revamping of scoring (which, in some ways, looks a little bit like the gymnastics system in use now) -- in an attempt to make scoring more "objective" (and less subject to illegal manipulation).  And I'm sure there are those who are going to say the problem in the men's all-around is throwing gymnastics judging into the pisser.  (And, as Melissa pointed out in the comments, now we've got Svetlana Khorkina complaining about partisan judging in the women's all-around.  Yeah, and they made you fall off the bar in the event finals, too.)  I digress.  Point is, as far as I'm concerned, none of this makes gymnastics judging look as subject to manipulation and mistakes as a change in marks in response to audience whining.

I'm so disgusted with the whole thing, frankly I don't care what color medal Paul Hamm has anymore -- because the top three gymnasts were all separated by a tenth of a point, and clearly gymnastics judging is nowhere near that exact of a science.



1 comment:

jevanslink said...

This must be the entry that annoyed the Russian judge.  Mrs. L