Olympic Scoring

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2008 5:27 AM GMT
    Diving vs. Gymnastics: Why do they share scoring by judge's country in diving but not in gymnastics and other sports?

    Track: Why do top 3 placers qualify in each heat as opposed to the best times of all heats? Doesn't seem right.
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    Aug 20, 2008 8:46 AM GMT
    I was wondering about your second point too... somebody help us!!!
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    Aug 20, 2008 10:30 AM GMT
    I see there point with track. If your in a slow heat, than why use all your energy. You dont have to go all out. Run as fast as you need to be in first place and your fine.
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    Aug 20, 2008 10:34 AM GMT
    Good question about the scoring. At least now in gymnastics they are reviewing the instant replays to arrive at a more informed score. It is a pity that the judges know the country that the person is competing for, I have a strong suspicion it influences their decisions.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Aug 20, 2008 10:39 AM GMT
    There's always going to be some contention about scoring. Though I agree it seems funny that the fastest people don't get through as a matter of course.

    Things like ice-skating and gymnastics, that require judges are always open to bias I reckon.

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    Aug 20, 2008 12:08 PM GMT
    Crap. When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it was going to be about my chances of scoring with, you know, like, Michael Phelps.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Aug 20, 2008 12:44 PM GMT
    Track: Because it's really hard to run much faster than the people you're competing against. If you put a really good runner in a slow heat, even if they run their heart out, their times will almost always be worse.

    Gymnastics: Because the math is complicated so the numbers they put up don't translate well for the average audience member to the final score. I do wish they would show them though. Diving is a much more simple calculation (DDxScore=Total) so people can understand it more easily.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Aug 20, 2008 1:23 PM GMT
    The thing is, they do share the scoring by country for gymnastics now. When I was watching the uneven parallel bars final, and Nastia Liukin tied He Kexin, NBC ended up showing the individual scores awarded by each of the judges. If I remember correctly, there was a 0.3 difference between the two in execution from the Australian judge, while all other judges were within 0.1 between the two competitors.

    As for track, in virtually all racing sports where you can clearly see your competitors, the top few spots within any given heat automatically advance, often with a few spots held for the fastest remaining times. That's true not just in track, but also things like rowing. As has been mentioned, there is a basically automatic tendency to calibrate your speed in relation to the people you're running against when you can see them so easily, so having it be purely a factor of the fastest x people from the heats would give a significant advantage to anyone who ended up running in a heat with the fastest individuals in the field. This is particularly pronounced in the shorter sprints, where photo finishes are routine at international-level competitions, but it would clearly be important for longer events where people run in packs, and distances of 800m and above do not have individuals stay in the same lane for the entire race. It's different in swimming because in swimming you're generally much less aware of exactly where you stand compared to the others in your heat--you can see the people in the lanes next to you (assuming you alternate breathing), but you're generally not going to know whether you're a half second ahead of or behind the person 3 lanes over.
  • hagerstowncat...

    Posts: 122

    Aug 20, 2008 1:48 PM GMT
    well these are the new rules the IOC came up with in the gymnastics division anyway and they obviously don't work because how can an athlete make sooooo many mistakes and even fall and they still get a medal, they need to rethink this system before London. But then again this is just my take on it.
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    Aug 20, 2008 6:38 PM GMT
    I'm still very confused by the new scoring for gymnastics. Can anyone explain it?
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Aug 20, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    The quick version of the new gymnastic scoring system is this:

    There is both a start value (based on difficulty), and an execution score (based on making mistakes).

    The start value essentially starts at zero. As the routine progresses, more difficult feats garner more points, either because of their inherent difficulty, or because they're done in combination with other feats. Doing a back flip, stopping, and then doing another back flip is easier than doing a back flip and immediately flipping again once you've finished, so there's a bonus for doing the two in connection with each other. Only the top x moves count in determining start value - I think x is ten in most events, but it's possible that it changes. The start values they show you before a routine are what the routine should get as a start value if the gymnast does everything as expected, but this can be altered if the routine is changed at all--doing a single twist instead of two, or not doing a combination because you faltered on an earlier part of it. There are several judges who simply add up whatever the athlete does and record the start value.

    The execution score starts at a 10.0, and goes down for every mistake. Steps on the landing, stepping out of bounds, falling from the equipment, separating the legs when they're supposed to remain together, not holding a handstand for long enough, etc.

    In the old days, there were start values too, they were just much less well publicized. Old start values were either an 8.4 or 8.8 (depending on if it was men's or women's) + something for the difficulty of the moves performed. The problem was that the gymnasts had reached a level where essentially all the major competitors were able to do routines with start values of 10 or greater. This meant that there was no longer any incentive to try more difficult things than were already being done, as a start value above a 10.2 didn't help--and you only really wanted the extra .2 as insurance in case you weren't able to do something as expected. From that start value (or 10.0, whichever was lower), deductions were taken until you reached a final score.

    Conceptually, I like this new scoring system better than the old one (though not as much as I like diving's), but it needs to be tweaked. One of the major things it tried to do was equalize the values across appartus, and that has obviously failed. Also, some of the deductions, in my mind, are simply not strong enough, leading to a bronze medal on vault going to a girl who landed on her knees even though there were others who did difficult vaults and landed on their feet and who didn't medal. yes, it's important to reward individuals for trying more difficult things, but it's also important to reward individuals for doing things correctly, and I don't think they've struck the right balance yet.