Sunday, November 2, 2003
Skate Canada finished up today with the skating of the Free Dance, followed by the Exhibition of Champions. Attendance has been mediocre for a Skate Canada, running about 3500 on Thursday and Friday, and 4000 on the weekend. Following the Exhibition Alexei Yagudin skated two routines in a farewell performance as an eligible skater.
Saturday, November 1, 2003
The scoring revision in the Dance CD was due to a programming error in the scoring software. The system was still programmed for the dance used at Skate America, which had eight segments to be judged. The dance here has six segments, so two of the eight segments were calculated as zero, reducing the marks by about 25%.
So now we know. The announcement in the arena was an outright lie and deception, and we again have a clear demonstration that the system is not properly tested and prepare for use. Not even from one competition to the next!
The types of problems we are seeing come about because the fundamental approach to developing this system is flawed. Until that basic problem is fixed, and sound system engineering principles are put into use, one can expect that the continuous stream of errors we have seen over that past year of development will continue unabated and remain an intrinsic part of the system.
The unnecessary ordeal to develop this system is entirely of the ISU's own making and will continue until they take a more professional approach to system development. The excuse that the problems that have cropped up can only be found through use in actual competition is irresponsible nonsense. Careful development and testing prior to the start of the season would have found most, if not all the problems experienced thus far.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Right out of the box, Skate Canada began with a scoring system scam. After the display of the marks for the sixth couple in the Compulsory Dance, it was announced there would be a 3 minute pause for technical reasons. During this time the technicians huddled around the scoring computer and after several minutes it was announced that the pause was to correct a problem with a wire from the main computer to the scoreboard. Not announced, was that after the pause the scores for the first six couples had all changed. In the final results for the Original Dance, the scores published for the first six couples did not agree with the scores announced in the arena. For the remaining five couples they did. What happened to the scores between couples five and six?
Why did the results change? And more importantly, why was it not announced that the scores had changed. Two lessons to be learned from this. First we have yet another example of technical problems that should have been wrung out before being used in actual competitions. Second, the ISU continues to be deceptive and misleading in order to save face and hide problems with the system. If the ISU cannot be trusted to acknowledge and accurately explain errors made in plain view, why should we believe any claims they make for this system?
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