A Question

by Sonia Bianchetti

On the summary of proposals for the next Ordinary ISU Congress, to be held next June - which was just published- there is a proposal from Skate Canada to revise Rule 353 of the ISU Regulations 2006, which deals with the determination of the results. The part of the proposal which drew my attention is the one which suggests to amend 353 (k) and (i) to read:

k) The trimmed mean of each Program Component is rounded to two decimal places.

i) The panelís points for each Program Component are the multiplied by factors which are as follows: ( list of factors follow)

The factored results are rounded to two decimal places and added. The sum is the Program Component Score

The reason given by Skate Canada to justify their proposal reads:

"Reason: Currently, the ISU calculation software takes this step of rounding the trimmed mean of program component scores before factoring. This step is necessary, however is not articulated in the current rules. This amendment will allow the rule to properly articulate the practice."

This would seem to definitely support the doubts expressed in the press and on the internet, which followed the tie between Lysacek and Weir at US Nationals, that the practice in ICECALC - the calculation software worked out and imposed by the ISU to calculate the results - is not according to the rules, since in the view of Skate Canada the extra rounding step "is not articulated in the current rules."

So, if I understand this complicated matter correctly, ICECALC has been wrong all along, and the Skate Canada solution is to change the rule to fit ICECALC rather than change ICECALC to follow the rule! Am I wrong in thinking that if the present wording of the rule is fairer to the competitors, it would perhaps be a better idea to leave it as it is and change the ISU software instead?

Hope a mathematician will explain this to me.

www.soniabianchetti.com

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