Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Math News

New Olympics Scoring: No More Perfect 10.0 722

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-rid-of-judged-events dept.
Dekortage writes "If you watch the Olympics gymnastics this year, you may be confused by the new scoring system which will let athletes score 14, 17, or even higher. The new rules are 'heavy on math' and employ two panels of judges: one for technical difficulty, which adds points up from a score of zero; the other for execution and technique, which starts at 10.0 and subtracts for errors. The two numbers are then combined for the final score. As one judge put it, 'The system rewards difficulty. But the mistakes are also more costly.' The new rules were adopted after South Korea protested a scoring at the 2004 Olympics." Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner, but their wives/girlfriends might seize control of the remote because they want to know who is the best at that ribbon-twirling thing.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Olympics Scoring: No More Perfect 10.0

Comments Filter:
  • Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aaron_Pike (528044) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:44AM (#24495559) Homepage
    And people wonder why there is a perception of sexism in technical fields.
    • Re:Huh (Score:5, Funny)

      by jfclavette (961511) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:58AM (#24495799)
      Seriously. I'd expect more open-mindedness from a bunch of people whose hobbies are such interesting things as soldering and typing in a text editor.
    • Re:Huh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheoMurpse (729043) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:13AM (#24496053) Homepage

      I'm going to chime in, too. I find Taco's comments offensive. I suppose the code obfuscation contests are worthless as well, since there are judges for that event, too?

      Also, there are no ribbons in gymnastics. That's rhythmic gymnastics, sir.

      I wish I could mod down the editorialization.

      • Re:Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:21AM (#24496205) Homepage

        I think the point is that anything that needs judges is not a sport, due to it being subjectively instead of objectively scored.

        • Re:Huh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jfclavette (961511) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:27AM (#24496329)
          What about referees ? They can have a lot of influence. As much as judge can since they have well-established guidelines too.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by lilomar (1072448)

            Theoretically, Referees shouldn't have any influence. They do, because people aren't perfect.

            But the difference between judges and referees is that judges determine things subjectively, referees objectively.

            In a sport, you can say, "If I do X I will get Y number of points." In a judged competition, you can't do that.

            I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with judged competitions, I'm just saying that they aren't sports.

            • Re:Huh (Score:5, Funny)

              by Intron (870560) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:48AM (#24496673)

              Since a moderator decides on objective criteria, slashdot posting is therefore a sport.

              I fully expect this post to be moderated objectively.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by gnick (1211984)

                Since a moderator decides on objective criteria, slashdot posting is therefore a sport.

                Not entirely. If the mods were strictly deciding "Was this Informative?", I might agree. Some posts are clearly informative while others are clearly not.

                But "Was this Funny?" is subjective. The same for Troll, Flamebait, Insightful, Interesting, and Over/Underrated. Now in my opinion, your post was Funny and Interesting, but not Insightful. Again in my opinion, this post may be Interesting or Insightful based on the mods opinions, but is certainly not Informative, Troll, or Flamebait. But, since I'm n

              • Re:Huh (Score:3, Funny)

                by sm62704 (957197)

                You just scored four points (so far), but none of them count!

            • Re:Huh (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Amouth (879122) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:59AM (#24496867)

              but if you take something - say ice skateing and make it so that x gives y points.. then everyone will just learn to perfect the move with the highest y and then you will just see a chain of them for the lenght of the event..

              it is perfectly acceptiable for it to be subjective - this is why there is more than one judge - and they do have guide lines for quality and preformance..

              while i agree it might be better to call it a compitition than a sport - i do belive it has just as much a place in the Olympics as sports.

              pure artistic stuff i don't think is right for the Olympics but if it is a good hybrid between art and athletics then go for it.

            • Re:Huh (Score:5, Informative)

              by initdeep (1073290) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:08AM (#24497001)

              do you even understand scoring in gymnastics?

              in other words, do you have a clue or are you just randomly spewing?

              as in many other "subjectively scored" sports, the previous system had a very defined set of scoring rules. And I'm willing to bet this is merely a refinement of said system. (much like the "refinement" that goes on with the BCS rankings almost yearly)

              a particular vault for example has a maximum starting value based upon the "degree of difficulty".

              that is the maximum you can score regardless of how perfect you do it.

              from there, there are certain WRITTEN deductions for defects in the performance.

              legs open when the should be closed? minus 0.03
              hand not on the vault in the same plane? minus 0.01

              etc.

              its not nearly as subjective as people want to make it out to be.

              And i realize that I'm not the average /.er and actually understand many different sports, but damn, merely watching a gymnastics television broadcast would teach you this. (I learned mine taking a niece to gymnastics competitions and talking with the coach).

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by lilomar (1072448)

                a particular vault for example has a maximum starting value based upon the "degree of difficulty".

                Your argument breaks down here.

            • Re:Huh (Score:5, Informative)

              by scheme (19778) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:10AM (#24497029)

              In a sport, you can say, "If I do X I will get Y number of points." In a judged competition, you can't do that.

              I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with judged competitions, I'm just saying that they aren't sports.

              In gymnastics, you know that given a certain routine you will get x points for technical difficulty, likewise if you make mistake y you use z points for execution.

              That matches your definition of a sport fairly well.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dAzED1 (33635)
              clearly then you do not know how these things are judged. Particular moves get a certain number of points (see: technical judges. did you RTFA? obviously not). Those judges are there to recognize and tabulate those moves. Sorry however that you are offended by the idea that some sport competitions have an artistic component. Be that as it may, I've just spend a bit of time looking through dictionaries at the word "sport" and I don't see any that suggest some sort of mutual exclusiveness between "sport
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blane.bramble (133160)
          Are we including boxing in this?
        • Re:Huh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by icegreentea (974342) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:31AM (#24496387)
          That's the most BS definition of a sport ever. You take the group of commonly held to be sports activities. Basketball, football (both of them), baseball. With the exception of basketball, the majority of points scored in the three other sports could easily be called objective. The remainder is ridiculously subjective. A baseball umpire calling the safe or out at home is a really subjective thing. You might not have the best angle, there's dust in the air, and crap is moving fast. Until the rise of instant replay, and slow motion, it was completely impossible for borderline cases to be 'objective'.
    • Re:Huh (Score:4, Funny)

      by Xupa (1313669) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:23AM (#24496247)
      What I wonder is why they made entertainment that only chicks dig more math-heavy. Now I'm gonna have to watch it just so I can explain it to her.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MoxFulder (159829)

      Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner, but their wives/girlfriends might seize control of the remote because they want to know who is the best at that ribbon twirling thing.

      I don't **HAVE** a wife or girlfriend, you insensitive clods!!!

      Gosh, why does Slashdot always have to rub it in my face.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) * <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:45AM (#24495563) Homepage Journal

    I just wait for someone to tell me there are hot chicks in skin tight clothes doing something. Otherwise, I could care less.

    • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:48AM (#24495621)

      I was gonna say the same thing. Then I remembered all gymnasts look 12 years old.

      Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, amiright? ...

      • by value_added (719364) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:16AM (#24496095)

        Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, amiright? ...

        Dunno. Are you attracted to powerful shoulders, an over-developed torso, flat chest, and short (Russian style) muscular legs?

        If you are, you might be interested in the stocking clerk that works at my local grocery store. His name is Billy.

      • by BitterOldGUy (1330491) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:18AM (#24496151)

        I was gonna say the same thing. Then I remembered all gymnasts look 12 years old.

        Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, amiright? ...

        Rhythmic Gymnastics - nothing but dance and "judged" by the most subjective methods you'll ever see. Part of the score is how the girls look. That's right, look; not entirely how well they performed. Many of these girls develop eating disorders when they hit puberty so that their looks and subsequently "careers" aren't destroyed.

        They make the child beauty pageants look tame.

  • by m3j00 (606453) <meeyou@NospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:45AM (#24495571)
    Where is America's perfect 12?
  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn@@@wumpus-cave...net> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:46AM (#24495603)

    I intentionally watched just such a sport in my teen years. This was mostly because I had a crush on Shannon Miller, but still.

  • Yeah right (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:47AM (#24495611)

    No single male would ever switch the gymnastics on and watch a bunch of young ladies do physical exercise in leotards.

    In other news, the last porn site finally died, citing a "lack of market" for its product.

  • Boxing anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by night_flyer (453866) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:48AM (#24495629) Homepage

    how about martial arts... last time I checked they are scored by judges...

    • Re:Boxing anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rob1980 (941751) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:06AM (#24495947)
      But aren't those scores based on hard values? Punches thrown vs. landed, that sort of thing. It's not like they're judging the artistic quality of the fight or something.
      • Re:Boxing anyone? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Flying Scotsman (1255778) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:15AM (#24496093)
        Some martial arts scoring systems have aspects that are non-quantative. For example, in judo competitions penalties (which are essentially points for the non-penalized player) can be assigned on things like "non-combativity," where you aren't attacking enough or hard enough in the eyes of the judge. Perhaps not as subjective as gymnastics scoring, but there's no hard metric for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PlatyPaul (690601)
        Yep [wikipedia.org].

        From the above article:

        A kick or punch that makes contact with the opponent's hogu (a trunk protector that functions as a scoring target) scores one point; a kick to the head scores two points. Punches to the head are not allowed. If a competitor is knocked down by a scoring technique and the referee counts, then an additional point is awarded to the opponent.

        At the end of three rounds, the competitor with the most points wins the match. If, during the match, one competitor gains a 7-point lead ov

  • Why the need to throw in the condescending misogynist comment, Taco? What does it have to do with math or sports? Can we moderate you offtopic flamebait?
  • by kahei (466208) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:53AM (#24495721) Homepage

    Sure, the 2004 Olympics (and the next Winter Olympics perhaps even more so) contained judging that didn't necessarily reward the 'best' contestant. But that's part of the sport; it's not about being the 'best', which is pretty well impossible to define except in straightforward running/throwing events. It's about getting the highest score.

    Nobody really thinks Tour de France cyclists don't store blood and take drugs; part of the game is the tradeoff between higher performance and higher chance of getting disqualified. Look at the way football is played in south america; taking a fall is just seen as part of the game, a judgement call like any other with particular risks and rewards. Argentina beat England in 1986 by pushing the ball in the net by hand; that may mean they won by taking a particular risk, but it doesn't mean they didn't win. They won the game of 'being allowed the most goals, by whatever means', which is the game they were actually playing.

    I don't think the answer is to change the scoring. The answer is to take a more holistic approach, and say: "Ok, he was maybe the second best at *gymnastics*. But he was the best at *getting points for gymnastics*!"

  • Lame. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:55AM (#24495759) Homepage Journal

    Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner, but their wives/girlfriends might seize control of the remote because they want to know who is the best at that ribbon twirling thing.

    First, if you can't appreciate the beauty and artistry in judged events, then you're missing something wonderful. From the guys doing iron crosses on the rings (which makes my shoulders hurt sympathetically) to the girls seeming to ignore gravity, there's something there to move any soul.

    Second, my wife was a college swimmer and completed Army Airborne training. She's about as into ribbon twirling things as I presume girls are into you.

  • No more 10? (Score:4, Funny)

    by MiniMike (234881) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @09:58AM (#24495793)

    Are you saying that our gymnasts now go to eleven?

  • At last! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Centurix (249778) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `xirutnec'> on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:01AM (#24495849) Homepage

    I get to use my slide rule again!

  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:08AM (#24495985) Homepage

    Surely there are plenty of geeks out there that recognise that the pursuit of excellence (no matter if it is in a GAME) is far more commendable than the average person's pursuit of an encyclopedic knowledge of televisional (i likes to makes the new words) general knowledge. If you hate sport, at least admire the anti-apathy.

    Kind of like going to the airport. It's uplifting. Just about everybody has a purpose, a direction, an empty wallet after that $8 coffee.

  • Scoring... (Score:5, Funny)

    by PottedMeat (1158195) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:14AM (#24496071)
    Scoring only enters my mind when I watch the women's beach volleyball.

    Obligatory jokes below.

    PM
  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:21AM (#24496201)

    "Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner"

    I dunno. There's talk of finally approving the thong for women's figure skating...

  • by bziman (223162) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:25AM (#24496287) Homepage Journal

    As a former gymnast, I can say that the new system is definitely more fair -- if you have two perfect routines, the one with the higher difficulty wins. Also, it means that you don't have to keep changing the system -- as routines include more difficult elements, the start value becomes higher. And you can keep a standard set of deductions for things like bending your knees, or not maintaining a toe point, or falling on your ass.

    On the other hand, as a fan of the sport, the new system is more confusing, because when it was out of ten, everyone knows that a 9.9 is really good, but now, is a 16.5 really good? Or a 17.3? As it turns out, a 16.5 might win gold on one event, but not even medal on another. But I think anyone who actually follows the sport will be able to keep up, for the casual once-every-four-years viewer, they can just concentrate on the shiny medal thingie hanging around the necks of the folks on the podium at the end.

  • by atrocious cowpat (850512) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @10:36AM (#24496463)
    "I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner..."

    Er... what else is the Slashdot comment-moderation system but an event that "has judges determine the winner"? And (with the scare quotes) a Slashdot flame-fest surely qualifies as "sport", no?
  • Save it for Digg (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:10AM (#24497021)

    Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner,

    What's up with the quality of summaries these days? Do we really need the editorial comment? Are you SURE that NO slashdot reader would watch, oh, I dunno, diving and/or gymnastics (two of the bigger Olympic events)? I for one don't appreciate being summed up into one big ball referred to as "Slashdot reader"--especially by editors. I can handle the occasional name-flame by Anonymous Coward.

  • by thoughtcancer (465644) on Wednesday August 06, 2008 @11:40AM (#24497603)

    I can help clarify some misunderstandings with regards to the impartiality of the gymnastics scoring system (Note: I am a former USAG Judge as well as a former competitive gymnast at the collegiate level).

    1) Gymnastics routines are made up of a series of interconnected skills
    2) Each skill in the routine has a "perfect" execution form; that is, straight legs, pointed toes, straight arms, clean shoulder-to-knee lines, or whatever the skill calls for.
    3) If a gymnast performs a skill, and the execution of the skill does not meet the "perfect" execution form, points are deducted for each imperfection within the skill
    3a) Gymnastics judges are, for the most part, former competitive gymnasts with an intimate understanding of the execution of the skills which they are judging, and undergo extensive training for identifying imperfections in the execution of said skills.
    4) Depending on the severity of the imperfection, points are deducted (minor bends in the limbs account for small deductions, while falls or failure to execute skills correctly or in sequence account for large deductions).
    5) Add up all the deductions for each skill in a routine, and you've got your execution deductions.

    Now, the new scoring system is based on a response to the ridiculous difficulty of modern gymnastics. Each skill in any given event is given a difficulty rating depending on how difficult it is to execute the skill flawlessly. In mens gymnastics, for example, difficulty ratings go from an A-level (skills like a basic back flip) to F-level (skills like a triple twisting double back flip). It makes sense that gymnasts who perform more difficult skills should be rewarded with higher scores, so that's where the new system comes into play.

    In the old days, no matter how difficult your routine was, everyone started off with a "10" and was deducted for execution of skills. So, a gymnast who performed a triple back flip (an F-level skill) in his routine would be on the same level as a gymnast who only did a double front flip (a D-level skill); judges would solely deduct based on execution rather than take into account the difficulty of the skill. So now, instead of you starting with a perfect score, have to BUILD towards the perfect score by creating a routine with high level skills (that is, graded D, E, and F).

    Now, back to judges. Judges can now take into account skill difficulty as well as skill execution when judging a routine. Keep in mind that judges aren't judging a routine based on their personal opinion. They judge based on universally accepted "perfect" forms and the skills are directed in the FIG code of points (created by gymnasts for gymnasts, by congress). As a former judge, I can tell you that our judging performance is also graded by how well we can spot imperfections in execution; judges don't get to the Olympic level unless they are eagle-eyed and impartial.

    I hope this helps everyone as they continue their discussions on the matter.

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.

Working...