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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Zero's.... A view from the land of mad cows

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Zero's.... A view from the land of mad cows


Thread: Zero's.... A view from the land of mad cows

Message: Zero's.... A view from the land of mad cows

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Roberts, Gareth GB" <RobertsG at>

Date: Tue, 04 Jun 1996 17:04:11 UTC



   For what its worth, here are my personal views on this emotive subject.
        First of all, I have around four years experiece of judging all 
levels in the UK
   and after learning the technical stuff....I have realised there is not 
one decision
   which will please everyone.
                Remember that judges are human, and prone to making human 
erros, for
   a variety of reasons. For example, while  staring skyward,  a gust of 
cold wind
   (a common phenomena over here!) made one judge's eyes water causing 
vision to
   blur at the point a contestant entered the snap roll. Because of this the 
   failed to see if it was positive or negative or whether, the Sukhoi 
flicked at all!
   What is he/she to do ? assume it was good and take away no marks because
   everything else was ok, or come clean and admit, since that part was not 
   he could not mark it. Clearly it would be unfair to take a guess, so he 
asks everyone
   what they scored and takes an average. Actually, he could indicate this 
on the score
   sheet and let the TBL  Scoring system on the computer work out the 
   On the next  flight, another judge is trying so hard to determine the 
downline angle,
   and the number of degrees by which a competitior under rotated the snap, 
that he/she
   failed to notice the missing hesitation an a roll on the downline, here, 
the majority vote,
   can determine the issue,  but recalling they are human,  it is not 
impossible for all other
   judges to make the same mistake, or to be unsure enough whether they saw 
the roll,
   not to defend their position. A solution here might be for the Chief 
judge not to actually
   score the contest, but simply determine  whether all parts of a figure 
were in fact
   performed and performed correctly , and arbitrate any resulting disputes. 

   This practice  assumes of course, we have sufficent judges ! In the UK 
this is a rare
   event...however we did use this practice at last years Nationals, and as 
I recall
   was quite successful.

        Judges must also respect that pilots are also human, and prone to 
react to scores
  and comments in both positive and negative ways. In more junior 
competitions some
  entrants can be permanently discouraged by very hard scoring, since most 
are out
  there for fun, and need some encouragement, which can often be dampened by 
  scoring.  At the other end of  the  scale, more serious contestants are 
spurred on to
  double their practices and particular manouvres in order to turn 
consistent eights into
  consistent nines.  After investing so much time, effort and 
expense.....they expect and
  deserve an honest and consistent adjudication.
            At the end of the day it is not, how well a figure is flown, 
that gets it nine or ten, but,
  how well it looks to the judges, and the reality of that  is primarily 
guided by  human
  subjectivity....according to the rules..... we have a 'committee' of 
judges for the simple
  reason that one persons 15 deg is another persons 5 deg. and a blink in 
the wrong
  place is part of being human! Then we have computer statistical tools to 
try to take
  away this human fallability.
     In the UK there is never 'enough' judges and I have had to badger 
nearby onlookers
  who dont know a loop from a roll, to assist by writing my scores , very 
often the
  unknown sequence is more unkown to me than the pilots,...(and a bystander 
can hardly
  call out the figures)....because all morning  was spent judging 
contestants entering the
  box once every 4 minutes.  After 80 flights,  I often wonder whether I did 
justice to the
  last 20 flights or so of the day.   But then again......if I, and others, 
 hadnt done it....
  there would hardly any point in holding the contest ..... . Thus far 
no-one has walked out
  never to compete again, because they didnt like the judges.  And if 
someone's snap
  rolls were a statistically a little doubtful last year, then they are 
usually better next season,
  at least thats my perception !



© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn