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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Choosing Team Members: redux

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Choosing Team Members: redux


Thread: Choosing Team Members: redux

Message: Choosing Team Members: redux

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

From: "Damon & Patty Wack" <lomcevak at>

Date: Sat, 04 Jan 1997 15:57:12 UTC


  Patty makes some good points, and I think she hit the nail on the head:
Americans, myself included, tend to be much more individualistic in nature.
 The team selection process reflects this as well, I believe.  When you
have a committee selecting team members, for us that's uncomfortably close
to socialism (or *big government* perhaps<G>),  we prefer the Gary Cooper,
shoot out at high noon, winner take all method.

Changing the method of team selection may not necessarily result in having
a more cohesive team, but I do think our methods reflect our attitudes, and
this is why the new methods might seem distasteful to Americans.

I'm not passing judgement on either method - I simply lack the experience
to do so.
I'm of the wait and see variety.

I agree 100% that the coaching & training is probably the key to winning a
WAC, but I would like to know the amount of time the Russians and French
are able to train, compared to the Americans.  I am assuming that it is a
much greater percentage than us.  Just by training together more often a
team will develop a greater sense of cohesiveness, in addition to improving
and polishing competitve skills.  However, until someone can make a living
at competitve aerobatics in this country, or find a sponsor, I see no easy
way for us to do this.

Having said that, let me throw out another little tidbit, guaranteed to
stir things up!<G>

I think we should throw out the TBL system.  I was shown the printouts of
the TBL system, and how the judges performed at the 96 WAC.  The printout
showed each judge in relation to the other on each competitor.  There was a
range shown with each competitor, called the sigma.  The sigma varied in
width on each competitor, depending on the range of scores from each judge.
 If the judge was within the sigma, his or her scores were counted, and if
they were outside the sigma, high or low, they were thrown out.

Some judges were very adroit at scoring *right at the top of the sigma* for
their country's members.  Other judges were not as skilled, and their
scores were thrown out and sometimes they were accused of bias.  PLEASE
UNDERSTAND -the point is not to criticize the individual judges here, or to
say the contest was decided by this!  But I do think what we will end up
doing, and what some countries already know, is instead of being purely an
aerobatic contest, we have a judging contest as well.  Judges will have to
train to "work the system" and I think this is wrong.

I also think something is wrong with a system that when someone in 50th
place protests a zero and wins, moving them to 45th place, suddenly a
"bias" is noticed by the program, moving another person in 5th place to
2nd, or vice versa.  This is not right.

I think that simply throwing out the high and low score on each manuever
would suffice.  That way a judge would not worry about ALL of his or her
scores being thrown out.  It works for every other internationally judged
sport, most of which are just as subjective and prone to bias as ours. 
Scores of competitors would be available more quickly, making the sport a
little more exciting for spectators as well.

And as one person pointed out to me, you should have a system that the
competitors understand!<G>

So, I've got it off my chest!  I'll be out of town the next few days so I
expect a nice full mailbox when I get back!    ;)



© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn