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更新时间:2014-2-7 11:41:53 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

Sochi Games Set Record With Most Judges

Here's the problem with the Winter Olympics: They are really confusing. Not only are many of the events obscure to the average American viewer, but an increasing number of them are decided by judges rather than clocks, goals or finish lines.

In fact, these 2014 Sochi Games will be the most-judged Winter Olympics ever.
In this year's Games, which begin with a trickle of events on Thursday, there are an all-time high 21 judged events out of 98 total. That is up from 13 in 2010 and just four back in 1924.

Included are eight of the 12 events that are making their Olympic debuts, such as slopestyle snowboarding, halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and women's ski jumping, which-contrary to what you might think-isn't just about how far the skier flies (style counts, too).

These often-complicated judging systems force competitors to make a tough call: Whether to play it safe and perform a technically perfect run or routine, or go for broke, hoping to get kudos for being daring. 'That is the hardest thing to deal with. It's really tough,' said U.S. snowboarder Louie Vito, who finished fifth in halfpipe in Vancouver.

The challenge for the vast majority of viewers who rarely watch these slipping and sliding sports is to know what deserves a good score and what deserves punishment. Take slopestyle: This mountainside spectacle requires skiers to descend a slope and perform tricks on rails, tables and jumps that can see competitors travel 80 feet from liftoff to landing. So is that awkward grabbing of the skis in mid-jump a good thing or a bad thing? (Apparently, it's good, despite its gracelessness.)

'We're just taking the run in as it comes down,' said Phoebe Mills, the only U.S. judge on snowboarding's halfpipe and slopestyle panel in Sochi. 'Really for us, the score is less important than the overall ranking of the riders.'

Unlike the much older sport of figure skating, where tricks are assigned numerical degrees of difficulty, judges in snowboarding and freestyle skiing base their final scores on 'overall impression,' according to the rules, with an eye toward a run's 'amplitude' (the trade term for height), plus execution, variety and difficulty. The overall message to competitors: be daring, but don't crash.

If that sounds a little loose for a competition as regal as the Olympics, understand that the judges themselves are still working out the system for these events, the oldest of which has only been around since 1992 when the moguls competition began. In most of the judged sports, the top and bottom scores given by the panel are thrown out and the rest are averaged for an overall score. That wrinkle is a holdover from the Cold War era, when it was thought judges might let politics influence their scoring.

That's about where the similarities end, though. After a scandal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, figure skating switched to a more-regimented judging and scoring system. Under the old '6.0' system, judges compared one skater to another, with 6.0 being a rarely achieved perfect score. Individual jumps and moves weren't graded.

The new International Judging System, introduced in 2004, grades skaters for their own performances. There is no perfect score. Judges and technical experts assign points for each jump and spin, and for their artistic performance. Every triple axel, quadruple toe loop and combination spin has a numerical 'base value' that reflects its difficulty. Judges then grade the element by deducting or adding a maximum of three points. Skaters lose points for a fall or an under-rotated jump, for example, and gain them for jumps that have a difficult entry or are performed more than halfway through a program.

The judges then give the skater artistic marks, divided into five components: skating skills (balance), transitions between elements, overall performance, choreography and interpretation. the result is a score ranging from .25 to 10. The idea is to perform a technically challenging skate, and do it well.

At first, the system discouraged difficult elements such as quadruple jumps. It has since been tweaked. Now, 'as long as you have some of your rotation complete, you get some credit for attempting it,' said Tim Goebel, who won a bronze medal in men's singles for the U.S. at the 2002 Olympics.

But the tweaks haven't been universally popular. One issue: A skater gets 70% of the points for a quad jump even if it is under-rotated, which is a bit more than the points awarded for a perfect triple jump. So an ugly quad is better than a pretty triple. Evan Lysacek, who won the men's gold in 2010 for the U.S. without attempting a quad, doesn't like this. 'I believe skaters should skate clean programs,' said Lysacek, who pulled out of Sochi with a torn hip labrum.

Clearly, judgment has to play a role in sports that are largely about artistry. It's less clear why it belongs in ski jumping, where a simple farthest-flight rule would seem to suffice.

Yet judging is nearly as old as the sport itself. Skiers first get points for distance. Then three judges can award a maximum of 20 points each for execution. Translation: Which skiers do the best job of leaning straight out over their skis, maintaining symmetry and landing in the so-called 'telemark' position that is sort of like a forward lunge? Oh, and keep skiing straight after the landing. Points can be deducted for a sloppy 'outrun.'

Got all that? Now you're ready to watch the Winter Olympics.





这种通常较为复杂的评判体系使参赛选手必须做出选择:要么稳扎稳打,以完美完成技术动作这种常规方式求胜;要么孤注一掷,做出一些大胆的尝试,以期获得裁判的青睐。曾在温哥华冬奥会上夺得U型场地滑雪第五名的美国运动员路易斯•维托(Louie Vito)表示,这是最难处理的问题,非常棘手。


索契冬奥会单板滑雪比赛中,U型场地滑雪和坡面障碍技巧项目中唯一的美国裁判菲比•米尔斯(Phoebe Mills)说,选手从坡面滑下的那一刻起,我们就开始判分。不过对我们而言,分数没有选手的整体排名重要。






起初,这套评分系统不鼓励选手去做四周跳等高难度动作,但是后来进行了调整。在2002年冬奥会上为美国夺得花样滑冰男子单人滑铜牌的戈贝尔(Tim Goebel)说,现在只要你完成了部分旋转动作,就会得到一些分数,因为你勇于尝试。

但这些调整并非受到普遍欢迎。其中一个问题是:选手可以因为一个四周跳获得70%的分数,哪怕这个动作没有完全完成,所得分数也比一个完美的三周跳分数要高一些。也就是说,一个没有顺利完成的四周跳胜过一个漂亮的三周跳。2010年,莱萨塞克(Evan Lysacek)在整套比赛动作没有四周跳的情况下为美国队摘得了花样滑冰男单金牌。他个人并不喜欢这样的评分标准。莱萨塞克说,我认为花样滑冰选手应该有干净利落的表演。