Friday, August 22, 2008
Great expectations in judging
Based on what one of the gymnastics commentators said, my theory on why the Chinese keep getting such high scores in events that involve judging has to do with what the judges expect. The rules don't allow judges from any of the countries with athletes in the finals, so you get in some cases less experienced judges, judges who may not have seen all that many truly superior performances, given that the athletes from their countries weren't truly superior enough to get into the finals. Thus they might not really know much about the fine gradations between very good, near-great and great performances. So they just might, probably not consciously, be inclined to give scores based on the reputations of the performers -- I'm thinking mainly of divers here -- figuring if therer weren't obvious mistakes or huge splashes, they can't go too wrong or look too ridiculous giving those with the highest reputations the higherest scores. At least that's my theory for now.