13 February 2006

New Figureskating Scoring System is Problematic

A statistics professor at Yale University has done a statistical analysis and determined that the new figureskating scoring system is problematic. Under the new scoring system, there are twelve judges. Nine of those judges are randomly selected as scores that will count. The high and low scores are discarded, leaving seven judges, whose scores are added. If the computer randomly picks scores that add to a different aggregate, the skater could lose or win simply because the computer picked a different group of judges. See this link, which has more information on it, and a graph showing how the results of the European Figure Skating championship could have differed. To view the graph, it looks like you need to use Internet Explorer. What I don't understand is how the figure skating assocation missed this, because even I could see that when different scores were used because of random selection, the results could differ.

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