Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Keeping geeks sexist since 1997

What the fuck, Mr. Malda?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday August 06, @09:42AM
from the get-rid-of-judged-events dept.

Dekortage writes

"If you watch the Olympics gymnastics this year, you may be confused by the new scoring system which will let athletes score 14, 17, or even higher. The new rules are 'heavy on math' and employ two panels of judges: one for technical difficulty, which adds points up from a score of zero; the other for execution and technique, which starts at 10.0 and subtracts for errors. The two numbers are then combined for the final score. As one judge put it, 'The system rewards difficulty. But the mistakes are also more costly.' The new rules were adopted after South Korea protested a scoring at the 2004 Olympics."

Now I'm sure that no Slashdot reader will intentionally watch any "sport" that has judges determine the winner, but their wives/girlfriends might seize control of the remote because they want to know who is the best at that ribbon-twirling thing.
[Emphasis added, heterosexist anxious-masculinity asshattery in original]

Now I know I shouldn't expect too much from a forum best known for Natalie Portman jokes, and to be fair the commenters over there, many of them are calling him out on it. (Though many more are missing the point with "Wait, not liking gymnastics is misogynist now?" replies or "Of course I'll watch skinny adolescent girls in leotards, hur hur hur" jokes.)

As for the scoring system itself, I'm not sure what to make of it - it seems to be the gymnastics equivalent of getting rid of THAC0. It reminds me a bit of the scoring system for diving, which I'm slightly more familiar with, in that it retains the traditional "perfect 10" for the elements that have an ideal, and awards bonus points for difficulty. Apparently it's a sum of two scores rather than a "degree of difficulty" multiplier, though, and if the Olympic scores stay in the typical range of 9.5-10.0 I don't see how the "difficulty" points won't decide the competition. (Though I should find some scores from trials and crunch the numbers before coming to any conclusions.)

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