Ethics Question? Or not?

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lakshmi369

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Mar 4, 2008
97
I have a question especially for Judges please. We have a Judge in our area who also is an owner of a rival gym in our town (Gym A). At a meet recently this Judge was Judging a session that had gymnasts from this Judges gym (Gym A) as well as the rival (same small town) gym (Gym B) competing at the same time. Many of the Gymnasts for the gym (Gym B) have come from this Judges rival gym (Gym A) that the Judge also owns.
It appears like a conflict of interest and perhaps this Judge should have withrawn from this competition but I dont know though.... and do not have any built in predisposition for the situation. I just need to know....right, wrong, up for debate???:confused:
If for sure wrong what does Gym B do to resolve in the future?
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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This actually isn't that unusual, and in most cases I don't think is an issue; in fact, I think many coaches judge their own kids HARDER than they judge kids from other gyms. I know I would.
 

gymdog

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Jul 5, 2007
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I don't know exactly how everything with judging works. Basically our head judge in this state owns a gym and definitely works at meets the team competes at. I don't think of it as a conflict of interest because personally I trust her. There are two judges who come up with the score and they need to be within range of each other, so people have to understand it's not like one judge throwing out any score they want based on the gymnast's gym. There's really no incentive in such a closed community to cause trouble and purposefully judge high and low. I don't really worry about that in general to tell you the truth.

I thought maybe judges aren't "supposed" to judge at meets they're affiliated with, but I know it happens pretty often so I'm guessing it's not a hard and fast requirement. I'm sure someone else can answer that. Ethically, I have no problem with it unless they're known to individually be causing problems, but I think the fact that everyone knows everyone pretty much constrains behavior anyway.
 

bogwoppit

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This happens at all of our regional meets, judges at the lower levels are coahes or owners who have followed the training. In the 3 years with this system I have only seen one judge at one meet that favoured her own club. I think on the whole it is fine and really the coaches are some of the most knowlegable when it come to the code of points and routines.
 

lakshmi369

Member
Mar 4, 2008
97
Thanks everyone

That says all. I have seen no issues myself and it will go a long way to settle any anxious parents about the situation.
 

gymkat

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Jun 24, 2008
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Judges can't be head judge if they are affiliated, but they can be on the panel. If you prevented judges from judging their home teams, you'd have an awful hard time finding people for state... Seriously, judges don't have time to think about what team is competing while they're judging. There's no conspiracy theory.
 
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Shane

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Most judges that you will see at meets are coaches of other gyms, whether nearby that event or not. Therefore, there will be some situations such as the one you have described. Like Geoffrey said - it's not unusual at all.

I, myself, am a judge as well as a coach for a gym. I judge competitions in which both my team and other gyms around the area compete in. The most important thing for a judge is to never be biased, and I never am. I would trust the judge unless he/she does something for he/she not to be trusted.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Like I said, I'd be more worried about a judge being HARDER on their own kids.

Here's the thought process when judging somebody else's kids:
She flexed her feet, that's a tenth off.
Bent knees, two tenths.
Step on the landing, tenth off


Here's the thought process in judging your own kids:
I told her to POINT HER #^&@%# FEET ON THAT SKILL! Maybe if I give her a MASSIVE deduction on it, she'll listen better next time.
I bet she's going to bend her knees here; she always does in practice. HEY I WAS RIGHT! Let's see, what's the most I can possibly deduct for that?
%&(*#$(%& HOW MUCH TIME DID WE SPEND WORKING THAT DISMOUNT? WHY ISN'T SHE STICKING IT?!? I'm taking maximum deduction on that.


(perhaps I'm exaggerating, but only slightly)
 
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coachmolly

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Jan 18, 2009
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When I was competing I was often judged by a certain woman who owned one of the gyms in town, a gym I used to go to. It was a little intimidating to be judged by her and sometimes we felt as though she were a little tougher on those she had ties to (either current or former gymnasts from her gym), but that could have very well just been imagined.
I think it can be hard to find judges for some meets, especially smaller local meets, so meet organizers often seem to just take what they can get. But all judges have to pass the same tests to receive their credentials and if the judging is noticeably biased, someone will mention something to the powers that be.
But it is a rough situation and a little bit nerve wracking for a gymnast put into that situation.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
Like I said, I'd be more worried about a judge being HARDER on their own kids.

Here's the thought process when judging somebody else's kids:
She flexed her feet, that's a tenth off.
Bent knees, two tenths.
Step on the landing, tenth off

Here's the thought process in judging your own kids:
I told her to POINT HER #^&@%# FEET ON THAT SKILL! Maybe if I give her a MASSIVE deduction on it, she'll listen better next time.
I bet she's going to bend her knees here; she always does in practice. HEY I WAS RIGHT! Let's see, what's the most I can possibly deduct for that?
%&(*#$(%& HOW MUCH TIME DID WE SPEND WORKING THAT DISMOUNT? WHY ISN'T SHE STICKING IT?!? I'm taking maximum deduction on that.

(perhaps I'm exaggerating, but only slightly)


Dude.. harsh...

I know I judge evenly... it's hurtful to bash your own gymnasts for their shortcomings... if anything, you spot more things that your own gymnasts do wrong because you know they are coming - on the other hand, you may miss other things because you are looking for that one thing you know they usually do.

A good judge puts all of their frustrations and personal affects aside, and does what they love - watching gymnastics.

You can usually get a good feel for judges by asking your coach about them; just judge their answer. IF they say "oh yeah, I like em. Smart and on top of things." Then they are probably a good judge. IF they say "I hate them! Makes stupid mistakes and just ruins good meets!" Then.. consider what you know about your coach..

Sometimes, bad blood exists, and clouds the memory and judgment. For the most part, judges are people. They have their flaws, but if they are there for the spirit of the sport, they will put petty crap aside.
 
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gymnut1

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In the UK it is usual for each club entering to provide a judge for the competition. The girls like to see a familiar face sat behind that table! I asked a coach/judge once about how she coped judging her own daughter which she used to do all the time. She said when you are judging 60 floor routines they are just leotards with legs! She said you have to concentrate so hard you barely notice which club they are from let alone what their name is! As they always judge in panels/pairs it shouldn't be a problem.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Dude.. harsh...

I know I judge evenly... it's hurtful to bash your own gymnasts for their shortcomings... if anything, you spot more things that your own gymnasts do wrong because you know they are coming - on the other hand, you may miss other things because you are looking for that one thing you know they usually do.

A good judge puts all of their frustrations and personal affects aside, and does what they love - watching gymnastics.
I was saying that mainly for comic effect, but I do think it's true; I think I (and most coaches) would be a tougher judge on my own students.
 

Gym-Nice-tics

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May 14, 2008
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US
We had a coach who was wayyyy tougher on us than the other competitors when she judged at meets. We were always afraid when she ended up being assigned to meets that we competed at- lol.

I HAVE heard of some judges who favored their own teams- but that is what I heard through the grapevine. I don't know that for sure.
 
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