Figure skating judging still gets it wrong 

February, 23, 2010

Have you noticed something odd about the figure skating results in the Olympics? There are no individual judges' scores!

We know how skaters rate overall and on each element of their programs. Evan Lysacek beat Evgeni Plushenko by 1.31 total points, for example, and you can see the results in painstaking detail here (click on "Judges details per skater").

But as the women's competition kicks off tonight, how do we know their composite scores won't be the product of corruption, or, even more bizarrely, random chance?

Unfortunately, we don't.

Peter Keating | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.