This essay discusses the system that the International Skating Union (ISU) has long used to select skating judges for competitions and suggests that this system creates problems of partisanship, incentivizing national skating federations to pick judges who are most likely to favor the federation’s interests while also incentivizing skating judges to favor their national federations. I offer an alternative approach to the ISU’s present method of selecting judges, a tournament-like system that could be used to pick judges objectively by rating judges based on the correlation of their scores with those of other judges and allowing those with higher correlation scores to judge more important levels of competition. The judges at the most prestigious events - the World Championships and the Olympics - would thus be those who have consistently judged like other judges. Part I of this essay evaluates the reforms that the ISU has considered to address the problems of judging in skating, and it explains why these reforms are unlikely to be successful. Part II provides a game theoretic justification for my proposal. I conclude by suggesting extensions.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-81; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-81
Michael Abramowicz, On the Selection of Judges in International Figure Skating, 6 GREEN BAG 2D 339 (2003)