Judging adds controversy, confusion

"Where is it in hockey that you're going to get points just for shots on goal?" Elvis Stojko complained at U.S. nationals last month. " ... Now you can still make a mistake. You can fall down and get up and you got points for falling down? That's like getting a medal for being in 10th place."

He's right. There should be no reward for a jump you don't land, just as there is no point for a shot you miss.

The judges also must be identified with their scores as they were in the past. This not only provides accountability, it adds old-fashioned geopolitical intrigue.

The point system must also be modified so that there is a top score people can readily recognize, like the old 6.0. Whether it is 6.0 or 60.0 or 600.0 doesn't matter, just so there is a top possible score people instantly know.

Was Thursday's scoring fair? Yeah, probably. Kim was excellent but not at her absolute best -- she said she was just relieved to have the Olympic pressure over -- and Sotnikova was very good. Did Sotnikova also benefit from skating in Russia? Sure. But there is a home-field advantage in every sport. LeBron doesn't get called for traveling in Miami. Clayton Kershaw gets a bigger strike zone at Dodger Stadium. It's just the nature of sport.

There is always controversy in every sport, and there certainly always will be in a subjective one like figure skating. But the key is to have a better scoring system so that the controversy makes people want to watch the sport rather than throw up their hands in confusion.

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