Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2002

SoHi soccer ties, beats Grace

The Soldotna girls soccer team tied Grace at 1 Monday morning at Anchorage Football Stadium, while the Soldotna boys rolled to a 7-0 victory over the Grizzlies.

In the girls game, Ally Irving scored 38 minutes in to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. However, SoHi's Sam Penner notched the equalizer 52 minutes into the game.

It was the first time all year the SoHi girls were on a field, and not in a gym.

"The team looked great," Soldotna coach Katie Tongue said. "It was fun to see them on the field. They passed the ball well, and controlled it beautifully.

"Grace is a much stronger team this year."

Tongue credited Jennifer Senette, Annie Penner and Erin Wolfe with great games in the midfield. She also liked what she saw out of freshmen Stacey Foster and Katey Jones.

The Soldotna boys got two goals from Mike McIntosh, two goals from Ben Histand, a goal from Johnny Mills, a goal from Chris Houglum and a goal from Peter Kim in icing the Grace boys.

ISU technical committee looking at new options

NEW YORK -- Hoping to head off future scandals like the one that rocked the Salt Lake City Olympics, figure skating officials are looking into computerized evaluations of judges that could detect national biases.

The International Skating Union's technical committee had been examining such a system for the past two years. When the scandal broke in February, even more urgency was attached to revamping the way the sport is judged.

Since then, ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta has decided to make his own proposal about overhauling the way judges operate. He must present his idea at least 15 days before the ISU Congress meets in Kyoto, Japan, in June.

Until then, the technical committee's work is on hold.

''It may, in fact, happen someday, but right now it's on hold until work can be done'' on Cinquanta's proposal, said Ron Pfenning, a U.S. member of the technical committee who also was the referee of the controversial pairs event at the Winter Games.

Cinquanta ordered duplicate gold medals awarded to a Canadian couple, Jaime Sale and David Pelletier, after judging improprieties were discovered. A Russian couple, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, initially won the gold.

The technical committee's computer system would rely on a complex mathematical formula that took into account every mark a judge has awarded at a competition.

Pfenning said this method ''would be a tool, and it's an evaluation that's totally objective.''

''The same principles are being applied to every judge at every competition throughout that whole season. It provides a foundation of consistency throughout the world,'' he said.

It also could provide evidence that a judge favored teams from a specific country or region. If a judge consistently voted higher for competitors from the same nation than other judges, the computer analysis would show it. That judge then could be subject to disciplinary action by the ISU.

The same would be true for other judging discrepancies, even if they don't involve national bias.

''It's only when someone is in really quite a solo position ... that they would receive a less than positive evaluation on that part,'' Pfenning said.

Pfenning will be in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week for an ISU hearing with Marie-Reine Le Gougne, the French judge for the Olympic pairs competition whose vote was nullified. Le Gougne at first said she was pressured by Didier Gailhaguet, head of the French Olympic team and France's skating federation, to ''vote a certain way.'' She later denied such pressure, but was suspended by the ISU pending the hearing.

-- Staff and wire reports

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