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Scores from the 2001 Canadian Team Selections

I've put up whatever scores we recorded from the tournament. I don't guarantee that it's entirely accurate. There could be some mistakes in there. In a couple cases, the final score doesn't look like it was calculated properly so either we wrote them down wrong or the judges made a mistake. In any case, they're in MS Excel format and show name, final score, judges' scores, and announced deductions. For interest, they also show how each judge ranked everyone in each event. Again, I don't guarantee they're 100% correct. It assumes that when the announcer announced the scores, he did so in the same order of judges every time. If you know of any corrections to be made or things to be added like deductions or arbitration info, let me know. Anyways, here they are...


June 16, 2001

Well, itís been over two weeks now since the Canadian National Team Selections and I still havenít gotten over what happened that weekend. I think itís about time I have my own rant to get it out of my system. You may not agree with what I say here... keep in mind that these are only my opinions as an athlete who was present at the tournament.

Iíll start off by congratulating the Sunny Tang group on running a very organized tournament. I was impressed that we finally had a tournament that ran on schedule. They were also able to get sponsorship... a breakthrough that all wushu enthusiasts here have been waiting for. I wish they would have had air conditioning there though but itís a luxury that wasnít necessary. Besides, it was something that all athletes had to deal with so we were all on a level playing field. My only complaint has to do with the judges.

In 1999 at the team selections in Vancouver, non-Canadian judges were brought in for the first time in an attempt to have judges who wouldnít be biased towards particular schools or athletes. It was an interesting idea... something that was discussed by many but never implemented until that point. It was debatable whether or not it was a success. Some people felt the judges were more concerned about ordinals (i.e., who finishes first, second, third in a division) rather than score. With the way team selection is set up in Canada, the athletes with the top overall scores make the team. I doesnít really matter if you win 3 gold medals... in theory, itís still possible that a person who gets 3 silvers, or bronzes or whatever could still make the team over you. Thatís just the way itís done up here. It was felt by many that they gave scores that were too high in some divisions or scores that werenít high enough in other divisions.

Anyway, the foreign judge concept was used again this year in Toronto and taken a step further. All the judges were to be IwuF certified. On paper, it looked like a good idea. One only has too look at their credentials:

Chief Judge/Head Scoring Judge 1
Qiu Pi Xiang (China)
? Judge-in-chief for the 11th, 12th and 13th Asian Games
? Judge-in-chief for the 2nd and 4th World Wushu Championships
? Eight level Wushu coach recognized by the IWuF
? Deputy director of Judge's Committee of the Chinese Wushu Association
? Professor Shanghai Institute of Physical Education

Scoring Judge 2
Lu Xiao Ling (United States)
? IWuF Certified Judge
? Member of IWuF Technical Committee
? Official Scoring Judge in 4th and 5th World Wushu Championships
? Official Scoring Judge in 2nd and 3rd Pan American Wushu
? 1996 and 1997 U.S. National Team Coach

Scoring Judge 3
Wu Yong Mei (Europe)
? IWuF Certified Judge
? Official scoring judge in 4th and 5th World Wushu Championships
? Official scoring judge in European Wushu Federation

Scoring Judge 4
Zou Yinghui (China)
? IWuF Certified Judge
? Deputy Director of Physical Education , Hainan Teachers University, China

Scoring Judge 5
Alex Kwok (Canada)
? IWuF Certified Judge
? Official Scoring Judge in 5th World Wushu Championships
? Head of judging committee for the Confederation of Canadian Wushu Organizations
? Sole Canadian judging representative for World Wushu Championships.

I was excited that such highly regarded judges, especially Qiu Pi Xiang, would be involved with this event. However, I believe they demonstrated themselves to be unprofessional at the tournament.

My first gripe is regarding the deductions handed out by the judges. At the technical meeting, they said they would not be picky since the forms were still relatively new. Theyíd only be looking at the QUALITY of the movements. They mentioned 2 or 3 ďkeyĒ things they would be paying attention to in changquan, staff and spear but no mention was made of the remaining 7 forms. When asked why they didnít say anything about short weapons, their answer was that thereís nothing in particular to watch out for. All athletes were relieved to hear that the judges would not be so strict with the new compulsories. However, over the course of the tournament, they began deducting people for things they made no mention of. Here we are as athletes, told they will let things go with the exception of the segments they told us before hand theyíd pay more attention to and weíre being deducted. Itís no wonder so many people were upset at the tournament. In addition, it became obvious that the Sunny Tang group was not getting deductions for incorrect movements either. My argument is that all groups had people go to China to learn the new compulsories. Whoís to say one person is right and another is wrong? There were differences in the way the forms were taught between the 2 seminars in Beijing and at the recent judges seminar in Macau. To say one person was right means the other people who spent time and money going to learn the new forms were taught wrong.

Also, I didnít like how they would selectively deduct people for things that everyone did. For example, Katrina Leung from Vancouver was deducted in staff for doing 5 reverse flowers and going on the 6th. That was the way it was taught in Beijing and thatís what the judges told us at the technical meeting. So all the girls before Katrina do 5 and go on 6. Katrina does it and is deducted... why? ĎCause now the judges say itís supposed to be 6 and go on 7. She pays her $200 arbitration fee but she loses. How, I donít know. Before the male staff goes up, the judges tell all the competitors itís do 6 and go on 7. All the guys then started practising that like crazy... it was ridiculous! To be told one thing and then told another just before your event?

Again, before spear, athletes were told just before their event that they wouldnít be allowing certain things. Why are they telling us this now instead of at the technical meeting? Maybe because it would make too much sense to do that?

One thing I couldnít understand was how Terence Chan from Edmonton was given a score of 0.0 because the judges ruled his straightsword wasnít regulation size. First of all, no one (with the exception of the kiddie competitors) had a regulation size short weapon. Heck, Iíll be the first to admit my broadsword is short too. But if youíre going to enforce that rule on one person, you have to enforce it on all. That was the argument the Edmonton group was trying to make but the judges would have none of it. Interestingly, the next person who went up (who was from the Sunny Tang group) had an short sword as well. During the whole argument over Terenceís sword, I noticed this personís sword only went up as high as his shoulder. And even after Ďchokingí the sword, it only went up as high as the middle of his neck. So right after the judges argue with Edmonton over a short sword, they let the next guy go no problem. Another thing to note on this point is the rulebook says thereís only a 0.1 deduction for a sword thatís too short. No where does it say anything about getting disqualified. Maybe thatís how they do it at the Chinese Nationals, I donít know. But this wasnít the Chinese Nationals... IwuF rules are supposed to be applied.

Which reminds me of another thing... why was it that no one from Sunny Tangís had their weapons checked when athletes from other schools did? After my brother Chris did his straightsword routine, he passed the sword to me while he waited for his score. Qiu Pi Xiang comes over and takes the sword out of my hands. I didnít know what he was doing... it kind of looked like he was checking to see how flexible the sword was or something. But why should that matter? Again, weíre following IwuF rules... and they only specify the length of weapons... nothing else.

I also had to pay a $200 arbitration fee for my broadsword. The judges deducted 0.1 from me for time but when I checked the tape, my time was 1:21.65. Eventually I got my point back but I lost the $200. It was the most expensive medal Iíve ever gotten. While it does say the $200 fee is non-refundable on the entry form, itís just dumb in my opinion when I have to pay money for a judgeís mistake. I got three DIFFERENT explanations afterwards for my deduction which upset me more... I didnít buy any of their explanations and the fact they came back to me with three different ones made it seem like they were only trying to cover up their own mistake in my mind.

The other thing that everyone is complaining about is that the judges would always give the most severe deduction for a bobble or a mis-hit for athletes from the rest of Canada while giving minor deductions or even overlooking them in some cases if an athlete was from Sunny Tangís. This may be taken as a harsh accusation but there are many who attended this tournament that would agree with that statement.

In another case, Wei-Hsin Lee of Toronto performed a very good straightsword form but was given a low score compared to the scores given up to that point. When asked why, the judges only said she had too much power and was too fast for straightsword. Thatís a lame excuse in my opinion but even if thatís true, what about some of the people who were too weak and slow for broadsword?

Also, there were a million judges meetings... If these judges are supposed to be so experienced and qualified, why would they have the need to have so many judges meetings? In these meetings, Zou Yinghui could be seen telling the other judges what mistakes SHE saw. Now, please correct me if Iím wrong but a judge is supposed to deduct for what he/she sees and not what others see right? What is she doing influencing the other judges?

And another thing... unless the standards have changed, the judges werenít even seated properly. Normally, youíd have 4 judges at the corners and one center judge. I was surprised to see 4 judges at the middle of each side (i.e., 12, 3, 6, 9 oíclock) with another judge sitting beside the center judge at 1 oíclock. Has anyone seen this before? Qiu Pi Xiang and Lu Xiao Ling would talk to each other while people were doing their forms. Another case where there could have been some influencing going on. And because of the way the judges were seated, Jacky Cho from Edmonton actually hit Alex Kwokís table during straightsword. Thing is, the table shouldnít have been there in the first place.

I donít agree with people who tell me I canít question the judges Ďcause theyíre IwuF certified and Iím only an athlete. Iíve been in this way too long and I know what the rule book says. And anyone can see if someone deserved a higher score than another person. I only hope when they put up the videos on the CCWO website that they put everyone up so that people can come up with their own opinions on who should have gotten what score. Iím happy that the CCWO decided to allow video taping at this event unlike the Baltimore team trials. At least in this case, people can judge for themselves. I realize thereíll be people who disagree with me. Your opinion is as good as mine. Weíll just agree to disagree.

I want to point out that I put the blame for what happened on the judges and not on the Sunny Tang team. They didnít give themselves their scores, the judges did and just because they were the group that benefited, it doesnít mean they cheated. I have friends in that group and if theyíre reading this, I hope they understand I didnít intend this as an attack on their group... rather I felt a need to get this off of my chest. There have been a lot of personal attacks on individuals of the Sunny Tang group. I know that when itís a case of the haves vs. the have-nots, itís easy to take out your frustration on those who are better off. Try not to single people out only because they happen to represent a particular group. For the most part, the people at Sunny Tangís are good people.

I also hope that people donít assume Iím ranting here because I didnít make the world team this time around. I dropped my spear... canít really say I was jacked by the judges on that one. At the same time, I know where I stand in Canada and I think I demonstrated to people Iím still one of the top guys up here, even if I wasnít at that moment. After the first day (2 events) I was in first place. Yet I was only able to get 4 hours sleep because I was so upset over what happened that day. I felt so bad for all the other athletes... to see everyone so discouraged not because they didnít perform well but because of unfairness that they could do nothing about. If wushu is to be an Olympic sport, we need to clean up our act very soon. One doesnít have to look much further than ice dance in figure skating where everyone knows itís all about the politics. At one point a couple years ago, there was even talk of it losing itís Olympic sport status. And until the judging becomes fair, wushu will not be taken seriously as a sport.

Final Results from the 1999 Canadian National Wushu Team Selection Competition

1999 Canadian National Wushu Team Selection Competition
Click here to see the results.

Click here to see my competition results.

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