Tuesday, November 27, 2012

(Non)Tournament Proof Tuesday: Referee Bias(?)

I agree there needs to be statistical data to avoid confirmation bias, and the file drawer effect regarding the debate of referee bias in the IBJJF and in any large scale governing body. If there can be the kind of corruption in amateur boxing (listening to the commentators have to discuss and accept the likelihood that certain athletes might not get the nod due to where the judges were from was nauseating. I stopped watching boxing in the Olympics this summer as a result) then there can easily be bias in a group that virtually all has ties to some of the major competing teams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

This reminds me of whenever they discuss corruption in USA Judo. The coaches who want to retain their perks or want a shot at being head coach of Team USA at some point all keep their mouth shut and say "oh, no, those are rarities, the athletes and blah blah blah" and then the disgruntled are shushed away as being outliers and the exception meanwhile USAJudo flies more administrators and paper pushers than it does referees to international events and the IJF and others penalize athletes for not staying at more expensive accomodations when traveling abroad.

From ze one and only Lloyd Irvin:
"Must Be Nice! It's time for a change, there is a "good ole' boy" network within the ranks of the ibjjf refs and this network needs to be broken up, the playing field needs to be even. I would like to see an American 'head ref' and at least one American side ref during finals and semi-final matches when an American is fighting in the match. I recommend HIllary Williams for the Job!...There are many refs tired of this, but they won't speak up, I completely understand. So I'll be Rosa Park and stand up and refuse to sit in the back of this bus. Something has to change! Does anyone know who appoints the refs that will be responsible for reffing the finals of the World Championships?"

Romero "Jacare" Cavalcante of Alliance rebutalled:
"I am not here to advocate for the IBJJF Federation but I do not think there is corruption or anything like that with the referees. They make mistakes and need to get better of course, but to accuse them of corruption is a little bit too much....

....Just a few weeks back at the Atlanta Open we had a match for the final of the open division black belt between Lucas Lepri (Alliance) and DJ Jackson (LIrvin) so one American and one Brazilian the score was even on points and in my opinion Lucas pushed the pace and DJ waited to counter attack or whatever at the end the refs decided to give the win to DJ Jackson which I totally disagreed and I saw in many occasions the decisions going both ways."

To which Lloyd re-rebuttaled: (after Romero said that Lloyd's guys were not gentlemanly for opting out of going to the podium to accept their medals)
"What about you teaching your fighters not to taunt former teammates, make threats, etc. I watched you and the entire Alliance Team taunt Jordan when he lost to Sinistro at the Pans, I saw you personally taunt Alec verbally when he lost "creontes never win!", and the list goes on, when Keenan beat Sinistro you didn't see anyone on our team taunt Sinistro, I teach my guy/gals better than that, I don't do that, you should teach them to behave like gentleman and not taunt or threaten former students and accept the fact that students switching teams is part of any sport as you put it."

Hillary Williams responds with the type of non-committal/deferential regard you'd expect someone who does not want to anger the IBJJF:
"Regardless of the extent and timeline, favoritism behavior is a reflection on the individual integrity of the referee and not the fault of the organization. Now, heads exploding again--"If IBJJF employs them, the blame of corruption falls on them!" To some extent, yes, I agree with hypothetical forum member. However, nothing can be taken out of context. We must be aware of the issues of ref availability and the inability to play big brother."

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