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Ice Skating Scoring

Date: 01/27/2001 at 00:54:25
From: Johnny
Subject: Ice Skating and median

Why do the U.S. Figure Skating Championships use only five scores out 
of the seven given by judges? The lowest and the highest of the seven 
scores are dropped, and skaters are ranked based on the median of the 
remaining five scores. 

Why use the median score and not the mean to calculate the winner?

Date: 01/27/2001 at 07:08:20
From: Doctor Mitteldorf
Subject: Re: Ice Skating and median

Johnny -

The median reflects the judges' "middle ground" more faithfully than 
the mean. No one judge can influence the median excessively, since one 
judge's score counts only to the extent that it is either higher or 
lower than that middle. It doesn't matter how much higher or lower. 

In fact, it doesn't matter that the highest and lowest scores are
dropped before the median is computed - they would have exactly 
balanced each other out, since the median is simply the middle score, 
the score with an equal number of votes on either side of it.

- Doctor Mitteldorf, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
High School Statistics
Middle School Statistics

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