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Scoring Error Reshuffles Pairs Results

January 26, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Figure skating’s new judging system isn’t foolproof, either.

The results of the pairs short program at Four Continents were changed Thursday after a scoring error was discovered, moving Americans Marcy Hinzmann and Aaron Parchem up to third place. Canadians Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay dropped from third to fourth. The free skate is Thursday afternoon.

The International Skating Union adopted a new, computerized scoring system in the wake of the judging improprieties at the Salt Lake City Olympics. A technical specialist identifies each element in a program as it is done, it is entered into a computer, and judges then give their marks.

But in Wednesday’s short program, Hinzmann and Parchem were credited with the wrong, lesser-valued element. Though the technical specialist called the correct element, a throw triple loop that has a base value of 5.0 points, it was entered as a throw triple toe loop, which has a base value of 4.5 points.

Hinzmann and Parchem were in fourth after the short, trailing Langlois and Hay by .44 points.

The error was corrected Thursday, putting Hinzmann and Parchem ahead of Langlois and Hay by .06 points.

This isn’t the first time scoring errors have occurred. All of the scores in the junior and senior compulsory dance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships had to be corrected because of an error in the computer software, but it didn’t affect any of the results. Hinzmann and Parchem’s score in the free skate was changed after a timing error was discovered, but it didn’t change their final placement.

At the Japanese national championships, Nobunari Oda was originally declared the men’s champion but was later dropped to second because of a scoring problem. The change cost Oda a trip to the Turin Olympics.

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