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View Full Version : Robert Dover offers challenge to COTHers



Sonesta
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:42 PM
Robert Dover posted the following on his Dover's World blog at http://www.doversworld.com and just emailed me permission to post it here:

"Calling All Bloggers - A challange
Rarely do I venture over to sites where I have in the past felt that the blogs had a somewhat negative spirit to them. But, every once in a while someone will mention that a particular post is running on one of them that I have an interest in, so a couple of clicks later and there I am, reading stuff I can barely believe people have the nerve to write.
Of course, they almost never have peoples’ real names signed at the bottom, something which I require on my own site; however, this isn’t truly what gets me going. What I just do not understand is that, knowing that all they would have to do is simply go to DoversWorld.com and click on “Questions and Comments” and ask me directly something like for instance, ” Exactly what does the FEI Dressage Task Force hope to achieve with the up-coming Dressage Judging Systems Trials being held September 7-9 in Aachen?” Instead, “herd members” place their theories, most of them without much fact to back them up, as to exactly what will take place and the probable results.

So here is my challange to all those “nerds”, Ultimate or Chrono. Ask me anything and I promise to give you an honestg answer, whether you like it or not. If I can help peop-le to understand better any issues they are unclear on about this or anything else I have knowledge of (and it’s not so much- believe me!), I will do my best to help.

Cheers!

RD"

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:39 PM
Well, since nobody else has responded to this since 5:42 pm ... and, I'm just getting ready to go to bed, so I won't see what anyone else posts ... I just have to say this:

Whether you agree with him or not, whether you think he's the best thing for dressage since sliced bread or not, at least he's right out there. You know who he is and he's willing to explain, or try to, any of his ideas/thoughts/whatever about the FEI Task Force.

IMHO, that deserves some respect, whether you agree with him or not.

see u at x
Sep. 1, 2009, 09:45 PM
Wow...I respect him now more than ever. :yes:

mbm
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:06 PM
not to be a negative nelly, but there have been several questions (regarding rollkur, etc) on his blog that he hasn't answered in a straightforward way - more in a political way... of course i dont blame him, given who he is....

but if you are going to say you are going to honestly answer all questions, then i think you need to do it.

eta to add, i agree that the internet can get very nasty very quickly due to anonymity, but i am not sure his site is any less anonymous as any other? how does he require real names?




:)

poltroon
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:07 PM
He apparently did not consider that most of us probably never realized he even had a blog. :D

Ambrey
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:12 PM
not to be a negative nelly, but there have been several questions (regarding rollkur, etc) on his blog that he hasn't answered in a straightforward way - more in a political way... of course i dont blame him, given who he is....

but if you are going to say you are going to honestly answer all questions, then i think you need to do it.

Maybe that's how he really feels? Maybe he's kind of equivocal?

Not everyone has strong feelings about rollkur either way :)

sid
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:13 PM
I think it was very brave to write, Robert. I too don't understand why there are not a zillion replies to your post.

This particular forum can be frought with armchair quarterbacks, wannabes as well as very well educated, brilliant riders/students of the discipline, though I see less of them these days as I "lurk"..Ideayoda, Rebecca Yount, LTW, etal). That's sad. Yet they love the sport and want to "DO IT"...thus they kabbitz about every detail. And they keep pursuing the discussion as if it nuclear science.

Dressage, for some reason, seems to create jealousy more than any other of the sports. Though it's all about the same precision and connection needed for a showjumper to take flight, letting the horse "go" in that moment that may put the rider at risk, as those who pursue dressage for hobby/enjoyment don't quite understand the feel it takes to put a horse that put that same inborn energy and put it "on the spot". Clearly, not all horses have the conformation to do this and I see that most "plain ol' horse" owners who may have not purchased a $100K dressage prospect can be intimidated. But as we both know dressage is about training the basics...no matter the chosen discipline far and away from FEI dressage. Good for the horse, good for the rider.

Didn't mean to ramble, but I'm glad you posted. You might have to take some questions here before they hop to your blog.

Best,

Susan

mbm
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:18 PM
Maybe that's how he really feels? Maybe he's kind of equivocal?

Not everyone has strong feelings about rollkur either way :)

have you read his blog?

Ambrey
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
have you read his blog?

In the past I have, but not today.

sid
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:24 PM
Well, since he engaged COTH dressager...let's put him "on the spot" a term I know a competitor of his caliber will surely appreciate..;);)

Surely a rider/competitor of his stature is being very nice by reaching out to find out why all the vitriolic dialogue about the sport..no?

My ears are open.

Sonesta
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:32 PM
Guys, he is NOT going to come to COTH (or the other board) and engage in these threads. If you have a specific question, go to HIS website and ASK.

Tiligsmom
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:41 PM
I think it was very brave to write, Robert. I too don't understand why there are not a zillion replies to your post.

This particular forum can be frought with armchair quarterbacks, wannabes as well as very well educated, brilliant riders/students of the discipline, though I see less of them these days as I "lurk"..Ideayoda, Rebecca Yount, LTW, etal). That's sad. Yet they love the sport and want to "DO IT"...thus they kabbitz about every detail. And they keep pursuing the discussion as if it nuclear science.

Dressage, for some reason, seems to create jealousy more than any other of the sports. Though it's all about the same precision and connection needed for a showjumper to take flight, letting the horse "go" in that moment that may put the rider at risk, as those who pursue dressage for hobby/enjoyment don't quite understand the feel it takes to put a horse that put that same inborn energy and put it "on the spot". Clearly, not all horses have the conformation to do this and I see that most "plain ol' horse" owners who may have not purchased a $100K dressage prospect can be intimidated. But as we both know dressage is about training the basics...no matter the chosen discipline far and away from FEI dressage. Good for the horse, good for the rider.

Didn't mean to ramble, but I'm glad you posted. You might have to take some questions here before they hop to your blog.

Best,

Susan

Susan - Robert didn't post on this board. You'll need to go to his site to dialogue with him.

Fixerupper
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:22 PM
Susan - Robert didn't post on this board. You'll need to go to his site to dialogue with him.

That's way too bad...I, for one, would log on daily (hourly) to see RD take on some of the posters here :lol: ....(sincerely!)

He could use an alter...preferably something pretty transparent...
Robert Driver?
Bobby Drover?
Roberto Doverte?

Oh come on...just once :yes:.... ;)

ShotenStar
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:36 PM
As one of the 'nerd herd', I have to ask: why should WE even have to ask for this information / an explanation? It is the FEI's duty to its membership to be transparent and forthcoming with information.

*star*

J-Lu
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:37 PM
If Robert can come over here and feel unnerved about some of the posts, then he can address those posts directly *here*. Directing people to his personal website isn't the answer. Yes, people are technically anonymous here but I venture to guess that the vast majority of posters are known by quite a number of other COTHers and many have their websites attached to their posts via the tagline. It is hardly a totally anonymous list.

ETA: As an official "nerd" and "herd member" and "nerd herd member" I can happily explain to RD the rationale and chain of logic of any of my points of view that I have signed my name to. He need only ask.

J.

Fixerupper
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:52 PM
(no disrespect to the nerd herd...that isn't what I meant :))

Tiligsmom
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:01 AM
If Robert can come over here and feel unnerved about some of the posts, then he can address those posts directly *here*. Directing people to his personal website isn't the answer. Yes, people are technically anonymous here but I venture to guess that the vast majority of posters are known by quite a number of other COTHers and many have their websites attached to their posts via the tagline. It is hardly a totally anonymous list.

ETA: As an official "nerd" and "herd member" and "nerd herd member" I can happily explain to RD the rationale and chain of logic of any of my points of view that I have signed my name to. He need only ask.

J.

Yup....totally agree!:yes:

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:27 AM
This assumes that Robert is the Voice of Dressage. He is a voice of dressage, not the voice. I concur that if Robert has comments on opinions on this bb he should address them on this bb. If his comments refer to the "nerd herd" who did the performance rule change evaluation then he is very mistaken and maybe out of his league. They wrote up a logical and factual report and I wonder if he read it.

JRG
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:34 AM
As one of the 'nerd herd', I have to ask: why should WE even have to ask for this information / an explanation? It is the FEI's duty to its membership to be transparent and forthcoming with information.

*star*

I have to admit when I read the comments, it does seem like he is calling out the very people that are asking for transparency, and although I am not one of the brilliant minds, I am proud to be a small part of what the "nerd herd" did. My name is too, on the pages, I am not hiding behind anything.

I agree with star, I want the information. I don't like being fed something just because someone said eat it regardless of who gave it to me. I want to learn, explain it and have facts not arbitrary comments based on feeling or opinion.

Sonesta
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:36 AM
The "pack of dogs" mentality here amazes me sometimes.

Dover has no duty or obligation to show up here to respond to anything said here. He has offered to respond honestly to direct questions placed to him in an upfront manner by a real person who is not hiding behind any screen name. Why not take him up on it instead of attacking him for not being willing to engage in an anonymous cyber food fight here?

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:36 AM
not to be a negative nelly, but there have been several questions (regarding rollkur, etc) on his blog that he hasn't answered in a straightforward way -

Ok. I followed his instructions, went to Questions and Comments, and I asked him, specifically, about his thoughts on rollkur.

There you go,... let's see what he says.

Sonesta
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:42 AM
I do applaud your actions in asking him about Rollkur, but I'm a bit confused as to what that has to do with the upcoming Dressage Judging Systems Trials which was the subject of his "challenge" to ask him questions.

grayarabpony
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:45 AM
Sonesta, you're too much the voice of reason. :lol:

I didn't know that Robert Dover had a blog either. Will have to check it out.

Sonesta
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:54 AM
Sonesta, you're too much the voice of reason. :lol:

I didn't know that Robert Dover had a blog either. Will have to check it out.

It's the Libra in me. LOL! I can't stand unfairness and thoughtlessness.

claire
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:58 AM
The "pack of dogs" mentality here amazes me sometimes.

Dover has no duty or obligation to show up here to respond to anything said here. He has offered to respond honestly to direct questions placed to him in an upfront manner by a real person who is not hiding behind any screen name. Why not take him up on it instead of attacking him for not being willing to engage in an anonymous cyber food fight here?

Sonesta, I don't think people are acting like a pack of dogs here. :confused:

However, I do agree that if Robert Dover is "disturbed" by some the mis-information (?) or viewpoints discussed on COTH about the Qualification Standards and Scoring Study done by the "Nerd Herd", why not join the discussion here on COTH?

Robert Dover's site is, after all, a blog (by it's nature a format to highlight the author's opinion) rather than a discussion forum (COTH) which is perhaps a better format to Q&A and discuss a subject presenting many opinions and viewpoints.

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:59 AM
I do applaud your actions in asking him about Rollkur, but I'm a bit confused as to what that has to do with the upcoming Dressage Judging Systems Trials which was the subject of his "challenge" to ask him questions.

True; by asking a difficult question—politically difficult I mean—I would expect that the response would be very ... telling. It's a tough question, that I believe is going to require some thought about how he will position himself,...perhaps on other difficult questions. But, it should also suggest to the nay-sayers that perhaps he really IS trying to do the right thing.

I only wish I could go back and correct my spelling. :lol:

P.S. I'm a Libra too, Sonesta. ;)

Sonesta
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:11 AM
Sonesta, I don't think people are acting like a pack of dogs here. :confused:

However, I do agree that if Robert Dover is "disturbed" by some the mis-information (?) or viewpoints discussed on COTH about the Qualification Standards and Scoring Study done by the "Nerd Herd", why not join the discussion here on COTH?

Robert Dover's site is, after all, a blog (by it's nature a format to highlight the author's opinion) rather than a discussion forum (COTH) which is perhaps a better format to Q&A and discuss a subject presenting many opinions and viewpoints.

I suspect because he should not have to chase around cyberspace looking for and responding to people all over the internet. Do it just once and then, when he does not, there are those would say that his silence on another board/thread would be evidence of something.

Nope. If you have a question about the trials, ASK HIM DIRECTLY and see if you can get some clarification. Or express your concerns to him DIRECTLY, at least before "taking it to the boards" for speculation.


Anyway, I'll bow out now. It was only my intention to let COTHers know that he is willing to respond to direct questions, not to become embroiled in the whys or why nots of doing so.

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:34 AM
If Robert can come over here and feel unnerved about some of the posts, then he can address those posts directly *here*. Directing people to his personal website isn't the answer. Yes, people are technically anonymous here but I venture to guess that the vast majority of posters are known by quite a number of other COTHers and many have their websites attached to their posts via the tagline. It is hardly a totally anonymous list.

ETA: As an official "nerd" and "herd member" and "nerd herd member" I can happily explain to RD the rationale and chain of logic of any of my points of view that I have signed my name to. He need only ask.

J.

maybe his blog needs more hits?

Ajierene
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:42 AM
I suspect because he should not have to chase around cyberspace looking for and responding to people all over the internet. Do it just once and then, when he does not, there are those would say that his silence on another board/thread would be evidence of something.

What does Robert Dover care about what people say on other boards? Is he the dressage monitor? And is this challenge only towards political/organizational type questions? What about all the other questions regarding rollkur, training, scoring?

Or will he give us THE answer as to why Totilas got a 90% on his test? His answer is the only correct one?

Basically.....no one asked him. Most of the discussions on this board are meant to be that - discussions - not questions to be looking for an ultimate answer, so no need to ask Mr. Dover.

claire
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:59 AM
Sonesta, I'm confused.

I haven't seen where anyone on these topics on COTH has even referred to Robert Dover or his "silence" re: this topic or has said they had questions they wanted him to answer?

The way I read his blog post you copied here, is that he seems to be "disturbed" about some of the discussion here and on UDBB about the
Nerd Herd's Standards & Scoring study but only wants to present his viewpoint on his blog? :confused:

To be honest (and I am sure it was not his intention), but, the way his blog post reads, it DOES appear that he is simply trying to increase awareness/traffic to his blog.




I suspect because he should not have to chase around cyberspace looking for and responding to people all over the internet. Do it just once and then, when he does not, there are those would say that his silence on another board/thread would be evidence of something.

Nope. If you have a question about the trials, ASK HIM DIRECTLY and see if you can get some clarification. Or express your concerns to him DIRECTLY, at least before "taking it to the boards" for speculation.


Anyway, I'll bow out now. It was only my intention to let COTHers know that he is willing to respond to direct questions, not to become embroiled in the whys or why nots of doing so.

swgarasu
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:16 AM
maybe his blog needs more hits?

That is EXACTLY what I was thinking.

It would be quite easy for him to come here and comment- obviously it's just a couple of clicks away, and accounts are free.

Peace
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:25 AM
The "pack of dogs" mentality here amazes me sometimes.

Dover has no duty or obligation to show up here to respond to anything said here. He has offered to respond honestly to direct questions placed to him in an upfront manner by a real person who is not hiding behind any screen name. Why not take him up on it instead of attacking him for not being willing to engage in an anonymous cyber food fight here?

You do know people can make up a name on his site as well.

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:36 PM
The "pack of dogs" mentality here amazes me sometimes.

Dover has no duty or obligation to show up here to respond to anything said here. He has offered to respond honestly to direct questions placed to him in an upfront manner by a real person who is not hiding behind any screen name. Why not take him up on it instead of attacking him for not being willing to engage in an anonymous cyber food fight here?


Are you referring to me? Am I a member of a dog pack because I agree with the sentiments posted? That is a strange conclusion.

When Dover complains in public about what people write on a bb then he has a "duty and an obligation" (your words) to take it up with the people who wrote it. People who discuss dressage here have no duty or obligation to go to Robert's personal site and ask him about it. If Robert wants to chime in he can feel free. I do not want to go to his website.

This post is a statement and not an attack on Robert, by the way. I am writing this to you because you decided to post Robert's opinions here. You are responsible for your posts, too.

claire
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:36 PM
I hope this leads to an open, transparent discussion and exchange of ideas.

ShotenStar's post on RD's blog:


As one of the leaders of the ‘Nerd Herd’, I’ll bite:

-what is the specific ‘judging trial’ methodology proposed by the FEI? As in: what are the specific questions to be answered, what is the specific scoring methodology that will be tried against these questions, what is the specific performance criteria against which the success or failure of the trials will be judged?

-why has the FEI Dressage Task Force not published this information in advance (transparency)?

-who are the statistical experts (nerds) who are assisting in this process? What are their qualifications in process management / process improvement theory and practice?

-what timeline is the FEI Dressage Task Force working against for publishing the results of these trials?

-have any of the members of the FEI Dressage Task Force read the papers / analysis done by the Nerd Herd?

-Do any of the members of the FEI Dressage Task Force have any experience in statistical analysis of complex performance systems?

*star*

Tiligsmom
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:37 PM
Pot? Kettle?

Robert complains about 2 bbs - Ultimate and Chrono. Then he writes about a challenge but doesn't come to either site to place the challenge "directly", which is one of his central complaints about the members of the bbs!!!! More than a bit ironic:rolleyes:

Robert - if you're reading and you want to engage this population, please do so directly by posting here and on the UDBB.

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:41 PM
Star did take the bait. Too bad. It serves the purpose he wanted - increase personal site traffic and to position himself as an authority to the masses. Star, I would hope you would ask him to bring his conversation here so that other people involved in the herd could participate.

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:43 PM
You do know people can make up a name on his site as well.

But I'm assuming he is capable of reading IP addresses and at least linking commenters together. It is not as transparent as a board like this.

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:46 PM
Star did take the bait. Too bad. It serves the purpose he wanted - increase personal site traffic and to position himself as an authority to the masses. Star, I would hope you would ask him to bring his conversation here so that other people involved in the herd could participate.

Why can't other people in the herd participate there?

I'm totally supportive of the nerd herd, but I think they are showing a level of suspicion of Robert Dover's motives that is probably unwarranted.

(I'm guessing a lot of the negative stuff he reads associated with the nerd herd's work is NOT coming from them. I don't read the other board but at least here the NH members are, with one exception that I can think of, pretty level headed and not steeped in negativity).

Quest52
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:54 PM
Interesting to me.... prior to this I would occasionally visit the blog, but with this transparent attempt for hits, I don't think I'll be going back.

Dressage_Julie
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:08 PM
maybe his blog needs more hits?

DING DING DING- I think we have a winner!

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:09 PM
Why can't other people in the herd participate there?

I'm totally supportive of the nerd herd, but I think they are showing a level of suspicion of Robert Dover's motives that is probably unwarranted.

(I'm guessing a lot of the negative stuff he reads associated with the nerd herd's work is NOT coming from them. I don't read the other board but at least here the NH members are, with one exception that I can think of, pretty level headed and not steeped in negativity).

I am not a member of the nerd herd. The nerd herd is a group of COTHers, though. Why should they become members of Robert's board if he is aggravated by what he reads on COTH? Why are COTHers supposed to go to his website rather than him join this list here? It does not make ANY sense to me. The nerd herd people may not be suspicious of his motives. I am.

The very fact that YOU are guessing about the negative stuff he states HE is reading on COTH illustrates the problem of his approach.

Edited to add: Nerd herd members published their real names so they are not anonymous.

claire
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:10 PM
Star did take the bait. Too bad. It serves the purpose he wanted - increase personal site traffic and to position himself as an authority to the masses. Star, I would hope you would ask him to bring his conversation here so that other people involved in the herd could participate.

Kaluna, I was hoping that RD's responses to Star's questions would lead to a discussion over here on the the COTH Discussion board. :winkgrin:

It does appear that his main objective is to increase traffic to his
blog. :rolleyes:

Unfortunate, in that this could have been an opportunity for the FEI Task Force to take advantage of the viewpoints and suggestions of the huge, multi-talented, COTH membership.

Peace
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:11 PM
But I'm assuming he is capable of reading IP addresses and at least linking commenters together. It is not as transparent as a board like this.

IP addresses do not give names.

ShotenStar
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:13 PM
...

I'm totally supportive of the nerd herd, but I think they are showing a level of suspicion of Robert Dover's motives that is probably unwarranted.

...

The questions I listed are not negatives ... they are the same questions the Nerd Herd has asked repeatedly -- of the USEF and DF re: the Performance Standard. These are basic / fundamental / core questions that have to be answered in Any Type of Analysis Process -- anything from what kind of cat food does your cat want to eat to what changes need to be made in the dressage scoring process.

Any organization that wants to undertake a process improvement effort HAS to answer these questions. If they don't, they are simply wasting time and money and dressing the wolf effort in sheep's clothing.

*star*

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:16 PM
The very fact that YOU are guessing about the negative stuff he states HE is reading on COTH illustrates the problem of his approach.

There is no requirement that they do so. There is an opportunity, nothing more. But the negative nature of the COTH dressage board is legendary, that's not a guess ;) I doubt he would ever post here- and that IS a shame. Imagine how much advertising COTH could sell if trainers would continue to post here? Unfortunately only the thickest skinned survive the atmosphere.

RE: IP addresses- they don't give names, but if one person is posting under two different usernames or has posted previously under their real name, they can be linked. That was what I meant.

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:21 PM
The questions I listed are not negatives ... they are the same questions the Nerd Herd has asked repeatedly -- of the USEF and DF re: the Performance Standard. These are basic / fundamental / core questions that have to be answered in Any Type of Analysis Process -- anything from what kind of cat food does your cat want to eat to what changes need to be made in the dressage scoring process.

No, no, I meant the suspicion in Robert Dover's motives, not in the process.

I'm all for the push for people who understand math to look at the numbers ;) I think it's probable that he will be too when he realizes that you and the other core NH members are really not the negative influences he might believe you to be.

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:29 PM
Well, I got a reply to my question, concise, articulate, and TIMELY (isn't that something almost unheard of in the horse world???:lol:)

In my book, his comment is spot on:


What I just do not understand is that, knowing that all they would have to do is simply go to DoversWorld.com and click on “Questions and Comments” and ask me directly something like for instance, ” Exactly what does the FEI Dressage Task Force hope to achieve with the up-coming Dressage Judging Systems Trials being held September 7-9 in Aachen?” Instead, “herd members” place their theories, most of them without much fact to back them up, as to exactly what will take place and the probable results.

I don't quite get the "herd members" reference ... and as far as the idea he's just trying to increase traffic,... well, I just don't know what to say. Are you serious? Why don't you just ask him if that's what he's trying to do?

Shotenstar, I noted your questions here on CoTH, and am going to go back and see where they are on his site. Very interesting questions ... I look forward to the answers.

mbm
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:29 PM
maybe his blog needs more hits?

this was my very first gut feeling. it is the perfect tried and true traffic driver.

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:32 PM
Ambrey,

You are not talking about a wall flower. If his skin is thick enough to handle the personalities and politics at the top of international dressage and is thick enough to handle riding a horse in front of THE WORLD then I am pretty certain that Robert Dover can handle COTH in his sleep. It is a bulletin board. Anyone who is truly flustered by the "legendary negativity here" (oh brother) will have some problems in any real world situation.

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:34 PM
........... ... and as far as the idea he's just trying to increase traffic,... well, I just don't know what to say. Are you serious? Why don't you just ask him if that's what he's trying to do?

hahahahahahahahaha - good one OM

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:36 PM
LOL, but it's true. I bet if you did a survey of FEI trainers who are active online, you'd find that the reputation of the COTH dressage board is for negativity and snarkiness.

He could post. But I doubt he will. He invited people who want to talk into his zone. Just doesn't scream "scheming jerk" to me, but whatever floats your boat!

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:38 PM
ummmm - which "dressage board"s have reputations for sweetness and light?

bort84
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:41 PM
Wow. I don't think his comments on his personal blog were as incendiary as a lot of you apparently do... He mentioned something that probably 80% of the participants on this board feel: negativity is an annoyance on many of these boards and because of the shield of anonymity, many interesting threads spiral into an ugly name calling fest. It's completely understandable to me why he wouldn't want to wade in here and start participating.

I can see why some of you took offense to his "herd members" comment, but perhaps he was just referring to the masses on here as a herd and not specifically calling out the Nerd Herd in that part of his post? You certainly don't have to post on his blog, but if you take offense, that's probably the place to voice it (rather than making indignant comments on here when one poster just thought she'd spread the word in case someone was interested). He might even clarify his words for you; perhaps he didn't realize how they came across.

Obviously this is a discussion board for discussion, so perhaps his comment about the speculation and theories swirling around on here was a bit unnecessary (that's what we do here, after all). However, I think he just wanted to get the point across that he truly does want to provide what information he can to those that are interested, though he may have ruffled some feathers in the process.

I suppose he could have worded his post a little bit more "warm and fuzzily," but it is his blog, after all, and he didn't say you must come onto his blog and ask questions, just that you are welcome to. Also, seems like a bit of a cheap shot to assume he's just doing this to pump his blog hits... He created the blog for dressage enthusiasts and friends; I highly doubt he's raking in the cash from it.

bort84
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:43 PM
He invited people who want to talk into his zone. Just doesn't scream "scheming jerk" to me...

Haha! Agree... Robert Dover may get embroiled in drama every now and again (we're horse people, it happens!) but he doesn't seem like a very successful "schemer" to me if that's what he's aiming for = ) I get the feeling some people on here see him cackling in the background, licking his lips: "Mooohahahahaha!!! This will get those nerds to my blog! Then we shall see, we shall SEEEE! Excellent... It's all going according to plan..." *Dover taps fingers together ala Mr. Burns from the Simpsons while counting his piles of money from his blog, the front for his plans to take over the world...

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:48 PM
SGray,

Why don't you? I mean after all, someone asked him this ...
was just curious what your comments would be regarding Joe Zada, his complaints against you and now this judgement against him regarding the embezzlement of Federov’s money? Are you suggesting that a question about web traffic could possible be more confrontational?

Ok, I've done my part ... I'm outta here.

Oh, by the way, Ambrey, I think you hit the nail squarely on the head. Your post really does say it all ...

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:54 PM
I suspect the unfortunate 'Zada' situation is driving many current events

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:12 PM
I suspect the unfortunate 'Zada' situation is driving many current events

And this relates to you web traffic comment(s) ... how?

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:22 PM
I have nothing against RD -- I think he got caught up in a bad situation and I hope that he and his SO will be able to recoup their $s

swgarasu
Sep. 2, 2009, 03:54 PM
Also, seems like a bit of a cheap shot to assume he's just doing this to pump his blog hits... He created the blog for dressage enthusiasts and friends; I highly doubt he's raking in the cash from it.

And yet, his site has a marketplace and paid advertisements-- he's selling services from there. I don't think it's just a social networking tool for fun. People buying ad space want to advertise on sites with a lot of traffic. It doesn't seem like a cheap shot to me, it seems like a logical conclusion.

CatOnLap
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:04 PM
Gee and I always came to this board because it was a "legendary" source of some of the most diverse and current horse information on the web. The best, I'd say actually.

Negativity? Once you've been here a while, its easy to spot the attention whores who attempt to turn every thread into their own personal festival and the ignore feature is great for that, except people keep quoting them, but whatever. Those who complain frequently or pretend to expertise that they simply do not posess, do provide some amusement. But few have come close to Michael Kierkegaard's recent COTH column in both negativity and amusement. Are Michael and Robert friends?

I really hope RD is able to answer Star's questions. I would not be surprised if there is no statistician in the process. I am sure many members of the NERDherd would be willing to consult on the FEI judging trials for the right price, for their considerable, documented, credentialled and wholly transparent expertise. None of us are anonymous.

A Herd's dynamics are quite different from a pack or predators BTW, for those of you unfamiliar with herds. (LOL -sorry I couldn't resist)

I would like to say again I found the members of the NERD herd a joy to work with: intelligent, well read, careful researchers, cooperative, open to listening to dissent, not easily ruffled and willing to accept proven leadership when demonstrated, even when in disagreement. Very nice herd dynamics. You are all welcome in my pasture anytime.

bort84
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:09 PM
And yet, his site has a marketplace and paid advertisements-- he's selling services from there. I don't think it's just a social networking tool for fun. People buying ad space want to advertise on sites with a lot of traffic. It doesn't seem like a cheap shot to me, it seems like a logical conclusion.

He has very minor advertisements and one horse listed in his marketplace... I still think it's a bit much to assume this is all just some ploy just to increase his blog hits. I'm sure he'd like for a lot of people to visit his site, that's natural. But a lot of blogs have some advertisers and don't actually make any real money from it. I doubt his high powered advertisers are breathing down his neck telling him he MUST get more blog hits or else.

I think he really just wanted to open up a dialogue. He seems like a good guy that has a hard time witnessing negativity towards things he's involved in and cares about and unfortunately wrote a post that was easily taken the wrong way. But I suppose he could also be a scheming miscreant bent on harrassing fellow dressage lovers in the name of profit or notoriety...

I don't think he intended his post to read like he disregards everything the nerd herd has done. There have been some very interesting and well thought out results from the nerd herd, and I'm sure RD would agree on that point. However, he was not wrong in pointing out that even the most intelligent discussions on this board (even ones started by the nerd herd) often dissolve into name calling and negativity when someone disagrees and then the broader "herd" often becomes less intelligent (not talking about the nerd herd here but the CoTH herd). Perhaps that's why he encouraged members to come to his blog for polite discussion and Q&A away from the negativity here.

SGray
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:15 PM
just sayin' -- we're here, actively discussing relevant topics and all are welcome to join in - the COTHbb has great people, loads of information and good moderation

Plantagenet
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:37 PM
Did anyone ever consider that Robert may have wanted to talk about the FEI task force?

He's been pretty excited about the possibility of instituting changes that may make dressage more transparent and possibly more marketable. I've been impressed by how committed he's been to promoting dressage worldwide. He's very serious and passionate about the possibilities.

I don't always agree with Robert, but I always respect that he wants what's best for the sport. Maybe we could give him a chance and engage him in a meaningful discussion about what we think could be better? The Nerd Herd sounds like they've done some amazing calculations....why not share some of the concepts that came out of that analysis? He's a smart guy. If it's going to make dressage better, my bet is he'll listen.

Oldenburg Mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:41 PM
And yet, his site has a marketplace and paid advertisements-- he's selling services from there. I don't think it's just a social networking tool for fun. People buying ad space want to advertise on sites with a lot of traffic. It doesn't seem like a cheap shot to me, it seems like a logical conclusion.


Now, THIS, this is a laugh. I track statistics on those bad boys for my employer; those paid ads, and let me tell you something ... the stats rarely get out of the single, hundreths of a percent.

He is not raking in the dollars ... oh no no no no no. It probably doesn't even cover the cost of his site!

bort84
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:42 PM
Did anyone ever consider that Robert may have wanted to talk about the FEI task force?

He's been pretty excited about the possibility of instituting changes that may make dressage more transparent and possibly more marketable. I've been impressed by how committed he's been to promoting dressage worldwide. He's very serious and passionate about the possibilities.

I don't always agree with Robert, but I always respect that he wants what's best for the sport. Maybe we could give him a chance and engage him in a meaningful discussion about what we think could be better? The Nerd Herd sounds like they've done some amazing calculations....why not share some of the concepts that came out of that analysis? He's a smart guy. If it's going to make dressage better, my bet is he'll listen.

Yay! My point (one of them) exactly = ) He probably has a some clout as far as getting things changed too, so why not share?

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:45 PM
Yay! My point (one of them) exactly = ) He probably has a some clout as far as getting things changed too, so why not share?

:yes:

ShotenStar
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:54 PM
Just as an FYI, a few of us Nerd Herders debated the topic of sending a letter to the FEI Dressage Task Force, offering our ideas on process improvement. We let that drop away because the lack of information coming out of the Task Force made it difficult to assess their level of engagement ... are they really into the statistical analysis level of things? Or do they just like pretty PowerPoint Slides? The two people who have posted some of their own analysis of international scoring results did not exactly wow us with the technical info they provided .... yes, a slightly snobbish statement, but it takes a nerd to know good nerd work when they see it ....

*star*

Plantagenet
Sep. 2, 2009, 05:04 PM
Star:

If I remember correctly, the statistical analysis credentials of the nerd herd were pretty impressive. You guys seemed to be in jobs that require a working knowledge of stats to make reasonable decisions. Perhaps instead of sharing a letter with the task force, you could share your ideas with RD and he could put them in context for others on the committee in light of what they've been exploring?

I know you guys took a lot of heat, but change is hard for many people and sometimes they're bad about shooting the messenger! My hope is that you guys might bring about some improvement in the fast waning credibility of the sport that we all love.

poltroon
Sep. 2, 2009, 05:22 PM
Pot? Kettle?

Robert complains about 2 bbs - Ultimate and Chrono. Then he writes about a challenge but doesn't come to either site to place the challenge "directly", which is one of his central complaints about the members of the bbs!!!! More than a bit ironic:rolleyes:

Robert - if you're reading and you want to engage this population, please do so directly by posting here and on the UDBB.

We're actually pretty nice here for the most part, and most well known people who post under their real names have gotten good interaction, I think.

Truly, does it matter if I sign my posts "poltroon" or "Jennifer Rodriguez" or "Kelly Hoffman"? Either I have something valid to say or I do not.

Kaluna
Sep. 2, 2009, 06:12 PM
I don't always agree with Robert, but I always respect that he wants what's best for the sport. Maybe we could give him a chance and engage him in a meaningful discussion about what we think could be better? The Nerd Herd sounds like they've done some amazing calculations....why not share some of the concepts that came out of that analysis? He's a smart guy. If it's going to make dressage better, my bet is he'll listen.

Robert didn't sound very positive about the group of people on bbs or the 'nerds' in the Original Post. Their statistical analysis report is/was online and freely distributed through the PVDA. I know he knows about it. He can read it if he wants or if he is interested he can easily contact one of/all of the authors to discuss the concepts. No one said he isn't smart. Complaining about "the nerve of some people" on a bb and then having a third person post that blog entry on said bb is not very professional. he can educate himself by reaching out to the appropriate people in a professional way.

Plantagenet
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:24 PM
Kaluna:

we can complain because we thought Robert was snarky or we can try to get him to understand

sid
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:36 PM
And this is why Jane is so admired and is doing so well in her business ventures teaching dressage whether it be in person, through video media or in cyberspace.

Not elitist, not secretive, extremely transparent...no third party posts to on her behalf. She pops up on COTH out of the blue quite often when she reads that someone is struggling, whether they are at Intro or at PSG, saddlebred, draft cross or $100K prospect.

A real teacher just can't help themself to jump in (at no charge) when people don't understand, but want to...:)

I really misunderstood the first post and didn't realize that is was to engage COTHer's who are often passionate about the sport and its direction to another website. Sometimes those who are really sincere about teaching need to come to the feet of those who desire to be taught if that is their calling.

pluvinel
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:36 PM
Well, corporate America has kept me on the road and has given me little time to read internet BB's...thus, I'm late to this discussion...


Robert Dover posted the following on his Dover's World blog at http://www.doversworld.com and just emailed me permission to post it here:

"Calling All Bloggers - A challange
Rarely do I venture over to sites where I have in the past felt that the blogs had a somewhat negative spirit to them. But, every once in a while someone will mention that a particular post is running on one of them that I have an interest in, so a couple of clicks later and there I am, reading stuff I can barely believe people have the nerve to write.
Of course, they almost never have peoples’ real names signed at the bottom, something which I require on my own site; however, this isn’t truly what gets me going. What I just do not understand is that, knowing that all they would have to do is simply go to DoversWorld.com and click on “Questions and Comments” and ask me directly something like for instance, ” Exactly what does the FEI Dressage Task Force hope to achieve with the up-coming Dressage Judging Systems Trials being held September 7-9 in Aachen?” Instead, “herd members” place their theories, most of them without much fact to back them up, as to exactly what will take place and the probable results.

So here is my challange to all those “nerds”, Ultimate or Chrono. Ask me anything and I promise to give you an honestg answer, whether you like it or not. If I can help peop-le to understand better any issues they are unclear on about this or anything else I have knowledge of (and it’s not so much- believe me!), I will do my best to help.

Cheers!

RD"

Sonesta, I went to Mr. Dover's web site and could not find anywhere to post anything. Please have him contact the Nerd Herd directly if he has any questions.
www.pvda.org/Documents/USDF%20Score%20Analysis.pdf
That paper was co-written by two co-authors and peer reviewed by 8 others with PhD level technical credentials and/or literary and equestrian credentials.

I have also been in contact with Dr. David Stickland on the proposed FEI scoring for the task force. I did the statistical analysis that was published by PVDA since I had the software to do the work. Please note Dr. Stickland credits me (Ana Diaz) for bringing out the distinction between the concepts of "precision" and "accuracy" as applied to dressage judging (p. 6).
www.dressage-analysis.com/FEIDTF_v2.pdf

My esteemed colleagues and authors/reviewers of the PVDA/USDF/USEF statistical analysis, who are colloquially known as the COTH Nerd-Herd, are clearly identified by name and do not hide behind any noms de plume:

Dr. Rebecca Yount is a long-time PVDA and USDF member, who has her Bronze Medal. In her professional life, she provides psychology services to clients with mental disabilities, including the administration and interpretation of standardized intelligence tests and the analysis of behavior data.

Ana E. Diaz, PE is a PVDA Member. She is a registered Professional Engineer with BS and MS degrees in mechanical and metallurgical engineering. She has a 26-year career at a large chemical company working on quality and manufacturing process improvements along with product, technology, and operations cost reduction. She is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and holds two patents. Ms Diaz is interested operational excellence for business success.

Mary Stydnicki Johnston is also a long-time PVDA member and previously served on the PVDA Board in the position of treasurer. She is retired from federal service, where her last assignment was as the leader of a multi-million dollar Operations Research, Modeling and Simulation office, which provided decision analysis and process modeling tools, used to improve government operations.


Reviewers

Lita Dove has trained one horse through Grand Prix, and three others through lower FEI. She has helped riders earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold USDF Medals. She is an "L" Graduate and has shown FEI at local/national levels. She was DC of the Moorpark Pony Club. She runs her own barn where she helps dressage and event riders. She has been on the board of California Dressage Society and Dressage Association of Southern California and worked for Hilda Gurney for several years.

Dr. Jennifer Lucitti is an HDS member, has shown successfully through Fourth Level dressage and has earned her USDF Bronze medal, a Regional Championship and a Reserve Regional Championship along the way. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. in physiological sciences and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine. Jennifer has years of experience using statistics to assess data, critically evaluating data, and objectively reviewing the work of others.


Dr. Wendi Neckameyer has shown successfully through First Level, and has won year-end championships from both the St Louis Area Dressage Society as well as the Missouri Horse Shows Association. She has also served on the Board of the St. Louis Area Dressage Society. Wendi is a full professor in the Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She received her BS from Cornell University in Biochemistry, her PhD from the Rockefeller University in Viral Oncology, and did post graduate research in Molecular Neurobiology at MIT and Brandeis University. She has also served on the Faculty at Université de Paris Sud in Orsay, France. She has served as a Peer Reviewer on both National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health study sections, and has reviewed papers for over 25 scientific journals.

Jacqueline Greener has been dealing with horses for almost 30 years, as a rider, owner, and former farrier. Originally from Canada, her start was in equitation and low-level jumpers. In the last four years her discipline changed to dressage. As a USDF, USEF, and ESDCTA member, she started her show carrier in 2008 with a 12-year-old Thoroughbred. She is currently working on the Bronze Medal, seeking Third level scores as an Adult Amateur on an "Off Breed".

Amanda M. Jay is a published novelist and eternal first level dressage rider.

Caryn Vesperman works in Strategic Communications at American Family Insurance, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Madison, WI. She has worked at advertising agencies and national and international companies located in Madison, Minneapolis and Atlanta. She has traveled for business all over the United States as well as Ireland, Mexico and Uganda. Using primary and secondary research, she has developed marketing and communications plans and developed print and broadcast advertising. Caryn has earned USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals. She breeds and trains Hanoverians at her Brooklyn, Wisconsin, facility.

Katy Moran has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology (AB UCB 1974, MA SFSU 1983, PhD UCLA 1996). She has been self-employed as a freelance photographer, copywriter, and graphic designer since 1992. As a fairly recent convert from hunters to dressage, she has a young horse with which she hopes to move up the levels. She lives in a small town in the rural Pacific Northwest where the chief equestrian sports are roping and games. She is active in the small yet dedicated group of dressage riders who strive to keep the sport growing in the area.

S. M. L. Gray began riding lessons in 1979 and dressage in 1982. She has volunteered as the Houston Dressage Society as secretary and as coordinator of volunteers at the USDF Region 9 Championships & Southwest Dressage Championships. She officiated as Technical Delegate between 1985-1995 until moving horses home in 1995. She has participated in shows as a competitor; spectator, official and as show management. Her horse habit is supported by working at a an investment counseling firm.

Equibrit
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:38 PM
Understanding the facts, in order to make decisions is HIS JOB ! The information has been made available.

dalpal
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:52 PM
That's way too bad...I, for one, would log on daily (hourly) to see RD take on some of the posters here :lol: ....(sincerely!)

He could use an alter...preferably something pretty transparent...
Robert Driver?
Bobby Drover?
Roberto Doverte?

Oh come on...just once :yes:.... ;)

Or how bout Robert Dinero (remember in MEET THE PARENTS when he does the eye finger point to Ben Stiller...I"M WATCHING YOU) :lol:

I've always liked Robert Dover.need to go read and participate in his blog.

Sonesta
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:06 PM
plunivel, there is a link on top of his page on the gray band labeled Questions and Comments. Direct link is http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/03/questions-comments-for-dover/

pluvinel
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:24 PM
plunivel, there is a link on top of his page on the gray band labeled Questions and Comments. Direct link is http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/03/questions-comments-for-dover/

Sonesta thank you....done.....

A root question to improving dressage judging from a statistically sound basis is judging to "the standard". There was a COTH article on this written by the Nerd Herd.
http://www.chronofhorse.com/in.....6093746904

My question(s) for RD are:
Where are the official standards?
Are they in the rule book?
There seems to be differences of opinion on how to interpret the rule book. How will those differences be reconciled?

Dressage Art
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:31 PM
It's quite common thinking that web BBs are not looked at quite seriously in some circles of dressage, mainly b/c of anonymously posted name callings and some freak-characters that come with that un-accountable anonymousity (thanks COTH for the "ignore" button!!!). Some people don't even want to admit that they post on COTH or on UDBB. It's actually getting better, since the technology is advancing and more and more serious dressage trainers are using such "new" methods of communications as email ( :lol: ) but I wouldn't be surprised that a dialog on Dover's World would actually hold more weight to it than a dialog on COTH or UDBB. But I might be wrong.

To "nerd herd":

I think this is good opportunity to open a useful dialog with Robert Dover. And if I was one of the "nerd heard members" I would jump on it and go to his website and participate in conversation that he offered. Opening a door is different from "setting a bait" ;) my bet is he'll listen as well! He does care about the sport of dressage – and that’s a start already.

As about "nerd herd" being very easy to converse with - mmm... if you are on their side, yes ;)

pluvinel
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:57 PM
....To "nerd herd":

I think this is good opportunity to open a useful dialog with Robert Dover. And if I was one of the "nerd heard members" I would jump on it and go to his website and participate in conversation that he offered. Opening a door is different from "setting a bait" ;) my bet is he'll listen as well! He does care about the sport of dressage – and that’s a start already.

As about "nerd herd" being very easy to converse with - mmm... if you are on their side, yes ;)

Some of us have posted on RD blog....though the web site is not intuitively obvious nor easy to use.

As far as the nerd herd "being easy to converse"...or not....my diagnosis is that there is some "level setting" as to what certain concepts mean. If that basis is not there is like someone speaking English and others Russian, Spanish, Tagalo, maybe even Esperanto.....point is, there is a failure to communicate, because the players don't speak the same language.

The Nerd Herd has some "common language" that is understood based on their usage of statistics. It is very hard to have a dialog with others if that basic understanding is not there. And it is impossible to impart that knowledge on the internet.

Even among the Nerds, there was a long discussion about "p-values" that was rooted in how two disciplines used and reported p-values.

So, the dialog for dressage scoring has to start where everyone is on the same plane.....perhaps RD's call will start that conversation.

canyonoak
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:06 PM
Robert Dover and various other members of the Dressage Task Force were sent copies of the nerd-herd's groundbreaking statistical research some months ago.

That said, I REALLY hope that those who actually wrote and compiled the research will go to the Dover website and carry our concerns to him.

Next week, all the biggies in the sport will meet at Aachen.

If there is a better time than NOW to ask for our viewpoint to be heard and considered, I cannot imagine what it might be.

Dressage Art
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:12 PM
The Nerd Herd has some "common language" that is understood based on their usage of statistics. It is very hard to have a dialog with others if that basic understanding is not there. And it is impossible to impart that knowledge on the internet. I know that it's very comfortable to converse with similar minded people who share your values. But you will not change the world for better by doing only that. Sometimes you have to play in the sandbox of other people and even learn their language ;)

Every time when somebody sticks their head up, there are people who are ready to whack them on their head. Robert did just that and now he is getting repeatedly wacked by COTHers and UDBBers :lol: try to concentrate on the better side of his invitation for a dialogue = may be something good will come out of it if both sides will try to learn each other language?

JRG
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:16 PM
I would be interested in learning that dialogue. If only to extend my dressage learning. I think it is important to start on the same plane. I can say as a newbie to dressage that an open dialogue can be highly rewarding for all involved. When minds become closed, that when discussion becomes counter productive.

Pluvinel I thought the work on the dressage judging was interesting and a worth while read. It is a topic I am not familiar with.

J-Lu
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:17 PM
As about "nerd herd" being very easy to converse with - mmm... if you are on their side, yes ;)

We're about logic and facts, not sides!

Ambrey
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:20 PM
The language the Nerd Herd is speaking NEEDS to be part of the dressage dictionary! Just as one can't really understand dressage without understanding the underpinnings, the language, and the research that went into developing the methods that are used, one can not produce valid and precise measurements without understanding the theory behind measurements and how to find out whether they are working or not.

pluvinel
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:24 PM
I would be interested in learning that dialogue. If only to extend my dressage learning. I think it is important to start on the same plane. I can say as a newbie to dressage that an open dialogue can be highly rewarding for all involved. When minds become closed, that when discussion becomes counter productive.

Pluvinel I thought the work on the dressage judging was interesting and a worth while read. It is a topic I am not familiar with.

Ask and the Herd will try to answer....I teach basic statistical concepts at my employer.

When the Nerd Herd started the analysis, it was in response to whether there was "a lot" of "bad riding" that warranted the need to have a USEF qualifying rule. Which raised questions on what is the definition of "a lot"....what is the definitions of "bad riding"....

The concept of what constitutes "bad riding" led us to do the statistical work, which then led to other questions on how the rules are being interpreted, eg., the concepts of accuracy and precision.....which then led to questions on how can judges judge accurately if there are differing opinions on how to interpret the rules.

Bottom line is that there are industrial, medical and social sciences using statistical methods for subjective evaluation of some quality. And that "dressage" need not reinvent statistical methodology to improve dressage judging.

J-Lu
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:26 PM
I know that it's very comfortable to converse with similar minded people who share your values. But you will not change the world for better by doing only that. Sometimes you have to play in the sandbox of other people and even learn their language ;)

Every time when somebody sticks their head up, there are people who are ready to whack them on their head. Robert did just that and now he is getting repeatedly wacked by COTHers and UDBBers :lol: try to concentrate on the better side of his invitation for a dialogue = may be something good will come out of it if both sides will try to learn each other language?

DA, again, we are only interested in facts and logic. We are trained in our respective careers to identify illogical statements and problems. I think what Pluvinel is saying is that you will understand the arguments better if you strip your mind of any emotional attachment and just look at facts. You went through the L program...aren't you trained to look at the movement for the movement rather than the color of the horse or the rider or whether or not you like the trainer? It is no different when it comes to statistics and logical arguments. We play in the sandbox just fine.

Robert never posted here, Sonesta posted a statement from his blog. Lets keep this in perspective.
J.

ShotenStar
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:14 PM
The Nerd Herd is also happy to teach as we go, which is what we did in the article that was published in the Chronicle Dressage issue. Part of the peer review process on the analysis paper was aimed at making the final document readable for the non-statistician.

*star*

Fixerupper
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:18 PM
Having posted something fairly puerile on page 1 (tho I would still love to see RD kick some serious a$$ here) I think...having followed the thread for 4 more pages, it makes good sense, to me, for the Nerd Herd to take the invitation (albeit second hand) to present their case to a representive of the the Ad Hoc Dressage Committee...nothing ventured...nothing gained...
Dressage does need help...no harm in trying...:yes:

J-Lu
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:20 PM
Having posted something fairly puerile on page 1 (tho I would still love to see RD kick some serious a$$ here) I think...having followed the thread for 4 more pages, it makes good sense, to me, for the Nerd Herd to take the invitation (albeit second hand) to present their case to a representive of the the Ad Hoc Dressage Committee...nothing ventured...nothing gained...
Dressage does need help...no harm in trying...:yes:

Apparently, it was not an invitation to COTH's Nerd Herd.

Fixerupper
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:43 PM
OK...I'm confused??...

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:05 AM
OK...I'm confused??...

Apparently, he is unfamiliar with COTH's nerd herd or the statistical analysis document I am certain he received. I provided him with another link. His issue appears to stem from a comment made on another board. Why he pointed to "nerds" and "herd members" is not clear.

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:16 AM
Ah, I was wondering about that :) I couldn't figure out why he was so angry at the nerd herd!

Basically, he was just saying that there were a bunch of people who had a pack mentality and he didn't like them ;)

Fixerupper
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:18 AM
Bummer :no:
It's always a hard ride... dealing with bureaucracy

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:31 AM
I am disappointed that he did not read the document or become familiar with the statistics. It is his profession and he sits on a number of committees that are directly impacted by the results.

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:36 AM
I am disappointed that he did not read the document or become familiar with the statistics. It is his profession and he sits on a number of committees that are directly impacted by the results. Oh well.

Yes, but I'm glad to find out he didn't think that Pluvinel et. al. were evil destroyers of dressage goodness ;)

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:43 AM
Yes, but I'm glad to find out he didn't think that Pluvinel et. al. were evil destroyers of dressage goodness ;)

I'm an et al. I wish he read the report to get the facts.

ETA: What is your opinion, A, separate from your perception of RD's opinion?

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:04 AM
I'm an et al. I wish he read the report to get the facts.


I wish he had too, but there is still opportunity.

I don't know his background or interests well enough to have an opinion about whether he's going to have any interest at all in something that is, basically, mathematical. I was just surprised by the thought that he would have perceived it or the people involved negatively, since I had never seen it that way in the least.

Dressage Art
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:51 AM
Well, then already something good came out of that conversation: this is your chance to make sure that RD is aware of your hard “nerd heard work” that you've done. And do put your nerd language in to "user friendly" words - that is your responsibility to deliver the information in the palatable way to unwashed masses of non-statists like mua ;)

DownYonder
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:16 AM
Is he really upset about discussions over the performance standards? Or is there something else bothering him - like, for instance, discussions about his role in the controversy over the selection of Ann Gribbons as chef d'equipe?

And no, I will not go to his blog and ask him. I am not going to fall for the bait to increase traffic to his site.

But it has been a long time since I have been called "a nerd". Tee-hee.

egontoast
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:28 AM
Robert Dover and various other members of the Dressage Task Force were sent copies of the nerd-herd's groundbreaking statistical research some months ago.

And he claims to have not read it. Maybe he should try reading it and if he has any questions he can address them to those who worked so hard on it. :confused:

claire
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:25 AM
Robert Dover and various other members of the Dressage Task Force were sent copies of the nerd-herd's groundbreaking statistical research some months ago.

And, said copy never reached Mr. Dover?

Yet, when he was told about the existence of this study, Mr. Dover couldn't be bothered to ask that another copy be sent Fed-Ex as this might be excellent information to help prepare him for the important Task Force meeting in Aachen? :rolleyes:

ShotenStar
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:05 AM
I did as requested by RD and posted some questions on his blog (see upstream in this thread, where someone quoted them). I received an email from him that partially answers those questions:


... Here it is. Please feel free to place this on any and all blog-sites.
Thanks!
RD

PGRAM
- JUDGING SYSTEMS TRIAL IN AACHEN 7-9 SEPTEMBER 2009
Spectators are welcome, and a member of the Task Force will give an update of the systems to be tested just before the start of the first test, and during the trial. However, no information will be given about scores and results, and throughout the whole trial, horses will have numbers instead of names, to make the test completely objective.
Exact timing cannot be decided until the actual day, as the actual number of horses participating may change up to the last moment

7 SEPTEMBER
12.30 A member of the Task Force will give an update to the spectators.

1. Two tests running at the same time:
a. 7 judges judging, Grand Prix test positions E,H,C,M,B + both sides of A), otherwise today’s system (using scale 0-10, giving marks for all movements and collective marks).
This will let us test:
a. 5 judges as today for reference (by selecting the results of E,H,C,M,B judges)
b. 7 judges all counting
c. 7 judges, 5 counting, removing highest and lowest score (final score)
b. 4 judges judging, judging various elements of training scale

This will let us test:
a. How the training scale may be directly related to the marks and results of a test, and the differences in results to today’s system

2. Giving half marks 5 judges judging, Grand Prix test, positions E,H,C,M,B, (using scale 0-10, giving marks for all movements and collective marks), and 5 judges judging as today’s system

This will let us test:
a. How often do the judges give half marks?
b. Are the scores higher or lower?
c. How is the distribution? More 6.5 instead of 6, more 7.5 instead of 8?

Evening:
- Video session – open ending – practical judging from video, dividing tasks in Freestyle. 5 judges giving technical marks from the front (other angles cannot be evaluated from a video), 5 judges judging artistic marks. Testing a new system for degree of difficulty based on a mathematics formula


08 SEPTEMBER
3. Dividing of tasks, standard tests (Grand Prix test)So, there are some interesting elements in here that are a starting point for analysis, but .....

I would like to see evidence of planning for additional testing -- one run on a small data set will not produce sufficient information for any level of reliability.

I would like to know which analysis methods will be used on the data sets.

I would like to see a clear(er) statement of the goals: what is it the Task Force thinks is wrong, what changes are they looking to make, how do they think these changes are likely to meet the goals?

For those of you who are not into statistics, allow me to offer this example:

My cats are fussy eaters. I need to find a brand/flavor of cat food they will eat consistently which is cost-effective for me and reasonably easy to acquire locally. From this general statement, my specific goal statements and test procedures might look like:

--cats must start to eat a sample of cat food as soon as it is placed in the bowl
--cats must finish a sample of cat within 2 hours of serving
--cats must eat the cat food for 1 week, at 2 meals per day, meeting the above criteria for each meal

--samples of cat food will be rotated if:
>cats refuse to eat food when served
>cats refuse to eat food after it has been available for 4 hours
>at the end of two weeks, when the next testing cycle with the next type of cat food will be presented

By the way, I have just done this with my cats and the answer is Wellness Chicken and Herring flavor. It took most of the summer to cycle through all the brands / flavors available.

*star*

Equibrit
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:57 AM
So they are all judging based on what ? If their ideas about judging were flawed before the test, then they have done nothing to improve that. Have they ? ie. Are they all on the same page when assessing what makes a 6 rather than a 7.

So - this could all be based on a false premise.

ShotenStar
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:03 AM
So they are all judging based on what ? If their ideas about judging were flawed before the test, then they have done nothing to improve that. Have they ? ie. Are they all on the same page when assessing what makes a 6 rather than a 7.

So - this could all be based on a false premise.

ding ding ding -- we have a winner !

*star*

poltroon
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:20 AM
I don't understand this trial. It sounds like they're comparing how many judges there should be...?

Their second test, with half marks... okay... but they have no control. It can't be compared to the tests the previous day.

And as for "horses will have numbers instead of names to make the test objective"... how many Grand Prix horse/rider pairs are there, even in Aachen? It seems inevitable that some of the judges will know some horse/riders. If they think that anonymity is an important element of the testing, it would seem to me a more objective result could be created by using the Prix St. George test, where there is a larger pool of combinations to work with.

If I were setting up a test like this, I would not use live rides at all, but instead video rides from each location. Then, you have the advantage of being able to show, say, 20 judges the exact same ride from the exact same vantage point and see the variation in their scores using different systems. You can have each judge judge rides from multiple vantage points and compare that variation. It also allows you to use a wider pool of horse/rider pairs, potentially - not just ones local to Aachen but from locations around the world. You'd want to see how this scoring works for great rides, for mediocre rides, and for bad rides. You can even stage some deliberately bad rides. Again, with the video, you can get as many judges as you need of the exact same ride and the exact same location to get a good statistical result. The archived video would be helpful for additional analysis and study in the future.

Like Star, I think the objective could be more clearly stated, and without that clear statement, I'm not certain how any math will help.

SGray
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:45 AM
video having the added bonus of more ways to blur the identities of horse/rider combinations

Dressage Art
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:04 PM
2. Giving half marks 5 judges judging, Grand Prix test, positions E,H,C,M,B, (using scale 0-10, giving marks for all movements and collective marks), and 5 judges judging as today’s system

This will let us test:
a. How often do the judges give half marks?
b. Are the scores higher or lower?
c. How is the distribution? More 6.5 instead of 6, more 7.5 instead of 8?This is great that this test will be done. I'm hoping that it will prove to be useful and we'll transition to 1/2 marks in dressage judging. We need a larger palette!

bort84
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:17 PM
Hmm, does seem like the task force could benefit from finding a few more mathy dressage folks to attend = ) Though, in my experience, some horse people really have no head for math, no matter how successful they are in the business, so communications between non mathy and mathy can become difficult! Especially when you factor in the stubbornness of horse people and all of their opinions, haha.

mbm
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:21 PM
This is great that this test will be done. I'm hoping that it will prove to be useful and we'll transition to 1/2 marks in dressage judging. We need a larger palette!

just curious - do you think that using half points will change the end result? and, how will half points be better and what would the word equivalent be for each half point?

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
What analysis are they planning to do on the numbers? That's my question.

And what what is their goal for precision (a.k.a. reliability)?

Because you can't have accurate scores without precise scores.

siegi b.
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:35 PM
All this tells me is that Robert Dover never read the document provided by the nerd herd and is merely publishing a copy of the procedures to be used in Aachen which obviously do not take any of the recommendations or findings by the nerd herd into consideration.

Has Anne Gribbons received a copy of the document?

And yes, I do believe RD is trying to increase traffic to his sight. He understands dollars but not logic/math. :no: I for one am very happy that he didn't get the Chef d'Equipe job....

poltroon
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:14 PM
2. Giving half marks 5 judges judging, Grand Prix test, positions E,H,C,M,B, (using scale 0-10, giving marks for all movements and collective marks), and 5 judges judging as today’s system

This will let us test:
a. How often do the judges give half marks?
b. Are the scores higher or lower?
c. How is the distribution? More 6.5 instead of 6, more 7.5 instead of 8?


This is great that this test will be done. I'm hoping that it will prove to be useful and we'll transition to 1/2 marks in dressage judging. We need a larger palette!

Okay, but here's what I don't understand. Let's say that the scores are 0.4 higher with the half marks, on average. So what? Is that more accurate or less accurate? Better or Worse?

Without a clear establishment of criteria to judge the judging system, the math is irrelevant.

I also wonder, higher or lower than what, exactly? If I read this trial correctly, they are planning to compare scores on day 2 with scores on day 1 for the same horse/rider pair, or perhaps in aggregate for all the horse/rider pairs. I don't believe that is appropriate: it's both possible and likely that scores from one day to another can vary by 2-3 percentage points based on real difference in performance, which is as large as the effect we're trying to measure.

Alternately, they may be comparing whole number scores from one panel with half number scores from a second panel from the same ride. Again, we know from the previous analysis that there is more than a half point variation between individual judges, and we also know that there is more than a half point variation between different vantage points around the arena.

The only way to get data that would be stronger than the "noise" that is judge-to-judge variation is to have very large panels judging the same rides, or the same panel judging the same rides with different scoring systems. This can only be done from video, not from live rides.

It's important to remember that even though we want the system to accurately judge live rides, not video, and that there may well be a different accurate score imparted from live vs. video footage, that the point here isn't to judge the horse/rider pairs in the trial accurately, but to test the judging system accurately.

Equibrit
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:01 PM
It doesn't matter a fig - if they don't standardize the method for giving individual scores.

pluvinel
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:04 PM
Okay, but here's what I don't understand. Let's say that the scores are 0.4 higher with the half marks, on average. So what? Is that more accurate or less accurate? Better or Worse?

Without a clear establishment of criteria to judge the judging system, the math is irrelevant.
.......


VERY good questions.......

David Stickland, who is doing some of this work for the FEI Task Force, is a physicist. I have offered help to design and analyze the testing to determine inter-rater reliability and also the raters ability to judge to the standard.

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:18 PM
VERY good questions.......

David Stickland, who is doing some of this work for the FEI Task Force, is a physicist. I have offered help to design and analyze the testing to determine inter-rater reliability and also the raters ability to judge to the standard.

Thumbs up.

There are well-recognized processes for this type of research. If there's someone working on it who understands the concepts, and they are willing to research and use the research methods that have already been developed, they'll be OK.

claire
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:22 PM
So they are all judging based on what ? If their ideas about judging were flawed before the test, then they have done nothing to improve that. Have they ? ie. Are they all on the same page when assessing what makes a 6 rather than a 7.

So - this could all be based on a false premise.

Not an expert by any means, but it would appear that the TF is once again putting the cart before the horse?
(Remember: Problem=Bad riding/Solution=Qualification Rule?)

According to the program, the core issue, once again, has not been clearly defined.
But, the TF has decided on some possible solutions (half marks, number of judges, different judges for different elements of test/freestyle)
And has come up with their method to test these solutions?

So, in this case, the TF has already decided the core issue and identifed possible solutions but added the the third step of "testing" these solutions before passing rules?

Am I understanding this correctly? And if so, does anyone else see a problem deciding on solutions before you have clearly defined the core issue (beyond the global "bad scoring)? :confused:

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:24 PM
Am I understanding this correctly? And if so, does anyone else see a problem deciding on solutions before you have clearly defined the core issue (beyond the global "bad scoring)? :confused:

No, in good research you should start with your conclusion, and then test it. The secret is that you need to be willing accept the outcome of the research, even if that data shows that your conclusion was incorrect.

claire
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:31 PM
VERY good questions.......

David Stickland, who is doing some of this work for the FEI Task Force, is a physicist. I have offered help to design and analyze the testing to determine inter-rater reliability and also the raters ability to judge to the standard.

pluvinel, have they accepted your offer? What influence has David Stickland had with the TF beyond reliable testing of the solutions?

I think it is a huge step forward to have someone like David Stickland (and yourself :winkgrin: ) involved in designing the testing.

But my question remains: Without a clearly researched and defined core issue all this testing may be based on a false premise?

(Clearly, I am not a statistics nerd so please forgive my dumb questions!)

Equibrit
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:33 PM
Wayne Channon wrote a good article on the half point http://www.eurodressage.com/editor/wayne/20090118_futureofjudging.html

To understand what I mean we have to look at some of the shortcomings of our present system:

We don’t have a well defined Code of Points that other artistic sports have, such as ice-skating or gymnastics. We do have the “The Judges’ Handbook” and this is an excellent start. It has each movement examined according to the scales of training with faults highlighted and directions for judges. In my view, it does not breakdown the movement into enough detail to be able to categorically state what mark should be awarded for each movement. There are no videos to exemplify the movements of quality aspects.
Nor does it clarify precisely what marks should be taken away for each error.
There is no formal re-examination for judges once they qualify. In gymnastics, even Olympic judges are examined on a regular basis, and they have to pass.
We don’t formally monitor judges’ performance following a competition. This is supposed to happen if the judges are more than 5% different. How about 1.5%... 5% is like saying there is not much difference between a 65% test and a 70% test...
I have never known a judge be demoted for doing a consistently bad job. Even when they are criticised by their peers...
If the judges arrive at the same score at the end of the test, that is considered satisfactory. To me, it absolutely matters how they get to that score. I don’t work at home on a 67% test I work on each movement in detail and want the judges to score each movement accurately.
We can only award full points – ie a 6 or a 7 – this is a 10% difference! We have built in inaccuracy.

claire
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:44 PM
Equibrit, Exactly. So without a more objectively defined Code of Points or standards, how can you go about deciding that using half points will solve the scoring problem.

pluvinel, you once mentioned a method of measuring subjective qualities.

Could you explain more about that in Non-Nerd language? :lol:
And is David Stickland using that method in his work with the TF?

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:45 PM
Thank the powers that be that you will be supporting the analysis Pluvinel!

The blurb Star posted by the Task Force states that they are doing some testing but they do not describe what they are testing. The word "test" should be exchanged with the word "observe" in the statement to be more accurate.

Further, the design would not allow them to reach solid conclusions on what I think they are attempting to test. The very very small number of judges (factor) are different individuals (factor) watching the tests from different angles (factor) knowing they are being observed as part of a "task force" (factor), and in some cases judging using novel/undeveloped systems [i.e. scoring the use of the training scale and giving half marks] (factor). They do not appear to control for or account for these factors.

There are much better designs to investigate sources of variation in judging and to test different approaches to scoring. Data collection methodology is as important and the analysis. In the end, this could be a useful observation but it is not a test/experiment.

poltroon
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:01 PM
Not an expert by any means, but it would appear that the TF is once again putting the cart before the horse?
(Remember: Problem=Bad riding/Solution=Qualification Rule?)

According to the program, the core issue, once again, has not been clearly defined.
But, the TF has decided on some possible solutions (half marks, number of judges, different judges for different elements of test/freestyle)
And has come up with their method to test these solutions?

So, in this case, the TF has already decided the core issue and identifed possible solutions but added the the third step of "testing" these solutions before passing rules?

Am I understanding this correctly? And if so, does anyone else see a problem deciding on solutions before you have clearly defined the core issue (beyond the global "bad scoring)? :confused:

This testing is not about the qualification proposal, but about getting the best scoring (ie, the most accurate placement) for the Olympic games. They are related, but the goal is quite different, since for the Olympics the absolute score isn't important, and the cutoff of competent/incompetent is not at issue, only the relative ranking of the riders.

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:07 PM
No, in good research you should start with your conclusion, and then test it. The secret is that you need to be willing accept the outcome of the research, even if that data shows that your conclusion was incorrect.

Actually, Ambrey, you start with an observation. Let me make something up: I observe that there is usually one score that is way off base in a judging panel and that skews the final score.

Then you collect some preliminary data. So in my made-up example, I would then look at 5-panel scores and look for scores that are by some measure (I have to define that measure) different from the mean score. If I peruse the records and hardly find any cases, I might say "huh", I was wrong. If I find lots of cases I say "huh", I was right.

Then you develop your hypothesis. I hypothesize that if I add 7 judges and drop the low and high score, the remainin five scores will be within "x" standard deviations of the mean score and the judging will be more consistent. I need to defend why I arrived at 'x' for a number instead of 'y' or 'z'.

Then you test your hypothesis. I will design an experiment where I put 7 unique judges around the ring at three different shows all in the same test (the GP). I will then compare the 5 standard-position scores to the 7 scores and then to the 7 minus 2 scores and assess how the individual scores relate to the mean score...and how the mean scores might change (if I'm getting 7 judges together I should make the most of the data). I get a number for how many standard deviations of the mean score the scores are and I compare them to the "x" I hypothesized.

I then either accept or reject my hypothesis.

If I accept, then I conclude that 7 judges are better than 5 judges in terms of consistent scoring. Based on this, I might suggest a bigger "field trial" to see if my conclusions really hold up. However, I would also want to identify extenuating circumstances before mandating that all FEI rides had 7 judges. For example, someone has to pay for 7 judges and their hotel/food costs. Maybe the cost of 2 extra judges puts my show in the red and I get a plummet in FEI entrants... etc.

If I reject my hypothesis, I conclude that 7 scores are no different than 5 scores in terms of consistency and I would move on with life.

Good scientists never start with a conclusion because it can easily bias how you design the experiment or interpret the outcome.

claire
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:23 PM
This testing is not about the qualification proposal, but about getting the best scoring (ie, the most accurate placement) for the Olympic games. They are related, but the goal is quite different, since for the Olympics the absolute score isn't important, and the cutoff of competent/incompetent is not at issue, only the relative ranking of the riders.

Yes, I realize that. I was comparing the means by which they were going about achieving their goal.

In both situations it appears that they came up with solutions before clearly defining the problem.

In addition, as Equibrit and J-Lu have pointed out above there are inherent problems(?) biases(?) control issues(?) with their development of solutions and testing protocol.

poltroon
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:26 PM
In gymnastics or ice skating, all the judges are sitting together and have the same view of the action. Thus, to drop the high and low scores reflects judging outliers for the same performance.

In dressage, the multiple judges sit in different locations. The low score might not reflect an outlier opinion at all, but literally a different perspective. The judges at C and E and B are watching the flying changes, and they see that the correct number were performed, that the changes were clean. The judge at the diagonal letter M sees clearly that the horse is falling to the left and right and that the changes aren't straight, and gives a mark two points lower. If the judge at C and M had been exchanged, it's perfectly likely that the scores would not change - that is, the former judge M(0)C(1) now cannot see a straightness problem and gives a higher score, and the judge C(0)M(1) can now see the straightness issue and gives the lower score.

The purpose of removing high and low scores does not apply when each judge is judging something different.

For example, the new gymnastics scoring is different. Instead of each judge giving an overall mark, you have separate judges evaluating difficulty and execution. It would be inappropriate to just drop the lowest and highest score without regard to what category they fall in.

If you want to drop low and high scores, they should not be from the whole panel but from similar viewpoints. For example, you can expect that the judge at E and B have similar viewpoints. You could put two judges at each location (how, logistically, I'm not certain, but theoretically :D ) and then drop the high and low of those 4 scores. However, I suspect that will not prove to be practical.

SGray
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:46 PM
http://www.fei.org/Disciplines/Dressage/News/Info_Dressage/Pages/summ.aspx?newsName=FEITaskForce.aspx

excerpts

===============================

1. Review the issues surrounding the very significant area of the training and development of, assessment and selection of judges for major championships and Olympic Games; review as part of this development of randomized/computerized judge selection process.
2. The fitness for purpose of the method of judging dressage competitions needs thorough review – both in terms of the number of judges, their positioning and the judging process;
3. Following significant feedback from NFs it is clear that the decision to move from 4 to 3 riders in a team is not universally accepted as the best for the sport and this therefore needs reviewing;
4. The system for qualification for Championships, and the receipt of Certificates of Capability for Championships, WCs and OG's;
5. Review the consultation process within dressage and how it affects the structure of the committee going forwards to ensure maximum involvement by the key stakeholders both internal to the sport and external within the greater sporting/Olympic/Paralympics environment.

===========================
The Judges Education System was presented and scrutinised. This document is still in draft form and the FEI Dressage Director agreed to feedback the remarks and questions of the TF. A further update will be given at the next meeting.

Judge evaluation techniques were discussed in detail including official debrief meeting, the formation of a Judges Supervisory Panel, judging records, analysis and feedback from fellow judges, riders and trainers. Attached is the suggested questionnaire for riders and also the suggested overall feedback process. Task Force members should seek feedback from their stakeholders for the next meeting.

The selection process was discussed and it was felt that this should be reviewed and that the Task Force should see what other sports do in this regard in order to see if good practice could be used.

The fitness for purpose of the method of judging Dressage competitions needs thorough review –
both in terms of the number of judges, their positioning and the judging process;

It was agreed that since this is such an important issue that experts would be invited to explain the system of judging in other sports. The areas for review are the method of judging the tests, the positioning of the judges, the marking system and the number of judges etc

Equibrit
Sep. 3, 2009, 04:28 PM
They seem to have leap-frogged over their first objective ""the method of judging the tests"

Ambrey
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:33 PM
J-Lu, of course you are right, "start with the conclusion" was a very poor choice of words.

In starting your research with a null hypothesis, however, you are starting with your idea and testing it, rather than doing the research in order to find the question. The latter is more aptly called "data mining" and isn't really considered pure research.

So starting with the hypothesis "half points will improve inter-rater reliability" and then testing the hypothesis in this way is actually valid.

I think the issue that Claire and others have is actually in the observation process... because they don't really have the resources to run these tests over and over again, they should start with a pretty strong null hypothesis. Drug companies, for example, only want to do clinical trials on drugs that they thing have a very good chance of getting through, so they do a lot of preliminary testing and have a pretty good idea that the clinical trial is going to work. You don't set up the whole clinicial trial without that initial work.

The initial observation work is what's being shortchanged here. If it turns out that half points and larger panels don't do the trick, then what? What data have they used to develop the hypothesis that these will help?

I think changing to a data-driven rather than seat-of-the-pants model of judging is going to be a big shift, though. I don't think it's going to happen overnight.

pluvinel
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:07 PM
......
I think changing to a data-driven rather than seat-of-the-pants model of judging is going to be a big shift, though. I don't think it's going to happen overnight.

Bingo....

There are proven techniques to quantify inter-rater reliability and rater's ability to judge to a standard. Google Kendall's Coeffient of Concordance. It is done every day in industry, medicine, and social sciences. Dressage need not reinvent statistical methodology. The tools are available for use.

Perhaps this discussion is starting to lead TPTB to understanding that there is a quantative and data-driven way to look at dressage scoring.

FWIW....I did post on RD's blog regarding "judging to a standard" and asked for thoughts on how would different interpretations of the rules be reconciled.....unlike ShotenStar, I have not received a response.

ise@ssl
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:30 PM
Considering the old saying a camel is a horse designed by a committee - my feelings on these so called "Task Forces" is rather low. Look at the USEF - it's pretty disfunctional and when you try to go to them about issues - mine is the horse I.D. and tracking system from the Flintstone era - they tell you to go to the conventions and attend the meetings. HAH! Like those committees made up of a HERD of people are going to change the decisions they've already conjured up behind the scenes. And all too often it's like Ground Hog day - same people, same song.........

If people want to write to Dover - I'm sure they can do that. If people don't like what's posted here - don't read it. I find the use of the word "World" after someone's name to infer that they are somehow in a different planet system - maybe that's the case here.

What will come of this so called Task-Force - probably NOTHING. As far as the Judging system - well we will see if that improves. We have such wide swings in scores at shows -it's a real crap shoot sometimes and I wish someone would track the scores given by judges to OTHER judges when they are showing. Always seems to be a tad higher than it should be.

Well - I'll go back to my World now.

J-Lu
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:50 PM
In starting your research with a null hypothesis, however, you are starting with your idea and testing it, rather than doing the research in order to find the question. The latter is more aptly called "data mining" and isn't really considered pure research.

So starting with the hypothesis "half points will improve inter-rater reliability" and then testing the hypothesis in this way is actually valid.

I think the issue that Claire and others have is actually in the observation process... because they don't really have the resources to run these tests over and over again, they should start with a pretty strong null hypothesis. Drug companies, for example, only want to do clinical trials on drugs that they thing have a very good chance of getting through, so they do a lot of preliminary testing and have a pretty good idea that the clinical trial is going to work. You don't set up the whole clinicial trial without that initial work.

The initial observation work is what's being shortchanged here. If it turns out that half points and larger panels don't do the trick, then what? What data have they used to develop the hypothesis that these will help?

I think changing to a data-driven rather than seat-of-the-pants model of judging is going to be a big shift, though. I don't think it's going to happen overnight.

Hi Ambrey,

I am not sure what you are saying above so let me clarify the scientific method in general terms. One starts their research with an observation. One then develops a testable hypothesis from that observation. The null hypothesis is that there is no difference between the observed and expected data, or that there is no difference between observed data and pure chance. The alternative hypothesis is that there is a difference. Then one designs an experiment to test the null hypothesis. Scientists always test the null hypothesis because it is the state of nebulous "sameness" and ONLY when proven otherwise through statistical analysis can one accept the alternative hypothesis. In other words, you have to assume there is no difference between two groups unless you prove that there is. You don't assume there is a difference and then prove that there isn't. You actually can't prove that there isn't a difference - it might be that you haven't figured it out yet.

A hypothesis is an idea and is a way to frame a question that results in a yes/no answer. Data mining is examining data to come up with a question. It does not require an initial observation, it uses data to shape the question, for which a testable hypothesis can be formed.

You must be careful if you want to cast all data mining as not "pure research". For example, gene chips are a technology that can tell you the relative levels of expressed genes from tissues or cells. Scientists might take tumor cells and look at their gene expression differences from normal cells in order to see what is different. Once they see what genes are changed, they can form a hypothesis about that and then test the gene directly. It is discovery work and serves to generate hypotheses that can be directly tested. In that sense, data mining can be useful. The human genome project is, in essence, a huge data mining project.

In a very traditional sense, the statement would be "half points will NOT improve inter-rater reliability". That is the null hypothesis. Clearly, it is more interesting to cast the story as We tested the hypothesis that half points will improve inter-rater reliability" or "we tested the hypothesis that drug x will cure cancer". But the mechanics of the experiment test the null hypothesis.

I am not sure I am understanding your mention of drug companies and clinical trials. All drugs trials started off on a lab bench as a simple testing of a null hypothesis. When the null hypothesis is rejected, the drug gets more thoroughly tested. When the null hypothesis is rejected (i.e. drug does not cause an increase in X), the drug goes to animal testing. When the null hypothesis is rejected (i.e. drug does not stop the spread of cancer), it goes to clinical trials. Of course companies don't go straight to clinical trials. Clinical trials are the result of years and years of experiments.

I believe that the initial observation here has established that the current judging methods don't work amazingly well. Judges complain. People complain. That's the observation. Idea: So maybe half-points will improve judging. The hypothesis is technically as stated a couple of paragraphs above.

So, maybe it turns out that scores derived from half points are no different than scores derived from integers only (and this is dependent on a GOOD DESIGN). Then you can conclude that changing judging protocols to include half points do not solve the problem or explain the initial observation (people think judging is unfair). So then, you make more observations until you come up with a better idea to test (i.e. judging is bad because the judges aren't judging to a similar standard). Of course, the savvy scientist has already made a number of observations and hones in on the most plausible things to formally test...or include enough data collection to test more than one hypothesis at a time with the same design.

Most scientists and businesses (big and small) are data driven. Theoretically, even dressage has a semblence of data-driven design as there is a formal educational process to become a judge and there are several theoretically objective hurdles to overcome in order to move up the judging ranks. I.e. if you don't pass the L program *test* with distinction, you cannot move up the judging ranks. it's not that judging is seat of the pants at all...it just needs some tweaking and a method to evaluate how well the tweaks worked. In my opinion.

J.

Ambrey
Sep. 4, 2009, 01:39 AM
Sorry, I don't know what I'm saying either :) Let's just say that I was never talented in the "putting thoughts to words that people who aren't in my brain can understand" department, although I try hard enough. Today I am even less capable than usual of forming a coherent thought.

All I was trying to say is that if they believe half points are the answer, it's acceptable science to design an experiment to demonstrate it.

But I think people don't believe they've done the background work yet (yes, including data mining for developing hypotheses ;)) to get to that stage. There's a perception that the half points were kind of pulled out of nowhere while other ideas were ignored.

p.s. by data driven, I mean continuously keeping track and monitoring inter-rater reliability. By seat of the pants I didn't mean judges were just pulling numbers out of thin air, but that there's no real process for keeping/analyzing judging data.

slc2
Sep. 4, 2009, 08:18 AM
The assumption here is that judges all coming up with the same score is the goal. That isn't my goal, and I think it would be a disaster, an absolute disaster, for dressage.

I think coming up with a fair score is a better goal, and that's harder to research because 'fair' is a matter of opinon.

What I would like to see, is that if one rider gets a score at a American qualifying event that is 10-15 percentage points higher than what all the other judges give, that someone stands up and says, 'something is wrong here, someone is boosting a score to make sure someone they like gets on a team, and that's wrong'....and that score is DISCARDED. And I want to see the judges that do that chronically lose their license.

I DO want to see analyses of scores. But I do NOT want the criteria to be that they match or are within 3 points of each other. I think that will destroy the sport. I want to see where there is a PATTERN and that is very, very easy to do with a computer. And if there is a suspicious pattern in the score, the scores are reviewed and a judge can lose his license.

Currently, I don't know of any mechanism for revoking a judge's license for that sort of thing. And I think there should be. I think our system is a system with no checks and balances. That is a faulty system.

What I would like to see is that if a score is changed by a few points ('oops, made a little math mistake') and as a result someone gets on a team, someone can stand up and say, 'something is not right here'. I want to see the 'before' and 'after' score published and all to be able to be SURE nothing funny just happened. I want to see the score sheet with the original scores written in in pen, and the 'corrections' redlined. I want to see the original published in the USEF magazine so all can see it.

I do not WANT scientific exactness and matching scores. God forbid. Judges are entitled to opinions and to score differently....SOMEWHAT differently...and NOT when it is an advantage to their friends.

Robert has issued a 'challenge' which is that if people ask him a question, he will give a great answer. That's his challenge.

It's a matter of opinion whether an answer is a 'great answer', or an honest, or complete answer, or one that gives a really balanced or decent (or truthful) view of past, present or future events. If the answerer himself is the one judging whether it's a 'great' or truthful answer (or even a positive or affirming or 'making things better rather than just complaining or pointing fingers) answer, I doubt much will come of it. If the 'answer' is being evaluated by a whole bunch of people who know nothing of the inner workings of many past events, they can only evaluate what one individual says happens, they can't evaluate how truthful it is. A 'forum of one' is not a forum. 'Well that sounds pretty good' isn't truth, and 'gee what a well written response' isn't always the whole story. It's one person's point of view - that's all it is.

In other words, I think the 'challenge' is a bit of a joke.

Ambrey
Sep. 4, 2009, 11:34 AM
Reliability isn't about exactness, though, SLC. None of statistics is about exactness. It's all about normal variations and finding out when the variations fall out of the range you deem acceptable.

Much of it is about finding the outliers like you describe, but there's also finding out when the system is breaking down. If the judges are ranking a particular rider 1,2,3,2,1,3 or something like that, you could consider that the acceptable limit. 1,1,28, 7, 2,1,1 might not be.

But even within exacting science of educational assessment, differing acceptable levels of reliability are recognized. But the process to weed out those outliers is the one Pluvinel is describing.

pluvinel
Sep. 4, 2009, 02:03 PM
For clarification.....here on a horse BB, an explanation of the Null Hypotheis, Ho:

In the US judicial system, the starting assumption (Ho, null hypothesis) is, “Innocent until proven guilty.”

At trial, the jury determines whether there is enough evidence to “reject” Ho, the null hypothesis...eg., the assumption of innocence. One never really actually “proves” that a person is guilty.

As everyone knows, there is never a "sure thing."

Hypothesis testing is used to determine the probability of being wrong....eg, the probability of reching the wrong conclusion, technically a Type I Error...That is, of rejecting the Null Hypothesis, Ho, when Ho is true...eg, rejecting the hypothesis of innocence (guilty) when a person really is innocent.

In hypothesis testing the p-value is used to determine if there are differences in populations. The starting assumption (done in the US Dressage Scores Paper) with ANOVA test was that there were no differences in scores when grouped by region, level or judge or breed. A p-value of 0.05 or less means there is only a 5% chance that you would be wrong in concluding the populations are different.

In the case of half-points, one could frame the "the question" into a statistical question by saying that "there is greater variability with full points than with half points." The data could then be analyzed to see if how much variability existed with half vs full points.....

The key question then becomes what variability is "significant." If there is a +/- of 1.5 points with full points and a variability of 1.0 points with half points, is that significant?

FEI_JR2004
Sep. 5, 2009, 12:34 AM
Maybe I missed it and somebody already pointed out, but I don't think he meant the Nerd Herd when he referred to "herd members." He was probably referring to UDBB posters, who become herd members once they have accumulated a certain amount of posts.

Fixerupper
Sep. 5, 2009, 12:46 AM
Whew...you guys are scary good :lol:

slc2
Sep. 5, 2009, 04:53 AM
FEI, I think there is just a general tendency to lump dressage bulletin board frequenters together. And I think that there has always been a lot of joking and teasing directed toward 'nerds'. I don't think there's any reason to get real tense about that. But just about everyone has some subject they're 'nerdy' about, that they examine in great detail and get very involved in. I don't agree with the concepts brought forth that judges must be uniform, or rated on how uniform they are. I don't want judges to be uniform with each other, or criticized based on a lack of uniformity. I would actually like to use computer analyses to discover bias patterns, not uniformity.

Dressage bulletin boarders don't always get a lot of respect. It's normal to hear jokes and teasing about that too. one has to realize that if one constantly criticizes other in the news riders, prominent judges, officials, organizations, while many people will chime in and agree, there is inevitable pushback. If you really believe in what you're saying, you don't get freaked by that...OR try to engineer things so that there is no pushback, because pushback is GOOD. It helps a person define what they believe and sort out why they believe it.

Dressage Art
Sep. 5, 2009, 03:38 PM
just curious - do you think that using half points will change the end result? and, how will half points be better and what would the word equivalent be for each half point?It's quite rare that we see movements that are worthy of scoring 1, 2, or 9, 10 = judges are mostly using 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 to score most riders/horses that are affront of them. Even for the bold judges who want to use the whole scale, that's just leaves six scores, where 3/4 is on the lower end and 7/8 is on the higher end and that leaves 5/6 for the middle. So you have a Leg Yield that has some issues in both directions, b/c of those issues that LY can't be a 7, but in the Left Rein the issues are not as bad as to the Right Rein - also those are still "issues" not problems or "lack" of something. So both LY will score a 6: one will score a small 6 and another will score a large 6 or one will score a 6- and anohter 6+. How do you let the rider know that her second LY was "better" while you still have to give her a same score of 6?

.5 points will fix that.

Same wording/meaning for range of 6 and 6.5 = but better communication between judge and a rider.

mbm
Sep. 5, 2009, 04:40 PM
DA, thanks for responding.

using your example, what is wrong with the judge saying "better"? and, even with the judges using just 4 number 5/6/7/8 there are countless end results from those 4 numbers and the number of movemetns in each test.

in other words - i think we have enough numbers. what we need is clearer guidelines/education for judges etc.

Dressage Art
Sep. 5, 2009, 05:50 PM
DA, thanks for responding.

using your example, what is wrong with the judge saying "better"? and, even with the judges using just 4 number 5/6/7/8 there are countless end results from those 4 numbers and the number of movemetns in each test.

in other words - i think we have enough numbers. what we need is clearer guidelines/education for judges etc.

LY right - 6 "tilting head/neck". LY Left - 6 "better" ---> Is this a satisfying score and comment combination for you?

I agree that we need more judging education.

However who will pay for that education? Judges education budget as everything else in the business world is directly linked to the salary at the end. You will not spend an additional $100K on education to earn 3ven lower wages at the end compare to what you make now, would you? I think I wrote many times that now it's not proportionate. Judges who are trainers are loosing $ judging rather than giving lessons for the same 3 days + they are away from their horses/barns and need to find somebody who will take care of that as well. Hardly a lucrative future, don't you think?

Another aspect is that most trainers didn't pay much to get their education to become a dressage trainer, so why/how would you expect them to spend even more than 20 years and more than $100K on their education to become an S judge? (or even more depending of the cost to get their GP scoes)

May be there should be a fund of sponsors who are willing to pay for selective leading judges education? And then you have to think do YOU have an "R" or "S" judge in mind for whom YOU will pay to get more education? and to whom would YOU pay to tech them?

mbm
Sep. 5, 2009, 06:13 PM
a trainer having a judge credential helps them earn more $$ via training etc. they can charge more, they have more cred, etc etc. so it isn't all just throwing money out the window for them. they do see return on their investment.

Kaluna
Sep. 6, 2009, 12:59 AM
Judges with credentials have the potential to make alot of money from clinics and training. Most good S and higher level judges make a tidy income. From judging? No. From the secondary effects of being a popular judge at that level? Definitely yes.

ise@ssl
Sep. 6, 2009, 09:47 AM
I do wish they would go with somewhat standardized comments and PLEASE have scribes that can write or print clearly. We often have to use magnifying glasses to read or figure out comments and to date - we have some that we have NO IDEA what they are!

Dune
Sep. 6, 2009, 12:06 PM
I do wish they would go with somewhat standardized comments and PLEASE have scribes that can write or print clearly. We often have to use magnifying glasses to read or figure out comments and to date - we have some that we have NO IDEA what they are!


GOOD POINT!!! Hey, I have an idea, since scores and everything else seems to be computerized...why in the world can't a scribe be typing into a computer and the tests printed out??? What does everyone think about that? BTW is this thread totally off topic now? I didn't have time to read through....:confused:

CatOnLap
Sep. 6, 2009, 12:54 PM
The technology for electronic scoring and typed comments already exists and is in use at major european shows.

poltroon
Sep. 6, 2009, 02:06 PM
GOOD POINT!!! Hey, I have an idea, since scores and everything else seems to be computerized...why in the world can't a scribe be typing into a computer and the tests printed out??? What does everyone think about that? BTW is this thread totally off topic now? I didn't have time to read through....:confused:

At a lot of venues, getting electricity to the judge is not a given, and of course dust and heat is hard on a laptop, which has to be purchased. It's definitely the way to go, because it would also make the scoring and tallying easier, but it will take some time and resources to happen.

poltroon
Sep. 6, 2009, 02:09 PM
The assumption here is that judges all coming up with the same score is the goal. That isn't my goal, and I think it would be a disaster, an absolute disaster, for dressage.

I think coming up with a fair score is a better goal, and that's harder to research because 'fair' is a matter of opinon.

This is a reason I would like to see criteria for "better" in a judging system called out more explicitly before data is taken and tallied. We need an honest, open discussion about what criteria are to be used to decide what is "better." It is easy for a small group to just jump to a conclusion and not really think through the issues in a system as complex as this one is. And, knowing your criteria in advance changes the way you set up your data collection and testing.

pluvinel
Sep. 6, 2009, 02:40 PM
It's quite rare that we see movements that are worthy of scoring 1, 2, or 9, 10 = judges are mostly using 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 to score most riders/horses that are affront of them. ......

The "problem" is that there is no standard use of the rule book definition of the word descriptors.

In the quote above, I can't believe there are no movements in a test throughout a show that would not be considered "very bad", "bad", or just simply "fairly bad." My take is that the judges, for some reason stay away fom the 1-2-3 numbers.....and heaven forbid a "0".

1=Very Bad
2=Bad
3=Fairly bad
4=Insufficient
5=Sufficient(FEI) / Marginal (USEF)
6=Satisfactory
7=Fairly Good
8=Good
9=Very Good
10=Excellent


.... So you have a Leg Yield that has some issues in both directions, b/c of those issues that LY can't be a 7, but in the Left Rein the issues are not as bad as to the Right Rein - also those are still "issues" not problems or "lack" of something. So both LY will score a 6: one will score a small 6 and another will score a large 6 or one will score a 6- and anohter 6+. How do you let the rider know that her second LY was "better" while you still have to give her a same score of 6?

.5 points will fix that.

Same wording/meaning for range of 6 and 6.5 = but better communication between judge and a rider.
A competition is not a clinic where the judge needs to educate the rider.....it seems that the scale is wide enough to say a movement was Satisfactory in one direction and Marginal in the other....in both cases the message gets across. If they were both that bad, then the message needs to be that both directions were Marginal.

The half-points will only confuse things until the clear guidelines are drawn for use of the current scale.

I have sat in 3 L-Judges training as a auditor. In the last session, (last year) there were NO videos that showed appropriate use of the scores of 0-3 in the scale.....the lowest score discussed were typically 4's.

How can a judge know when to give 0-3 if that is not clearly explained in the training? A lot of the videos were "average" horses doing average things and "spectacular" horses doing specatular things, there were no videos of "crappy" horses or spectacular horses doing crappy movements to illustrate how to clearly use the full range of the scale.

poltroon
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:16 PM
Building on what Pluvinel wrote, why shouldn't a leg yield with a tilting head/neck and a trailing hindquarter get "3, fairly bad". We never see 3 for a leg-yield. And yet, I think most of us have had a instructor tell us that a leg yield, or shoulder in, was "very bad". ;)

It seems from my experience, a neck-in, rather than a shoulder-in, seems to get 4, insufficient. But a neck-in is worse than insufficient, it's actively undermining the training and development of the horse, and suggests a complete lack of understanding of the exercise. "Insufficient" suggests you need to work harder in the same direction, not that you're going the entirely wrong way.

We can use more of the scale. If we give the neck-in a 3 or even a 2, then we can divide variations in faults and goodness more thoroughly with the remaining scale. And, we can also then reward a perfect square halt with a 9 instead of 7.

Dressage Art
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:41 PM
The technology for electronic scoring and typed comments already exists and is in use at major european shows.I don't think that includes many comments? But if it does or can, that definitely could be the way to go with the new DELL Lollipop laptops that are quite nicely priced.

Dressage Art
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:51 PM
I have sat in 3 L-Judges training as a auditor. In the last session, (last year) there were NO videos that showed appropriate use of the scores of 0-3 in the scale.....the lowest score discussed were typically 4's.

How can a judge know when to give 0-3 if that is not clearly explained in the training? A lot of the videos were "average" horses doing average things and "spectacular" horses doing specatular things, there were no videos of "crappy" horses or spectacular horses doing crappy movements to illustrate how to clearly use the full range of the scale.

Judges in their training go out to the real shows and judge and you can see a rear glimpse of 1-2 and 9-10 scores. But those sessions are closed for auditors. I personally give plenty of 3 and 8 scores, so those are not rare in my opinion. Most judges have a quite clear idea what 1-2 and 9-10 is. But since they do come up so rare, very, very rare,... the time in the judges education is spend proportionally to the things that the judge will face in the real life. There are much, MUCH more 3-4-5-6-7-8 out there, than 1-2 and 9-10.

And in the end, we can't use the whole palette just for the heck of it - we still need to judge against the standard. And if "today, at this show" most of the horses are average = we will not be able to use very low or very high numbers.

Dressage Art
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:04 PM
And yet, I think most of us have had a instructor tell us that a leg yield, or shoulder in, was "very bad". ;)and I personally saw several very good trainers who were not able to finish with Distinction "L" program = training and judging is different skills. so you are comparing apples to oranges here.


"Insufficient" suggests you need to work harder in the same direction, not that you're going the entirely wrong way.

We can use more of the scale. If we give the neck-in a 3 or even a 2, then we can divide variations in faults and goodness more thoroughly with the remaining scale. And, we can also then reward a perfect square halt with a 9 instead of 7.Then you will be judging not against the "standard" that USDF is trying hard to teach to the future judges and probably will not graduate with a coveted "D". "Insufficient" IS = "going the entirely wrong way". 3 = "going the entirely wrong way" with problem/spook. 2 ="going the entirely wrong way" with problem(S). 1 = "going the entirely wrong way" with a disaster.

A square halt is only one small part of the Halt movement.
* You have to enter at the correct gait with a quality gait
* You have to stay straight
*you have to show a smooth transition to the Halt
*you have to show a square and closed halt with correctly positioned hunches
*you have to show a smooth move off from the Halt
* You have to show a correct gait and quality of the gait toward C
*you have to show a correct bending and obedience not to shy of a judge during the turn at C

As you can see, there are a few more things that go in to the consideration of the Halt, rather than just a square Halt=9

Ambrey
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:38 PM
So there is as wide a point range devoted to getting it wrong as getting it right?

Part of testing theory is devoting a larger range to the area that most people will fall in. You need more distinction between the more common "pretty good" "good" "not really good" areas, where most people fall.

And rather than allow a lot of variation between judges, specific common faults can be given specific scores or markdowns. "too much neck bend in shoulder in = -1" so that the judge still has to judge the body bend, connection, and engagement, but then takes away 1 for the neck bend. If it was a 3 SI before the neck bend it becomes 2. If it was an 8 SI, it becomes a 7.

That's just something I pulled out of my ass, of course. I'm not a judge. There are just lots of ways to improve the system WITHOUT eliminating the positive aspects of having individual judges (not throwing out the baby with the bathwater). That's just an example of the types of specific changes that can be made.

pluvinel
Sep. 6, 2009, 06:09 PM
So there is as wide a point range devoted to getting it wrong as getting it right?

Part of testing theory is devoting a larger range to the area that most people will fall in. You need more distinction between the more common "pretty good" "good" "not really good" areas, where most people fall.

And rather than allow a lot of variation between judges, specific common faults can be given specific scores or markdowns. "too much neck bend in shoulder in = -1" so that the judge still has to judge the body bend, connection, and engagement, but then takes away 1 for the neck bend. If it was a 3 SI before the neck bend it becomes 2. If it was an 8 SI, it becomes a 7.

That's just something I pulled out of my ass, of course. I'm not a judge. There are just lots of ways to improve the system WITHOUT eliminating the positive aspects of having individual judges (not throwing out the baby with the bathwater). That's just an example of the types of specific changes that can be made.

All good ideas that need to be considered as part of any improvement in dressage scoring.

Testing theory and test validation is a HUGE body of academic research. My personal are of expertise is in quality and chemical process improvement.

Bringing multiple points of view from many fields in which statistics are actively used to create, validate and improve quality (of psychological and standardized tests, products, processes....) is what the FEI dressage task force needs.

The riders in the committee are there because they have demonstrated skill with the horse. I proposed that a "missing link" is the voice of statistical practitioners to help frame the equestrian questions into a statistically valid framework of study.

pluvinel
Sep. 6, 2009, 06:32 PM
and I personally saw several very good trainers who were not able to finish with Distinction "L" program = training and judging is different skills. so you are comparing apples to oranges here.

Then you will be judging not against the "standard" that USDF is trying hard to teach to the future judges and probably will not graduate with a coveted "D". "Insufficient" IS = "going the entirely wrong way". 3 = "going the entirely wrong way" with problem/spook. 2 ="going the entirely wrong way" with problem(S). 1 = "going the entirely wrong way" with a disaster.

A square halt is only one small part of the Halt movement.
* You have to enter at the correct gait with a quality gait
* You have to stay straight
*you have to show a smooth transition to the Halt
*you have to show a square and closed halt with correctly positioned hunches
*you have to show a smooth move off from the Halt
* You have to show a correct gait and quality of the gait toward C
*you have to show a correct bending and obedience not to shy of a judge during the turn at C

As you can see, there are a few more things that go in to the consideration of the Halt, rather than just a square Halt=9

training and judging is different skills
1-I disagree that training and judging are different. There should be NO difference between training and judging. Of course "schooling" is one thing, but when a trainer is giving guidance to a rider as to how to ride a movement or how to present the horse to produce the highest score, the trainer needs to be clear as to what the rider needs to do to improve the movement to get the highest possible score....and that trainer needs to be on the same wavelength as the judges

the "standard" that USDF is trying hard to teach
2-I am not sure everyone agrees with the USDF's interpretation of "the standard"...including some "old timey judges who have turned in their cards and L-judge candidates I spoke with who had questions, but said in private they just wanted their rating, so they could judge according to what they thought appropriate once a judge.


As you can see, there are a few more things that go in to the consideration of the Halt, rather than just a square Halt=9
3-Clarifying just what exactly constitues a 0-10 for any movement is part of what is called the "operational definition." This is part where there is multiplicity of opinion. This can include rewriting the test so the exact criteria that is being evaluated can be scored. For example, the many typical errors of a halt can be broken down and a score awarded....stepped back, not square, no immobility.....all those dimensions can be part of a "sub score" so that the criteria are clearly articulated.

poltroon
Sep. 6, 2009, 08:36 PM
and I personally saw several very good trainers who were not able to finish with Distinction "L" program = training and judging is different skills. so you are comparing apples to oranges here.

Then you will be judging not against the "standard" that USDF is trying hard to teach to the future judges and probably will not graduate with a coveted "D". "Insufficient" IS = "going the entirely wrong way". 3 = "going the entirely wrong way" with problem/spook. 2 ="going the entirely wrong way" with problem(S). 1 = "going the entirely wrong way" with a disaster.

A square halt is only one small part of the Halt movement.
* You have to enter at the correct gait with a quality gait
* You have to stay straight
*you have to show a smooth transition to the Halt
*you have to show a square and closed halt with correctly positioned hunches
*you have to show a smooth move off from the Halt
* You have to show a correct gait and quality of the gait toward C
*you have to show a correct bending and obedience not to shy of a judge during the turn at C

As you can see, there are a few more things that go in to the consideration of the Halt, rather than just a square Halt=9

Dressage Art, I am not arguing with you about what is, but suggesting alternatives to what could be. I don't even necessarily believe that my suggestion is necessarily better. All I'm pointing out is that even within what is written in the rule books, there is a wide range of application possibility, and that some of those other possibilities could be better.

For example, your point about the halt is well taken. But consider this: you have listed 7 distinct criteria for judging this one simple movement. If one got -1 for each of those criteria, you should give rather a lot of 3's. It is my sense that what happens is that the first error in each of those criteria is -1.. and then when we get to 5, there is substantial reluctance to take away any more.

I don't quite get why you took a swipe at my trainer (whoever might get that dubious honor at the moment) but I've had pretty much everyone I've ever ridden with use the phrase "fairly bad" at one point or another. ;) I am certain, were they judging (some were judges, some had other distinctive credentials, some had none other than my own judgement of their ability), they would have known the convention and written 5 rather than 3. But that just goes to show how divorced we are from the words on the scale.

I also think most of us who got a test back with a 50% would grimace and describe it as a "Fairly Bad" score. I don't know anyone with any experience with dressage who would be happy with a 50%, despite the label of 'sufficient.'

I would personally love to see a trial where judges use more of the scale. This doesn't apply so much to the Olympics, so we're a bit off topic here - no one at the Olympics should score below 6 for anything aside from mistake or misfortune, while in everyday scoring, there are riders on the wrong path making systemic mistakes. It would be interesting to see, if judges used more of the scale, how scores would change, especially for riders in the 55-61% range, and to see if that created more clarity.

It's also possible, that in the process of changing the scale, that we would adjust our sense of what was an "acceptable" score. That is typical when scoring parameters are adjusted, and not necessarily a bad thing.

DA, I know how you've been trained, and I applaud you for following those guidelines when you judge, as you should. However, that does not mean that that way is the best way or the only way it can be judged, when one is talking about changing the system.

Dressage Art
Sep. 6, 2009, 09:16 PM
1-I disagree that training and judging are different. There should be NO difference between training and judgingbut so far, statistically they are ;)



3-Clarifying just what exactly constitues a 0-10 for any movement is part of what is called the "operational definition." This is part where there is multiplicity of opinion. This can include rewriting the test so the exact criteria that is being evaluated can be scored. For example, the many typical errors of a halt can be broken down and a score awarded....stepped back, not square, no immobility.....all those dimensions can be part of a "sub score" so that the criteria are clearly articulated.Oh yes, and there are sets like that, and I have notes and notes with when X happen the score ca not be higher than a Y and such. Like if horse stepped BACK in a halt, the score can not be higher than a 5. And there are many, many sub-categories, and that's partially a challenge for some trainers to memorize them all. Some trainers do not excel in a classroom, they excel as an athletes on the horse in the arena = and that's a challenge to find a successful athlete who can on top of that excel in the classroom. (So think back to high school, how many were good in both areas?)

Dressage Art
Sep. 6, 2009, 09:23 PM
For example, your point about the halt is well taken. But consider this: you have listed 7 distinct criteria for judging this one simple movement. If one got -1 for each of those criteria, you should give rather a lot of 3's. It is my sense that what happens is that the first error in each of those criteria is -1.. and then when we get to 5, there is substantial reluctance to take away any more.
First off all I didn't intend to "take a swipe at your trainer" - I was talking generally.

Second, I would highly advice for EVERBODY if you want to change the judging system, first go thru the "L" program or at least audit it. the reality of judging is dramatically different at times from what some people think it is - and sometimes you really need the knowledge and training of how judging works to change it. Otherwise, even some very good intentions may look childish... I'm glad to clarify on some of it, but I also have a very limited knowledge/experience. I wish we would have vocal licensed judges here who can shine some light on the judging for COTHers.

Third, Judges do not start judging with 10 and giving -1 for mistakes. They start judging from a question "is it a 4 or is it a 5"? And if it's a 4 then they go DOWN and if it's a 5 they go UP.

Touchstone Farm
Sep. 6, 2009, 10:09 PM
I just want to comment that I am the weakest member of the Nerd Herd statistically wise, so my following comments have nothing to do with me. :-) I have to say being a part of the reviews and comments behind the scenes has given me such insight to this group. They are truly about the good of the sport and honestly want to offer their considerable knowledge and expertise to help the sport. I bow my head to their knowledge and their genuine desire to help the sport. Wow, are they smart!!

I have only begun my "journey" to become a judge (I have no idea at this point if I will like being a judge or if I will even pass the tests required), but I do know that IF it is something I do in the future, I want to be a good judge, a fair judge. The judges that I have worked with in the L program and those I have scribed for so far have been incredibly generous with their time, expertise and advice. I welcome anything that will help ME be a better, fairer and more consistent judge. So I guess I have a personal interest in this!

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that this group has no negative or political agenda tied in with its efforts. Just a genuine desire to help.

Caryn

Ambrey
Sep. 6, 2009, 10:37 PM
I don't understand why all of the criteria they teach in the L program isn't published and available for everybody to see?

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 12:50 AM
I guess he would prefer that we don't discuss that which we have no clue about on these forums. :rolleyes:

And no, he cannot be bothered coming over "here" to join any discussions.

I wonder if he even bothered to read the study the "Nerd Herd" so kindly took the time and $$ to send him? :confused:



Well, I’m at the Holiday Inn in Aachen and ready to begin tomorrow’s 3 days of Judging Systems Trials. I am very excited, as are the other members of the FEI Dressage Task Force, to produce this study to determine if new methods of judging, scoring, and the use of technology might positively modify and modernize the sport of Dressage.

I have also been happy that my challenge to bloggers has seemingly opened up greater channels of communication between Dressage enthusiasts and myself, both as a member of the FEI Task Force and a fellow lover of the sport. Still, while there has been a steady stream of questions and comments coming in, it is nothing compared to the 144 posts people have placed on another site about my very challenge.

I am happy that some of those applaud my willingness to discuss issues they are interested in, but some people think I should “come to them” to talk about their concerns and even more continue to “answer each other’s questions” as if they sat on the committee next to me and know first hand what our motivations and end-game desires are.

As to going to the other blog-sites, I honestly have hardly enough time every day to deal with my own. Build and maintain one yourself and you will see what I mean. So. sorry, but if you want to have an ongoing conversation with me on any and all issues, it will have to be where I have a built-in responsibility to go to every day - DoversWorld.com.

But, every once in a while (or when a friend tells me I must), I will peruse the other sites to find out if I really am going to be on Dancing With The Stars, since I never got the notice, or to see what those “herd members” are saying about issues I have a passion about.

Know this - I love talking to you and promise to always give my honest opinion on any issue you ask or comment about.
Cheers!
RD

Ambrey
Sep. 7, 2009, 12:52 AM
Aw, lighten up, Robert. You'd be great on DWTS ;)

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:03 AM
Actually, I don't find this amusing at all.

The cavalier attitude toward any statistical studies and the refusal to even come prepared to this important Task Force meeting by doing some background research (or even reaching out to those scholars who have spent their valuable time putting together such a study.)

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:15 AM
Honestly, I think it's 'sad and scary' that people make such an incredibly big deal about going to another website to ask their questions.

In one way, it's a bit cheesy of Robert to insist people do so, since in his website, he can choose how to moderate and edit the posts made, and it gives him a degree of control over things he wouldn't have here.

However, if the people who created these statistics REALLY feel that strongly that they are important statistics others should know, they would take it as their mission to spread the word, and would go on other websites....and NOT start the discussion by whining about whether the person has read the report yet.

In point of fact, they have in the past discussed this on other websites, other mail groups and other methods of communication, and I don't particularly see how Robert's website is so terribly different.

I think too, the creators of the report have to realize even though the report is their 'baby' - the information is not perfect, it is not unassailable, don't get SO bent out of shape if someone has a question about it. Too, to 'preach to the choir', those who are disatisfied with the organizations is very, very easy.

To be quite frank, it has been, at times, very nasty in a very personal way here, selecting individuals and calling them names like 'elitist' and impuning their character in far, far worse ways. In fact, here, in MANY threads, anyone who supported the proposed qualification rules was ATTACKED. Yes, ATTACKED.

There were a great number of discussions here in which I felt, 'Damn, if someone wants to discuss any point in favor of qualification, they better not do it on COH, they will get shouted down and called names and their character questioned in very personal ways'. What was said here about some of the individuals involved supporting or proposing qualification, frankly, was appalling.

It is very hard for someone on that side to admit it, but watch out, folks. After a point, it doesn't matter if the individuals writing the report keep their nose clean; their followers have been quite nasty at times. I realize it's hard to control what others say, but people making rules of engagement after such things happen, is one of the unfortunate results of 'freedom of speech'.

So don't be shocked or surprised, if, based on some of the name calling and personal attacks made here as well as the EXTREME lack of tolerance for anything other than taking one particular side, someone in the organizations wants to make a few rules of engagement.

Don't be SO surprised if it's not so easy to preach once you leave the choir. if it's important to y'all, you'll go to other websites to discuss it. That isn't really THAT big of a hurdle.

pluvinel
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:48 AM
However, if the people who created these statistics REALLY feel that strongly that they are important statistics others should know, they would take it as their mission to spread the word, and would go on other websites....and NOT start the discussion by whining about whether the person has read the report yet.
RD was personally emailed the report. By several people. The expectation by people who have served in industry/research/business committees is that a representative be prepared. In the case of someone attending a major meeting on dressage scoring would be expected to be prepared by reading all "prior art" on the subject....especially when the Nerd Herd report was instrumental in having the USEF qualifying rule withdrawn.

The UDBB post on RD's challenge has over 4500 views. The COTH has over 5,700. The numbers for the USEF qualifying rule was as high or higher when counting all the multiple threads. The "Fourth Estate" is a great medium for disseminating information and those two BB's provide info for more people than could ever be done thru simple mailing....perhaps we should try tweets.


In point of fact, they have in the past discussed this on other websites, other mail groups and other methods of communication, and I don't particularly see how Robert's website is so terribly different.
Well, I was willing to dance and posted a questeion. But if he wants dialog, he needs to have his web site be user friendly...much easier to post in UDBB and COTH and follow the dialog. I sent in my question, with a return email address. It was not responded to, or if it was, when I went looking it for the life of me could not find where was the answer.

In part, posting on the BB's is a way disseminate information, but also to raise questions for the Nerd Herd to understand the various points of view, where understanding is needed, what questions do people have.....so that whatever analyses which are or could be done address the appropriate topics.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:53 AM
I can't agree with you that you justify not going there more than once because his web site isn't 'user friendly' when it's much like a great many websites out there. If that is the problem then you wouldn't be going anywhere but web sites you like/as nice as this one, and since there aren't many just like this one, you would be turning your nose up at a LOT of potential audience, and that doesn't do much for your message, or say much about your own dedication to it.

Equibrit
Sep. 7, 2009, 11:05 AM
Oh come on - he's just another waste of space and money. All he's interested in is telling the world how wonderful R Dover is. That is his motivation, so why would he be interested in doing anything to improve his understanding or to improve dressage. Why not just have a public fight on BBs, he gets more ink that way. Besides, I don't think he has the mental ability to engage in any serious discussion on the subject. He also doesn't seem to be too good at following through.
"Olympian Robert Dover to retire

October 23, 2008
US Olympic dressage stalwart Rober Dover says he is retiring from riding and teaching, and from the running of Romance Farm in Florida. He will dedicate his time to writing and working for the non-profit organisations the Equestrian Aid Foundation and Well Wish International. The five-time Olympian is to be inducted into the US Dressage Federation's Hall of Fame in December."

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 11:10 AM
That is immaterial. In working with organizations (or with any group), you meet many people you personally don't care for - in fact, you are fairly likely to meet more people you personally dislike than not...especially in your case ;).

The goal that one is working toward either is more important than one's personal opinion of an individual, or not. If not, one is very unlikely to ever accomplish anything in working with any organization.

pluvinel
Sep. 7, 2009, 11:11 AM
I can't agree with you that you justify not going there more than once because his web site isn't 'user friendly' when it's much like a great many websites out there. If that is the problem then you wouldn't be going anywhere but web sites you like/as nice as this one, and since there aren't many just like this one, you would be turning your nose up at a LOT of potential audience, and that doesn't do much for your message, or say much about your own dedication to it.
All I'm saying is that it would be nice to have a dialog. If there was an answer, I could not find it.

Same as I would not impose my self on someone, I would not continue to post on his web site if there was not some sort of answer. Ignoring a post is one way to dissuade further discussion on a topic.

So, what should I do, continue to pester the site with posts and be labled as some sort of malcontent? Sorry....if he wants traffic to his web site, then there is software available to enable that to happen easily.

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 11:25 AM
In one way, it's a bit cheesy of Robert to insist people do so, since in his website, he can choose how to moderate and edit the posts made, and it gives him a degree of control over things he wouldn't have here.

However, if the people who created these statistics REALLY feel that strongly that they are important statistics others should know, they would take it as their mission to spread the word, and would go on other websites....and NOT start the discussion by whining about whether the person has read the report yet.

I think this is a bit dramatic and not quite true.

And before I am accused of "attacking you";
please remember this is a discussion forum and just because I disagree with your opinion doesn't mean that I am "attacking you" or "impuning your name".

This whole thing started with Mr. Dover laying down a "challenge" to those "nerds" and "herds" who post on the COTH BB.
Saying that they would be better not to speak of things which they have no knowledge. Better that they come to his blog and ask their questions which he would answer.

Which several of the "nerd herd" did go, and in a very civil manner, ask pertinent questions that are being discussed here.
(in no way could you construe them as "whining")

Mr. Dover answered by giving the Aachen itinerary and copying the FEI article on the meeting.

They asked if he had read the study they had sent him. He replied to his knowledge he had never received it.

Not "No I didn't receive it, but could you please re-send a copy, this would be some additional information that might be helpful at my Task Force meeting."
Just no, I never received it. :no:

From the beginning it was puzzling that Mr. Dover would issue a challenge but insist that it be conducted on his blog, whose format by nature is a single blogger's opinion.
Why not on COTH forum where the format is discussion and is read and participated by many, many people with divergent skills and ideas?
What an opportunity to publicize just what the Dressage Task Force is doing and to any squash mis-information here on a very popular, public forum.
More important, what an opportunity to reach out of the box and take advantage of many ideas that have been presented here.

Finally, yes, the discussions do get heated on this BB. But, I think that the COTH moderators and editors do a fantastic job keeping the topics on point and are quick to delete any personal attacks or rude remarks.

I am sorry for going with the DWTS remark and I will edit out.

But, I do think what is irritating to many is Mr. Dover's penchant for impuning the expertise of people but refusing to leave the his safe "World".
How does that solve anything or expand the possibilty of solutions? :confused:

Ambrey
Sep. 7, 2009, 12:55 PM
LOL, what more could Pluvinel do to spread the word?

But here's the thing. Math is scary. Some people don't want to look at a bunch of numbers, don't want to try to understand mathematical concepts. It's just too much.

But I don't think that discussion is what is annoying him. Again, I think it's just the random snark, the comments about how he's just trying to drive traffic to his site, or whatever. It doesn't seem to me that he has much interest in the statistical discussion, he just wants people to stop insulting him.

Tiligsmom
Sep. 7, 2009, 01:15 PM
Oh come on - he's just another waste of space and money. All he's interested in is telling the world how wonderful R Dover is. That is his motivation, so why would he be interested in doing anything to improve his understanding or to improve dressage. Why not just have a public fight on BBs, he gets more ink that way. Besides, I don't think he has the mental ability to engage in any serious discussion on the subject. He also doesn't seem to be too good at following through.
"Olympian Robert Dover to retire

October 23, 2008
US Olympic dressage stalwart Rober Dover says he is retiring from riding and teaching, and from the running of Romance Farm in Florida. He will dedicate his time to writing and working for the non-profit organisations the Equestrian Aid Foundation and Well Wish International. The five-time Olympian is to be inducted into the US Dressage Federation's Hall of Fame in December."

Sure looks that way to me. Perhaps he's trying to stay in the limelight now that he wasn't chosen as the US coach! Whatever...his approach reflects the arrogance and disdain for others that many posters have complaints about as it relates to the FEI.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 01:38 PM
Disagreeing is different from attacking. Usually, the two parties do not agree on the definitions of those two words, EITHER, at least not in the context of their discussion, and which one of them is doing which. LOL.

Odd thing is, you said what I said was not true, then said basically the same thing was what you believed, so I'm not quite understanding you.

I still believe in my main point, which is that if one gripes about certain individuals and then finds they are the only people working on the issue in the organization, things are going to be a wee bit awkward. Little like the young dude at work who griped endlessly about Joe Manager, and then came into work one day and found out Joe Manager was his new boss.

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 01:57 PM
However, if the people who created these statistics REALLY feel that strongly that they are important statistics others should know, they would take it as their mission to spread the word, and would go on other websites....and NOT start the discussion by whining about whether the person has read the report yet.

1.) The Nerd Herd did not "create statistics" they did an intensive statistical study of scoring.

2.) The study was sent to Mr. Dover and others on the Task Force.

3.) Members of the Nerd Herd, including pluvinel, DID go on Mr. Dover's blog and ask pertinent questions as he requested in his challenge.
They did not "whine". :rolleyes:

Mr. Dover did not respond to their questions.



To be quite frank, it has been, at times, very nasty in a very personal way here, selecting individuals and calling them names like 'elitist' and impuning their character in far, far worse ways. In fact, here, in MANY threads, anyone who supported the proposed qualification rules was ATTACKED. Yes, ATTACKED.

So don't be shocked or surprised, if, based on some of the name calling and personal attacks made here as well as the EXTREME lack of tolerance for anything other than taking one particular side, someone in the organizations wants to make a few rules of engagement.


This is just over the top dramatic.

Mr. Dover was the one who issued the "challenge" to COTH and UDBB impuning the substance of a study Which He Never Even Read!!!

Also, it appears that Mr. Dover, by refusing to engage in dialog, is the one who is showing an "EXTREME lack of tolerance for anything other than taking one particular side"


Let alone, give an objective defense of or even state his position (besides quoting Task Force meeting itineraries and FEI website blurbs.)

So, no SLC, I do not agree with your opinions as stated. I hope I clarified.

Ambrey
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:06 PM
It is not overdramatic. Why would Robert Dover visit a site where people say things like this?


Oh come on - he's just another waste of space and money. All he's interested in is telling the world how wonderful R Dover is. That is his motivation, so why would he be interested in doing anything to improve his understanding or to improve dressage. Why not just have a public fight on BBs, he gets more ink that way. Besides, I don't think he has the mental ability to engage in any serious discussion on the subject. He also doesn't seem to be too good at following through.
"Olympian Robert Dover to retire

and then accuse him of exploiting it for money when he complains? And the thing is, this site is about 50x less snarky than it was a year ago.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:13 PM
In fact, one person felt Dover HAD responded on his web site by posting - something. I think the situation's about as clear as mud.

Claire-ifying that the nerd herd did not 'create statistics', I think is over the top dramatic.

ROFLMAO!

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:21 PM
I agree, no reason to sink to another's level.

By the same token, why would people care to engage in a blog where
the author says things like this:


but some people think I should “come to them” to talk about their concerns and even more continue to “answer each other’s questions” as if they sat on the committee next to me and know first hand what our motivations and end-game desires are.

Or this:



Instead, “herd members” place their theories, most of them without much fact to back them up, as to exactly what will take place and the probable results.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:28 PM
In other words, because Robert writes something snitty, then it's ok for someone else on the opposing side to.

How's that workin' for ya?

I'm sticking with my story - complaining about people in organizations doesn't further working with them, AND that the dialogue about qualification was extremely one sided here. I didn't even feel comfortable stating my opinions here (for once, LOL) because it was so nasty, so vitriolic, and so very personal here. Anyone who didn't go along with the crowd on that topic was positively ripped into with the same tack Equibrit just took. It was either agree or get out.

Complaining about Robert makes it less likely he would come here and 'engage in a dialogue'. As I said, freedom of speech is great, but then one day, you realize you aren't having any real 'dialogue' (and nothing is moving or changing in the organization) in part because no one wants to come and play in your sandbox any more, in part because you insist they MUST come here.

It's expecting something totally unrealistic to expect someone to come on over to our sandbox so they can be more effectively and in their face bashed. You wouldn't do it either.

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:32 PM
Maybe, pluvinel or ShotenStar could start another thread to discuss
Dressage scoring at the international level and the Task Force meeting etc.

I was enjoying that aspect of this thread and would like to learn more.

The Robert Dover Blog challenge and the "All Dover" turn this thread has taken is getting to be a :sleepy:

JMVHO :winkgrin:

poltroon
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:56 PM
Anyone wishing to see the current state of the threads on RD's site can see them here:

http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/08/calling-all-bloggers-a-challange/#comments

(15 comments so far) I would say that while Dover has responded to most of the questions, he has not particularly answered them all. I do not know if this means he does not understand the questions, does not know the answers, or does not choose to address them. I assume it's that he does not know the answers and does not care to say so.

He has a new thread started yesterday from Aachen:
http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/09/in-aachen-and-ready-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-3763

I have a lot of respect for Robert and I believe he is working to make dressage better. However, I wish he would be more open to taking input from people with experience in fields other than international level competitive dressage.

PennyRidge
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:06 PM
I don't know why I am doing this (commenting on this thread) - - perhaps my allergies are affecting my power to think rationally. I have tried to follow this thread as it can be entertaining and interesting. However, I want to say that it is time consuming to simply READ all of the posts, let alone try to actually respond to them. Given the fact that many of us who ride/teach/train horses for a living have limited amount of time to spend at the computer, it becomes a huge TIME KILLER to get into a conversation on a forum such as this. If one could talk directly to a person without having all the wild chatter that comes with it, it might be worthwhile. But, the threads take on a life of their own and a busy person like RD surely would never have time or desire to get into such a ridiculous effort. I know I wouldn't, and RD may be busier than I!

As for the much ballyhooed statistical report from the "nerd herd", I'm sure RD doesn't feel the need to read it (and perhaps he actually has) because he has probably heard what is in it, which is good enough. And, quite frankly, I would dare say that he knows enough about the state of judging and dressage competitions by actually GOING to the shows, seeing the state of affairs that exist and drawing his own conclusions.

RD and the FEI task force are interested in other matters right now than whether or not that report proves or disproves the need for Performance Standards, which is what the report was all about to begin with. I doubt they will ever care about it.

I think this thread has become more about trying to keep the "legend of the nerd herd report" alive rather than anything of much meaning. Sorry, I don't mean to be insulting, but I think this thread needs to be put to rest!

I hope someone lets RD know that there are plenty of us who agree that he is WISE to avoid coming to these BBs to try to converse!!

Equibrit
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:26 PM
Or that there are still some individuals left who kneel at the altar of Dover !

claire
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:35 PM
Pennyidge,

Just so you don't have to waste anymore of your time sifting through this COTH thread, poltroon has very kindly posted the links to Robert Dover's Blog.

If you have time, I am sure he would appreciate you posting a comment that you agree with his decision not to engage in dialogs on COTH. :cool:


Anyone wishing to see the current state of the threads on RD's site can see them here:

http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/08/calling-all-bloggers-a-challange/#comments

He has a new thread started yesterday from Aachen:
http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/09/in-aachen-and-ready-to-go/comment-page-1/#comment-3763


poltroon,
I totally agree with your sentiments. Well put!



I would say that while Dover has responded to most of the questions, he has not particularly answered them all. I do not know if this means he does not understand the questions, does not know the answers, or does not choose to address them. I assume it's that he does not know the answers and does not care to say so.

I have a lot of respect for Robert and I believe he is working to make dressage better. However, I wish he would be more open to taking input from people with experience in fields other than international level competitive dressage.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:50 PM
"individuals who still kneel at the altar of Dover"

if you think that's me, you couldn't be more wrong. but it doesn't matter what I think about the individual, if one has to work with someone one plasters a smile on one's punam and gets the job done. If you have to work with someone and achieve something, you don't get there by calling them names. the goal is far more important than personal feelings...if it's ever going to get done, that is.

Ghazzu
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:23 PM
However, I do agree that if Robert Dover is "disturbed" by some the mis-information (?) or viewpoints discussed on COTH about the Qualification Standards and Scoring Study done by the "Nerd Herd", why not join the discussion here on COTH?

Robert Dover's site is, after all, a blog (by it's nature a format to highlight the author's opinion) rather than a discussion forum (COTH) which is perhaps a better format to Q&A and discuss a subject presenting many opinions and viewpoints.

Just so.

PennyRidge
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:28 PM
Or that there are still some individuals left who kneel at the altar of Dover !

Ah..this proves my point exactly.

One need not be a follower of a particular dressage "star" to understand that it would be unproductive and a waste of time to engage in a conversation that entails dealing with folks who blast back with puerile comments as the one quoted above.

I went though this act of frustration a while back when I tried to have a decent "conversation" with those who actually participated in doing the study of dressage scores which resulted in the statistical report. They were capable of making intelligent posts without becoming combative.

Unfortunately, the snake pit that one has to tromp through to talk to the more mature crowd is not worth the effort.

ShotenStar
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:32 PM
I think this thread has become more about trying to keep the "legend of the nerd herd report" alive rather than anything of much meaning. Sorry, I don't mean to be insulting, but I think this thread needs to be put to rest!


Hhhhmmmm .... and here I thought it was about how we could influence the FEI Task Force process, both by commenting on RD's site and by discussing the issue here and on UDBB.

Silly me.

But I guess that being part of a 'legend' is a good thing ... right?

*star*

Equibrit
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:22 PM
Ah..this proves my point exactly.

One need not be a follower of a particular dressage "star" to understand that it would be unproductive and a waste of time to engage in a conversation that entails dealing with folks who blast back with puerile comments as the one quoted above.

I went though this act of frustration a while back when I tried to have a decent "conversation" with those who actually participated in doing the study of dressage scores which resulted in the statistical report. They were capable of making intelligent posts without becoming combative.

Unfortunately, the snake pit that one has to tromp through to talk to the more mature crowd is not worth the effort.

If you are going to use words like peurile, please learn to spell them.
For your information, I was merely offering an alternative theory for your fawning missive.
That's what people do, when having a discussion.

PS; What point exactly ?

Equibrit
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:31 PM
if you think that's me,

Duh - no.

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:50 PM
Equibrit, you thought it was a 'fawning missive'. I didn't. I'm not sure anyone else did except you. I think accusing anyone who tries to work within an organization for change of being 'fawning' is...well...it's not often the comment someone makes who has successfully worked within organizations for positive change.

Robert Dover, love him or hate him, is a part of the organization and has a lot of say in things whether you like him or not. You may not respect him, you may feel very good about insulting someone who isn't going to come here and fight back, but it's things like that that reduce dialogue, it does not increase it, and it does nothing positive for the situation. You're not going to be taking Rober Dover's place any time soon, in fact, I haven't ever heard any indication that you are willing to do anything about helping shape USEF rules except call people names ;).

Equibrit
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:56 PM
Get with it slc. That's not what I said at all.

alicen
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:17 PM
"If you are going to use words like peurile, please learn to spell them." Errrr, ahem, she did spell it correctly . And puerile is singular , so your sentence should read, " If you are going to use a word like puerile, please learn how to spell it."

egontoast
Sep. 7, 2009, 08:19 PM
If you are going to use words like peurile, please learn to spell them

I guess i'm easily amused but I find this hilarious.

Arathita
Sep. 7, 2009, 11:56 PM
I don't know why I am doing this (commenting on this thread) - - perhaps my allergies are affecting my power to think rationally. I have tried to follow this thread as it can be entertaining and interesting. However, I want to say that it is time consuming to simply READ all of the posts, let alone try to actually respond to them. Given the fact that many of us who ride/teach/train horses for a living have limited amount of time to spend at the computer, it becomes a huge TIME KILLER to get into a conversation on a forum such as this. If one could talk directly to a person without having all the wild chatter that comes with it, it might be worthwhile. But, the threads take on a life of their own and a busy person like RD surely would never have time or desire to get into such a ridiculous effort. I know I wouldn't, and RD may be busier than I!

As for the much ballyhooed statistical report from the "nerd herd", I'm sure RD doesn't feel the need to read it (and perhaps he actually has) because he has probably heard what is in it, which is good enough. And, quite frankly, I would dare say that he knows enough about the state of judging and dressage competitions by actually GOING to the shows, seeing the state of affairs that exist and drawing his own conclusions.

RD and the FEI task force are interested in other matters right now than whether or not that report proves or disproves the need for Performance Standards, which is what the report was all about to begin with. I doubt they will ever care about it.

I think this thread has become more about trying to keep the "legend of the nerd herd report" alive rather than anything of much meaning. Sorry, I don't mean to be insulting, but I think this thread needs to be put to rest!

I hope someone lets RD know that there are plenty of us who agree that he is WISE to avoid coming to these BBs to try to converse!!

I do not know why you are commenting either. If you don't have the time to understand and integrate points of view, you should perhaps not offer an opinion. Let us not forget that the "busy person" that is RD initiated this thread and has quite alot to say on his own blog. This thread would not exist if he did not "challange [sic] COTH". Would you not agree? Why did he give permission for it to post here if he is too busy or couldn't be bothered to defend his words?

RD has an obligation to read the nerd herd's report as much as he has an obligation to read any scientific document relating to dressage if he desires an active role in representing the sport. "Hearing" what is in the report is as good as "hearing" from your friends about news and politics. He must read it in order to educate himself about objective approaches to answering questions. This is important if he himself does not have experience in objectively approaching scientific questions - and he does not. Most people in the horse industry do not have the training to evaluate statistics and scientific questions objectively. Riders are not allowed to perscribe drugs to the horse, are they? No. Trained veterinarians are. Going to shows and participating in them DOES NOT give one experience in understanding judging on a more global level or creating policy. Riders and trainers ARE NOT QUALIFIED to be judges. Even Grand Prix level riders have to start the judging program in the "L" program, correct? There is no special dispensation for GP level riders in the judging program or the trainer certification program.

RD and the task force are concerned with improving the profile of dressage and you had better believe that owners and sponsors are interested in a more scientific look at judging. Many are sick of politics. It is why this is all happening.

You say this thread forwards the legend of the nerd herd. I laugh at that. Science brought us supplements and better feeds and better saddle design and better panel fills and better diagnostic and treatment regimes and better wicking clothing technologies, and many other things. And yet you balk at an objective approach to improving scoring. Very interesting. I wonder why you and RD are so busy riding horses that you have no interest in truly improving scoring. The best riders and trainers and owners want improvements and yet you do not. Care to explain?

Arathita
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:24 AM
Honestly, I think it's 'sad and scary' that people make such an incredibly big deal about going to another website to ask their questions.

I believe it was Robert that had the questions, slick. I am in agreement in that I don't know what the big deal is about going to another website to ask questions.


In one way, it's a bit cheesy of Robert to insist people do so, since in his website, he can choose how to moderate and edit the posts made, and it gives him a degree of control over things he wouldn't have here. However, if the people who created these statistics REALLY feel that strongly that they are important statistics others should know, they would take it as their mission to spread the word, and would go on other websites....and NOT start the discussion by whining about whether the person has read the report yet.

Wrong. It is up to others to educate themselves once the information is freely available and once the information has arrived in their inbox. That is what professional people do.


In point of fact, they have in the past discussed this on other websites, other mail groups and other methods of communication, and I don't particularly see how Robert's website is so terribly different..
Robert seems to be the one who does not understand the situation. Should people spoon feed him? He can contact these people directly if he wants to be professional and has questions about the methodology.


I think too, the creators of the report have to realize even though the report is their 'baby' - the information is not perfect, it is not unassailable, don't get SO bent out of shape if someone has a question about it. Too, to 'preach to the choir', those who are disatisfied with the organizations is very, very easy.

The report was factual, not "a baby". It is a simple situation of disseminating facts rather than opinions. From what I have read the authors are more than happy to answer specific questions. What questions do you have, slick? How would you have done the report differently?


To be quite frank, it has been, at times, very nasty in a very personal way here, selecting individuals and calling them names like 'elitist' and impuning their character in far, far worse ways. In fact, here, in MANY threads, anyone who supported the proposed qualification rules was ATTACKED. Yes, ATTACKED.

ATTACKED? By whom? Please provide links. There are always a minority that attacks and you are in that minority. You are one of the most negative people on this board. Please provide posts where the scientists attacked people. Otherwise, you are fibbing.


There were a great number of discussions here in which I felt, 'Damn, if someone wants to discuss any point in favor of qualification, they better not do it on COH, they will get shouted down and called names and their character questioned in very personal ways'. What was said here about some of the individuals involved supporting or proposing qualification, frankly, was appalling.

Bullcrap. You flipped and flopped yourself. Please please link to these specific posts and threads. People debated each other and some people just could not support their facts and some changed their mind. You changed your mind depending on the prevailing attitude. You are in no position to make this argument, slick. We all know that.


It is very hard for someone on that side to admit it, but watch out, folks. After a point, it doesn't matter if the individuals writing the report keep their nose clean; their followers have been quite nasty at times. I realize it's hard to control what others say, but people making rules of engagement after such things happen, is one of the unfortunate results of 'freedom of speech'.

"followers"? How about people who understand the report? Can I assume that you did not? I can see that you may not agree with the recommendations but you do not seem to understand the report. I refer you to one of the authors to understand it better.


So don't be shocked or surprised, if, based on some of the name calling and personal attacks made here as well as the EXTREME lack of tolerance for anything other than taking one particular side, someone in the organizations wants to make a few rules of engagement.

Don't be SO surprised if it's not so easy to preach once you leave the choir. if it's important to y'all, you'll go to other websites to discuss it. That isn't really THAT big of a hurdle.

You are one of the most negative posters and I do not understand why you believe you can condemn others. If people do not agree with you they are wrong. ROBERT had the "challange" to COTH so really it is up to him to contact the people in question. THe people in question seem to have jobs and busy lives and it is not reasonable for them to keep up on internet chat.

:rolleyes: Not a fan of emoticons but I can not help this.

egontoast
Sep. 8, 2009, 09:36 AM
Thanks arathita for taking the time to address the dramallaminitis.:lol:

poltroon
Sep. 8, 2009, 10:42 AM
Robert Dover, love him or hate him, is a part of the organization and has a lot of say in things whether you like him or not. You may not respect him, you may feel very good about insulting someone who isn't going to come here and fight back, but it's things like that that reduce dialogue, it does not increase it, and it does nothing positive for the situation.

Well put.

Tiligsmom
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:38 PM
Maybe this 10 page thread is all RD really wanted - to be the center of attention :p

Pony Fixer
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:53 PM
Thanks arathita for taking the time to address the dramallaminitis.:lol:

I had to go put my feet in a cold stream. And then take some Banamine. I hope I don't lose my new pedi....

canyonoak
Sep. 8, 2009, 01:39 PM
The following is not written to anyone in particular:

Robert Dover, SFAIK, is the ONLY person telling us what is going on at Aachen with the judging trials.

I think this is extremely generous of him.

I do not think biting the hand that feeds you is a particularly good way to get more information.

cheers,

ShotenStar
Sep. 8, 2009, 03:28 PM
The following is not written to anyone in particular:

Robert Dover, SFAIK, is the ONLY person telling us what is going on at Aachen with the judging trials.

I think this is extremely generous of him.

I do not think biting the hand that feeds you is a particularly good way to get more information.

cheers,

And this thread has 6,523+ views, with 201+ replies, while the thread that gives the first day's results of the testing process has only 207 views and 4 replies.

Statistically speaking, this group shows a strong preference for personal / personality-based discussions, rather than an interest in the actual topic of the Aachen judging trials .....:winkgrin:

*star*

SGray
Sep. 8, 2009, 06:04 PM
from D's World

September 8, 2009

Day 2 Of The Judging Systems Trials (http://doversworld.com/blog/2009/09/day-2-of-the-judging-systems-trials/)

The secnond day of the Dressage Judging
Systems Trials held by the FEI Dressage Task Force in Aachen was another big success.
The first test was of dividing the tasks in the standard Grand Prix. Five judges scored exactly as normal, giving marks as well as collective marks for the purpose of a reference. Five other judges gave collective marks according to a newly designed test sheet.
The test was designed to determine:
a. If the total marks willbe higher or lower than in the case of the present way od judging
b. to determine if the variatiion between average marks for a movement and average marks for collective marks will be higher/lower than when judged in the present way
The next trial was that of dividing the tasks for the Freesttyle in which the Grand Prix level was used. In this test, 4 judges judged the technical part from H,C,M and B and, as always, were able to give “half marks” for final marks per movement. 3 judges sitting at E, between C and H and between C and M judged the artistic part with half marks as normal and have the possibility to give more detailed remarks to the competitor. This test was to determine if:
a. the total marks will be higher or lower than when judged in the present way,
b. if the variation between the average technical marks and the average artistic marks will be higher /lower than with the present system
The final trial was to see if judges sitting close together and therefore all having the same view of the riders would change positively or negatively the outcome. In this test, 5 judges were placed in booths side by side on the short side while 5 more were placed side by side with larger widths in between the booths on the longside. We also placed one judge in a new locatiion which was directly behind the letter M, where no judge normally sits. This test was to evaluate how much the placement of the judges truly enhances or detracts from there ability to see all positive and negative aspects of the rides, and whether or not this leads to faulty placements of the horses and poorer scoring.
We continued to have wonderful discussions between the judges, the Task Force and the FEI Staff, especailly with regard to the positive results of creating a Judges Supervisory Panel for major competitions which will offer oversight to ensure there always be fair, compitant and honest officiating.
tomorrow will be our final morning of discussions by the Dressqage Task Force and I will report on these directly after.
Cheers!
RD