Text of ISIA Protest Letter to the ISU

Editor's note

This is the text of a letter to the ISU from Donald McKnight, president of Ice Skating Australia Incorporated, dated January 10, 2003. Therefore it is chronologically probably the first of the letters which have been sent by the various national skating federations to protest the inclusion of Rule 121 paragraph 3 into the 2002 edition of the ISU General Regulations.

I added the HTML markup manually and apologize for any errors, or if it doesn't quite match the formatting of the original document.

Text of the letter

Mr Fredi Schmid
General Secretary

Dear Fredi

I refer to the ISU's Press Release, above your signature and that of President Ottavio Cinquanta headed "Year - End Update - Figure Skating Judging for the 2002/03 Season and Beyond" dated 27 December, 2002.

It is a matter of the gravest concern to me that the introductory paragraphs give a very selective, incomplete and erroneous view of what the real happenings were at the Kyoto Congress in respect to the new judging systems proposed there.

It is certainly true that there was extended discussion in relation to the Australian and Canadian proposals but since the adoption of the Canadian proposal as presented there, the subsequent additions, amendments and variations now being implemented by the Council were never ever proposed or considered by the Congress. These changes, presumably to enhance further the anonymity of the judges, their marks and their placings cannot in the widest possible sense be considered even as drafting matters. These changes were never endorsed by the Members and as such must be considered as inconsequential, meaningless and hence lacking in legitimate implementation.

What is of the utmost concern are the statements that the ISU's Urgent Proposal No 4 was "approved without amendment" ...and that "the Kyoto Congress passed Urgent Proposal No 4 (now Rule 121, paragraph 3)" .. In President Cinquanta's own words this proposal was put forward to the Congress as a "Project" only. Again in his words " It is not a rule. This is not a rule. Is a Project. Is an itinerary. Nothing else". The proposal was frequently and effusively described as a concept, exactly that.

This "Project, itinerary, not a rule", was communicated to the congress by means of a glossy , sophisticated video presentation but there was never even any superficial , let alone in depth discussion by the Members and the delegates of the "Project, itinerary, not a rule" because this was still in the planning, developmental and experimental stage. Apart from one request to consider the project in the future in more detail, another to investigate the problems of this project, several questions as to why the "Project, itinerary, not a rule" was being dealt with as a matter relating to officials and why it was being included in the General Regulations, the concept did not lend itself to the consideration of amendments. President Cinquanta stressed extensive, continued development was required in order to bring the concept to a stage where it could be seriously tested before being brought back to the Members for their approval and endorsement for other than experimental and testing procedures. This would have been the time when a final draft had been submitted for consideration and for the Members to propose amendments if they had felt such were necessary or desirable.

I quote you now from a transcript of the Congress meeting on the afternoon of 3 June, 2002 immediately prior to the vote being taken.

"Australia (Don McKnight). If I may Mr President, one request for information. If we vote in support of this proposal, are we voting in support of this proposal as written, or are we voting in support of the general proposal to investigate a much more detailed and comprehensive judging system?

(President) Cinquanta. No! No. No. You are not voting for the proposal word by word. You are voting in favour of the concept, let's say, of the criteria, of the project, not on the, on the comma on the (inaudible). This I said many times. It is not a rule. This is not a rule. Is a project. Is an itinerary. Nothing else. I do not know what you are thinking about.

So now I call for a vote...."

Given that the proposal was not for a rule then I suggest that the text of the proposal which appears in the General Regulations 2002 as Rule 121 is there illegally and that the whole tenor of the Press Release implies a false premise on which is based its conclusion that the "ISU has the possibility to implement" ( not simply test in parallel with the existing judging system) "the New Judging System at mayor [sic] ISU Events".

Under this circumstance the ISU has not only not the possibility to implement the New Judging system but it has no right at all actually to implement it. Nor does the ISU have the right to retain the so called Rule 121 in the General Regulations because it is there illegally. I ask that it be withdrawn and all Members be advised accordingly.

Further we the Members, have not been apprised of the amount of funding budgeted for this Project but since the ISU requires that a budget accompany any new proposal will you please advise us, the Members, of the total budget allocation provided together with the amount expended to date.

Will you please inform me of your actions in response to both of these requests.

Yours sincerely


Donald McKnight

10 January 2003

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