DID YOU KNOW..
Let's look at the Rostelecom Cup pairs as an example to visualize a situation.
The ISU appoints the technical panels to all events. There could be a conspiracy in itself for those choices, but we are just going to look at the actual judging panel here:
|Judge No.1||Ms. Anne CAMMETT|
|Judge No.2||Mr. Vladislav PETUKHOV|
|Judge No.3||Mr. Peter LEVIN|
|Judge No.4||Mr. Benoit LAVOIE|
|Judge No.5||Mr. Alexei SHIRSHOV|
|Judge No.6||Mr. Evgeni ROKHIN|
|Judge No.7||Ms. Ingrid Charlotte WOLTER|
|Judge No.8||Ms. Natalia PRIMACHENKO|
|Judge No.9||Mr. Nikolai SALNIKOV|
Compare that now to the entry list:
Canada, Russia, and the United States were allowed one judge on this panel. I haven't gotten a definitive answer yet, but a possible reason there was no Italian judge was because the two original teams scheduled to compete were both German, and we see a German judge on this panel. The Italians were a later replacement. Maybe the judges are assigned way in advance in order to make travel arrangements? I think that is likely the case.
Anyways, looking past those four judges guaranteed a spot on the panel, we have the following countries:
Sweden, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Estonia.
Sweden had a ladies entry, and Peter Levin was on that panel. That could (or should) explain his inclusion here.
You wonder how the other four judges were picked for this competition?
No, it was not a random draw. No, they were not assigned by the ISU. They were invited by the host Federation!
Interesting choice, wouldn't you say? Why not Japan or China or use judges already on panels in other disciplines? If they are judging the singles events, they most likely would be qualified for the pairs event.
Instead, we have judges from four countries with no skaters in the entire competition.
If I was in charge of the any decision-making in the ISU, I would eliminate the option to invite judges. They would be randomly selected in a method very similar to what is done to choose panels of the ISU major internationals (Worlds, Europeans, Four Continents, World Juniors).
Just some food for thought...