robnplunder

Natsu basho 2019 discussions [SPOILERS]

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I wish the zealous sumo fans who decided to make a petition to the Japan Sumo Federation (posted earlier in the comments) against the judges decision could also include that here in the forum we have very good candidates for shimpan. Ones that do not take the incredible 5 minutes to judge this most obvious situation from the Tochinoshin - Asanoyama bout ... And noteworthy, our candidates will certainly not be a reason for political, religious and geostrategic problems that the likes of Onomatsu create ... 

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2 minutes ago, Rocks said:

For me this picture is irrelevant.  Basically all the video and pictures are irrelevant. Why? They are inconclusive. 

I don't understand how anyone can look at that picture and say it is inconclusive.

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4 minutes ago, K. Sear said:

I don't understand how anyone can look at that picture and say it is inconclusive.

That's because you think someone can conclusively discern the bottom of his foot from shadow in that picture. I would say the side by side pictures posted farther up the page would show the fallacy of such a position. If that entire black spot below his feet is all foot then a mark in the sand would have been left. An easily discernible one I would think. If that entire black blob is his foot that means his entire heel is in the sand. That isn't a light touch. 

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4 minutes ago, Rocks said:

That's because you think someone can conclusively discern the bottom of his foot from shadow in that picture. I would say the side by side pictures posted farther up the page would show the fallacy of such a position. If that entire black spot below his feet is all foot then a mark in the sand would have been left. An easily discernible one I would think. If that entire black blob is his foot that means his entire heel is in the sand. That isn't a light touch. 

His entire heel wouldn't be in the sand, only about an inch or so of skin, which I can conceive of leaving either no mark, or one too faint to be picked up by the cameras or visible on the videos.  Regardless, it appears that people's minds are made up and there isn't any swaying them.

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4 minutes ago, K. Sear said:

His entire heel wouldn't be in the sand, only about an inch or so of skin, which I can conceive of leaving either no mark, or one too faint to be picked up by the cameras or visible on the videos.  Regardless, it appears that people's minds are made up and there isn't any swaying them.

On the contrary, people will be very easily swayed by evidence both clear and indisputable. I’ll be the first to fall on my sword if I’m shown to be wrong.

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4 hours ago, Gurowake said:

And even if he had won the bout, Tochinoshin has been looking less like an Ozeki these last three matches.  I would say that regardless of whether he gets repromoted or not, he will likely* suffer back-to-back MKs within 9 basho, or by Kyushu 2020.  I'm not even doing this by calculation like I might normally, but by a gut feeling. If he's an Ozeki those 9 basho he earns a bit more money and still has his own parking spot (I don't understand this perk of being an Ozeki, given that rikishi can't drive.  Why do you need a parking spot if someone can just drop you off in the same place?  The perk is more like "gets to enter the arena more stealthily than most rikishi"), but nothing really changes.  He might be good enough to beat almost everyone when he's on, but he seems to be running out of steam.  He might win another Yusho, but I don't see him winning two in a row, so it won't matter what his rank is other than a bit more cash.

*If it doesn't happen, that doesn't mean "I was wrong".  I'm saying it's likely to happen, not that it will.

I usually find Gurowake's comments well=reasoned and incisive, but couldn't disagree with him more on his take on yesterday's debacle more. While it's true that Tochinoshin hasn't looked like an Ozeki in his last three bouts - although he certainly did in his first eight wins - that's completely irrelevent to whether he will or should become an Ozeki based on this basho. If he wins 10 matches he gets automatically repromoted - how he looks has nothing to do with it. 

As for his "gut feeling" that Tochinoshin won't be able to sustain Ozekihood again for 9 basho (anyone want to bet that Goeido will make another 10? Takakeishi? Takayasu?) that's fine. But if it doesn't happen it actually does mean he's wrong. In fact, it's the very definition that he's wrong. It's fine to note that it's just one of a range of possibilities, but that's true of any prediction. And if someone makes a prediction that doesn't pan out, they were wrong.

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17 minutes ago, K. Sear said:

I don't understand how anyone can look at that picture and say it is inconclusive.

You think he's conclusively out there? I dont see that myself...I haven't seen anything that shows him as clearly out and worth overturning the gyoji's call over.

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Posted (edited)

I think we can all agree on something though. This is could end up being a very sad situation for everyone involved. Who knows if Asanoyama will ever win a Yusho again? We don't even know if he'll hang on for this one. But if he doesn't win by two wins clear of everyone else, his championship will always have an asterisk and be considered impure to most. Tochinoshin could very reasonably end up at 9-6 with his remaining schedule. He already seemed to start crumbling being blasted out by Meisei of all people yesterday, and now today's situation has to be heartbreaking. He was already disappointed enough with having less than a year long Ozeki reign, but now he started this basho 9-1, one win from safety, and loses to three straight mid-Hiramaku rikishi. He has career losing records to all his likely remaining opponents. Today he most likely lost to one of the worst calls in sumo history or a likely misjudgment of his feet that caused what could have been construed as the lightest step on sand in human history. He's 32 and has had career injury problems, this might be his last gasp for Ozeki return with his luck. But it's not limited to these two, Tamawashi, Goeido, Meisei win the Yusho? Unless Tochi tragically goes 9-6 these four will all have a potential Yusho in a playoff that should have included Tochinoshin. Asanoyama winning by a 13-2 score and Tochinoshin finishing exactly 10-5 or Tochinoshin winning a 11-4 playoff is the best outcomes we can salvage from this mess. Edit: Kakuryu winning outright with a 12-3 wouldn't feel tainted.

Edited by Yukiarashi
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4 minutes ago, K. Sear said:

His entire heel wouldn't be in the sand, only about an inch or so of skin, which I can conceive of leaving either no mark, or one too faint to be picked up by the cameras or visible on the videos.  Regardless, it appears that people's minds are made up and there isn't any swaying them.

The problem is not that peoples minds are made up. It's that you have to conceive of something to suggest it happened.   A review is to determine if something happened, not to simply show you can't disprove it could have happened. This is what makes tachai's suggestion a lack of evidence for a touch doesn't disprove a touch is so silly.  Even if you think a lack of evidence isn't proof something didn't happen,  it isn't proof it did either. It's meaningless. In such a case, and in an era with 5 judges AND video review why should the public accept the idea 1 judge, 1 guy,  should be able to overturn a call by the gyoji because "I saw grains of sand on his heel'?  

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Gurowake said:

If the immediately available video evidence is inconclusive, you have to go with the opinion of the shimpan who was closest.  It may seem like a travesty given the other photos available, as well as the fact that there's no real reason why they can't just postpone a decision until better evidence is forthcoming since nothing immediately hinges on that result unlike in team sports, but really, if they are allowed to use photographs that are published an hour later or the next day, where does it end?  You have to use the evidence available, and there's no rule of having the initial decision stand when the gyoji can be overruled much much easier than other sports officials, and is more of a ceremonial figure while the shimpan really judge the winner.  And in this case, again, you have to go with the opinion of whoever was closest.

And even if he had won the bout, Tochinoshin has been looking less like an Ozeki these last three matches.  I would say that regardless of whether he gets repromoted or not, he will likely* suffer back-to-back MKs within 9 basho, or by Kyushu 2020.  I'm not even doing this by calculation like I might normally, but by a gut feeling. If he's an Ozeki those 9 basho he earns a bit more money and still has his own parking spot (I don't understand this perk of being an Ozeki, given that rikishi can't drive.  Why do you need a parking spot if someone can just drop you off in the same place?  The perk is more like "gets to enter the arena more stealthily than most rikishi"), but nothing really changes.  He might be good enough to beat almost everyone when he's on, but he seems to be running out of steam.  He might win another Yusho, but I don't see him winning two in a row, so it won't matter what his rank is other than a bit more cash.

*If it doesn't happen, that doesn't mean "I was wrong".  I'm saying it's likely to happen, not that it will.

The shimpan who said he was out (if that's really Tamanoshima as reported) certainly was not in the best spot...yet basically it just came down to his sole opinion that the heel was out when none of the others saw that. That's not a good process at all to me.

Edited by Katooshu

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As to the mono-ii and reversal of the gyoji's decision of the Tochinoshin-Asanoyama match, I think sumo would benefit by looking at the larger issue involved in the judging. For what it's worth, I see no evidence that Tochinoshin touched out - no heel print, no sand displaced or kicked up - so how a gyoji's decision is reversed by inconclusive evidence seems justifiably criticized. But that decision, good, bad, or ugly, is now history. The more useful question is how can we prevent getting in this situation again.

The "judges" of course, aren't judges in any accepted western or sports sense. Do you know any other sport where the judges are people with no training at judging, no qualifications as to eyesight (and it's pretty clear some of them don't see that well) or judgment, and no objectivity, but are instead judges based only on the fact that they formerly were players. Does anyone want Maradona refereeing a World Cup game? Or any other former great player at any sport being a judge or referee based on his being a great (or merely good) player? And yes, those are rhetorical questions, because the clear answer is "no".

Moreover, not only aren't the sumo judges qualified in any objective sense, they aren't even objective - they all have members of their heya wrestling. By definition you couldn't be in a more biased position.

So the whole system is out of whack - the judges are middle aged men who have no business judging the bouts and, as we've seen time and time again, aren't especially good at it. You don't see former rikishi as gyoji. Let's have sumo move into the 21st century and actually use trained, qualified judges. 

I'm not holding my breath on this one, of course. Maybe we'll be lucky and it will be another 50 years before they screw up another key match. But I'd bet under the current system they'll make another mistake in makuuchi next basho. And the ones after that, until the system itself is improved.

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6 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

The shimpan who said he was out (if that's really Tamanoshima as reported) certainly was not in the best spot...yet basically it just came down to his sole opinion that the heel was out. That's not a good process at all to me.

When it comes to the question of whether a foot is in or out, it’s always a *sole* opinion.

 

 

I’ll get my coat.

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Who are the potential opponents for Tochinoshin on Day 15? Goedo and Takayasu? 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Uk.sumo.fan said:

Who are the potential opponents for Tochinoshin on Day 15? Goedo and Takayasu? 

I think it has already been set with Takayasu.

Edited by Kaninoyama

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Just now, Kaninoyama said:

I think it's already been set with Takayasu.

I don't think it will matter. This ain't Tochinoshin's first go round losing a match caused they called his heel out and it wasn't conclusive or something. I  can't remember when that was but I remember something very similar. I also remember he was pissed as hell and destroyed the guy the next day. I wouldn't say it's a lock, but I wouldn't want to be in Kakuryu's shoes tonight.

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10 minutes ago, Uk.sumo.fan said:

Who are the potential opponents for Tochinoshin on Day 15? Goedo and Takayasu? 

Y1w Kakuryu (10-3) should face M8w Asanoyama (11-2) on Day 15. O1e Goeido (9-4) should face O1w Takayasu (8-5). That leaves S1w Tochinoshi (9-4) with a Maegashira on Day 15. Probably M5w Ryuden (8-5).

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1 hour ago, Rocks said:

The problem is not that peoples minds are made up. It's that you have to conceive of something to suggest it happened.   A review is to determine if something happened, not to simply show you can't disprove it could have happened. This is what makes tachai's suggestion a lack of evidence for a touch doesn't disprove a touch is so silly.  Even if you think a lack of evidence isn't proof something didn't happen,  it isn't proof it did either. It's meaningless. In such a case, and in an era with 5 judges AND video review why should the public accept the idea 1 judge, 1 guy,  should be able to overturn a call by the gyoji because "I saw grains of sand on his heel'?  

 

Apparently the shimpan in question is unaware that there is sand inside the ring as well, and any and all rikishi participating in a bout will have sand on the soles of their feet. Another WTF moment in a long line of them.

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12 minutes ago, Bumpkin said:

Y1w Kakuryu (10-3) should face M8w Asanoyama (11-2) on Day 15. O1e Goeido (9-4) should face O1w Takayasu (8-5). That leaves S1w Tochinoshi (9-4) with a Maegashira on Day 15. Probably M5w Ryuden (8-5).

interesting! 

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They were suggesting they wanted to wait till after they had the Day 14 results to set the torikumi for Day 15. I wonder if they will actually do it...

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10 minutes ago, Rocks said:

They were suggesting they wanted to wait till after they had the Day 14 results to set the torikumi for Day 15. I wonder if they will actually do it...

Too the best of my knowledge, this has never happened before.

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Posted (edited)

Just to change the topic, if Asanoyama does manage to win the yusho, he will win it in his 20th basho since debut and his 11th makuuchi appearance. Where would that put him on the records list? He did come in as sandanme tsukidashi mind you, which obviously skews things.

Edited by Eikokurai
Made a mistake with the numbers. Corrected.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

When it comes to the question of whether a foot is in or out, it’s always a *sole* opinion.

Will you stand by it?  

(I am wearing an umbrella)

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Just now, robnplunder said:

Will you stand by it?  

(I am wearing an umbrella)

Doesn’t matter. Whatever decision is made, all heel will break loose.

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1 hour ago, ScreechingOwl said:

The "judges" of course, aren't judges in any accepted western or sports sense. Do you know any other sport where the judges are people with no training at judging, no qualifications as to eyesight (and it's pretty clear some of them don't see that well) or judgment, and no objectivity, but are instead judges based only on the fact that they formerly were players.

Moreover, not only aren't the sumo judges qualified in any objective sense, they aren't even objective - they all have members of their heya wrestling. By definition you couldn't be in a more biased position.

So the whole system is out of whack - the judges are middle aged men who have no business judging the bouts and, as we've seen time and time again, aren't especially good at it. You don't see former rikishi as gyoji. Let's have sumo move into the 21st century and actually use trained, qualified judges.

I would suspect that the judges in the last half of Makuuchi all have a long history of judging and coming up through the various levels since their retirement from active participation, like almost every other position in Sumo.  They may have unconscious biases but they know what to look for.  The problems in this case seem to be:

1) a failure by the video room guys to look at or put any weight on the undisturbed sand after the heel was lifted (tachiai’s notion that you can touch without leaving evidence is ridiculous: the sand is there for a reason and if the camera indicated it is undisturbed it means there was no meaningful touch)

2) the inability of the judges to see the evidence for themselves, which means everything depends upon verbal communication initiated by a head judge whose skills are limited.  If he told the video guys to look for evidence of the foot touching, they might have spent all the time trying to decide based on the heel frames we have seen and ignored the indirect evidence of the undisturbed sand.  Then he forced the judge to decide when the judge was only told there was no evidence one way or another.  Technology exists in 2019 to have the judges view video in the middle of the dohyo.  I’m guessing that judge that was forced to rely on his sight of something that happened over the course of a split second would have preferred to combine his sight with the evidence the full video presented before making a final decision.

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5 minutes ago, Ichimawashi said:

I would suspect that the judges in the last half of Makuuchi all have a long history of judging and coming up through the various levels since their retirement from active participation, like almost every other position in Sumo.  They may have unconscious biases but they know what to look for.  The problems in this case seem to be:

1) a failure by the video room guys to look at or put any weight on the undisturbed sand after the heel was lifted (tachiai’s notion that you can touch without leaving evidence is ridiculous: the sand is there for a reason and if the camera indicated it is undisturbed it means there was no meaningful touch)

2) the inability of the judges to see the evidence for themselves, which means everything depends upon verbal communication initiated by a head judge whose skills are limited.  If he told the video guys to look for evidence of the foot touching, they might have spent all the time trying to decide based on the heel frames we have seen and ignored the indirect evidence of the undisturbed sand.  Then he forced the judge to decide when the judge was only told there was no evidence one way or another.  Technology exists in 2019 to have the judges view video in the middle of the dohyo.  I’m guessing that judge that was forced to rely on his sight of something that happened over the course of a split second would have preferred to combine his sight with the evidence the full video presented before making a final decision.

For only your 20th post, that was the wisest thing said on this subject.

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