New Scoring System

I have been judging men’s gymnastics from Level 4 all the way up to the NCAA level this year and I have some very strong feelings about the new system.  Unfortunately, there is no longer any room for creativity.  If it is not in the code of points it is not gymnastics.  This seems pretty ridiculous since the Thomas Flair, for example, would not have been invented under the current rules.  Or it might have been evaluated and given a vaule by the FIG Technical committee and everyone would have been made aware of the skill in advance of it’s unveiling.  That was one of the great things about creativity.  We would go to a World Championship and hear about new skills being introduced for the first time.  In addition the emphasis on diffiuclty has created a compulsory effect.  Everyone seems to do the same skills in the same combinations in order to maximize the start score.  This clearly creates an atmosphere much like the old compulsories.  But at least when we had compulsories the next day we had optionals to look forward to.

Since the routines now need to be very long in order to, once again, maximize the start score, the gymnasts end up doing the skills that are easiest but have the highest difficulty level.  A typical example on floor exercise would be: round off back with a 1 1/2 twist, punch front 1/1 twist, punch 1 1/2 twist.  Next, there is an incredible amount of repetition.  For example, on high bar, most everyone does healys and higgins’ in various combinations several times. The rules read you can only get credit for four skills in any one category and both of these skills are in the same category.  However, watching any combination of four of these skills is boring.  Oh yea, by the way if the healy or higgins ends up in elgrip it is an elgrip skill and can count again.  So once again this is very boring.   Of course you add to all of this that the audience no longer understands what a good score is since the 10.0 has been taken out of the equation and you basically have a system that is not a good one.  The one positive thing which has come out of this effort is the change to execution deductions of: .1 for a small error, .3 for a medium error, .5 for a large error and .8 for a fall.  This does give the judge a better way to differentiate between competitors. This is not broken, it never worked in the first place.

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