19 Potential Solutions to International Gymnastics Scoring Problems

Solutions to the problems with international gymnastics scoring we outlined in a previous article are necessary and essential to the improvement and progression of the sport.  In June 17 – 19, 2011, the F.I.G. in Zurich is going to meet to revise the Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points for the next quadrennium (2012 – 2016). Hopefully, by then we, and more importantly, those who actually have a vote in the matter at the F.I.G. will have identified the problems and will adopt appropriate solutions to those problems.

We not only intend to offer potential solutions here, but we are actively soliciting solutions here through the comments of our readers. We will forward both the problems we all have observed and potential solutions to all of those problems to the appropriate F.I.G. officials before the September meeting.

  1. Consider a positive scoring system that allows gymnasts a variety of ways to build to a 10.0 score and eliminates such an overwhelmingly negative psychological bias toward young gymnasts in coaching and judging.
  2. Bring back 10.0 scoring. Any scoring method can be adapted into a 10.0 scoring system somehow. It was and is crazy to have abandoned the Perfect 10 branding of the sport of gymnastics. And 10.0 scores should occasionally be achievable.
  3. Lower the competition age to 13 to allow the best gymnasts in the world a chance to compete once or twice in the Olympics and World Championships before they graduate from high school, go to college and leave the highest level gymnastics training.
  4. Ease the pressure on those younger and on gymnasts of every age, by allowing 1 score to be dropped in team competition.
  5. Increase the number of gymnasts allowed on a team, not lower it to allow more specialists to participate and qualify for individual event finals. This will be good for and allow more medals for non-gymnast super power countries.
  6. Reduce the number of difficult skills to be counted to end marathon bar routines.
  7. Utilize technology or pre-submitted skill difficulty to ease judging burdens.
  8. Increase the bonus for higher difficulty skills so execution deductions do not have the same effect on G level skills as B, C and D level skills, etc.
  9. Use a system similar to T&T (Tumbling and Trampoline), where skill difficulty is directly based on the number of twists and somersaults and on difficulty.
  10. Balance the scoring system, so execution and difficulty are equally important.
  11. Eliminate judging in thousandths of a point. Judger are not that accurate.
  12. Simplify the scoring system so spectators and judges can understand it.
  13. Balance the scoring system so, yes, a fall should disqualify you from the AA medals.
  14. Balance the scoring system and number of participants so, no, one fall should not disqualify your team from medaling.
  15. Simplify the difficulty ratings to allow gymnasts more choice of elements.
  16. Eliminate any deductions that interfere with gymnast choice, creativity and innovation.
  17. Eliminate repetition deductions to allow gymnasts to be impressive with the same skill 3 times in a row.
  18. Find a way (positive scoring?) to make gymnastics, not the only sport in the world, that allows absolutely no margin of error and absolutely no way to recover and win after a mistake.
  19. Balance the scoring in events so that the “easier” scoring in one event, like vault or high bar, does not allow the vault or bar champion to almost always be the all-around champion.

Blythe Lawrence of the Examiner.com has collected a variety of blogger’s opinions about changing the FIG code on her blog.

Rick McCharles reported another potential solution to changing the FIG Code.

Additional Potential Solutions to International Gymnastics Scoring Problems
Separate tumbling from Floor Exercise.
Separate tumbling from Balance Beam.
Combat score-fixing (Still going on).
Keypad entry of deductions during routine.
Get rid of all connection and combination requirements.

American-Gymnast.com has a new article with a possible solution involving modified compulsories and bringing back the 10.0 scoring system.

Please comment and add your own list of solutions to the scoring of gymnastics!

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2 Responses to “19 Potential Solutions to International Gymnastics Scoring Problems”

  1. Connor Jones July 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Fairly long, BUT WORTH READING

    Well, I personally favor the new scoring system. OF course, I grew up in this newer scoring system and not the 10.0 system, I actually started competing the year after they changed the 10.0 rule in JO. But on any note this is what I think they should do.

    Floor (Men’s)
    1) They should keep the Top 10 elements rule, but extend the men’s floor routine from a 70 second time limit, to 90 seconds. This allows gymnasts to not only not have to rush, but to also include more artistic and interesting corner transitions that were soo prominent back in the 70s to early 90s
    3) Change connection values

    0.1 – D + A, B, or C skill
    0.2 – D + D (both twisting) and B (or higher) + E (in that order)
    0.3 – B + F/G, D +D (at least one double flipping), and E + B (in that order)

    Floor (Women’s)
    1) They should change the “Dance Elements go up to E” rule and allow for dance elements to be valued as high as they are deserved. If the rules were changed it really be a break through.. Who knows, maybe a Quintuple Turn, or a Quad Turn in Tuckstand could be performed!
    2) BRING BACK THE LUNGE!!! The lunge was probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing movements on floor. IT finished the tumbling pass. IF they bring back the tumbling pass they should have the rule be that they only deduct if the lunge does not look controlled, as if the gymnast was about to fall forwards or backwards. The lunge should also be aesthetically pleasing and should not take away from the beauty of the floor routine

    Pommel Horse
    1) Increase all E+ flop connections and D+ Flair elements by 0.1 tenth. This should help lean gymnasts toward fixing their ugly circles and away from scissor to handstands. The same scissor to handstands that we see in EVERY SINGLE routine!!
    2) Bring back pommel horse connection values! I think that if a gymnast is able to connect to or more D or higher skills then they should be rewarded, of course this would apply to everything but like cross horse travels and whatnot. (Example: Scissor to Handstand, Immediate Scissor to Handstand; Flair to Handstand with Travel Lower to Flair, Immediately back up to Handstand Travel dismount – Tippelt + Immediate Kolyvanov)

    1) Bring back Rings connections!! If a D or higher swing skill is connected to a swing to a D or higher strength skill the gymnast should get at least tenth in bonus values it’s really hard to go from a smooth swing to a swing to a locked out strength position.

    1) I have no changes

    Vault (Men’s)
    1) I have no changes. It’s a high thrill and a fast moving event that gets the crowd going!!! Especially with the high scores!!! I don’t see why difficulty values should be lowered or raised, with the exception of Piked Dragulescu (7.2) and Ri Se Gwang (7.2) both of those vaults should be raised to a 7.4 SV. FIG should also continue to award an additional 0.4 tenths for every twist added. Hopefully in the future we might see 1/2 –On, Triple Full; Yurchenko Triple Back; or maybe even Tsuk Double Layout

    Vault (Women’s)
    1) Don’t devalue the amanar, just because there is a United States of Amanar doesn’t mean that the vault is easy, it just means that the US is doing something different than the other countries on vault. Same goes with the Russians on bars, the Chinese on bars, and the Romanians on Floor. SOOOO keep Amanar at 6.5 SV… Raise FHS, Layout Rudi to 6.5 SV (previously 6.3) and Raise ½-On, Lay Rudi to 6.7 SV

    P Bars
    1) No changes necessary

    1) Same as floor, Keep open-ended dance value system.
    2) Raise Double Front Dismount to a G. If an Arabian Double on Floor is an E, and a Double Front on Floor is an E. Why is an Arabian double a g on beam, and a double front an F. So yeah, raise double front to g

    High Bar
    1) I think that the Full-Twisting Triple Tuck disount aand the Triple Front Tuck dismount should be raised from an F to a G. The Triple Pike should also be raised to an F.
    2) DEVALUE THE YAMAWAKI!!!!!!! Change the Yamawaki from a D to a C. Voronin and Markelov changed to B. Vault Catch stays A.
    3) Change in connection values any
    – D (or higher) + D (or higher) = 0.3 (Both Release Moves)
    – C + D (or higher) = 0.2 (Both Release Moves)
    – D (or Higher) + D (or Higher) = 0.2 (One is Release Move other is pirouetting or jams and whatnot)
    – C + D (or Higher) = 0.1 (One is Release Move other is pirouetting or jams and whatnot)

    Overall –
    1) Judges should be able to add up to 0.5 tenths in virtuosity bonus if the judges feel that a gymnast’s routine was both difficult, and aesthetically pleasing… Therefore virtuous.
    2) Bring back compulsory routines for Men’s gymnastics, I think that Women’s gymnastics is fine without compulsory routines at the Elite level, but for Men’s I think that compulsory routines should be added that. It allows gymnasts a chance to put their own unique style on elements just like Vitaly Scherbo would do.
    3) Also they should have an open ended difficulty system that goes past a G that aloows for judges to award new elements with the difficulty the deserve (example Triple Pike on Floor = H; Layout Triple-Double on Floor = H).


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