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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