Ask an Expert Judge, (aka the misc. technical questions thread)

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Is it moving the sport forward though? Since the advent of open-ended scoring, the strategy has largely been packing routines with difficulty because execution scores do not truly separate between excellent and mediocre routines. And if the difficulty level becomes such that a fall essentially means nothing on what amounts to a single element, why bother with the deduction? I'm only really debating about vault EF because it's a different creature compared to the other events and a fall in EF only has another vault as a cushion as opposed to three other events each with eight counted elements that can make up for a fall. Although in 2013-2016, Simone could have had a total meltdown at a competition and still ended up on the podium, if not winning gold. The debate that would have aroused from that would have been interesting and probably one of those that we will debate about 20 years later.
 
I am less upset by Simone's vault falls than I am by, say, Pena's or Karmakar's attempts at the Produnova, because Simone generally overpowers the vault and it is otherwise technically excellent. The ones that just scrape by or make me fear for the gymnasts' safety are the ones where I feel they are sometimes not sufficiently penalized.
 
It's the deductions that are the real issue.

Partially yes, but even besides that I think there's a scaling problem. C skills are allegedly worth .3 and D skills are allegedly worth .4, but in actuality this isn't true, because if you leave these skills out of your routine, you can count an A or B instead. It's especially a problem on Beam because of how easy it is to include a plethora of B skills. After the first few C+ skills in a routine, their value effectively drops by .2

If we look at Beam routines from the later part of the 10.0 era, every competitive routine had at least 8 C+ skills. I think it should be the same situation now with the top 8 skills counting.
 
Past codes also had value part requirements of lower valued elements, though you could slot in higher value elements to that spot if you chose. It's really not changed that much.
 
You watch some of those old beam (and floor routines) and you know that leaps weren't judged nearly as harshly as today or those gymnasts would never have done them. If modern gymnasts did their leaps and jumps like some of the 80s/90s generation did, they would lose twice the value of the element in deductions.

People complain about the difficulty in fx being low these days (aside from some outliers and then they get criticized for not perfectly controlling the landing) and you watch older meets and the ability to lunge is key. If you know you can't land your tumbling pass perfectly upright, with no bounce, you aren't going to even attempt it. Bring on the stuck double tuck--or understated because you are trying so hard to stick it. If they brought back the lunge (or allowed 2 with no penalty), i think we would see harder tumbling and fewer falls despite harder difficulty.
 
Discouraging difficulty... Not fostering originality... Dictating artistry... Not encouraging unique connections... Not separating superior execution... Not rewarding mastery...

I mean honestly what's the point??
Speaking of unique connections, you know how much I want to see a gymnast FX be just front and combination tumbling? It's all RO-BHS-big skill. As much as I don't like Raisman's gymnastics, her first pass in London was fantastic. If Simone could essentially walk into the triple-double to prevent herself from flying OOB, imagine a combo pass from nothing more than a power hop.

Before any talk about whether or not a skill should be valued so high that a fall deduction would still be a net positive, I'd like to see the E-panel do a far better job separating superior execution. Otherwise it's going to encourage chucked and downright dangerous attempts. Putting a cap on difficulty value doesn't really solve anything.

Uneven bars is one that has really suffered from a lack of separating superior execution. There was no way Raisman should have been as close to Douglas on UB in Rio. And you mean to tell me that there was nothing there to separate Kocian, Komova, Spiridonova, and Fan in 2015?

You watch some of those old beam (and floor routines) and you know that leaps weren't judged nearly as harshly as today or those gymnasts would never have done them. If modern gymnasts did their leaps and jumps like some of the 80s/90s generation did, they would lose twice the value of the element in deductions.

People complain about the difficulty in fx being low these days (aside from some outliers and then they get criticized for not perfectly controlling the landing) and you watch older meets and the ability to lunge is key. If you know you can't land your tumbling pass perfectly upright, with no bounce, you aren't going to even attempt it. Bring on the stuck double tuck--or understated because you are trying so hard to stick it. If they brought back the lunge (or allowed 2 with no penalty), i think we would see harder tumbling and fewer falls despite harder difficulty.
I miss the lunges. A controlled lunge added a certain artistic flair. If the gymnast know she's going to stick the pass cold, then go for it, but the option for a lunge should be there.
 
You watch some of those old beam (and floor routines) and you know that leaps weren't judged nearly as harshly as today or those gymnasts would never have done them. If modern gymnasts did their leaps and jumps like some of the 80s/90s generation did, they would lose twice the value of the element in deductions.
Sarah Korngold also talked about this when asked on GymCastic BTS why routines aren’t as difficult as they used to be. She said leaps are hard and it’s a lot of work and training time to get them from an average leap position to a good/excellent (paraphrasing because she was gesturing split angles).

ETA removed “deductible”
 
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Sarah Korngold also talked about this when asked on GymCastic BTS why routines aren’t as difficult as they used to be. She said leaps are hard and it’s a lot of work and training time to get them from an average leap position to a good/excellent deductible (paraphrasing because she was gesturing split angles).
It is. A top level RG gymnast will train as many hours, if not more, than WAG. That’s as much time devoted to leaps and jumps as tumbling in artistic.

Leaps are not easy, but they are easy to teach. They just seem to be shrouded in mystery in the WAG world, or people believe that only a certain type of gymnast can be good at them.

There is as much technique involved as there is with tumbling. Yet a majority of leaps in WAG are “chucked”, relying solely on a gymnasts rebound ability. You do not need leg muscles to leap, in fact most RG coaches have a pathological fear of them
 
Most dissenters of the lunge proposal thought there was too much unfairness with judging if it's a controlled lunge or not. A shame it's impossible for the scoring system to have more of a sliding scale in place for deductions. I'd like to see one lunge per routine be allowed.

It's really not changed that much.

The incentive to do C+ elements has definitely changed. B dance skills or a roundoff into a dismount used to be worth nothing aside from composition requirement. Now those skills can be counted for value, plus the B dance getting connection/series bonus.

Most people aren't working the code optimally, but look at this 5.3D routine with exactly 8 skills that counts 3 B's:

Bhs mount (D) + Split (B) + Straddle (B)
Triple wolf (E)
Side aerial (D) + LOSO (C)
Roundoff (B) + Double Pike (E)

It would be possible to score in the low 14's with this routine, a very competitive score. 20 years ago this routine would only have a 9.2 start value and be inherently non-competitive. That 5.3D routine could also be simplified further as needed, like doing just a BHS + LOSO as the acro series, and be a super consistent mid-13 score: quite competitive still, with practically no risk at all.
 
Most dissenters of the lunge proposal thought there was too much unfairness with judging if it's a controlled lunge or not. A shame it's impossible for the scoring system to have more of a sliding scale in place for deductions. I'd like to see one lunge per routine be allowed.



The incentive to do C+ elements has definitely changed. B dance skills or a roundoff into a dismount used to be worth nothing aside from composition requirement. Now those skills can be counted for value, plus the B dance getting connection/series bonus.

Most people aren't working the code optimally, but look at this 5.3D routine with exactly 8 skills that counts 3 B's:

Bhs mount (D) + Split (B) + Straddle (B)
Triple wolf (E)
Side aerial (D) + LOSO (C)
Roundoff (B) + Double Pike (E)

It would be possible to score in the low 14's with this routine, a very competitive score. 20 years ago this routine would only have a 9.2 start value and be inherently non-competitive. That 5.3D routine could also be simplified further as needed, like doing just a BHS + LOSO as the acro series, and be a super consistent mid-13 score: quite competitive still, with practically no risk at all.
You might want to look into how Bs counted for value parts/connection bonus in various past codes

I miss the uniqueness of a combination of skills suited to the gymnasts' strengths that we'd see in the old code, honestly. A simple skill done well in combination with selected difficult skills can be really stunning. What I dislike more about the code now isn't simply the emphasis on doing what the gymnast can do without deduction (and I agree with those who've noted the deduction structure is the real problem), but the lack of variety that stems from avoiding arbitrary .3 deductions.

I've said for years that there should be .1, .2, .3, .4, and .5 options. It would differentiate execution so much better.
 
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You might want to look into how Bs counted for value parts/connection bonus in various past codes

Well like I said B dance skills were worth nothing in the 2001-2005 code. That code wasn't perfect of course, but the beam routines really did ask for a higher minimum level of difficulty than what can pass today.

I agree about wanting to see simple well done skills used in unique ways. Kui Yuanyuan's 3 split leaps in a row followed by BHS + LOSO + LOSO is good example. She didn't get any special credit for doing it back then either. There would need to be an expansion of the series bonus rules to reward it. Sanne Wever's series of L-turn + full turn + Double turn + split leap + straight 1/1 jump is another example of something that would deserve .2 series bonus.

To directly reward beautiful work though, it needs to be specifically called for in the artistry checklist. I would personally like to see a bullet point that says "how beautiful/exciting was this routine? +.1 bonus for extremely special, 0 deduction for acceptably pleasing, -.1 for being bland, -.2 for entirely boring/ugly" (and allow 0.05 increments, always). It's relatively subjective, so that makes it controversial, but it's impossible to judge performance art without subjectivity.
 
I want to see a deduction for element value spread out too far apart in a routine, starting at values being further apart than two letters. For example, if you compete an E acro skill on BB, you cannot count a B. If you do, the E will only be given D value. I would look at gym and acro separately (maybe?) and I would apply this rule to composition requirements as well. I don't want to see the turn/roll requirement fulfilled by an A by gymnasts competing E skills.
 
I want to see a deduction for element value spread out too far apart in a routine, starting at values being further apart than two letters. For example, if you compete an E acro skill on BB, you cannot count a B. If you do, the E will only be given D value. I would look at gym and acro separately (maybe?) and I would apply this rule to composition requirements as well. I don't want to see the turn/roll requirement fulfilled by an A by gymnasts competing E skills.
Unfortunately I think this would hurt both skill variety and have the unintended affect of lowering overall difficulty instead of raising it, because you now have to learn two advanced skills to compete one.
 
Well like I said B dance skills were worth nothing in the 2001-2005 code. That code wasn't perfect of course, but the beam routines really did ask for a higher minimum level of difficulty than what can pass today.

I agree about wanting to see simple well done skills used in unique ways. Kui Yuanyuan's 3 split leaps in a row followed by BHS + LOSO + LOSO is good example. She didn't get any special credit for doing it back then either. There would need to be an expansion of the series bonus rules to reward it. Sanne Wever's series of L-turn + full turn + Double turn + split leap + straight 1/1 jump is another example of something that would deserve .2 series bonus.

To directly reward beautiful work though, it needs to be specifically called for in the artistry checklist. I would personally like to see a bullet point that says "how beautiful/exciting was this routine? +.1 bonus for extremely special, 0 deduction for acceptably pleasing, -.1 for being bland, -.2 for entirely boring/ugly" (and allow 0.05 increments, always). It's relatively subjective, so that makes it controversial, but it's impossible to judge performance art without subjectivity.
I absolutely love both of those combos listed

If only the ROV bonus hadn't been abused by bloc judging back in the 80s, maybe we'd still have it
 
LOL @ "relatively" subjective.

There's ways to reward creative use of elements without it being super subjective — or at least putting that part of the scoring in the E-panel's hands, which the WTC does all the time for subjective stuff, including artistry.
 

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