Atlanta Compulsory FX

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So I know everyone goes on about Podkopayeva’s compulsory floor (yes, I do too), but today I stumbled across this and I actually think Mo might have been just as good:

The only thing I don’t see is the kick-out of the tuck front in the opening line. Otherwise, I really can’t fault it?

Watching routines like this makes me love the idea of bringing compulsories back. Just the quality of the extension, movement, and every single flicker being perfectly in time with the music.

Aly Raisman would have literally never made elite if compulsories were still around. Or, maybe she would have, but she would have been a better gymnast for it.

I know we have this debate ad nauseum but I wonder whether compulsories at the FIG level should be brought back (not just at the domestic level for certain countries).
It’s excellently performed, but I think it lacks some of the amplitude that Podkopayeva brought to the routine. Pod’s 1st pass was the most patient and controlled of anyone. And even the roll out of the tour jete was more pronounced from Pod, and the exit out of the L turn.
Yeah, I don’t think the height on the front tuck stepout is quite as good either.

It’s beautifully done though. I love this compulsory floor, possibly even more with every year we get further away from compulsories. Which are never, ever coming back.

eta- kickout on the final pass is stunning too.
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The main argument against compulsories has always been a financial one and not a gymnastic one. It’s already tricky getting countries to host worlds due to the cost involved, without adding an additional competition.

The other argument however, that it’s boring and the media doesn’t want to cover it has never been re-examined in the modern day. For instance, online streaming did not exist in the 90s. If compulsories were valued by the FIG, there are creative ways to make them more appealing. For instance, rather than having set music and dance, there could be a list of compulsory elements but the music choice could be free, it could even be permitted to use lyrics.

Ultimately, there is no appetite for compulsories because they were a barrier for non powerhouse nations
what she said yes GIF by
Actually, now I think of it more, the more I think the FIG is missing a massive trick (and potentially USAG on a national level).

As I mentioned, the viability of compulsories has not been examined in the modern media era. But it also has not been examined in the open ended code era.

One of the impacts of the open ended code is that the difficulty demands leave very little time or energy for artistry, performance or personality.

Now, what is NCAA gymnastics if not performance and personality, with the virtuosity of performing relatively simple skills to a high standard where often 1 step wins or loses it?! And isn’t this what is making NCAA increasingly popular v FIG gymnastics?

Now, if USAG were to introduce national elite compulsories, with for the floor a free music choice with the ability to use lyrics. That would take the wind right out of the NCAA sails.
Instead of compulsories, it could be similar to figure skating, as in short and long program.
Very easy to construct a floor routine of 5 As, 3 Bs, 2 Cs and use whatever music. The routine starts from 10.0 and then the execution deductions are subtracted-similar to NCAA.
There can be 5 vaults to choose from.
Etc, etc.

But this will never happen because FIG wants to shorten the length of the World Championships as it is and did so by using continentals as the qualifier.
It’s strange in a way how different gymnastics and figure skating are. Imagine the FIG saying “right, and on the 7th day we’re going to have a gala. So bring a costume, your impossibly tiny pet dog and several marshmallow plushies
I would love to see stuffed animals thrown onto the floor mat after a floor routine! We can have tiny little gymnasts do cartwheels across the floor as they do the clean up.
For instance, rather than having set music and dance, there could be a list of compulsory elements but the music choice could be free,
I think this was how they did compulsories for 1971-1972! Maybe I have the years wrong. But I know for sure there was this very brief period where FIG set the skill selection (and I want to say the order, but I’m less certain about that), and each country choreographed their compulsory routine.
Maybe they could have compulsory (or semi-compulsory with a set list of skills or combination) for the junior level. I don’t think it junior worlds is well televised anywhere and if they said “everyone does 2 vaults, with one being vault X. On UB, everyone must show…uh, whatever skill is one of the best building blocks…in combination. On BB, we want to see an extension roll, a skill that involves flight down to the beam or a skill that has significant chest-to-beam. And on FX, they could come up with a dance/skill passage that everyone has to work into their routine like Ice Dancing does with their set sequences.” It wouldn’t hurt the televisability of senior gymnastics but would help force attention to the wanted skills.

Or, make short compulsory routines and make the scores additive. Or you have to get over X score to be allowed to go on to the next competition. NCAA has the advantage of having short routines, especially bars. It makes putting it on TV easier because a women’s meet will be 2 hours with very few running over so the sports channels know how to schedule around it. with elite, the length of the competition is a frickin’ crapshoot.
Watching the video of Cathy Rigby in the Olympics in '72, they do say that the music choice and skill order were optional but the skills were prescribed
I would love qualification rounds to be somewhat optional compulsory routines with a maximum D score that counts 2 C, 2 B, 2 A and 2 A/B/C (for A value) elements. Basic elements such as kips and ro-bhs and fhs would not count.

For FX I would change the double back CR to saltos into different directions in one acro line.

On UB I would make the same bar flight more inclusive (there are a couple of A/B flights that don’t usually count) and change the full turn CR to a half and the second grip to second grip or mount B/C.

On BB I would remove the salto requirement from the flight series.

On VT I would require two vaults with a combined maximum D, one of which must be without a salto.
The problem is the current WAG COP is a putrid mix of requirements and “freedom” already. For many of these ideas, the “compulsory” round would have more enjoyable, interesting, and well-executed routines. Like so many of the rules/changes in WAG, this is avoiding the root issue, which is: the sport (under current Elite rules) is broken. If Worlds were 1 day of NCAA-type routines + 1 day of Elite routines, 1 of those days would still be awful.

In typical fashion, FIG missed a perfect opportunity to incorporate this type of vision into the Jr. World Championships. Jr. Worlds is the perfect setting- a focus on the sport’s fundamentals, technique, execution, etc., away from the pressures of the IOC/demands for “objectivity” and such. There’s no reason Jr. Worlds couldn’t have been implemented under a 10.0 system, to help make up for the loss of compulsories, value parts, and other elements that defined the foundation of WAG for its entire existence until 2006.

Outside of a Jr. circuit, this could be implemented as part of the Worlds qualification process. In order to advance to Worlds, all athletes and/or teams could be required to achieve a certain score/placement at designated events, such as Continental Championships, where a round of compulsories could be included. This would serve 2 purposes: 1) emphasis on basics and execution, etc., and 2) easy way to cut down on the # (cost) of teams/athletes eligible for Worlds.

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