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Stretching Out: Stoica, Singapore & the IG Tour
(11 votes, average 3.18 out of 5)

The September IG is coming out soon, and it includes an interview with FIG Men's Technical Committee President Adrian Stoica. I asked him several questions about the Code of Points, such as whether the MTC considered lowering the counting skills from 10 to eight ("no"); does he think the men's routines are too long and should have a skill limit ("it is not necessary"); and how could Kohei Uchimura score an 8.775 (execution) on high bar at the 2009 worlds for one of the most beautiful routines in gymnastics history (he agreed, somewhat)?

There is a lot more to the interview, and Stoica was diplomatic, of course. But I also appreciated his candor. After all, he's got a tough job.

Men's Vault Proposal

Speaking of Stoica, I read with interest his proposal for men's vault in the July FIG Bulletin. Stoica is suggesting that men do two vaults in all phases of competition, and their final score will be (DVt1 + DVt2)/2 + [10-(Sum of average deductions for Vt1 and Vt2)].

It's not as confusing as it sounds. Here is a practical application: Gymnast does a 7.0 first vault and a 6.6 second vault. His final D-score is the average: 6.8. His execution scores for the two vaults are 9.6 and 9.4, so his final execution score is 9.0 (add the deductions from both vaults and subtract from 10). Final score: 15.80.

The gymnast can do the same vault twice without penalty, but he must do two different vaults to qualify for apparatus finals.

Stoica is soliciting feedback from "specialists around the world," so here goes. If the goal is to bring the average vault score down, and in line with the other five apparatus, then I believe a simpler solution would be to lower all of the vault values. Doubling the execution deductions from a single vault would also accomplish the goal. But I am fundamentally against any proposal that adds to the already taxing physical requirements of the male gymnast under this Code. If the MTC eventually decides to shorten men's routines across the board, then I'd consider the two-vault rule.

Youth Olympics: Kamoto and Komova

Yuya Kamoto and Viktoria Komova have been the gymnastics stars of the inaugural Olympics in Singapore so far, and I can't help but think the U.S. made a big mistake in not sending one of its top junior women, such as the extremely talented Jordyn Wieber. At the Visa Championships in Hartford last week, I asked U.S. national team coordinator Marta Karolyi if she regretted not sending a gymnast to Singapore. She said "yes and no," and then gave various reasons why they chose not to send someone. "Maybe we would have decided differently if we knew the personal coach could go," she said." Eventually, the IOC permitted the extra coach, but the U.S. had already turned down its women's spot. But I'm left to wonder how every other major gymnastics nation found a way to participate. Any time you can compete in—or even win—a meet that has the word Olympics in it, you should go for it.

IG Tour to Rotterdam

There is still time to sign up for the IG Tour to the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, site of the first IG Tour in 1987. Kermit and Jean Davis organized that inaugural tour, and they are still running the show today. The tour dates are Oct. 14-25 and includes airfare, hotel and tickets to all gymnastics sessions. Email International Sports Exchange for information: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

National Gymnastics Day — September 18, 2010

Click here to find out how your gym club can participate and help support the Children's Miracle Network. National Gymnastics Day was established in 1999, and more than $1 million has been raised.

My Story

After printing "My First Front Flip(s)" in July on the IG website, I asked readers to send in their own personal stories about their experiences in gymnastics. Funny, sad, inspirational, whatever. We received some great ones, and they will appear in future issues of IG. The first will be published in the October issue, and it was written by a woman whose love for the sport inspired her to launch her own gymnastics magazine. (I won't say who she is.) Everyone has a story, so please tell us yours.

"My Story" Submission Guidelines: Email text (750-1,500 words) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Subject Line: "My Story." Attach JPEG head shot and/or other photos relevant to your story. Images should be at least 300K.

Comments (9)add comment

Crystal J said:

0
Kohei's high Bar deductins
I agree that Kohei has great artistry like toe point and flowing movement and extension but I found several real deductions in his routine. Three late piouretting skills (.3 each although one was close to a .5 I gave it to him, total so far .9 off. Then you add .3 for really low chest on landing and at least .1 for the hop. So total off would be 1.3 or a 8.7 E score. I guess you and Kohei probably hate me even more!!
 
August 19, 2010
Votes: +0

IG Editor said:

0
Good points
You've made all good points. Now, can you explain how Igor Cassina was given the highest execution score among the finalists (8.925)?
 
August 19, 2010
Votes: +1

Stacy said:

0
...
High bar is the worst judged of all the men's events. How do Zou Kai, Cassina and Zonderland always win medals when they have AWFUL form? The judges are obviously taking off one tenth for the whole routine instead of one tenth for each skill with bad feet. It's not fair to gymnasts like Kohei Uchimura who make the effort to be beautiful on every single skill.
 
August 19, 2010
Votes: +4

Vicki said:

0
...
I agree with Stoica's proposal for two vaults. Compared to all the other apparatus, it's crazy that vault gets judged on one single skill. All gymnasts should perform two different vaults.
The other events should all have a time limit and some non-redundancy rules. You see some gymnasts repeating versions of the same skill over and over again: various versions of the Kovacs or Yaeger, numerous twisting saltos on floor, the same saltos tucked and piked, etc. They should do their BEST skill of each group of skills, not ALL of them. Then there would be more time for artistry and less damage to their bodies.
 
August 19, 2010
Votes: +1

Judge Bob said:

0
RE: Kohei's high Bar deductions
Um... none of Kohei's turning skills were even close to a .5 at the 2009 worlds EF. The current height deductions are: nothing up to 30 deg, 0.1 for 31-45deg, 0.3 for 45-90deg and 0.5 for > 90deg.

His turning skills were stalder-rybalko: just past 45 - 0.3, hop full: above 30 deg - no deduction, rybalko: about 30 deg - borderline 0.1, endo-healy: 45 deg - borderline 0.1/0.3. All top changes were to handstand. So his late turning deductions were only 0.5 to 0.7. Plus there was no hop on the landing.
 
August 19, 2010
Votes: +1

agfan said:

0
Vaults / HB deductions
The vault proposition is flawed for apparatus qualification. Currently there are vaulters who throw vaults of different difficulty level, with the higher one counting for the team / AA score. So they would actually be taking a hit in their AA or team mark by having their easier vault count.

For the high bar, I think there was built in judging. Cassina's signature move is worth the same as the standard Kolman (F). So the judges are more lax on deducting since there's no difficulty reward. Fact is, flight elements are seldom deducted while pirouettes are, because they are eye pleasing. So the big release plus few turn elements in Cassina's routine result in a nice E-score.

Zou Kai wins medals because his difficulty is higher than anyone else's.
Fans just don't like to see him win because he doesn't have any Kovacs elements in his routine. While he does have leg separation on his pirouette marathon, he always is precise on his angles, which is better judging wise.
 
August 20, 2010
Votes: -1

Stacy said:

0
agfan
I don't care that Zou doesn't do a Kovacs. Good for him. What I DO care about is his terrible form - legs apart, flexed feet. He should be hit on every single skill where his form is off. He would scored a fair 7.5 in execution.
 
August 20, 2010
Votes: +2

Jack K. said:

0
...
The Cassina is a G under the current code while the Kolman is a F. It's worth valuable difficulty-wise.

Pirouettes can potentially rack up a lot of deductions under the current code, and it's not just handstands. Notice that some gymnasts don't completely finish turning their bodies when they catch the bar with both hands during the 3/2 turn pirouettes. This is an additional source of deduction.

Another thing to consider is that Kovac-type flight elements frequently involve giants to build up. Gymnasts tend to bend their knees in these build-up giant. This is something that judges ignored in the past but no longer ignored now. Past gymnasts like Olexander Beresch or Alexei Nemov would not have done well under the current high bar judging with their Kovac techniques.
 
August 21, 2010
Votes: +0

Nick Beje said:

0
vault rules
Canada is using that rule for vault at National Pre-Novice level (girls 9-10years old)
 
August 21, 2010
Votes: +0

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