??? for Judges and other who know

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gym monkeys mom

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In another post I have one of the anwers was from gympanda and she raises a interseting issue and question I have and I am sure others.

I have heard lots of statments around about scoring changes at the Optional level and scores being harder and tighter. :confused:

Could anyone explain what they will be looking for?? Are they just looking to lower scores all around?? Do they want very clean routines???

I guess I am just wondering since skills that are allowed were lowered is this the result of that??

My DD will be a first year level 8. what should we expect??

Not sure MN could have much tougher judging btw :eek:
Judges always want clean routines! The major optional change regarding deductions are the cast angles on bars. Basically anything that is not within 10 degrees of handstand is a deduction- and the deductions get larger as the casts get smaller. The same for free hips, the angle deduactions are harser and a chearhip to horizontal is now a "A"-with the cast & angle deductions applied as well. :eek:
The only other change is the no C acro in L8, so Im not sure how the judges are going to use composition deductions to differentiate the athletes.:confused:
I know you're looking for someone who knows. Since I don't and our competing season hasn't started yet, I'm going to speculate. From what I've been hearing, this year the scores will be tighter but it is not necessarily harder. I think they are looking for more even results. And, gymnasts are more likely to be competing at where they belong.

To do that, some requirements got tougher and others got easier (I know that for a fact for L7). It's all an attempt to reduce the size of the envelope for what is allowed at a particular level.

Here is what I think will happen if things make out as planned. Gymnasts with strong skills will stay on top no matter what. They will be moved up as soon as they are ready with all one up skills. Those with minimal skills will have some catching up to do or their score and placement will drop considerably. Lastly, those who aren't quite ready for the current competing level will end up suffering the most.
I think you might be referencing my post mentioning backwards connections on beam having to be a "true" connection this year to get credit. I think with this the concept is more on clarifing what is actually a connection and what is not. Therefore, there will be less situations where one judge is willing to give the connection, while the second judge breaks it. This way, when you have a kid who does a BHS BHS connection with no pause or slow movements in between the backhandspring, which is much harder to do than the slow connections we've been seeing a few girls doing for the last 4 years, we are able to seperate them by more than just a .2 rhythm deduction. The new beam "rule" is just another tool that we can use to seperate out the gymnasts, and make sure we can reward those who are doing the best gymnastics. Plus it takes some of the decision making out of it...I don't know how many judging panels I've been on when someone says "I broke it" and someone says "I gave it" and they have a .5 difference in Start Value. This way there are no question marks and no one is making a judgement call, its black and white...I mean, as much as gymnastics judging can be black and white.

I honestly don't know what to tell you to expect from this season. I have my first meet (in a blue suit) tomorrow. But, my gymnasts have had their mock meet already and I didn't feel the scores where vastly different from previous years. I know that the purpose of the rule changes are not just to have lower scores. They rule changes are there to make some clarifications about acceptable techniques (connections on beam, cast angles on bars) and to ensure that the kids are doing skills well, rather than just trying to throw big skills. Plus, the major change with L8 and the elemination of a lot of C skills, is because nationwide there was a massive drop in L8 gymnasts in the last 4 years. (Now I know this is not the case in every gym, but nationwide averages were very clear.) USAG's big priority is to ensure we are all involved with a successful sport, that is keeping kids physically active and giving them an opportunity for personal advancement. With L8 becoming a level where only As & Bs are required, but to be even a little competitive you needed to be doing Cs, it was harder and harder for gyms and girls to keep up...so many were quitting. By forcing the kids that have the ability to do C skills into the upper levels, it will allow L8 to be a competitive level for kids that are able to meet the requirements of the level.

Now, I'm not saying it is a perfect system, but I do know this is the reasoning behind the changes that I received from the Tom Koll at a clinic I attended over the summer. I'm not sure if ever answered your original question, but hopefully I said something helpful.
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