Boys' JO rules update #11

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Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
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Update #11 to the boys' USA JO rules has been posted on the USAG site (you can get it here. Among other things, it has one MAJOR change: levels 8-10 are switching to the FIG open-ended scoring system.


In principal, I think it's an excellent idea, but there are two major problems in my opinion.

First of all, what were they thinking doing this so late in the game? Giving the rules this big an overhaul a month before meet season starts? Their timing could hardly have been worse.

Second, and this is a much bigger problem in my opinion, is that there is now effectively no difference between levels 8, 9, and 10. Aside from vault and element group values (4th and 5th element group being worth .3 at level 8 and .5 at level 10), levels 8 and 10 are identical.
I don't mind the change. I have to agree though the timing was not greatly thought out. I guess better late than never?

There are still differences between the optional levels as I read over the new open ended scoring format.
  • Level 8 only gets credit up to 1.5 for up to 3 element groups and one must be a dismount. That dismount only has to be "A" value to recieve full credit.
  • Where Level 9 can use 4 element groups with one being the dismount for 2.0 value. The dismount needs to be a "B" or higher to recieve full credit.
  • Level 10 can use all 5 element groups for 2.5 value. Again one needing to be the dismount and has to be of "C" value or greater to recieve full credit.
  • Levels 8 and 9 will be scored using the 8 highest skills in the routine. (one being the dismount) Level 10 will use the 10 highest value skills. (one being the dismount as well)
I think we will have to wait and see what this does when the competetive season comes to an end. I think (and hope) that this will have a positive outcome. Good luck to everyone this season, and construct some great routines.
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Under the current rules, what effectively separates 8 from 10? What does a coach use to say "this kid should be an 8, but that one should be a 10?" Or, in more concrete terms, what's to stop a coach from sandbagging a should-be-level-10 at level 8? Under the old system, there was a limit on how much difficulty value you could get in a routine. Go beyond that, and you might as well move up a level so you really can do all your skills. Aside from Yurchenkos not being allowed at 8, there is no reason not to take a level 10 routine and take it to competition as a level 8. I think this really invites sandbagging.

My preferance would be to use the open-ended system for 9 and 10, but keep the 10-point system for 8.
Good point.

It is really just the amount of skills that can be put in to a routine.

Level 8's however can not qualify to Nationals.

In my opinion, level 8 is more of a "sloptional" level. I think it is there for older boys that want to continue with gymnastics, but not as heavily as a dedicated 9 or 10.
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