Parents Competition Order

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After reading some of the posts here about order of competing, I was wondering...... How do coaches pick the order for their team to compete in for each event?
After reading some of the posts here about order of competing, I was wondering...... How do coaches pick the order for their team to compete in for each event?
Generally, the theory is that you want scores to "build" so you would put the best gymnasts last. Unfortunately, this gives you a good idea of where you are in the coach's eyes. For this reason, I have actually seen rec coaches shuffle score cards to randomize them.

Other factors: sometimes you have gymnasts who use the same bars or vault settings, so those girls would naturally get grouped together.
Interesting question. I would ask the coaches, would be interesting.

I agree with the Pogo, that they often end with the best or higher scorers and start with ones not expected to do as well. At least it seems that way at DDs gym. She went first or 2nd at her meets and she had the lowest scores.

I think it should always be random. Being first or last can be stressful. It should just be luck of the draw. Seems more fair to me, but I guess since it IS competitive gymnastics, they do things for a reason. I sometimes forget that my DD is supposed to be competing. Don't think she thinks of it as that either. More like an exhibition for her. :D
Last year at most meets, I would talk to the other teams I would be in the same flight on. Generally we rotated which team went first, second, third and so forth through the session. Sometimes some gyms preferred to be last or first and this also had to do with numbers of kids or if we had to change bar settings ( sometimes multiple levels will compete in the same session like 4 and 5 ). Typically Level 4's would go first, then the Level 5's per team.

For my L4's last year, I put my number 1 and 2 guys who were returning level 4's first or second. The new L4's went 3rd or 4th, especially as I wanted the boy who went 4th to watch the other routines because he was fairly green.

For my two L5's, I'd ask them and see which one wanted to go first or just choose. Wasn't a huge issue.

For other teams in prior years ( girls ), we often tried to split the groups into bar settings or age/alphabetical.
My dd happened to go first on beam at a meet. I was talking to the coach after the meet and she said, that she put my dd up first because they needed to start the team off with a good score. The warm up for beam was horrible for many of the girls and unfortunately beam is like one of those domino effect things, if one falls they all start falling. So, it was sort of a compliment to have her go first. She did end up hitting a solid routine and actually took 1st on beam at that meet for her age group.

For the other events, it is usually the higher scorers go last, but not all the time. My dd usually is in the middle of the pack for floor and tends to do quite well. I have to say, try not to analyze it too much because it is probably some really simple reason why and we tend to come up with all of the exotic reasons. Us parents, ;)!

I sure wish she went first on beam this past meet, the stress was killing her waiting to go last in the group. :rolleyes: I thought she was going to have an anxiety attack right there on the floor! It was very hard to watch, from my perspective.
I agree with Pogo on this, but I also think it is sort of what you call a 'self-fullfilling prophesy' in that at least some coaches believe that judges do tend to give lower scores at the beginning of a rotation in order to leave some room at the upper end of the range for better routines that they expect to see at the end so they do save what they think will be the best for last, while judges anticipate that the coaches will do this so they expect to give lower scores at the start of an event. I would say that over the years, my experience has been that scores do tend to rise as an event goes on. Its sort of a 'which came first - the chicken or the egg' kind of thing.
Most of the meets we go to have the rotation already listed on the session sheets. The 10-12 girls in each rotation are listed, the 1st name on the list has listed next to it what apparatus they are starting on. the name 3-4 down has the next apparatus, and that is who would start on that event, and so on. This helps the judges know who is going in order.

fl girl 1
girl 2
girl 3
v girl 4
girl 5
girl 6
ub girl 7
girl 8
girl 9
b girl 10
girl 11
girl 12

in above girl 1 goes 1st on floor, girl 12 last on floor. Girl 4 1st on vault, girl 3 last on vault. and so on.... The meet director makes up these rotation sheets.

We have had very few meets where the coach decides the order. if he does on the vault and bars it is usually by who uses the same settings.
I am used to both set ups discussed.

When I competed in compulsaries and high school we used top scorer would typically go last. Sometimes in compulsaries one of the more veteran girls would lead off the rotation so the little kids wouldnt have to go first and forget the routine.

Now that I coach we go by what the session sheet says.
We change the order on bars and vault based on settings. It keeps a meet running smoother because score cards remain in the same order through out the meet, and coaches dont have to bother judges with changing orders of cards and the girls can be told in the beginning you go after so and so and they dont have to ask every rotation.
I have to agree with the reasons already named. I've seen the coach group kids by vault/bars setting----it does start to drive the judges NUTS to have a coach out adjusting the vault or bars after just about every girl. At my gymmie's L6 state meet, the judges actually called the coaches over and suggested they toss the official line up and just group the girls by vault setting. It was the last rotation and I think the judges just wanted to move that session along.

Yes, many times see the coach try and set the lineup with "typically" lowest scoring 1st and build to your highest scoring although I've seen coaches wait until after warm up to hand the judges the cards in the order they want. Sometimes my gymmie has known after the last practice before a meet where she'll go in the lineup---other times they find out when they get to the event. I've also seen a "weaker" gymnast on an event put in the middle of the group. Granny also pointed out putting a pretty strong girl up 1st to get a good score to start the team off well. My gymmie has been in that position more than once especially on bars/vault. She went up 1st at a L6 meet to "set the team up" on bars and scored a 9.2 which won the whole meet.

The theory of the scores going up seems to play out about 70% of the time. Sometimes the girls at the end get nervous and only do so-so routines and the scores actually drop. I've also seen(not often) a coach just put the girls up in random order to see how each does going 1st, last etc.

Yes, I've been around more than a few parents who have blown up because their precious child didn't get the last or next to last spot in the comp order. Ya know, if the hit the routine, they're still going to get a pretty decent score no matter if they're 1st or last.
I usually see stronger gymnast towards the back, but not always. One coach said he based it on a variety of reasons, ability, nerves, etc. We are at a new gym with a judge as a coach and at our first meet she seemed to put the stronger girls first, who are are on the same vault/bar settings. Our next meet is with an assigned order.
Sometimes you'll also see a lineup shuffled due to a girl having an injury or being sick. When my gymmie was L6, she was just getting over a strep throat at the time of our home meet. The coach at that gym saw home meets as being as important as states----had to win(otherwise I wouldn't have caved and let her compete).

Well, when they saw her do open stretch and that she was running on about 75% of normal energy, she was put up 1st on vault(1st rotation) even though one of the best vaulters so she could get a good break before bars(her other strong event) and was up near the end on that. Then they stuck her up early on beam(no surprise really) and in the middle on floor. A slight injury on one event can cause the coach to move girls around for the next event to allow the injured one time to ice, get taped etc.
I just realized that the first meet that DD went to, it must have been alphabetical order. It just turns out that on our old L4 team, weakest team member was my daughter, with last name starting with an A and the strongest had a last name starting with an S. I learn something new here all the time. :D
After the first meet we go by scores except on bars where we go according to bar settings. There are times we may switch it up a little, for example we do like to start off beam with a consistent beam routine who will stay on. This year our best beam routine couldn't handle the stress of waiting to go at the end of the rotation so we would put her up early in the rotation. As a coach you do try to stack the scores for the team scores.
From a judges perspective, especially at JO meets, I score the 1st routine as consistently as the last. If the 1st routine is phenominal, then I score it, and keep track of that score as the "best" throughout the meet.

As a coach, bar settings and vault height are usally 1st priority. Sometimes we cant change the order, either. If we can, I try to put the kids in order to the benefit of the athletes- for example, if I know a kid likes to go 1st. On beam, there is usually one kid that likes to go 1st st, and I know they can hit, I put them up 1st.

In compulsories, and lower level optionals/ meets the ORDER DOES NOT MATTER. At the Olympics, yes, but now its even less so w/ the open ended scoring. Yes -(unless you are talking to a comentator who likes to spout off useless info on NBC) competitive order has NO EFFECT on scoring. The judges are very competent and (usually) place the routines correctly.
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