Parents Consistancy in judging at meets

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Proud Parent
My daughter had a sectional meet this weekend. While I can see she has improved since her first meet (remember the 5.8 on bars?) I am not sure how she made the 32 score for states. And yes we are very proud of her, but surprised. We even gave her the speech about "you know you may not make it this year, it's your first time trying, do your best anyway". I didn't think she did her routines better than the last meet, I even saw quite a few mistakes, yet the scores seemed a little too high. As a matter of fact I think everyone in that session made it to states except a few. In all honesty my daughter's best score of all 3 meets she was in was a 30.5 I recognized some of the judges from other meets and even recognized the "infamous" judge that gave my DD the 5.8 bars and know she is the one judge that usually does score my DD low even on her best event. Even she seemed generous on my DD's worst event, beam.

My question is, are there times when you feel like your DD did better and didn't have the scores and then sometimes been given a "gift"?

How consistant is the judging at meets?
I have had similar experiences with my daughter. Last year most of her scores were 34's then at state she shot up to a 36. It was exciting but I didn't see too much difference between the meets. It did give her the chance to go to regionals though and that was really neat. Then there have been meets when I've seen her do a routine that I thought was fabulous but it's not scored that way. I've learned to take the whole season's scores and average them. In general I've found that my daughter and her teammates stay within a point or two of their previous scores.
I recently talked to a judge during a meet. I asked her about score escalation during the course a meet. She said it is definitely there, and has even been studied. The later your child goes during the day, the more tired the judges are, and the less likely they are to take a deduction. Also, my dd’s coach once told me that the judges get together and pick a certain thing to look for at each meet and if the girl does it, then she really gets nailed.
I believe in the theory that the later the meets are, the higher the scores. I've been going to meets for 7 years and that seems to hold true. The higher scores are nice, but keep in mind that the judges are just as tired when judging the competition so it really doesn't give that winning edge. Also, as a mom, I don't know what the judges look for and so many of us "noneducated meet watchers" try to make sense out of something we simply don't know much about. Like perhaps the time I thought my dd's beam routine was excellent and she didn't receive the score she usually got . Well, turns out she slightly hesitated between her series which took off a .5 deduction I think, which is quite a bit! It's these little things that do not look wrong, off, or shaky, to us, but the judges know what to look for, and they will take deductions, as they should. So, I don't even try to figure it out; I accept it, and trust that the judges are doing their best. But, I do believe however that there are times the judges simply "don't get it right", and that's just the nature of the sport.
I wonder about that too my dd has a judge that always judges her stricter than other judges and we havent figured out what she is apparently doing wrong but her floor yesterday was her best ever and she gave her an 8.3 last yr she did a worse routine on floor and got a 8.8 from another judge. It doesnt make any sense. My dd sees her on an event and knows it doesnt matter what she does it wont be good. Even the coach cant tell us why.
My dd has the same problem with a judge. The last meet with this judge, we were relieved to see that she was judging vault. We thought that she couldn't hurt her there. We were wrong. Her vault score fell an entire point from her last meet. We are lucky, dd has not figured the trend out yet, so she is not discouraged.
I once had a judge say to my DD aren't you a senior Yet? I was hoping you had graduated. This was right before the meet started. This judge gave her a 9.675 on her vault but my Dd had to tell her she was a level 8 not a level 7 so her vault was only out of a 9! She realized later the judge didn't dislike her but got her confused with another girl from another club.
The methods and madness of scoring is what makes gymnastics so confusing to the spectators. It's up to the coaches to find out the answers we ask, and share them with the gymnasts as well as the parents who are trying to understand. In my experience, most coaches do not try share much of this information. However, we have a really good coach this year who historically (from what I've heard)makes it a point to ask why. Not in a threatening or complaining way, but simply to learn what went wrong and how can this routine be improved. I'm excited for the first meet, as I think this policy will make a huge difference in how the season goes for dd.
Judging is a difficult and confusing thing for parents to understand. It is difficult to compare scores from meet to meet because there can be differences even on routines that look equal between the 2 meets. However, as long as the scores across the meet are consistent, I think that is what most matters. In my experience, our coaches could almostalways look at video and explain why the score was what it was--although I was told once that a beam score was a "gift!" Our coaches always talk to the judges after a meet to find out in general what the girls need to work on to improve their routines. I think a coach who says they don't understand a score isn't doing their job--they need to go ask the judges after the meet. The judges keep a paper record of their scores for each girl and what the deductions were. In my experience from working meets, they will look back and let a coach know where the problems were. I think the hardest thing for parents is that we usually don't have the same angle/view as the judges and esp as you get higher, the angles count for a lot esp on bars. We quit looking a scores for my dd and made goals based on skills for meets--ie connect a bar routine, no falls on beam, stuck landings, etc. those were things she could control and know if she accomplished the goal or not.
Judges ranking

I have heard several times also that the Judges rank the gyms before the competition even starts, based on warm ups. The higher the rank - the higher the score during competition.

I can only assume that it is true, but who knows. I have heard this from other parents and from a coach.

Anyone else ever heard this?
I have heard several times also that the Judges rank the gyms before the competition even starts, based on warm ups. The higher the rank - the higher the score during competition.

I can only assume that it is true, but who knows. I have heard this from other parents and from a coach.

Anyone else ever heard this?

I've never heard of that but do know that the judges know the girls very well. Many times while working a meet, my judge has said "watch so-and-so" and many times the gymnast has been wonderful. I have also heard "where did that performance come from" which has also gotten a high score. After working with the judges I truely believe that they attempt to judge the girls fairly, and as was said before, as long as the scores are fair across the meet we can't complain.

Each judge seems to have certain things that they score harder on, which may be why we see inconsistancy. Last year in two weeks of competition my dd received a 9.2 on beam at one meet and a 8.6 at the next. I saw very little difference in the routines, but the judges did. But both scores placed, 9.2-1st, 8.6-2nd, so it seems like when the judges judge"hard" as we see it, they judge everyone hard.

I've got to say "let's hear it for the judges", they work long hours, and if we think we get tired of the same music all the time, imagine how they feel. The ones I have met really love the sport, and so many of them are former gymnasts and coaches, or current coaches. They spend so much of their time seeing that our girls have good competitions.

I am not knocking the judges at all. I am just saying that I heard this and was wondering if anyone else has.

I believe that the Judges are fairly consistent, whether high, low or somewhere in the middle.

I just found the comments that I heard to be "interesting."
I just make sure my dd knows that some things are just out of her control. All you can do is put your best out there and everything else is out of your hands. Some times it works for you and sometimes against!
Granny--I've also heard that judges tend to rate gyms at a meet---maybe more so at states. They may look at a gym as a "good bars gym" and hold some of their high scores for the girls from that gym----at least expecting they will hit good routines. Of course, that doesn't always happen.

Catesmom--The only time I've heard of judges making comments about a gymnast(as in remembering previous performances) was when I was scoring a L10 session at our optional meet. The judges did talk to each other about a couple of girls who were going on to college gymnastics and how their routines would score well. When I've helped with compulsory meets, the judges have admitted, the kids are a blur by the time they're done with a few sessions.
Granny- I certainly didn't mean to sound preachy, I have just had such a good time working the meets that we host at our gym, and you know I have never worked with the judges at complusory level, you are probably right.

This is my dd's 4th year of competing and I guess I just gave up trying to figure things out. Like some of the others have said, you just go and hope they do their best. It definately makes for a better ride home.

I just wanted to send out a big thanks to the judges, I don't think they hear it often enough. Our beam coach is also a judge in our state, and she is so picky. I think it's good for the girls to hear things from a judges perspective, of course when we compete, you are always dealing with what the other judges are looking for.

Here's to a season of great competitions!!!

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