Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Terrible Tuesdays: "Leaps" out of tumbling passes

In 2010, Lauren Mitchell captivated fans across the globe with her giant tumbling and became the first Australian to win a Gold Medal in Gymnastics. Although her dance was lacking, I had respect for her big skills and turn in the tuck position. And I was thrilled when just a few days before 2011 worlds when International Gymnast announced that she had earned a 6.4 SV on Floor, higher than any other woman in the world at that time. That is, until I saw the routine. 

Before we move on, let me define a gymnastics term for you:

Code-whore - /kōd'hôr/  (n.)
1.  An individual who, for the sake of start values, sacrifices her artistic integrity.

Ex: Because she was scared of the competition's talent, Lauren Mitchell code-whored her entire floor routine by jumping horrifyingly out of each pass. 


Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of jumping out of a tumbling pass. Svetlana Khorkina did it incredibly for years. It's when you sacrifice your artistic integrity and the quality of your gymnastics that I hate. 

Let's look at a screen shot out of each of Lauren's 4 passes at last weekend's Pacific Rim Championships. I took screen shots 3 times, and picked the best picture for each pass. 

Frankly, with the exception of the last picture, I don't think any of those pictures display acceptable gymnastics, much less artistry. 

I'm not trying to pick on Lauren here, but her leaps are the most apparent examples of code-whoring. They don't work with the choreography and are blatant attempts to eliminate hops on the landings. If you can't control your tumbling passes, don't use "dance" to attempt to hide that. Everyone can see exactly what you're doing. 


  1. Agreed! Yuch!

  2. I always wondered why more people didn't attempt to do this and why it was even allowed. It's not like after a vault you can do a pretty jump to hide a step or hop. Or maybe that is the future of vaults. Someone lands and then goes right into a jump or a back tuck on the vault mat. I hope not!

  3. I hate this too - when a leap is pretty and well-controlled and only shows up at the end of one (MAYBE two) passes, I'm okay with it...but Lauren's are obviously just seriously ugly attempts to avoid landing deductions.

  4. "because she was scared of the competitions talent"? I swear to god Americans won't be happen until the olympics is just another visa championships. So she should go for an easier start value because you guys weren't smart enough to think of doing it? Is it lonely up there on your pedestal? I actually used to enjoy reading these things but talk about biased rubbish.

    1. I don't think that's fair. I almost used Bulimar & Sui Lu as examples. I don't think that the Americans are the best on floor, AT ALL. Gabrielle Douglas, who I love dearly, does this code-whoring floor stuff too. It's not about American vs. Non-American. I haven't made it about that at all; you have. It's just a cheap technique that I hate.

  5. Unless you can jump out of it like Gabby at American Cup, don't.

  6. I completely agree! They should at least limit the amount of times gymnasts can do it in a routine. I would much rather see an amazing stuck landing than a mediocre jump for the sake of increasing start value. Jordyn has started doing it too.. and I don't blame her (I don't like it but understand why she does it). It is such an easy and quick fix to boosting SV. I wouldn't be surprised if we see many more gymnasts at the olympics doing this.

  7. Vanessa Atler also made this beautiful! Favorite tumbling run of all time!

  8. If they don't get bonuses for sticking passes like BAMFs (i.e. Victoria Moors' stuck double double) then they shouldn't get bonuses for having the ugliest leaps on the planet. You're right - she can't control her tumbling, which is why she needs these horrifying leaps - but it's super unfair that she's rewarded for them when Moors isn't rewarded for looking fantastic. The fact that Mitchell qualified over Moors at Pac Rims is a travesty!

  9. Preach, Lauren ^, preach! Haha I agree completely with you. I think they should get extra attention for sticking, but should be allowed to step back like before 2008. Aliya Mustafina and Kyla Ross make it look nice out of their Arabian mounts! They should get penalized if they leap out of more than one tumbling pass (like men's rollouts) or if they aren't high enough. I love Lauren Mitchell, and her one stag leap in 2010 world EF was nice, but after all four passes? nahhhh

  10. I definitely agree that leaps out of tumbling passes are being used WAY too much, and so many of them look horrible (with the exception of Douglas, and maybe a few others)! I'd also like to see a limit on the number of passes they can leap out of...maybe two at the most.

  11. I like when she leaps for her first pass because I feel she really was the first one to do in today's gymnastics world. And I don't mind the 3rd one because its not really a leap but a little flair. But I HATE HAT HATE!!! when people jump out of flipping passes (Backward). It just looks dumb and tacky. if they really want to do jumps right there MUST be a rebound action like Izbasa's 3/1 PUNCH stag jump or Gabby's Double tuck PUNCH split jump. Not Arabian "Oh I should jump now" and then do a little leap kick thing. If there is a punch you should get .1 bonus. And you should only be allowed to do 2

  12. I have many, many problems with this post but I’ll limit it to a few.
    1. Exactly what credible source are you quoting that Lauren Mitchell leaps out of tumbling passes “because she is scared of the competition’s talent?” I’m going to assume it’s none, so bearing that in mind, you would want to be very careful about saying things like that, if you actually wrote for a credible medium, that would get you into a lot of trouble. Furthermore, as someone who has met and spoken with Lauren many times, the only thing that girl is afraid of at the moment is reinjuring those ankles, which is why lessening the impact is important to her.
    2. Correct me if I’m wrong but last time I checked, winning in gymnastics was about getting the highest score? Meaning you follow the code of points to create a start value as high as you can. If everyone only did skills they could perfectly execute, everyone would have 10.0 E scores. Now I haven’t seen too many of those, so people who connect elements for bonuses which result in a slight wobble or break in form must all be “code whores” – so every single gymnast?
    3. If you don’t like the code of points attack that not a gymnast who is just following it to her advantage. I’m sure you think your definition and post as a whole is incredibly funny and clever but I can assure you it’s neither. But since this blog is really just a combination of every single gymnastics blog out there, we can hardly expect too much out of it.

  13. Wow Torah, you're mean.

  14. Torah, what did you do? Search for Lauren Mitchell because you're such BFFs and want to protect her? This is a blog, not a newspaper; therefore, it is what it is. If you don't like it don't come back.

    1) Again, it's a blog, probably a joke, not a serious quote.
    2) When your split jump is worse than what a 3 year old can show, you are taking a deduction, which most likely would've been less had you just shuffled a little on the landing.
    3) I think all the deductions Lauren takes from her "leaps" will add up and she will be beat out by someone else trying to stick.

    I think Lauren's a great gymnast, but agree that her floor is terrible with those leaps. Either go big or don't do it at all.

  15. Hear hear, Torah.

    You're really showing your lack of gymnastics knowledge here, Bekah. Normally I don't mind your blog but I see no reason for this post and find it quite mean-spirited. If you were going to complain about leaps out of tumbling passes why not mention other gymnasts as well? You yourself mentioned there are others. Instead you've limited it to one single gymnast who happens to be protecting tender ankles and is using the code to her benefit.

    One more thing, and this may be nit-picking... but "floor mount"? How exactly do you mount a floor? It's sitting right there. You walk on to it. Perhaps you're talking about her first tumbling pass? Yes, I think you are, and are instead using a term you think is part of the gymnastics vernacular but was instead phased out about 15 years ago because people started to realise it was silly.

  16. I'm sorry if I offended people. I've already explained that it wasn't wasn't my intent. If it upsets you so much, see the upper right hand corner of the blog where I link to many more blogs that may be of interest to you. Thanks. :)

  17. I think they should limit it to two leaps per routine. She mentioned Lauren because she's the only gymnast, who leaps out of all four of her tumbling passes. Three out of four are awful!

  18. at 1st I used to like jumps out of tumbles, but now...... I hate most of them too. Lauren's jump after the full-in hurts my eyes...yuck! They need to change the COP ASAP

  19. Ms./Mr. March 23rd at 3:33, I have a bone to pick with you.

    It is a floor mount. Why? Because it's the first pass. The last pass also is called a floor dismount. Your ignorance of this term is not something you should be calling out a blogger for. Just because you think the term is no longer part of the "gymnastics vernacular"(ooh, be careful not to choke on those big words you're using) doesn't mean that the phrase is incorrect and she should have not used it. It's perfectly correct to use and quite frankly, you should shove the "lack of gymnastics knowledge" up your own ass.

  20. Oh dear Anonymous Mar 25, 2012 01:14 PM, you've just made yourself look quite silly. Well done. (BTW, for "vernacular", try www.google.com. It might help.)

  21. I agree, Bekah. A lot of gymnasts (not just Lauren, like you already mentioned) use horrible jumps to cover up poor landings. I know several people have claimed that Lauren is doing this to protect her ankles, but I doubt the complete validity of those claims. The introduction of these jumps is just a way for gymnasts that have sloppy floor routines to post competitive scores. As Shawn Johnson has said, the lunged out finishes were much more pretty. Not to mention, I think they demonstrated a much more "clean" style of gymnastics.

    And also, I don't see a single problem with the use of the term "floor mount". I have heard it used multiple times. Next you're going to be mad about people saying "floater" instead of "float serve" in volleyball because "floater" doesn't denote absolute, literary meaning like you think it should. Embrace and enjoy the synonymous capabilities of English terminology... don't try to stamp it out!