Sunday, August 26, 2012

Changes for the 2013 Code of Points

Recently, FIG voted their draft of the 2013-2016 Code of Points into practice. Although the basic premise of scoring remains the same, some changes have indeed been made with the intention of improving some of the "kinks" within the code. While well intended, I worry that some of the rules won't improve the way that FIG anticipates. Here are 3 of the changes and what I think it will ultimately accomplish in the sport.

1. Leaps out of passes on floor

NBC Sports
The Change: Previously, the connection value for leaps out of passes was .1 for an A leap out of a D or higher acro skill. Now, a gymnast has to compete a B or higher jump out of their passes to receive CV.

The Intention: I assume that FIG was trying to stop the BS that some people were doing out of every pass.  It seems that the CV of the leaps out of passes in combination with their ability to hide sloppiness caused people *cough*LaurenMitchell*cough* to overuse them.

The Reality:  Instead of requiring the skill to be rebounding without any pause or making sure that the leap is sufficient to receive CV, FIG has actually made it harder to do those things. Instead of seeing sissones, straddle jumps, split jumps and double stags out of tumbling passes, gymnasts will have to do HARDER skills out of passes. They're not going to just stop competing leaps if they look ugly, we'll just end up seeing more ugly leaps. Can you even contain your excitement about seeing someone attempt a sheep jump or a tuck jump full out of a double pike?

2. Downgraded Amanar

Gym Examiner
The Change: The Amanar has been downgraded from a 6.5 D score to a 6.3. 

The Intention: Equalizing the "unfair advantage" that people receive by competing the Amanar vault.

The Reality: Frankly, I'm not sure that .2 is going to be much a difference when an Amanar still scores .5 higher than a Double Twisting Yurchenko. Besides, I personally don't think that it will be too much longer that the Amanar will be the vault to beat. Think about where we were in 2008 when only a handful of women could compete the 2.5. I don't see a Triple Twisting Yurchenko or a Yurchenko Double Back too far off. Soon the women who can compete those skills will be the ones with the "unfair advantage." This is just a temporary fix for the so called "unfair vault advantage." 

3. Upgraded skills on Floor 

Grace Chui
The Change: This quad, floor exercise will become the first event to offer .3 for connection value (C+E, when the E is a double salto, A/B+F) and H Skill Values (for Double Doubles & Full Twisting Double Layouts).

The Intention: I assume that FIG is trying to close the gap between floor D scores and the other events. Although this gap has closed some, floor does still remain the lowest scoring event.

The Reality: I worry that coaches and choreographers will become obsessed with these differences and we'll see a ridiculous number of the same skills. I anticipate that we'll see those 2 H skills from girls unprepared to compete them well. Also, I bet that there will be a ton of 1.5s through to double arabians/full ins in search of that .3 bonus.